AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 38a

September 15, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
When Is the Last Time You Reviewed Your Life Insurance?
Annual reviews of life insurance needs can help determine if you lack important coverages — or if you can save on existing policies. As a pilot, you are likely paying more for life insurance than you should be. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with insurance planning at the most affordable rates available. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
 
Top News: Disaster and Its Aftermath back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

Ike Cuts Swath Through Heartland, Canada

Hurricane Ike inundated parts of Texas and Louisiana on Saturday and general aviation pilots were ready for a call that likely will not come. In a podcast interview with AVweb on Sunday, Texas Aviation Association Secretary Jay Carpenter said there has not only been no request for GA assistance, it's actually against the law. TFRs have been established in the area of most significant damage and, to add insult to injury, a cold front moved through within hours of Ike's passage and spawned thunderstorms and more rain throughout the area. Carpenter said federal and state authorities appear "much better prepared" to handle the situation but he's had dozens of inquiries from Texas pilots ready and willing to help out, if needed. Meanwhile, Ike wasn't finished when it came ashore in Texas and disrupted flights on its northward trek, according to National Air Traffic Controllers Association spokesman Doug Church.

Church told AVweb the remnants of the storm stayed strong enough to damage the roof of the Cincinatti airport tower and also close Louisville's tower. The storm tracked north to the Great Lakes where it was predicted to pick up strength over the Great Lakes and drench Michigan, upstate New York and southern Ontario and Quebec.

AOPA On Flying Post-9/11

"General aviation is more secure" following 9/11, according to AOPA president Phil Boyer, "in large part, because the pilot community has a vested interest in protecting their aircraft and airports." Perhaps just as important, it's possible that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has noticed, too. DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff recently said, "the fact is that government, the federal government or the state government, does not need to order people to protect assets when the people themselves place great value on the assets." In those areas where the government has stepped in, AOPA points out that it worked with the TSA -- specifically on developing a process for student pilot background checks that would not adversely affect new pilot starts.

Reminding pilots of AOPA's efforts to fend off unnecessary temporary flight restrictions and work to assure the threats posed by general aviation aircraft were properly understood (AOPA commissioned a report on the risk general aviation aircraft pose to nuclear power plants), Boyer reminds pilots to remain vigilant. "We always need to be looking out for our aircraft and airports."

 
JA Air Center Announces First Installation of a Garmin G600 PFD/MFD LCD Display
JA Air Center has installed the first Garmin G600 PFD/MFD LCD display in a certified aircraft, a 2001 PA32R Arrow. The aircraft is also equipped with dual GNS430Ws, GDL90 ADS-B Uplink and GTX327 Transponder. The G600 combination PFD/MFD, designed to take the space of the basic six-pack, fully integrates all primary flight, navigation, terrain, traffic and weather. For more information, go online.

Call JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 to speak with a Garmin expert about the G600.
 
Eclipse 500 Certification Stands back to top 
 

Eclipse Certification Upheld

The FAA has upheld the certification process for the Eclipse 500 very light jet but says problems with the trim and fire-extinguishing systems need to be addressed and issues with certification process itself should be tweaked. The agency ordered a review of the certification last month amid allegations by the FAA inspectors involved with the certification that it wasn't done properly. A committee of senior FAA certification experts headed by former Boeing executive Jerry Mack found the certification valid but noted problems with communication and coordination of the process. "This review tells us that while we made the right call in certifying this aircraft, the process we used could and should have been better coordinated," said Acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell. "These recommendations will be invaluable as we continue certifying these new types of aircraft."

The review panel says the FAA and Eclipse "should conduct a root cause analysis" of trim, trim actuator and fire-extinguisher problems reported by operators. The other recommendations appear to deal with internal processes at the FAA.

 
Discover the Thrill of a Family Getaway
Discover that the best family vacation photos aren't taken through the window of a minivan. In a brand-new Cessna Stationair, every single weekend becomes your chance for a family getaway. Without ever hearing the dreaded words "Are we there yet?" Call 1 (800) 4-CESSNA. Or visit CessnaYouAreHere.com.
 
Taking "Weekend Flying" to New Heights back to top 
 

P-51 Airplanes Dominate In Reno

P-51s were 1-2 in the Breitling Gold Unlimited final a the National Championship Air Races at Reno Stead Airport on Sunday. Bill Destefani's Strega was more than nine seconds ahead of Dan Martin's Dago Red to claim the top prize at Reno. Destefani and Strega averaged a brisk 483.062 mph in a time of 8:19.249. Martin averaged 474.305 mph and September Fury, a Hawker Sea Fury flown by Michael Brown. Meanwhile Jon Sharp's Nemesis NXT set a record in the Super Sport Gold race with a speed of 392.252 mph.

In the T-6 class, Ken Dwelle flew his Tinkertoy to victory in a record speed of 244.523 mph, while Tom Aberley won the biplane class at 251.975 mph. Steve Senegal flew his AR-6 to victory in the F-1 class with a speed of 246.119 mph and in the jet class, Curt Brown clocked 507.124 mph in his L-29 to claim gold.

Full results here.

Curtiss America Flight A Success

Its engine problems obviously licked, the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum's reproduction of the pioneer aircraft manufacturer's massive flying boat America lifted off Keuka Lake in upstate New York on Saturday. It was the culmination of more than 16 years of effort by a volunteer group of builders who faithfully recreated an aircraft which was generations ahead of its time when Curtiss first created it in 1914. As depicted in Don Kaake's video, the aircraft had a flawless flight before a big crowd gathered for the annual Sea Plane Homecoming in Hammondsport, NY.

Curtiss saw big potential in the use of water bodies for takeoff and recovery of aircraft and was the first to try it. America was a stunning technological achievement for its day, a twin engine flying boat with a wing span of more than 72 feet.

 
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. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
 
Comfort & Safety back to top 
 

Flight Rights For Passengers In Canada, Sort Of

Passenger groups fighting airlines for the right to spend delays in relative comfort (as opposed to confined to stuffy aluminum tubes) have won ... something ... in Canada. Canada has launched a Flight Rights Canada program that offers passengers using Canadian-based airlines a degree of protection from ground-bound suffering with new guidelines that direct airlines to offer drinks and snacks to passengers who have been boarded onto then-delayed aircraft. The rules are not legislation or regulation, but because Canadian airlines say they're on board with the plan, Canadian officials feel the guidelines will suffice. In the case that a delay exceeds 90 minutes, the airline will offer passengers the option of de-planing until that aircraft can depart. In the case that a flight is delayed by more than four hours, passengers will get vouchers for a free meal. Due to caveats written into the rules, like "if it's safe, practical and timely to do so," it's not clear exactly how the guidelines will play out in practice and consumer groups have dismissed the measure as pre-election rhetoric with no stick to back it up.

And, as proposed, it seems clear that even in Canada, and even with the new guidelines, passengers could easily find themselves confined for more than 90 minutes without even the comfort of a small bag of peanuts.

NATA Hopes Online TEB Safety Guide First Of Many

The popularity of the FAA-funded, National Air Transportation Association (NATA) produced proactive Safety 1st program launched as a free online training tool for pilots and flight crew flying into Teterboro could lead to more, similar programs. Tracking statistics show that the free online safety training records an average of more than 60 visitors per day and has won more than 80,000 hits since first launched. Providing key insights into the nuances of traffic flows, common pilot mistakes, specific trouble spots on the airport and more, the free training tool is available to anyone at no charge by visiting AirportFlightCrewBriefing.com/teterboro. NATA says that both the FAA and other airport operators have expressed interest in production of similar programs for other airports and that the association is currently selecting those airports it feels would benefit most. NATA's Safety 1st hopes to begin development of those programs as soon as possible.

At Teterboro, local FBOs are promoting the training in their pilot lounges and the program has become required reading for employees of several local aircraft operators whose pilots must complete the online course as part of their training, according to NATA.

 
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 Briefs back to top 
 

Special Access At Astronaut Scholarship Event

More than 25 astronauts and "space icons" will be on hand to greet guests, pose for photos and (for a fee) sign memorabilia Nov. 7-9 at the Kennedy Space Center's Visitor Complex in conjunction with the Center's Space & Air Show. The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) is hosting the Astronaut Autograph and Memorabilia Show and the Blue Angels will headline the flight display on Nov. 8. Visitors can involve themselves in auctions for astronaut memorabilia, behind-the-scenes tours hosted by veteran astronauts, and even dinner with the astronauts by purchasing special ticket packages to benefit the ASF. The Foundation funds nineteen $10,000 scholarships each year and pricing for this event ranges from $100 to $350. Expected among the 25 astronauts are well-recognized names including Buzz Aldrin, Scott Carpenter, Gene Cernan, Charlie Duke, Hoot Gibson, Jim Lovell, Edgar Mitchell, Dave Scott and Al Worden to name a few.

For more information, see AstronautScholarship.org.

On the Fly ...

All 88 people on board an Aeroflot Boeing 737 were killed when the aircraft crashed in central Russia on Sunday. Investigators were looking into the possibility of an engine failure that triggered an in-flight explosion brought the aircraft down ...

The pews had fold-down trays and the wedding party had to go single file up the aisle but a Boeing 737, 35,000 feet above Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was the perfect venue for the marriage of pilots Michael Griffith and Martha Bull. About 70 guests attended but there's no word on whether the bride's side was A to C or D to F ...

The Explorers' Club ended a fruitless two-week search for Steve Fossett last week, saying they'll be back to solve the "Amelia Earhart story of our century." The 28 elite mountaineers and trekkers scoured 100 square miles of some of the most rugged territory anywhere.

 
Sensenich: Right on the Nose ... Again!
For more than 75 years, Sensenich has been the industry's fixed-pitch prop leader. No surprise Sensenich leads the way again with new composite propellers for light sport and homebuilt aircraft. Proven on 5,000 airboats over the last eight years, plus Rotax- and Jabiru-powered planes, the new lightweight, precision composite props are now available for Continental- and Lycoming-powered planes. Call (717) 569-0435, or click here to learn more.
 
Reader Voices back to top 
 

AVmail: Sep. 15, 2008

Reader mail this week about security seven years after 9/11, fly-by-wire helicopters, noise issues and much more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the editor.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

 
Is Your Certificate at Risk?
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150%. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a variety of situations where you might need legal support. Plus, the Plan gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by the Plan and an annual review of key aviation documents. Call (800) USA-AOPA, or go online to enroll.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

Probable Cause #64: Healthy Respect

Although you might not tell the FAA about it, are you absolutely certain you're healthy enough for this flight?

Click here for the full story.

If asked, the FAA would probably say that the most-violated FARs involve serving as a pilot-in-command without the required recent experience for the operation, or the ubiquitous "careless and reckless" offense. After all, they might reason, the system is designed to prevent accidents or incidents, so if there's an accident or incident, someone must have been careless and reckless.

But I would disagree with that answer and, instead, maintain that the most-violated FARs have to do with medical certification and, specifically, reporting to the FAA any changes in a pilot's health. Think about it: Do you really tell the FAA about every visit you make to a physician during the preceding two years? Even that short bout you had with the flu last February and the Viagra refill to get the summer started off right? I didn't think so.

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of pilots don't report to the FAA all of the medical changes and challenges required by the regulations. Most of the time, that's not an issue, and helps unclog the FAA's medical certification process while not harming aviation safety in the slightest. Too, the FAA has well-earned its reputation for making its medical exemption and re-certification processes about as difficult to navigate as, say, the New York TRACON on a Friday evening. I would hasten to add, however, that the process has seemingly improved in recent years and, every so often, we hear miraculous tales of pilots receiving their new medical certificates much more quickly than anyone thought possible.

Still, pilots routinely hide from the FAA just about any change in their health for fear of losing their ticket. Given how the FAA has created an adversarial relationship between it and pilots, withholding such information should have been expected. But one result shouldn't be pilots who withhold relevant health-related information from themselves.

What I mean by this is that pilots sometimes are their own worst enemy when it comes to accurately assessing physical preparedness for their next flight. We've all heard countless tales of solo pilots falling asleep in the cockpit and flying with other medical transgressions. While we don't hear about the flights that got cancelled because the pilot "just didn't feel like it," we hear too much about how the aging process can make a bold pilot quiver in the face of the FAA's bureaucracy. The easy way out is similar to our top three ways of dealing with thunderstorms: avoid, avoid, avoid.

The trick is knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. We've all not been feeling our best when departing on a flight. Maybe we felt better by the time we landed; maybe we felt worse. Most of the time, what our body was trying to tell us was inconsequential. Sometimes, that message is important -- we'd be willing to guess many unexplained accidents could involve a pilot's medical condition. Here's an instance where a pilot knew he had a medical problem and, according to the NTSB at least, it's what did him in.

Background

On July 11, 2004, at 1426 EDT, a Cessna 172C was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during a go-around at the Plateau Sky Ranch (1F2) in Edinburgh, N.Y. The Private pilot and sole occupant was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to a witness, the airplane had just taken off, and was completing a circuit in the landing pattern. When he next saw it, the airplane was about halfway down Runway 24, a turf surface, at about 10 feet above the ground. The airplane looked as if it was going to land; however, "if [the pilot] had landed, he would've overrun the runway." The witness also noted that the pilot would've had to increase power for the airplane to climb over the trees. He didn't hear a power increase.

The airplane crashed into trees at the end of the runway, apparently without any attempt on the pilot's part to flare and land, or add power to execute a go-around.

Investigation

The pilot's most recent Third Class medical certificate was issued less than three months earlier. According to his logbook, he had accumulated 1526 hours of flight time. Also, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed within three months before the accident.

Weather at a nearby reporting station included calm winds, visibility of 10 statute miles, a few clouds at 4400 feet, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 57 degrees and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of mercury.

Nothing in the wreckage gave investigators a reason to suspect a mechanical problem with the engine or the airplane; an abundant amount of fuel was present at the accident site.

After the accident, bystanders pulled the pilot from the airplane and found him to be without a pulse and not breathing. The bystanders initiated CPR just after extraction, which was continued by medical personnel. Resuscitation attempts lasted for nearly an hour, and included CPR, an automated external defibrillator, a breathing tube, delivery of the resuscitative medications epinephrine and atropine, plus other steps. No heart rhythm was ever noted during the attempts, and resuscitative efforts were terminated at 1522. An autopsy found complete occlusion of the left main coronary artery by atherosclerosis. In addition, there were "bilateral catheters on the anterior upper chest, and an intravenous line in the left antecubital fossa."

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determined the probable cause of this accident to be the "pilot's occluded left main coronary artery, which resulted in a massive heart attack and sudden death in flight."

Unless we're flying crushing competitive aerobatics, 20-hour legs or in extreme environments, flying an aircraft usually is not a physical challenge. Still, committing aviation can generate elevated stress levels and -- even at seemingly benign altitudes -- have other adverse physical effects. While this accident involves an extreme instance of flying with a known deficiency, the lesson is the same, whether we're suffering from a cold, vision problems, high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease: We shouldn't be flying unless we're physically capable.


More accident analyses are available in AVweb's Probable Cause Index. And for monthly articles about safety, including accident reports like this one, subscribe to AVweb's sister publication, Aviation Safety.

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AVweb Insider Blog: Why Eclipse's Future Is Daunting

The ongoing FAA review of the airplane's certification may be the least of the company's problems. Emerging competition and the need for yet more cash transfusions cloud the future. In his latest AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli analyzes the state of play.

Read more.

 
Between Wheels Up and Wheels Down, There Is One Important Word: How
As the team managing the FAA AFSS system, Lockheed Martin serves nearly 90,000 general aviation pilots every week. Providing timely, accurate information and helpful service 24/7. From weather forecasts to en route information, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, ensuring flight safety in the National Airspace System is all a question of how. And it is the how that makes all the difference. Click here for more.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Texas Aviation Rallies After Hurricane Ike (But It's Not Easy)

File Size 7.3 MB / Running Time 7:59

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

In the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Ike, general aviation is standing ready to help in the relief effort, but there are a few things standing in their way. Jay Carpenter, secretary of the Texas Aviation Association, updated AVweb's Russ Niles on Sunday.

Click here to listen. (7.3 MB, 7:59)

Video of the Week: Glenn Curtiss Museum's America Flying Boat Recreation Takes to the Skies

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

We periodically check YouTube for new videos from the folks at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, hoping to see what's going on with their "Project America," an ongoing effort by the museum to construct a fully-functional and authentic replica of the twin-engine OX-6 Curtiss seaplane. We've shared videos of the construction and water debut of America 2.0 in the past, but this weekend she actually took a real-world flight — and thanks to Dan Kaake, you can see how things went on New York's Keuka Lake:


Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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."

 
Avidyne Delivers Worldwide Datalink Graphical Weather and Two-Way Messaging
Avidyne's new MLX770 Iridium®-based two-way datalink transceiver brings strategic datalink weather services to Entegra- and EX500-equipped aircraft operating worldwide. The MLX770 allows pilots to more easily make go/no-go decisions on the ground and fly more strategically while en route. Additionally, the MLX770 provides convenient two-way SMS text messaging from an airborne MFD to any ground-based SMS-capable mobile phone or e-mail address, allowing pilots to communicate in-flight. Click here for more information.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Galaxy Aviation (KSUA, Stuart, Florida)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Galaxy Aviation at KSUA in Stuart, Florida.

AVweb reader Adam Green recommended the FBO:

Enroute VFR and had to divert to Stuart due to weather. Galaxy's line guys were ready to greet us, and promptly helped us out of our Cessna and refueled. Inside, Vanessa and team were as friendly as can be and offered my girlfriend and Milo (the dog) coffee, popcorn, and dog treats. ... They even loaned us a car with a GPS, and gave us a list of local restaurants with directions so we could run out and grab a bite to eat. When we returned, we had a few hours to kill and their HD Satellite televisions in every corner were great entertainment. We even moved into the pilot's lounge where they offered us pillows and blankets, and gave us fresh popcorn to munch on. Thanks, Galaxy; this was a great FBO experience. Can't wait to come back!

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!

 
Just a Few of the AVweb "For Sale" Classified Ads Now Online:
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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"

Corporate Jet Captain:
"San Jose Clearance Delivery, clearance on request for [airport name deleted to protect the guilty]."

San Jose Clearance:
"Didn't I just give you that clearance?"

[pause]

Corporate Jet Captain:
"My first officer is nodding yes. Sorry about that, but otherwise our airborne cockpit resource management is outstanding."

Michael R. Gallagher
Sacramento, California

 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.