AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 10, Number 39

October 17, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! SmartDeck Comes to Cobalt back to top 

Cobalt Announces SmartDeck for the Valkyrie Co50

Cobalt has announced that its new Co50 will feature the SmartDeck system, which was bought from L-3 by the Canadian company CMC Electronics, a subsidiary of Esterline. The Co50 was unveiled at EAA AirVenture as a concept aircraft in 2010 and now, two years later, it's come out of the ground with an announced test program, pricing and more performance details. Cobalt's David Loury told AVweb that the Co50 will be a four-place composite design with a canard, the first we've seen on a small production aircraft. The Valkyrie will be powered by a Continental TSIOF-550, the company's latest powerplant equipped with its PowerLink FADEC for single-lever operation. Predicted performance is about 225 knots with typical IFR range of at least 1400 miles.

Rather than a conventional cabin with doors, the Co50 has a large bubble canopy covering the two forward seats and expansive windows for the rear seats. Loury told us that the airplane made it's first test hop five weeks ago and that schedules are being developed for the certification effort, which is expected to be completed no later than 2014. "We're at the point of almost freezing the design," Loury said. Price for the Co50 with be about $970,000 and the airplane will have a ballistic parachute option. One reason Cobalt picked the SmartDeck system, according to CMC's Greg Plantz, is that it offers the same capability as other glass systems but is much simpler to operate, with a well-conceived MMU or man-machine interface.

"Once we get people in front of the system, they find it's very easy to use it, Plantz said. CMC acquired the SmartDeck from L-3 two years ago and although the system was fully certified by the FAA, Transport Canada is requiring additional approvals, which CMC is working on now, including a specific application for Cobalt's Co50. You can find out more about the Co50 and SmartDeck by visiting CMC's Summit booth number 527 or at Cobalt-Aircraft.com and Esterline.com.

AEA Pilots Guide || Aircraft Electronics Association
Pilot's Guide to Avionics Now Available
The 2012-13 edition of the Aircraft Electronics Association's Pilot's Guide to Avionics is now available. To request a complimentary copy, visit AEAPilotsGuide.net.

This special 10th anniversary edition is a consumer's directory containing buyer's guides, educational articles and timely information about the avionics industry, its products and its people. The publication helps pilots make better buying decisions and locate more than 1,300 AEA member companies, including government-certified repair stations around the world.
GOL Pilots' Punishment back to top 

American Pilots' Conviction Upheld, Sentence Reduced

The workings of the Brazilian justice system took another strange twist for two American pilots convicted of negligence in the mid-air collision that resulted in the loss of a GOL Boeing 737 in 2006. A Brazilian court on Monday upheld the criminal conviction of Jan Paladino and Joe Lepore but reduced their sentences a second time. After first sentencing the pilots to four years in jail, Brazil's courts then converted the sentence to "community service." Federal prosecutors and family members of passengers on the 737 appealed and on Monday the courts upheld the conviction but further reduced the sentence. The two are now officially free to go about their business but are supposed to check in with Brazilian penal officials from time to time. Neither man has been in Brazil since being allowed to return to the U.S. a couple of months after the accident.

Paladino and Lepore, both from Long Island, New York, were flying a new Embraer Legacy 600 from Brazil back to the U.S. at the altitude and heading assigned by air traffic control when the left winglet of the smaller aircraft sliced through the wing of the airliner, sending it out of control and killing all aboard. The Legacy pilots managed to find a small military field in the Amazon jungle and safely land the business jet. In absentia, the two were found guilty of negligence for turning off the aircraft's transponder, making it invisible to the 737 crew bearing down on them at the same altitude and in opposite direction. Paladino and Lepore have repeatedly said their transponder was working but the court initially.

Bendix/King by Honeywell || Loud and Clear
New! Bendix/King KMA 30 Audio Panel
Proof We Listen to Pilots
The Bendix/King KMA 30's music and phone Bluetooth® capability provides unsurpassed audio flexibility throughout your airplane. Connect one or two devices simultaneously, enjoy a six-place hi-fi stereo intercom with flexible soft-muting converse on the ground or in the cabin with a wireless mobile phone link. It integrates seamlessly with other Bendix/King products and is a "slide-in" replacement for select older audio panels. Learn more at BendixKing.com.
Aviation Safety back to top 

Pilots Of Crash Plane Drunk

Both pilots of an An-28 that crashed in eastern Russia last month were drunk. Ten of the 14 aboard the aircraft died when the plane went down in a forest. At the time, local reports said there was no post-crash fire at the accident scene, which was about six miles short of the airport at Palana, a tiny community on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Witnesses said they say both pilots hoisting a few the night before the flight. The Russian authorities have now turned their attention to finding out how they got to the flight deck.

According to forensic tests the pilot was "slightly inebriated" while the first officer was "moderately" so. Blood alcohol levels were not released. Alcohol has been implicated in several Russian crashes in recent years, the most serious of which was the 2011 crash of a Tu-134 in Petrozavodsk. Two weeks ago an amphibious aircraft crashed in the Black Sea with a drunk pilot at the controls but there were not fatalities.

Copperstate Fly-In || October 25-27, 2012
The Southwest's Premier Aviation Event, the Copperstate Fly-In & Aviation Expo will take place October 25-27 in Casa Grande, Arizona at the Municipal Airport. This, the 40th annual event, will include over 500 aircraft of all kinds, airplane rides, aviation exhibitors, fly-bys, vendors, a food court, and the Ford "Go Further" Tour. Adult admission: $15. Children 12 & under: no charge. No-cost parking. See Copperstate.org for more information.

Come and enjoy an aviation experience at its best!
Sikorsky's Newest Helicopter back to top 

Sikorsky S-76D Certified

Sikorsky's S-76D, the newest version in a popular line of medium-size helicopters, is now certified, the company said this week. Deliveries are expected to start early next year, to start filling a half-billion-dollar backlog of orders. The S-76D features all-composite main rotor blades as standard equipment, new integrated avionics, and Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines. The new model will be more efficient, more powerful, faster and quieter than earlier versions, the company said. A rotor ice protection system is available as an option.

The S-76 is used for a variety of missions including offshore support, VIP transport, search and rescue, and medical emergency services. The first S-76 model was introduced in 1979, and more than 800 have been delivered around the world. The D model has been in the works since 2005.

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Babbitt's New Gig back to top 

Babbitt Hired At Southwest

Randy Babbitt, who served as FAA administrator from 2009 to 2011, has been hired by Southwest Airlines to oversee the carrier's labor relations. Babbitt will be responsible for all negotiation, communication and ongoing relationships between Southwest and the 11 organizations that represent 87 percent of its workers, the company said in a news release on Monday. "Randy's unique skills and experience at various levels in our industry can only strengthen those partnerships, to ensure our employees continue to play an important role in Southwest's success," said Mike Van de Ven, chief operating officer at the airline.

Babbitt was named FAA administrator after serving more than eight years on the agency's Management Advisory Council. He flew for Eastern Airlines for 25 years, and later served as president of the Air Line Pilots Association. He resigned his position at the FAA in December 2011 after he was arrested on a drunk-driving charge; the charge was later dismissed after a judge ruled that police didn't have a good enough reason to stop him.

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Who's Where back to top 

Van West at Redbird

Jeff Van West

Jeff Van West is Redbird Flight Simulations' director of media relations. He was previously the editor of IFR magazine and a regular contributor to AVweb and Aviation Consumer magazine.

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.

A&P Text Books || Available at AVwebBooks.com
New Edition! General Handbook FAA H-8083-30-ATB
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Corrects approximately 90 technical errors from original H-8083-30.
Adds newly required Human Factors chapter 14.
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: AOPA Summit -- Hunkering Down

AOPA Summit was a smaller show with some notable absences. Sitting in the airport on the way home, AVweb editor Russ Niles posts to the AVweb Insider blog asking just what (if anything) that means.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Felix's Big Adventure -- Mach 1 Falls

Plus several other records. Red Bull pulled it off almost without a hitch, and on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli admires the perfect execution of what was, in the end, a brilliant stroke of marketing and promotion. He would lift a can of Red Bull in recognition, but he'd be up all night regretting it.

Read more and join the conversation.

Light Plane Maintenance || Practical Maintenance Advice for Mechanics and Pilots
Is Your A&P Keeping Secrets?
Learn to recognize maintenance issues and take action before they turn into something big. Light Plane Maintenance shows you how.

Click here to learn more — and get a gift when you subscribe.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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.

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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

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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].

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.

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