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AOPA's Baker: Look For Focus On Airport Access, Protection
Newly installed AOPA President Mark Baker said Wednesday that the key to pilot recruitment and retention is protecting access to airports. “All things in aviation start with an airport. We’ve got to make that accessible and fun,” Baker told AVweb in an extended interview on Wednesday, which is available in today’s podcast. Read More
Podcast: AOPA's Mark Baker on the Association's Future
In this exclusive AVweb podcast, AOPA's newly installed president, Mark Baker, says the association will adopt an airport-centric means of promoting aviation and will concentrate on a regional strategy to reach the membership. Baker also told AVweb that all of the association's activities — from fund raising to member support to starting new business lines — will be under review during the coming months. Read More
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Helicopter Crew Flew Backwards To Rescue
A Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter crew has won two of the most prestigious search and rescue awards for a daring mission into the teeth of one of the biggest winter storms to hit North America earlier this year. The servicemen will pick up the Cormorant Trophy and the Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award in London on Oct. 23. Read More
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Commercial UAVs Now Flying In The Arctic
The first FAA-approved commercial flight by an unmanned aircraft launched in the Chukchi Sea, above the Arctic Circle, on Sept. 12, the FAA said on Monday. The flight "went off safely and without a hitch," the FAA said. A ship chartered by ConocoPhillips carried four Insitu ScanEagle UAS to conduct marine-mammal and ice surveys required to meet rules that govern drilling on the sea floor. The ScanEagles weigh 44 pounds each and have a 10-foot wingspan. The first UAS launched and flew for 36 minutes, and landed safely back on the ship. Read More
Last Martin Water Bomber Loses Contract
The last Martin Mars water bomber, the world's largest piston-powered prop plane, may have fought its last fire officials said this week. The British Columbia government has cancelled a standing contract to have the aircraft available to fight fires in the province. The airplane, which can skim a lake and pick up more than 7,000 gallons of water to help fight fires, will be replaced by "a more cost-effective, efficient option," said Steve Thomson, forests minister for British Columbia, where the aircraft has been operating for 53 years. Read More
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FAA Expected To Relax Cabin Electronics Rules
An Aviation Rulemaking Committee is expected to tell the FAA this week that the use of certain electronic devices in airline cabins should be allowed, The New York Times reported on Monday. The new guidelines, which would likely take effect next year, according to the Times, would allow passengers to use their tablets to access downloaded content such as e-books, podcasts, and videos, anytime they are on the plane, but the ban on using wi-fi during take-off and landing will probably remain. The ban on cellphone use in flight also is expected to remain in place. Read More
DARPA Seeks Mach 10 Airplane-Like Vehicle
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking to build a "reusable hypersonic aircraft" capable of speeds beyond Mach 10 to deliver payloads of up to 5,000 pounds into low earth orbit for less than $5 million per launch. DARPA will more fully explain the project in October, but for now is seeking to develop an Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1) project. The primary vehicle would carry and deploy an upper stage responsible for inserting payload into low earth orbit and be capable of 10 flights in 10 days. DARPA says the airplane-like main vehicle would reach hypersonic speeds at suborbital altitudes and the agency hopes to explore that capability for passenger transport, too. Read More
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week

Are you subscribed to our weekly newsletter devoted to business aviation? Delivered mid-week on Wednesday mornings, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, products, and industry leaders that make headlines in bizav world.

Add it to your AVweb subscription by visiting the AVweb profile center and clicking on "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

Just in case you're not taking advantage of AVwebBiz, here are a couple of the stories you missed this week.

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New Eclipse Jet To Debut At NBAA
The first all-new Eclipse 550 twin-engine jet to roll off the production line in Albuquerque will be on display at the 2013 NBAA convention in Las Vegas next month, Eclipse Aerospace announced on Tuesday. CEO Mason Holland said the jet represents an "amazing accomplishment" for the company, which bought up the remnants of the original Eclipse just four years ago. The jet is based on the original Eclipse design, but with updated features such as dual WAAS (LPV) GPS receivers, XM weather, and a dual and redundant channel FMS. Read More
FAA Furloughs, Tower Closures, ATC Privatization Back On The Table
With a new federal fiscal year about to launch on Oct. 1, FAA officials are facing a $700 million budget gap, according to Bloomberg News. A new round of automatic cuts will take effect in the new budget year and may have more impact than they did this year, sources told Bloomberg, citing briefings with FAA officials. The FAA also may revisit its proposal to close many contract towers, which was shelved last year, Bloomberg said. Bell Helicopter also blamed the federal budget cuts this week in announcing it cut 290 jobs in Fort Worth, Texas. "Sequestration is having an adverse impact on our industry, making the future for defense spending more uncertain than ever," Bell CEO Jim Garrison said on Monday. The recurring budget issues also have revived discussion about privatizing the air-traffic-control system. Read More
Question of the Week

Each week, we poll the savviest aviators on the World Wide Web (that's you) on a topic of interest to the flying community.

Visit AVweb.com to participate in our current poll.

Click here to view the results of past polls.

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Video: Continental's Zulu Flight Center
For more than a year, Continental Motors has been experimenting with a new flight training center based in an upscale mall in Spanish Fort, Alabama. AVweb recently visited the center and interviewed Gloria Liu for a briefing on the training works. Read More
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Designed to work with what you already have in your panel, Aspen's affordable NextGen ADS-B solutions provide an easy, cost-effective path to increased situational awareness and meeting the FAA's NextGen mandate. Try our simple ADS-B solution finder to get started, at AspenAvionics.com/EasyADSB.
AVweb's Newstips Address

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something the flying world might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via e-mail here. (Or send them direct to Newstips at AVweb.com.)

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Meet the AVweb Team

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

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings
Paul Berge

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

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Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb web site readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss:

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AVweb 
Insider
Do Refurbished Airplanes Hurt the OEMs?
If you can buy 90 percent of the airplane for 50 percent of the cost, why would you opt for new? The 500 luck souls who buy new airplanes every year probably never ask that question. Read More
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Video: Jonathan Trappe Launches from Maine to Cross the Atlantic in a Cluster Balloon System
On the morning of September 12, 2013, Jonathan Trappe ascended from a field in Caribou, Maine, in an attempt to be the first pilot to fly a cluster balloon system across the Atlantic. Twelve hours later, he landed in Newfoundland. Read More
Video: Calle Hedberg -- The Flying Hobo
Many round-the-world pilots are in a hurry to get the trip done, but Calle Hedberg of Capetown, South Africa is taking a different route. He has eight months to do the trip in his kit-built Ravin 500, and he plans to savor every moment. AVweb's Russ Niles flew with him after he got a float endorsement in Kelowna, British Columbia. Read More