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Aspen Avionics announced this week that it has acquired Accord Technology, a U.S.-based company that supplies certified GPS receivers for the aviation market, mostly for use in mandate-compliant ADS-B equipment. Accord has been an assembly and distribution arm for Accord India, which develops and manufactures GPS receivers for a broad range of markets.

Aspen’s John Uczekaj said the acquisition, which was completed on June 19, will give the company a position in the growing ADS-B market and will provide it technical leverage to develop new products using Accord India’s technology. But Uczekaj told AVweb on Tuesday that it’s too soon to say what those products might be. For the time being, the acquisition gives Aspen some product, revenue and staff growth.

The terms of the purchase weren’t revealed, but NEXA Capital Partners, the company providing funding for ADS-B upgrades, supplied merger and acquisition financial advisory services to Aspen to get the deal closed. Accord Technology will remain at its Phoenix, Arizona, location and Hal Adams, who founded Accord Technology and AvValues, a holding company, will stay on as vice president of business development.

Primary manufacturing of GPS chips and boards is done in India while the Phoenix operation serves as an assembly, marketing and service arm. It will now operate as an Aspen company. The WAAS GPS equipment is certified under TSO C-145c. Accord was founded in 2008, while the Accord Software and Systems was founded in 1991 by five technologists in Bangalore, India.

The Next Evolution of iPad/Tablet Mounts - by MyGoFlight

The FAA last week published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would increase to 20 hours the simulator time allowed for the instrument rating, following an earlier attempt using a straight-to-final rule process that was derailed when two commenters objected to the change. The new proposal states that the FAA aims to "relieve burdens on pilots seeking to obtain aeronautical experience, training, and certification by increasing the allowed use of aviation training devices." Comments will be accepted on the new proposal until July 16. Using this rulemaking procedure, the FAA will consider all the comments, both positive and negative, and then can publish its final rule.

Under current rules, pilots can log only 10 simulator hours toward their instrument rating. However, the FAA had issued exemptions to some operators allowing them to log up to 20 hours. The proposal says the new rule would take into account that the technological capabilities of simulators has improved over time, and also reflects the FAA's belief that "permitting pilots to log increased time in ATDs [aviation training devices] would encourage pilots to practice maneuvers until they are performed to an acceptable level of proficiency."

The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators supports the change. "We’re urging pilots to comment favorably on this NPRM," said executive director John Dorcey. "The idea of additional simulator time is widely supported in the flight instruction community."

Two RX1E light sport aircraft, the first electric-powered airplanes to be manufactured in China, were handed off to a customer in a ceremony in Shenyang, China, last week. "The RX1E indicates a milestone in our general aviation," said Yang Feng, president of Shenyang Aerospace University, where the design was developed. "We will dedicate ourselves to further scientific research and development in the future," he added. The company had announced late last year that it would start production of the design. The two airplanes were delivered to Liaoning Ruixiang General Aviation Co., which will use them for flight training.

In April, Guiwen Kang, of the Liaoning General Aviation Academy, told AVweb the company had 28 orders for the airplane, which has a flight duration of about an hour. Cruising speed is about 86 knots, and it sells for about $163,000. Kang also said the company planned to ship one of the aircraft to Oshkosh to fly at EAA AirVenture next month. It's not the first electric-powered airplane in production -- Pipistrel has been producing the Taurus Electro G2 since 2012, and the Lange Flugszeugbau Antares 20E has been in production since 2004.

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The Hoverbike design created by Malloy Aeronautics, a small U.K.-based company, will be developed with backing from the U.S. Department of Defense, Malloy announced last week at the Paris Air Show. Malloy has teamed up with Survice Engineering, a defense firm based in Maryland, to work toward developing a design that can be used as a new class of tactical reconnaissance vehicle. Malloy flew a scale model last year, and has recently test-flown a second-generation model, in an unmanned static hover. The newer model is large enough to carry a 100 kg weight, the company says. The company website and the video also feature images of a third version of the craft, which is more robust-looking than the one in the test flight. In the photos, it is shown with a person on board, flying just a couple feet above the ground, while tethered.

The company has been manufacturing copies of its small, toy-size drone and selling them via a Kickstarter campaign. Their ultimate goal is to create "the world's first flying motorcycle," which will be safe, useful and easy to maintain. It will be able to do much of the work now done by helicopters, the company says, at lower cost.

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The pilot of a Cessna 185 on floats escaped injury after his aircraft collided with a Cessna 172 near the northern Alberta city of Fort McMurray on Sunday but his flight home will be one to remember. Both occupants of the 172, a training airplane from a Fort McMurray flight school, died in the resulting crash and their bodies were found in a remote area about 30 miles from the airport. The tragedy has piqued interest worldwide because of a chance video (strong language) shot by a helicopter mechanic at the airport. 

The video shows one of the floats flapping in the slipstream as the pilot heads for the grass at the airport. On landing, the aircraft goes up on its nose but it appears it hasn't even finished rocking back before the pilot is out and running in the direction of a waiting fire truck. Details of the collision are still under investigation and Canada's Transportation Safety Board will conduct a full probe.

Pilot Romain Jantot said it was "a standard flight … until …" a confused black-and-white cat crawled out of the wing of his ultralight, to peek into the cockpit. The cat is the mascot at his airport, Jantot said, and apparently had been doing some exploring. "I still don't know if it got in after the preflight check, or if I missed it," Jantot wrote at his YouTube site. The video has gone viral, with more than 7 million views and 4,000 comments since it was posted on Sunday.

After spotting the cat, Jantot quickly turned back and landed, and the cat was fine. Jantot and his passenger had launched for a flight in Kourou, French Guiana.

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Aircraft Spruce will hold its annual Canadian Customer Appreciation at its Brantford, Ontario, location this coming Saturday, June 27, at 150 Aviation Ave. at the Brantford Municipal Airport from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be displays and personnel on site from major Spruce suppliers like Champion Aerospace, Concorde, Dynon, Full Lotus, Gill, ICOM, LightSpeed, Navstrobe and Zenair. The customer appreciation event coincides with a major car and vintage aircraft display held annually at the airport so there is plenty for non-pilot members of the family to do.

There will be numerous promotions and prize giveaways and the winner of the aircraft show and shine contest will win a $100 Aircraft Spruce gift card. The pilot who flies the farthest to attend the event will win a $100 gift card, a 50th anniversary bag, a vintage sign, clock, tow decals, a hat and flashlight. More details can be found at AircraftSpruce.com.

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During my long and colorless career as a flight instructor, I’ve been asked a few times to pencil whip a flight review. This I have never done and still would not do, although I am surprised to admit my reasons for not doing so have changed.

I never believed that FAR 61.56’s requirement for a flight review every 24 months was particularly effective or even necessary in the absolute sense, if not the regulatory sense. A review every two years is laughably minimal training. Can it really have an effect? But I always felt that a flight instructor is charged with considerable responsibility to act as a thought leader and blatantly blowing off regulations—no matter how silly they may be—just sets the wrong tone. As a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a cowboy and could actually ride pretty well, but the kind of cowboys that sit in cockpits isn’t something I aspired to.

Inevitably, when you reach a certain age, you stop caring so much about what others may think of you in favor of a noticeable shift towards corporeal preservation. Over a life of doing risky things—I qualify for that—there arises, I think, a gnawing question: Am I good or have I just been lucky? Maybe it’s a little of both, but the longer you stay in a game in which the consequences of the slightest oversight can be fatal, the more the likelihood that complacency will creep in causing that which you fear the most.

That’s where the flight review comes in. I was asked to do one last week and for the briefest moment I thought, oh hell, I’m busy and he’s busy, we’ll just do a few circuits and stick a fork in it. I decided against that because I’ve always done flight reviews as the regulation requires: at least an hour on the ground and an hour in the air, if not more. From a flight instructor’s perspective, not doing it that way is an example of the very complacency I just mentioned. Complacency is a corrosive process; get away with a little of it and you’ll try a little bit more, then a little bit more until you don’t-care your way into a smoking crater.

In the aggregate, it doesn’t much matter if a pilot knows the fine points of 91.215 or actually does log the three required landings for night currency. It’s the attitude that goes with not caring about such things globally that can be the killer. If I blow off knowledge of regulations and procedures, how long before my discipline caves in entirely and I get sloppy with preflights, weather briefings, maintenance, fueling and any of a dozen other things that can actually kill me?

So, perhaps perversely, I adhere to the pile of regulations we all like to complain about in the (probably) blind hope that I actually am good and not just lucky.  

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After several years of market silence, Scottsdale, Arizona-based TKM Avionics is under new ownership and says it's working hard to improve the factory support of existing TKM slide-in radios while also planning an improved product line.  Aviation Consumer editor Larry Anglisano talked with TKM's Joe Gavin at Sun 'n Fun 2015 in Lakeland, Florida, for an update on the company.

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The Carbon Cub is CubCrafters' most popular seller, by far.  Slap a pair of Aerocet floats on it and head for the nearest lake, and it's easy to understand why.  AVweb's Paul Bertorelli did just that and prepared this video report.

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Although Continental gets all the press for its diesel program, Lycoming also has a diesel engine, which is it now beginning to produce in small volume.  The engine will eventually be certified.  In this video, Lycoming's Michael Kraft gave AVweb a briefing on the DEL120.

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Picture of the Week
Picture of the Week

Victoria and Povl Toft of Ringkøbing, Denmark take flight in our latest "Picture of the Week." Click through for more photos from AVweb readers around the world.

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