Aviation News August 2016


FAA Publishes New Airman Certification Standards

After several years of work, the FAA has released new Airman Certification Stand-ards for the private pilot and instrument ratings. The ACS replaces both the former knowledge tests and practical test standards. “The ACS provide pilots, instructors, and evaluators with a single-source set of clear, logical standards that tell them what they need to know, consider, and do to qualify and pass both the knowledge and practical tests for airman certification and ratings,” said the FAA. The new standards, along with FAQs and other supporting documents, can be found online here.

Newly Certified — Piper M600, Cub Crafters XCub

Piper Aircraft in June announced that its $2.9 million M600 six-seat single-engine turboprop is now FAA certified, and features an all-new wing, Garmin G3000 touchscreen avionics, and a new interior. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A, the airplane cruises at 274 knots and can fly up to 1484 nm. At the other end of the spectrum, Cub Crafters has unveiled a new airplane called the XCub. Based on the Carbon Cub, the two-seat XCub is equipped with a 180hp Lycoming O-360 engine, a fixed-pitch prop, and a new spring-aluminum landing gear. Cub Crafters says the Part 23-certified XCub cruises at about 126 knots and has a range of nearly 1000 miles. A luxury interior is standard, with memory-foam and leather-covered seats. The XCub sells for $297,500.

Textron Provides Turboprop Update

At the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition, held in May in Geneva, Textron announced new details about its clean-sheet single-engine turboprop design, and said it’s now accepting letters of intent from buyers. The airplane will cruise at 285 knots and fly up to 1,600 nm, Textron said. The cabin, which will be the widest for its segment, will seat up to eight passengers and feature a flat floor and a 53-inch-wide aft cargo door. The single-pilot cockpit will be equipped with Garmin’s G3000 touchscreen avionics suite. The airplane will be powered by a new engine by GE, with a five-blade McCauley prop. Textron said it has developed a cabin prototype that will be on display at this summer’s EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. First flight is targeted for 2018, and the price will be about $4.5 million.

Icon Delays Deliveries Till Next Year

Icon Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins said in May that deliveries of the long-awaited A5 light sport aircraft won’t begin until at least next year, citing delays and difficulties in setting up the production line and supply chain. “We have to slow down so we can go fast,” Hawkins said. He also said the company will revise its purchase agreement, a complex 40-page document that had raised questions among many prospective owners and industry observers. About 20 airplanes will be built this year and used for training. The company, located in Vacaville, California, laid off 60 employees and terminated 90 contractors. About 160 employees will remain.

FAA Offers ADS-B Rebate

The FAA says it will offer $500 rebates to aircraft owners who install ADS-B Out systems, but the program, which starts this fall, is limited to one year and 20,000 owners. The rebate applies only to single-engine piston airplanes. New aircraft and owners who have already equipped are not eligible. “Our message to aircraft owners is relatively simple,” said FAA Associate Administrator Michael Whitaker. “It’s time to equip. The 2020 deadline will not change. Apply as soon as the rebate system is launched to reserve your spot and get a rebate.” More information is posted online at FAA.gov.


The NTSB blamed pilot error for a Phenom crash that killed six…Airlines are expected to start flying to Cuba in September…The annual CAFE symposium explored the future of electric propulsion and autonomous systems for GA…Cessna Pilots Association founder John Frank died…Mooney flew its new Ovation Ultra for the first time…A Blue Angels pilot was killed during practice…A Thunderbirds jet crashed, but the pilot survived…Breaking news in general aviation can be found at AVWeb.


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