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AVIATION OBTAINS PRODUCTION CERTIFICATE
The FAA on Thursday
afternoon issued a production certificate (PC) to Eclipse Aviation,
allowing the manufacturer to issue standard airworthiness certificates
for production Eclipse 500s. Representatives from the FAA presented the
production certificate to Eclipse COO Peg Billson at the company's
Albuquerque, N.M. headquarters. Before receiving the PC, Eclipse was
previously required to submit every aircraft to the FAA for approval
before delivery. "Earning our FAA production certificate means we have
successfully built a reliable, high-quality manufacturing process, and
are well positioned to expedite aircraft deliveries, said Billson.
'This is a critical milestone in our journey to become a high-production
aircraft manufacturer." More...
PLAY AT FAA OVER ECLIPSE 500 TC?
Recent evidence suggests
that managers at the FAA might have rushed the issuance of the Eclipse
500 type certificate (TC) last Sept. 30. A grievance filed on Oct. 20 by National Air Traffic
Controllers Association (NATCA) aircraft certification representative
Tomaso DiPaolo and posted this week to a blog site alleges that aircraft
certification engineers and flight test pilots assigned to the Eclipse
500 program had identified "several outstanding safety/regulatory
issues" before Sept. 30 that would have precluded issuance of the TC.
DiPaolo told AVweb that the unnamed engineers and test pilots
were unaware until coming into work on Monday morning that FAA managers
issued the Eclipse TC over the weekend, adding, "Who's ever heard of the
FAA working on a Saturday?" Eclipse Aviation director of communications
Andrew Broom told AVweb that his company did not influence the
timing of the TC issuance: "We did not use any political connections to
push for acceleration of the Eclipse 500 type certificate." DiPaolo also
said he was not aware of any influence on Eclipse's part; instead he
believes that the FAA's push might have had something to do with the
agency's new "pay for performance" mandate. More...
DA42 ENGINE FIX: ENGINE AD IN THE WORKS?
said on Friday that its continuing its investigation into the dual
engine failure of a diesel-powered DA42 Twin Star last month in Germany,
and the fix might be a backup battery for the engines electronic
control units (ECUs). In meantime, AVweb has learned that an
Airworthiness Directive for the airplanes two Thielert 1.7
Centurion engines is pending. Diamond North American president Peter
Maurer told AVweb on Friday that Thielert -- the engine supplier
-- and Diamond arent working at cross purposes, since the problem
obviously needs to be corrected. Maurer said that both of the Twin
Stars engines quit immediately after the pilot retracted the
landing gear. Activation of the gear retraction system caved the
electrical system voltage and knocked both ECUs offline. When the
engines quit, the props immediately feathered and the airplanes
dual alternators, which are supposed to provide failsafe power to the
ECUs, also died. The airplane landed with the gear partially retracted
and was significantly damaged. Fortunately, the crew survived.
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HIRING PUSH CREATES CLASS STRUGGLE
The FAA's unprecedented
recruiting drive for air traffic controllers has caused bitter division
between the new recruits and those who've taken the college route to the
console. Pat Forrey, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association, told AVweb in an interview
that controller trainees who have gone through college, often amassing
large student loans, are now training side by side with people who have
almost literally been pulled off the street and into the program. "It's
causing a rift amongst the new hires," Forrey said. Ironically, though,
Forrey said it's unlikely the off-the-street trainees are at any
significant competitive disadvantage against their college-trained
SHIPMENTS STILL STRONG
Cirrus and Cessna continue to battle
it out for supremacy of the piston single market, and the airplanes with
a parachute still have the edge. According to the General Aviation
Manufacturers Association's quarterly report on aircraft shipments, Cirrus
delivered 144 aircraft over three model types in the first quarter,
bringing in a little more than $64 million in revenue. Cessna delivered
133 piston singles (total value not broken out in the GAMA table),
across a product range of six models. Diamond Aircraft delivered 73
singles and its diesel twin, the DA42 Twin Star, was by far the most
popular piston twin with 42 shipped. Columbia delivered 47 aircraft and
Piper shipped a total of 43 airplanes, of which 21 were piston singles.
Overall, the industry is mostly maintaining the very busy production
levels of the past three years. More...
Trade-A-Plane & See Why 96% of Trade-A-Plane
as their primary
aviation shopping tool. Thousands of classifieds (updated daily),
product and advertiser indices, NAAA Evaluator, and aviation weather
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FEE CHORUS GROWS DOWN ON THE FARM
The National Farmers' Union
(NFU) has joined the juggernaut of opposition to the FAA's
funding proposal, saying it's nothing more than a bailout of airlines on
the backs of small-town America. In a news release, NFU President Pat
Buis said the plan to more than triple the existing general aviation
fuel tax will have a direct impact on rural residents. "Local airfields
often provide the fastest and most efficient means of transportation
because the big corporate airlines concentrate most of their service at
only the nation's largest airports," Buis said. "The FAA proposal to
impose user fees and tax increases will deal a heavy blow to farmers and
rural communities who depend on general aviationfor this reason we
are strongly opposing user fees and new taxes in any form." Also joining
the chorus is the Alaska State legislature. More...
NAMES TRAINING PARTNERS
On Friday, Eclipse Aviation announced
its new team of partners -- Flight Simulation Company of The Netherlands
and Higher Power Aviation of Dallas -- who will train Eclipse 500
pilots. These organizations join Eclipse's previously established
simulator vendor OPINICUS of Lutz, Florida. United Airlines and Eclipse
last month severed ties under which United would have trained Eclipse
500 pilots. Under the new arrangement, FSC will provide Eclipse's
FAA-approved course content and oversee the very light jet
manufacturer's overall pilot-training program. Under its Part 142
certificate, HPA's flight instructors and training personnel will
conduct FAA-approved flight training and administer the Eclipse 500 type
rating curriculum in the U.S. "We take our responsibility to train our
customer pilots very seriously," said Eclipse Aviation President and CEO
Vern Raburn. "We have assembled an outstanding team of experienced
instructors and administrators to deliver our FAA-approved,
scenario-based training curriculum to our customers." More...
Speed, Safety, Performance How About
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FBO CHANGES HANDS
One of the oldest family businesses in U.S.
aviation is changing hands at the end of June. It was announced Thursday
that Executive Beechcraft, which was started by Dan
Melsinger Sr. in 1938, is being purchased by BBA Aviation.
Terms haven't been disclosed, but the deal gives BBA 100 percent of the
capital stock of Executive Beechcraft Inc. Members of the Melsinger
family have continuously owned the business since its inception (when an
executive Beechcraft was a Staggerwing) and grew it to include a
diversified enterprise with four bases of operation. More...
TO BUILD NEW TWIN OTTERS
A Vancouver Island company has
committed to resurrecting one of the most popular passenger/utility
aircraft ever built. Viking Air of Saanich (near Victoria) British
Columbia intends to begin building DHC-6 Twin Otters this year. Parts
will be built at the Saanich plant for assembly in Calgary. The company
hopes to build nine aircraft this year, 12 in 2008 and 18 in 2010 to
start satisfying a pent-up demand for the rugged, STOL-capable
fixed-gear turboprops that has forced prices on the used market to
skyrocket in recent years. "It's a terrific opportunity," Viking vice
president of finance John Morrison told the Peninsula News. "In the aviation world the Twin
Otter is a very cherished icon, much like the Beaver, and that we've
been given the opportunity to bring it back into production is
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UPSETS THE NEIGHBORS, ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Actor John Travolta
has caught the ire of the London's Daily Mail and the retirees of Owl's
Head, Maine, in recent days for his flying behavior. On the U.S. side of
the pond, the folks in Owl's Head wish he would abide by the voluntary
curfew at Knox County Regional Airport. According to airport manager
Jeff Northgreaves, only one airplane routinely busts the 10 p.m. to 6
a.m. curfew, and that's Travolta's Gulfstream. "He has the loudest
aircraft we see here," Northgraves told the National Enquirer. "The area
has a lot of little old ladies and retired people
have some heart." When Travolta goes overseas, he breaks out the big
iron, however, something that didn't escape the notice of the British
OF AIRPLANE CRASH UNKNOWN
In most cases, the investigation of
a fatal accident reveals an all-too-familiar chain of events leading up
to the crash that may include pilot error, weather and, sometimes,
mechanical malfunction. But a crash on a calm clear day in Hawaii on
Dec. 15, 2005, gave investigators nothing to go on except the smoking
wreck of a Cessna 172S buried six feet in a mountainside at the
2,300-foot level near Hana Airport. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, Alan Gerow, 58, of Salt Lake
City, a commercial-rated pilot, rented the 172 at Maui Aviators at
Kahului Airport and said he intended to fly to Hana Airport and return
later in the day. More...
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U-2 will be at EAA AirVenture...
7X received EASA and FAA certification...
Frederico Fleur Curado is
the new Embraer CEO...
NBAA is moving its convention from New Orleans
NATCA says a funnel cloud went right over Tulsa Airport
and controllers didn't know it. More...
Attention, Cessna Owners and
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Cessna Flyers
the Cessna Flyer Association
), since 2004
providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical
questions, an informative monthly magazine, online forums, national and
regional events, an annual gatheringseminars, member discounts, and more
for only $39 yearly
. The CFA
is located in the Blue Hangar
on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, just 35 nm
NW of Oshkosh. For more info, visit
Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students &
Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey
's Discovery Flight
converting leads to students. However, all pilots can find something at
: Pilot e-mail accounts, pilot eCards; a pilot
cruise with seminars; AvCareers, where position wanted and positions
available are listed; and much more.
Pilot Journey is the pilot's
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll find part one of an interview with Rich Schrameck at
Epic Aircraft. And AVweb's podcast
index includes interviews with Cessna's Jack Pelton; Embraer's
Ernest Edwards; LAMA's Dan Johnson; Piper's Jim Bass; DayJet's Ed
Iacobucci; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster;
Avfuel's Craig Sincock; Comp Air's Ron Lueck; and VistaNav's Jeff Simon.
special podcast, hear Pat Foley of the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association on controller hiring. Remember: In AVweb's
podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
The AVweb Bookstore, The Most Complete
Aviation Bookstore Anywhere
Over 400 titles representing 52 publishers are in stock and ready for
immediate delivery as books, videos, or CDs. 100+ titles
available instantly as fully searchable e-Book downloads. Whether you
are a pilot, an A&P technician, or a kit airplane builder, if it's
worth reading, it's available from the AVweb Bookstore
Click here to visit online
OF THE WEEK: ATLAS AVIATION
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Atlas Aviation at KTPF in Tampa,
AVweb reader Armand Bendersky says the FBO went above
"I contacted them before flying to Sun 'n Fun, and
they were friendly on the phone and went above and beyond in obtaining
hotel reservations, printed directions and the right rental car. Their
facility is clean and the staff is friendly and helpful to a fault. I
highly recommend this small, but very convenient operation for anyone
going into the Tampa area. Fuel prices are probably less than others in
the area, and they treat you like they appreciate your
those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
OF THE WEEK: AUSTRALIAN TV COCKPIT SPOOF
This week's flying
video comes from an as-yet-unidentified Australian comedy troupe who
take us inside the cockpit of flight simulator to talk to airline
"pilots." (Did we mention how thankful we are that this is just a
simulator?) (Click through to watch.) More...
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
Overheard between a Cessna 310 driver
and Chicago Center.
Chicago Center: Cessna One Two Three
Five Bravo, Ill bring you in a little high so I dont lose
radar contact while vectoring you to the ILS. Do you think youll
have any problem losing the necessary altitude to make the
Cessna 1235B: No problem Center, this baby comes down
like a Bonanza full of doctors! More...
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news,
articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's
aviation magazine and news service.
Today's issue was written by
Contributing Editor Russ
and Editor In Chief Chad
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
intended for publication.)
Comments or questions
about the news should be sent
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having
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there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
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