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Volume 18, Number 12b
March 22, 2012
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. at the 
38th Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud Sponsor of the
38th Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In

Come join Aircraft Spruce in Lakeland, Florida at Sun 'n Fun (Hangar B, booths #1-9) March 27 to April 1, 2012. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary UPS ground shipping on most orders, and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to answer questions. Educational seminars on your favorite products will be held by Ryan Deck, avionics specialist. Visit the Aircraft Spruce web site for the seminar schedule and promos. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit
AVflash! Moving into the Futureback to top 

Lycoming has applied for approval to run multiple families of Lycoming engines on the unleaded avgas, UL 91. The company has submitted for ASTM D7547 approval, a relatively new standard, specifically for 233-, 235-, 320- and 360-series engines. According to Lycoming spokesman Scott Miller, the approval process is likely to take weeks -- not months -- and certain 540-series engines could follow. The fuel is an avgas, not a mogas, and conforms to aviation standards. But even if your engine is approved to run on UL 91, and you happen to have the it available, that alone doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to use it in your airplane here in the U.S. More... || The Easiest Way to Find 
and Buy Cessna Parts
Your #1 Parts Source for Cessna Single & Twin Engine Aircraft, Including 208 Caravans
Virtually every Cessna part you need — with fast delivery and competitive pricing. Don't waste time searching — already has what you're looking for — including exceptional customer service and support. We also offer many aftermarket product lines, including Aeroflash, Airborne, Alcor, Brackett Filters, Champion, Continental, GE bulbs, Gill batteries, Lycoming, and Slick magnetos, among others. Need hard-to-find or discontinued items? Ask us! Call 1 (800) 998‑7832. Or click here.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

Nobody was killed (although it's likely some careers were bruised) when an Army AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed in the snowy mountains of Afghanistan, possibly last month. Although the precise date of the mishap hasn't been confirmed, Wired quotes an unnamed source at Stars and Stripes as saying the incident occurred in February. Video started popping up Tuesday of the aircraft engaged in a "return to target" maneuver that didn't go as planned. American voices can be heard (profanely) marveling at the stunt until the helicopter fails to come out of a dive in time and bounces across an outpost in Marzak, Afghanistan. The video shows the aircraft narrowly missing some bystanders on the ground as it careens between several buildings. The Army has not so far commented on the accident but as the video gets media play more details are expected to come out. More...

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The Search Continues ...back to top 

With 2012 marking 75 years since aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan vanished over the Pacific Ocean, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) this week announced a new effort to search for evidence that would solve the mystery of their disappearance. The TIGHAR crew plans to launch from Honolulu on July 2 -- the date of Earhart's last radio calls -- and return to Nikumaroro, the remote Pacific atoll where the group has found artifacts they say could have belonged to a stranded airplane crew. They will bring underwater robots to help search deep waters near a reef off the island. Recent analysis of a 1937 photo shows a blurry item protruding from the ocean offshore from the atoll, which TIGHAR says could be the landing gear of Earhart's Lockheed Electra. More... || Be READY for Your FAA 
Knowledge Test and Checkride Oral Exam
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The FAA is updating question banks more often than ever before; our stuff features complimentary lifetime updates and more detailed and illustrated explanations to really help you be confident and learn the material well. For PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and more. Try a demo at, and also check out our award-winning Safelog electronic pilot logbook.
Rules and Regulationsback to top 

On Tuesday, AOPA and EAA submitted to the FAA a request (PDF) to expand the opportunities for pilots to fly without having a third-class medical. If the FAA agrees to allow an exemption to the rules, pilots would be able to fly thousands of qualifying GA aircraft with just a driver's license, a pilot certificate, and a certificate of completion (within the last 24 months) from an online course in aeromedical issues and self-certification. The online course would be free to anyone, not just EAA or AOPA members, through AOPA's Air Safety Institute website. The request notes that the FAA now has seven years of data showing that sport pilots, who are not required to carry a medical, have not had any accidents as a result of incapacitation due to medical deficiencies. More...

The FAA hasn't yet completed the changes that were mandated in a law passed two years ago that aimed to improve airline safety, according to testimony before a Senate committee on Tuesday. "Some critical deadlines have been missed," said John D. Rockefeller IV, chair of the committee. "Even with the issuance of new regulations, the FAA and the industry will have to work hard to make certain they are implemented properly." Inspector General Calvin Scovell's report to the committee says the FAA is on schedule to meet many of the requirements of the 2010 law, such as improving pilot rest requirements and establishing better processes for managing safety risks. However, the FAA has not met the timelines for creating mentoring programs, enhanced leadership training for captains, and higher minimum pilot qualifications. More... || Scott Horton, Attorney & 
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"Birdman" Video Burns Up the Webback to top 

Jarno Smeets, a mechanical engineer from the Netherlands, has posted a video at his blog showing what he says is a successful test flight that took place in a park in the Hague last Sunday with a flapping-wing harness device. In the video, Smeets flaps his arms, which are connected to a mechanism that drives the motion in a pair of large fabric-covered wings. He launches by foot, flies briefly not far above the treetops, soars for a moment, and makes a safe landing in a grassy field. Altogether the flight spans about 300 feet. The launch looks unbelievable to most pilots we've shown it to, yet the effort has been covered widely in the European press over the last few months. Here's the video; let us know what you think. More...

Aerial Tribute || Every Cloud a Monument
Ascension Scattering™: A Dignified Final Tribute for Any Aviator
Using a high-performance sailplane, Ascension Scattering™ releases cremated remains into strong thermals over the Rocky Mountains. The ashes are carried heavenward, making them part of the sky. Your family is invited to personalize the release to create an individualized memorial event. Optional video of the release serves as a lasting memorial. Contact Aerial Tribute to book an eternal flight, either as an advanced arrangement for yourself or as an arrangement for a loved one. Click here for a video overview.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

GE's H80 turboprop engine, which has been in development for several years in the Czech Republic, is now certified by the FAA, the company said last week. The engine was certified by EASA in December. The engine's launch customer is the Thrush 510G agricultural aircraft. According to GE, the engine "combines the elegant, robust design of the M601 engine with GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel-nozzle inspections and no hot-section inspection." The H80 also will power the Aircraft Industries L410 twin-engine commuter aircraft, built in the Czech Republic, which has been flying since 1969, with 1,100 units produced. The new H80 version of the L410 is expected to be certified later this year. More...

Arcapita Bank BSC, the private equity company and former majority shareholder in Cirrus Aircraft, filed for bankruptcy on Monday, saying it couldn't reach a deal with creditors on debt repayment. The company, which describes itself as a "manager of Islamic compliant investments" that manages $7 billion, says it now has only $3.06 billion in assets against $2.55 million in liabilities. "This global recession has hampered the Arcapita Group's ability to obtain liquidity from the capital markets, and has also resulted in a reduction in asset values," the company said in a statement. Just last year Arcapita sold its 58 percent stake in Cirrus to China's CAIGA after several years of turmoil at the Duluth-based company. More...


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E-Mail Kathy Franklin at the Lucas Group to 
Global Avionics Leader Needs Vice President,
Customer & Product Support

Leading avionics company needs a dynamic VP of product support focused on building customer relationships. Will manage teams that perform customer service, inside sales/order management, call center support, repairs, and parts activities. Fifteen years of experience, deep knowledge of GA avionics products and technology, and private pilot license highly desirable. Contact Kathy Franklin at (800) 836‑5439 or by e-mail at
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

As we found in our European tour, 100 octane (leaded or not) is a diminishing presence there in favor of mogas and diesel. Now Lycoming has committed to 91UL. Who's right?

Plus: Last week, we asked about fear of heights and pilots; click through to see the breakdown of answers. More...

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 What have you heard? More...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
in Aviation
Fly More for Less
Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Wrapping up his blog-o-tour of Europe for the AVweb Insider, Paul Bertorelli offers some final thoughts on what he heard about the future of the industry. And yes, there is one. But it's time to stop whining about the fact that GA is no longer a mass market activity, if it ever was. No one is to blame for this; it's just the evolution of demographics, wealth generation and maturing markets. Read more and join the conversation. More...

IFR Refresher
Get to the Next Level!
IFR Refresher is the only magazine written for instrument pilots who care passionately about staying proficient.

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

On AVweb's recent swing through Europe, we visited Pipistrel Aircraft, a Slovenian manufacturer that's staked out the hyper-efficient segment of the LSA world. The company demonstrated its sophisticated Virus SW, which boasts fuel economy of nearly 50 MPG. This video is worth the watch just for the spectacular mountain scenery. More...

This week, Rotax rolled out its new 912iS light aircraft engine at its Gunskirchen, Austria factory. AVweb was there, and here's a full video report on the new engine, which features dual electronic fuel injection, dual ignition, and power options. The engine will be ready for volume shipments as early as May of 2012. More...

Peter Drucker Says,
"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly, click now for details.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Alexander Aero at Belen Alexander Municipal Airport (KE80) in Belen, New Mexico.

AVweb reader Dennis Schwandt visited recently and gave very high marks to the "very helpful people there" and told us he "look[s] forward to visiting them again."

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!


Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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

The AVwebFlash team is:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Scott Simmons

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

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.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your phone or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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