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Volume 18, Number 16b
April 19, 2012
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Privacy, Pilots, and Medical Recordsback to top 
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It was wrong for the Social Security Administration to give confidential medical information about a pilot to the FAA, but that pilot can't sue the government for emotional distress, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled recently. In a 5-to-3 decision (PDF) issued on March 28, the justices overturned a ruling by a California court and said the government could be held liable only for financial damages such as losses and expenses. The dissenting justices wrote that the majority view makes it too easy for the government to go ahead and invade individual privacy without consequences. "That is not the result Congress intended when it enacted an Act with the express purpose of safeguarding individual privacy against Government invasion," wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor. More...

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Changing Timesback to top 

It could work out that out way, say Rotax engineers. At a press briefing on the company's new 912 iS at Aero Friedrichshafen on Wednesday, Rotax officials told the assembled press that the new engine is flying in at least six of the dozen or so aircraft it had on display at its Gunskirchen, Austria rollout last month. The 912 iS features dual electronic fuel injection, electronic ignition and future knock sensing and protection. It's equipped with two self-exciting permanent magnet alternators for redundancy and can deliver 100 HP on either avgas or up to E10 mogas. More...

Garmin Wednesday announced it has expanded its electronic chart coverage of European VFR terminal charts and SafeTaxi airport diagrams for specific products. EASA is expected "within weeks" to approve European SafeTaxi for Garmin G500, G600, G500H, G1000, G1000H, G900X, G950, and GMX 200 units. The expanded coverage will include diagrams for almost 500 European airports spread through 15 countries. European VFR terminal charts  with data for over 2,200 airports in 29 countries will be integrated into aera 795/796 portables. The database includes Visual Approach, Landing and Area Charts, plus aerodrome directory, communications and regulatory information. Pricing depends on how pilots choose or are able to upgrade. More...

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The Military Beatback to top 

The Air Force is "the largest energy user in the federal government," last year added $1 billion in costs due to rising oil prices and, now, a range of changes may be coming to help curtail that. The Air Force operates a fleet of approximately 4,700 aircraft. To save fuel, pilots of some of those aircraft are being ordered to fly higher and slower on some missions, Stars and Stripes reported, Monday. Diplomatic efforts have created more direct routes of travel and last year saved $2.4 million, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for energy, Kevin Geiss, said. And the Air Force will update some aircraft with more efficient engines -- with more complicated results. For example, the cost-benefit accounting reported by Stars and Stripes says that swapping engines on KC-135s will incur a bill of $278 million dollars spread over several years and translate to fuel savings of $150 million over the life of the aircraft. In that case, the Air Force is forecasting other benefits. More...

Seventy years ago, on April 18, 1942, the U.S. launched its first-ever air raid against Japan, led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle from the aircraft carrier Hornet. In a top-secret operation, 16 B-25Bs, representing the latest bomber technology, were loaded onto the Hornet in Alameda, Calif., on April 2, and headed across the Pacific. After encountering a Japanese patrol boat, the airplanes launched earlier than planned -- 650 nm from the Japanese mainland. None of the airplanes made it back, but of the 80 crewmen, all but four eventually returned home. This week, the five surviving Doolittle Raiders were honored at the Gathering of B-25s at Grimes Field in Urbana, Ohio. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, is hosting commemorative events through Friday. More...

The Eclipse Jet Experience
Fly the Eclipse Twin-Engine Jet at the Eclipse Jet Experience
Eclipse Aerospace is coming to a city near you and will have the Eclipse twin-engine jet with them. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to see and fly the most technologically advanced light jet aircraft in general aviation. After one hour of ground school on the Eclipse Jet avionics system, you will take to the skies with an Eclipse pilot, sitting in the co-pilot seat as a qualified Eclipse pilot shows you the avionics system in practice. You will fly the Eclipse Jet and acquire a foundational understanding of the aircraft. Click here to learn more!
Feast Your Eyesback to top 

The Space Shuttle Enterprise is scheduled to on April 23 fly low over New York City mounted atop a modified Boeing 747, but you could get an even closer look, right now, thanks to high-definition internet technology. The Enterprise flight is expected to take place between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., weather and other concerns permitting. And the full journey is set to bring the vehicle up the Hudson River twice -- once at low altitude, and a second time, literally on the deck. The flight will pass the Statue of Liberty and then Enterprise's new home, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The second trip, from JFK to the Intrepid, may be just as spectacular. If you can't be there to witness either, some new Shuttle-based "extreme detail" eye-candy, courtesy of National Geographic, will be better. (Click through for links.) More...

click for photos
AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a few moments to wander the helicopter hall at Aero 2012 in Friedrichshafen, Germany and snap a few photos. More... || Be READY for Your FAA 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

One of the major product announcements at Aero 2012 in Friedrichshafen is a fast. efficient four-place design from Slovenia. Pipistrel unveiled its Panthera and aims to take a slice of the high-speed cruiser market from Cirrus with an aircraft it says will cruise at 200 knots on 10 gallons an hour of unleaded gas for 1,000 nm with all the seats filled. The fully-equipped aircraft will sell for less than $500,000, well below the list price for a decked out SR22. "Panthera will shake the World of General Aviation, setting the benchmark for efficiency, cabin comfort and safety for others to follow," said Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol. This is Pipistrel's first foray into the Part 91 world with a fully certified aircraft and there were some unique challenges in that process. More...

Cirrus Aircraft has secured most of the financing it needs to move forward with development of its single-engine personal jet, with production expected to start in Duluth, Minn., in 2015, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported on Tuesday. Cirrus CEO Dale Klapmeier declined to tell the Star-Tribune just how much cash had been secured from new owners CAIGA (China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co.), but said it will cover most of the projected development cost, which has previously been estimated at $150 million. "It has been a struggle to keep this program moving forward," Klapmeier told the Star-Tribune. "It has been a struggle just to survive." Cirrus had said last week that it would reveal a major announcement at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany on Wednesday. More...

Even before the Aero opened on Wednesday, Diamond's new DA52 twin was drawing a lot of attention. During a pre-show press tour, Diamond's chief test pilot Ingmar Mayerbuch said on the flight into Friedrichshafen from Diamond's Wiener Nuestadt, Austria factory, the airplane burned only 60 liters of Jet A to fly about 260 miles. (For the metrically challenged, that's about 16.6 MPG and notable economy for any airplane, much less a twin.) The DA52 is powered by two 180-horsepower variants of the Austro AE300 diesel engines that Diamond's sister company, Austro AG, developed specifically for the airplane. More...


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The Once and Future Jetback to top 

The Vision SF50 personal jet program is now fully funded through certification and initial production, Cirrus announced on Wednesday at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany. CAIGA, which acquired Cirrus last year, will cover all the costs. First customer delivery is expected in 2015, according to Cirrus. CEO Dale Klapmeier said the announcement is a "milestone" for the company. "Our new owners … are actively partnering with Cirrus while providing substantial resources for us to meet and exceed our shared goals as we build an entire family of Cirrus aircraft," he said. The jet is priced at $1.72 million until July 1, when the price goes up to $1.96 million. More...

Although the news sneaked out a little early, Cirrus used Aero 2012 to announce that CAIGA, the company's new owners, have committed to getting the Vision jet to market. Cirrus VP Todd Simmons spoke with AVweb's Paul Bertorelli at the show in Germany. More...

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

Cirrus announced full funding for its Vision Jet program Wednesday, and the question remains the same: Is there a market for a personal jet?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers if the Reno Air Races could be made safer; click through for a breakdown of responses. 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...

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

At Aero 2012, Diamond's Ingmar Meyerbuch gave us a cockpit and cabin tour of the company's new DA52 large cabin twin. More...

The General Aviation Manufacturing Association is working with regulators all over the world to lower one of the biggest barriers to bringing new aircraft to market. GAMA's Greg Bowles told AVweb's Paul Bertorelli the goal is to cut certification costs in half for many general aviation aircraft. More...

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

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon is a joint award to the civic-minded folks at Gama Aviation and Blue Sky Flight School on the campus of Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport (KBDR) in Stratford, Connecticut. AVweb reader Bud Turner recently enlisted Gama and Blue Sky on behalf of some future pilots:

I'm an Aviation Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts of America. When e-mails went out from the local EAA Young Eagles chapter looking for volunteers, Tom Miller, himself an Eagle Scout, immediately offered up Gama's hangar and provided pizza for the boys for lunch. In addition, Mike Becker from Blue Sky Flight School donated a Grumman Tiger for three hours, and one of his CFIs signed up to take the boys up for a flight up and down the Connecticut coast line. Bravo Zulu to both for the outstanding support of the BSA and Young Eagle programs!

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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