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PULLED FOR SPITFIRE DIG
The English farmer who claims there
are more than 100 Spitfires buried in Burma vows to continue his search
for the aircraft even though his financial backer has pulled out. David
Cundall says the reason the six-week effort to find some of the Second
World War aircraft has failed is that the government won't allow him to
dig in the right place. He said it now seems the aircraft, which
eyewitnesses have told him were packed in grease paper and enclosed in
crates, may be near or even under a runway at Rangoon's international
airport. The airport used to be RAF base Mingaladon. "The authorities
will not give us permission to dig because of the risk of undermining
the active runway," he said in an email to AVweb. He declined to
be interviewed. Cundall says he has heard from eyewitnesses who said
they saw large crates being buried at other locations and Cundall wants
to dig there. "Getting permission will take months," he said.
AIR SHOW CUT FOR BUDGET CONCERNS
The Air Power Over Hampton
Roads airshow and open house held at Langley Air Force Base, Va., has
been cancelled due to "threat of operating under a continuing resolution
and a potential sequestration," the Air Force announced Friday. The
event was scheduled for May 3-5 and may be among numerous other military
airshows cancelled. No future dates have been set for the Langley event.
Sequestration in lieu of other U.S. government action on budgetary
issues could remove substantial funding from the military and may halt
future performances by military demonstration teams like the Blue Angels
and Air Force Thunderbirds. More...
What He Didn't Know About His
Insurance Cost His Family $500,000
Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot
Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance
planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC
APPEAL TO PRESIDENT, FAA
Thirteen companies, claiming to be
"part of the solution" to flight services, modernization and pilot
training have signed a letter to President Obama, the FAA and Congress,
arguing that the FAA's "cost recovery" pursuits threaten
entrepreneurship. At issue is the FAA's stated intent to impose a per
person user fee on digital products created by private companies and
produced from content originated at the FAA. The FAA claims the new
digital products have driven consumers away from its own products
resulting in a $5.3 million shortfall it now seeks to recover. Among the
letter's signatories are the founders of ForeFlight, FlightAware, WingX,
and SkyVector as well as the chairman of RedBird Flight Simulations and
the CEO of Avidyne. More...
SUPERSONIC LAMINAR FLOW TESTING
Aerodynamic testing organized
by Aerion Corporation in conjunction with NASA began Jan. 31, and may
contribute to the design for the "world's first supersonic business
jet," Aerion announced Thursday. Aerion is working with NASA's Dryden
Flight Research Center on the project. It seeks "to measure the
real-world robustness of supersonic natural laminar flow," which the
company sees as "vital" to its design. Aerion has enlisted a NASA F-15B
to carry its phase two test article at speeds up to Mach 2.0. The tests
are expected to continue well into March. More...
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LANDING VIDEO CAPTURES ATTENTION
videographer who kept the camera rolling as he and four others,
including his seven-month-old baby, made a rough off-airport landing in
Utah Feb. 2 has defended the pilot's choice of a field covered in two
feet of snow instead of a straight stretch of interstate highway. The
video, which records what inevitably happens when the long main gear
legs of a Cessna 175 dig into that much snow, has attracted more than
500,000 YouTube views and been featured on dozens of news channels.
Happily, the videographer, Jonathan Fielding, his wife, child,
mother-in-law and the pilot, a family friend, suffered only minor
scrapes and a bit of whiplash in the incident. In a lengthy post with
the video, Fielding said the Interstate, which can be clearly seen at
various points in the video, was too busy and had too many power lines
across it to risk a landing after suspected carburetor icing caused the
engine to lose power. "Had he tried I'm confident that a collision
would've occurred and this story could easily have ended in a fatality,"
Fielding wrote. "The pilot made the best landing given the
circumstances." The nose gear sheared off and the plane flipped, coming
to rest less than 100 feet from the point of impact. The occupants were
picked up by a family that was snowmobiling nearby. While Fielding and
his family have been most gracious in their reaction to the incident,
the pilot's insurance company is less so, according to Fielding.
REJECTS LITHIUM ION BATTERIES
Airbus says it has abandoned
lithium ion batteries for its new A350 airliner and it's because of all
the problems rival Boeing is experiencing with its 787. "Airbus
considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of
program execution and A350 XWB reliability," spokeswoman Mary Anne
Greczyn said. The flight test program will continue with lithium ion
batteries but production models will all have the heavier, less
energy-dense nickel cadmium batteries. More...
The Biggest Aviation
Show on the Planet ... Is Back!
The award-winning hit TV series The Aviators
is back for
an all-new third season showcasing everything from the F-22 and DC-3 to
LSA and balloons. We take you dogfighting in the Nevada desert, flying
with the USAF Thunderbirds, and look on as Mötley Crue frontman
Vince Neil learns to fly. Join our 10 million weekly US viewers and
countless more worldwide.
Watch The Aviators on PBS, iTunes,
Amazon, and Hulu.
LARGEST AIRLINE, AMERICAN
When American Airlines and US
Airways approved a merger deal it created the possibility of an airline
with more than 1,500 aircraft in its fleet and 600 more on order,
governed by a board that includes representatives from both airlines and
American's creditors. The new carrier would serve 336 destinations in 56
countries through 6,700 flights. It would operate as the world's largest
airline. The new entity would be valued at roughly $11 billion,
according to Reuters, and would reportedly support 113,000 workers. It
would leave the U.S. with a total of three full-service international
airlines, according to Air Transport World. More...
INSIDER BLOG: AIRLINE MERGERS -- WHY BOTHER?
If they had a
history of offering customers more choices and more competition and even
helping the airline companies themselves, we would say, "Why not?" But
the coming merger between American Airlines and US Airways promises
little of that, according to Purdue University's Airline Quality Rating
project. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli looks at some
of AQR's numbers and agrees with the organization's view that this
merger will be a fiasco, at best. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
Sennheiser S1 Digital
It is time to look beyond the ordinary and treat yourself to the most
technologically advanced headset in the market. Offering revolutionary
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such as headband contact pressure adjustment, the S1 Digital
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different, and join Sennheiser in the pursuit of perfect sound!
BUILDER NEW EDITOR AT 'KITPLANES'
The new Editor-in-Chief of
AVweb's sister publication, Kitplanes magazine, says he
intends to build on the magazine's long history of home-built know-how
and adapt it to an evolving market. Paul Dye began tinkering with
airplanes when he was 13 and has finished two RV projects, one of which
he built with his wife, Louise. He also tracked
down and restored the aircraft that Van's founder Dick VanGrunsven
used as the proof of concept for the first RV kits. It's now in the EAA
Museum in Oshkosh. "I want Kitplanes magazine to be the place
where people go to for building advice and flying advice," Dye said in a
podcast interview. "Both are equally important." He noted a large
percentage of homebuilt owners did not build the planes they fly and
many have never bucked a rivet. He said they need advice on care and
maintenance of their aircraft. Dye took over from Mary Bernard on Feb.
15. He comes to Kitplanes after a long and distinguished career
with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. More...
DOWN TO EARTH AT 'KITPLANES'
Paul Dye is the
new editor-in-chief at Kitplanes magazine, AVweb's sister
publication. Dye is an accomplished pilot and builder, and he comes to
us from NASA, where the hardware he oversaw was a touch more complex.
AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with him from his home near
This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.
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OF THE WEEK: SAUGEEN MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (CYHS, HANOVER,
Our "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Saugeen Municipal Airport (CYHS) in Hanover,
AVweb reader Philip Englishman's
been treated well there and has high praise for the airport
Saugeen Municipal is a
great gateway to Canada with customs available with your Canpass. The
superb restaurant is open Thursday to Sunday and is famous for its
breakfasts and lunches. The best part about this airport is the
inhabitants on site, who will be more than happy to show you what they
are constructing and flying. Over 400 pilots visit here for one day
annualy to take part in the Rust Remover safety seminars to get ready
for the flying season. So come north to enjoy the hospitality, great
Bruce Peninsula scenery, and great flying adventures beyond the U.S.
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
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AUDIO AUTHORITY'S FLEXIBLE POWER UNIT
More owners and
pilots would probably invest in ground power units for starting and
running avionics in the hangar if the things were just more flexible.
One that is comes from Audio Authority, which, besides being a GPU, also
doubles as a battery tender. In this video, Aviation Consumer's
Larry Anglisano gives us the lowdown on this versatile unit.
YVES ROSSY'S JETMAN SCHOOL (WITHOUT THE JETS)
A video released
Feb. 8, 2013, by Jetman Yves Rossy suggests the skydiving innovator may
be on the verge of marketing an unpowered version of his strapped-on
wing and opening a school to teach people how to fly it. Rossy has
piloted another version of the wing with four micro-turbines attached to
its underside delivering power. He has flown that version across the
English Channel and a section of the Grand Canyon. Rossy describes the
unpowered version by saying it can achieve a "glide angle" of 4.5.
English is not Rossy's first language and a glide angle of 4.5 would
translate to a glide ratio of roughly 13:1 -- substantially better than
a Cessna 172. It's possible that Rossy's use of the term instead
indicates the wing's glide ratio. Rossy says he's flown his gliding wing
in excess of 150 mph, he has demonstrated aerobatics while flying it and
believes there is much more potential for his unique brand of flight.
Rossy is meticulous in his flight preparations, studying terrain, angles
of flight and walking portions of the route when able. It is not yet
known if his apparently proposed school will train the same pre-flight
|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
REFURBISHED AIRPLANE OF THE MONTH
New airplanes sales may be
a little soft, but we're seeing plenty of refurb work -- everything from
new panels to fresh paint to full-up interiors. We would like to feature
some of these airplanes in the pages of AVweb and spotlight the
owners and shops doing the work. If you have photos of your restored
aircraft -- single, twin or turbine -- send
them along to us, and if we select your airplane as refurb of the
month, we'll contact you for more information. More...
Traditional Tactics Need a
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My neighbor spent most of his career as an
airline pilot, but he also did one stint during a furlough in the early
1980s as a controller at Van Nuys. He swears the following is
One day, my friend, who we'll call Bob (since that's his
name), was reading a clearance to an an aircraft as an MU-2 (high-wing
twin) was landing.
The other controller prodded Bob and said,
"Look at this." The MU-2 had landed but was having trouble taxiing,
despite applying plenty of power.
"I think our brakes have locked
up," radioed one of the crew. "Can you look us over and tell us if you
"Do you want to tell them or should I?" asked the
"You tell them," replied Bob, grabbing a pair of
binoculars. "I want to see their faces when you tell them that the gear
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