AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 10, Number 35

September 19, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! From Point A to Point B back to top 
 
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BBJ Sets Speed Record To New Zealand

A Boeing BBJ set a new world speed record over the weekend, the company said, flying from Los Angeles to New Zealand nonstop -- a distance of 5,658 nautical miles -- in 13 hours, 7 minutes and 54 seconds. The airplane landed with 7,800 pounds of fuel still in the tanks. The jet, a modified 737-700 that is owned by Samsung Electronics, is equipped with seven auxiliary fuel tanks, Boeing said. It was flown to New Zealand for installation of a VIP interior. Steve Taylor, BBJ president, said the airplane was 21,000 pounds below max takeoff weight when it left California. "This means the customer can add a full VIP interior, fill all the seats and still carry full fuel and have remarkable range," he said.

The record attempt was monitored by the National Aeronautic Association. Boeing said the BBJ is its best-selling model in the business jet line, with 157 sold to date. The company forecast recently that it expects the world market to demand 34,000 new airliners over the next 20 years, with the 737 expected to capture a major share of those orders.

 
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Reno in the Wake of Last Year's Crash back to top 
 

Reno Races: Attendance Down, Safety Prevails

The Reno Air Races have concluded a week of safe racing. Organizers hosted a ceremony on Sunday afternoon to remember the 11 who died in last year's crash of Jimmy Leeward's P-51 Galloping Ghost. "We wanted to have an event that appropriately remembered last year," Mike Draper, spokesman for the Reno Air Races, told the local KOLO news. Balloons were released as each victim's name was read. Attendance was down about 8 percent compared to last year. "It wasn't until mid-August that we were able to say this event is happening with absolute certainty," Draper said. "And I think people held off on making reservations." Ticket prices for attendees also were raised to help cover higher insurance costs, Draper said. The show policy rose from $300,000 last year to $2 million this year. Draper added that robust attendance is expected next year for the event's 50th anniversary.

The event had undergone an "overhaul" following the NTSB safety recommendations, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said in a blog post last week. "Gone are the fuel trucks that were previously stationed near the spectators, safety barriers have been placed in front of the pit areas and grandstand, which has been moved farther away from the speeding aircraft," Hersman wrote. "The planes in the Unlimited Division have to undergo more extensive inspection and are reporting any modifications." NTSB investigators were on the ground at the event, explaining the Safety Board's investigation of the Galloping Ghost crash to pilots, participants and organizers, she said. "Air racing is inherently risky," Hersman wrote. "The pilots understand and assume that risk. Spectators, though, expect and deserve a higher level of safety."

 
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Future Fuels back to top 
 

U.S., Germany To Cooperate On Alternative Aviation Fuels

The FAA and the German government have agreed to work together to promote and develop sustainable alternative jet fuels, the FAA said last week. Representatives from Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development and the FAA signed an agreement during a ceremony at the ILA Berlin Air Show. "Together, we can leverage our research, our knowledge and our greatest resource -- our experts -- to work toward creating new sustainable alternative jet fuels," said Philip Murphy, U.S. ambassador.

The agreement identifies specific areas in which the FAA and the German agency may cooperate, such as exchanging information about research results. The agencies also may cooperate in other areas, such as research about the environmental impact of alternative fuels and how to reduce production costs.

 
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Attention, Piper Pilots! back to top 
 

FAA Directives Affect Piper Fleet

The FAA published two airworthiness directives this week that affect the Piper general aviation fleet. A final rule published on Monday affects 3,100 Piper Comanches (models PA-24, PA-24-250, and PA-24-260), requiring inspections of the stabilator horn assembly, at a cost of about $1,000 per airplane. If the assembly needs to be replaced, it would cost another $1,600. Failure of the stabilator horn could lead to a loss of pitch control in flight, the FAA said. A proposed rule published on Tuesday affects about 1,000 Piper twins, models PA-31, PA-31-325, and PA-31-350. The rule would supersede an existing AD that requires repetitive inspections of the exhaust system.

"Since we issued that AD, forced landings of aircraft have occurred due to exhaust system failures upstream of aircraft turbochargers and between recurring detailed inspections," the FAA said. "This proposed AD would require both visual and detailed repetitive inspections, expanding the inspection scope to include the entirety of each airplane exhaust system. We are proposing this AD to prevent the possibility of an inflight powerplant fire due to an exhaust system failure." Inspections would cost up to about $400, and the FAA says it can't predict what it might cost to repair or replace the exhaust system, if needed. The proposed rule is open for comments until Nov. 2.

 
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Coming (Not So?) Soon to an Airspace Near You back to top 
 

Report: FAA Behind Schedule On Drone Integration

Many obstacles must be overcome before unmanned aircraft systems can be safely integrated into the National Airspace System, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report released last week. Additional work is needed, the report said, to find ways for UAS to sense and avoid other aircraft effectively, to address vulnerabilities in the command and control of UAS operations, and to develop safe and consistent performance standards and regulations. "Concerns about national security, privacy, and the interference in GPS signals have not been resolved and may influence acceptance of routine access for UAS in the national airspace system," the report said.

Legislation passed earlier this year mandated a deadline of 2015 for integrating UAS in the national airspace. The FAA is also facing a deadline of next February to complete a five-year road map for UAS integration, and a final rule governing small UAS is supposed to be completed by August 2014. The report found that although the FAA "has taken steps to meet the requirements set forth in the 2012 Act, it is uncertain when the national airspace system will be prepared to accommodate UAS."

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Norfolk Island Ditching -- More Questions than Answers

Dom James, the pilot of that Westwind that ditched off Norfolk Island in 2009, is challenging the findings of the the ATSB's report on the accident. After reading the report, it's easy to see why, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: The Last Flying B-24 Bomber (Collings Foundation)

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

The B-24 was the most widely produced bomber in world history. This video shows the sole surviving flying example: the only flying B-24 Liberator bomber -- there is one cargo B-24 flying -- left anywhere in the world of the roughly 18,000 built. This is the Collings Foundation's B-24, Witchcraft.

During World War II, at peak production, factories put out roughly ten of these aircraft per day. Each was driven by four supercharged turbocharged radials putting out 1,200 horsepower each. Flying with greater range than the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator bomber could drop about 8,000 thousand pounds of bombs from high- or low-altitude attacks. When WWII's most widely used big bomber went down, it often took all ten crewmen at a time. It was notably involved in the infamous Ploesti raid, in which more than 50 aircraft and 660 crewmen were lost. The surviving men who flew in the bomber and the men and women who produced these historic aircraft are becoming few. Talk to one if you get the chance.

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.

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

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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Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 255,000 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.

 
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:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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