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Commander Crashed Inverted In New Haven
The Rockwell Turbo Commander 690B that crashed into two houses in New Haven, Conn., on Friday was inverted when it hit the homes, the NTSB says. But spokesman Patrick Murray told Reuters the pilot, retired Microsoft vice president Bill Henningsgaard, did not make any distress calls as he turned the aircraft to land in rainy weather at Tweed-New Haven Airport. "There is no evidence right now that the pilot was in distress during his last conversation with the control tower and it appears he was turning to try and land when the tower lost contact with him," Murray said. Authorities have now confirmed that four people died in the crash. Read More
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Balloonist Killed In Festival Accident
Canadian police aren't saying exactly how a young hot air balloon pilot died at a major balloon festival south of Montreal on Sunday but he wasn't in his own balloon. The QMI Agency is reporting that 26-year-old Maxime Trepanier had already landed and was helping another crew land their balloon when he was somehow launched into the air and then fell to his death. Read More
Boeing Named In Asiana Suits
A total of nine passengers aboard Asiana Flight 214 that crash-landed in San Francisco on July 6 are suing the airline for damages, but they're also going after Boeing, claiming the company sells aircraft with different classes of safety. As expected, the suit says Asiana's crew was negligent when the Boeing 777 they were flying got 30 knots slow on final approach and undershot the runway by more than 1,000 yards, slamming tail-first into a seawall before spinning laterally almost 360 degrees and sliding to a stop about even to where it should have touched down. Read More
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Transport Canada, Safety Board Divided On Post-Crash Fires
Public comments from each agency suggest that Canada's Transportation Safety Board and Transport Canada may be divided regarding how each would prefer to address the issue of post-crash fires, and those differences have sparked some finger pointing. The Safety Board recently released a report probing an October 2011 crash in which the two pilots of a Beechcraft King Air 100 suffered fatal burns. In that report, the safety board suggested the pilots might have survived the crash had regulators (Transport Canada) not ignored recommendations to reduce the probability of post-crash fires. Read More
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Seaplane Pilots Rescue Ditched Pilot
Sometimes it's better to be lucky than it is to be good but the pilot of an aircraft that ditched off Key Largo, Fla., on Thursday seemed to have everything working in his favor. According to a news release, the unidentified pilot's distress calls were heard by Key West Seaplanes pilots Julie Ann Floyd and Nikali Pontecorvo as they ferried one of the company's floatplanes from Key West to Miami. They offered to help and diverted to the location of the other aircraft, whose pilot was reporting engine trouble. Read More
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Mooney Celebrates Anniversary, Stands Firm
The company is not currently building airplanes, but Mooney had a presence at AirVenture 2013 to recognize the 60-year anniversary of the M20 and two pilots who set records in Mooneys, and to say the company isn't going anywhere. The company says it is still working to support the roughly 7,000 aircraft it produced that are still in service and says it "continues to discuss new investment opportunities with interested parties." Mooney's CFO, Barry Hodkin, said, "Nobody is quitting on the Mooney brand. It's among the most respected aviation brands in the world." Read More
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Researchers See Clear Air Turbulence
German researchers have developed a system that uses lasers mounted on aircraft to "see" clear air turbulence ahead of the plane. At the German Aerospace Center DLR Institute of Atmospheric physics, researchers have designed a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) instrument for that purpose. It sends a beam of short-wave ultraviolet laser radiation into the air and measures backscatter from air molecules to determine air density. And, from density differentials, it can provide information regarding the state of turbulence in the air ahead of the aircraft. Read More
Sikorsky At Work On Smart UAV
Sikorsky hopes its newly unveiled Matrix technology suite can bring higher autonomy to unmanned aviation missions, actively guiding aircraft through dynamically evolving situations that could be dangerous for pilots or impossible for a normal UAV to negotiate. The company describes Matrix as advanced algorithms that collect situational data and effectively make decisions, literally on the fly, on how to guide an aircraft in an active environment -- safely landing a helicopter on a rocking ship, for example. The company believes the system could make possible the option of removing human controllers from the equation altogether. Read More
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Deer Trail's Drone Hunt Vote
The town of Deer Trail, Colo., Tuesday held a vote on a local ordinance that could financially encourage residents to shoot down UAVs operated over their land by the federal government, but the vote was inconclusive in spite of warnings from the FAA. The ordinance was drafted by a town resident and it would offer $25 licenses for local permission to shoot at drones. Anyone who could shoot down a drone and produce parts that confirmed it was owned or operated by the United States federal government would earn $100 from the town. Read More
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Da Vinci Codex On Flight At Smithsonian
A notebook dating back to roughly 1505, filled by Leonardo da Vinci, with his ideas and sketches regarding bird and mechanical flight, will be on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum next month. The book is called the "Codex on the Flight of Birds" and it will be digitized, allowing visitors to flip its pages on monitors at the museum for the duration of its Sept. 13 to Oct. 22 stay. The showing will mark the (more than) 500-year-old book's second appearance in America. Read More
Short Final
Overheard one evening as a Fayetteville, North Carolina controller was working with a Cessna that was requesting flight following. The Cessna had problems with a fussy transponder and the controller was attempting to help. After several exchanges: ... Tower: "N1234, I'm still getting an inconsistent transponder return. Confirm squawking 4567." ... Cessna: "N1234 squawking 4567." ... Tower: "N1234, transponder return is still inconsistent. Try squawking 5678." ... Cessna: "N1234 squawking 5678." ... Tower: "N1234, I have a good return now. Could you say the type?" ... Cessna: "N1234. It's a piece-of-crap [redacted] transponder. Don't ever buy one." ... long pause ... Cessna: "Oh, you meant the aircraft. Skyhawk." ... Tower keyed the microphone, but only laughter came through. -- Glenn Holden, via e-mail Read More
Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

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AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

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Disney's 'Planes': Good, Clean Fun
In a way, "Planes," which opened over the weekend, brings Disney full circle. Mickey Mouse first appeared in "Plane Crazy," a silent cartoon about a mouse building an airplane. No mouse in the current release, but an innocent if predicable underdog story about air racing. We found it entertaining, if not quite an aviation equivalent of "Toy Story." Click here and let us know what you think of the film. Read More
AirVenture 2013 Product Minute Video: Skycraft SD1 Affordable LSA
At AirVenture 2013, SkyCraft is showing a neat little single-seat LSA called the SD1. In this AVweb Product Minute, SkyCraft's Tyler Ives gave us a brief tour of the airplane. Read More
AirVenture 2013 Product Minute Video: Levil Technology's iLevil AW and Apps
Levil Technology is well known for its line of portable ADS-B products. At AirVenture 2013, they introduced a new model called the iLevil AW, and in this AVweb Product Minute, Ananda Leon describes the details and demonstrates some cool new apps. Read More