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EAA (PDF) and AOPA (PDF) each wrote strongly worded letters to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta "demanding" that a new policy regarding sleep apnea in pilots and controllers be suspended (and ultimately killed) because it addresses a problem that hasn't been proven to exist, exceeds the Federal Flight Surgeon's mandate and could cost the pilot community as much as $374 million in compliance costs. 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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Passengers aboard JetBlue Flight 1266, an Embraer ERJ-190 out of Fort Myers for Logan Wednesday afternoon, heard a large bang and looked to see that an emergency slide had deployed in flight, inside the cabin. The inflation pinned a flight attendant to his seat and led the cockpit crew to declare an emergency and divert to Orlando. The slide “filled up the whole front part of the cabin where the flight attendants sit,” one passenger told a ABC News affiliate WCVB. It took other cabin crew three or four minutes to deflate the slide, the passenger estimated. But it may not be a crew member who deflated the slide. Read More
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A research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a simple technology that could help to prevent icing on aircraft wings, the university announced on Wednesday. The team experimented with ridged surfaces to see if they could reduce the time it takes for a water droplet to hit a surface and then recoil. The quicker the water is repelled from the surface, the less time it has to freeze. "We've demonstrated that we can use surface texture to reshape a drop as it recoils, in such a way that the overall contact time is significantly reduced," said James Bird, the team's lead researcher. "The upshot is that the surface stays drier longer... which has the potential to be useful for a variety of applications." Read More
Ten grants to aviation charities, totaling $60,000, have been awarded by the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation. The recipients were chosen through an open online voting process at the Foundation's website. "With twice as many votes as last year, the awards are having a meaningful impact on expanding awareness and appreciation for aviation," said Allan Schrader, president of Lightspeed. Any registered nonprofit group that is committed to growing the pilot community and using their grant to provide service to others is eligible to apply for the program, the Foundation said. Read More
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The two-seat e-volo Volocopter rotorcraft flew for the first time, on Sunday, inside an arena in Karlsruhe, Germany, the company announced Wednesday morning. The aircraft flew multiple times, with several flights almost reaching the 70-foot-high ceiling of the arena. The takeoffs and landings were smooth, the company said, and flight was vibration-free. Eighteen small, quiet electric motors independently powered the rotors. The company said the Volocopter is easy to fly, the design is highly redundant, and the distributed energy supply is virtually fail-proof. "Nearly all problems of normal helicopters are thereby solved," according to the news release. No pilot was on board for the flight; the aircraft was flown remotely. Read More
A blogger in the San Francisco Bay area published patent drawings on Wednesday that show designs for a battery-powered "personal aircraft" with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, in development by Zee.Aero, a somewhat mysterious company based in Mountain View. Caleb Garling, writing for the SFGate Tech Chronicles, said the proximity to Google's headquarters, and apparently robust funding to support about 50 employees, with postings online looking for more technical staff, suggests that Google may be involved. Ilan Kroo, a professor of aeronautics at Stanford, has been CEO of Zee.Aero since 2011, according to his online profile. 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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Two people are confirmed dead and two others are missing after a Learjet headed for Mexico from Fort Lauderdale went down off the coast of Florida late Tuesday. According to the Miami Herald, the aircraft was on a medevac flight from Cozumel to Fort Lauderdale and was on the return flight after dropping off a patient. Read More
Just three days after 50 people died in the crash of a Boeing 737 in Russia, a government panel said the pilots climbed too steeply after their first missed landing attempt, then lowered the nose to try to gain speed, but they overcompensated and sent the airplane into a near-vertical dive. The Interstate Aviation Committee said there were no problems with the airplane or any of its systems, according to the Associated Press. The report was based on an analysis of the flight data recorder. Read More
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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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AVweb 
Insider
Virgin Galactic is about ready to launch the first space tourism flight, with XCOR right behind them. Which ride would you choose, assuming you had the quarter-mill ticket price? Read More
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Responding to the growing demand for ADS-B-capable equipment, BendixKing is rolling out a new Mode-S transponder called the KT-74. AVweb got a tour of it at AirVenture last July. Read More
Electronics International (EI) CGR 30P
With a cruise speed of around 270 knots and a price tag of nearly $5 million, the 2013 Pilatus PC-12NG isn't the fastest or the least expensive single-engine turboprop on the market. It is, however, arguably in a class of its own. That's because it has a cabin that can carry 1,200 lbs. of payload while carrying over 400 gallons of fuel, the ability to operate from unpaved runways, and a huge 53x52-inch cargo door. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano takes a look at the airplane. Read More
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