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Volume 13, Number 23b
June 7, 2007
Portable Instant Armrest Now at Aircraft Spruce
Introducing the 100% portable center armrest for airplanes. Professional pilots, renters, and student pilots can now own an affordable armrest that they can take with them on every flight, even when they change planes. Features include: Fits any aircraft, fits flat or bucket seats, fits in flight bag, made from lightweight aluminum, and is ready to use in one second. For more information, call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE or click here to go online.
Top Newsback to top 

The FAA said Tuesday that it withheld $3 million in payments to Flight Service Station contractor Lockheed Martin in the first quarter because of poor performance. "There's evidence of dropped calls and pilots not getting information," FAAAdministrator Marion Blakey told Bloomberg. "There are penalties in the contract and we'll apply them." In October 2005 Lockheed took over the 58 previously FAA-run FSS facilities under a $1.7 billion award. Since the beginning of this year pilots have complained about being on hold for extended times while waiting for briefings -- in fact, several pilots recently told AVweb that they had to wait on hold for an hour or more to get a preflight weather briefing. FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto is unsure if more penalties are in store for Lockheed Martin in the second quarter, which is when pilot complaints have increased sharply. More...

Aircraft icing, runway incursions and fatigue are among the "Most Wanted" aviation safety improvements for 2007 cited by the NTSB at a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill. NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker told the House Subcommittee on Aviation that items on the list tend to be those that are among the most complex and difficult to implement. However, he said, "While the FAA has made some progress, I am disappointed that there are so many recommendations on this list that are in an unacceptable status." The FAA's icing certification for aircraft is inadequate, the Board said, and the agency should conduct further research and revise its standards. Progress is being made to improve runway safety, but the FAA is moving much too slowly, according to the NTSB. The Safety Board also cited work rules and schedules imposed by airlines, charter operators and others that require pilots, air traffic controllers and mechanics to work without adequate time off to rest. More...

Lancair's calling it "an aircraft that will be faster and safer than any other single engine aircraft in existence today." And when we spoke Monday with Lancair CEO Joe Bartels, he sounded excited and only slightly less vague than his company's press release. He did say, however, that "it's not a jet; it's a turboprop," and that the company is now working with all-computer-generated components that will cause customers to "be amazed at the degree of sophistication" of the design and "marvel at how little work will be required" to finish the aircraft. But Bartels stopped short of telling us what the new aircraft would be and whether or not a flying example would make it to Oshkosh. The company already produces a four-seat pressurized propjet kit, but there currently is no two-place turboprop offering. Whatever is coming, expect to see a fully outfitted mockup of the design at AirVenture next month, and maybe (but not certainly) more. More...

Announcing the Online MBA for Aviation Professionals
from Daniel Webster College

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Daniel Webster College MBA for Aviation Professionals is a fully-accredited, 100%-online program built for the busy schedule of the aviation professional. Being "on the road" is no longer a barrier to career advancement. Call (866) 458-7525 or click here for more information.
News Briefsback to top 

All three aboard a Piper PA-34-200 Seneca twin (N4463T) registered to a Van Nuys, Calif. business were injured when the aircraft, which departed Van Nuys at 9:47 a.m. on Monday, crashed about 15 minutes later into homes before coming to rest atop a garage not far from the approach end of Cable Airport, roughly 45 miles east of Los Angeles. Weather was clear, there was no post-crash fire, no one on the ground was injured and injuries suffered by those aboard were initially reported as minor. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told local news that "they were on approach when the pilot reported engine problems." Flight track history depicted by FlightAware indicates an indirect flight path that heads just south of Cable, turning farther south within about 10 nm of the airport, then nearly reversing course and ending short of the airport. More...

A Cessna Citation 550 twinjet that was carrying donated organs and a medical transplant team crashed in Lake Michigan late Monday afternoon, killing all six people aboard the airplane. The crew had reported an emergency less than five minutes after taking off from Milwaukee and requested a return to the airport, FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro told the Associated Press. On Tuesday, the NTSB indicated that the pilot radioed that he was experiencing "trim runaway" before the jet dropped off the radar screen. Witnesses to Monday's crash said the airplane rolled inverted before it hit the water. "The condition of the aircraft debris and human remains found indicate a high-speed impact," Coast Guard Capt. Bruce Jones said at a news conference. "We believe this to have been a non-survivable crash." The jet was leased by the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Mich., and there were six people on board -- two pilots for Marlin Air, two surgeons, and two transplant specialists. More...

Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets:
Discover the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz., and the full-size Thirty 3G just under 16 oz. and uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). For more information and to view a video clip, click here.
News Briefsback to top 

Pilots have long been frustrated by the FAA's Notice-to-Airmensystem, which conveys vital safety-of-flight information formattedfor teletype machines, cluttered with archaic acronyms, distributedvia hard copy and lacking graphics. Now the FAA says that by 2009, NOTAMs will be reorganizedinto a single federal system that is compliant with internationalstandards. It will take another decade for the system to incorporatefull digital and graphic capabilities, the FAA said on Monday. Thosecapabilities will be required for the Next Generation AirTransportation System, according to FAA officials. More...

A cinematographer who died when a Cessna 206 ditched off Key West, Fla., in August 2004 had tied himself to the seat with a rope, the NTSB reported last week. Neal Fredericks, 35, who previously filmed the cult hit "The Blair Witch Project," and his crew had chartered a Cessna 206 for aerial filming off the coast of the Florida Keys. Fredericks asked to have a rope tied around his waist and to the seat, even though there was a seatbelt available, according to the NTSB report. During the flight, the engine quit and the pilot ditched the airplane. The pilot and the other three passengers were able to escape, but Fredericks was unable to disentangle himself and drowned when the airplane sank. More...

"The bottom line is pilots can continue using their IFR GPS units like before," according to Randy Kenagy, AOPA's senior director of strategic planning. Background: When the FAA revised policies that instruct pilots on how to use GPS units under instrument flight rules, AOPA saw in those changes reason to question IFR use for many GPS units. AOPA's aggressive action to defend against any potential (and apparently unintended) problem caused by a combination of changes to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), an Advisory Circular on terminal and en route area navigation (RNAV) operations (AC 90-100A), and an associated list of compliant GPS units has borne fruit. The FAA has provided a letter that "makes clear that the current operational approvals will be in place for a long time to come," according to Kenagy. However, there is one caveat. More...

Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. Click here for further details.
News Briefsback to top 

Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) has installed its unique safety system on a piston single used by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the company announced on Tuesday. The Cessna 182 will be flown by pilots in the Fish and Wildlife division on low-altitude, long-duration missions over inhospitable terrain. "If the BRS system is used in an emergency, it will give the pilot another safety option in the event of any unscheduled off-airport landing,” said BRS spokesman John Gilmore. This installation was the 55th by BRS in a Cessna aircraft, the first in a federally operated aircraft and the first in a Garmin G1000-equipped airplane. More...

Czech Aircraft Works (CZAW) has added a new 120,000-square-foot facility to its manufacturing site in the Czech Republic, the company announced on Monday. The plant increases CZAW's production capacity to more than 500 light sport aircraft (LSA) per year, it said. “This new capacity also increases our efficiency," noted CZAW President Chip Erwin. "Nearly a million dollars worth of new state-of-the-art [machinery] significantly reduces assembly time while simultaneously improving quality." The company has also added more trained workers to staff the facility. Meanwhile, CZAW invited representatives from the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) to visit the plant last week and conduct an audit. The audit process ensures that the company is in compliance with light sport aircraft standards. More...

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
Pilots view and interact with the data — including radar, winds, METARs, lightning, and more — on compatible MFDs, EFBs, and PDAs from a wide range of industry partners, as well as on laptop PCs. The situational awareness afforded by XM WX Satellite Weather allows pilots to enjoy their journeys with more confidence and comfort than ever before. For more information, please visit XMWXweather.com.
News Briefsback to top 

Linear Air, which calls itself "the leading very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi operator" -- although so far it is flying only Cessna Grand Caravans while awaiting delivery of 30 Eclipse 500 jets -- on Wednesday announced it is expanding its route structure again. The air-taxi firm is adding a new scheduled by-the-seat private air service between Manassas, Va., and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Manassas Airport is about 15 miles south of Washington Dulles International Airport. Linear Air has successfully run similar routes from its original base near Boston to nearby popular weekend destinations. The new service aims to attract vacationers and second-homeowners in the metro D.C. area who prefer a 90-minute flight to six to eight hours of driving. More...

Responding to pressures to curb pollution from airliners, especially in Europe, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Monday set a goal to develop an emissions-free airplane within 50 years. "The first target is to replace 10 percent of fuel with low-carbon alternatives in the next 10 years," said IATA CEO Giovanni Bisignani. "The second is to begin developing a carbon-free fuel from renewable energy sources. The final challenge is for airlines to implement green strategies across the business. It’s time for governments and the oil industry to make some serious investments.” More...

Meridian. Mirage. Pressurized Comfort. Pure Performance.
Turboprop or piston, your choice in pressurized comfort.
Meridian: 500 hp turboprop; maximum cruise speed - 260 ktas; range - 1,000 nm; useful load - 1,720 pounds; maximum altitude - 30,000 feet.
Mirage: Turbocharged 350 hp piston engine; maximum cruise speed - 213 ktas; range - 1,345 nm; useful load - 1,245 pounds; maximum altitude - 25,000 feet.
Excitement Level: Off the charts!
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.
News In Briefback to top 

A rare modified cargo DC-4 crashed in Alaska last week...
KFLL to get runway expansion, despite local opposition...
A brain-cancer survivor is flying a Cub cross-country to raise funds...
FAA's Wings program is now based online...
Filmmaker Brian Terwilliger to host Aviation Hall of Fame event...
EAA has listed the aviation film classics to be shown at Oshkosh. 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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New On AVwebback to top 

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

Although it's legal to operate engines past TBO, many owners and mechanics consider it risky. Let's examine the risks. More...

Learn From Other Pilots' Mistakes!
Check out the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Accident Database, a no-cost online database that can help improve your flying skills. By reading about other pilots' accidents, you can focus your training to improve on those areas. Search the database by aircraft make and model, keyword, state, or weather and light conditions at the time of the accident. Visit the no-cost ASF Accident Database now.
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 Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Xwind's Brad Whitsitt; BoGo Light's Mark Bent; DayJet's Ed Iacobucci; Pogo Jet's Cameron Burr; 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; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster; and Avfuel's Craig Sincock. In Monday's podcast, hear Ed Shipley talk about the P-38 called Glacier Girl. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.


At the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In a few weeks ago, AVweb's Russ Niles got to left-seat in Herpa's DC-3, courtesy of Incredible Adventures. Join us for what some would call the experience of a lifetime, as Dan Gryder guides us (carefully) through the flight. More...

It's Not What You Know, but Who You Know that Can Save You Money!
Avionics. Next to your airframe and engine(s), avionics are the most expensive items you will purchase for your aircraft. Don't spend more than you need to! Before you buy anywhere else, call Bennett Avionics at (800) 653-7295, or visit online. It's not rocket science, just good business!
Question Of The Weekback to top 

The FAA this week introduced its "all-new" internet-based WINGS pilot proficiency program. AVweb is curious to know whether you'll be participating in the new 'net-based training initiative. Plus: What you told us about headset-buying in last week's "QOTW" poll. More...

Attention, LSA Builders & ROTAX 912 Engine Operators
BASA, the industry's leader in aviation supplies, software, and publications, offers the ROTAX Engine Introduction DVD with tips and techniques for trouble-free operation of Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) with the ROTAX engine. This DVD also provides an introduction to the specific concepts important to maintaining the ROTAX 912. Go online for complete details and bonus features!
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Aurora Jet Center at KUAO in Aurora, Ore.

AVweb reader Dennis Conner said the FBO has great service -- and cookies, too.

"Every time we stop in there, there is always a person to greet you and take care of all your needs quickly and efficiently. Fresh cookies and coffee as well."

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!


Stuck on the Freeway? Put That "Down Time" to Good Use with Pilot's Audio Update
Subscribe to Pilot's Audio Update and receive monthly CDs with topics from "Expediting an IFR Approach" and "Airplane Trim Systems" to "Carburetor Ice" and "Low Workload Maneuvering." Subscribe now to receive the Acing the Flight Review CD as a gift with your 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." As the days continue to lengthen across North America, "POTW" contest submissions are starting to dip a bit. Not to worry, though — the AVweb readers who are making time to contribute when they could be out flying are submitting some terrific images. Case in point: Ken Wilson, whose submission is the first powered 'chute (that we can recall, at least) to be named "Picture of the Week"! 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) 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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