AVwebFlash - Volume 13, Number 39b

September 27, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
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» Visit Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM) in booth 531 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
Top News back to top 

NBAA 2007 Show Moves at Jet Speed

This week in Atlanta, Ga., the National Business Aviation Association's annual expo has drawn record crowds, and jets are the topic of the day -- new designs coming on line, millions more in investment, supersonic options for the future, upgraded interiors, new avionics, and lots more. You can read all about it in AVweb's on-site daily coverage.

Our exclusive podcasts feature one-on-one interviews with DayJet's Ed Iacobucci on the future of air taxis, Cessna's Roger Whyte about how his company might integrate with Columbia aircraft, Piper's Bob Kromer on PiperJet's to-be or not-to-be G1000 avionics, Jeppesen's Andy McDowell on RNP, and L-3's Larry Riddle on the SmartDeck EFIS system.

AVweb videos feature an overview of Cessna news, an update with Spectrum CEO Linden Blue on the progress of his company's development programs, and a special tour of an Airbus A318 cabin.

Fresh Clues Revive Fossett Search

Search crews looking for adventurer Steve Fossett, who vanished while on a pleasure flight more than three weeks ago, now are working with fresh leads provided by the U.S. Air Force, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. An analysis of radar and satellite images has picked up what might be the track that Fossett flew. "It gives us an idea, if it's him, what direction he was going," Gary Derks, the state official in charge of the search, told the AP. Derks said the new search area stretches about 100 miles to the southeast from the Flying M Ranch, where Fossett took off on Sept. 3, crossing remote areas of Nevada and approaching Death Valley National Park in California. "There's nothing definite, nothing concrete," Derks said. "These are just some hits that we want to track."

Ground crews are being sent to scour the area, and search planes will fly over this weekend, Derks said. "If he's there, he's going to be hard to see," Derks said. "That's why we're sending in the ground search-and-rescue crews, too."

Fly Single-Pilot IFR with Confidence!
2004 CFI of the Year Doug Stewart shares over two hours of tips, tactics and strategies for IFR pilots in a new Pilot Workshops CD-ROM-based program. Doug's hands-on approach and entertaining style make this an enjoyable, memorable way to learn and refresh these vital IFR skills. Click here for more details.
News Briefs back to top 

AOPA: Federal Charts for Caribbean and Hawaii May Vanish

Pilots flying in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Central or South America will soon have to find a source for aeronautical information other than the U.S. government, AOPA said this week. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which now publishes charts for those regions, will stop publishing them in October. AOPA has been lobbying the FAA to take over that chore, but so far the FAA has not made any commitment. "The FAA has a legal responsibility for providing the navigation products to ensure safety and efficiency," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. The existing NGA Caribbean chart is good until Oct. 25. Thierry Pouille, owner of Air Journey, who guides groups of pilots on flights in the Caribbean region, says the loss of these charts would have an impact.

"Locally produced charts are usually available, but they are often more expensive and may not be updated very frequently," he told AVweb on Wednesday. The NGA also publishes en route charts, supplemental flight information, and instrument approach procedures. The loss of this public information will adversely affect security and safety and have a negative economic impact on civil aviation, AOPA says.

Adam Aircraft Chooses Training Vendor

All pilot and mechanic training for Adam Aircraft's A500 twin and the A700 very light jet will be provided by SAFERjett, Adam announced on Monday. SAFERjett is building a new training facility at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, set to open late next year. "Adam Aircraft chose SAFERjett because it was founded by aviation professionals with operational experience in developing and implementing complex training programs and they are on the ground floor in creating a center of excellence when it comes to very light jet (VLJ) training," said Adam Aircraft President Duncan Koerbel. The training center will feature a full-motion simulator and computer-based training programs. Besides training to fly the aircraft, owners will learn resource management for single-pilot flying and operations.

Flight department and fleet operators will be trained in crew resource management. "SAFERjett is born and bred for the VLJ market and we're excited to bring their world-class training techniques for our innovative aircraft to our customers," said Koerbel.

Introducing Zulu ... From Lightspeed
Zulu is the world's quietest ANR headset. More quiet, more comfort, more features than any other previous headset. Zulu includes Bluetooth compatibility. For more information, call Lightspeed at (800) 332-2421, or go online for complete details.

» Visit Lightspeed Aviation in booths 439 & 441 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
News Briefs back to top 

Aviation Innovator Paul MacCready Remembered

Hundreds of friends and relatives of Paul MacCready gathered last Saturday at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, for a memorial to the inventor, who died last month at age 81. MacCready, a CalTech graduate, founded AeroVironment Inc. and was an innovator in human-powered and solar-powered flight. He designed the "Gossamer Condor," the first successful human-powered airplane, which now hangs in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. A later version of the aircraft flew 22 miles across the English Channel. In recent years, AeroVironment developed high-altitude, solar-powered autonomous aircraft.

In 2001, the 247-foot wingspan Helios reached 96,863 feet, over two miles higher than any airplane had ever sustained level flight. The aircraft could theoretically fly in the thin atmosphere of Mars.

Memphis Airspace Closed During Equipment Failure

The failure of a telephone line to Memphis Center on Tuesday morning crippled the facility, grounded dozens of flights and caused widespread delays in air traffic across the country. Without the phone line, controllers were unable to use most of their radio frequencies and some of their radar feeds as well, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). They were also unable to make automated “handoffs” of flights to adjacent airspace sectors. Controllers, according to NATCA, "were thrust into an immensely chaotic situation in which they had to use personal cell phones to talk to other air traffic control facilities." By 1:30 p.m., the Center's 100,000 square miles of airspace had been completely cleared, the FAA said.

Displays of airborne traffic for a time this afternoon showed a giant hole with Memphis at the epicenter. It was a "bizarre sight," said NATCA spokesman Doug Church. Operations were back to normal by about 3:30, the FAA said.

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News Briefs back to top 

Mustangs & Legends Gather in Ohio

Mustangs & Legends
Photo by Leslie Hicks
While the suit-and-tie segment of general aviation is busy wheeling and dealing this week in Atlanta — see AVweb's extensive NBAA coverage for all those details — another big event is preparing to launch in Columbus, Ohio, as warbird pilots and admirers from around the world gather to celebrate history and honor those who made it. The unique Gathering of Mustangs & Legends starts Friday with open rehearsal flights by 100 P-51 Mustangs. Over the weekend, the organizers promise nonstop action, from the opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. until gates close at 6 each day. In addition to meeting an incredible number of Mustangs, the pilots and crew who flew and maintained them, and the USAF Demo Teams and performers, visitors can explore historical exhibits from the Tuskegee Airmen, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), Rickenbacker International Airport and the USAF.

Forecasters predict perfect weather for the weekend, with sunny skies and cool breezes, so a big crowd is expected. Premium seats are sold out, but general admission tickets can still be bought online or at the gate.

Russia Unveils First New Airliner Since Soviet Era

Sukhoi rolled out the first copy of its Superjet 100 on Wednesday, the first aircraft designed and produced in post-Soviet Russia. The regional jet can carry up to 103 passengers, and the company promises it will deliver comfort and efficiency. France and Italy also participated in the project. "Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a child of thousands of people around the globe, committed to the project's success with their hearts and souls," said Sukhoi CEO Mikhail Pogosyan. "It took us all six and a half years to get here, overcoming skepticism and finding our way ... Have a look at the aircraft -- I'm sure it was worth it." The aircraft will now begin flight tests.

Sukhoi is based in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, near Russia's eastern coast. Sukhoi said it has 73 firm orders in hand for the aircraft, most of them going to replace aging aircraft flown by Russian airlines. The company hopes to compete with Embraer and Bombardier in the global market for regional jets.

Aircraft Spruce Is Proud Sponsor of the Georgia Air Show on October 13th & 14th
Come join Aircraft Spruce in Peachtree City, GA at Falcon Field beginning at 9:00am. Enjoy an aviation experience in a festival setting. In addition to breathtaking aerial performances, you'll enjoy arts, crafts, a kids' zone, food, and beverages at family-friendly prices. Adult admission: $13.00; child: $5.00. Purchase your tickets at the "will call" store in Peachtree or visit Aircraft Spruce online.

For more information, call 1-877-4-SPRUCE.

» Visit Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. in booth 520 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
News Briefs back to top 

An Epic Day for Epic Aircraft

Epic Aircraft will partner with Indian billionaire Dr. Vijay Mallya, CEO Rick Schrameck announced at the National Business Aviation Association expo in Atlanta, Ga., on Wednesday morning. The deal provides Epic with plenty of cash to accelerate the process of bringing its growing line of aircraft, including several light-jet models, to the certified market. "Epic was really looking for a strategic partner, not just an investor," Schrameck said. "Dr. Mallya now has a significant interest in our company, and we will immediately benefit from his relationships with a variety of companies, including Airbus and Pratt & Whitney." Mallya owns and operates Kingfisher Airlines, which is one of Airbus's biggest customers.

For more details and analysis on this story, see AVweb's on-site report from Atlanta, by business-aviation editor Jeb Burnside.

On the Fly ...

The U.S. District Court in Philadelphia certified a 49-state class action suit against Lycoming concerning a mandatory retirement on crankshafts in certain engines. A California court earlier approved a class action in that state ... .

The National Air Transportation Association has published a report on the recent federal proposal to require passenger and crew manifests for international GA flights ... .

Boeing on Monday delivered the first production EA-18G Growler to the U.S. Navy ... .

First-time author Jane Gardner Birch was chosen by the National Aviation Hall of Fame for a $20,000 award for her book about her father's flying experiences in World War II ... .

Do you hate to fly the airlines? A look at the West African version could change your perspective.

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» Visit the AOPA Air Safety Foundation in booths 739 & 741 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
New on AVweb back to top 

The Savvy Aviator #49: Reliability-Centered Maintenance Q&A

Mike Busch's recent columns about reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) have elicited some interesting questions from readers.

Click here for the full story.

My recent columns about reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) have elicited some interesting questions from readers. Here are some questions I've been asked, along with my answers.

Quarter-Century-Old Engines?


I read with very great interest your latest article regarding operating engines beyond the recommended TBO. My personal observation is that many engines are needlessly overhauled way too early for things like cylinder problems that may have a much less costly but still airworthy repair available.

It just so happens that a friend just bought a D55 Baron with IO-520s that were factory rebuilts installed in 1982 -- 25 years ago -- and have about 1,650 since reman. They have early heavy cases that are not of the seven-stud type and non-VAR crankshafts. [Editor's Note: VAR is vacuum arc remelt; see sidebar on right.] As such, at overhaul time they will need replacement of these two expensive parts.

My question to you is this: Do the comments you make about engine overhaul times in your article also apply to these engines, given the case-cracking tendencies of IO-520s and the crankshaft AD?

Your view is most refreshing and I greatly appreciate your desire to help owners reduce their ownership cost while not compromising safety.

-- Steve Johnson, ATP-CFII-A&P-IA

Absolutely applicable to your friend's D55 engines, Steve!

The TSIO-520 engines on my 1979 airplane are 28-year-old originals. They have 1979-vintage cases and no seventh stud, just like the engines on your friend's D55. My engines do have the larger crankshafts (-xB), which are VAR.

I took these engines to 1,900 hours on the first run (TBO is 1,400), discovered on teardown that the engines were absolutely pristine and all 12 jugs still within new limits! So I did a "minimalist overhaul," which reused all the jugs. I am now at 2,200 hours SMOH (4,100 TTIS) with zero problems.

When time comes for me to overhaul these puppies, I have no intention of changing cases or adding the seventh-stud mod.

Ten of my 12 jugs are still originals with 4,100 hours on the bores, and I just pulled one to replace a burned exhaust valve and its bore was still within service limits after 4,100 hours! So I re-valved it, installed P5 rings, and put it back on for another 1,000 hours. But when it comes time to overhaul, I won't attempt to recondition these 28-year-old cylinders because I think 5,000-hours is about as far into the cylinder-head fatigue life as I consider prudent.

I wouldn't be surprised to make it to 2,500 hours on my minimally-overhauled, 28-year-old, TSIO-520s and I see no reason your friend couldn't get 3,000 hours on his normally aspirated, first-run, 25-year-old IO-520s -- if the force is with him and if he resists the urge to euthanize the engines before their time.

I would seriously doubt that your friend's 1982-vintage humpback crankcases will have a cracking problem if he operates the engine properly. He will have to replace the airmelt cranks at overhaul, of course -- don't get me started about that VAR crank AD travesty! -- and that's a great reason not to split the case before absolutely necessary.

I think you and I both know that the TCM airmelt crankshaft AD was a complete boondoggle. We've had many more crankshaft problems with VAR crankshafts than we ever did with the old airmelt crankshafts. The FAA did owners a real disservice on that one, in my opinion, costing owners big bucks with no demonstrable safety benefit.

Your friend's IO-520s will surely develop a problem someday that will require splitting the case, but the odds are extremely high that the problem won't be a safety-of-flight item, just a safety-of wallet item: a spalled cam-lobe, a case crack, an oil leak or something like that. The kinds of catastrophic failures that can get you hurt or killed are far more likely to occur shortly after overhaul than beyond TBO.

One concept I try to drill into owners during my weekend Savvy Owner Seminars is that the decision to overhaul should never be influenced even slightly by anything that happens to cylinders, because cylinders are just bolt-on accessories like alternators and magnetos. As you point out, Steve, so many engines are needlessly torn down because they developed one or two bad jugs and the owner's knee-jerk reaction is that "the engine is tired" and needs to be overhauled. (Or sometimes that's the mechanic's knee-jerk advice to the owner.)

To which I say, "If you had a bad alternator, would you overhaul the engine? No? Well then why do it for a bad cylinder? They're both simple, bolt-on units!"

Your friend's biggest problem in taking those engines to the ripe old age they probably deserve may well be finding a cooperative IA willing to keep approving them for return to service each year. (Unless he's lucky enough to have you signing off his annuals!) In this post-GARA age of litigation against shops and mechanics, it's hard to find an IA willing to stick his neck out for a customer any more. After having talked with a few aviation plaintiff's attorneys, I find it hard to blame them.

Engine Monitor? Oil Analysis?


I first want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my query with a complete and thought-provoking answer. It sounds like we're on the same wavelength; namely if it isn't broke, don't fix or replace it!

Your comments lead to a couple more questions: My friend's D55 Baron currently has a single-probe EGT and single-probe CHT as delivered from the factory. The local hangar rats are telling him he needs a Chinese television engine analyzer system installed. I'm telling him those engines have run just fine for 1,650 hours with what's installed now, and that the engine analyzer maybe is an item for him to consider installing when he gets around to replacing the engines -- hopefully several hundred hours from now. I say that if something goes wrong with an engine, he'll know it by roughness, loss of power, bad mag checks, compression checks, etc. What do you think?

Second, the same hangar rats are saying he needs to do oil analysis samples. I can see the value of doing it, but would caution him not to put too much emphasis on the results and not make a hasty decision on spending a pile of money without fully exploring all the alternatives if he has a high number on an oil sample. The old guys used to say it wasn't a serious problem until you got to where you could read the part numbers on the pieces of metal in the screen!

Thanks again for your help, and best regards.

-- Steve Johnson, ATP-CFII-A&P-IA

Steve, I'm a big fan of both engine analyzers and oil analysis. I'm afraid that puts me in agreement with the hangar rats.

For one thing, I believe that the minute you decide to toss fixed-interval TBO out the window and maintain the engine strictly on-condition (i.e., RCM), you've obligated yourself to employ the very best condition-monitoring tools available. In my view, those definitely include spectrographic oil analysis, regular borescope inspections and the use of a digital engine monitor.

I agree with you that it is never appropriate to use an oil analysis report in isolation as the basis of some expensive maintenance decision. The same is true of a compression test or an anomaly in engine analyzer data. All these tools must be used together and big-ticket maintenance decisions should always be made using a "preponderance of the evidence" approach. Only then can you be absolutely sure that you're doing the right thing at the right time.

A perfect illustration is a recent experience involving one of the engines on my 1979 Cessna T310R. In February 2006, I started seeing elevated nickel in my oil analysis. Since my cylinders are steel (not nickel-carbide), I knew the elevated nickel could only be coming from an exhaust-valve guide. I didn't know which one yet, but the oil analysis report started me thinking that I should expect an exhaust-valve problem pretty soon.

In April 2006, at my annual inspection, the compression test showed 70s on all cylinders except for right-engine cylinder #3, which showed 50/80 with air leaking past the exhaust valve. I staked the valve and the compression immediately climbed into the 60s. I inspected the valve with a borescope and saw no evidence of hot spots. So I continued the jug in service but now I was pretty sure that the combination of oil analysis and funky compression was telling me that the right-engine cylinder #3 exhaust valve was very likely to start giving me trouble in the future.

I continued to fly the engine with a very close eye on the right engine cylinder #3 EGT on my engine monitor, but it was solid as a rock, which told me that the valve wasn't leaking -- at least not yet.

In March of 2007, 160 hours later, I started to see the first tiny indications of EGT instability on cylinder #3 EGT. The EGT wiggles were very, very tiny -- just 20 degrees F to 30 degrees F out of 1,500 degrees F -- but I'd been watching for them and I knew exactly what they meant: The valve was just starting to leak a little.

Upon landing, I borescoped cylinder #3 and found two well-defined hot spots on the exhaust valve, just as I expected. I then did a hot compression test and cylinder #3 measured 0/80! I pulled the jug, had it re-valved and honed, and put it back on with a set of new piston rings. The old exhaust valve guide was extremely sloppy and the valve was starting to burn, but it was not remotely close to failing -- I'd estimate the valve would have lasted at least another 50 hours before being "swallowed" and causing the cylinder to cease combustion.

In short, I used all available tools -- oil analysis, borescope inspection, engine monitor and compression test -- to gain an excellent insight into what was happening inside this engine. With that knowledge I was able to make a well-educated judgment about just how far to push before downing the engine and fixing the problem. The advantage of having and using all these tools is that you wind up making far better decisions and not having to guess or worry. If I didn't have the engine monitor, I'd have worried about the valve; but because I did have it and knew exactly how to interpret the data, I felt confident that I could continue to fly and would get a clear heads-up the moment the valve actually started leaking. And indeed that's exactly what happened.

My vote, therefore, would be that your friend run, not walk, to install a JPI EDM-760 in his Baron, and that he put his engines on oil analysis with Blackstone Laboratories in Indiana at the next oil change. Then he can fly those mothers to 3,000 hours!

How About Low-Usage Engines?


Could you comment on how RCM would apply to low-usage engines (e.g., 50 to 75 hours a year) that are typical of much of the piston-GA fleet? How does one decide when to overhaul such an engine?

What if all you have is stock factory instrumentation, as is the case with many older Bonanzas, and adding an engine monitor would cost up to 25 percent of the value of the airplane?

Is there a reason to follow TCM's 12-calendar-year overhaul recommendation regardless of hours SMOH?

-- Tom Turner, ABS Mgr. of Technical Services

Tom, let me answer your last question first: No, in my judgment, there is never any reason to follow TCM's ridiculous 12-calendar-year overhaul recommendation. Of course we know perfectly well why TCM made that recommendation: It's because they're concerned about corrosion issues in low-usage engines that fly so few hours annually that it might take 50 years to reach the TBO engine-hour recommendation. Indeed, such a low-utilization engine is quite likely to develop corrosion problems before accumulating that many operating hours.

But a one-size-fits-all, 12-year limit makes no sense at all. A low-utilization engine tied down in Tampa might be a corroded mess in less than 12 years, while a similar low-utilization engine hangared in Tucson might be totally corrosion-free after 50 years. (It is not for nothing that the Air Force and airlines keep their no-utilization hardware in Tucson!) It's just silly to pick some number out of the air and say that it applies to all engines across the board. We need to treat each engine individually, and maintain it based strictly on its actual condition -- one of the major findings of RCM research.

So to answer your first question: The way you decide when to overhaul a low-utilization engine is exactly the same as for a high-utilization engine. You implement a rigorous program of surveillance using all available condition-monitoring tools -- oil filter inspection, spectrographic oil analysis, compression tests, borescope inspection, spark-plug inspection, digital engine-monitor analysis, trend monitoring of oil pressure, oil consumption, etc. -- and then use a "preponderance of the evidence" approach that combines all these tools to evaluate engine condition and decide when maintenance actions (including overhaul) is necessary.

Finally, concerning Bonanzas that still have only stock, factory, engine instrumentation: I think you need to redo your calculations, because there's no way an engine monitor installation could cost 25 percent of what a Bonanza is worth, even if it's a really old one.

Let's do the math. The street price for a JPI EDM-700-6C digital engine-monitor system is $1,830. Installation time is approximately 10 man-hours according to JPI, so if the shop rate is $80/hour that's another $800. So the total installed price for the system is about $2,600.

The very cheapest Bonanza I could find listed was a 1951 C35 with a run-out E225-8 engine and electric prop and a market value of $40,000. Adding an engine monitor to that bucket of bolts would cost 6.5 percent of its value. And that's a really extreme case. Most 1960s-vintage Bos are changing hands at between $80,000 and $140,000, so adding an engine monitor costs about two or three percent of value.

In my mind, the aircraft value is really irrelevant, because the operative question is: Will the engine monitor pay for itself? Assuming a shop rate of $80/hour, a $2,600 engine-monitor installation would need to save 32.5 hours of A&P labor to pay for itself. If the instrument saved eight hours of troubleshooting labor each year (which strikes me as a reasonable estimate based on my own experience), it would pay for itself in four years -- regardless of what vintage airplane it is installed in. And the first time it allows the owner to detect a leaking exhaust valve, a mistimed magneto, destructive detonation or an incipient pre-ignition event ... priceless!

So whether you fly a C35 or a B36TC, my advice is the same: Just do it!

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.


NBAA 2007 Video Round-Up: Complete Video Reporting from the Atlanta Convention

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

If there's one thing we cay with certainty about the 2007 NBAA Convention and Trade Show, it's this: Business aviation is healthy and keeping (very) busy. If you don't believe us, check out these three exclusive videos we put together while gathering news reports for AVweb at the show.

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.

AFSS Is Up to Speed. And Gaining Altitude.
The new automated flight services system is here. Revolutionizing flight service operations. Reducing legacy sites. Bringing 15 upgraded sites and three hubs online. Retaining 1,200 specialists. Marrying local needs with national information sources. The result: ever-improving levels of performance. And a future of efficient, effective service that give general aviation pilots more flexibility than they've ever thought possible. To see for yourself, visit AFSS.com.

» Visit Lockheed Martin in booth 203 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
Tell Us What You Think back to top 

Question of the Week: Technology Made Microchips Smaller — Are Bizjets Next?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked whether aviation experience should be such a big factor in becoming a NASA astronaut.

Our question sparked a couple of e-mails about the NASA qualifications, but it also taught us that most AVweb readers think brains and ability rank higher than a pilot's license when it comes to landing every 7-year-old's dream job.

For the actual breakdown of responses, click here.
(You may be asked to register and answer, if you haven't already participated in this poll.)


With NBAA's annual convention wrapping up, there's no denying that very light jets are the hottest segment of business aviation growth. With this in mind, many say it's only a matter of time before the big jet makers start offering scaled-back aircraft for the VLJ and mid-size markets.

Is it inevitable that Airbus and Boeing will enter the small- and medium-sized business jet market?

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.

Diamond DA40 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 Diamond DA40. 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 booth 121 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Hutt Aviation/Soar Minden (KMEV, Minden-Tahoe Airport, Minden, NV)

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

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!

Bennett Avionics: Used Avionics Guidance You Can Trust
Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business! Bennett Avionics has served general aviation worldwide with reliable and quality used avionics for over 30 years. Bennett Avionics can help you meet your avionics needs, improve the capability of your aircraft, and maintain your budget. Call Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295, or go online for a complete list of available products.

» Visit Bennett Avionics in booth 1246 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
Reader-Submitted Photos 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.


With the 2007 NBAA Convention in full swing as we type this, we were a little worried that "Picture of the Week" submissions would drop off this week — but, much to our delight, they actually picked up while we've been at the show!  And since we're a bit crunched for time, let's dive right in.

But first, a quick update on last week's "POTW":  Eagle-eyed AVweb reader Kevin Kearney points out that the "Aluminum Overcast" in last week's top photo was actually the Yankee Air Museum's B-17 Yankee Lady "participating in an event at TEB on 9/15 and 9/16."  Good call, Kevin — and thanks for the correction!

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Used with permission of Tolga Ercan

Pylon Down!

We start off with a Red Bull Air Racer doing the very thing we asking Michael Goulian about in this week's exclusive AVweb video — namely, hitting one of those hard-to-miss pylons at the air race — courtesy of Tolga Ercan from Santa Monica, California.




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Used with permission of Matthew Walker

Survival Training

Matthew Walker of Tallahassee, Florida shot this week's close-runner-up "during multijurisdictional law enforcement aviation open-water survival training."

Think about that for a second: The man almost won our weekly "POTW" contest while he was completing a grueling survival training course.


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Used with permission of Barry Blumquist

Half-Critical to Flying Safety?!

Apologies to the U.S. Post Office, but how could we not run this image?  Barry Blumquist of Winston-Salem, North Carolina writes, "I sure am glad we have electronic notification means for ADs!"


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Used with permission of Earl MacPherson

Reflection After Flight

Earl MacPherson of Pennsville, New Jersey serves up the one images we can't take our eyes off of this week ... .


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Used with permission of Gerald Benson

Oklahoma Sunset

Our almost-obligatory sunset sign-off comes from Gerald Benson of Alva, Oklahoma this week and features pilot Kyle Franklin calling it a day after practicing routines for the Oklahoma Festival of Flight.

Big thanks to everyone who made time to submit pictures this week.  There'll be more to see in the "POTW" slideshow on AVweb's home page late in the day Thursday.

We'll see you back here next week.  In the meantime, please remember to submit your photos!

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 or send us an e-mail.

Attention, LSA Builders & ROTAX 912 Engine Operators
ASA, the industry's leader in aviation supplies, software, and publications, offers the ROTAX Engine Introduction DVD with tips and techniques for trouble-free operation of Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) with the ROTAX engine. This DVD also provides an introduction to the specific concepts important to maintaining the ROTAX 912. Go online for complete details and bonus features!

» Visit Aviation Supplies & Academics (ASA)
in booths
512, 514, & 516 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
Be Part of the AVweb Team back to top 


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.

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.

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.

» Visit Avidyne in booths 838, 840, & 842 at the AOPA Expo Next Week!
AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter back to top 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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/.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

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.

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.