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DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS OF HOUSE FAA BILL
Late Wednesday the
U.S. House of Representatives finally released H.R.2881, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007. As
widely expected in aviation circles, the House bill does not contain any
user fees, unlike the companion Senate bill (S.1300) that includes a $25
per flight fee for turbine aircraft using the IFR system. However,
H.R.2881 does increase and expand existing fees for FAA services, with
some fees increasing by 2,500 percent (see table). Importantly, the FAA reauthorization
fully funds ATC modernization, better known simply as NextGen. "This
legislation addresses many of the concerns raised by general aviation
and puts in place building blocks required to move forward with
NextGen," said General Aviation Manufacturers Association President and
CEO Pete Bunce. More...
GROUPS PRAISE HOUSE FAA BILL
H.R.2881, the House of
Representative's FAA reauthorization legislation, drew wide approval
from aviation trade groups. The General Aviation Manufacturers
Association (GAMA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA),
National Air Transportation Association, EAA and AOPA praised the bill
for its effort to modernize the national air transportation system while
still retaining the current funding system of aviation fuel and ticket
taxes. The bill will now move to the House Ways and Means Committee,
with a recommendation to increase the current aviation gas tax from 19.3
cents per gallon to 24.1 cents per gallon and the Jet-A fuel tax rate
from 21.8 cents per gallon to 30.7 cents per gallon, which pilot groups
agree is a more fair tax increase than the 70-cent-per-gallon tax
proposed by the Bush Administration. The National Air Traffic
Controllers Association (NATCA) joined the chorus of approval, partly
due to the absence of user fees but especially because of the provision
that would reopen contract negotiations between the controllers union
and the FAA. That latter provision drew sharp criticism from the DOT.
USER FEEDBACK ON WET VACUUM PUMPS
Dry vacuum pumps are the
components most aircraft owners love to hate, but wet pumps are
considered the more refined alternative. But are they really? Our sister
publication, Aviation Consumer, is seeking owner feedback on wet vacuum
pumps. If you're flying one, tell us about it. Send an e-mail to this
address and we'll reply with a questionnaire. More...
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» Visit JA Air Center in booths 2088-2089 at AirVenture
UNVEILS SEVEN-PLACE PERSONAL JET
Cirrus Design unveiled the
mockup of its single-engine V-tail jet, with seating for up to seven
people, at a media reception at its Duluth, Minn. headquarters on
Thursday. The aerodynamically sculptured design includes a variety of
innovations that will definitely make it stand out on any ramp, but its
striking looks are a side benefit of some practical design, according to
Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier. "We didn't do it just to make it look cool,"
Klapmeier told AVweb. "We wanted people to know that there are
sound reasons behind the design." Cirrus designers opted to mount the
engine on top of the fuselage for easy access, fire and turbine blade
containment and for easy load balancing. The V-tail makes way for the
thrust from the Williams FJ33 turbofan, which is expected to push the
aircraft to about 300 knots. The engine is also mounted flush with the
20-degree slope of the aircraft's back and the thrust is vectored to
point it in the right direction. More...
PLEA FOR PIPER AIRCRAFT
While it might be hard to imagine a
common bond between verdant Vero Beach, Fla., and industrial Toledo,
Ohio, the Florida community is looking north for pointers on keeping its
largest employer. Vero Beachs "We Love [big red heart, here]
Piper" campaign is modeled after a successful bid in the late 1990s to
convince DaimlerChrysler to keep building Jeeps in Toledo. Vero Beach
business leaders have launched a public campaign that includes bumper
stickers and full-page newspaper tearouts that citizens are invited to
put in their windows to proclaim their affection for the historic
planemaker -- and the hundreds of millions of dollars it churns for the
local economy each year. "We want to do everything we can to maintain
Piper's presence in Vero Beach," Gerry Thistle, executive vice president
at Vero Beach-based Hilb, Rogal and Hobbs told TCPalm.
"I hope people in the community will understand what we'll lose versus
what we'll gain if Piper leaves." More...
Do You Have Enough Life
The truth is most people do not. Studies show that 40% of adult
Americans have no life insurance whatsoever and over 50 million people
in this country lack adequate life insurance. Pilot Insurance
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» Visit Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) in booth
2066 at AirVenture
ECLIPSE 500 AVIONICS ON DISPLAY AT OSH
According to Flight
International, International Solutions & Support will unveil the AvioNG
avionics and flight management system for the Eclipse 500 at EAA
AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month. The system was
necessitated when Eclipse parted ways with its former avionics vendor
Avidyne in February. Eclipse continues to build aircraft with the
Avidyne system pending certification of the new setup, and those
aircraft will be retrofitted once the new system is ready. Among the
innovations expected is an electronic flight bag that automatically
selects the right charts and shows the aircrafts position on them.
EMBRACES AIR TAXI CONCEPT
The freshly minted Air Taxi
Association (ATXA) wasted little time fanning enthusiasm in Europe as
several players get ready to launch services on the continent that the
association says will generate $1 billion in economic activity annually.
ATXA President Joe Leader delivered the keynote address at the Very Light
Jet-Europe conference last week in Vienna, Austria. He told delegates
that U.S.-based DayJet will launch the first air taxi service using
Eclipse 500 jets and JetBird plans to follow with the yet-to-fly Embraer
Phenom 100. More...
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NO SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD PILOT SKILLS
A study to be released
later this month by AOPAs Air Safety Foundation has quantified
what most of us already suspected about so-called technically advanced
aircraft. All that electronically displayed information is no good if
pilots ignore it. In fact, the comfort level achieved by lighting up
that panel might actually contribute to the risk of some types of
accidents. The study noted that 45 percent of fatal accidents involving
technically advanced aircraft (TAA) were weather related, compared with
16 percent for steam gauge-equipped planes. "These accidents were not
the fault of the airplane," ASF Chairman Bruce Landsberg on Friday told
pilots attending M5, the annual gathering of Cirrus owners and pilots in
Duluth, Minn. On the other hand, the terrain and fuel management
information available in glass cockpit aircraft seems to have
significantly cut the incidence of fuel- and terrain-related accidents
in the new airplanes. More...
HAS A NEW IDEA
The man whos been promising to give the
world a flying car for the past 25 years is apparently setting his
sights a little lower. Paul Moller, the Canadian-born creator of the Skycar,
which Moller says will be certified by the end of 2008, is now offering
a ground-effect vehicle called the M200G volantor. In a news
release, Moller International says the volantor is a "Jetsons-like"
saucer-shaped vehicle about the size of a small car
thats designed to fly about 10 feet above the ground at about 40
knots. Moller says the volantor is "the ultimate off-road vehicle" and
can cover rocky ground, swamps and water with ease. "It's not a
hovercraft but its operation is just as easy," Moller claims.
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ATC EYES FULL PRIVATIZATION
In the best spirit of free
enterprise, Britains hybrid airspace management company, National
Air Traffic Services (NATS), is hoping to sell high after recovering
from some desperate lows in its early years. According
to thisismoney.co.uk, NATS is riding the worldwide growth in
commercial air traffic and reported a profit of almost $200 million in
the fiscal year ending March 31. Thats a far cry from the dark
days following 9/11, when the brand-new entity had to arrange a $130
million bailout with airport operators just to stay alive.
AIRCRAFT CHAIRMAN KILLED IN CRASH
Bruce Kennedy, 68, Chairman
of the Board of Trustees of Quest Aircraft, died
in the crash of his Cessna 182 near the Cashmere (Wash.) Airport on
Thursday. Kennedy had a long career with Alaska Airlines and retired as
its CEO in 1991. He was on his way to Wenatchee to see his grandchildren
when the plane went down in a high school parking lot while attempting
to land. The airplane hit a truck and a tree before catching fire next
to a house. No one on the ground was hurt. Weather was reported to be mostly clear with light
winds at the time of the crash. More...
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Glacier Girl stopped in Goose Bay with engine
Cincinnati pilots win $5,000 Sportys
CompAir 12 to fly to Oshkosh
security stepped up following Glasgow incident. More...
Reason #31 Look Ma, No
The new Garmin GFC 700 autopilot gives you more hands-free flying
control than ever. The flight director is seamlessly integrated into the
G1000 glass cockpit and standard on new Skylanes and Stationairs.
Letting go never felt so good. For more great reasons,
» Visit Cessna Aircraft in booths 143-156 at AirVenture
Avoid Hypoxia. Get a Pulse
pulse oximeter from Aeromedix.com
essential cockpit safety measure for any pilot who flies at cabin
altitudes of 10,000 feet and above. The pulse oximeter alerts you to
your oxygen saturation levels and allows you to avoid becoming hypoxic.
This device measures precisely how much oxygen you need for peak pilot
Visit Aeromedix.com and purchase
» Visit Aeromedix in booths 3002-3003 at AirVenture
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll hear Alan Klapmeier on the Cirrus jet. And AVweb's
podcast index includes
interviews with NBAA's Harry Houkes; 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; and Piper's Jim Bass. In today's
podcast, hear AOPA's Andrew Cebula dissect the House FAA
reauthorization bill. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things
you won't find anywhere else.
Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for aircraft on ASO
, you get the most complete
picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings
with detailed specs and photos or use ASO
's advanced search tools
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current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for
your next aircraft, it's ready for you on ASO
Visit ASO today!
OF THE WEEK: JACKSON JET CENTER
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Jackson Jet Center at KBOI in Boise,
AVweb reader Fred Herzner said the FBO offered great
service and fair prices.
"I flew into Boise with our Bonanza on
the way home from Seattle and happened to chose Jackson Jet Center from
several FBOs on the field. Line service was great, the facility was
outstanding, the people were nice and the price of fuel was fair. They
loaned us a very nice crew car for the afternoon and booked us in a good
hotel for a low price. People were nice, and the service and facility
were great. What else is there?"
Keep 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!
Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors
and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced
fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and
more efficiently. Call 888-FLY-GAMI
order a kit online for your Continental
or Lycoming engine
» Visit General Aviation Modifications, Inc.
(GAMI) in booths 3005-3006 at AirVenture
OF THE WEEK: IN-COCKPIT VIDEO OF C182 GEAR-UP LANDING
week, we turn to Flight Level 350 for another in-cockpit video that
serves as a safety reminder. If the loud beeping of the gear warning
horn isn't enough to tell you that the gear is up on this C182, then the
sound of the belly scraping on the runway will definitely let you know
you're landing gear-up. Let's hope none of us ever have to actually hear
this sound in our cockpits. (Click through to watch.) More...
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
Last July, on a 90-degree-plus day,
in my Cessna 150 just 30 minutes fuel burn below gross, in IMC and at
the already unbelievable altitude of 5,000 feet, Saginaw Approach made
Saginaw Approach: Four Five Uniform, I need
you to climb and maintain 7,000.
Cessna 45U: Leaving five
climbing seven. But its gonna take me about 20 minutes to do
Approach: Four Five Uniform, I know. I dont need you
there for another 20 minutes! 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
Niles (bio) and Editor
In Chief Chad Trautvetter.
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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