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Volume 13, Number 22b
May 24, 2007
Would Pilots Spend 2 Cents for This?
Is it worth a couple of pennies to hear the CFI of the Year share tips on briefing the approach? Or watch a 46-year- veteran CFI teach a great technique for practicing and sharpening your rudder skills? Get this kind of top-flight aviation expertise for a few pennies each. Keep your skills and knowledge sharp to stay safe with PilotWorkshops.com. Click to watch a sample video with 4 quick tips.
Top Newsback to top 

AOPA President Phil Boyer faced off with James May of the Air Transport Association (ATA) on Tuesday at the Washington, D.C., Aero Club in a debate about the pending FAA reauthorization legislation. May questioned why Boyer was opposing the Senate bill that would require a $25 user fee for turbine aircraft flying in the IFR system and exempt piston aircraft. "Our only concern is the introduction of a user fee to any segment of aviation, whether it be $5 or $25," said Boyer. "Even if it were just the airlines [paying user fees], to put that structure in place would be a slippery slope." May said he is fine with exempting piston aircraft. "My beef quite frankly is with the corporate jets. I'm just trying to find a little balance from some folks who can easily afford to pay their fair share." More...

Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation's order book for its very light jet swelled to nearly 2,700 airplanes thanks to a large fleet order from ETIRC Aviation on Wednesday at the European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. The Luxembourg-based Eclipse 500 distributor placed a firm order for 120 of the small twinjets with options for 60 more. ETIRC Aviation, led by European high-tech industry veteran Roel Pieper, also signed an agreement with Atasay, a luxury goods company, to provide a jet-taxi service for Turkey’s business travelers using these 120 to 180 Eclipse 500s. Added to a previous standing order for 40 Eclipse 500s, ETIRC could take delivery of up to 220 of the very light jets before all is said and done. This latest order further solidifies Eclipse's dependence on the success of the yet-to-be-proven VLJ air-taxi industry. More...

The plans that government contractor Lockheed Martin had in place for this spring to consolidate Flight Service Stations and implement new software were doomed to fail. That's the gist of the results from a study by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General that was released last week. The study was conducted from May 2006 to March 2007, just before the system began to experience major problems. The DOT OIG found "significant, inherent risks" associated with the consolidation phase of the transition, which is now underway. The planned six-month consolidation schedule was "extremely aggressive," the DOT Inspector General's report says. The schedule depended on deploying new software on time, and the software development was already behind schedule. Infrastructure issues were likely to arise in combining digital and analog networks. "Improvements are needed to ensure that the operational needs of users continue to be met," the report says. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Does the FAA have an adequate plan in place for training the 15,000 new air traffic controllers it plans to hire over the next 10 years? That's what the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General (OIG) is wondering, and it plans to commence a study of the issue next month. Top among its concerns is whether the FAA's plans for training at the facility level are adequate. Facility training takes three to five years, and comprises classroom, simulation and on-the-job training. It's the longest and most expensive part of certifying new controllers. "FAA projects that [controllers-in-training] will make up 25 percent or more of the entire controller workforce through fiscal year 2014," said David Dobbs of the DOT OIG. "Furthermore, as experienced controllers retire, FAA will increasingly lose more experienced [on-the-job] instructors, who are critical components of facility training." More...

The seventh annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE 2007) is underway this week in Geneva, Switzerland, and it's expected to be the biggest ever, with more than 10,000 visitors, 354 exhibitors and 55 aircraft on static display. Already announcements of deals show a strong market, likely enhanced by the strength of the Euro compared to the U.S. dollar. Among the news from the show so far: Airbus debuted its new bizjet, the A318 Elite; Adam Aircraft sold 50 of its yet-to-be-certified A700 very light jets to a Chinese buyer; NetJets Europe announced an order for 32 Hawker 4000 business jets, worth more than $700 million; a Saudi Arabian buyer ordered 20 Gulfstream G450s; and JetFly, a fractional operator based in Luxembourg, added four TBM 850s and four Piaggio Avantis to its fleet. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Cessna announced Monday at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibit (EBACE) that the company's Mustang very light jet has won European Aviation Safety Agency certification, as well as steep approach approval. The EASA nod makes the Mustang "the first new-generation entry-level business jet to be certified in Europe," according to the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer. Deliveries in Europe will begin "later this summer."The steep approach certification enables the Mustang to land at airports with instrument approaches steeper than a 4.5-degree approach angle. Cessna said this is the first step in the approval process at airports such as London City in England, which has a glideslope angle of 5.5 degrees, and requires special authorization through the airport administration for both the aircraft and the pilots landing there. More...

The first fully conforming A700 AdamJet, S/N 003, has been flying since April, and is performing as expected, Adam Aircraft said on Wednesday. "We are working on airspeed calibration and stability and control effectiveness with different configurations throughout the flight envelope," said test pilot Jeff Peer. "The three-screen Avidyne display has been particularly impressive." According to Adam Aircraft, the very light jet has completed ground vibration testing. Static testing for FAA requirements is currently 20 percent complete and will conclude this year. S/N 004 is under construction and will join the test program this summer, followed by two more jets for the flight-test fleet. FAA certification is scheduled for the fourth quarter, and the first customer delivery is expected in early 2008. More...

Aircraft Spruce Carries Thor Aero Dry Wash
When there is no water in your hangar or the airport does not have the proper facilities, this is the product for you. Simply spray it on and wipe it off. This unique product also has a polish in it to protect the painted surface. Thor Aero Dry Wash removes exhaust fumes and oil, plus it shines in one step. For more information, call Aircraft Spruce at (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
News Briefsback to top 

NASA dedicated a new astronomy aircraft to aviator Charles Lindbergh on the 80th anniversary of his historic trans-Atlantic flight. Erik Lindbergh, the pilot's grandson, joined NASA for the event on Monday, in Waco, Texas. NASA's new Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a highly modified 747 that carries a 45,000-pound infrared telescope system. At the ceremony, NASA officials said SOFIA will fly above 40,000 feet to capture infrared images unavailable to earthbound telescopes. The aircraft is wrapping up a series of checkout flights before heading to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for two more years of tests and systems integration. "This project is a fantastic blend of a 20th century legacy aircraft and a 21st century platform for exploration," Erik Lindbergh said. More...

Aviation weather and safety consultant/author and retired TWA captain Robert N. Buck, 93, recently passed away in Berlin, Vt. He started flying at age 15 and set a New York to Los Angeles speed record before reaching his 16th birthday. By his 20th birthday, he broke an altitude record for light airplanes and became the first person to take aerial photographs of ancient ruins of the Yucatán. Buck had flown the Atlantic more than 2,000 times during his airline career with TWA. He was also a consultant to four FAA Administrators and airlines on many aspects of aviation safety, and was the author of "The Art of Flying," "Flying Know-How" and "Weather Flying." Buck continued to fly a Schleicher ASW-20 sailplane well into his 80s. More...

Need AFSS Information?
Click here.

Lockheed Martin
News Briefsback to top 

On Tuesday at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, CAE and Embraer announced the new flight training simulator base for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 very light jets. The training programs will be offered at Burgess Hill, near London’s Gatwick airport, and will start in early 2009 when the first Phenom 100 is delivered in Europe. Embraer's first-ever aircraft to "receive primary parts in composite material [the vertical fin and the horizontal stabilizer] is on track for completion and first flight by mid-year," according to Embraer. Mating of wings and fuselage for the first aircraft took place in late March. Major installations including flight test instrumentation; cockpit consoles; hydraulic, electric and deicing systems; and landing gear, tires and brakes are also complete. The engines were installed in April, and Pratt & Whitney Canada has been engaged in a "maturity plan" that has accumulated more than 900 hours of engine testing with 180 in flight and more than 230 in endurance tests, according to Embraer. More...

The number of light sport aircraft (LSA) in the FAA registry is now up to 930, showing growth of 46 percent since January, Dan Johnson of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association reported on Monday. "Eighteen months ago the LSA community had certified 16 new models, now we're at 50," he said. "More choice is great for consumers, but it's challenging for sellers." Those new owners should have no trouble finding instructors -- EAA's sport pilot instructor database now lists more than 600 flight instructors authorized to teach in light sport airplanes, weight-shift, powered parachutes, gliders and gyroplanes. "We've seen a tremendous growth in the number of people interested in receiving sport pilot instruction, and that is translating to increased activity for instructors willing to provide it," said Timm Bogenhagen of EAA Aviation Services. More...

The SolarImpulse team, led by adventurer Bertrand Piccard, is conducting a test of its mission procedures this week with a "virtual flight" from Hawaii to Florida. The team aims to fly a solar-powered aircraft around the world. Piccard updated the project's goals at the opening session of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday. He expects to launch the first flight of the prototype next year, and in 2009, test it on an overnight flight. Then they will build a pressurized aircraft capable of long-distance flight, and in 2010 fly it from New York to Paris. His goal is to complete a round-the-world flight in 2011. The aircraft is expected to fly at only 40 knots, so every few days it will land and take on a fresh pilot. The entire project will cost the equivalent of two business jets, Piccard said. More...

Garmin 496 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
How does the Garmin 496 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM Weather? Check out this link to find out.

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News In Briefback to top 

India needs pilots, 1,000 helos, and 500 bizjets...
A pilot was forced to land after flying too close to the Space Shuttle...
The House OK'd a bill to make it a crime to point a laser at an aircraft...
EAA President Tom Poberezny received the Distinguished Wisconsin Aviator Award...
The FAA is expanding its Airspace Flow Program this summer to reduce airline delays...
Signature Flight Support named Joe Gibney VP of sales and marketing. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/. More...

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Up to $150,000 in factory incentives on your way to PiperJet ownership. Call Piper at (866) FLY-PIPER for a dealer near you, or go online.
New On AVwebback to top 

Columns | Features | What's New | Calendar | Brainteasers

Summer in Europe means thoughts turn to GA flying (and rising costs) as well as lots of airshows. AVweb's Liz Moscrop reports the latest euro-aviation news. More...

Glenn Pew speaks with Cessna vice president of propeller aircraft sales, John Doman, about the company's Next Generation Piston proof-of-concept (NGP POC) aircraft. More...

Join AOPA: The Real-Time Flight Planner Is Worth the Dues Alone!
AOPA membership is an invaluable resource at an incredible value. Join AOPA for $39 a year for these benefits: a year subscription to AOPA Pilot magazine; 24-hour access to the web site's "members-only" section; and AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner with up-to-the-minute flight restrictions, routing images, weather info, and more! AOPA is an advocate for their 411,000+ members, protecting their right to fly. Click here to become an AOPA member!
AVweb-Exclusive Audio And Video Newsback to top 


AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear an interview with Pogo Jet's Cameron Burr. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia; Air Journey's Thierry Pouille; Epic Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; 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; and Comp Air's Ron Lueck. In Monday's podcast, hear Ed Iacobucci of DayJet talk about how the air-taxi start-up is getting ready to start service in July. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.


Upside-Down — Now What? Don't Become a Statistic
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Question Of The Weekback to top 

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make it a crime to point a laser at an aircraft, punishable by up to five years in prison. Does the punishment fit the crime? Plus: Your reponse to last week's question on whether the FAA should mandate traffic advisory systems to prevent midair collisions. More...

DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University have all selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. Go online for information on all Diamond Aircraft.
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Heartland Aviation at KEAU in Eau Claire, Wis.

AVweb reader David Stone said the FBO stepped up to the plate when he had to divert due to weather.

"For two months I had been planning a trip to the Metrodome -- a birthday gift to my 12-year-old baseball-possessed nephew – to see the Red Sox versus Twins game. The forecast at KSTP was thunderstorms, with surface winds over 35 knots. Radar showed storms on the way, so I landed at KEAU instead. The car rental was closed, but Heartland lent me a great crew car for the 180-mile round trip with only a request to return it full (it was full when they gave it to me). They are the best."

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


The Used Aircraft Guide Can Save You Thousands When Purchasing or Selling
It's taken a long time to get to this point ... purchasing an aircraft. Don't waste time and money, use Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide. Go online to order.
Pictures Of The Weekback to top 

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." We love spotting trends and patterns among the photos that make their way into our "Picture of the Week" contest. This week, we're serving up a large helping of Young Eagles photos — and not all of them feature fresh-faced youngsters taking their first flights. (Scratch that. Now that we think about it, they all do feature fresh-faced youngsters taking first flights!) We'll kick off the festivities with one of the few non-Young Eagles photos we received this week, from the incredible Brian Emch. More...

Names Behind The Newsback to top 


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 Editors Mary Grady (bio) and Glenn Pew (bio), Columnist Liz Moscrop and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

Click 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 here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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