AVwebBiz - Volume 10, Number 20

May 23, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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The International Center for Air Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is conducting a study of general aviation trends. Let them know what you think about fuel costs, how to advance general aviation and why you fly. It takes ten minutes or less. AVweb will publish the results — so will MIT.

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AVflash! TLC for Cessnas back to top 

Training Available To Handle Cessna Inspections

Cessna is offering a 40-hour training course to help the world's maintenance facilities handle new inspection requirements that came into effect in April for many of upwards of 150,000 of its products. As the company announced and AVweb reported in December of 2011, there are concerns about fatigue and corrosion issues in the fleet of 100 series aircraft, some of which have been in operation for 66 years. "We've set up 40-hour training classes in Wichita for mechanics to be trained on the non-destructive inspection techniques, such as ultrasound and eddy current. These techniques will then be used to inspect high-time Cessna single engine airplanes. The intent is to not only teach them what they are looking for, but also how to identify issues that can occur more frequently with older, high-time airframes," said Tom Ronnau, Cessna's manager of technical service propeller products.

Cessna says it's being proactive with the program to make sure that issues that might have remained hidden in ancient-to-middle-age airframes are revealed and dealt with. "Corrosion and fatigue are inevitable on any make and model of airframe with a high amount of hours. However, with early detection and proper maintenance, severity and effects can be minimized," said Beth Gamble, Cessna's principal airframe structure engineer. "The 100-series inspection requirements are very simple, and begin with a visual inspection that can be done quickly by a trained inspector during an annual inspection."

FAA Issues Emergency AD For Cessna 210s

Following reports of cracked wing spar caps in several Cessna 210s in Australia and Canada, the FAA on Monday issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive requiring 3,665 of the airplanes in the U.S. to be inspected. If cracks are found in the spar cap, wing spar, or wing, they must be reported to the FAA, and the aircraft must be grounded until the affected parts are replaced or modified. The AD is effective on June 5. Cessna issued a service letter (PDF) addressing the issue last month.

The procedures and deadlines for inspecting the airplanes vary depending on the number of hours in service. Airplanes with more than 10,000 hours are grounded until a visual inspection has been completed, and if no cracks are found, a more thorough check must be done within the next five hours. No action is required for airplanes with less than 5,000 hours of accumulated flight time. Cessna built more than 9,000 210s between 1957 and 1986. The AD affects models produced after 1967, which have a cantilever wing. The inspections should cost $255 to $510 per airplane, the FAA said, but it had no estimate for the cost of repairs if needed. The FAA said it will accept comments on the AD until July 5.

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GA10 Takes to the Skies back to top 

Turboprop Airvan Flies

GippsAero announced Tuesday that its new GA10 turboprop flew for the first time on May 1. The aircraft uses a Rolls-Royce 250 engine and the company says it's "the first single turboprop to be designed and developed in Australia." As the name implies, the GA10 has two more seats than the piston GA8 and is expected to pack the extra payload with even better performance than the already-capable piston airplane.

The first flight went well, according to GippsAero, and the niche the company is aiming for is looking for an occupant. "The GA10 will bring an entry-level turboprop utility aircraft to the market place enabling operators to make the not inconsiderable step of moving from piston to turboprop power," said CEO Dr. Terry Miles. "The projected low purchase price and low operating costs of the GA10, coupled with its great versatility, will offer operators a commercially viable multi-role turboprop aircraft."

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Olympic-Level Planning back to top 

Airlines Get Airspace Priority For Olympics

Scheduled flights will likely get priority over business aviation if weather or other factors disrupt normal air traffic during the 2012 London Olympics. The Financial Times says government regulators have determined that the country's private air traffic control provider National Air Traffic Services (NATS) already has the flexibility it needs to put airliners ahead of business aircraft without needing an official directive to do so. Officially, NATS operates under a policy of first come, first served, but in unusual circumstances can pick and choose which targets get the limited number of slots. NATS was non-committal on how it would handle those cases, telling the Financial Times only that it would run the airspace "as safely and efficiently as possible."

The country's major airlines have been pressuring the government for assurances that the big iron will get priority if weather or security events preclude normal operations. The government was able to sidestep direct involvement, at least for now. "NATS already have the power to be relatively pragmatic in relation to prioritisation of different flights. I'm pretty confident Nats would have the ability to deliver on what the airlines want," Transport Minister Theresa Villiers told the Financial Times. NetJets spokesman Mark Wilson rejected the notion of "simple prioritization" to cope with overtaxed airspace. Business aircraft have already been barred from Heathrow Airport for the Olympics, leaving surrounding airports to handle the influx of about 3,000 private aircraft during the Games.

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The Future of Historical Aircraft Flights back to top 

FAA Examines Historical Flight Rules

The FAA said on Tuesday it's ready to "reevaluate its policy" regarding the operation of historical aircraft for hire, and announced a series of public meetings on the topic. The meetings, which are open to the public, will be held June 26, 27, and 28 at FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The FAA said its current Living History Flight Experience policy, adopted in the mid-1990s, allows owner/operators of historic aircraft to sell passenger flights "as a way to generate funds needed to maintain and preserve these historically significant aircraft for future generations." However, the FAA said an "increasing number of requests… [with a] clear market orientation" seek to operate types of aircraft, or offer various types of flight experiences, that aren't covered by the current policy.

At the public meeting, the FAA hopes to address a wide array of issues, such as whether replica, turbojet, and supersonic aircraft should be allowed to operate under the LHFE policy; should operators be allowed to modify single-seat aircraft to add a passenger seat; should "fitness standards" be set that operators must meet; should the FAA restrict or prohibit aerobatics and "aerial combat maneuvering" in LHFE operations; and more. The discussions will also address whether current operators should be "grandfathered" if the LFHE policy is modified. The complete FAA notice about the meeting is posted online.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Biofuels Get the Axe

A House committee last week voted to kill the Navy and Air Force's plan to run their airplanes on a blend of biofuel and Jet A. If it stands, it's a major blow to the development of bio-based jet fuel. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli points out how it's also short-sighted.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Who's Where back to top 

Corsair at Goodrich

Hariel Corsair

Hariel Corsair is now an airline support manager for Goodrich Aerostructures in Chula Vista, California, managing accounts for multiple airlines and assisting with B787 support and entry into service. He was formerly at Pratt and Whitney.

Who's Where? You Tell Us

Get a promotion or a new job? Your colleagues want to know about it, and AVwebBiz can get the word out. Drop us a line about the staff appointment, with a nice recent photo, and we'll do our best to include it in our new section, "Who's Where." The items will be permanently archived on AVweb for future reference, too.

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: Red Bull's Latest Aerial Ballet

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

Red Bull Wednesday shared video of one of its latest sponsored adventures -- five wingsuit skydivers joining up with and maintaining formation with two sailplanes in a dive over Austria. The team flew two aerobatic LET L-13 Blanik sailplanes and just to complicate things, the lead flew inverted and one skydiver formed up in between the inverted and upright glider. The skydivers and gliders came together in formation at roughly 12,000 feet. The sailplanes wore wingtip-mounted smoke canisters and one skydiver wore one on an ankle. The trick of the task was mating airspeed and descent rates and this time all members performed flawlessly.

Generally, wingsuits manage their best glide (roughly 2.5:1) at close to 75 mph. The Blaniks are a 1950's-era metal design and manage close to 30:1 at about 55. For the stunt, the team found a common airspeed closer to 110 mph, then found and held formation with the requisite precision.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

AVwebBiz is a weekly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

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