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A problem with a component of the Garmin G1000 glass panel, a popular choice for avionics in many general aviation aircraft, has
stalled production and delayed deliveries at factories around the country as Garmin searches for a fix. The problem stems from a sudden increase in failure rates in recent flight tests of new GRS 77
AHRS (Attitude Heading Reference System) units used in G1000 installations, Garmin said on Tuesday. A component failure in the GRS 77 results in a loss of attitude information on the primary flight
display. "After communication with Garmin's OEM partners and the FAA, it was determined that in all G1000 installations, continued safe flight can be conducted with the stand-by attitude indicator and
other available instruments," the company said in a statement. "If pilots should experience a failure of the GRS 77 AHRS, they should follow standard procedures and refer to the standby attitude
indicator." Garmin spokeswoman Jessica Myers told AVweb that the problem does not need to ground any airplanes. "We have not placed any limitations on operation of the aircraft," she said on
Tuesday evening. "Day VFR, night VFR, day IFR, night IFR" all are unrestricted, she said. "We are working as quickly as possible to determine the cause of the problem and what the fix will be," she
said. "But I do not have a time frame." A service advisory is being prepared, the company said. The glitch has occurred only in G1000 primary flight displays manufactured on or after May 1, 2007.
At Columbia Aircraft in Bend, Ore., the company announced on Monday that it would halt its production line and lay off about 300 workers until problems with Garmin G1000s could be resolved. Although Garmin says the AHRS problem
does not require limitations on use of the aircraft, Columbia spokesman Randy Bolinger told AVweb that, nonetheless, "the FAA will not allow us to complete Certificates of Airworthiness with a
known defect. The FAA will allow us to certify the aircraft already on the assembly line for VFR only." Columbia said in its statement that the production line will "grind to a halt" until a fix is
found and parts shipments are restored. "This latest supplier-driven interruption is very frustrating," said Columbia President Wan Majid. "We simply cannot continue to complete and deliver new
aircraft without the functionality and reliability that customers demand. Unfortunately, this means that we have no alternative but to furlough portions of our workforce until the issue is
At Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, Kan., production has continued despite the G1000 problems, Director of Corporate
Communications Doug Oliver told AVweb on Tuesday. "We anticipate a resolution from Garmin literally any minute," he said. However, deliveries of single-engine piston aircraft are suspended
until the issue is resolved. "Mustang deliveries were originally suspended as well," Oliver said, "but due to its lower production rate its avionics systems were installed some time ago, before the
suspect batch was produced. This has, of course, been confirmed through testing and approved by the FAA." Oliver said he doesn't anticipate any impact on production at Cessna. At Diamond Aircraft,
spokeswoman Heike Larson told AVweb that production will continue. "We view this as a mere blip," she said. "We're not stopping production, and we have inventory on hand with unaffected units
to complete current customer deliveries." Garmin is being "very proactive" about the problem, she said, but it's possible that "customer deliveries might be affected by a week or two" before all is
back to normal. At Hawker Beechcraft, spokesman Mike Turner said the problem has "minimal" impact. Deliveries of Beechcraft G36 Bonanzas and G58 Barons are on hold for now, but production is not
affected, he said. At Mooney Aircraft in Texas, spokesman Dave Franson said the interruption of G1000 deliveries will have little immediate affect. "We have inspected the G1000 components we have on
hand and believe that we have a sufficient quantity of acceptable units to sustain our current delivery schedule for approximately two weeks," Franson said. "We will continue to work closely with
Garmin during this situation and will keep our customers advised through direct communications and updates on our Web site."
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North American Jet Charter Group at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling, Ill., on Tuesday received FAA approval as the first
U.S. Part 135 very light jet (VLJ) operator using an Eclipse 500. Operations are expected to begin Wednesday under the company moniker Q, for Quintessential Traveler service that offers an
air limo at half the traditional charter rate, according to North American Jet. "Today begins a new chapter in aviation history," said North American Jet Charter Group President Ken Ross. "With the
operating efficiency of a VLJ like the Eclipse, the flexibility and productivity benefits previously available only to company presidents and CEOs are now available to virtually any business
traveler." Pricing has initially been based on one-way fares with no daily minimums for aircraft usage or overnight charges. North American Jet claims that up to three travelers will enjoy all the
benefits of first-class travel on their Eclipse 500s for about the same rate as a one-way first-class airline ticket. Q service will eventually be expanded to offer a wide range of travel services
from ground travel to lodging and entertainment venues. North American Jet expects its Eclipse 500 fleet to expand to more than six of the VLJs by year-end, with projected growth to more than 20
aircraft by the end of next year.
Pilots using certain GPS receivers to navigate the complex airspace around Washington, D.C., have been receiving images that make the
airspace look even more confusing than it is, AOPA said this week. A new VFR speed-limitation ring, with a
radius of 60 nm around the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), is set to become active as of Aug. 30. But the speed zone is already being depicted on some in-flight displays with
graphics similar to that of a temporary flight restriction (TFR), AOPA said. The association has contacted Garmin, Honeywell and Avidyne about the problem and is working to have the speed-ring
depiction removed until the zone becomes active. "The speed ring is not a TFR," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "It simply limits VFR aircraft to 230 knots, and that
must be made clear on cockpit displays. AOPA is also working with the FAA, GPS manufacturers and data vendors to create a standard depiction for the speed ring that does not resemble [the graphic
depiction] used for TFRs."
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The S-33 Independence very light jet, under development by Spectrum
Aeronautical, will be powered by a Williams International FJ33-4A-19 engine instead of the previously planned FJ33-4A-15, the company said on Monday. "This will give the jet a substantial step up
in both thrust and efficiency," said Spectrum Chairman Linden Blue. "The Independence already had the highest thrust-to-weight ratio of any business jet, and now it's even better." The bigger engine
is also more fuel efficient, he said. According to Blue, the company will accelerate the FAA type certification program for its new midsize jet, the S-40 Freedom. As such, the Freedom's schedule has
been moved up about a year. "To do this requires a shift in priorities, making the Freedom our primary focus for the time being," he said. The current plan is to certify the nine-seat Freedom in 2009,
then certify the more powerful version of the eight-place Independence in 2010 instead of 2009 as originally planned. The powerplant upgrade and other design improvements allow Spectrum to increase
the speed, range and cabin size of the S-33, the company said. The cabin diameter will increase to 60 inches. The jet's speed will increase to more than 430 KTAS.
Runway incursions continue to rank among the most persistent hazards in civil aviation, the FAA says, and to increase awareness the
agency has published an InFO, or Information
for Flight Operators, alert. Awareness of pertinent FAA regulations and a clear understanding of every taxi clearance are essential defenses for pilots against incursions, the FAA alert says. For
example, FAA regulations state that clearance to "taxi to" the takeoff runway is not a clearance to cross that runway. Other relevant regulations are reviewed in the InFO alert. The FAA suggests that
pilots and instructors should be sure that they clearly understand regulations regarding taxi clearances and the meaning of taxi clearances issued by ground controllers. Further, they should
understand the meaning of signs, markings and lighting such as runway guard lights ("wig-wag lights") designed to alert pilots that they are approaching an active runway. And, finally, they should
understand that a pilot can call upon ground controllers for help before taxiing or at any time while taxiing.
Mastering ILS Approaches: Position & Airspeed
This online refresher covers: Strategies for maintaining positional awareness and airspeed during an ILS approach;
the importance of using "raw data" to back up your GPS and MFD; and a common mistake pilots make at DA and what you can do to ensure a smooth transition to landing.
Click to view the full
NASA over the weekend awarded $250,000 to participants in the Personal Air
Vehicle competition, which promotes the use of personal aircraft for fast, safe, efficient, affordable, environmentally friendly and comfortable on-demand transportation. Four teams competed at
the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in California. The $100,000 Vantage Prize went to Vance Turner of Rescue, Calif., owner of a modified short-wing Pipistrel piloted by Michael Coates of
Australia. The Pipistrel also won top prizes for efficiency and short-runway performance, and second place for speed, for another $60,000 in prize money. Coates told CNet News the airplane is the "Prius of airplanes" because it can go as fast as 170 mph and get 50 mpg. Prizes for low noise and
high speed went to an RV-4, and a Cessna 172 took the prize for handling qualities. The challenge will continue annually for four more years. This year's competition establishes baselines for more
difficult standards next year, when the total prize money will increase to $300,000. The overall prize money provided by NASA for all five years is $2 million.
About 500 light sport aircraft are produced each year in the Czech Republic, and the industry there now is
researching a possible move into the production of larger aircraft with as many as 15 seats, the Czech News
Agency reported this week. A three-year project is underway that seeks to boost production efficiency. "Forty organisations from 14 European countries are working on the project, and 11
participants are from the Czech Republic," said Vlastimil Havelka, secretary of the Czech Association of Aviation Manufacturers. The three-year CESAR (Cost-Effective Small AiRcraft) project aims to
cut costs for manufacturers and shorten the time required for a new airplane to launch. Participants include Aero Vodochody, Evektor Aerotechnik, Jihostroj and Jihlavan, the news agency reported.
In-Flight Emergency Maneuvers: Are You Prepared?
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A once-in-a-lifetime aviation event is in the works for next month, when up to 100 Mustangs will fly into Rickenbacker
International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, for the "Gathering of Mustangs and Legends." The last such gathering took place in Florida in 1999. This
year's event is billed as "The Final Round-up," as it might be the last chance for many of the original Mustang pilots and crew from World War II to attend. About 50 such "legends" are expected at the
event, including Aces, crew chiefs, WASPs and others who were part of the P-51 family. The event will take place Sept. 27 to 30. Besides Mustangs, the show will feature the U.S. Air Force
Thunderbirds, the F-22 Raptor, the Red Baron Stearman squadron, air show pilots Patty Wagstaff and Mike Goulian and more. But the real focus of the event, according to the Web site, is not the
aircraft but the men and women who flew and took care of them. "This is what the event is all about -- to reunite them together again: to honor, to thank, to hear their stories one more time," the
organizer says. (Photo: Paul Bowen)
It's not often we can report that a pilot complained to the FAA about an unreasonable regulation, and -- a mere nine months later
-- the pilot came away saying, "We asked the FAA to be reasonable -- and they were." But that's what happened to Dan Nachbar, a pilot in Amherst, Mass., who built his own small experimental blimp and
wanted to take passengers for rides. The FAA's way to do that would have been for Nachbar to get an FAA airship pilot certificate. But since that rating presumes that the airship floats via helium,
while Nachbar's depends on hot air, he thought the training would be "utterly pointless." He explained to the FAA that his certificates to fly both hot-air balloons and powered aircraft should qualify
him to act as captain aboard Alberto, his homebuilt blimp. The FAA mulled it over and eventually agreed, and Nachbar can now take passengers aloft in his "aerial yacht." The project recently was
profiled in the Boston Globe (featuring a video) and on National Public Radio.
Safety Alert: Do You Know How to Transit Through Class B and a TRSA?
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A California air ambulance pilot was convicted of falsifying his application for an FAA Airman Medical Certificate. He must
pay a fine and serve six months home detention...
MetLife has debuted a third "Snoopy" blimp that is much larger than the other two blimps in its fleet, with
room for nine passengers in its gondola...
Mercury Air Center FBOs have been bought up and will be rebranded as Atlantic Aviation FBOs...
AeroLEDs has reduced the prices on its LED landing and taxi lights, introduced at Oshkosh, from $450 per unit to $350, and from $850 for a
pair to $650. Previous customers will be mailed a refund for the difference...
This Sunday is National Aviation Day, and Orville Wright's 136th birthday. Events will be held all day at the Wright Brothers National
Memorial in North Carolina. Call (252) 442- 7430 for more information
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news,
Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.
If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
Actually, brokers can't get a quote from Avemco, the only direct provider of aviation insurance. Only Avemco lets you talk directly to the aviation underwriter for fast, accurate
answers. So if a broker tells you they cover the whole market, they're only telling you half the story. Call (888) 241-7891, or
visit online for the
rest of the story.
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear ConocoPhillips'
Gabe Giordano on aircraft engine oil. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Lycoming's Ian Walsh; Avidyne's Paul Hathaway; Aerion Corp's Brian
Barents; BusinessJetSEATS Alfred Rapetti; EAA's Dick Knapinski; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier; 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; and Cessna's Jack Pelton. In Monday's podcast, EADS Socata's
Jean-Michel Léonard talks about future plans at his company. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
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.
Now that Delta Air Lines has become the latest Air Transport
Association member to lay the blame for commercial flight delays at the
feet of general aviation, we've heard quite a few complaints about the
ATA from the G.A. segment of our audience.
Last week, we asked if AVweb readers are making commercial
flight choices based on the ATA's pro-user-fee stances, and found that
well over half of you (based on the poll response) avoid flying
commercially on ATA member airlines when possible.
For a full breakdown of options and reader responses,
click here. (You may be asked to register and answer, if you haven't already
participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
NASA's first Personal Air Vehicle Challenge concluded
this past weekend, with the full $250,000 in prize money awarded in
various amounts to the four contestants. The entered airplanes were
modified versions of certified and experimental models, but none
incorporated any truly groundbreaking technology, nor will any of them
lead to a personal air vehicle for the masses. Do you think this
money was well spent?
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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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 reader Jerry Trachtman said the county-run facility's staff went above and beyond:
"Traveling from my home base of Melbourne, Fla., to Oshkosh, I stopped for fuel at McMinnville, Tenn. (RNC), based upon availability of low-priced avgas (lowest price within 100 miles). Due to
thunderstorms, I could not depart as planned and had to spend the night. Without hesitation, the FBO staff gave me their only crew car for the overnight, and pointed me in the right direction. My
early departure the next morning was met with a top cowl latch on my Piper Lance popping open on takeoff roll. I aborted the takeoff and sought help with the FBO's mechanic, who was at work early
before any other staff had arrived. He repaired the latch, sent me on my way and refused compensation. This FBO demonstrated service above and beyond the call of duty."
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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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 ***
Before we dive into this week's photo submissions, a
quick word of thanks to all the AVweb readers who stepped up to
the plate over the last seven days. Of 64 submissions we received
this week, 55 of them could very well have found their way into this
morning's issue of AVwebFlash. The bar has been set high
this week, and that means a stellar mix of photos right here and in our
home page slideshow. Michael J. Gallagher
of Peoria, Illinois kicks off the festivities. Once you've seen
these babies, keep the magic alive and
send use some of
your photos, eh?
Some bad news: We experienced some downtime on
our submissions server over the weekend, and a handful of photos that
arrived late Saturday and Sunday were mangled or lost. If yours
was one of the submissions that could have gone AWOL, we hope you'll
take a few moments to
'cause we'd sure love to see those photos.
Silhouettes were a popular theme among this week's entries.
Ty Sibley of Brunswick, Maine
delivers our favorite of the bunch, a shot of Bob Odegard's Super
Corsair in the isolation of AeroShell Square after hours at AirVenture.
You know we love it when a theme manifests itself, but how's this bit
for unexpected irony "the 'ghost' in the picture is last week's
runner-up photographer Aaron Wypyszynski," whose photo appeared in this
very spot last Thursday. (And we don't read any of the comments
until the photos are all laid out and ready to go. Spooky!)
"This was the sunset view from my hangar last weekend as I was closing
the door," writes Chris Davis of
Lebanon, Texas, who reminds us of the adage "Red in the morning, pilots
take warning; red at night, pilots delight."
See what we meant about having to change desktop wallpapers multiple
times while reading this week's "POTW"?
Alex McMahon of Milton, Delaware flies us out, but don't
forget to check AVweb's
home page for more amazing photos from this week's submission box.
Want more? You'll find more reader-submitted photos in
the slideshow gallery on AVweb's
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,
send us an e-mail.
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).
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
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.