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Volume 13, Number 31a
July 30, 2007
 
Do You Fly Experimental, Homebuilt, or Ultralight Aircraft?
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Top Newsback to top 
 

FSS FEEDBACK LINE INITIATED
The FAA has opened a toll-free line specifically to gather information on the performance of Lockheed Martin-managed Flight Service Stations. Dialing the number (888-358-7782) will allow the caller to record a message describing the experience he or she had with flight services. AOPA President Phil Boyer said the phone line was his group's idea after fielding hundreds of complaints from disgruntled pilots. Pilots can leave messages as long as three minutes and should provide all the detail they can, along with contact information for followup by the FAA and Lockheed Martin. Boyer said the goal is to provide Lockheed Martin with the data it needs to fix the problems created by the transition to its system. It's an issue that has FAA Administrator Marion Blakey's attention. More...

EAA AIRVENTURE 2007 BY THE NUMBERS
"This year was the best ever EAA AirVenture," noted EAA President Tom Poberezny on Sunday afternoon, just hours before the airshow came to an official close. "I say this because there was an upbeat attitude this year, plenty of innovation and technology announcements and several new aircraft unveiled during the event." He added that the last day "is sad because those who have come to visit the show really don't want to leave, nor do those running the show want to see them leave." Preliminary data shows that the numbers are up this year. There were 2,617 showplanes for judging; broken down by category this includes 985 homebuilts, 1,014 vintage airplanes, 365 warbirds, 136 ultralights and 117 seaplanes. While no attendee estimate is yet available, there were 784 exhibitors, 40,000 campers (EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski joked that all of them were happy ones) and nearly 900 members of the media representing about 375 outlets. More...

ADAM AIRCRAFT GEARING UP FOR A700 PRODUCTION
Rick Adam, CEO of Adam Aircraft, provided an update on the A700 very light jet program status for the press corps here at AirVenture this week. "The first two A700 prototypes have accumulated over 800 hours of risk-reduction testing," he said. The interior has been upgraded to include higher-quality leather seats, new carpet, improved fit and finish around the windows and a relocated lavatory that provides more aft space in the cabin. Discussions are under way to partner with an international training provider, Adam said, and to provide a full-motion simulator in addition to the computer-based training developed for the A500. More...

 
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Buy today and receive a Garmin® Geko 201 handheld GPS. Learn more and order.

» Visit Bose Corporation in booths 173-176 at AirVenture
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

GLASAIR SPINS OFF TWO WEEKS TO TAXI, ADDS VANS RVS
The Two Weeks to Taxi program that was launched by Glasair a few years ago to help builders make progress on their kits has been spun off into a separate company. Mikael Via, who will be president of both companies, at EAA AirVenture said the two-week program will now be available for the Vans RV-10 and RV-7, in addition to the Glasair Sportsman 2+2. Builders can buy their Vans kit directly from Two Weeks to Taxi, spend two weeks at the assist center in Arlington, Wash., and take home a substantially completed aircraft. "It's not ready to fly," said Via, but the builder should be able to finish it up in a month or so. The program will evolve to focus on the parts of the project that builders need the most help with, he said, so the two weeks can be most productive. Easier tasks that the builder can handle alone will be left for later. The Sportsman two-week program has been popular, Via said, with 70 airplanes delivered so far and slots booked up into next year. The Vans program will be available early next year and reservations are being taken now. More...

UPDATE ON THE SCALED COMPOSITES EXPLOSION AT MOJAVE
Thursday's fatal accident at Scaled Composites, in Mojave, Calif., occurred during a test of the flow of nitrous oxide through an injector, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. Two workers were killed at the scene and a third died later at a hospital. Three other workers remain hospitalized with serious injuries, and several others escaped injury. The testing was part of the development of a new rocket motor for SpaceShipTwo. The chemical was at room temperature and under pressure, Burt Rutan, president of Scaled, said at a news conference. "We felt it was completely safe. We had done a lot of these [tests] with SpaceShipOne," said Rutan, looking tired and shaken. He added that "we just don’t know" why the explosion occurred. Rutan said the suspected culprit, nitrous oxide, normally is "not considered a hazardous material," and said this was the first time in Scaled's 25-year history that anyone has been hurt in a test. The three who died were Eric Dean Blackwell, 38, of Randsburg; Charles Glen May, 45, of Mojave; and Todd Ivens, 33, of Tehachapi. The three who were injured have not been identified. They suffered shrapnel wounds and are in stable condition. More...

MORE TROUBLE AT SINO SWEARINGEN
Sino Swearingen Aircraft on Friday laid off 77 employees from the company's Martinsburg, W.Va. and San Antonio plants this week, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Sino Swearingen Vice President of Marketing and Sales Mark Fairchild termed the move as a restructuring. After faltering to bring its SJ30 production line up to speed in the year-and-a-half since the business jet obtained FAA certification, earlier this month the company hired a new president, Butch Hsu, to turn the company around. The Taiwanese government has invested more than $600 million in Sino Swearingen and is currently under heavy political pressure to liquidate its stake. The company delivered the first SJ30 jet in November, but has so far failed to ship any more. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

ALLIANT SYSTEM GOES ON A CONQUEST
Avidyne and S-TEC this week at AirVenture said they are working on an FAA STC to retrofit the Alliant Integrated Flight Deck into Cessna 441 Conquest II twin turboprops. The Conquest II installation will become the third airframe to offer the Avidyne Envision avionics and S-TEC IntelliFlight 2100 digital flight control system package. As with the STCs for the Beechcraft 90- and 200-series King Airs, the Alliant allows the panel to be updated with state-of-the-art situational awareness and safety tools at a relatively low cost. "We were approached by a Conquest II owner who had seen the Alliant package in a King Air and wanted the same high level of reliability, capabilities and redundancy for his aircraft," said S-TEC Vice President of Sales and Marketing Greg Plantz. A Conquest II is currently being retrofitted with the system and the FAA STC paperwork is being handled at S-TEC’s headquarters in Mineral Wells, Texas. More...

AVEMCO CUTS RATES, EXPANDS COVERAGE
Aviation insurance underwriter Avemco says it's able to loosen its corporate tie and undo the top button of its shirt when it comes to some new types of airplanes. Executive Vice President Jim Lauerman said at EAA AirVenture that rates for Columbia, Cirrus and certain Diamond and homebuilt aircraft will be reduced, as will the experience requirements for those transitioning to more advanced and complex aircraft. He said insurance companies necessarily take a conservative approach to insuring new aircraft until they have enough data to accurately determine loss rates. In this case, the loss data wasn't as bad as the company assumed and the rates can be adjusted. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

NEW TOWER BY 2008 AIRVENTURE?
The FAA says that if contractors can finish Wittman Field's new air traffic control tower in time, it can be ready to use it for next year's EAA AirVenture. FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said that if they can occupy the building by the end of next February, that will give technicians enough time to install all the new gear that is going in the taller, modern facility. However, the EAA isn't counting on having the new tower. More...

DUCK A WINNER
Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but perhaps the most ungainly looking aircraft at AirVenture (or anywhere else for that matter) was the people's choice. A 1939 Grumman Duck, which looks something like a biplane in an unnatural relationship with a submarine, in the first National Aviation Hall of Fame's Best of the Best competition. It was chosen over four other lovingly restored vintage aircraft. It was up against a 1943 Piper L-4H army surveillance plane, a 1948 T-6 Texan, a 1927 Waco Model 10-T and a 1939 KR-21 Challenger. The Duck, an amphibious surveillance plane, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor only to sink in a lake in the Bahamas in 1955. More...

 
In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

ADD MOTION TO FLIGHT SIM
A Canadian company has come up with a nifty way to add motion to your favorite flight simulator. Kelowna, British Columbia-based Dreamflyer is perfecting a virtual cockpit that "moves" in concert with control commands. By mounting up to three LCD screens to a "cockpit" suspended and balanced on a frame, the virtual pilot uses a realistic control stick to fly the simulator and simultaneously pitch and roll the cockpit. Sensors and integrated controls transmit the motion information to the computer so the simulator software matches the motion. It adds a new dimension to flight simulators and the potential of the simple, non-motorized rig has been noticed. More...

BOEING BLENDED WING BODY FLIES
Boeing's Blended Wing Body (BWB) research aircraft -- designated the X-48B -- made a 31-minute first flight last Friday at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The 21-foot wingspan, 500-pound unmanned quasi flying wing climbed to 7,500 feet during the inaugural jaunt. "We've successfully passed another milestone in our work to explore and validate the structural, aerodynamic and operational efficiencies of the BWB concept," said Boeing Phantom Works Program Manager Bob Liebeck. Up to 25 flights are planned to gather data in low-speed flight regimes, after which Boeing will explore the BWB's noise characteristics and handling characteristics at transonic speeds. More...

 
Reason #31 — Look Ma, No Hands
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 CessnaReasons.com.
 
News in Briefback to top 
 

ON THE FLY ...
Cessa LSA order book hits more than $60 million ...
Avidyne Entegra software update supports WAAS ...
NTSB prelim report issued for C310 accident in Sanford, Fla. ...
Columbia launches Flight Institute program for CFIs ...
Liberty adds more options to its XL2 light sport aircraft. More...

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. What have you heard? More...

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/. More...

 
Motion Sickness Solution for You and Your Passengers
The Relief Band Explorer offers the most effective and predictable relief available for nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. Your passengers will never feel the ill effects of motion sickness in your plane again! This FDA-cleared wristwatch-like device is available exclusively at AeroMedix.com. It's the best $99 purchase you will ever make. Visit the Aeromedix web site to purchase this device.
 
New Articles & Features on AVwebback to top 
 

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

CEO OF THE COCKPIT #72: A PERFECT DAY
What does a cynical airline captain do when everything goes right?

Click here for the full story.

More...

DEFENSIVE IFR
Sure, controllers work for the FAA. But that doesn't mean all clearances and directives have to be followed. Here's how to refuse a bad clearance.

Click here for the full story.

More...

AVMAIL: JUL. 30, 2007
Reader mail this week about FSS, fewer pilots, Eclipse jets and more. More...

 
Dual Antenna Traffic Systems Simply Perform Better
Avidyne's dual-antenna TAS600 Systems detect other aircraft sooner and more accurately, avoiding the shadowing effects inherent with single-antenna systems. TAS600s actively interrogate other aircraft, providing timely alerts and precise locations of conflicting traffic. Starting at just $9,990, the dual-antenna TAS600 provides full-time protection and higher performance. When it comes to safety, you want to see the whole picture. Go online for details.
 
AVweb's Audio News — Are You Listening?back to top 
 

OSHKOSH PODCASTING ROUND-UP: OUR COMPLETE AUDIO NEWS FROM EAA AIRVENTURE 2007
It's been a busy year for everyone here in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. From product roll-outs to the ongoing fight against user fees, AVweb's audio news team was onhand (with microphones) to get reactions and exclusive commentary from the industry's biggest players. In case you missed any of our daily audio coverage, here's a quick recap of the stories we covered at this year's EAA AirVenture fly-in. More...

 
FLITELite™ Reinvents Light ... Once Again
FLITELite, aviation's LED innovator, introduces the next step in headset technology — a new intercom-powered, hands-free LED flashlight built into the headset microphone without loss of audio system quality, factory installed by AVCOMM Communications. Never lose your flashlight again.  And the FLITELite never requires batteries. FLITELite controls are hands-free; just a gentle touch with your lip to turn it on — give it a kiss, and conquer the night.  More details online.
 
AVweb's Video News — Watch This!back to top 
 

OSHKOSH VIDEO ROUND-UP: COMPLETE VIDEO REPORTING FROM EAA AIRVENTURE 2007
This year, we shot quite a bit of original video at Oshkosh. While we didn't have time to publish everything we captured, we did put together a dozen or so videos to give you the flavor of the show and highlight a couple of interesting products we found in the exhibitor hangars. Here's a complete list, just in case you missed any of them. More...

 
Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You!
If you live near or in one of these states — California, Massachusetts, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oklahoma — Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar. In one information-packed weekend, you will learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. For complete details (and to reserve your space), click here.
 
Your Favorites FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: TAC AIR (KAPA, DENVER, COLORADO)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to TAC Air at KAPA in Denver, Colorado.

AVweb reader Scott Brooksby raves about the service at TAC Air:

"These guys were great; their self-serve fuel prices were great, and they loaned us a crewcar to go to dinner. When we first arrived, they took us to our hotel. When we left two days later, they had the airplane near their door, ready to go. Awesome."

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!

More...

 
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.
 
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 
 

SHORT FINAL
Overheard in IFR 
Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Heard on ground frequency at Oakland-Pontiac (Mich.) Airport (KPTK):

Oakland Ground: Ground vehicle one, we’ve had a report of a hawk and a fox fighting at the approach end to 9R. Please investigate.

Ground One [minutes later]: Oakland Ground, this is ground vehicle one. The fight is over. The hawk won.

Oakland Ground: Yes! Once again, a demonstration of the clear superiority of air power. More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback 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 Editors Glenn Pew (bio) , Mary Grady (bio) , and Russ Niles (bio) and Editor-in-Chief Chad Trautvetter (bio) .

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.

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