AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 5a

January 28, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News back to top 

Alaska Bill: Low Interest Loans For Avionics

Low-interest loans would be offered to Alaskan pilots if a new comprehensive aviation safety initiative by that state's governor, Sarah Palin, is put in place. The loan program would act as part of a bill aiming to facilitate the purchase and cockpit installation of Capstone-compliant avionics aimed in part at improving safety by providing highly accurate physical terrain and weather information to pilots in all weather conditions. Under an FAA-sponsored test program (in which commercial operators got the gear for free) there was a significant and immediate drop in the number of accidents.

"Alaska has seven times more licensed pilots than the national average and the highest accident rate in the nation," according to the Alaska governor. The safety program involves a multi-departmental effort that includes the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development. It's also key to the FAA's plans to adopt Capstone throughout the state, according to the governor. The FAA is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the ground stations that make the system work but it will be up to aircraft owners to outfit their planes.

Terror-Fighting Flight Instructors Cut Out of Reward

Two former Pan Am International Flight Academy instructors who say they alerted the FBI to the strange demeanor of convicted 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui when he was a student at the school are upset that one of their colleagues was paid $5 million under the "Rewards for Justice" program and they received nothing. According to The Associated Press, Tim Nelson and Pat Sims both phoned the FBI independently when Moussaoui signed up for advanced jet training when he was clearly unfit for the course. Instead, the money went to Moussaoui's instructor Clarence Prevost, who said he was suspicious of his student but didn't actually make the call.

It was, however, Prevost who was interviewed by the FBI and subsequently testified at Moussaoui's trial. "He was certainly there but he didn't call the FBI. I have no idea why he received the reward," Sims told the AP. The pair were recognized by the Senate in 2005 in a resolution that commended their heroism and bravery. During the 2006 trial, Moussaoui confessed to being the "20th hijacker" whose role was to command the hijacking of a fifth airliner to be flown into the White House. He later recanted the confession but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in planning the attacks.

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News Briefs back to top 

Comair Passenger Blame Claim Withdrawn

The lawyer for the first officer and only survivor of Comair Flight 5191 says he has withdrawn a controversial defense strategy in which the passengers who died on the flight were held partly responsible for their deaths. They along with the pilot and a flight attendant died after the aircraft took off from the wrong runway at Lexington, Ky.'s airport in August of 2006. As part of first officer James Polehinke's defense against the numerous lawsuits against him, his lawyer William E. Johnson wrote in the statement of defense that the passengers should have known that taking a commercial flight from the airport was a perilous affair because of well-publicized construction on the runways. He also claimed they should have known that the air traffic control tower was understaffed, that other airports in the area were considered safer and that flying in the dark is dangerous.

The striking assertions were covered as "contributory negligence" in the original filings and the details only came out after he was pressed for more details by plaintiffs' lawyers. The other lawyers were stunned by the defense. "It was the most surprising affirmative defense I've ever seen," said trial lawyer David Katzman. But Johnson said the controversy is "old news" and he doesn't intend to pursue that line. "After we looked into it more we found it is not a proper defense," he said.

Cessna Large Cabin Jet No Longer A "Concept"

Cessna Aircraft Co. said on Thursday it will move ahead with its Large Cabin Concept jet aircraft. The aircraft will have intercontinental range and will be the largest ever in Cessna's fleet. "I'm ecstatic to announce we are extending the Citation line upward and grateful for the patience of the customers who have urged Cessna to add a large cabin Citation," said Cessna CEO Jack Pelton. The company has been showing a mock-up of the concept since late 2006 and customer feedback will be incorporated into the final design, Pelton said. "We have invested a great deal of time in evaluating this concept to determine a solid business case and involved customers very early in this program. We're confident our efforts will result in an aircraft that is right for the marketplace," he said.

The company promised to release more details of the program at a news conference on Feb. 6 in Washington, D.C.

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News Briefs back to top 

Sell Big, Buy Small

When he's not busy selling the world on the new 787 Dreamliner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Scott Carson will be flying his new Sport Cub S2. Carson took delivery of the light sport aircraft last week at CubCrafter's manufacturing facility in Yakima, Wash. N846SC is painted red and white in honor of Carson's alma mater, Washington State University.

"I am really, really pleased with the plane and with the idea that somehow, for a short hour today, I felt like a kid again," Carson said after his maiden flight in the two-seater, which cruises at about 0.13 Mach.

Polish CASA C-295M Crash Update

The Jan. 23 crash of a Polish air force air transport aircraft that killed all 20 aboard (including high-ranking officials) has led Polish officials to ground its fleet of nine EADS CASA C-295M aircraft pending the results of an investigation. The crash aircraft had fewer than 500 flight hours and its data recorder has been recovered. It clipped trees prior to crashing approximately 1 nm shy of the runway at Miroslawiec air base in northwest Poland. The crash occurred just after 7 p.m. local time. Weather at the time included cloud bases near 300 feet with heavy rain in the area. It was the aircraft's second approach. An instrument landing system had yet to be introduced at Miroslawiec, a spokesman for the Polish air forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Wies³aw Grzegorzewski, told the Polish Radio Information Agency. He added that the pilots knew that the ILS system was not operating at the base and were landing by means of a precision approach radar. The pilots, according to the spokesman, were used to such conditions. The flight was returning personnel from a flight safety conference in Warsaw. Among those killed were Col. Jerzy Pilat, commander of the Miroslawiec air base, and Brig. Gen. Andrzej Andrzejewski, commander of an air brigade based in Swidwin. The Polish government is recognizing the loss with three days of national mourning.

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News Briefs back to top 

Report: 777 Engines Were Running At Impact

Despite earlier reports that suggested both engines had quit on the Boeing 777 that crashed on final approach to Heathrow last week, the engines were still developing power at impact, the United Kingdom's Air Accident Investigation Board said on Thursday. The AAIB also said there was adequate fuel on board. The aircraft was on autopilot and stabilized on an ILS approach when the autothrust system commanded an increase in thrust from both engines. "The engines both initially responded but after about 3 seconds the thrust of the right engine reduced," according to the AAIB. "Some eight seconds later the thrust reduced on the left engine to a similar level. The engines did not shut down and both engines continued to produce thrust at an engine speed above flight idle, but less than the commanded thrust." Investigators now are working to complete a detailed analysis and examination of the complete fuel-flow path from the aircraft tanks to the engine fuel nozzles.

The AAIB said it is "sensitive to the needs of the industry," including aircraft manufacturers that use similar onboard systems and the flight crews who fly them, and will issue more information as soon as possible.

ERAU Expands Operations Sim Lab

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will open a new College of Business building this week at its Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. The $13 million, 54,000-square-foot facility will house ERAU's aviation operations simulations lab, formerly located in the flight simulator building. Researchers use the lab to test various operational scenarios, such as what it takes to unload and reload a jet on time, and then use this data to help operators maximize efficiency. Daniel Petree, dean of the business school, told AVweb that he is actively courting air taxi operators to the program.

"We'd love to have partnerships with them," he said. Airtran was the launch customer for the lab about three years ago, and currently Airbus and Boeing are using it to develop simulation models for boarding their latest products, the A380 and the 787 Dreamliner. The new building is part of a $125 million expansion effort at the Daytona Beach campus that includes additions to the aviation complex and several administration buildings. A residence hall and a fitness center were completed last year.

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WhiteKnightTwo Recalls Past Catamaran Designs

When Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites unveiled the final version of their spacecraft last week, the impressive double-hulled design of the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft stirred up memories of catamaran aircraft of the past. LiveScience turned up a photo of a Russian airplane model, apparently built in the late 1970s, that is eerily similar to the Scaled design. The model shows a twin-hulled aircraft, in Aeroflot regalia, with four jet engines and a center wing built to carry a space shuttle aloft. We found other pictures of the design, called a Myasishchev 3M2, that look a little more ungainly and less WhiteKnight-like, with up to eight jet engines, a single tail surface connecting the two empennages, and the shuttle mounted in the rear. According to LiveScience, the Myasishchev design was considered scalable for use to deliver ships into orbit.

The Myasishchev official Web site's history page makes no mention of the catamaran design.

On the Fly ...

Five young men died after driving a BMW, apparently at high speed, down a runway at an exclusive Florida fly-in resort. The car hit an embankment, became airborne, hit a tree and split in two ...

Aviation advocates in Arizona say the industry brings $40 billion into the state economy every year ...

Airport delays expected in Phoenix next week as hundreds of private jets convene for the SuperBowl ...

A Russian man who killed a Swiss air traffic controller he blamed for a plane crash that killed his family was appointed to a high-level government post in Russia, the AP reports ...

A Texas flight instructor won a Cessna Cardinal in the recent AOPA sweepstakes.

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New on AVweb back to top 

The Pilot's Lounge #122: We Worry About the Wrong Things, and It's Killing Us

AVweb's Rick Durden wants to change flight training: Let's emphasize the situations that actually kill people instead of the stuff that produces headlines but isn't common.

Click here to read Rick Durden's column.

Winter in the Pilot's Lounge at the virtual airport can be pretty slow, with days of low overcast and generally lousy flying weather. Either no one comes out to the airport and our flight-school owner starts to panic over whether last summer's revenues can be stretched through the winter, or a lot of people come out and spend their time shaking their fist at the elements and drinking the flight school's coffee while the owner starts to panic over whether last summer's revenues can be stretched through the winter, especially with the high price of coffee.

On this particular day I was alone in the Lounge, studiously avoiding the coffee pot, while I looked up some accident data. One of the regular visitors to the Lounge had talked to me regarding some material he'd read about how Americans tended to worry about the wrong things when making decisions about how to conduct their lives. He pointed out that we get all excited about the risk of terrorists using airplanes and spend billons of dollars on security procedures of questionable merit; we get all excited about shark attacks (more people get hit by lightning annually) to the point that a certain percentage of our population won't swim in the ocean; parents give in to fear and refuse to vaccinate children over a side effect that is less likely to happen than the disease itself; and people refuse to go for walks outdoors for fear of Lyme disease and put themselves at high risk of a heart attack because they are sedentary.

My friend then pointed out, correctly, that the real risks facing Americans have been amazingly constant over the years: death from the effects of either smoking or being around people who smoke (about 400,000 people per year); auto accidents, particularly not wearing a seat belt (about 50,000 people per year), side effects of continuing to put food in our mouths when we aren't hungry (about 300,000 people per year) and screwups in hospitals because the medical community hasn't figured out what we in aviation have known for decades: that checklists for even the most routine procedures and limiting the time that doctors can be on duty are very good things (150,000 to 500,000 fatalities per year -- depending on the source of the data).

My friend just can't figure out why we Americans so blithely accept the true risks we face while continuing to smoke, over-eat, not wear seatbelts and not raise heck about hospital procedures, yet we get ourselves all in a twitter over the low risk items and take all sorts of expensive and often-redundant precautions that would be better spent on the high-risk stuff.

But What About Airplanes?

I didn't have an answer for my friend, but it caused me to look at the same question as applied to flying. While the fatality numbers for general aviation, just under 500 in 2006 -- far less than the number who die each year falling in bathtubs -- are very low, they have to be compared with the very small number of people who get into general aviation airplanes in the first place. With that in mind, our accident rate is far worse than the airlines and somewhat worse than automobiles, about the same as for motorcycles. Therefore, it's worth evaluating: Do we pilots worry about how to deal with the actual risks we face? As an aside, do we flight instructors teach students (and pilots in for recurrent training) how to identify and avoid doing stupid, high-risk things in airplanes?

After looking at accident data, I came to a mixed conclusion; in some cases we do very well, in others, we just plain stink. On the plus side, we don't have very many accidents in icing or thunderstorms. While they occur each year, the number is pretty low, as is the percentage of overall accidents and fatalities, so pilots are generally getting the idea that boomers and the frozen stuff can be very ugly and tend to approach them with a great deal of caution. We also have few accidents during climb and descent or on go-arounds.

Still, according to the 2007 Nall Report, about 74 percent of all accidents and 79 percent of fatal accidents are attributable to the pilot rather than some mechanical problem or "unknowns." That is a depressing introduction to the minus side of how we handle our airplanes. Our fatal accidents keep getting clumped into the same old places: year in and year out, it's VFR into foul weather, "maneuvering" and -- for a certain, creative seasoning to the mix -- those fatal events where pilots facing one emergency make the fascinating decision to intentionally create another and then fail to handle either well. On the non-fatal side, loss-of-control on landing is the big one, making up a staggering 40 percent of all accidents. The only good thing is that few of those are fatal.

Worry About the Right Things

So what do we do about all of this? First of all, may I suggest that we resolve to worry about the right things? Just as we decide not to put death from flesh-eating bacteria high on the list of things we lay awake worrying about at night, let's not put, for example, flying too slowly on final on that list, either. There are very, very few accidents involving an airplane that has stalled on final. Yet most pilots seem to be so worried about control responsiveness and about stalling that they fly final too fast. Because they worry about the wrong thing, they find they often cannot manage the excess speed and energy through the subsequent landing (and sometimes end up in that "loss-of-control on landing" group).

Perhaps the way to reduce landing accidents is for instructors to spend a little more time emphasizing the speed to fly during the last quarter-mile on final approach. CFIs should explain that 1.3 Vso is plenty fast for control and a power-off flare, and it leads to a touchdown near stall speed ... that is, touchdown with minimum energy to dissipate. With proper aileron application into the wind, and staying alive on the rudders, the airplane has plenty of control authority to dissipate the speed and energy it had at touchdown. Coming down final faster means either floating a long ways down the runway (with associated issues of directional control) or touching down fast (with issues of lack of rolling control and brake effectiveness). These increase the risk on that landing, and, no surprise, increase the number of accidents that result. We know what the bad habits are; flight instructors have the chance to aggressively meet them head-on and fight them. While taking recurrent training only biennially is not frequent enough to do a lot to cut our accident rate, it is still a chance for instructors to try and concentrate on the landing loss-of-control accidents by insisting pilots fly on-speed during that last quarter-mile on final.

Make It Real

While looking at the true risks we face and worrying about them, I also suggest we make sure there isn't a disconnect between flight training and reality, especially as we look at some of the fatal-accident causes. For example, the accidents involved with continued VFR into foul weather are distressingly constant from year to year. They are truly the ones we, as pilots, should stay up at night worrying about. This is especially true because the data show that having an instrument rating is no particular protection against the process of bad decision-making that results in an pilot winding up low, below low clouds, in crummy visibility after taking off in weather that was at least decent VFR.

I've long advocated that primary instruction include a few lessons during marginal weather. The ground portion may simply be the process of getting the weather information and discussing what it really means to someone trying to fly in it and then, if possible, going flying so the student can see just how lousy it is. It all starts out on those somewhat hazy days when a low-time student seems to be having a "bad" lesson; it's not going as well as the last one. Instructors have known for years that primary students tend to do better during sessions of dual when there is good visibility and less well when there is haze or some other restriction to visibility. Bringing it to the student's attention when it happens is step one in instilling a gut feeling in a pilot for the negative effects of trying to fly VFR when visibility starts to deteriorate, even when it is perfectly legal VFR.

Once the point is made, find a time to take the student out when there is not a clear horizon, but it's legal VFR (or the horizon appears much lower due to haze) and raise the matter of controlling the airplane, navigating and handling all the little things that need to be done to get the airplane safely from one place to another. Then go fly when it is barely legal VFR and see what that looks like. The instructor can make some strong impressions by showing how many towers there are out there -- probably erected by people who hate airplanes, with the sole intent of snatching them out of the sky -- and how fast those towers appear from the murk and come at the airplane. Finally, make sure the instructor can see to it that the student comes out to the airport for two or more lessons when the weather is bad, goes through checking the weather and canceling the lesson, so the student does not get a mindset of actually flying every time he or she goes to the airport, and gets the internalized understanding that it's OK to cancel a flight.

I'm not sure how to quickly solve the "VFR into dogmeat weather" problem. I think there are a lot of small, discreet steps because it also involves judgment, something which seems not to have been divided evenly among aviators. Nevertheless, I'm convinced that it has to be discussed frequently with primary students and they need to experience the awful feeling one gets in marginal weather, and maybe sweat a little and discover how the quality of one's decision-making starts to slip. Then the instructor can make it clear that it is truly OK to divert; to not make it to the destination on a particular flight.

It's probably a good idea for the instructor to mention to the student that the student knows what it is to get into trouble; he or she has been in trouble for being late for work or not showing up for an appointment, and that is a big motivator; but the student has never been dead. The instructor can transmit the knowledge and gut-level understanding that messing around in marginal weather, VFR, is not a way to make sure the student gets to the meeting or family gathering or other destination on time ... it's a way to get dead.

Do You Want An Emergency With That Emergency?

A nagging, annual addition to the ranks of fatal accidents are the ones in which the pilot is faced with an emergency of some sort, and then makes the decision to disregard years (or weeks) of training and intentionally create another emergency as part of dealing with the original event. (I keep wondering if the John Wayne tradition of mock-heroic movies is to blame for some of the incredibly stupid pilot tricks we get to see year in and year out.) I can't help but think of the pilot going to the local fast-food Burger-Doodle and, when ordering an emergency, the counter person asks if they want to super-size it and have another one. I simply don't understand the logic and, because a lot of them are dead, it's tough to conduct an inquiry short of a séance.

One of my favorites is the landing gear that won't extend. While it is exciting, and it's technically an emergency, history shows that it is not life threatening if the pilot makes a normal landing, preferably on a paved runway. Every once in a while I do a search of accident reports to see if I can find any that indicate anyone has been hurt or killed in a gear-up landing when the pilot makes a normal landing ... that is, doesn't try to stop or feather the propeller(s). I have not found an injury or death in such a landing since World War II. However, when the pilot adds an emergency by shutting down the engine(s) and trying to stop the prop(s) and glide to the runway (something few, if any, of the pilots have ever practiced before), there are accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities because the pilot either can't make the runway or is high and fast, and either slides off the end and hits something or has to land off-airport, with unpleasant results.

The other knuckleheaded emergency-on-emergency is the attempt to make a steep turn, just above stall speed, at low altitude, when the engine on a single fails after takeoff. How many pilots have practiced steep turns at 300 feet AGL? Those are ordinarily done with power, and definitely not that low. Now, how many have practiced steep turns at 300 feet AGL, power off? Then why oh why do so many decide to try one when the engine takes the day off after takeoff, especially when they've been trained to land straight ahead?

Stupid Maneuvers

The final, big clump of fatal accidents that tend, on first glance, to fall into the "stupid" category are those the NTSB sticks into the all-purpose hopper of "maneuvering." Some of those are the ones the investigator-in-charge can't figure out where to pigeonhole appropriately, so it gets shoved into maneuvering. A fair number might better be put into the VFR-into-IMC class as the pilot finally starts trying to turn around to go back to better weather, but has delayed action so long that he or she is down low, in crummy visibility and blows the turn. The majority, however, are tied in with intentional low flying; something that is not taught in the Private pilot syllabus. Given that so many pilots are killed flying low, why not? Maybe it's a little like sex: Rather than talk about it and inform people, we just say, "Don't do it," and hope for the best. The "keep 'em ignorant and tell 'em not to do it" approach doesn't seem to be working.

Those who have flown crop dusters, low-altitude aerobatics and nap-of-the-earth military operations know that the world looks different below 500 feet AGL. The horizon seems, oddly, just a little higher. The big deal is that the ground is no longer an abstract, intellectual exercise, some distance away, that the passengers look at and remark, "It seems like we're going so slow." Instead, it's right there. It's a vivid, visceral part of the pilot's existence, filling peripheral vision and going by in a blur. In any turn, the changing groundspeed as the airplane goes to or from a headwind or tailwind is instantly noticeable and a very powerful presence.

To this day, I recall the first time I was given instruction for aerial application in a Piper J-3. At six inches above the crop, the world was just a green smear. And that airplane was only going across the field at about 85 mph. I didn't know where to look. It was utterly overwhelming. And yet, I was lucky. I got instruction from instructors who were also aerial-application pilots. I was taught where to look and what I would be experiencing.

Flying low is exciting ... there are no two ways about it. The world is whizzing by and the sensation of speed is a huge rush. With a tailwind, some of the more modest retracts can reach a groundspeed over 200 mph and the pilot can feel a little of what it is like to scream down the straight at Indy in an open-wheel racer. A noticeable proportion of pilots try it once or twice; some get killed on those first tries and some get away with it for a while. Some get a certificate action from the FAA for stupidity or aggravated stupidity for their efforts in buzzing a friend's house. Every year, more than a few pilots manage to discover that low altitude is a different world and, when untrained for a high-risk maneuver, they truly don't know what they are doing. Many pay with their lives. What is sadly ironic is that every year at least one or three actually crash fatally on the property of those whom they thought they were going to impress.

Wrong impression.

We're All Teachers

How do we solve it? Educate. Educate on as many levels as possible so as to hit what motivates as many pilots as possible. Make it known that, post-9/11, a heck of a lot of people out there are scared silly of airplanes. If they see one flying low, they are convinced it is going to crash, fall on them, is flown by a terrorist or all of the above. Let it sink in that everyone has a cell phone and most have cameras. Those scared or angry people subjected to low flying (of all the stupid things -- to fly low down a beach full of people or over a housing development on a nice summer day) now take pictures of the offending airplanes and use them when they call 911 or the FAA to complain. It makes the enforcement action by the FAA easy. I suggest that we let student pilots know that, while they think airplanes are incredibly cool (they are), there are those who do not share that opinion and will complain about low flying and will vote to close airports. So, just to protect against a certificate action, there is a powerful incentive to stay at altitude.

In my opinion, we should publicized that those who fly low for a living and have been trained for it still crash at an unpleasantly high rate. An amateur at the game is going into it with the deck stacked in favor of the house. Every aerial application pilot I worked with or know and who has been in the business for any length of time has crashed at least once, usually after hitting something (and they usually know the area around the fields they treat repeatedly). They usually survive because those airplanes are specifically built for the risks faced with continual low flying. The military, which spends millions training pilots to fly low, loses several pilots and crews each year on those low-altitude training flights, even though they follow routes that have been surveyed to avoid obstacles. We lose more than our share of aerobatic pilots who do low-altitude acro when they again demonstrate that one can only tie the record for low flying, and each of them has had to demonstrate his or her ability to fly low in order to get one of the low-altitude waivers.

Instructors can take their students around the area at 1,000 feet AGL and point out the plethora of cell phone and other towers, power lines and other things that stick into the air. The instructor can walk the student out of the door of the FBO and point at nearby telephone poles on a hazy day and ask the student to point out the lines. Invariably, some will be invisible. Walking up to them, they eventually pop into view. It's a powerful lesson. There are a lot of things you can't see, so once the airplane is below 1,000 feet AGL, the risk factor climbs fast.

Finally, if the airport is in an area where it may be done without bothering the neighbors, fly some traffic patterns at 400 feet AGL. Let the student see that the perspective is different. Then fly down the runway at 20 feet and ask how busy the student is when doing so. He or she has been challenged to hold altitude within 100 feet of a target when up high -- ask how that translates when flying low. Then ask what happens if one gets a little exuberant during a pull-up at the end of the runway and a little distracted while trying to look back at those you were seeking to impress with your skill and daring, and whether the student could recover from a power-on stall at 300 feet AGL, especially if the ball is not centered.

We can't stop the stupid pilots from killing themselves, but maybe we can educate the smart ones so they recognize that a buzz job doesn't make them come off as macho. Maybe they'll decline to perform one and they'll live to bore their grandchildren with tales of their flying. However, if the admonitions don't work, maybe the education will and they won't kill themselves in the process but only have to defend themselves against an FAA certificate action.

After all, you have to be alive for the FAA to go after you.

And I much prefer live pilots.

See you next month.

Want to read more from Rick Durden? Check out the rest of his columns.

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Cessna 172 Snow Crash Photos

photos: Oregon State Police
Two Hillsboro (Ore.) residents and visitor from Israel were unhurt after the pilot of a Cessna 172 failed to check the depth of snow on the Beaver Marsh landing strip near Chenult on Friday. The tracks in the snow tell the whole story.
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Epic Aviation (KEVB, New Smyrna Beach, FL)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

In a week filled with stellar FBO recommendations, our "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Epic Aviation at KEVB in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

According to AVweb reader Robert Edelson, Epic really stepped up to the plate on a recent visit, despite having their hands full with other pilots:

The self-service pump was inop, but they refueled me by truck at the same price. Furthermore, they changed by CHT probe and cleaned a partially-blocked injector plus moved and returned our plane to its tie-down by tug, all for a time charge of one and half hours. They operate a busy flight-training operation, maintaining 20 aircraft, yet they graciously took the time to help me ... all for a reasonable rate!

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

AVweb's Monday Podcast: Meet Flightcraft's Phillip Carrell (If You Haven't Already)

File Size 6.3 MB / Running Time 6:50

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

If you have bought or sold a high-performance single or private corporate aircraft anytime in the last, say, half century or so, you might have run across Phillip Carrell. Phil just celebrated 50 years on the job at Flightcraft Inc., one of the largest providers of private and business aircraft services in the Pacific Northwest. AVweb's Mike Blakeney wants you to meet Phil, as we pay tribute to his career and contribution to aviation in this AVweb audio feature.

Click here to listen. (6.3 MB, 6:50)

Video of the Week: Alaskan Bush Pilots' Amazing STOLs

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

"That runway's too short for anything to take off from!" — we've all heard the sentence, and maybe a few of us have even said it, but from now on, we'll have to make a slight revision.  The next time you hear someone talking about a short take-off, feel free to add, "Except, of course, for those Alaskan bush pilots doing STOLs in that video I saw on AVweb."  (Just be careful what tone you use if you're talking to the PIC, O.K.?)

Thanks to AVweb reader Ronnie Hughan for sending us the original video clip and YouTube user dynmicpara for the YouTube link:

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Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

On November 2, 2007, an F-15C with the 110th Fighter Squadron (of the 131st Fighter Wing) broke up while conducting an air-to-air training mission. This video, produced by Glenn Pew for AVweb, covers the military investigative board's findings.

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Related Content:
F-15s Grounded, Structural Failure Suspected

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The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

The following exchange took place en route to the opening day at Sun 'n Fun one April:

"Jacksonville Center, Bonanza Four Seven Two Zero Yankee. 11,000."

"Bonanza Four Seven Two Zero Yankee, roger. Jacksonville altimeter 30.12."

"Are you working a lot of traffic to Lakeland this afternoon?"

"I'll tell you what: If you fell out of your airplane right now, you'd never hit the ground."

Robert J. Miller
Tonawanda, New York

More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Managing Editor
Meredith Saini

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.