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WANTS MORE OVERSIGHT OF SUBSTANCE-DEPENDENT PILOTS The FAA
needs to do more to ensure that pilots dependent on substances such as
drugs and alcohol are properly evaluated by aviation medical examiners,
the NTSB said on Monday. A number of aircraft accidents
have occurred when the pilot's substance dependence was relevant to the
cause, according to the Safety Board. The NTSB said the FAA should
require pilots to provide copies of arrest reports and court records to
their examiner prior to clinical evaluation. Those records, it added,
should be kept on file in the Aerospace Medical Certification Division,
where they can be accessed in regard to any application for a medical
certificate. Also, airmen who have been clinically diagnosed with
substance dependence, including dependence on alcohol, should be
medically certified only under a special-issuance waiver, the NTSB said.
CONFIRMS THIRD-CLASS MEDICALS HERE TO STAY The FAA confirmed
this week that it is not interested in eliminating the requirement that
private pilots must hold a third-class medical certificate. Despite
recent rumors to the contrary, the FAA said that "out of a concern for
the potential safety impact of the change given the large number of
private pilots, and in the absence of any data to support the change, we
are not inclined to change the rule at this time."The statement was part
of a listing of responses to comments collected during a review
of FAA regulations that began in February 2004. The public was
invited to tell the FAA which regs should be removed, amended or
simplified. Most of the 97 comments concerned details of air transport
operations. EAA asked to simplify the paperwork for registering certain
homebuilt aircraft, but the FAA declined. More...
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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,
THERE A DIESEL IN CESSNA'S FUTURE? Wichita-based Cessna
Aircraft on Wednesday announced an agreement to collaborate with
Germany's Thielert Aircraft Engines on future programs "centered on the
Thielert diesel engine." Cessna said details will be announced later
this year -- possibly as early as next month at EAA AirVenture in
Oshkosh, Wis. "We think the Thielert engine may provide a very
worthwhile power option for many of our customers since it runs on jet
fuel and diesel," said Cessna Vice President of Worldwide Propeller
Aircraft Sales John Doman. "We have had discussions with Frank Thielert
and his group for some time, and we think the time is right to move
AIRCRAFT BACK UP TO SPEED Columbia Aircraft has restored its
production level to three new aircraft per week, and nearly all
employees furloughed in late March are now back at work, the company
said in a news release on Monday. "We made a lot of dramatic
moves earlier this year with the objective of increasing our efficiency
and strengthening Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation," said
Columbia President Wan Majid. "We've made significant improvements to
our production processes and tooling." The returning employees will have
plenty to do, said Vice President of Marketing Randy Bolinger. "We don't
publish sales or backlog figures, but I can safely say that we're
comfortable with the order level of the past few months. We delivered
more aircraft during the first quarter than we did during the same
period last year and I expect that we'll continue to see strong sales
and deliveries." More...
AIRCRAFT STARTS WORK ON $100M HQ Honda Aircraft
Company on Wednesday morning began construction of its new
369,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility at the
Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. "By breaking
ground for this new Honda Aircraft facility today, we take the next
important step in getting HondaJets into the skies tomorrow," Honda
Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino said. "With the warm reception we have received in
the Triad, and the great response HondaJet has received from our
customers, we are confident of a very bright future here in North
Carolina." Phase one of construction will comprise offices, research
facilities and an airplane hangar, to be completed next spring. The
HondaJet production facility is currently in the design phase.
Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your
Aircraft? Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft
with PowerLink FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink
FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and
experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series.
Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art
SPECIALISTS DECRY FAA STAFFING PLANS Trainees are being left
in charge of critical national airspace equipment without the
supervision of certified specialists, the Professional Airways Systems
Specialists (PASS) said in a news release on Monday. PASS said that managers plan
to leave a single trainee on his own at the Memphis Air Route Traffic
Control Center when one of the three certified specialists is on leave
this summer. "The specialist in training is being left alone during
high-volume traffic for Federal Express," said Dave Spero, PASS regional
vice president. "If something were to go wrong, the individual would
have to rely solely on the skills and expertise that he brings to the
job rather than specific FAA training. Basically, he's doing the best he
can with what he's got." More...
RETIRING FASTER THAN PREDICTED For the second time in four
months, the FAA has revised its air traffic controller retirement
projections for the current 2007 fiscal year, the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association (NATCA) said in a news release on Tuesday. According to NATCA, the
changes reflect "the agency's continuing inability to get a handle on
the alarming rate of retirements that rose after the FAA imposed work
and pay rules on controllers against their will last September." FAA
spokeswoman Laura Brown told AVweb on Wednesday that predicting
retirements "is not an exact science," and the evolving numbers reflect
the agency's ability to improve and refine its projections as it
collects more data. A year ago, the FAA published a workforce plan that
estimated 643 controllers would retire in fiscal year 2007, which runs
from Oct. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2007. That estimate was raised to 700 in
March, and the agency now has raised its projection to 800, a 24-percent
Aircraft Spruce Now Carries
the A2 Aviator Flashlight
Extremely compact (shirt pocket-size) dual-output hybrid flashlight for
aviation, camping, self-defense, and general use. Features two types of
light sources: low beam for close-up work and brilliant tactical-level
beam with over three times the light of a big two-D-cell flashlight.
Available in red, blue, green, yellow-green, and white. For information,
call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or
visit Aircraft Spruce
FLORIDA PILOT COMPLETES SOLO CIRCUMNAVIGATION Barrington
Irving landed his Columbia 400 at Florida's Opa-Locka
Airport Wednesday at 10:26 a.m., completing his round-the-world flight
as -- unofficially -- the youngest person and first person of African
descent to fly solo around the world. Irving, 23, launched from Florida
in March, and flew up the East Coast and across the Atlantic. He stopped
in Europe, the Middle East, India, Japan and Alaska, before heading back
across the U.S. He covered about 25,600 miles in just over three months.
Irving grew up in Miami but he was born in Jamaica, and Jamaican
nationals greeted him at airports around the world. Upon landing
Wednesday morning, he was greeted by a crowd that included local
politicians and a steel-drum band. More...
TO UNVEIL PERSONAL JET Cirrus Design has so far been coy
about the details of its new "personal jet," but a mock-up will be
unveiled on Thursday during the annual
gathering of Cirrus owners at the factory in Duluth, Minn.
AVweb Contributing Editor Russ Niles will be on scene for the
event, so keep an eye on AVweb for coverage of all the details.
The jet, which so far is called simply "the-jet," is expected to have
one engine, cruise at about 300 knots and sell for less than $1 million.
Last week, at the Paris Air Show, the Cirrus booth was "swarming with
customers," according to Flight Daily News. More...
Announcing the Online MBA for
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Did you know that professionals with an MBA earn an average of $10,000
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Daniel Webster College MBA for Aviation Professionals is a
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CAPTURES PIX OF BOEING 787 DREAMLINER Boeing's first 787
hasn't had a formal rollout yet, but an aviation enthusiast acting on a
tip from a blogger caught pictures of the airplane as it was moved to a paint
hangar just after midnight on Tuesday morning. Charles Conklin, 30, of
Kirkland, Wash., shot with a telephoto lens through a fence from just
outside the perimeter of the Boeing facility in Everett, komotv.com reported. Conklin said he picked up a tip
from Flightblogger that the airplane might be moved late
Monday night, and waited outside the facility for about two hours before
the doors finally opened. Jon Ostrower, of Boston, operates
Flightblogger. He said Boeing employees are excited about the airplane's
progress and have been keeping him updated. More...
TO HOST AFRICA'S AVIATION HQ A new aviation organization will
launch in Africa this week that aims to bring the continent's civil
aviation standards to a par with those of Europe and the U.S., AllAfrica reported on Wednesday. The new African
Civil Aviation Agency (Afro-CAA) will have its headquarters in Namibia, and
its staff will work to establish common technical standards and safety
regulations for the continent. Mwangi waKamau, who will be the first CEO
of the agency, is from Kenya, but lobbied to base the agency in Namibia.
"The good transport infrastructure in Namibia and its location, which is
within easy reach of other countries, make it ideal to host the
headquarters," he said at a press conference. The agency will be
officially launched on Thursday. More...
Don't Trust Your Fairy
If you think your piloting instincts are going to save your life in an
unexpected stall/spin scenario, statistics DO NOT support that
assumption. Dealing with Loss of Control In-Flight, the leading
cause of aviation accidents worldwide, is a Trained Response. Be
THE FLY Report: Pilots cutting back on flying due to high
fuel costs... EAA announced its lineup for evening programs at
AirVenture... A man fell 700 ft from a balloon over Colorado, suicide
suspected... The Hood blimp that crashed last year is flying
again... EAA's Rocky Mountain Fly-In broke attendance records last
weekend... New rules in Canada require TCAS for commercial
aircraft... Final standings are now online for this year's Air Race
GA Averages FIVE
Accidents Every Day Learn Why!
Search the AOPA Air Safety Foundation Accident Database to learn
about the causes and outcomes of almost every fixed-wing general
aviation accident since 1983. Search by keyword, state, aircraft make
and model, weather conditions, and more. You'll gain invaluable
knowledge about flying safely by learning from others' mistakes.
Visit the ASF Accident Database
now and get started.
EDGE #6: INSTRUCTIONAL HAZARDS Flight instruction is pretty
safe, but how can any pilot-caused accidents and incidents happen when
two hyper-aware pilots are in the front seats? AVweb's Thomas P. Turner
has done the research and developed a few theories. More...
NEW PRODUCTS: JUNE 2007 This month AVweb's
survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and
aircraft owners brings you prop locks, oxygen systems, tri-color
flashlights and much more. More...
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Is the World's Greatest
It's aviation's family reunion, bringing together the innovation,
passion, and pride of every facet of flight. Join EAA at Wittman
Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 23-29 for the people,
airplanes, and knowledge that are unmatched anywhere else in the world.
For aviators, nowhere else has the magic of "Oshkosh." Be part
of it this year! For more information, click here.
For more information, click here.
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll hear Vince Scott explain how he used a little
electronic wizardry when his engine ate an exhaust valve at 7,000 feet
in IMC. And AVweb's podcast
index includes interviews with Reason Foundation's Robert Poole;
SATSair's Sheldon Early; 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; and AOPA's Andrew Cebula.
podcast, hear NBAA Southeast Rep. Harry Houckes on aviation issues
affecting the region. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things
you won't find anywhere else.
Attention, LSA Builders & ROTAX 912 Engine
Operators ASA, 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
Plus: The results of last week's popular
"vote" to replace Marion Blakey as FAA Administrator when she steps down
in September. More...
If You Think "Bargains" Are Something
Alien to Aviation Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be
expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's
marketplace. Bennett Avionics provides pilots with quality
avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy
anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or
You'll be glad you did!
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Great Lakes Air at K83D in St. Ignace,
AVweb readers Andrea and Tim Olson said the FBO's
staff and service were outstanding.
"We had just touched down and
were still rolling out down the runway when we were greeted over the
Unicom with a very friendly 'Hello, Welcome to Great Lakes Air, will you
be needing any fuel today?' At the fuel pump (with very reasonable fuel
prices for the area), the staff was friendly and truly enjoyed talking
aviation. The staff brought the courtesy car around to the plane, and
even helped me unload the plane and pack the car while my husband, the
pilot, 'talked planes.' The courtesy car was available for us to have
until the next morning, so we were able to enjoy the Mackinac Bridge,
see the area sites, and have a great dinner. Sally, the resident Golden
Retriever, was very well behaved and kept our young daughters busy while
we paid for fuel. A family friendly, reasonable, well maintained FBO
located in a beautiful part of Michigan, in it for the love of
Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for
You Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and
general aviation flights. With the Flight Explorer Personal
Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and
monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more.
With the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition, view weather along a
route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an
e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival.
Click here for more information and to
OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE 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."
to AirVenture has begun! Getting ready for the big show seems to affect
everyone in aviation, including "Picture of the Week" contenders: Only
64 submissions trickled in this week, but even thought the quantity
lagged, quality remained high. In fact, this is the toughest time we've
had picking which photos would make it into the Thursday issue in the
last several months. If you're not already in the habit of visiting
page to view the bonus pictures in our slideshow, this would be a
good week to start. There are plenty of great photos to be found over
there. The moon was a recurring motif in many of this week's
submissions. Larry Raulston of Neosho,
Missouri made several attempts at catching pilot Kyle Franklin
silhouetted against the moon before this top-shelf photo caught
him by surprise. More...
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
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
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