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At an air show, an old Handley Page Victor bomber was supposed to do a taxiby photo op. Instead, it
took off. The explanation? The co-pilot accidentally firewalled the throttles. Really? You be the judge.
Aircraft Spruce at the 46th Annual National Championship Reno Air Races & Air Show!
Come join Aircraft Spruce in Reno, Nevada for the 46th Annual Reno Air Show. Visit Aircraft Spruce's location in the Exhibit Hangar inside the Pitt Gates. Take advantage of some of your
favorite products on sale, complimentary ground shipping (does not apply to hazardous or oversize products), and a helpful staff to answer your questions.
A Boeing 737 operated by AeroMexico was hijacked on Wednesday after departing from Cancun. None of the 112 passengers and crew on board were harmed in the incident and police arrested several men
after the flight landed in Mexico City. No shots were fired, according to the Associated Press. It was unclear at our deadline what kind of threats the men made or what their motivation was; it was also unclear if Mexico City was the flight's intended
destination. One report said the hijackers used a fake bomb and forced the crew to circle Mexico City seven times before landing, but other reports said the men had explosives strapped to their legs.
Another source said the hijacking didn't take place until after the airplane was already on the runway. The hijackers allegedly made demands to talk with Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon. According
to Bloomberg, the hijackers held the passengers on board the airplane for about 45 minutes after landing,
while negotiating with officials. The passengers were then allowed to leave, but the crew was held for about another half hour before Mexican police stormed the aircraft and freed the crew and
arrested the suspects. Bloomberg said at least seven men were arrested, other reports gave numbers from five to nine.
Local media reported the hijackers were Bolivian nationals, and officials said they did not suspect the incident was drug-related. Reports said the hijackers never accessed the cockpit, and at
least some of the passengers on board were unaware there was any problem until after the landing.
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In a business update that was webcast on Wednesday, executives with Textron, the
parent company of Cessna and Bell Helicopters, said "recent data indicate early signs of stabilization" in the economy, and the long-term outlook for deliveries is strong. The percentage of used
Citations available for sale improved over the last four months, and daily utilization of the fleet flattened out over the summer, after 18 months of decline, the company said. However, Textron CEO
Lewis Campbell said he expects another down year overall for Cessna next year, with "modest recovery" in 2011. Global markets present strong growth opportunities, the company said, and aggressive
layoffs and furloughs have cut costs. Cessna is on track to deliver about 275 jets this year.
The report also cited the closing of Cessna's facility in Bend, Ore., as a key part of the company's re-sizing strategy. The Corvalis models that were produced there now are being built in Kansas
In just five years, the Light Sport Aircraft industry has made it to S-LSA model No. 100, with the approval of Van's RV-12. The RV-12 LSA approval was announced in late July, but it wasn't until this week that Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, realized that
the paperwork for the Krucker amphibious trike, Cygnet, had been completed earlier in July, making that aircraft No. 99, and the RV-12 emerged
as No. 100. The LSA sector provides a vital incubator for new ideas in aviation, Johnson said. "Such entrepreneurial activities are vital," he told AVweb on Wednesday. "If only governments (FAA
and EASA spring to mind) don't overly burden these sectors, we will continue to see bright lights at the end of the tunnel." Out of those first 100 models, a couple are no longer available, Johnson
said, and two European companies are in bankruptcy, though they may yet re-emerge. However, for the most part the segment is robust, and many of the smaller manufacturers can do fine on as few as 30
sales a year, Johnson said.
"Plus, the absolutely enormous potential of worldwide sales under a common certification system should not be overlooked," he added. "China and India alone -- both examining ASTM standards now --
could totally alter the aviation marketplace in the years ahead." Five LSA manufacturers have delivered 100 aircraft or more, Johnson said -- Czech Sport Aircraft (formerly Czech Aircraft Works),
Flight Design, American Legend, Tecnam, and Remos. Also, Aerotrek/Aeropro is almost up to 50 sold. The rate of new model approvals is slowing, Johnson said, but more are in the works. "Most notable
are the Cessna SkyCatcher, the Icon A-5, and the MySky One, but I'm also aware of several other development projects," he said. "This rapid development pace ain't over yet, not by a long shot." Click here for a complete list of all 100 models with links to each company Web site.
Piper Hosts Engineering Job Fairs Dallas/Fort Worth (September 16) Meet representatives September 16 at the Hilton Arlington. E-mail your resume to
to be considered for an interview with hiring managers. Wichita (September 23)Meet representatives September 23rd at the Broadview Hotel. E-mail your resume to
to be considered for an interview with hiring managers.
The annual Gordon Bennett balloon race, the premier event in the small world of gas ballooning, launched in Geneva, Switzerland, last Saturday, with 16 teams competing. With online tracking of each team now available, the competition can be watched by a worldwide audience. The race rules are simple --
whoever lands at a point farthest from the takeoff site, wins. The following year's race then is hosted in the winner's country. By Wednesday, all the teams had landed safely. Preliminary results list
a French team in first place, followed by the Swiss, and the U.S. coming in third. Most of the balloons drifted south over the Mediterranean before catching winds that brought them west over Spain and
Portugal. Three teams landed in Algeria, on the northern coast of Africa.
During the race, British pilots Janet Folkes and Ann Rich set a new world record for the longest flight ever by a female team in a gas balloon. Several of the teams flew more than 600 miles and
stayed aloft for over 80 hours. The first Gordon Bennett race was held in Paris in 1906, and most races since have been held in Europe,
though in 1999 and 2008, Albuquerque, N.M., was the host city.
Francis Rogallo, who patented a flexible wing design in 1948 that has been credited with spurring the development of hang gliders, sport parachutes, and ultralights, died at his home in North
Carolina on Sept. 1. In the 1950s, Rogallo and his wife, Gertrude, who was credited as co-inventor of the wing, gave their patent to the government and began a series of experiments with NASA, who
renamed the design the Parawing. The wing was tested at altitudes as high as 200,000 feet and as fast as Mach 3 to evaluate it as an alternative recovery system for the Gemini space capsules and spent
rocket stages. NASA conducted test flights of a Parawing aircraft called the "flying Jeep" and a weight-shift Parawing glider, both manned and unmanned. In the 1960s, the Rogallo wing design was
adopted by the hang-gliding community. "Millions of people around the world have enjoyed flight as a result of Rogallo's invention of the Flexible Wing," according to the obituary published by the Rogallo Foundation.
Gertrude Rogallo died in 2008. Rogallo received several awards from NASA for his work, and was recognized by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum "for outstanding achievement in aerospace
technology." Rogallo lived in the Outer Banks, close to Kitty Hawk, where he was a frequent visitor at Jockey's Ridge State Park, a popular site for hang gliding. He took his last hang-gliding flight
on his 80th birthday. A day of kiting and hang-gliding will be held in Rogallo's honor at the park on Sunday, Sept. 20.
Sensenich Expands Its Revolutionary Line of Propellers for Light Sport and Experimental Aircraft
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Asian Aerospace 2009, a leading event for the region that is held every other year, takes place
in Hong Kong this week, Tuesday through Thursday, with a new emphasis on corporate aviation. "The event's unique positioning and focus will provide a platform for the business aviation industry to
meet the widely forecasted groundswell of demand in Asia, particularly from China," event organizers said in a news release. Speakers will tackle topics such as legal, regulatory, and insurance
considerations; airspace requirements; safety regulations; and Air Operator's certificates. China is already the world's second-largest overall aviation market, according to event organizers. In spite
of the world economic turndown, 2008 was a record year for the business aviation market in Asia, particularly in mainland China.
All the major business aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus, Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream, Hawker and Piaggio, have aircraft on display at the show. Asian Aerospace has
been held for 28 years. In 2007, the show attracted over 575 exhibitors and 11,000 visitors from 63 countries.
People who worry about bird strikes in aviation, from airport operators to air traffic controllers to researchers and safety experts, gather every year for a Bird Strike North America Conference -- but this year's event, which takes place Sept. 14-17 in Victoria, British Columbia,
is expected to draw more attention than usual. The dramatic Hudson River ditching early this year brought widespread attention to the issue of bird strikes, and some new technologies are expected to
debut at the event. Accipiter Radar will introduce a 360-degree 3-D avian radar technology. Other vendors will display various
kinds of radars for detecting birds as well as methods for dispersing them, such as colored laser beams, specially trained dogs, radio-controlled cannons, and garlic oil sprayed on grass to make it
unpalatable for geese.
The FAA is currently assessing avian radars installed by Accipiter at several airports, including Chicago O'Hare and JFK International in New York. For more information about next week's
conference, click here.
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Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as
our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your
comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the
Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.
Letter of the Week: VLJ Price Fantasy
Good observations. At the core the problem was, and always will be, moral leadership.
Always set the example by your actions, not just your words; do unto others as you would have others do unto you; be honest; consider all the stakeholders, internal and external; inspire and
empower your co-workers; give them the constructive leadership, the tools and the respect they need to strive for excellence. Control your greed. I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the
One last thing: We are all leaders. We always influence others. The choice we have is whether we influence others in positive, constructive ways or in negative, non-productive ways that diminish
them personally instead of building trust, teamwork, a solid work-ethic, esprit de corps, etc. These things increase productivity and allow for continual improvement. They allow us to keep
our jobs and provide better products at lower costs. They allow us to stay in business.
Many thanks for airing this. A great piece, and as an ex-Brit, it brought tears to my eyes. They were
built close to where I grew up in Manchester, U.K., and now that I'm a private pilot, the scale of the courage of the crews is awe-inspiring.
Your "Picture of the Week" is great, but on a minor point, those flying machines are PPGs (powered paragliders), which are
foot-launched. A PPC (powered parachute) has a cart with three or more wheels.
As I said, a minor point but the PPG provides the ultimate in a portable flying machine. Most can fit in the trunk of a car and are classified as ultralights. Please give credit where it
Duly noted, Tom and as good an excuse as any to spend more time with the ultralights, gliders, and PPCs at Oshkosh next summer. (It'll be educational!)
Scott Simmons "Picture of the Week" Editor
I agree with the plan to replace pitot probes with pilot probes. I'm sure they will be more reliable:
AVweb wrote: "Thales Avionics' pitot probe 'has not yet demonstrated the same level of robustness to withstand high-altitude ice
crystals as Goodrich pilot probes P/N 0851HL,' which the agency now requires as a replacement."
Unoffered "Question of the Week" Option
When a midair occurs at a non-towered airport, you don't see a control tower put in immediately. When a midair occurs at a towered airport, you don't see a wholesale change to the procedures used.
So why on earth does one midair after decades of safe operations mean that we need to completely change the way the Hudson River Corridor is managed?
In your Hudson River poll, you forgot what is perhaps the most compelling answer (at least to me): Let's leave the dang
NTSB Jumped The Gun
The last letter you published stated that the NTSB had no choice [but to exclude NATCA] because of the agreement it has with
outsiders on the accident.
I was taught by a guy named Mike Grost, who worked for the USAF Air Logistics Command at Kelly AFB, Texas. This guy was phenomenal at getting to the bottom of the cause. The one thing he taught
was you never guess. You are paid to produce facts, not opinions.
Yet the NTSB feels the need to get immediately in front of a camera and tell all.
Contrary to Mr. Voorhees's letter, NATCA was told unequivocally that the distortions presented by the Board would not be corrected. It is they who had no choice but to do what they did, and they
did it knowing of and accepting the consequences.
Helicopter Rides to School
It might sound anti-climatic, but I got my helicopter rating in 1982, the same year my father got his rating, in my father's 269C (Hughes 300). I went off to college during '83-'84, and he would
often take my brother and sister to school in the helicopter. He would land on the soccer field next to the gym, and they would use the key to the gym (which the administration gave them) to go into
school. This was in Oneco, Florida. The administration was very cool with this and thought it was actually cool publicity for the school. On several occasions, with other parents' approval, he
would give rides to the students.
I read with both interest and concern the article about the student arriving in his father's helicopter. It seems that dad was responsible, as no rules were violated. He landed away from others,
showing the safety factor. So why the panic? If you were to ask, I'm sure the vast majority of students there that day would love to do the same. Perhaps Principal Cunningham should visit his
proctologist to have the large stick removed, or perhaps he should seek counseling for envy. During my senior year in high school, they were using SkyCranes to set the HVAC on the new intermediate
school nearby. Disruptive? Maybe, but I clearly remember that after almost 40 years more than I can say for many of my teachers and administrators. I salute that dad!
Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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Last week, we asked AVweb readers for their opinion on the FAA's proposed revisions to the Hudson River Exclusion Area (EA).
AOPA and NBAA have already expressed approval of the FAA recommendations, and now a
whopping majority of AVweb readers add their voices to the chorus: 69% of those who answered last week's Question said yes, with 56% of you saying the new rules strike the right
balance of convenience and safety. Virtually no one who responded wanted to see VFR or touring aircraft eliminated from the corridor, although a substantial 20% of you did choose OTHER
over our five pre-defined options.
For a complete (real-time) breakdown of reader responses, click here. (You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)
Do you own or operate an aircraft equipped with a Rotax engine? Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants to hear from you
about its reliability, maintenance costs, factory and field support, and about your overall satisfaction with the engine.
(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)
Night Flying Will Never Be the Same! GloveLite® solves the cockpit flashlight issue a neoprene cover for the index finger and thumb that has two 3mm LEDs integrated into the fabric.
Read a map or an approach chart? No problem. Write on your kneepad or find a switch? The LEDs are amazingly effective. Turbulence? This is The Flashlight You Can't Drop®. LEDs available in red, green, and white. Replaceable batteries. $29.95; available only from the web site,
The industry persists in the notion that small, light jets can be made cheaply. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that "cheap" is really around the $2
million mark and not much lower. The idea here is to produce sustainable projects that allow companies to remain in business profitably.
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"Have you ever had to argue with a mechanic over the price of a repair?" asks AVweb reader Dean Herrington. You probably have, but it almost certainly didn't go like the conversation
Dean had with a mechanic at Callaway Aviation at Big Bear City Airport (L35) in California:
I had departed about 3:00 in the afternoon and quickly developed an electrical problem that necessitated a return to the airport. I was guided to the nearest repair facility, Callaway Aviation. The
only mechanic available, the owner, Brad Callaway, was very busy across the field supporting the warbirds that were about to depart, so I had about a 1.5-hour wait. When the courteous Mr. Callaway
arrived he spent over an hour troubleshooting, doing run-ups, troubleshooting some more, then finally recommending that we experimentally replace my one-year old battery with one of his used ones,
just to see if we could fully eliminate my battery as a culprit. His used battery immediately cleared up the problem, and further tests and run-ups confirmed that it was completely solved.
When I asked for the bill, he said "Oh, that's OK."
I said, "No way, I've got to pay you for your time and the battery." After considerable pressue he finally agreed to accept $50.
How can this guy stay in business? Unless, of course, he has a large, loyal following of grateful customers, like me. My flight home to Vegas was an uneventful pleasure.
And that, AVwebbers, is why Callaway is this week's very deserving "FBO of the Week"!
Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on
AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo on
AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
Once again, we've got a great batch of reader photos to share! Let's keep it simple this week and dive straight into the submission box, shall we?
Joe Scheibinger of Oshkosh, Wisconsin sent us some really amazing photos this week from aviation's favorite Wisconsin town some snapped
during AirVenture and others taken during the "off-season."
(Joe wasn't alone in sending us OSH pics this week. Oddly enough, that wasn't the only thing he had in common with other "POTW" contributors many of you, for
the last three weeks, have been telling us you're shooting with variations on the pocket Nikon camera. Just a little tidbit for everyone out there who doesn't get to read through all the comments
each week ... .)
Darrell Herk of Grand Lake, Colorado casts his mind's eye back a few weeks and helps us remember what a great summer it's been. We're not relishing
the thought of gray skies and cooler temps, but the carefree days of barbecuing and air shows are winding down here in North America ... .
What were we saying about looking back fondly on the month of July? Paul T. Gernhardt of Ashburn, Virginia travels a bit further back in time, via
this great shot from the Commemorative Air Force's Hangar Dance.
(Actually, the dance was just a week or so ago, but oh, these time travel stories always leave us confused. And that will be our defense if Paul calls us out for tampering with
his photo title. We just couldn't resist.)
Yes, it's still warm and sunny at "POTW" world headquarters but now that Labor Day has "officially" ended our summer and put the thought of cold weather in
our brains, we want to get a head start on mentally preparing ourselves.
Cue Jud Phillips of Nashville, Tennessee, who sees us off this week with a shot from Manhattan, Kansas that he "thought may be too depressing
in the winter."
Want more? By now, you should know where to go looking the slideshow on AVweb's home page has a dozen or so bonus pics that we can't
squeeze in here, refreshed once a week.
A quick note for submitters: If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of
seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too. ;)
A Reminder About Copyrights:
Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to
release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.
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 Jeff van West Mariano Rosales
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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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.