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MISSED SWITCH BRING DOWN MEDICAL FLIGHT? The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the copilot of
a Cessna Citation carrying an organ transplant team may have mistakenly
turned on the aircraft's autopilot instead of its yaw damper, possibly
leading to the crash of the aircraft in Lake Michigan off Milwaukee on
June 4, 2007. Both pilots and the four members of the University of
Michigan medical team were killed. The paper quotes a report from the
NTSB's Recorded Radar and Airplane Performance Study Group, which did a
computer simulation of the flight, as saying the results of the
simulation are "consistent with the copilot inadvertently pushing the
autopilot button instead of the yaw damper on the airplane center
console." Shortly after takeoff, the cockpit voice recorder captured
comments from the pilot that he was "fighting the controls" and blaming
the problem on runaway trim. But the NTSB team says the results of the
simulation "do not appear consistent with a pitch trim runaway."
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CRJ HOLED BY FIRE While we like a good story as much as
anyone, those facts are pesky things. Some remarkable pictures making
the rounds on the Internet show a big hole burned in the skin of an
Atlantic Southeast Airlines CRJ 200 and attribute the cause to an
inflight lightning strike, which, considering the location behind the
captain's head, conjures up some pretty interesting scenarios, much more
interesting than the mundane reality. Within hours of running a photo
and the lightning strike speculation, an AVweb reader delivered
the straight goods by way of NTSB file number DCA09FA033, which suggests the cause was an
electrical fire while the aircraft was being preflighted in Tallahassee
for a trip to Atlanta last March 1. More...
MAY WRITE OFF A340 An Australian newspaper is reporting that
a $180 million Emirates Airbus A340-500 may be beyond repair and the 225
people who were on it last March 20 are lucky to be alive after a nasty
scrape at Melbourne International Airport. New details have emerged
about the mishap, which has been declared an accident by the Australia
Transport Safety Bureau and resulted in the resignations of both pilots
aboard. According to the Sunday Herald Sun the aircraft was bound for Dubai
when it failed to get airborne before the end of Melbourne's 12,000-foot
runway. The paper reported the flight crew yanked the big airliner off
the overrun, scraping the tail in the process. It appears, from the
description, the 340 flew in ground effect about two feet off the ground
for about 400 yards, wiping out three approach strobes, which are about
30 inches high, and the localizer antenna, before barely clearing the
eight-foot perimeter fence. More...
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SETS HUDSON DITCHING HEARING The NTSB will hear testimony on
the ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 on June 9-10 at its Washington,
D.C., headquarters. The public hearing is being held to gather more
information on the board's ongoing investigation of the mishap. All 155
people aboard survived the dunking in the Hudson River in New York City
after the crew reported multiple bird strikes followed by a dual engine
failure. In contrast to most NTSB investigations, at least part of this
hearing will apparently focus on what went right in the Jan. 15
FO BACK TO WORK After four months of investigations, public
appearances and outright hero worship, the first member of the crew of
US Airways Flight 1549 is heading back to work on Monday, almost four
months after the Airbus A320 ditched in the Hudson River. First Officer
Jeff Skiles told The Associated Press the hiatus is the longest he's
spent away from the controls since he was 17 and he's anxious to get
back in the cockpit, even though his airline offered him the whole
summer off. "I'm the first person to go back. It's not really any
psychological reason, at least in my case, it's all these media events
have constantly taken up my time -- three, four, five days a week,"
Skiles said as he prepared to throw the first pitch in the Milwaukee
Brewers' home opener near his hometown of Oregon, Wis. "I do miss it and
I'm going to enjoy going back." More...
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AIRPLANES MAKING COMEBACK? A Canadian research organization
says wood could be incorporated into next-generation aircraft designs,
but don't expect to see two-by-fours in the bulkheads. In his technology blog , Seattle Times writer Brier Dudley
reports that a technology forum recently heard from FP Innovations
President Jim Dangerfield, who said the firm has applied nanotechnology
to cellulose and can extract nanomaterials that, in combination with
other materials, could find their way into aircraft. The properties of
the materials would depend on the source material, of which there is
plenty of variety. More...
OF SPACE DEFINED For decades, the altitude where atmosphere
ends and space begins has been pegged at a largely theoretical 100 km.,
known as the Karman Line. Theodore von Karman picked that value
as the point where any aircraft would have to be flying faster than
orbital velocity to stay aloft, and it's become the generally accepted
line. Well, a team of scientists from the University of Calgary say
the theory isn't far from precise reality. The so-called edge of
space is actually at 118 km. More...
Larry Jones of Bay City, Texas has used AOPA Aircraft Financing
four times to purchase everything from a Cessna 152 to a Beechcraft
Baron. "I do flight instruction and rentals, and when someone comes
to me interested in purchasing a plane, I tell them to go through
AOPA," Jones said. "The staff makes it really easy to
go through the process, and they explain the paperwork and what it's for
and how to do it. It's just so easy."
Click here to learn more.
I am a long-time pilot and co-own a Bellanca
Viking. This aircraft, with my partner at the controls, encountered a
large bird shortly after departing Montgomery County Airport (GAI) April
5. We are all very fortunate that Jean Yves maintained his composure and
managed to bring the aircraft back safely, a very impressive feat,
considering the circumstances!
We all are, of course, very aware
of the consequences of bird encounters, especially since Capt.
Sullenberger's experience. Now the FAA is telling us that birdstrikes
are indeed happening more often these days. It's not our
Now that this has been brought so close to home, the
confidence that my family and friends had when flying with me has been
badly shaken. I have to admit that it has shaken me as well.
there more that we can learn about the migration of these large birds,
and is it at all predictable? Also, perhaps it's time to try to convince
our government that something has to be done to trim the ever swelling
goose population. The TSA is charged with regulating aviation security
and does this with ever-broadening strokes. Nobody seems to get that
these birds pose as big a threat as a terrorist might. After all, they
managed to bring down an Airbus in the middle of a huge
Click through to read the rest
of this week's letters.
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NEW AT SUN 'N FUN? The air show season "officially" starts on
April 21 as Sun 'n Fun kicks off in Lakeland, Fla. for five days of
showcasing the best in general aviation. If you're a company with
something new to introduce at the show, we'd like to hear from you.
We'll gladly accept your news releases in advance, on an embargoed
basis, so we can give them the full attention they deserve. Simply send
them to email@example.com,
specifying any embargoes, and we'll take it from there. See you at the
Purchasing an aircraft but wondering about available financing?
AirFleet Capital is dedicated exclusively to aircraft and has
flexible financing programs available to meet your needs for new and
used aircraft. From Light Sport to Light Jet, please call (800)
visit us online for a quote
All you have to do is click
the image at right to enter your name and e-mail address. And no, we're
not going to rent or sell your name, but Bendix may send you information
on the AV8OR. You may also forward this newsletter to friends and invite
them to sign-up for AVweb's Sun 'n Fun coverage and qualify for
the AV8OR prizes also. (We won't spam them, either, but we will send
them our e-mail news Flashes.)
Deadline for entries is midnight,
Monday, April 27, 2009.
TWX670 Color Lightning
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TWX670 is now certified. Advanced digital signal processing and greater
noise immunity allow the TWX670 to more accurately detect and display
weather based on lightning and electrical activity. The TWX670 provides
a perfect complement to Avidyne's MLB700 or MLX770 Datalink Weather
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QUIZ #142: TAME THAT CHECKRIDE All pilots experience the
jitters when the Designated Pilot Examiner(DPE) slithers into the
aircraft and hisses, "Let's see what you know." So let's quell all fears
and see what you know about Practical Tests Standards.
INSIDER BLOG: ENOLA GAY HISTORY'S SURPRISES Front and
center at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center is the
Enola Gay, the legendary B-29 that flew into history in August, 1945.
The pilot's seat looks as it did in 1945, except for one important
detail. Paul Bertorelli has the story in the latest installment of our
AVweb Insider blog. More...
THE ENOLA GAY In sheer physical size, the B-29 Enola
Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, was
the largest restoration project ever undertaken by the Smithsonian's Air
and Space Museum. In this long-form podcast, NASM's Anne McCombs
and Bob McLean explain what it took to get the airplane into the
same shape it was when it completed its historic mission.
Q: What's the Difference
Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual? A:
SAMM Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are
saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts
and labor not to mention hours of hassle by providing
professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins.
Learn how they do it.
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Atlantic Aviation at Elmira/Corning Regional
Airport (KELM) in Horseheads, New York.
Sandra Fox recounted her stellar experience at
My commercial instructor and I flew to KELM
for my day dual cross-country (and lunch). ... On arrival, there was
someone there to marshall us to parking and someone else to chock the
wheels. They immediately asked if we needed gas and were on the way to
the truck before we were inside the FBO. While registering the plane I
mentioned we had been told the terminal had a small restaurant. The lady
behind the desk pulled out the keys to the courtesy van, gave us
directions to the terminal and told us how to get the parking ticket
validated. When we got back I asked where I could look up the weather.
She didn't just direct me down the hall, but escorted me to the room.
Everyone at the FBO was friendly and accomodating. They were proactive
in asking if I needed anything rather than waiting for me to ask first.
I've already recommended KELM as a standard cross-country destination
for the flight school.
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Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
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Features Editor Kevin
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