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Volume 15, Number 6a
February 9, 2009
3 Airplanes ... 3 Levels ... 1 Edition ... Ice
New for 2009, Cirrus Aircraft shakes the lineup with a new way to spec out your new Cirrus. SR20, SR22, and Turbo models are now available in three well-equipped trim levels - "S," "GS," and "GTS"; Known Ice Protection is ready to go on SR22 and Turbo models; or choose an all-new premium interior and exterior upgrade package dubbed "X-Edition." Visit CirrusAircraft.com for details.
Top News: Flight 1549 Captain Speaksback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

In his first major interview with the mainstream press Sunday night, USAir's Chesley B. Sullenberger described the moment after his Airbus 320 ingested birds as "the worst, sickening pit of your stomach, falling through the floor feeling I've ever felt in my life. I knew immediately it was very bad." In a 20-minute interview with CBS's Katie Couric on 60 Minutes, Sullenberger said he and F/O Jeff Skiles went through a brief moment of denial before getting to work of ditching the stricken USAir Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15. "My initial reaction was one of disbelief this is happening. This doesn't happen to me," he told Couric, adding that he expected to finish his entire flying career without ever having lost an airplane. Sullenberger described the birdstrike impacts as "like a hailstorm…like the worst thunderstorm I'd ever experienced growing up in Texas." When he noticed the smell of burned birds passing through the air packs, Sullenberger realized the engines weren't going to restart, although he and Skiles selected continuous ignition and started the APU, which apparently provided power all the way to the ditching. "No luck. I mean, I got the AP running, I turned the ignition on, but still, no usable thrust. We were descending rapidly toward the water. The water was coming up at us fast," he told Couric. More...

Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?
According to LIMRA International, a leading industry research firm, 68 million adult Americans have no life insurance. Those who own life insurance have an average of four times their annual income in coverage, considerably less than most experts recommend. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with insurance planning at an affordable rate. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
NAFI Spawns Offshoot Group, SAFEback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

A breakaway group of former members of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) have formed a new organization. The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) grew from a group formed in October when NAFI's board of directors announced its intention to dismiss long-time members Joanne and Sandy Hill from their contract position administering the Master Instructor program. In podcast interviews with NAFI spokesman Jason Blair and TBO (now SAFE) spokesman Doug Stewart, which appeared in AVweb on Friday, both sides gave their version of the events that ultimately led to the formation of a separate group.

Related Content:


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Brand-New Antique Airplane Takes Flightback to top 

A replica of the Silver Dart, the first powered, heavier-than-air vehicle to fly in Canada, flew much of the length of a runway at Hamilton, Ontario's airport on Friday in its first test flight. With Canadian astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason (1997 Discovery payload specialist) at the controls, the aircraft, true to the original design by Alexander Graham Bell, appeared stable and controllable during the minute-long flight, which never got more than about six feet above the runway. The flight was a precursor to a re-enactment of the first flight of the original aircraft, which flew from the ice of a lake near Baddeck, Nova Scotia, near Bell's home, on Feb. 23, 1909. The replica, with Tryggyason at the controls, is scheduled to repeat that flight in Baddeck on the exact date of the centenary.

Related Content:
More video of the Silver Dart's flight 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.
Eye on the Weatherback to top 

Boeing Thursday notified all operators of 777 aircraft flying with Rolls-Royce Trent engines that the aircraft's fuel system is subject to compromise by ice. The notice is in agreement with both the NTSB and AAIB respectively that ice accretion in the fuel system was the cause when a Delta Airlines Boeing 777-200ER on Nov. 26 lost power while cruising over Montana at 39,000 feet and when a British Airways 777 famously crash-landed short of the runway at Heathrow on Jan. 17, 2008. Boeing's outreach included precautionary measures for flight crews piloting the aircraft through cold weather, that supersede those it issued in September (which, as evidenced by the Delta flight, did not resolve the problem). It is likely that a redesign will eventually grace the fuel system in the form of an airworthiness directive from the FAA. For now, triple-seven pilots flying with Trent engines are being asked to advance the throttles to maximum thrust before descent on flights that have maintained the same altitude for two hours. Boeing has outlined other precautionary procedures and it is likely that the FAA will make them mandatory as they did with those Boeing issued in September. Investigators of both the Delta and the Heathrow incident have a new target. More...

The FAA admits it's relaxing lightning protection standards for commercial aircraft because manufacturers, notably Boeing with the 787, can't meet the rules that have been in place since 2001. "To this day, we have not had one manufacturer that has been able to demonstrate compliance with that rule," Ali Bahrami, head of the FAA's Seattle office dealing with commercial-airplane certification, told the Seattle Times. "We decided it's time to re-evaluate our approach." In the 787's case, that re-evaluation involves allowing a single level of spark protection for some parts in the fuel tanks and wings rather than the triple redundancy that the 2001 rule requires. The FAA and Boeing argue that a new system that will pump inert nitrogen into the void of emptying fuel tanks more than makes up for the lessened spark protection but FAA inspectors, many of them former Boeing employees, have formally challenged that view. More...

Fly with Bose Aviation Headset X®
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
More than Meets the Eyeback to top 

The National Business Aviation Association says the Transportation Security Administration is rewriting a manual for field personnel after a surprise general aviation security operation delayed passengers and crew members in Nashville in late December and early January. Doug Carr, NBAA's VP of Safety, Security and Regulation, said TSA officials conducted bag searches and wanded passengers and crew headed for private aircraft and also checked FBO personnel in what appears to have been a misinterpretation by local TSA personnel of instructions in a classified security manual called the Playbook. Carr said NBAA has since discussed the operation with TSA headquarters and confirmed that this kind of activity "is not the direction they wanted to go regarding general aviation." He said he's been told a new Playbook is in the works that will address the issue but since the manual is secret, he can't know exactly what's in it. More...

A pilot from Burlington, Vt., apparently has some explaining to do after he allegedly made a radio call saying that his plane had crashed on a runway at Plattsburg International Airport in upstate New York. The Plattsburg Press Republican is reporting Nicholas Santo has been charged with a felony count of second-degree falsely reporting an incident and second-degree aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor. The charges allege that Santo was taking off in an unspecified model of Cessna when the runway lights were turned up for an inbound Cape Air flight. Authorities say Santo then made a radio call claiming the lights had blinded him, he'd hit a snowbank and flipped his aircraft. Then he took off normally, local deputies allege. More...

The passengers of Aeroflot Flight 315, a packed Boeing 767 out of Moscow for New York's JFK Dec. 28, staged a coup, demanding that a pilot be removed from the flight after hearing his severely slurred preflight announcement. Reports state that the 55-year-old captain's words, spoken in Russian, were barely intelligible and became worse when he switched to English. Some passengers claimed they couldn't tell what language he was speaking. Passengers who relayed their concerns to cabin crew were at first rebuffed and told to sit quietly or deplane. But passenger concern spread and ultimately Aeroflot representatives came aboard the aircraft to try to restore calm. It was a full half-hour before the captain emerged from the cockpit "red-faced with bloodshot eyes and unsteady on his feet," according to the Moscow Times. Then things got more interesting. 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.
News Briefsback to top 

Three major general aviation groups Thursday jointly requested that the TSA form a rulemaking committee and work with them toward creation of less burdensome security measures for crew and passengers operating aircraft exceeding 12,500 pounds. AOPA, GAMA and NBAA are fighting to reduce the reach of the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) program that would require criminal background checks of all flight crew, and crosscheck of passengers and family members against terrorist watch lists. Beyond that, LASP would require biennial audits of every operator's security program to be submitted to a third party for audit. Each of the three agencies signed the same letter that they then submitted to the TSA, stating that such proposals would "have disastrous consequences on the industry." Pressing for creation of a cooperative workgroup, the groups' aim is to form a rulemaking committee that would involve industry stakeholders in a secure information-sharing forum. The TSA is accepting comments on what is already the LASP notice of proposed rulemaking until Feb. 27, and some business aircraft manufacturers have already chimed in. More...

Cessna to shorten work weeks...
Cirrus to further adjust production...
"Sully Light" says he's no hero. More...

Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: "Most Efficient"?

Regarding the article about Liberty claiming to be the most efficient IFR aircraft:

My 1977 Mooney 201 flew from LAX to Spearfish, SD (SPF) non-stop. That is 1100 miles, and I burned 49 gallons. The flight took six hours and 20 minutes. That is 22.45 miles per gallon. I wasn't moping along at 106 knots, either. With my two 430s and a Sandel Flight Director, I don't know how you could have a more efficient IFR airplane.

Thank you,

Guy A. Edwards

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


Do you fly a light sport aircraft (LSA) for real, cross-country travel? Are you exploring the possibility? Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, has been researching this topic and wants to hear your thoughts with a quick survey. It will take no more than five minutes of your time to complete.

If you own or rent an aircraft that qualifies as an LSA, click here to complete our owner survey.

If you are just thinking about using an LSA for travel, click here to share your opinion in our non-owner survey. 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...

Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Available for Retrofit Installation in Select Cessna 300-Series Aircraft!
Avidyne has added the popular Cessna 320/335/340 piston-engine twins to the growing list of Envision® Integrated Flight Deck–approved aircraft. The big-glass Envision system is the industry's easiest-to-use integrated flight deck, providing state-of-the-art situational awareness and safety, with a highly-reliable all-solid-state ADAHRS, a full-featured moving map, electronic approach charts, color lightning, traffic avoidance, and satellite datalink weather. Click here for more information.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

The Collings Foundation continues its annual tour of the U.S., this year with a P-51 Mustang equipped with a Packard-built Merlin. The airplane flies daily, so it's fair to ask: What does it take to keep a 70-year-old engine running reliably? In this extended podcast, the Collings Foundation's Mark Henley explains the details. More...

Fly on water thrust — this new jet pack idea may not be the best way to get to work, but it sure does look like a good time. The German company MS Watersports GmbH is marketing the JetLev-Flyer and selling it (lessons included) for about $128,000 — or just about what a brand-new two-seat 120-mph light sport aircraft costs. (Click through to watch.) More...

Judge for yourself by viewing AVweb's latest product report video. Editorial director Paul Bertorelli demonstrates traditional incandescent bulbs, HIDs, and new-age LEDs. The results are revealing. (Click through to watch.) More...

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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Million Air's facility at KALB in Albany, New York. AVweb reader Victoria LeBlanc brought this location to our attention, noting how the staff treats everyone as if they were a VIP guest.

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!


Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results — AVweb Delivers Results
Since 1995, AVweb has been the most comprehensive no-cost aviation site online. Advertisers reach over 255,000 pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation professionals via a unique and effective combination of newsletter text messages and web site banner ads. Links send readers directly to advertisers' web sites for instant information. Click now for details on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
New on AVwebback to top 

When Chesley Sullenberger was interviewed by Katie Couric Sunday night, AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli could've sworn they'd met. But no — Paul was thinking of Al Haynes. Discover why he has a hard time separating the two in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. More...

Of course, none of us were, says AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog — but when you listen to the U.S. Air Flight 1549 tapes, forget how calm everyone sounded and marvel at how quickly the TRACON controller coordinated between three facilities. Then again, they do that every day. More...

Thanks for bearing with us during our technical difficulties on Thursday. While we were able to see a few of your submissions, we couldn't determine which ones matched the current submission period until we got a bit of automated sorting back in place, and now we're ready to roll with a special "snow day" edition of "Picture of the Week"! We kick things off with a stunning photo of the Army's Sky Soldiers arriving for the Great Georgia Air Show, courtesy of Donald Neuberg of LaGrange, Georgia. (But remember: If we don't get enough photos during this contest cycle, we'll skip Thursday's edition and roll thhis week's photos into next week — so now would be a good time to submit those photos!) More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

We were flying from Chatham, Massachusetts to Nantucket with flight following from Cape approach. The weather was marginal VFR with heavy haze and reasonably poor visibility when, out of the mist, we heard this on the air:

Cape Approach:
"Cessna Four Five Six, are you aware that you are heading toward a restricted area?"

"No, I wasn't aware of a restricted area. What's in there?"

Cape Approach:
"It's some type of microwave installation."

"Yup, I see a tower ahead."

Cape Approach:
"That's the tower I want you to miss. If you fly near that tower, it could ruin all your equipment, and you'll never have any children."

"Roger that. Turning now ... ."

Although he never mentioned whether he was turning toward or away ... .

William H. Cummings
Chatham, Cape Cod


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

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.

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