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By Editor Staff

Less than a year after China forced Embraer to halt production at its new plant in China, assembly lines could get restarted pumping out the Brazilian company’s top-of-the-line business jets. The plant, meant to build Embraer’s E-190 regional airliner, got shuttered by authorities worried that the plane would be too strong of a competitor against a regional jet design that a Chinese government-backed company is making. Being able to make the $30 million Legacy 650 in China could give Embraer an edge as more business jets start flying there. While there were only 150 business jets in China in 2010, Embraer thinks there will be more than 2,500 by the year 2030. To start, Embraer’s plant will produce about 20 new Legacy jets per year. There’s no word on whether Embraer would also make its other business jets, like the smaller Phenom series, at the Chinese plant.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-25/china-plant-gives-embraer-asia-jet-sales-boost-corporate-brazil.html

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By Chad Austin

Just as cell phones can cause interference with flight instruments, many other electronic devices can cause problems.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

There are dozens of documented reports that suggest electronic interference from cell phones caused a disruption to key flight instruments, but not everyone is convinced.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

This time next year, Edmonton’s City Centre Airport could be closed for good to make way for new homes and a shopping mall if city leaders get their way. The city set aside $80 million Canadian Dollars (about $81.5 U.S. Dollars) to buy out the 200 people and businesses with an interest at the airport. That includes FBOs, flight schools, repair shops and other businesses based at the general aviation airport just north of downtown Edmonton. The city’s international airport about 10 miles south of the city took over all remaining airline traffic in 1995 from City Centre airport, setting up the smaller airport’s closure. But the Edmonton Flying Club could block the city’s plans with an $18 million lawsuit, claiming that it has a lease to use the airport through 2028. The flying club got the nod from a court last week to seek an injunction against the city, which would put airport shutdown plans on hold, at least temporarily.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/Expropriation+City+Centre+Airport+cost+million/7269210/story.html

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By Editor Staff

New Eclipse 550 very light jets that go into production next year will have an option for an infrared camera that will provide pilots with a better view of the ground and obstacles through fog. The Lexavia system uses a camera with a shell that protrudes less than two inches upward between the nosecone and windscreen. Video will display on the cockpit’s multifunction display. The new feature is one of several the company has announced recently as it reveals more details about the new version of the jet. Other features include an improved integrated flight deck, autothrolles and synthetic vision.

http://www.eclipse.aero/news_indiv.php?id=42&n=3

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By Editor Staff

It has been about 4 years since the last Eclipse 500 very light jet rolled off the assembly line in Albuquerque, N.M. Following a bankruptcy and asset sale, newly formed Eclipse Aerospace first focused on maintaining and upgrading the existing fleet of jets. Eclipse Aerospace announced this week that it would start making a more advanced Eclipse 550 jet later this year, albeit at a much slower pace than last time. The first jet will take about 12 months to manufacture as the company restarts and retools its assembly line. After that, Eclipse expects to make between 50 and 100 planes per year, depending on how much demand there is for the new model. The Eclipse 550 will feature autothrottles, synthetic vision, redundant flight management systems and ADS-B capability. The new Eclipse 550 is priced at $2.7 million, about $550,000 more than the price of an upgraded Eclipse 500 that the company has been selling.

http://www.eclipse.aero/news_indiv.php?id=33&n=3

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By Robert West

E-mail and teleconferencing are integral in today's marketplace.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

There's a lot to consider before beginning your single-pilot approach.  Continue»

By Robert West

It was 1988 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Phil Greth and his '56 G-35 Bonanza had flown in and out of the city countless times.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

The popular narrowbody A320 airliner could start rolling off a Mobile, Ala. assembly line by 2015, bringing with it 1,000 new jobs for the state. EADS, which is Airbus’ parent company, confirmed its plans for the new plant on Monday. Airbus is betting the plant will help it compete more effectively with the Boeing 737 on American turf as it expands production to keep up with its order backlog. Once the new factory ramps up to full production, Airbus expects to make up to 50 A320s per year at the plant; currently it makes about 400 of those planes each year at its plants in Europe and China. Airbus plans to ship many of the plane’s components to Mobile for assembly at the plant. Airbus had previously planned to build a military air refueling tanker in Alabama, but after several rounds of bidding, it lost the contract to Boeing.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-07-01/officials-ala-dot-airbus-plant-will-employ-1-000

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By Doug Marshall

'Honest, ociffer, all I had was boo tears - or maybe she was a gas of wine.....'  Continue»

By Editor Staff

The handful of unmanned aerial vehicle crashes at civilian airports around the world is raising questions about how safely the aircraft can mix with other airplanes, according to a Washington Post investigation. The paper reviewed government documents relating to seven crashes of Predator and Reaper drones, all since January 2011. While no one was hurt or killed in the crashes, several occurred with live missiles aboard the aircraft and could have caused much more damage than they did. The Air Force says the rate of accidents for UAVs, which are used widely in Afghanistan and parts of Africa, is about the same as the F-16 fighter’s accident rate was at the same time in its development. Several of the UAV crashes were due to either pilot error or computer problems that caused the aircraft to lose control, according to the Air Force’s investigations. The agency blamed contractors who were operating some of the drones in Africa for being inattentive or following incorrect procedures, which led to some of the crashes.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/drone-crashes-mount-at-civilian-airports-overseas/2012/11/30/e75a13e4-3a39-11e2-83f9-fb7ac9b29fad_story.html

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By John Dale

After I received this package I was quite nervous about doing a review. I put it off with one excuse and another until after rebuilding a burnt out computer and after getting a polite reminder from Flight1 Software, I finally got at the review.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

According to a recent study, the elapsed time between the first indications of a hidden fire and the point at which an airliner becomes catastrophically uncontrollable has ranged between seven and 35 minutes. The average time is about 20 minutes. Twenty minutes is a long time, but the bad news is that those occurrences involved airliners. Things happen a good bit faster inside smaller aircraft.  Continue»

By Reader Submission

By almost anyone’s definition, the Douglas DC-3 is one of the ten most successful airplanes in aviation’s short history.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Anyone who has ever watched an airliner land and noticed the puff of blue smoke that appears the moment the wheels suddenly spin up from zero to somewhere upwards of 140 miles an hour (to use ground-pounder units) must wonder at the abuse those poor tires must take (as well as wondering why they don’t spin them up to somewhere around that speed, first). Heck, the tires on even our own little bug-smashers take quite a pounding, and I don’t mean from bounced landings, either.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

The title gives this one away, but it is still worth explaining how it happened, so you can avoid having a similar problem in your life.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

It happens every once and a while: You are flying, you hit the button to report something and your transmission doesn't end when you want it to...  Continue»

By Chad Austin

This story is more for owners than renters, but everyone can learn from this...  Continue»

By Chad Austin

For all the problems that could result from a drive belt failure in flight, stopping them before they can actually happen is fairly simple -- if you know how.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Just as having belts that are too tight can cause damage to your engine or the driven components, belts that are too loose can also cause problems.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

In a good number of aircraft in the fleet today, belts drive accessories -- these accessories do various things like keep the radios on...  Continue»

By Chad Austin

The fuel caps on your airplane keep contaminants out of your fuel tank -- provided they're new.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Pilots are trained to think, talk, and trust numbers -- specifically, performance numbers. But somewhat like the good intentions that pave the road to the Underworld, this primrose path has a few land mines, too. For one thing, POH data give the impression of being precise, and indeed, they are.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

Every general aviation pilot is used to the drill to rent a small plane from a new FBO or flight school: the ground school review, a few loops around the pattern and maybe a trip to the practice area. Now imagine doing that just once for an aircraft model, and being able to rent the first time you walk into a new FBO. That’s what the group behind OpenAirplane imagine, a fledgling network that would keep track of each pilot’s experience and recent flying time, making it easy for FBOs to check if a new renter is qualified to fly their fleet. Renters would benefit from having to do a standardized checkout just once, while insurance companies and FBOs would know renters had more than just one trip around the pattern. OpenAirplane hopes to launch later this year and would make its money by taking a cut of rental revenues from participating FBOs.

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2012-07-05/openairplane-solves-rental-checkout-dilemma

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By Paul A. Craig

Although not yet reflected by a huge wave of incident reports. Regardless, technological distractions are a growing problem and one of the Big 5 accident/incident producers. Recently designed aircraft (like the Cirrus SRV, Diamond's Katana line, their DA-40 and Lancair's 300 and 400) greatly expand the performance envelope made familiar to pilots by Cessna 172s and Piper Archers. They also often offer avionics that are exponentially more capable than those with which many pilots are familiar. It may be ironic, but along with the simplicity of flight and improved situational awareness these packages offer, there is a greater need for care when using and learning to use these systems.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Among aviation's many trite aphorisms, there is one that I consider forever immunized against the discrediting stigma of banality, and it is the one that, paraphrased, advises the following: 'It is always better to be on the ground, wishing that you were in the air, than it is to be up there and wishing you could be on the ground.' However, in the case of magnetos, as I learned one IMC day almost a dozen years ago, it is possible to be benched before you ever get the chance to engage in such battles of conscience. And it is also just as possible, and quite simple really, to get back in the game. It is a lesson that I learned too late that day, but none too late to share.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

A second installment of Jeff Pardo’s Trivia Testers: When we’re talking “degrees” it’s not always about the weather...  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

A first installment of Jeff Pardo’s trivia testers. Remember: What your friends don’t know only makes you look smarter.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

After a hundred hours, I thought I knew my airplane...  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Cirrus Design may have fired the first shot in the personal aviation revolution -- integrating airline-style, CRT flat-screen avionics into light airplanes with the phenomenal SR22 composite single.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

In our last story about Dick, we found him 'fast-taxiing' (read: flying) down the runway, to his taxiway.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Have you ever flown with a pilot that set your teeth on edge?  Continue»

By Chad Austin

If you're a fan of these stories, yes, Dick did it again...  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Our friend Dick has a friend named Dave. Dave flies a high performance biplane called a Christen Eagle...  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Once set into the design, unless changed through the addition of extra fuel tanks, the “fuel hand” you've been dealt is the one you will live with -- unless you're Dick.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

This isn't a story about Dick, but it seems to be about some of his cousins.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

I love writing about my friend Dick, since his thousands of hours of flying have been so fraught with things that would (and do) give me gray hairs just thinking about them. Still, it is our hope that by bringing these lessons of life to everyone's attention, we will all learn and so avoid our own incursions into Dick's world.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Okay, okay, I admit this story isn’t about my friend Dick, who has amazed us with some impressive acts of pilot... well, stupidity... still, when I heard what this fellow did to his plane, I nearly fell out of my chair.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Most pilots agree that crosswind landings are the most common challenging landings they have to make. This should come as no surprise to pilots, since landing straight into the wind is as easy as pie.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Much has been written about Diamond Aircraft’s spectacular DA40-180 Diamondstar. Almost all the recent press has surrounded the Diamondstar as launch customer for GARMIN’s G1000 Primary Flight Display (PFD)/Multi-Function Display (MFD) integrated suite of flight instrument, navigation, communication and engine management equipment.But very little has been written about the DA40’s suitability for a mission in which it is rapidly finding a niche…ab inito primary and instrument training for students on the professional-pilot career path—an airline pilot trainer.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Much has been written about Diamond Aircraft’s spectacular DA40-180 Diamondstar.Almost all the recent press has surrounded the Diamondstar as launch customer for GARMIN’s G1000 Primary Flight Display (PFD)/Multi-Function Display (MFD) integrated suite of flight instrument, navigation, communication and engine management equipment.But very little has been written about the DA40’s suitability for a mission in which it is rapidly finding a niche…ab inito primary and instrument training for students on the professional-pilot career path—an airline pilot trainer.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

When we fly, talking mostly with Air Traffic Control (ATC), we're on a kind of party line -- everybody's on the same frequency, talking and listening -- but when we're talking to a Flight Service Station, well, it's a bit different.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

An instructor friend of mine wrote: You mentioned in a recent presentation that the only things that are of a legal nature in the Pilots Operating Handbook (POH) are those things listed in the Limitations section. Otherwise the pilot can basically do as they please (or words to that effect). I think I get the general idea of what you meant. One of my students, however, interpreted this to mean it is quite acceptable to:  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

'Cessna 172 Yankee Alpha, turn left heading 060 degrees, descend and maintain 2000 feet; expect to break out near Fisk on the Oshkosh visual arrival, cancel IFR once in visual conditions.'  Continue»

By Editor Staff

A new system that takes advantage of the ground surveillance radar at Denver International Airport should make ramp operations smoother for pilots and passengers. Most of the airport’s gates are controlled by ramp towers, which are separate from the FAA’s control tower. The ramp towers are responsible for pushing back aircraft and clearing them into their gates, something that has to be closely choreographed. But during times of low visibility, the ramp towers had few tools to help them see where planes were located. The new system provides a real-time display of each plane’s position on the ramp and where it’s headed, helping ramp controllers plan ahead and work more efficiently during peak times of day and in poor weather. If the system can save each plane five seconds during its taxi, that would add up to $2.2 million in fuel savings over the course of a year, officials said. The system is already in use at six other airports in the U.S., including Newark, JFK and Atlanta.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_21657466/denver-international-airport-implements-new-surface-management-system

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By Editor Staff

As fuel prices have risen in recent years, many airlines have shed their fleets of aging gas-guzzling planes. But Delta is taking the opposite strategy, buying up many old MD-90s and Boeing 717s for low prices. The company is refurbishing the planes’ interiors and figures that even with higher maintenance and fuel costs, the aircraft will still cost about 10 percent less to operate than new Boeing 737s would. Delta purchased 49 MD-90s that average 20 years old, and it is scooping up 88 of AirTran’s Boeing 717s, which are about 11 years old. Southwest Airlines, which bought AirTran, was so eager to unload the aircraft that it covered $137 million of the cost of updating the planes’ interiors and paint. While Delta will initially lease the AirTran 717s, the company has made a point of owning many of its aircraft outright and reducing its debt burden since it merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008. Owning planes means that Delta can keep them parked when demand declines and not worry about losing money to lease payments.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203406404578072960852910072.html

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By Paul A. Craig

I have performed simulator studies with large groups of pilots and found that among them there are sub-categories ... different "types" of pilot. The name of this category should speak for itself. The pilots of this group are characterized by being oblivious to the safety concerns that are all around them. They are simply driving the machine with no comprehension of their surroundings. They have little or no situation awareness. Points of decision in a scenario can arrive and they are unaware of their existence. It is not that these pilots make poor decisions, the problem is they do not even know that a decision is called for. They make no correlation between actions that are going on around them and the consequences of those actions. They get into real trouble and never even know they are in danger.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

There are many planes flying around these days and as, a general rule, the later the model, the better looking it is inside. It's simple, designs have been refined over the years, and newer planes are nicer and more comfortable than aircraft have been in the past. Nicer usually translates to more padding, better insulation, and special covers that hide structural members from the eye, covering them instead with a pleasant, smooth and painted surface.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

If you fly to an uncontrolled airport that has a single runway and that runway has a direct crosswind, which direction should you land?  Continue»

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