AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 11, Number 10

March 6, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Peerless Electronics || Circuit Breakers, 
Switches, Relays, and More
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AVflash! Top New Tech from Heli-Expo back to top 

Electric Tiltrotor Unveiled

AgustaWestland has unveiled an unmanned electric tiltrotor technology demonstrator at Heli-Expo, which runs until Thursday in Las Vegas. The aircraft, which features twin rotors powered by independent electric motors, was built in less than six months and has flown a few times, tethered and untethered. The aircraft is entirely electric with no hydraulic system. Although it's a drone, it has what appears to be a handy place for a cockpit up front, but the lack of redundancy in the powerplants (there is no transmission linking the two rotors in case one of the motors fails) likely ensures this aircraft will remain pilotless. Although limited by the battery power they can store, electric aircraft have some advantages over their petroleum-powered counterparts, say AgustaWestland officials.

It was stressed that the electric vehicle has a low noise and heat signature and can fly in conditions that cause trouble for air-breathing aircraft. AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti said tiltrotors are the way of the future for some helicopter applications. "We strongly believe in the tiltrotor concept as the future of high speed rotorcraft flight as it offers much greater speed and range than compound helicopter technology," Romiti said. A hybrid version is envisioned.

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
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Tightening the Belt back to top 

Looming Sequester Impacts Remain Uncertain

As all sectors of government scrambled this week to figure out how to operate under the new rules imposed by sequestration, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said on Tuesday the FAA intends to send furlough notices to all of its employees. "This means that beginning in a month, there will be fewer air traffic controllers in towers and radar rooms helping our national airspace work," NATCA said in a news release. "Consequently, fewer flights will be able to take off and land … Worse, the FAA intends to close many towers." The new federal rules will require $600 million in cuts at the FAA.

Exactly how the sequestration rules will take effect, and when, remains unclear. Government agencies are scrambling this week to find places to cut, and the FAA has not yet made any official announcements. Dozens of towers across the country could be closed, and failed navaids may not be repaired. Even the meaning of the "furlough notices" is vague -- it could mean cutting workers hours by two days per month, or it could mean actual layoffs.

Abolish Medicals, Save Money

The ever-fertile mind of David Wartofsky has come up with a way of framing the movement to abolish third-class medicals for private pilots in a way the FAA is sure to understand. In a letter headlined "Potential Cost Savings for the FAA" (PDF), Wartofsky, the outspoken owner of Potomac Airfield, urges John Porcari, the Deputy Secretary of Transportation, to scrap the biennial poke and prod in the name of fiscal restraint. "[The] workload for the FAA must be huge and cost a fortune to run," Wartofsky said. And he makes the case that maintaining the medical status quo hurts the FAA's bottom line even further by deterring participation in general aviation. "Just as any pilot matures in life to be able to afford their own small private aircraft their use of that asset becomes subject to the [biennial] roll of the dice by the aviation medical examiner," he said.

What's more, he said there's ample evidence the medical requirements have negligible impact on safety. He noted that in the seven years since the Sport Pilot certificate was introduced there has not been a single accident attributed to medical incapacitation and that's in a pilot population where at least some of the participants would not pass a regular medical. "If the third-class medical were preventing medical incapacitation LSA pilots ought to be falling out of the sky," he said. Wartofsky posted a petition on the FAA public docket calling for an end to medical oversight for those flying aircraft lighter than 6,000 pounds but it was denied by the FAA. EAA and AOPA have since jointly filed a petition with tighter requirements but there hasn't been word for some time about the initiative.

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.
Cessna's Regal Sovereign Gets Real back to top 

Cessna Rolls Out First New Citation Sovereign

Cessna rolled out its first New Citation Sovereign in Wichita this week, sporting new winglets and new Pratt & Whitney PW306D engines. The airplane was announced at the NBAA show in October, and is one of six new Cessna models expected to start deliveries this year. The airplane, which typically seats nine in the cabin, can fly an extra 150 nm compared to the prior model, for a total range of 3,000 nm. Cessna says short-runway performance is also improved. Type certification and first deliveries are expected this fall.

The airplane also features upgraded cabin cooling, Garmin G5000 avionics with auto throttles, a new cabin management system, and a maximum cruise speed of 458 knots. The winglets enable the jet to climb direct to 45,000 feet and also contribute to the increased range, according to Cessna. "This rollout today is proof of Cessna's commitment to bringing new products to customers in 2013, and demonstrates our strong investment in the future," said Kelly Reich, business leader for the project.

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Aviation Safety back to top 

Heavy Crosswind Cited In Crash

The weekend manager of a New Mexico airport questioned a Texas pilot's intention to take off in a heavy crosswind that may have contributed to his Mooney crashing and killing all four occupants, including his 13-year-old niece. "'Are you really going to try to fly in this weather?'" Angel Fire Airport manager Harvey Wright quoted his weekend manager as asking the pilot. "And his answer was, 'Yeah.' I guess he felt confident in his abilities in his skills, and in the plane." Wright made the comment to the San Antonio Express News. Pilot John Phillip Verhalen III, 33, of San Antonio, was killed along with his sister Sara Verhalen, 41, and niece Chloe Marie Jameson, 13, both from the Dallas area; and girlfriend Jennifer Woodward, 26 of San Antonio. Weather records indicate the crosswind far exceeded the demonstrated crosswind component in the POH.

According to Weather Underground there were sustained winds of 30-35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph directly across the runway when Verhalen took off. According to another witness, a gust seemed to cause a wing to dip shortly after takeoff and the aircraft crashed between the runway and a highway. Wright said Verhalen was the only pilot who attempted to fly on Sunday and added that local terrain makes the wind even trickier to handle. "We sit in a bowl," he said. "When the wind comes over the west ridge, it accelerates and tumbles and is hard for even experienced pilots to navigate."

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Who's Where back to top 

Carr at Flexjet

Lori Carr

Lori Carr is the first Owner Experience Officer at Flexjet. She previously operated her own consulting firm and worked at North Star Aviation.

Aso to StandardAero

Ken Aso

Ken Aso is the new Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Customer Development at StandardAero. He was previously a partner Oliver Wyman.

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.

Aircraft Ownership Books || Available at AVwebBooks.com
How to Own an Airplane
Available from AVweb Bookstore.
Here are some good ideas on how to afford and own an airplane, including checklists, sample contracts and agreements, your rights and responsibilities, simplified FAA and tax rules, and lots of how-to solutions and ways to best economize your investment. Call (800) 780‑4115 or click here for more information.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: AOPA -- Fuller's Out, Who's In?

After just four years on the job, AOPA President Craig Fuller announced that he's leaving the association. That represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the board in finding a replacement. One thing's for sure, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog: We not looking for more business as usual.

Read more and join the conversation.

Survey: What Now, AOPA?

With the sudden resignation of president Craig Fuller comes the opportunity for some navel gazing and maybe even some chest poking from the membership.

Take our survey and tell us what you really think about the job the organization is doing.

(It only takes five minutes.)

IFR || The Magazine for the Accomplished Pilot || Subscribe Now
In the Soup?
Whether you fly in the system daily or just IPC check rides, IFR magazine helps you be the best instrument pilot you can be.

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

Video: Oil Filters Compared

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

An oil filter is an oil filter, right? Generally, yes — but there are some subtle differences between the two aviation oil filters on the market, Champion's line and the newer Tempest product. Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano recently compared the two brands, and this video summarizes his findings.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to watch on YouTube

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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.

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].

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