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Volume 8, Number 8
February 24, 2010
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Top News: Skymaster Crash Revives Wing Concernsback to top 
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The outboard six feet of the right wing on a Cessna 337 broke off just before the aircraft crashed and killed five people in New Jersey last week. Just what effect that will have on Cessna's process to initiate an extensive wing inspection program on the aging aircraft isn't clear at this point but it's likely to come up. As AVweb reported in January, Cessna is developing a supplemental inspection document (SID) that focuses on the wing attach points of the Skymaster series. It appears the Feb. 15 failure was outboard of the strut attachment point and involved failure of the "horizontal flange of the forward spar lower cap," according to the NTSB preliminary report. The report says the failure occurred as the aircraft pitched up after a high-speed, low-altitude flyby at Monmouth County Executive Airport. The aircraft had STC'd tip tanks and had taken on 90 gallons of fuel prior to the flight. More...

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Happy Days for Helicopters, Part Iback to top 

The helicopter market never seems to be as volatile as other sectors of GA and Rolls-Royce's annual forecast for turbine helicopters seems to bear that out. The civilian market has been down a bit, but the military market has been rock steady to the resurgence, and civilian orders will give manufacturers a boost in the next 10 years. Helicopters are a necessity and new ways to use them are being exploited all the time so Ken Roberts, president of Rolls-Royce helicopter engines said in a presentation at Heli-Expo 2010 he's expecting strong demand to continue. Rolls-Royce is predicting worldwide demand for civilian helicopters at 10,300 units through 2019 and 6,100 for the military. More...

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Happy Days for Helicopters, Part IIback to top 

Robinson Helicopters has set the price for its new R66 turbine-powered helicopter at $770,000 and founder Frank Robinson told he expects the aircraft's introduction to help the company recover from a tough year. Speaking at Heli-Expo 2010 in Houston, Robinson said the turbine version of his popular design is "a little bit smoother, a little bit quieter and a little bit faster than the [piston] R44." He said certification is imminent and an early production rate of two helicopters a week is planned. Robinson, never one to mince words, placed blame for the industry's troubles directly on the banking industry. "The problem was those damn bankers – rather than provide loans to people like they were supposed to, they used the $700 billion bail-out money to make acquisitions, to buy other companies, and give themselves bonuses," he said. Although they chose less colorful language, other top helicopter executives mentioned the availability of capital as critical to the recovery of the industry and there were some signs that the market is starting to loosen. More...

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Preparing Europe for AEROback to top 

Aero Friedrichshafen, Europe's general aviation show coming up April 8 to 11, will host 450 exhibitors from 25 countries in nine halls, organizers said this week, and the outdoor exhibit space is fully booked. The event showcases all facets of GA flying, from hang gliders to business jets. "With Aero, we're offering the general aviation industry a powerful marketing tool," said project director Thomas Grunewald. "For many of our customers in the industry, [Aero] is a persuasive reason not to take cover and react to these challenging economic times in an anti-cyclical manner." In difficult times, Grunewald said, it's more important than ever for manufacturers to market their products aggressively. The show will also feature expanded space for helicopters and will explore developments in environmentally-friendly technology -- electric, hybrid, diesel, and fuel-cell driven aircraft. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

The Nall Report, an annual analysis of general aviation accident data by AOPA's Air Safety Foundation, found an increase in accidents involving amateur-built aircraft. The statistics from 2008 showed more fatal accidents and fatalities than any year in the past decade, the report says. "The 27 percent lethality rate in these accidents was 10 full percentage points higher than that for accidents in type-certificated airplanes," according to the report. The foundation is working with EAA to address safety issues, said ASF President Bruce Landsberg. "Builders, pilots, and designers should have reasonable freedom to experiment, while members of the public are entitled to their expectation of safety," he said. Also, the FAA has issued a response to the NTSB's annual list of Most Wanted Safety Improvements. The FAA says it has made progress in the main areas of concern cited by the NTSB: fatigue, emergency medical services flights, runway safety, and crew resource management. Regarding the installation of image recorders in cockpits, the FAA says it is working to improve data monitoring systems but has no plans to mandate image devices. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

When we meet the enemy, he is sometimes us, or so it would seem. The day after the tragic crash in Austin, a stolen SR22 surfaces and is corralled in, of all places, Los Angeles International Airport. In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli ponders that and grinds his teeth over the rise of push-button cable talking heads who are ever-willing to stir the public's fears. Click here to join the conversation. More...

Another lone kamikaze pilot with a grudge has crashed an airplane into a building, this time in Austin, Texas. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli is watching the news coverage with interest. Will this be reported as another instance of "domestic terrorism," or have we crossed back into the realm where such crimes are — well, just "crimes"? Click here to read Paul's thoughts and voice your opinion. More...

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

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to What have you heard? More...

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. More...

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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

Win a Garmina aera 510 handheld GPS as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time March 12, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.


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

Wouldn't it be great if the modern primary flight display integrated the attitude indicator with the HSI? You'd have only one point to scan. Advanced Flight Systems' new EFIS does exactly that. Rob Hickman gives us a tour. More...

At the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida, Piper launched its entry in the light sport market, the Czech-built PiperSport. Aviation Consumer editor Paul Bertorelli got a flight demo on the airplane, and here's his video report. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


AVwebBiz is a weekly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

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