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The FCC's proposal to scrap its ban on cellphone use in aircraft has prompted the Department of Transportation to consider a ban of its own but there is common ground on one point. "I'm the last person in the world who wants to listen to somebody talking" while on an airplane, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler told a House subcommittee last Thursday. Read More
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The FAA is moving ahead with implementation of mandatory screening and tests (apparently regardless of widely reported objections) for obstructive sleep apnea in pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, the agency said Thursday. Individuals are typically categorized as obese by current BMI charts if they score a number higher than 30. AOPA, EAA, the Civil Aviation Medical Association and members of the U.S. House of Representatives are among those who have requested the FAA make substantive changes to lessen the impact of its new sleep apnea policy. The FAA would require additional medical evaluations for those pilots determined to be outside of the FAA’s safe (under 40 BMI) range. Pilots scoring 40 or higher would have 60 days to receive an evaluation or have their medical certificate disqualified. Read More
Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), testified before a House subcommittee Thursday to promote industry growth through cooperation. Bunce told the subcommittee that the FAA should partner with the industry to streamline the certification process, cutting costs for both the government and manufacturers “while increasing safety.” Actions should prioritize NextGen resources, he said, and ensure that taxes and fees paid to the FAA are protected from any future government shutdowns or other disruptions. Bunce stressed the need for “clear and consistent leadership” from the FAA in the international marketplace by defending “the robustness and efficiency of its safety certification globally” and offered other specific advice. Read More
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Prison officials in Quebec say they have to beef up air defenses around their facilities after a remotely piloted aircraft dropped a package that likely contained drugs into the Hull Prison near Ottawa, Ontario. "We have to adjust," Stephane Lemaire, president of the union representing prison guards, told the Ottawa Citizen. Read More
Fifty-eight-year-old Kansas man Terry Lee Loewen has been charged with attempting to explode a car bomb Friday morning at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport where he worked as an avionics technician for Hawker Beechcraft. Authorities allege that Loewen intended to detonate the explosives and die in the explosion, having been radicalized by fundamentalist Islam. Authorities say Loewen studied passenger traffic and planned his attack to take place just prior to Christmas to result in the most casualties and have the greatest economic impact. Through much of his planning, Loewen was observed by, and worked with, undercover FBI agents who provided him with fake explosives, rendering his final attempted act completely ineffective, the FBI said. Read More
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Textron AirLand has announced the first flight of its Scorpion Intelligence, Surveillance Reconnaissance/Strike aircraft took place at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita early Thursday. The twinjet took off just after 9 a.m. and landed 1.4 hours later and "met all expectations" according to Textron CEO Scott Donnelly. Read More
Textron AirLand flew its Scorpion light tactical jet last week and by all accounts it went well. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Dale Tutt, chief engineer on the project, a day after the flight about the airplane and its potential market. Read More
Textron AirLand says response from military and paramilitary organizations to the first flight of its Scorpion tactical jet has been overwhelmingly positive and the twin jet may appear at airshows this coming season. Dale Tutt, the chief engineer on the project, told AVweb in a podcast interview the Scorpion, which will cost "somewhere south of $20 million" and about $3,000 an hour to operate, fills a performance and price gap in the military aircraft market that no one else is filling. Read More
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In an emerging aircraft refurbishment market, Smithville, Ohio-based Aircraft Sales Inc. stands out with a comprehensive and highly customized rebuild process. In this AVweb video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano presents an inside look at the company's Pristine Airplane refurbishment process. Read More
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San Marcos, Texas (KHYI) was busier than normal this recent November weekend due to Formula 1 racing in Austin when the following exchange was overheard: ... KHYI Tower: "Mooney 1234N, cleared for take-off, Runway 13." ... Mooney 1234N: "Tower, Mooney 1234N. Can I land first?" ... KHYI Tower: "Mooney 1234N, cleared to land." -- Robert Elliott, 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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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:

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Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

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Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
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Glenn Pew

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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Kevin Lane-Cummings
Paul Berge

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Karen Lund

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But the FAA is on the hot seat as bi-partisan bills tackle the agencies sleep apnea ruling and relaxing of the Third Class medical requirement. Read More
U.S. Sport Aviation Expo || Sebring, FL || 
January 16-19, 2014
If you do your own airplane maintenance, that work will include checking spark plugs. Tempest says checks should include resistance measurements and they've developed a little gadget to do that. Read More
ASA Holiday Gift Guide || Find Gifts for Your 
Favorite Student, Pilot, or AMT