AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 25b

June 21, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Top News back to top 
 

Avantair Crew Prevents Collision At TEB

On Sunday at about 1:20 p.m., the crew of an Avantair Piaggio Avanti P.180 took evasive action during takeoff from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport, averting certain disaster. According to an NTSB preliminary report, the tower controller cleared the twin turboprop (N152SL, operating as Avantair Flight 152) to take off on Runway 24 and seconds later cleared a Cirrus SR22 (N6026K) for takeoff on intersecting Runway 19. The NTSB said the crew of the fractional Avanti saw the Cirrus during their departure roll and applied maximum braking, which blew out two of the twin turboprop's tires but slowed the airplane enough to avoid a collision by a mere 50 feet. N512SL eventually came to rest in the intersection, just after the Cirrus safely crossed. According to the NTSB report, "The tower controller stated that he did not see the incursion, so he did not cancel either takeoff clearance." There were three people in the tower cab -- the tower/controller-in charge and two "developmental controllers" who were working clearance delivery -- while one controller was on break. The NTSB said the two developmental controllers were faced away from the front of the cab and did not see the event. VMC prevailed during the incident, with a clear sky and 10 miles of visibility.

FAA's Blakey: Aviation Can Be Eco-friendly

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey this week committed to an effort to reduce the carbon emissions from air travel, both by exploring the use of alternative fuels and by improving efficiency. Speaking at the Paris Air Show, Blakey on Monday announced that the U.S. will participate in an international effort called AIRE -- the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions. The initiative will comprise efforts from government, industry, airlines, manufacturers and service providers to develop operational procedures and standards that are environmentally friendly. "The focus of AIRE is gate-to-gate," Blakey said. "We want to take every opportunity to whittle away at a carbon footprint that's already low. Every place we can make a difference, we will." On Tuesday, Blakey said two studies now are underway to examine fuel alternatives, with results expected in September. [more] The first study looks at feasibility, costs, barriers and technical issues. The second study will take a look at the environmental benefits. The studies bring together manufacturers, airlines, airports, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. "When you get that kind of firepower together and you start to explore, good things happen," Blakey said. "I'm confident that we'll be able to make some advances."

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

EAA Opens Grounds, Announces Line-up For AirVenture

It's just about a month until the festivities begin in Oshkosh, Wis., at EAA AirVenture, and this week the first campsites will open for visitors. Some campers arrive early to reserve favorite spots or to volunteer for the show preparations. Many say that camping out amid thousands of other aviation enthusiasts is the best way to enjoy the show's atmosphere and camaraderie. EAA has also this week posted online its schedule of almost 1,000 presentations, forums and workshops, in a new integrated format. "The new online schedule makes it easier to find exactly what you're looking for, not just in the Forums Plaza, but all over the entire convention grounds," said EAA staffer Mark Forss. Topics cover every aspect of aviation, from aerobatics to welding. One notable absence from the roster this year -- for the first time since 1971, Burt Rutan will not be found presenting a forum at Oshkosh. "This year, he doesn't have anything new that he can talk about so he has decided to not attend this year's event," Scaled Composites spokeswoman Trish Mills told AVweb on Wednesday. "Burt said to look for him next year -- he will definitely have something to talk about!" EAA also announced this week its lineup for Aeroshell Square, where showplanes gather at the center of the event. The HondaJet and the Perlan glider will be among this year's visitors, and EAA promises a few surprises as the week unfolds. AirVenture runs from July 23 to 29. AVweb will be there, bringing daily in-depth coverage, including podcasts and video news segments, to your PC, PDA, iPhone or other Internet-capable device.

Embraer's VLJ Sees Light Of Day

The first Phenom 100 very light jet rolled out on Saturday from Embraer's headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil, and is now in the paint shop. After its cosmetic upgrade, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F-powered twinjet will begin a series of ground tests in preparation for its first flight this summer. "We are thrilled to see the Phenom 100 become a reality," noted Embraer Executive Vice President for Executive Jets Luís Carlos Affonso. "We are confident that the Phenom 100 … will become the benchmark of the very light jet segment." Embraer launched the Phenom 100, as well as the derivative Phenom 300 light jet, in May 2005 and cut the first metal for the VLJ in May last year. Subassembly manufacturing of the Phenom 100 was performed at Embraer's Botucatu facility, and the fuselage and wing were manufactured there and delivered to the company's sprawling São José dos Campos plant in March. The $2.85 million VLJ (to be $2.95 million in less than two weeks) is expected to receive Brazilian certification and enter service in mid-2008.

 
Aircraft Spruce at the 2007 Golden West EAA Regional Fly-In
Aircraft Spruce will be at the Golden West EAA Fly-In, June 29 - July 1, in Marysville, California. Visit Aircraft Spruce's location at booths 26 & 27 for special show pricing. Free shipping available on show orders (doesn't apply to oversize or hazardous goods). For more information, call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Congress Could Roll Back ATC Contract

House Democrats might insert a clause into the FAA reauthorization bill that would force the agency to reopen contract negotiations with air traffic controllers, the Federal Times reported on Tuesday. Unless the two sides make progress this week, the bill "will essentially turn back the clock and reopen the NATCA contract," Justin Harclerode, a spokesman for the Republican members of the committee, told the Times. He said it would also give controllers back pay retroactive to the end of their last contract. However, if the bill does include such a provision, it would be vetoed by President Bush, Harclerode said. He added that the Republican committee members are willing to go along with a requirement for arbritation, but would not support retroactive changes. On Wednesday, the matter was still under discussion, and it appeared that efforts were underway to persuade the FAA to voluntarily reopen negotiations with NATCA as a way to avert the legislative changes. Meanwhile, the House FAA reauthorization bill, which was widely expected to be released last week, is being withheld from going to the floor to give these efforts more time.

Mustang Globetrotting Flight To Launch From Paris

Frederick Furth took delivery of his new Cessna Citation Mustang a month ago, and on Thursday will launch it from the Paris Air Show grounds on an eight-day round-the-world trip. Furth will fly solo, accompanied by his Great Dane (insert your favorite dog copilot joke here). After launching from Paris Le Bourget Airport, the first stop will be Warsaw, Poland, then Furth will fly across Russia, landing at Moscow, Eketeringsburg and Novosibrisk. He will also make stops in Alaska, Canada and Iceland before returning to Le Bourget. The entire trip will cover 14,000 nm with about 15 stops. Furth, who owns Chalk Hill Vineyards and Winery in California, has been an avid pilot for many years and also owns a Citation X and Cessna Caravan. "The Mustang is a great aircraft for single-pilot operation and I felt this would be the ultimate way to test its mettle," he said.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Pilot Input On ADS-B Needed

Researchers at the MIT International Center for Air Transportation are working to identify potential ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast) applications that would be useful for flight operations, and they are seeking input from pilots. "We are very interested in getting representation from all aviation segments that could potentially benefit from ADS-B, including Helicopter, Fixed Wing, Part 135 operations, Part 121 operations and the military," Prof. R. John Hansman tells AVweb . Pilots are invited to complete an online survey, which requires no prior knowledge about ADS-B and takes less than 10 minutes to complete, Hansman said. This survey will be useful in informing the FAA on ADS-B implementation, but it is only advisory and other factors may influence the final ADS-B implementation plans, he added. ADS-B is an alternative to radar, where aircraft broadcast their altitude, heading, GPS position and other information to ground stations and other aircraft. The ADS-B datalink used to transmit and receive these aircraft positions can also be used to uplink weather and traffic information to the cockpit.

NASA Aeronautics For The Future

It's not the stall that kills you, it's the failure to recover from the stall. That's the idea behind NASA's Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control research project, which is looking for ways to recover an aircraft from an upset condition to a stable configuration, assuring a safe landing. This week, NASA put out a call for research proposals to advance that project. Other aeronautical projects in the works include the Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck Project, working to improve the operational environment for the flight crew, and the Integrated Vehicle Health Management Project, which aims to find ways to integrate, process and use large amounts of data effectively when dealing with complex flight-critical systems. NASA aeronautical researchers are working to design tools and technologies for improving vehicle and air system safety and performance.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Aerion Courts SSBJ Partners At Paris

Aerion executives are at the Paris Air Show this week, with their biggest presence yet, conducting business from their own chalet. Their goal is to facilitate discussions with potential OEM partners and potential launch customers, as they continue to tweak the design for their proposed supersonic business jet. "The level of interest we are seeing ... suggested to us it was time to raise our profile at Paris," said Aerion Vice Chairman Brian Barents. "We expect in the course of this week to move the Aerion aircraft much closer to reality." The company is seeking partners who will bear the cost of developing the estimated $80 million aircraft and bring it to market, an effort expected to take five years and $2 billion. The current initial phase of design and planning is fully funded by an investor group led by Robert Bass. The latest design includes a larger cabin, in addition to a lengthened aft fuselage and reduced tail surface area to provide improved takeoff performance, lighter weight and lower drag at cruise speed. Aerion Corp. is based in Reno, Nev.

Small UAV OK'd For National Airspace

The CyberBug, a small hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that comes in several models ranging from about three to 15 pounds, has been granted an experimental airworthiness certificate by the FAA. Cyber Defense Systems, which builds the aircraft, says it is the first vehicle less than 100 pounds that has been approved to fly in the U.S. National Airspace System, and one of only 12 unmanned vehicles to be granted experimental certificates from the FAA. Cyber Defense successfully completed a CyberBug demonstration flight for FAA officials in Florida on June 15. The company expects to market the vehicle for military, law enforcement and commercial applications. The UAVs can be assembled in minutes and launched from an open area to provide instant aerial surveillance, according to Cyber Defense. The vehicles fly for up to an hour and transmit video and data to a portable ground-control station. The CyberBug operator can monitor dangerous events, and see around buildings, over hills and beyond line of sight. Applications include search and rescue, traffic monitoring, environmental research, border patrol and drug interdiction. Certification permits UAV flight operations in specified sections of the NAS. It also authorizes unmanned aircraft manufacturers to conduct research and development, crew training and marketing demonstrations.

 
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News In Brief back to top 
 

On The Fly

Scholarships are offered for aerobatic training via the International Council of Air Shows Foundation. Deadline is July 1. Apply via the foundation's Web site...

Cessna announced an order for 96 Citation jets at Paris this week. NetJets will buy 50 Encore+, 37 XLS+ and nine Citation X twinjets, a sale that totals more than $1 billion...

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. has contracted with InterGlobe General Aviation Private Limited to provide sales and service support in India...

The DOT Inspector General announced this week it will conduct two aviation studies -- a review of reported near-midair collisions in the New York metro airspace, and an audit of the FAA's ATC modernization plan...

Signature Flight Support this week opens a new FBO for GA aircraft at Boston Logan Airport.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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/.

 
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New On AVweb back to top 
 

Across the Pond #5: A Big Fat Greek Conference, Flying in Norway and More

This month's Euro news includes a big welcome in Greece, Red Bull Races, Norwegian fjord flying and more.

Click here for the full story.

 
FAA Enforcement Actions Are on the Rise!
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AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listening back to top 
 

AVweb Audio News

AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear SATSair's Sheldon Early talk about how his company proved the air-taxi model using Cirrus SR22s. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Epic Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; AOPA's Randy Kenagy; Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; 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 Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation explain why aviation user fees would be good for airspace users. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

 
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Question Of The Week back to top 
 

Question of the Week: The FAA Administrator—It's a Tough Job, But Who Will Do It When Blakey Steps Down?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, AVweb pointed to the trend of regional airlines hiring low(er)-time pilots to fill key positions and asked what the minimum qualifications should be for a new hire at one of these airlines.

As you might have expected, there were quite a few letters on the subject, but most of the AVweb readers who responded to our poll felt that somewhere between 500 and 1,000 hours (and a comm/multi/instrument rating) were sufficient to land a pilot's job.

A complete breakdown of the responses can be viewed here.
(You may be asked to register an answer, if you haven't already.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

Both FAA Administrator Marion Blakey's term and the current FAA reauthorization legislation expire on September 30, though the aviation community is heavily focused on the latter issue and has largely ignored the former. So we'd like to know who you think should be the next FAA Administrator.

(We've assembled our own short list of potentials; if you choose "other," please e-mail us your choice.)

Click here to answer.


Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

NOTE:
This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

 
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FBO Of The Week back to top 
 

FBO Of The Week: Vail Valley Jet Center

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Vail Valley Jet Center at KEGE in Gypsum, Colo.

AVweb reader Snorri Snorrason said the FBO is tops in his book.

"Great setup with remarkable pilot accommodations. A lobby that makes your grandma feel comfy, and staff so helpful it feels like a five-star hotel. We had to stay the night for maintenance, which was taken care of promptly as soon as our part came in. We took the courtesy Hummer to town for dinner, and while the FBO closed down we were allowed to use the recliners and TV till the next morning. A brilliant experience with top-notch staff. They are the number-one FBO in my book."

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!

 
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Pictures Of The Week back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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."  Want to see your photo on AVweb.com?  Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.

*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***

We've always heard that children are our future, but it seems they're finally taking over the present — at least as far as "Picture of the Week" is concerned.  John and Brady Gardner stole the show last week, and this week's top spot goes to Keith McQueen of Orem, Utah, whose winning photo really caught our eye.

medium | large

copyright © Keith McQueen
Used with permission

A Closer Look

Keith McQueen of Orem, Utah knows how to build a sense of mystery.  Explaining his winning photo, he writes, "After this Apache AH-64 made a precautionary landing in the parking lot behind my home, this little tyke just had to have a closer look."

We see a lot of strange landings at AVweb — but we've yet to have an Apache helicopter land in our backyard and take it in stride.  Then again, we'd have been too busy gawking and asking questions to catch this priceless photo opportunity.

Kudos, Keith!  Watch your mailbox for one of those spiffy AVweb baseball caps we promised above.

 

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Used with permission of Peter H. Grimm

ANC Departure

Peter Grimm of Minden, Nevada was equally tight-lipped about the circumstances behind this photo — but when all is said and done, doesn't this image speak for itself?

 

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Used with permission of Bob Stegeman

Flagship Detroit at Sun 'n Fun

Bob Stegeman of Olathe, Kansas caught the sun shining down on our old friend, the Flagship Detroit, at this year's Sun 'n Fun Fly-In.

 

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Used with permission of
Gilberto A. Velez-Domenech

Late Sunday Afternoon at Lee Bottom by the Ohio River

Gilberto Velez-Domenech of Teaneck, New Jersey photographed this little slice of paradise at Lee Bottom Flying Field in Hanover, Indiana — "a beautiful grass strip on the bank of the Ohio River."

 

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Used with permission of Bryan D. Bogle

Pinnacle Landing?

Everyone here has the neighbor who took a photo of himself "holding" the Washington Monument while on vacation, right?  Well, it's much funnier gag with a helicopter involved — at least, Bryan Bogle of Round Rock, Texas thinks so.  He snapped this one "from the Tidal Basin while Marine 1 was in flight."


Not your cup of tea?  Don't worry.  There are a dozen or so more photos online in our "POTW" slideshow, now playing on AVweb's home page.

To enter next week's contest, click here.

A quick note for submitters:  If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week!  That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too.  ;)

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.

 
Names Behind The News back to top 
 

Meet 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 Mary Grady (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.

Aviate, navigate, communicate.