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04/21/15 08:19AM

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2011 CESSNA 182T Skylane

04/15/15 03:16PM
2000 CESSNA 182S Skylane

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Midair Breakup Suspected In Cargo Crash

A twin-engine Swearingen Merlin III that crashed last week in the mountains near Vancouver may have broken up in flight, officials have said. The aircraft, which was carrying cargo, was flown by a two-pilot crew. "The radar track showed a very steep descent," Bill Yearwood, an investigator with Canada's Transportation Safety Board, told reporters.

Superior Launches Diesel Engine Line

Superior Air Parts says it will launch a full line of diesel aircraft engines starting with a 100-horsepower unit aimed at the LSA market and scaling up to as much as 600 horsepower. In a news conference at Sun 'n Fun, company representatives said they acquired the rights to a liquid-cooled two-stroke diesel design developed by U.K.-based Powerplant Developments in late 2014.

Cessna Upgrades Caravan Interiors

Cessna unveiled a new interior for its Caravan single-engine turboprops at Sun 'n Fun today. The biggest change is the introduction of new seats that are about five pounds lighter than the previous design, with more room for under-seat stowage, an improved back angle for more comfort, and better sight lines in relation to the cabin windows.

Purdue Plans Aerospace Research Park

Purdue University announced plans on Tuesday to create a 980-acre aerospace research facility in West Lafayette, Indiana. "This district will be a game-changer for our students and Purdue's outreach efforts to partnering corporations," said Dan Hasler, president of Purdue Research Foundation.

Piper's Diesel Archer Receives FAA Validation

Piper Aircraft said Tuesday it can begin North American deliveries of its diesel-powered Archer DX now that it has received FAA validation approval for its European STC through Technify Motors GmbH, a German-based member of Continental Motors Group. The DX model has a Continental CD-155 diesel engine with a FADEC system and will target the flight training market. The model was assembled to "stand up to the rigors associated with flight training," Piper said.

Mooney Expects First M10T Flight By Summer

In a low-key event at Sun 'n Fun's opening day Tuesday, Mooney took the cover off a mock-up of its new M20T proposed training aircraft. Although it was developed in Mooney's new facility in Chino, California, the airplane first saw the light of day last fall in the big Chinese aviation trade show in Zhuhai.

Piper Has Aggressive Cert Plans For M600

Piper says it expects to certify its new M600 single-engine turboprop later this year and is flying three test articles to complete the cert project for start to finish in about 15 months. Piper announced the new airplane at its Vero Beach factory last week and this week, it's showing a mockup of the new aircraft at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, complete with Garmin G3000 avionics.

OpenAirplane Nears 10,000 Members

The idea of a nationwide aircraft rental network has faced significant headwinds in the past, but the latest iteration of it, OpenAirplane, appears to be gaining traction.

Aero Reports Growth In Attendance

With almost 34,000 visitors from 60 countries, officials at Aero Friedrichshafen said attendance showed a "marked increase" over previous years. "International visitors in particular generated strong momentum for the aviation show," according to the news release sent out on Monday. The number of exhibitors, 645 from 38 countries, and the number of new products presented, also set records for the event.

Short Final

While monitoring traffic at KAPA, we overheard a Skyhawk pilot having a difficult day. Having gone around on his first attempt, he ended up safely on the ground on his second -- if a bit long and far from gracefully. ... Tower: "Skyhawk 123, you O.K. there?" ... Skyhawk 123: "Yeah. We took a bounce there. [pause] I hope it didn't look as bad as it felt." ... Tower: "It did." -- Tom McDaniel

Aspen Announces Major ADS-B Price Cuts

Competition in ADS-B is clearly heating up and anyone looking for discounts on mandate-ready equipment will find them at Sun 'n Fun from at least one vendor. Aspen Avionics announced today that it's reducing the price on two of its ADS-B products, the ATX100 and ATX100G.

FAA Wants To Cancel 736 NDB, VOR/DME Approaches

The FAA has published a list of 736 NDB and VOR/DME instrument approaches it wants to shut down starting this year as it moves to satellite-based navigation. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published April 13 the agency says the approaches facing the axe are "redundant or underutilized" based on criteria it established in 2014.

Sun 'n Fun Launches With Education Focus

Aviators headed to Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, this week can expect all the usual … daily airshows, thousands of airplanes to look at, forums and workshops, tents and hangars filled with new technology to buy … but they'll also find an expanded focus on education and careers. The second-annual career fair is sold out, with 16 companies participating, and the retired 727 that has been on the field for a few years will have a grand opening this week, now converted into a classroom and laboratory for students.

Lakeland Mooney Crash: Fire, But No Serious Injuries

The pilot of a new Mooney Acclaim with only a few hours on the airframe escaped serious injury Monday afternoon when the aircraft lost power and crashed during a landing attempt at Lakeland Linder Airport. Mooney COO Tom Bowen told AVweb Monday evening that the aircraft was completed during the past month and had been conveyed to Premier Aircraft, a Fort Lauderdale dealer and aircraft modification business. The pilot, Richard Simile, 56, of Auburn, Ala., a Premier employee, was examined at a local hospital and released with what Bowen described as bumps and bruises.

Tank's Eye View

The Royal Canadian Air Force's Snowbirds air demonstration team has taken remote camera video to a new level with their "Tank Cam." The team, officially 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, has mounted a gimbaled, remote-controlled plexiglass-protected camera to the back of the small external centerline fuel tank on the team lead's aircraft. We'll let you judge the results for yourself.

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