AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 36a

September 3, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News back to top 

What You're Spending $1.8 Billion On

The FAA has decided who to saddle with hundreds of millions of dollars and the responsibility to install the ground-based portion of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system. It has awarded ITT a contract worth up to $1.8 billion to deploy upwards of 700 ground stations that will one day "run more aircraft safely and with more efficiency," according to FAA deputy administrator, Robert A. Sturgell. Losing out in this phase were rivals Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

But $1.8 billion is just the beginning. ITT only won the right to build, own and maintain the ADS-B ground stations, many of which will likely find homes in AT&T cellphone towers (AT&T is a contract partner). The complete "next-gen" system is projected to cost near $15 billion over the next decade. For ITT's part, the ground stations aren't expected to be completed until 2013 -- and you likely won't be required to have ADS-B in your airplane until sometime around 2020.

Bill Piper Jr. Dies At 96

The last member of the Piper family to head up the legendary planemaker died Aug. 24 in Lock Haven, Pa. Bill Piper Jr. was the son of Piper Aircraft founder William Piper and was president of the company until the late 1970s when the family lost control of the company and management was fired. Piper’s memorial was held on Wednesday and featured a formation of yellow Cubs performing the missing man flyby. Piper’s nephew John told AVweb his uncle had a long and fruitful life. “Sadly, it is another indication of a passing era in general aviation,” he wrote in an email. “On the other hand, Bill, Jr. and several other members of the Piper family sure had a very full life and played a major role in the development of general aviation worldwide.” More than 400 people attended the service, which included a vintage Cub hanging over Piper’s casket. He was remembered as a man of simple tastes who was unfailingly gracious and respectful of others. His former lawn boy Nathan Reish told the crowd how Piper not only didn’t fire him after he mistook his asparagus patch for weeds, when he graduated from high school Piper paid for him to attend university in Texas, all expenses paid. Although Piper was suffering from dementia, he remained active until shortly before his death when he fell and fractured his hip. He was expected at a Piper Museum board meeting last Wednesday but was in hospital after surgery to repair the hip.

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Top News back to top 

Collision Kills Air Show Pilots In Poland

Two members of the Zelazny Aerobatic Squad were killed Saturday when their aircraft collided head during a performance at the Radom Air Show in Poland. No one on the ground was reported hurt. Photos showed the aircraft disintegrating on impact. The debris fell in a wooded area far from the audience, initial news reports said. Names of the pilots had not been released. The photo sequence shows the aircraft performing what appeared to be a three-way cross, with two aircraft flying head on toward each other and the third approaching from a 90 degree angle to the path of the other two. The collision involved one of the opposing aircraft and the one that was to cross at the 90-degree path. The rest of the weekend air show was cancelled.

Click here to see the team in action.

Piper Seminole as Jet Deterrent

Last week, a man was arrested and charged with three counts, one each for several times deliberately flying his aircraft into the path of a jet, last May, according to UPI. Thomas Bancroft Shaffer is alleged to have flown a Piper Seminole into the path of a Brazilian Embraer ERJ-170 three separate times, while the jet was attempting to conduct landing tests. Shaffer owns Silver Express, a Part 141 flight school that operates out of Kendall-Tamiami airport in Florida. Investigators have now concluded that his actions were deliberate and imposed on himself, those on the jet and those on the ground imminent danger.

Investigators did not, however, suggest any motivation that would cause Shaffer, a supporter of plans to expand Kendall-Tamiami, to have behaved in the manner alleged.

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News Briefs back to top 

Lieu of LAX

Responding to reports of two near collisions over the past two weeks and eight since October 1, Assemblyman Ted Lieu, (D -- El Segundo) Thursday suggested that flights at Los Angeles International airport be limited and spacing for landing and departing aircraft be increased. "If the FAA does not immediately act to improve safety at LAX and an accident occurs, the FAA will have blood on its hands," Lieu wrote. The state lawmaker offered his thoughts in a letter to FAA administrator Marion Blakey adding that steps should be taken to divert flights away from LAX and into other southern California airports. Lieu buttressed his position with his belief that other changes could take much more time while his ideas offered channels for more immediate action.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor explained that the FAA does not see the incursions as a result of traffic so much as it is a result of the configuration of LAX's parallel north runways. Gregor responded to Lieu's proposal by calling it "impractical," according to LA's Daily Breeze, and warned that shifting traffic would send ripples through the entire national air system.

Sport Pilot Leaves Terrible Two's

Three years into it, and more than 2,100 Sport Pilot certificates have been issued as of June 1, 2007 with 230 sport pilot instructors now certificated. EAA last week presented the news as part of its annual analysis of the Sport Pilot sector. The new aircraft and pilot categories have seen growth over the past year that has outpaced cumulative totals for the first two years combined. What's more, (literally) there are "nearly 3,700 successful applicants in the sport pilot airman knowledge (written) test." EAA found that more than 50 new aircraft are now available for sport pilots, but more than 4,000 light sport aircraft are on the FAA register, according to EAA.

That number may be an indicator of successful implementation of 6,200 EAA ultralight transition kits distributed over the years by EAA to help owners of "fat ultralights" become legal aviators once again. The effort has been supported by more than 240 designated pilot examiners (up 20 percent since last year). All hands are optimistic, "The past 12 months gave us a glimpse of the growth and innovation possible within the light-sport aircraft category," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs.

Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?
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News Briefs back to top 

Site Offers Online Aircraft Rental Listings

A North Carolina company has launched an online aircraft rental listing service that allows renters to find the types of aircraft they want just about anywhere in the country. Visitors to Rentplanes.com get and inquiry form that lets them look for virtually any kind of aircraft. The site narrows the search to three airports in the general area specified and links to AirNav give airport details and distances. “Rentplanes.com was developed out of my own frustration with locating an airplane in a new city,” founder Matt Walsh said in a news release. “My goal is to help connect the growing number of rental aircraft and flight schools with the large number of users in the market." Those who have rental aircraft available can register on the site and that gives them access to edit their listings. Since many flight schools also offer rentals, the site is a resource for prospective pilots looking for a place to learn to fly.

Vero Beach Puts Stock In Piper Aircraft

Money talks and a Vero Beach businessman is hoping the community can shout a message to the parent company of Piper Aircraft. According to TCPalm.com Jim Adams is urging all residents in the area who hold shares in American Capital Strategies to sign a letter urging the company to keep building Pipers in Vero Beach. "All they'll have to do is leave their name with my secretary," Adams said. "They'll have to listen to us now. We're stockholders." Adams is among several Vero Beach residents who have recently purchased shares to show tangible support for retaining the planemaker, which is shopping for a location in which to expand its current plant and build a new facility for manufacturing the PiperJet. The idea came from a newspaper column which described a resident’s purchase of 50 shares as a symboilic gesture. Now, there are indications that the idea is spreading to Albuquerque and Oklahoma City, the two cities competing with Vero Beach for the factory. Until now, the bidding war has raged at municipal council tables with all three communities coming up with fat tax incentives to try and lure the company. One newspaper reporter has done the math on Vero Beach-area residents taking over majority control of American Capital Strategies. At the current share price of about $41, each of Indian River County’s 126,000 residents would have to chip in about $30,000.

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
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News Briefs back to top 

Jetbroker.org Operator Gets 22 Years For Fraud

Phillip Casciola has been sentenced to 22 years in prison in part for failing to deliver merchandise sold through his web site Jetbroker.org, a company that specialized in selling corporate jets and aircraft parts. Authorities spent two years investigating 51-year-old Casciola and concluded that he had, within the past few years, defrauded customers out of more than half a million dollars. Prosecuters believed that figure to exceed $1 million. Casciola has been ordered to repay his victims $400,000 and was ordered last Wednesday to arrive in court with $175,000 cash in hand. When he arrived in court without the cash, but still in ownership of a home worth roughly $800,000, a Circuit Judge passed down her ruling. Casciola's lawyer said his client had received notice of a $400,000 lien placed on his client's home by the IRS. But Casciola's inability to pay likely swayed the judge away from any leniency. "Had he shown up with $175,000, he would have had 30 more days to pay the remaining $225,000 and his sentence may have been limited to two years of house arrest and probation," reported the Bradenton Herald.

Museum Plaque Altered To Appease Vet Pilots

Former Second World War bomber crew members are applauding the Canadian War Museum’s promise to revise the wording on a plaque that introduces the museum’s exhibit on the Allied bombing campaign. But historians are decrying the politically- charged decision, saying that not only is the current wording appropriate, the decision to amend it was the result of political pressure and not for academic or historical integrity. Canadian veterans’ organizations lobbied extensively and threatened a boycott of the museum over the plaque, which they claim inaccurately portrayed bomber crews as war criminals.

The plaque is entitled An Enduring Controversy and reads: "The value and morality of the strategic bomber offensive against Germany remains bitterly contested," the panel reads. "Bomber Command's aim was to crush civilian morale and force Germany to surrender by destroying its cities and industrial installations. Although Bomber Command and American attacks left 600,000 Germans dead and more than five million homeless, the raids resulted in only small reductions of German war production until late in the war." Historian Randall Hansen told the National Post the words may make people uncomfortable but they are true. "There is a great deal of reluctance to admit that this one aspect of the war -- and it was about one half of the Canadian bombing war -- involved the deliberate murder of civilians and that is a simple historical fact,” he said. “One is free to try and explain why that occurred to try and justify that decision in the context of the war, all that is perfectly reasonable. But, to try to claim that it didn't happen is absolutely Stalinist, it's Orwellian."

Air Travel Security Tough On The Waistline

We’ve long suspected that waiting in line to take off your shoes for complete strangers is hard on your blood pressure but now there’s a report that suggests it might also be making people fat. Confectionarynews.com says a study shows sales of candy and snacks at airports went up almost 12 percent in 2006 to a total of $1.9 billion and says stiffer airport security is the reason. In fact, sales have gone up by at least 10 percent in each of the last four quarters, the report, by Generation Research, says. The research company says the fact that security screening forces people spend more time at the airport could be a factor in the increased sales. “Confectionery is well above the market average growth resulting in the conclusion that confectionery's importance and market share in global duty free and travel retail sales is continuing to improve," Generation Research said.

The Columbias Are Coming
Can't find time to visit the Columbia Aircraft factory in Bend, Oregon? Then Columbia Aircraft will bring it to you with the 2007 Fly Columbia Tour. The mobile, interactive Columbia experience is making 28 stops at airports around the country through the summer and fall. Come see for yourself what makes the Columbia 350 and 400 the best of the best. Click here for the 2007 Fly Columbia Tour schedule.
News in Brief back to top 

On The Fly...

Four adults and two children died in the crash of what officials said was a four-place Lancair at Kern Valley Airport in California. Witnesses said the pilot was attempting to go around after aborting a landing when the aircraft crashed in a nearby field ... .

JetBlue has broken ranks with the Air Transport Association and says it does not support an FAA funding proposal currently before the Senate. JetBlue says the per-mile charges and a 250-mile exemption included in that bill favor larger airlines who use a hub system, while JetBlue focuses on point-to-point flights ... .

Officials at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport say they’ll have to get better at guiding the Super Jumbo Airbus A380 around the field after it brushed a wingtip against a building. Engineers removed a damaged winglet and the winglet on the other wing and the aircraft took off for Chiang Mi four hours late ... .

An Air Force C-130 carrying three senators and a congressman had to take evasive action and release decoy flares after it came under attack shortly after takeoff from Baghdad. On board were Republican senators Mel Martinez of Florida, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, as well as Representative Robert E. Cramer, a Democrat of Alabama ... .

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.

AOPA EXPO 2007 — Landing in Hartford, CT on October 4-6th, 2007
Aviation's best event is just weeks away and promises to be jam-packed with the latest in aviation! Over 580 exhibits and 70 aircraft make this AOPA's largest event ever! Plus over 60 hours of educational seminars to elevate your skills and fun social events planned to make this a show you won't want to miss. Pre-register by September 12th, and save up to 28%! Visit online to learn more!
New Columns & Features on AVweb back to top 

Probable Cause #40: Too Much Baggage

In-flight emergencies may require us to divert but we still have to fly the approach.

Click here for the full story.

A Pilot's History: Chap. 1 -- Flight Training

This month AVweb presents the first chapter in the career of Carl Moesly, who learned to fly prior to World War II, flew in the Pacific theater of that war and then in the Korean War, moved around to various airlines, and finished in corporate flight positions.

Click here for the full story.

AVmail: Sep. 3, 2007

Reader mail this week about carbon offsets, airlines vs. GA, user fees and more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the editor.

Over 16,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
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Audio & Video News from AVweb back to top 

AVweb's Monday Podcast: Saying Goodbye to Bill Piper Jr.

File Size 10.5 MB / Running Time 11:33

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Aviation lost an icon last week when Bill Piper Jr. died at the age of 96 in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Piper worked alongside his brothers Tony and Pug, under the guidance of founder Bill Piper Sr. to create not just a company, but help develop the entire general aviation industry. His nephew John was close to Bill Jr. and spoke to AVweb's Russ Niles about his uncle's accomplishments and on what it was like to grow up in the first family of general aviation.

Video of the Week: Zelazny Aerobatic Squad in Action

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Given this weekend's terrible news about the Zelazny Aerobatic team, we thought we'd share this slideshow of the team in action, posted on YouTube by user gumisiekkk:

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Henderson Executive Airport (Henderson, NV)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at Henderson Executive Airport (HND) in Henderson, Nev.

AVweb reader Christopher Dean heaps praise on the service team in Henderson:

We spent eight days out there going up and coming back daily. The line crew simply rocks -- they are thorough, efficient, professional and safe. The customer service teams on all of the the shifts are friendly, and know how to take care of the customer. And the icing on the cake -- the fuel prices can't be beat! From the second we arrived to eight days later, everyone there at the FBO who dealt with us left us with a positive and warm impression. We will make this FBO our choice FBO for our trips to Las Vegas. Thank you to everyone who works 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!

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The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

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

Overheard by a passenger from Chicago to London, England:

Minneapolis Center:
"United Nine Two Eight Heavy, direct Badger — Whoa, we're not going to Badger are we — Nine Two Eight fly heading 340."

United 928:
"Um, we're going to London."

"Ah, United Nine Two Eight Heavy, fly 010, vectors to London."

Center (15 seconds later):
"Of course that's not really vectors for London, it's vectors for — um, PECOK."

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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.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles (bio)

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady (bio)
Glenn Pew (bio)

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings (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.