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Volume 13, Number 39a
September 24, 2007
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Quotes reprinted with permission. Aviation Consumer, August 2007.
NBAA 2007 Kick-Off in Atlantaback to top 

The business aircraft market has never been hotter, but that doesn't mean everything is perfect. As the National Business Aviation Convention rolls into the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Tuesday, NBAA and its allies in general aviation remain embroiled in a political battle in Washington that could fundamentally change the way general aviation operates in the U.S. While there have been some encouraging signs about the future funding of the FAA, the battle over user fees is far from over, judging by the banners outside the convention center. And could a pending takeover in the piston single sector overshadow the turbine-oriented NBAA show, with Cessna rumored to be buying Columbia.

Sign up for AVwebBiz for daily updates of the convention, and listen to our Monday podcast to hear NBAA President Ed Bolen discuss the issues surrounding NBAA 2007. More...

Oregon definitely isn't Kansas but a key component of one Oregon town's economy could be headed there. According to the Wichita Eagle, Cessna is one of as many as three suitors for Columbia Aircraft, which has been shopped around by the Malaysian government, its principal investors, for about a year. Analysts say acquiring Columbia would give Cessna instant penetration of the luxury touring market that it has all but surrendered to Cirrus and the current incarnation of Columbia (the 182 and 206 are not really considered in the same market segment by many analysts). Cessna's interest could be an indication that its high-wing Next Generation Piston project has failed to strike a chord with dealers and potential owners and it has decided to enter the low-wing sweepstakes. More...

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FAA Reauthorization Bill — Good News and Badback to top 

The Senate Finance Committee has approved the "American Infrastructure and Investment Act" as part of Congress's FAA reauthorization process. The Act in part uses an increase in fuel taxes as a source of additional funding for the FAA and its infrastructure modernization efforts. The move was lauded by NBAA, because it does not include the $25-per-leg user fee that the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee was endorsing. "We agree with the Committee that everyone should support the NextGen effort, and that the best way for general aviation to contribute is by 'paying at the pump,'" said NBAA CEO, Ed Bolen. (Be sure to listen to Bolen's comments on the bill in Monday's audiocast). More...

There have been backslaps all around about the House’s convincing 267-151 vote to essentially maintain the status quo on the way the FAA is funded. In rapid succession, the Ways and Means Committee, the Rules Committee and the full House rejected user fees as a method of funding the Next Generation Airspace System (NextGen) and instead allocated modest increases in aviation fuel taxes to that effort. The House vote was considered a slam dunk by most aviation leaders but things get more interesting with the Senate. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

DayJet, the largest customer for Eclipse 500 very light jets, has been quietly conducting revenue flights for more than a week as it shakes down the operation. Although there have been no official announcements about the commencement of air taxi operations, a column by James Fallows in The Atlantic.com spilled the beans and DayJet spokesman Jeff Benanto confirmed the operation to AVweb in an e-mail Thursday. “Right now DayJet is enabling a small number of members to use the system,” Benanto said. “The goal is to slowly ramp up to the point early next month when all the members can use the system.” More...

The Department of Defense says its next generation of GPS satellites won’t come with an on/off switch for civilian users. Because the system was originally deployed as a military system, the military wanted the ability to degrade the accuracy of the signal or eliminate it entirely to prevent it from being used against them. But with GPS in everything from cellphones to tracking chips in store merchandise, the DoD long ago gave up any hope of keeping it a discretionary asset and effectively turned off the "selective ability" function in 2000. 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 

Maj. Harry Schmidt, who mistakenly dropped a 500-pound bomb on Canadian troops, killing four Canadian soldiers in 2002, lost a suit against the U.S. Air Force on Thursday. Schmidt claimed the Air Force damaged his reputation by releasing the contents of a letter of reprimand. In a military-style plea arrangement, Schmidt avoided court martial for the friendly-fire accident but his actions were harshly criticized by his superiors in the letter. But U.S. District Court Judge Jeanne Scott ruled that the public interest outweighed Schmidt's personal privacy in this case. "The release of Schmidt's reprimand gave the public, in the United States, and around the world, insight into the way in which the United States government was holding its pilot accountable. Thus considering all of the circumstances, the disclosures at issue were clearly warranted," Scott said. More...

While there seems to be agreement in the Senate and House that user fees will not be part of the FAA's next reauthorization package, details in the House bill that was recently passed could hamstring its passage and lead to a veto. The administration has already said it would veto the bill over a section that requires the FAA to resume negotiations with air traffic controllers and to go to arbitration if those talks fail. The FAA imposed a contract on the controllers (with Congress' tacit blessing) more than a year ago, and the controllers union has relentlessly criticized the deal, blaming it for an exodus of experienced controllers and a bottoming-out of morale. The White House has the votes it needs to veto since the 267-151 margin is less than the two-thirds required to block a veto. The other hot-button issue tucked in bill that could cause political fireworks is a provision to increase the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots from 60 to 65. More...

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Photos in the Newsback to top 

Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about some kind of off-airport landing, but the images accompanying one pilot’s bad day in Florida have captured the imagination of even non-pilots. Pilot Robert W. Robertson, 34, was just about the only thing left intact after the Beech Super 18 he was flying lost power Friday, and came down hard on a freeway in Fort Lauderdale. After the crash, Robertson remained strapped in his seat with the shredded aircraft around him until rescuers could cut him free. More...

AVweb reader Mike Palmer sent us this tantalizing photo of a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) craft from last week's Camarillo Air Show in California. We're currently gathering en masse in Atlanta for the NBAA Convention 2007, so we're hoping AVweb readers can provide more information this latest craft from the "ohh, cool" file. If you saw it at Camarillo (or know more about it), drop us a line! (Click through for the photo.) More...

Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for aircraft on ASO, you get the most complete picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings with detailed specs and photos or use ASO's advanced search tools to quickly find your next aircraft. Best of all, know that every ad is current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for your next aircraft, it's ready for you — on ASO. Visit ASO today!
AVweb's Audio News — Are You Listening?back to top 

If you were looking for a definition of busy, National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen would fill the bill. Not only is NBAA's big convention coming up Tuesday in Atlanta, there are major developments in Washington concerning the prospect of user fees being applied to general aviation and particularly business aviation. Bolen took a few minutes to bring AVweb's Russ Niles up to date on the latest in Washington and to tell us a bit about what we can expect in Atlanta. More...

Avidyne's New MLB700 Broadcast Datalink Receiver Really Delivers!
Avidyne's MLB700 Broadcast Datalink Receiver delivers aviation-quality datalink graphical weather from WSI InFlight® and audio entertainment from SIRIUS® Satellite Radio. With the MLB700, you get WSI's industry-leading NOWrad® radar mosaic displayed on your EX500 or EX5000 MFD for the most up-to-date and highest-quality aviation weather available and over 130 channels of music, sports, news, and talk radio right through your aircraft's audio system. Click for more information online.
Exclusive Video from AVwebback to top 

How do they clear those pylons at speeds topping 200mph? And how much Red Bull do air race pilots like Michael Goulian and Mike Mangold really consume to "give them the wings" they need to compete in the Air Race World Series? AVweb's Glenn Pew ventured to the races in San Diego last week to find out. And though he lost a few hats to stiff breezes whisked in by the racers, he managed to bring back an incredible reel of video highlights and an exclusive look at the intense two-day preparation period with racer Michael Goulian. (Click through to watch.) More...

Over 16,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced peak cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY-GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
New on AVwebback to top 

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

AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit went down to Texas to learn about college football, the dangers of Wheel of Fortune, and the power of an English Professor to change your career. More...

Is it really necessary to bother chasing down the proper grease for your airplane? We think so. More...

Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You!
If you live near or in one of these states — California, New Mexico, or 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 Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Hutt Aviation & Soar Minden at Tahoe-Minden Airport (KMEV) in Minden, Nevada.

The Civil Air Patrol's Brent Ludlow spent quite a few hours there during the last two weeks as part of the search for missing aviator Steve Fossett. Ludlow spoke highly of both FBO operators and the airport's Taildragger Restaurant:

You all made us welcome and promptly responded to anything we needed. You helped all of us in the Civil Air Patrol to do our job, and I hope everyone flying through there stops to enjoy the hospitality that we have seen.

Congratulations to the folks at Minden-Tahoe — and Brent, watch your e-mail. We'll be in touch about sending you an official AVweb ball cap.

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!


AVweb News Delivered to Your Home Page or Web Site
Get the latest AVweb news delivered to your home page or web site with just a few mouse clicks. It's easy to cut and paste the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) link into your My AOL, My Yahoo!, My MSN, or other home page. Click here to get started.
In Touch with Our Readersback to top 

AVMAIL: SEP. 24, 2007
Reader mail this week about anticollision devices, a misidentified Flying Fortress, a pilot's history and more. More...

AVweb has an opening for an able and experienced aviation writer and editor with proven experience in both print and web publishing, although we're willing to train the right person in the finer points of massaging content for the web. This position requires relocation to our Sarasota, Florida office. If this description fits you, contact aviationeditorial@comcast.net. More...

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...

So You Think You Are a Safe Pilot!
Aviation Safety magazine will keep your decision-making skills sharp with interesting and information-packed articles. You may find lots you didn't know! Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

Flying our Bonanza from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Morristown, New Jersey at 6,000 feet with a big thunderstorm to the west, we were handed off to New York approach:

Approach, Bonanza Eight Zero Lima level 6,000, heading 270.

Bonanza Eight Zero Lima, descend and maintain 5,000.

Okay to stay at 6,000 for a better view of the weather ahead?

Whaddever, sure, stay at 6,000.

Later, we were close to some buildups when approach turned us right to 280 degrees.

Eighty Lima, would really rather turn left about 10 degrees to stay out of the buildups ahead.

Approach (Exasperated Tone):
Okay, do whatever vou want to do. Just let me know when you're done.


Names Behind the Newsback to top 


AVwebFlash is a 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

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

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.

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