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Volume 14, Number 33a
August 11, 2008
Life Insurance Premiums Continue to Decrease in 2008!
According to a Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education report, 3/4 of Americans think life insurance is too expensive. Term and permanent life insurance rates are generally half from a decade ago, partly due to life expectancy increases. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with proper insurance planning at the most affordable rates available. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
Aerobatic Superstar Comments on Oshkosh Incidentback to top 
Sponsor Announcement


Air show pilot Patty Wagstaff is denying "rumors" that she was impaired by alcohol when she was taken into custody by Winnebago County Sheriff's Department officers late July 31 on a runway at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. She told AVweb she was not tested for alcohol impairment during the incident. A report in the Green Bay Press Gazette last week said the Sheriff's Office has asked the Winnebago County District Attorney to press first-offense drunken driving charges against her and it will be up to the DA to decide whether the charge will proceed. "I do deny the allegations," she told AVweb. "And I did not do a breath test, a blood test or a field sobriety test." Although we still don't know all the details surrounding the runway incident, Wagstaff has provided AVweb with the following statement:

On Thursday, July 31, at Oshkosh about 11 p.m., I was driving from the Gathering of Eagles dinner at the EAA Museum to the North side of the airport, on airport property. My vehicle had the proper credentials, and I planned to take a route to the north side of the field down the taxiway along runway 18/36, through the warbirds area and then on the perimeter road. It was really dark, the runway was closed and I mistakenly ended up on the runway for about 1500' to the end of runway 36, before turning off onto the grass into the warbirds area.

As soon as I turned off the runway I was stopped by EAA Security, who promptly called the Winnebago County Sheriff and two police cars arrived. The police quickly took me into custody and I was released at 2:30 am and have since retained a lawyer. Even though I had a driver with me at the time I chose to drive because I had navigated this route before and it was very dark that night. Reports that I was driving impaired are simply not grounded in fact and are nothing more than rumors.

Obviously I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I feel horrible about this and am very sorry for any trouble I've caused. I would like to warn all pilots to be mindful and present when operating any airport. In today's climate of heightened security, it is easy to see how an innocent mistake at any airport can lead to a frightening experience.


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Aviation at a Distanceback to top 

The pilot of a Piper Seneca with five aboard was last November instructed to land via text message. The report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch was published Aug. 6 detailing the complete electrical failure aboard the Seneca and the 39-year-old pilot's reaction to fly clear of clouds after departing Kerry airport for a flight to Jersey, in the U.K. The pilot attempted to contact Kerry airport and air traffic control in Cork via cellphone. After making contact with Cork and then losing contact, he received a text message from a Cork controller advising him that air traffic control had him on radar and he was cleared to land at the airport. The aircraft landed safely at the airport after performing a fly-by to confirm wheels down. The report praised the efforts of the controller. "In this incident the positive and proactive initiative of the ATC controller, who, on realising that mobile audio communication from the pilot was intermittent, quickly switched to texting his instructions instead," reported air accident investigator John Hughes. More...

Flying unmanned Predator and Reaper aerial vehicles for the Air Force used to be a job for trained (manned) aircraft pilots, but that is changing. Previously, pilots would rotate from manned aircraft to unmanned aircraft for a period of three years before rotating back into the air, but demand for UAV pilots has caused the Air Force to seek full-time career UAV pilots not otherwise trained to fly manned aircraft. Currently a program set in motion to train such officers is seeking to recruit non-pilots as UAV operators -- the staffing transition may take up to four years. The military is outsourcing some of the training and the University of North Dakota, which has set up a UAV center -- the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence -- and has received a $50 million training contract from the Air Force. Currently, there are over 100 Predators and Reapers in service with over 200 crews supporting them. UAV pilots have been enabled by new equipment to handle multiple aircraft at the same time, but in practice pilots rarely handled more than two well. More...

Cessna Caravan
Introducing the perfect union of brains and brawn. With more than 10 million fleet hours under its heavy-lifting wings, the Cessna Caravan now has brains to match. The standard Garmin G1000® glass cockpit combined with the WAAS-certified GFC700 automated flight control system integrates all primary flight, engine and sensor data to provide intuitive, at-a-glance situational awareness and precise flight guidance and control. For complete information, go online.
Parts and Perilsback to top 

A shortfall of seats, galleys and toilets is causing production slowdowns at both Airbus and Boeing, raising costs for the manufacturers and delaying deliveries and payment from customers, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The delays have been present for nearly a year, but their impact this year spilled from new models into older production lines (Boeing's 777 and Airbus' A330) and may begin to affect both manufacturers' financial results as the manufacturers operate below planned efficiency levels. The problem has so far been blamed on the over-commitment of small suppliers that failed to match production with recent global demand for airliners. But the suppliers may not be the only parties to over-commit. More...

In the continuing response to a June 5 incident that left an Eclipse 500 flying over Chicago Midway with its throttles wide-open and unresponsive, Eclipse sent a service bulletin Thursday to explain how operators should comply with a new airworthiness directive from the FAA that clarifies mandatory inspections of the 500's throttle quadrant assembly. The aircraft involved in the incident ultimately landed safely, but not after exposing an unsafe condition attainable in flying the aircraft. Thursday's AD replaces a prior emergency AD issued by the FAA on June 12 and reflects Eclipse's development of an FAA-approved test/modification procedure. The new AD mandates the actions of Eclipse's service bulletin. Eclipse says it will prevent the unresponsive throttle condition via a "simple software update to all Eclipse 500" aircraft. The company is currently working with its suppliers to establish an implementation schedule for the software update for which it expects to achieve FAA certification early in the Q4 of this year. The throttle issue is one of several recent challenges faced by the company. More...

Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer.

Purchase by August 16, 2008 and receive a complimentary pair of Bose in-ear headphones ($99.95 value). Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
News Briefsback to top 

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association Thursday reported second-quarter shipment and billing figures that continue at a record-setting pace, despite a negative influence from the piston market. The industry as a whole showed a 24.1 percent increase for the first half of 2008 and totaled $12.1 billion, but was driven by an increase in worldwide bizjet and turboprop popularity. Total shipments on the lighter end of the scale (piston-powered aircraft) are down for 2008. GAMA, however, appears bullish on that segment of the industry: "The energy surrounding the entire spectrum of general aviation remains robust," according to the association's assessment. For the piston market, too, growth opportunities in the international market along with "innovative technologies" are at least generating "excitement," according to GAMA. So far, that excitement has not this year increased, or even maintained, the number of small plane shipments through the first two quarters of 2008. Actually, compared with last year's figures for the first two quarters, turboprop shipments are up nearly 20 percent and business jet shipments are up nearly 40 percent, while piston shipments are down nearly 16 percent to 1034 units ... excitement not withstanding. More...

A new program just launched by Fly History LLC is designed to give pilots the ability to train, qualify and then have solo flying-club-like access to T-6 Texan, T-34 Mentor and PT-17 aircraft. The company is currently filling slots for 20 charter members at each of six locations, nationwide. The fees paid by members will vary by location -- Fly History is currently setting up shop in Boston, Westchester (N.Y.), Dallas, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Atlanta. As an example, Boston will require dues of $1380 per month plus $165 per hour dry for all aircraft but the T6, which goes for $275 per hour, dry. Charter members will lay out the full year's dues in advance to be held in escrow (refundable) until 20 positions are filled at their location and the aircraft are on the flight line. Training requirements have been worked out with an insurer and there are minimum total time requirements for applicants, beginning at 500 hours for T-34 pilot aspirants and topping off at 1000 hours for AT-6 aspirants. Those who want to fly the PT-17 need a tailwheel endorsement plus 300 PT-17 landings (although lower limits may apply for experienced tailwheel drivers). ... And the Stearman aircraft will be rotated to Fly History's warmer locations as winter closes in. More...

Smart Safety ... Leave Anxiety Out of Your Flight Plan
As a Cirrus owner, you join a lifestyle that takes safety very seriously. Whether flying for pleasure or business, you always fly smart and safe. Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is designed to help by giving you more time and information to make better decisions, reduce workload, and improve your overall flying experience. Cirrus Perspective adds more ability to experience the Cirrus lifestyle fully and leave anxiety out of your flight plan. For complete features, go online.
News Briefsback to top 

Blaming an air traffic controller for the collision a U.S. District Judge has ordered the FAA to pay $4.5 million to the family of a flight instructor killed in a midair involving a Robinson R44 and a Robinson R22 Beta II at Torrance Municipal Airport. The accident took place in 2003 and the judge's decision, handed down early this month, stated that the controller offered the R22's student pilot confusing instructions that caused him to crash the helicopter he was flying into the R44 flown by the instructor. The NTSB found in 2007 probable cause of the accident was "the failure of the pilot of the R22 [the student pilot] to comply with an ATC clearance." Both pilots were killed in the crash and a third person was seriously injured. More...

Instead of a roadable aircraft, how about using your aircraft to carry a roadable motorcycle? That question has been answered by the effort of MotoPOD, which debuted its modified 225-cc six-speed four-cycle motorcycle and aircraft belly pod at AirVenture Oshkosh last month. The company says it will soon offer STC'd models for Cirrus SR22, Cessna 182 and other aircraft models. For now, the system has been fitted to a four-seat Van's Aircraft RV-10 kitbuilt experimental aircraft for testing at a cost of 9 knots airspeed during cruise -- time the company says you can sometimes more than erase on the destination end of the trip by virtue of having brought your own ground transportation. As for other costs, first, a MotoPOD carrying one of the company's modified motorcycles (leak-proof plumbing and folding parts) will add more than 230 pounds to your aircraft. But before that, comes dollars. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

Win This Plane!
Enter AOPA's 2008 Sweepstakes and you could be flying high in a fully refurbished Piper Archer II, accented with a new instrument panel featuring the world's first installed certified EFD1000 PFD. Custom extras include handcrafted leather seats, tie-down rings, nav light retainers, and wood trim accents. Click for more details.
New on AVwebback to top 

AVweb's Rick Durden found some really good pilots at Oshkosh this year ... just by watching them land. More...

It doesn't take many weeks of sitting on the ground for an instrument pilot to get rusty. Foremost, staying current is one big balancing act. More...

Dr. Blue Says, "Be Smart — Carry a PLB!"
Flying, hiking, camping, riding your ATV or bike — accidents happen that can become a life-threatening situation. Be prepared with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It's as easy as pushing a button. PLBs from Aeromedix.com include the ACR MicroFix 406 MHz for pilots when you're enjoying activities in unpopulated areas. Click now to visit Aeromedix.com for complete details.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening?back to top 

At EAA AirVenture 2008, Kitplanes Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook sought out some of the most influential people in the homebuilt sector and asked their opinion on the FAA's revisions to the 51% Rule. In the latest installment of this series, we listen in on Marc's conversation with Zenith Aircraft's Sebastian Heintz.

This podcast is brought to you byBose Corporation's Aviation Headset X™ ... More...

"A Celebration"
Celebrating their 45th anniversary this September, the National Championship Air Races are the last head-to-head air racing event left on Earth and are the favorite among aviation enthusiasts, worldwide. The event features six high-speed racing classes and a static aircraft show, and this year the USAF Thunderbirds and F-22 Demonstration Team will highlight a fleet of world-class aviation demonstrations. For more information on the National Championship Air Races or to purchase tickets, call (775) 972-6633, or visit AirRace.org.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

This year at EAA AirVenture we brought you fourteen video reports over the course of seven days. We realize the news was flying fast and furious during the show, so just in case you missed any of our reports, you can catch them all here. (Click through to watch.) More...

This week's featured video comes from AVweb reader Robert Patterson, who spent some time last month on a missionary trip to Ecuador with MAF Vision. The clip Robert shares with us their final approach to the village of Tiweano. (Click through to watch.) More...

New! Jeppesen Avionics Knowledge Library — Garmin G1000 IFR Training
The Jeppesen Garmin G1000 — IFR Procedures training is an advanced, extensive computer-based training program developed with Garmin teaching skills to master the operation of and confidently fly the G1000 in IFR conditions. Learn: How to pull up and fly instrument procedures; how to load and activate approaches including RNAV and GPS; all the new WAAS-enabled approaches; and how to perform course reversals, fly holding patterns, and execute missed approaches. Call Jeppesen at (303) 328-4274, or visit online for more information!
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Poplar Grove Airmotive, located (where else?) at Poplar Grove Airport (C77), an hour north of Chicago.

In a week filled with great recommendations, it was this testimonial from AVweb reader Steve Langdon that brought Poplar Grove to the top:

Poplar Grove is the Mecca for fun aviation. The field hosts numerous biplanes, homebuilts, etc. The owners, Steve and Tina Thomas, will bend over backwards to make your visit enjoyable and memorable. The field has two sod strips ... great for obtaining your tail wheel endorsement in either the Piper Cub or the Cessna 140 that are available for rent at the FBO. Good food is just up the road, and a car is usually availabe. Adjacent to the airport is the Poplar Grove Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum, which celebrates the early years of aviation and other forms of transportation.

Sounds like a destination FBO, Steve — thanks for the tip!

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!


Fly (or Drive) Somewhere! Use AVweb's Calendar of Events
Air shows, seminars, conferences, club events, fly-ins, pancake breakfasts, and trade shows are all featured on AVweb's Calendar of Events.

If you have an event you want folks to know about, post it at no cost!
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


An exchange overheard while flying over the Mojave Desert:

Joshua Approach:
"Bonanza 50Y, traffic two o'clock, five miles. Unmanned aerial vehicle has you in sight."

50Y (me):
"50Y looking. If he's 'unmanned,' how can he have me in sight?"

Joshua Approach:
"Oh. He's got a T-38 spotter plane, so really it's a flight of two ... . Now you're three o'clock, three miles."

Yeah, I was kidding. I know they have cameras and instrumentation. But I still don't have them in sight."

Joshua Approach:
"They're passing behind you now. No factor. And we usually reserve the 'I can't see him' jokes for the F-117s that come through here."

Marc Zorn
via e-mail


So You Think You Are a Safe Pilot!
Aviation Safety magazine will keep your decision-making skills sharp with interesting and information-packed articles. You may find lots you didn't know! Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
More AVweb for Your Inboxback to top 

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/. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

Mariano Rosales
Jeff van West

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.

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