AVwebFlash - Volume 13, Number 46b

November 15, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
AeroSun LED Landing Lights Are Now Available at Aircraft Spruce
The AeroSun is a wing-mounted LED (light-emitting diode) landing light with a built-in wig wag mode in addition to its standard operation as a landing/taxi light. The AeroSun is a very intense light source that uses 8 high-power LEDs. Each light uses less than half the power of an equivalent halogen light while producing more usable light. For experimental aircraft, with FAA approval for certified aircraft pending. For more information, call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
Top News: Eclipse Drawing Fire, Still Setting Trends back to top 

Supplier Sues Eclipse, Alleging Lack Of Payment

Hampson Aerospace, a U.K.-based company that has been building tail sections in Texas for the Eclipse 500 jet, sued Eclipse Aviation on Tuesday, alleging that required payments have not been made since March, the Albuquerque Journal reported Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Eclipse told the Journal she couldn't comment on the pending litigation. Email and voicemail messages left for Eclipse by AVweb late Wednesday were not returned by our deadline. According to the suit, Hampson agreed to reduce the payments, but Eclipse then said it could rescind the agreement altogether on the basis of fraud, according to the Journal. The suit did not give details of the basis for the fraud allegation. The value of the contract is estimated at $380 million. Eclipse laid off about 100 workers last month, and has run into repeated production delays. This week, however, the company went to the Dubai Air Show for the first time, and sold 12 Eclipse 500 jets to Dubai Aerospace Enterprise Flight Academy (DAEFA). Delivery of these Eclipse 500s will begin next year, the company said in a news release.

DAEFA will use the Eclipse 500 jets in its new ab initio training program that is scheduled to open in March 2008. The program will offer a 12-month course starting every month with up to 400 students in training at any given time. Students will start their training in a Cirrus SR22, progress to an Eclipse 500, and finish with a type rating in a multi-crew jet transport aircraft. DAEFA plans to train thousands of aerospace and aviation professionals to fill the shortage of airline pilots in the Middle East, Europe, India, and North Africa.

Linear Air Ready To Fly Its Eclipse 500

Linear Air, of Bedford, Mass., said on Wednesday it is ready to start booking passengers for its Eclipse 500 air-taxi service, making it one of the first companies to operate the very light jet. The company took delivery of the VLJ last summer. "For three years, the entire team at Linear Air has been working hard to bring affordable personal jet transportation to the world," said CEO William Herp. "I'm proud to announce that we have finally accomplished that objective." The company's Eclipse 500 was officially certified on Tuesday by the FAA to offer jet-taxi service. "For up to four travelers, the price and Linear Air experience will be hard to beat," Herp said. Linear Air says it can offer trips of 300 miles in the Eclipse jet for $3,590, which is about the same price as the same trip in its Cessna Caravan, but the Caravan carries eight people and the jet carries four. The jet, however, travels almost twice as fast -- a cruise speed of 345 mph versus 184 mph.

The jet, which will be flown by a two-pilot crew, will be available for trips departing from Boston, New York, or Washington. Linear Air expects to add a second Eclipse jet to its fleet soon.

PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
One Priceless Airplane ...
And Pricey Deals on Some New Ones
back to top 

Resurfaced P-38 May Be World's Oldest

Investigators and historians have confirmed that an aircraft wreck that emerged from the sands of a Wales beach over the summer is a P-38 Lightning, not an unmanned drone as first reports indicated. Ric Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), visited the wreck last month and was able to positively identify it from a serial number. He said it may be the oldest P-38 in existence and the oldest surviving 8th Air Force combat aircraft of any type. "In that respect it's a major find, of exceptional interest to British and American aviation historians," he told The Associated Press. The P-38 was built in 1941, reached Britain in early 1942, and flew combat missions along the Dutch-Belgian coast, according to the AP. Second Lt. Robert F. "Fred" Elliott, 24, of Rich Square, N.C., ditched in the shallow water near the beach after running out of fuel. Shifting sands covered the wreck, and its location was forgotten until erosion uncovered it this year.

Gillespie plans to lead a team to excavate the airplane in the spring. Meanwhile, sands have covered it again, helping to keep its location secret from anyone who might disturb the wreck.

Cessna, Cirrus Find Buyers In Dubai

It's not only heavy iron that gets sold at the Dubai Air Show -- some big sales of piston aircraft also were made this week. Cirrus Design announced a sale to Dubai Aerospace Enterprises Flight Academy to supply their training fleet. Two SR22s were delivered at the show, with the rest to come next year. Cirrus also brought its turbo SR22 to the show for the first time. "At present the Middle East is an untapped market for us," said John Bingham, managing director of international sales for Cirrus. "We envisage the market will grow healthily over the next few years, especially in the private aviation sector, and we expect to be part of that." Cessna brought its new turbo diesel Skyhawk to the show, and announced that Ethiopian Airlines will buy 10 copies. "These aircraft will be used in ab-initio airline training and represent the first fleet of the new Skyhawk TDs ordered by a major airline training school," said Bob Gibbs, Cessna's director of international propeller aircraft sales.

Ethiopian Airlines said it chose the aircraft for its Garmin G1000 avionics and economical operation. The Skyhawk TD is powered by a 155-horsepower Centurion 2.0 diesel engine from Germany's Thielert Aircraft Engines. The engine burns JetA-1 fuel, making it a popular option in countries where avgas is scarce, according to Cessna. Cessna also announced this week at Dubai that the Citation Mustang has achieved certification in 40 countries and a dozen more countries are in the works. "We now have 40 Mustangs in the field and our customers report that the aircraft has exceeded expectations," said Roger Whyte, Cessna senior vice president, sales and marketing. Nearly three-quarters of the Mustangs ordered this year are destined for international customers. Another 44 Mustangs should be delivered by the end of the year, the company said.

How Fast Can Aircraft Insurance Brokers Get You an Answer ...
if they have to get it from someone else? That's a good question. At Avemco, with one simple phone call, you're talking directly with the aviation underwriter. Plus, Avemco offers consistent rates and coverage, as well as short, easy-to-understand policies. So if you're looking for direct answers to your aviation insurance needs, call Avemco directly at (888) 241-7891 or ask for a quote by visiting Avemco online.
Famous Flyers and Infamous Flying Objects back to top 

EAA Inducts New Hall Of Famers

Eight people who have made varied contributions to aviation were named to the EAA's Halls of Fame at a banquet in Oshkosh, Wis., last Friday. "These inductees represent the best that recreational aviation has to offer and serve as an example for everyone involved in flying," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "Those of us active in aviation today recognize their commitment and passion for flying. We are honored to welcome them as our newest inductees to the EAA Halls of Fame." The new inductees were Chester L. Peek, noted author and restorer of vintage aircraft; Randy Schlitter, founder of RANS Aircraft; Debby Rihn-Harvey, eight-time women's national aerobatic champion; Michael Markowski, author of numerous books about ultralights; Hal Shevers, founder of Sporty's flight academy and pilot shops; and Wilson Connell "Connie" Edwards, chief stunt pilot for the movie Battle of Britain. Posthumous inductions were William Kershner, author and instructor who taught aerobatics to more than 600 pilots; and Wolfgang Langewiesche, author of the book Stick and Rudder.

Cirrus Design CEO Alan Klapmeier was the main speaker for the induction dinner. More details, pictures, and videos from the event are available online at EAA's Web site.

Pilots Want UFOs Investigated

A group of 19 pilots and government officials met at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Monday, to call on the government to investigate reports of unidentified flying objects -- that's right, UFOs. All of the pilots said they have had an unexplained encounter with something in the sky, and the government seems to be covering up, or dragging its feet, or just trying to ignore the problem. A pilot from Peru's air force said he fired many rounds at a UFO, which was not affected. Another pilot, from Iran's air force, said he tried to fire at a UFO, but his airplane's control panel froze up. Both pilots spoke about their experiences for the first time in public at the Press Club event. Also on the panel were former accident investigators from the FAA and the Department of Defense. Fife Symington, who was formerly an Air Force pilot and governor of Arizona, moderated the event. He has said he saw a UFO in 1997.

Symington watched a "massive delta-shaped craft silently navigate over Squaw Peak, a mountain range in Phoenix, Arizona," he wrote in a CNN commentary last week. "We want the government to stop putting out stories that perpetuate the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down-to-earth conventional terms," he wrote. "Investigations need to be re-opened, documents need to be unsealed and the idea of an open dialog can no longer be shunned." The Air Force has not conducted investigations of such reports since shutting down an extensive inquiry over 30 years ago. Some pilots and ramp workers reported a UFO over Chicago's O'Hare Airport last November.

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.
Two Definitions of "Roomy" back to top 

Is That 747 Feeling Cramped? Saudi Sheik Orders Private A380

Here's a story that could make you look around in the posh cabin of your Cirrus or Cessna and think, hmm, this is pretty shabby. Isn't it time to upgrade to a personal aircraft that has room for a few king-size beds and a hundred or so of your best pals? That is apparently the thinking of Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, a multi-billionaire and one of the world's richest men, who has placed the first-ever order for a private Airbus A380. At $300 million, the airplane comes with 6,460 square feet of empty floor space, which the prince can configure any way he wants. "It’s a huge canvas to work with," Doug McVitie, an aircraft consultant, told The New York Times. The prince could easily spend more on customizing the interior than it cost to buy the airplane, he said.

Currently, the prince flies aboard the world's only privately owned 747-400. He officially made the purchase during this week's Dubai Air Show.

Quest's Second KODIAK Takes Wing

S/N002 -- that's Quest Aircraft serial number two, the second production KODIAK aircraft and the first customer aircraft -- has flown and will be delivered in early December. The ten-place G1000-equipped, three-glass-paneled, PT6-powered KODIAK can take off in under 700 feet at its full gross weight of 6,750 pounds carrying a full useful load of 3,450 pounds and drive all that aloft at 1,700 feet per minute. Occupants are accommodated in 21G passenger seats, while pilots strap into 26G crew seats. KODIAK was awarded its type certificate May 30 and has so far accumulated a three-year order backlog. Millennium Concepts offers interiors for the aircraft and has received an order for follow-on production interiors from Quest. AVweb got up close and personal with the KODIAK at AirVenture Oshkosh, 2007 -- find our video here.

Get into the Cockpit!
Classic Cockpits is a series of high-quality DVDs that put you into the pilot's seat of some of the world's great airplanes. Be there for engine start, checklists, taxi, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, landing, and more. Titles currently available are: Flying the Legendary DC-3, Flying the PBY Catalina, and Flying the De Havilland Vampire. Order your DVD now online.
News Briefs back to top 

No Serious Injuries In Global 5000 Crash Landing

Heavy, wet snow and strong winds were present when a Bombardier Global 5000 business jet's landing gear collapsed after the aircraft apparently landed short of the runway at a private airport at a golf resort in Nova Scotia on Sunday. None of the eight passengers and two crew was seriously hurt, although some were checked in to the hospital. Aircraft owner Ron Joyce, who is also the owner of the golf course and a pilot, told the Canadian Press the crash was like a car accident, only more spectacular. "We don't know, I don't know what happened," Joyce said. "... I am just happy to be standing here talking to you. It scared the hell out of me." Joyce, who co-founded a popular chain of Canadian donut shops called Tim Horton's, said he doesn't know if the $35 million jet, which has less than 100 hours on it, will be repairable. The Canadian Press said it appears the aircraft touched down just short of the runway at Fox Harb'r Resort and hit a small lip, collapsing the gear. Canada's Transportation Safety Board is on the scene and has begun its investigation. "We're going to look at all aspects, the weather conditions, and we'll look at the operation, the training of the pilots, everything," said spokesman Yves Joliceur. Joyce was thankful no one was hurt but lamented the possible loss of the airplane. "Whether they can repair it or not, I don't know, but it will be a long time before it's flying again if it can be," said Joyce, who is 77."This is an absolutely marvelous airplane. I'm heartbroken because I was looking forward to doing a lot of traveling with it, and it's good for the business we're involved in."

Diamond's Numbers Buck Trend

Amid an overall decline in piston aircraft sales, Diamond Aircraft is reporting a year-over-year growth in sales of 17 percent, bolstered by a double-digit rise in deliveries of both DA40 Diamond Star and DA42 Twin Star aircraft. According to numbers last week released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Diamond's figures offer a sharp contrast to the piston market at large, which GAMA reported to be down by 11 percent over the same period. In a news release, Monday, Diamond touted the fuel efficiency and range of its models, which offer pilots in-fleet solutions from training aircraft through piston twins to the single-engine D-Jet.

Collier Trophy Collectible Medallion Series 3 Now Available
NAA's Collier Trophy Centennial Medallion Series 3 is now available for gift-giving or for your own collection, along with Series 1 and 2. A commemorative card encases a heavy metal medallion showing the Collier Trophy on one side and an image of the F-22 Raptor on the reverse. Series 1 reverse shows SpaceShipOne, and Series 2 reverse shows the Eclipse 500. Visit NAA's merchandise section to view and order.
News Briefs back to top 

Pilot Bails Out Of Doomed Aircraft

Eleven-thousand-hour pilot Lochland Jeffries called on the experience of his 1,000 successful jumps as an Air Force Pararescue member to escape without injury after he lost control of his aircraft while practicing aerobatics over Ossippee, N.H., Sunday. The single-seat biplane (type unknown) he was flying crashed in the woods, according to an initial report by The Associated Press. Lochland escaped the aircraft after losing control at about 3000 feet and rode the aircraft down to about 1,500 before bailing out. Jeffries' aircraft spun in; Jeffries, himself, touched down without a scratch. The initial report states Jeffries lost control "as he tried to roll out of a vertical loop." The FAA is investigating.

On the Fly ...

The new edition of the FAA's Aviation Weather Services advisory circular is available free online in PDF format ... .

A 41-year-old woman who was seriously hurt when she stepped into the path of a taxiing Piper Cherokee on Sunday is recovering. She was hit in the head by a wing in Gainesville, Ga. ... .

An Airbus A340 was badly damaged when it skidded off the runway while landing in Quito, Ecuador last week. Nobody was hurt ... .

A Piper Cherokee that crashed in Utah last month broke up in flight, says the NTSB in a preliminary report. The two brothers on board were killed.

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.

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.
Now It's Time to Hear from You back to top 

Question of the Week: UFOs — Time to Get Serious ... Or Just Another Good Laugh?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, we asked AVweb readers how much cross-border security is really necessary to keep terrorists and other dangers outside the U.S.

The response was staggeringly unified:  78% of those who responded to our poll said that general aviation aircraft pose no more threat than cars and trucks and should get no more scrutiny that highway traffic!

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


In the past, 44% of AVweb readers reported seeing them — and now a group of pilots and government officials are petitioning the U.S. government to open a serious inquiry into their nature.  We're talking about UFOs, of course.  Is it time for a serious investigation?

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.

Did Your Battery Die? Tell Us About It

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, will soon publish an in-depth report on aircraft batteries. As part of that report, the magazine would like to hear about your experiences with aircraft batteries -- good, bad or otherwise.

To take part in our online survey, click here.

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.
New on AVweb back to top 

A Pilot's History: Chap. 3 -- War in the Islands

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In this third chapter of the career of Carl Moesly, he begins ferrying cargo and wounded throughout the Pacific Theater of WWII.


Click here for the full story.

Probable Cause #45: Out of Position

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A Skylane pilot crashes during a foggy ILS approach. Is it possible his HSI was showing data from the wrong navigation source?

Click here for the full story.

FBO of the Week: Heartland Aviation (KEAU, Eau Claire, WI)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Heartland Aviation at KEAU in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

AVweb reader Mark Griffith was preparing to leave Eau Claire when his alternator failed:

Unable to make the one-hour flight back to Rochester and realizing that the FBO had just closed, we resigned ourselves to a cold, dark fall night outside, waiting on our ride home. Hugh, the night janitor at Heartland Aviation, saw our predicament and quickly ushered us inside to the nicely furnished (and comfortably warm) pilot's lounge. Our ride arrived a couple of hours later, and we could thank Hugh enough for being a gracious and warm host. He really turned a cold, depressing evening into a gathering of friends! Thanks for everything, Heartland!

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!

Shop From Your Computer for Perfect Pilot Gifts
When purchasing gifts for family, friends, and flying buddies, go to AVweb's Holiday Marketplace. AVweb is the perfect place to find perfect gifts for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. And for yourself — forward the link to your family and friends as a hint as to what you want! It's easy online, with AVweb!
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.


Quality vs. quantity — despite the politically-correct preference for "quality," it's a dilemma that's vexed philosophers, manufacturers, and content providers for centuries.  Fortunately, it's one of those academic questions we don't have to worry about around "Picture of the Week" headquarters, because our submission box is full to overflowing with amazing photos sent in by people just like you — faithful readers of AVweb who had their cameras handy at just the right moment.

Just a few examples of what we're talking about:

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Used with permission of Charles P. Owen

This Is Cutting It Close

Charlie Owen of Havana, Kansas tells us this photo was taken at Hatcher Pass, "outside of the Independence Gold Mine State Park" (in Alaska).  And yes, it does look a bit close for comfort ... .


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Used with permission of Timothy O'Connor

A Smile You Can Take into the Bank

Just in case that first photo didn't get your adrenaline pumping, Timothy O'Connor of Batavia, Ohio serves up this tummy-rolling image of gyroplane pilot Scott Biser zipping over the crowd at the "Anything Goes Fly-In."

(That sounds like fun just from the name alone.)



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Used with permission of
Peter Francis McCombe

Forgotten Warrior

AVweb reader and New Zealander Peter Francis McCombe checks in with us from his new(-ish) job flying around Papua New Guinea with an incredible travelogue of wrecks he's seen in the lush growth of the islands.  "This is a shot of a B-24 that has been abandoned near a town called Popondetta," he writes.  "The old WWII strip is called Dobuduru and has many wrecks around it — B-25s, B-24s, B-17s, P-38s, P-39s, P-47s in various states."


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Used with permission of Scott Biser

Autumn from 300 Feet Up

Go ahead and gawk.  Better yet, show this photo from Cincinnati, Ohio's Scott Biser to your friends and see if they can guess what it is.  Yep — it's that lovely fall foilage, as seen from Scott's gyrocopter.

(Presumably the very same one photographed by Timothy O'Connor above!  Nice work stacking the deck, guys — and well worth it, considering both photos wound up, anonymously, in our Top Five.)


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Used with permission of Jeff Randall

Missed Approach into Ithaca

Marie Pollack of Ithaca, New York didn't have to make a second pass to get home — but she did catch this U.S. Air flight on final approach to Tompkins County Regional Airport (KITH) and shares it with us here.

More new photos are waiting for you on AVweb's home page, in our "POTW" slideshow.  Don't miss 'em!

Look all you want, but don't forget to send us your photos, too!  (Where do you think we get all these cool pictures?)

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.

No Cute Cartoons, No Fancy Covers, IFR Magazine Brings You the Facts
IFR magazine has insightful facts to polish your proficiency, updates on changing regs, and articles that help keep your decision-making skills sharp in the demanding IFR environment. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
More AVweb for Your Inbox 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.