AVwebFlash - Volume 13, Number 27b

July 5, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
FlyTies Tie-Downs — Special Promotion at Aircraft Spruce
FlyTies' unique design allows quick insertion and quick removal using the easy-out extraction tool provided. Rugged, die-cast steel rods are for deeper penetration into harder ground. Kit comes in a compact canvas tote bag. Complete kit weighs only 6 lbs. (less than one gallon of avgas) and has a lifetime warranty. Complimentary set of chocks with each purchase of a FlyTies kit! Promotion expires 7/31/2007. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE or go online.

» Visit Aircraft Spruce & Specialty in booths 1022-1029 at AirVenture
Top News back to top 

Embraer's Phenom 100 Nears First Flight

Embraer is within weeks of taking its Phenom 100 very light jet for its very first flight, the company said on Tuesday. The prototype is now in a ground-testing phase at company headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as engineering teams confirm the design quality of the aircraft and test its systems. "The Phenom 100 test campaign has begun and steadily advances," said Alexandre Figueiredo, an Embraer spokesman. "The ground tests prepare the aircraft for its first flight and provide results for the certification process, which is scheduled to be completed in mid-2008." The first test conducted was the engine run, when the Phenom’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F engines were powered up after being mounted on the aircraft. Now the Ground Vibration Test is being conducted, in which the aircraft is suspended with elastic cables in order to float as if in flight to check the durability of the airframe. After further tests of the flight controls, engines and navigation systems, test pilots will perform low- and high-speed taxi runs to confirm controllability of the steering, braking and emergency systems on the ground. Upon completion of all those tests, the first flight of the Phenom 100 will occur, the company said. Later this month Embraer will be marketing the Phenom 100 and its larger sibling, the Phenom 300, at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The Phenom 100 sells for just under $3 million.

TSA Reminds GA Pilots To Be Alert

The Transportation Security Administration is reminding general aviation pilots to remain vigilant after the car-bomb incidents in Glasgow and London last week. TSA representatives asked GA pilots to exercise extra vigilance when they go out flying this summer, and report any suspicious activity to local authorities or the toll-free GA hotline, 800-GA-SECURE. AOPA offers information and resources to help pilots enhance security at their airports. Secure your aircraft and follow airport security requirements, AOPA says, and most important, be sure and watch for and report unusual or suspicious behavior. For more info about GA security, visit AOPA's Airport Watch Web site.

Wanted: 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.
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.

» Visit LightSPEED Aviation in booths 2010, 2019, & 2023 at AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

Diamond To Debut DA50 At Oshkosh

Diamond Aircraft will introduce its latest creation, the DA50 Super Star, to the North American market at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month. The airplane will debut at a press event on the show's opening day, Monday, July 23. The single-engine Super Star is equipped with a Teledyne Continental TSIOF-550J engine, rated at 350+ hp with FADEC control and twin turbochargers. Turbo-diesel engine options also will be available. The DA50 first flew in April. "The DA50 Super Star will surely be a big hit," said CEO Christian Dries. "We have planned an aggressive development and certification schedule with production to start no later than January 2008." All of Diamond's other aircraft will be on display at the show, along with a mock-up of the D-Jet that visitors can climb into. Diamond will host a cocktail reception for all Diamond aircraft owners and their guests during the Oshkosh show at the AirVenture Museum.

Sonex To Unveil Green Powerplant At AirVenture

Sonex Aircraft says it will unveil a new proof-of-concept aircraft at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., later this month that's propelled by a "revolutionary" environmentally friendly powerplant. Sonex and AeroConversions Products will reveal their E-Flight project at a press conference on Tuesday, July 24, at AeroShell Square, the center of the show at Oshkosh, the company said on Tuesday. The project is a research and development initiative to explore viable alternative energies for powering the sport aircraft of tomorrow, Sonex said. The aim of E-Flight is to reduce the environmental impact of sport flying, while keeping recreational aviation affordable. Sonex and AeroConversions will also host a forum on Wednesday, July 25, at 11:30 a.m. in forum building 11 (REMOS Aircraft Pavilion).

Help Design the Plane of the Future. Take the Survey!
If you would like to help design the plane of the future, then we would like your help. The purpose of this study is to gather information about features and benefits of future aircraft. The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete. Click here to enter.
News Briefs back to top 

After 70 Years, Earhart Mystery Retains Its Allure

July 2, 1937, was the last time anyone heard from Amelia Earhart, and 70 years later the mystery of her disappearance still fascinates people. The official search for the aviator and her navigator, Fred Noonan, ended just a few weeks after they vanished over the Pacific Ocean while en route to tiny Howland Island on a trip around the world. But searchers have never given up in their quest to determine the facts of what happened after her last radio call. Next week, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will mount an expedition to a tiny Pacific island where they believe Earhart and Noonan might have been stranded. The TIGHAR team will fly to Fiji and then embark on a five-day journey by sea to the island of Nikumaroro. There they will excavate a site where they say they have found evidence in the past of a castaways' camp site. "On July 24 we’ll celebrate Amelia’s 110th birthday at the very spot where she may have passed her 40th," according to the group. "The answers to the Earhart riddle are on Nikumaroro."

Flight Really Sucks For Medevac Nurse

A Piper PA-31T Cheyenne turboprop twin was flying at 20,000 feet from Twin Falls, Idaho, to Seattle last Wednesday on an air ambulance mission when a window suddenly broke. Chris Fogg, a critical-care nurse, had just returned to his seat by the window and didn't have his seatbelt on, and found himself partially outside of the airplane. "My left hand was on the ceiling and was holding me in, and my knees were up against the wall," Fogg told the Seattle Times. "It was pretty scary ... I have a vivid picture of looking at the tail of the plane and seeing my headset dangling out of the plane." He was alone in the cabin with the patient, and had to push as hard as he could to get enough air between his chest and the window to break the suction. Meanwhile, the pilot was unaware of the broken window, but knew there was a decompression problem and descended to 10,000 feet. The patient was not in danger because he was on oxygen, according to reports. The pilot made an emergency landing in Boise, and Fogg got 13 stitches for the wound to his head. "I guess it wasn't my day to die," he told the Times. "For anyone else, I think he would have been sucked completely out, but for some reason I was spared, and I don't know why."

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.

» Visit Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM) in booths 76-102 at AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

Able Flight Graduates First Pilot

Able Flight, a nonprofit group that works to offer flight training to people with disabilities, awarded its first scholarships last December, and last week the group graduated its first certified pilot. Only a few days after the one-year anniversary of the accident that left him paralyzed, scholarship winner Brad Jones, 22, earned his sport pilot certificate. Jones trained for a month at Hansen Air Group in Kennesaw, Ga., flying a specially adapted Sky Arrow. Instructors Mitch Hansen and Mike Davidson said Jones is a "natural stick and rudder pilot with excellent piloting skills, and possesses the kind of judgment that makes for a good pilot." Jones said the experience has boosted his confidence. "Life is challenging for me every day, and I feel now that I am a pilot, there’s nothing that I can’t do," he said. "I would say to others in my situation who may consider learning to fly to go for it. It is a challenge, but if you do it, it shows you that no matter what disability you may have, it’s not going to hold you back."

Two Killed When Citation Hits House

The pilot and a woman who lived near the airport died when a Cessna Citation 500 (N771HR) crashed into a house in Conway, Ark., on Saturday. A passenger on the twinjet and the woman's husband survived the accident. The pilot was apparently trying to go around after landing too long down the runway, which may have been wet from a recent rain shower, an FAA spokesman told The Associated Press. Local officials have been talking about moving the airport for several years, citing safety concerns about homes and a freeway that are too close to the field. The woman who died was 71. Her husband was on his way out of the house when the crash occurred. He was treated for minor injuries and released.


Play Video
Play This Sample Video ...

... and get a good look at what PilotWorkshops.com has to offer for pilots of all abilities. Over 60 video workshops cover safety, IFR, weather, emergencies, accident analysis, and more. Keep your skills and knowledge sharp with PilotWorkshops.com.

Click to watch a sample video with 4 quick tips.
News Briefs back to top 

60 Years Later, A Twist In Roswell Story

To most, the story that an alien spacecraft was recovered by government investigators near Roswell, N.M., 60 years ago Monday is just a myth. But last week an affidavit written by a former U.S. Army officer was published in a book called "Witness to Roswell." Lt. Walter Haut, the public-relations officer at the Roswell base in 1947, died in December 2005 and left sworn testimony to be read only after his death. The text asserts that Haut was shown a metallic egg-shaped object, about 12 to 15 long and 6 feet across, that had no windows. He also said he saw the bodies of two dead "aliens," each about four feet long, with large heads. Haut concluded: "I am convinced that what I personally observed was some kind of craft and its crew from outer space." The 2007 Roswell UFO Festival will be held this week, Thursday through Sunday, in Roswell, N.M.

AERO Sets Show Schedule Through 2013

AERO-Friedrichshafen, the European aviation show that has become increasingly popular among the general aviation crowd in recent years, this week announced its schedule through 2013. In the past the show has run into conflicts with other events, especially Sun 'n Fun in Florida, and the organizers hope to avoid that by planning ahead. The next AERO will take place April 2 to 5, 2009. Two years later the exhibition will be held April 14 to 17, 2011, and in 2013 it is scheduled for April 18 to 21. That puts it well ahead of Sun 'n Fun in 2009, and beyond it in 2011. This year the AERO show attracted about 45,000 visitors from around the world, and hosted 533 exhibitors from 30 countries. It was the biggest AERO show so far. Exhibitors in the business aircraft sector reported particularly strong growth this year, according to the press release. Friedrichshafen is a scenic city on the northern shore of Lake Constance, situated within the three-border-triangle formed by Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The site is attractive and accessible to many in the European general aviation market. The show focuses on sport flying and personal aviation, as well as business aviation.

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 In Brief back to top 

On The Fly

Former NBC news anchorman Tom Brokaw will emcee the rollout of Boeing's 787 on Sunday in Everett, Wash....

Embry-Riddle grad student Brandon Walker is seeking volunteers for an ADS-B survey he's conducting to complete his master's of aeronautical science degree. Pilots interested in taking the survey can contact him via e-mail

If you want to know what the FAA is doing about air traffic, it's all right here in the newly published Operational Evolution Partnership Version 1.0...

FAA engineer Freddi Vernell has been named "Funniest Fed" in a comedy competition for bureaucrats...

Old F-14 Tomcats are being shredded to keep the parts off the market and away from Iran…

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association has selected Matthew Gonitzke of Winnebago, Ill., as the recipient of the 2007 Edward W. Stimpson “Aviation Excellence” scholarship. The award honors a top high school grad who has been accepted to a college to study aviation.

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/.

Don't Trust Your Fairy Godmother
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 prepared.

Integrate 10,000 hours of specialized upset recovery expertise into your safety training today. Call (866) 359-4273 or get Upset Recovery Training info online.
New On AVweb back to top 

The Savvy Aviator #46: Double Trouble

When a cylinder head suffers a fatigue failure, it can really get your attention. Aluminum cylinder heads have a finite fatigue life, and several factors can reduce that life.

Click here for the full story. I do not know if the cylinders were new or overhauled on the last engine major.

The engine is currently being replaced in Beach by the folks from Dickinson (60 miles away) with a gold-seal engine from Western Skyways.

I have not seen a failure similar to mine on a Continental O-470 engine, much less two failures within two hours! I do not know if the failure was from fatigue or corrosion. In hindsight, since all cylinders had the same history, I probably should have bit the bullet and replaced the engine after the first failure.

Actually, cylinder head separations are not all that uncommon -- although two separations in two hours on the same engine certainly is extraordinarily rare. This owner/pilot clearly did an outstanding job of keeping his cool and handling the in-flight emergencies well. He also did a great job of flight planning to make sure he always "had an out" nearby in case of trouble.

But could these catastrophic engine failures have been prevented?

Fatigue Facts

There are two major causes of catastrophic engine failure: wear and fatigue. Failures caused by wear are almost always preventable, because wear events are usually detectable well in advance of failure using standard condition-monitoring techniques like oil filter inspections, oil analysis, compression tests and borescope inspections.

In contrast, fatigue failures usually happen suddenly, with little or no warning. They almost never "make metal" beforehand that could be detected through oil-filter inspections or oil analysis. Sometimes a sharp-eyed IA will catch an incipient fatigue crack in a crankcase or cylinder head during an annual inspection. But once-a-year inspections are simply not adequate to detect head cracks reliably before failure occurs. Sometimes we get lucky and catch head cracks before failure, but sometimes we aren't so lucky -- as our intrepid owner learned the hard way while flying over the Dakota Badlands.

Fatigue is the progressive structural damage that occurs when metal is subject to cyclic stress. The process starts with a microscopic crack (called the initiation site) that widens slightly with each stress cycle. As the part continues to undergo repetitive stress, the tiny crack begins to grow more rapidly. After many stress cycles, the crack grows to critical length at which point crack growth becomes unstable and complete failure of the part is inevitable.


Engineers use a graph called an "S-N curve" to characterize the fatigue properties of a particular material. The S-N curve plots the magnitude of repetitive stress S (in pounds per square inch) against the average number of repetitive stress cycles N the material can endure before it fails. The S-N curve reveals a substantial difference in fatigue characteristics between ferrous metals (like iron, steel and titanium) and non-ferrous metals (like aluminum, magnesium and copper). Ferrous metals exhibit a "fatigue limit" stress below which they can endure an infinite number of repetitive stress cycles without failing. Non-ferrous metals have no fatigue limit, and will always fail eventually if subjected to enough stress cycles.

Piston Engines And Fatigue

Fatigue failures can occur to various critical components of a piston aircraft engine, including the crankcase, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, and cylinders. The crankshaft, connecting rods and cylinder barrels are made of steel and are engineered to operate well below their fatigue limit, so they have an infinite fatigue life -- at least in theory. We do see a small number of fatigue failures of these steel parts, but only when the parts are improperly manufactured (e.g., bad steel), improperly assembled (e.g., incorrect torque), or stressed beyond their design limits (e.g., prop strike). History shows that fatigue failures of steel parts due to improper manufacture or assembly typically happen rather quickly after the engine enters service -- typically within the first 200 hours, and often quite a bit less. They are known as infant mortality failures.

On the other hand, the crankcase, pistons and cylinder heads are made of aluminum alloy, so they have a finite fatigue limit. If a crankcase, piston, or cylinder head remains in service long enough, it will fail due to metal fatigue.

If the engine is operated within its design limits, the useful fatigue life of a crankcase, piston or cylinder head is something well in excess of recommended TBO -- generally at least two or three TBOs. Pistons are always replaced at major overhaul, which is why we very seldom hear of the fatigue failure of a piston. Crankcases are normally reused at major overhaul, so crankcase cracks are not uncommon. Fortunately, the crack growth rate in crankcases tends to be quite slow, so a careful inspection at each annual inspection is usually sufficient to detect crankcase cracks long before they reach critical length.

Historically, cylinders have often been overhauled and reused at engine major overhaul, so it's not uncommon to see engines with cylinder heads that have been in service for two or three TBOs. Such high-time cylinder heads are thought to be at far greater risk of fatigue failure than are first-run heads that have been in service for one TBO or less. Furthermore, crack growth in a cylinder head can progress quite rapidly, so a once-a-year inspection is not sufficient to assure that fatigue cracks will be caught before the head fails catastrophically.

Nowadays, many top-notch engine shops encourage (or even insist on) installing new cylinders at major overhaul, which greatly reduces the likelihood of cylinder-head fatigue failure. But it's not a guarantee. Recently, we've seen a rash of infant mortality fatigue failures of cylinder heads due to improper manufacturing. Thousands of ECi Titan cylinders were shipped with defective head castings that had inadequate thickness in certain places, resulting in cracks developing within several hundred hours. Recently, Superior recalled a large lot of Millennium cylinders whose heads were improperly heat-treated, resulting in a number of catastrophic, in-flight, head-to-barrel separations at low time.

Operational Issues

In addition to time-in-service and manufacturing errors, there are a number of operational issues that can affect the useful fatigue life of engine parts. One of the most important is corrosion. Corrosion creates surface pits that can serve as initiation sites for fatigue cracks and greatly foreshorten useful fatigue life. In fact, serious corrosion can result in fatigue failure of ferrous metal parts even though they are operated within their design fatigue limit and should theoretically be immune from fatigue failure.

Fatigue life is also profoundly affected by the magnitude of the repetitive stress cycles. Because aluminum engine parts are normally operated in a very flat portion of the S-N curve (low S, high N), a small increase in stress can result in a large decrease in fatigue life. If we're talking about cylinder heads, stress S is a function of peak internal cylinder pressure, which is affected both by power settings and mixture management. We know, for example, that peak internal cylinder pressure is maximum at a mixture setting of roughly 50°F rich of peak EGT (ROP), and is considerably lower at richer mixtures (e.g., 125°F ROP) or leaner mixtures (e.g., 25°F LOP). Thus, cylinders operated at 50°F ROP (as recommended in many POHs) are more likely to suffer fatigue failure than cylinders operated substantially richer or leaner.

Detonation, pre-ignition and advanced ignition timing can all result in abnormally high peak internal cylinder pressures, and can drastically reduce the fatigue life of cylinder heads and pistons. Any time spark plug or borescope inspection reveals the tell-tale signs of detonation or pre-ignition, replacement of the affected cylinder and piston is prudent.

Was It Just Bad Luck?


Why did this owner's O-470 engine suffer two head separations in the space of two hours? It's impossible to say for sure, but we can certainly make some educated guesses.

It is clear from the photo that the engine compartment suffered from substantial corrosion while the aircraft was based in Florida. It also sounds more likely than not that the cylinders were reconditioned and reused when the engine was last major overhauled. The reconditioned cylinders may have been dimensionally restored to new fits and limits, but there's no way to restore the fatigue life of a cylinder head. As the saying goes, "Metal never forgets."

The particular O-470 engine involved was an O-470-U, a high-compression version of the engine with an 8.6-to-1 compression ratio (similar to IO-470, IO-520 and IO-550s). It therefore has substantially higher peak internal combustion pressures than the older O-470 variants (-K, -R, -S) that were designed with a 7.0-to-1 compression ratio to run on 80/87-octane avgas. High compression ratio engines are more efficient, but place higher stresses on cylinder heads and other engine parts.

We have no way of knowing how the engine was operated during the life of those cylinder heads, but since the aircraft didn't have an engine monitor and the owner didn't mention his leaning procedure, it seems likely that the engine was operated "by the book" at around 50°F ROP, which we know is the highest-stress condition.

Speaking of engine monitors, I believe that if this aircraft were equipped with one and the pilot trained to use it properly, there's good chance that the cracked head might have been detected prior to the point where complete head separation occurred.

The fact that the #3 cylinder suffered a head separation just two hours after the #1 cylinder failed is certainly extraordinary. It makes me wonder whether perhaps the engine suffered some sort of detonation or pre-ignition event that caused the cylinders to be stressed beyond their design limits.

Take a close look at the photograph at right. Is it my imagination, or is there some perceptible discoloration between the cooling fins on the #3 cylinder that might suggest that the #3 head is cracked and leaking? With the benefit of hindsight, I think it's quite likely that the #3 cylinder head was cracked at the time the #1 cylinder was replaced, but the crack in #3 escaped the mechanic's notice.

See you next month.

Want to read more from Mike Busch? Check out the rest of his Savvy Aviator columns.
And use this link to send questions to Mike.

What's New

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.

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.

» Visit Piper Aircraft in booths 72-75 & 79-82 at AirVenture
AVweb-Exclusive Audio And Video News 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 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 Monday's podcast, hear AOPA's Andrew Cebula dissect the House FAA reauthorization bill. Look for a new podcast tomorrow morning on AVweb.com. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Cirrus Design's The-Jet Rollout: A First Look

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Cirrus Design's personal jet was shown for the first time, Thursday June 28, 2007. AVweb's Russ Niles was there.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Need AFSS Information?
Click here.

Lockheed Martin
Question Of The Week back to top 

Question of the Week: VLJ Beauty Contest

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


NATCA and the FAA still don't see eye-to-eye on the state of the air traffic control system here in the U.S.  NATCA keeps telling us that we're entering a period of crisis because of the shrinking controller population, while the FAA maintains that there are plenty of resources to accommodate air traffic in the present and into the near future.

Last week, we asked which group has a better bead on the truth.  10% of those who answered said the truth lies somewhere in between what the FAA and NATCA say, but a 55% majority of you thought NATCA was right about the controller crisis and that the FAA is just thinking about the bottom line and ignoring aviation safety.

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


In the past, we've asked about price, performance, and other level-headed considerations in the personal jet/very light jet market.  This week, let's put practical considerations aside and find out which bird has the most striking, graceful profile.

Which VLJ has the best looks?
Click here to answer.

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

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.

Support General Aviation & Earn Reward Points
The AOPA WorldPoints Rewards Card is the only credit card providing valuable revenue to AOPA in its fight against user fees. It also supports AOPA's daily efforts to maintain the safety and freedom of flying. Support general aviation and earn reward points on your purchases with double points at select aviation merchants and over 4,000 FBOs. Limited time offer: $75.00 statement credit! Click here to apply!

» Visit Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) in booths 164-166 at AirVenture
FBO Of The Week back to top 

FBO Of The Week: Jackson Jet Center

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Jackson Jet Center at KBOI in Boise, Idaho.

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.

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

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.

» Visit Diamond Aircraft in Combo L at AirVenture
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.


Barely two weeks to go until AirVenture, and the stream of reader-submitted photos in our "Picture of the Week" contest has slowed to a trickle.  Fortunately for us, the lighter number of submissions doesn't seem to have any effect on quality.  With only 60 photos in this week's contest, we still had a hard time picking five to showcase here.

medium | large

Used with permission of W. Ross Tracey

Blue Angel Sneak Pass

What better way to celebrate the air show month of July than a whooshing, action-packed low fly-over by the Blue Angels, courtesy of W. Ross Tracey of Niantic, Connecticut?

Ross writes, "This picture was taken during a pre-show-day Blue Angels rehearsal.  A thunderstorm had just passed through, leaving a lot of moisture on the ground and in the air.  One of the Blue Angels solos flew down the runway, just subsonic, trying to surprise the crowd.  I caught this picture of the aircraft and surrounding pressure wave, which was also pulling water off the wet runway."


medium | large

copyright © Frank Richardson
Used with permission

Helishi Taxi

Frank Richardson of Birmingham, Alabama serves up one of the coolest (er, no pun intended) chopper photos we've seen in our inbox lately.  Frank describes the trip as an "awesome experience," and we won't call him out on the assessment — it definitely produced an awesome photo.


medium | large

Used with permission of Gary L. Jones

Exotic Homebuilt

No, it isn't a UFO.

Well, technically it was to us, since we didn't know what the heck it was — but according to Gary L. Jones of Clovis, New Mexico, this is an "electric-powered model airplane with elevons, rudder, and throttle control."


medium | large

copyright © Daniel Valovich
Used with permission

Let the Show Begin

Here's a little treat for our stateside readers (and U.S. citizens abroad) who didn't get a fireworks display on the Fourth — from "POTW" regular Daniel Valovich of Hot Springs, Arkansas.


medium | large

Used with permission of John Rees

Waco Reunion

John Rees of Blacklick, Ohio wraps up this week's "POTW" with a panorama from the recent Waco Reunion at Wyncoop Airport in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.  Naturally, you'll only begin to get a sense of the scope here if you check out the full-size version.

Remember:  You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the "POTW" slideshow 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.