Your Engine Just Died and
You've Got Three Choices
Water? Road? Trees?
Get this 20-minute program with tactics on
handling emergency landings
. Listen as safety expert Bob
examines factors such as off-field landing choices,
stretching the glide, landing pattern, wind and flap management, landing
long or short, and more.
Click here to listen online or
SAYS FAA REAUTHORIZATION "CRITICALLY OVERDUE"
community has had a tough time this fall getting Congress to focus on
the issue of FAA reauthorization, but patience -- and time -- are
running out. The FAA budget was due to expire this week, on Sept. 30,
but has now been extended to Dec. 31. Aviation advocacy groups are
pressuring the Senate to use that time to come up with a comprehensive
reauthorization package, instead of simply continuing to grant
extensions, as it has done seven times in the last two years. In a
letter (PDF) sent to senators last week, 32 industry groups
representing air carriers, GA, pilots, air traffic controllers and many
others said the new legislation is "critically overdue." A comprehensive
bill is needed to provide funding for airport and airway system
improvements. "The strength of our aviation system and the ability to
meet future demands is dependent upon the federal government's success
in meeting its obligations to provide adequate infrastructure," the
group's letter reads. "A critical step in meeting those obligations is
for the Senate to advance a comprehensive, multi-year bill that will
help provide the resources necessary to help our country meet the
demands being placed on the aviation system." More...
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GROUPS APPLAUD LAUNCH OF GA CAUCUS IN SENATE
this week said they have formed a General Aviation Caucus and invited other senators
to join them (PDF) to ensure support for pilots, aircraft owners,
and the aviation industry in the U.S. "General aviation has a presence
in every state, and plays a significant role in our economy," said Sen.
Mark Begich, D-Alaska, one of the caucus founders. "We're hopeful many
of our Senate colleagues will join us in learning more about the
importance of this industry." Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said GA is a
critical component of his state's transportation infrastructure. "It
helps keep our state connected, supports economic development, and helps
our businesses operate efficiently," he said. The two said they plan to
hold their first meeting later this fall. So far, Senators James Inhofe,
R-Okla., Sam Brownback, R-Kans., and Pat Roberts, R-Kans., have joined
the caucus. GA advocacy groups responded positively to the announcement.
Aircraft Spruce West Coast
Super Sale October 3, 2009!
Aircraft Spruce West will be holding their annual Super Sale and
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from 7:00am to 3:00pm in
Corona, CA. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and vendors for
lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars.
Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite
vendors. A no-charge shuttle will be offered to and from Corona Airport
(KAJO). Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE
|"Hudson Heroes" Succeed Movie Icons at YE Chair||back to
AND SKILES TO CO-CHAIR YOUNG EAGLES
For the last five years,
Harrison Ford has acted as chairman of the EAA's Young Eagles program,
but this week he ended his term and handed over the job to Captain
Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, known for
their expert handling of an emergency landing in the Hudson River in
January. The two pilots visited EAA during AirVenture last summer, where
they drew huge crowds and rediscovered their GA roots. "I'm grateful to
EAA and the AirVenture Oshkosh convention for allowing me to fall in
love with aviation for a second time in my life," said Skiles during a
news conference on Tuesday. "I'm eager to share this
passion with young people and encourage participation in aviation."
Sullenberger also recalled this summer's visit as a pivotal moment.
"After having the opportunity to learn more about the EAA Young Eagles
Program while I was in Oshkosh, Jeff and I were inspired to get
involved," he said. "Co-chairing the program is an opportunity that I
welcome. Jeff and I are honored to take the stick from Harrison Ford."
Click here to listen to audio interviews with Ford,
Sullenberger and Skiles at the EAA Web site, or click
here for video of Sullenberger and Skiles at AirVenture.
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ESCORT MOONEY WITH UNRESPONSIVE PILOT
A Mooney crashed
Wednesday morning near Muncie, Ind., after the pilot, who was alone on
board, became disoriented and then failed to respond to ATC. Two F-16s
from the Indiana National Guard intercepted the airplane, which was
flying erratically, [see FlightAware tracklog] and provided an escort until
the airplane lost altitude and crashed in a cornfield about an hour
after takeoff. Military officials told The Associated Press the pilot
appeared to be suffering from hypoxia or perhaps a health problem. The
airplane had launched in Grand Rapids, Mich., after having maintenance
done, and was traveling at about 23,000 feet when ATC lost contact.
Officials would not comment on the condition of the pilot, according to
the AP. More...
Got a Minute?
Watch Real Aviation Heroes, an important Pilot Safety
Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Don't be like this guy! Enjoy this short humorous PSA that addresses a
common safety issue.
Click here to watch
NEW SPORT PILOT TRAINING PROGRAM READY
Cessna released its
new Cessna Sport/Private Pilot Course this week to its Pilot Center
network, in anticipation of starting deliveries of the Skycatcher light
sport aircraft later this year. "The new training program is a key
component of Cessna's effort to make flying more accessible and to
re-energize pilot training," said Tom Aniello, Cessna's vice president
of marketing. The Web-based training, developed in partnership with King
Schools, makes it easy for students to access training materials from
any location, Cessna said in a news release. The program can be customized by
instructors to reflect the local training environment, and it can be
used with either a full-glass cockpit or analog steam gauges. Features
include scenario-based lessons, videos, full-motion diagrams, and exam
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ROLLS OUT G650
Gulfstream rolled out the first example of its
ultra-large G650 Tuesday in front of about 7,000 people at its plant in
Savannah, Ga., and announced the program is on schedule with first
deliveries planned for 2012. The aircraft has been spotted several times
in recent weeks as it underwent engine start and low-speed taxi tests.
The rollout on Tuesday presumably marks the beginning of the flight test
program, although no date has been announced for a first flight. The
rollout comes about two months after Cessna announced it was shelving
its large-cabin Columbus intercontinental jet. "Simply put, the
Gulfstream G650 is in a class by itself," said Joe Lombardo, the
executive vice president of General Dynamics' aerospace group.
GA FATALITIES LEVEL; MORE BIRD-STRIKE MEASURES NEEDED
NTSB on Tuesday released its annual compilation of transportation fatalities, and
reported that in 2008 aviation-related deaths increased slightly to 572,
from 550 in 2007. Nearly 87 percent of those fatalities occurred in
general aviation accidents (495), which was almost unchanged from the
previous year (496). The other deaths occurred in air taxi operations
(66), airlines (3), and foreign or unregistered aircraft (8). Commuter
airlines were fatality-free in 2007. "We at the NTSB will continue to
press hard advocating improvements in all modes of transportation to
keep this trend moving in the right direction," said NTSB Chairman
Deborah Hersman. "Every transportation fatality is an unnecessary
tragedy." Also on Tuesday, the board issued several safety recommendations asking the FAA to take action
to prevent bird-strike accidents. The FAA should ensure that GA airports
near woods, wetlands, or water comply with the wildlife-hazard
assessments they are required to perform, the NTSB said. Also, aircraft
manufacturers should be required to develop guidance for pilots to
minimize bird-strike damage, such as airspeed charts that show the
safest speeds to fly when in areas of known bird activity.
ALLIANCE SURVEY SHOWS POSITIVE IMPACT OF GA
airports and private aircraft have taken a beating in the press lately
here if you missed it), but the industry is not taking it without a
fight. This week, the Alliance for Aviation Across America unveiled a new
tool for the defense of GA -- an online compilation of data from each of
the 50 states detailing the jobs, businesses, and other economic
activity generated by all those little airports and aircraft. "We've
been working for about six months to collect all this data," AAAA
spokeswoman Selena Shilad told AVweb on Tuesday. "So it's not a
direct response to the recent USA Today stories -- but it is
particularly important in light of that." She said AAAA aims to
communicate to the public, to lawmakers, and to the media that GA is a
crucial element in our communities, supporting thousands of jobs and
small businesses. Click here to view the new map, which allows users
to look up local airports by state or by Congressional district.
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly
business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the
products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business
aviation industry, making it a must-read.
Add AVwebBiz to
your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing
"Update E-mail Subscriptions." More...
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field
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and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly
to Seattle. Make your destination King County International
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: GETTING ANTSY FOR FAA REAUTHORIZATION?
few groups and individuals are tired
of waiting months and years for the new FAA reauthorization bill.
Others are in no particular hurry to set up the new status quo. This
week, we'd like to know where you stand.
week, we asked AVweb readers about safety on the regional
airlines; click through to see what they had to say on the subject.
MADE A FORCED LANDING ON A ROAD? AVIATION SAFETY WANTS TO HEAR
If you've ever had to make an emergency landing
on a road, we'd like to hear more about it. As part of sister
Safety magazine's new podcast series, we're looking for pilots
who have had the combined misfortune and good luck to make a forced
landing on a road. Especially if your event includes a "teachable
moment," we may ask you to help inform other pilots about the lessons
you learned by participating in an upcoming podcast, moderated by
Aviation Safety magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeb
If you've "been there, done that" and would like to
share your experience with other pilots, please drop us a note at email@example.com
briefly describing what happened. Please also include your name, e-mail,
and telephone number. We'll take it from there! More...
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OCTOBER 1, 2009
Letter of the Week: Internet Ground
School a Mistake
Your remember yours. I remember mine. Every
pilot remembers ground school.
Mine was in a dingy and dark
corner of the low-rent district of our Florida airport. The
three-classroom facility smelled like stale coffee and mildew. The air
conditioning worked fine; at least when the owner the Part 141 pilot
school felt like turning it on. There is nothing like sweating over a
This familiar scene could, however, become a thing of
the past. The FAA
is considering requests by several "on-line" universities. They want
to offer Internet-based flight training. Students would satisfy the
ground school requirement by logging into their computers, grabbing a
beverage, and "attending" on-line classes.
As an aviation
attorney and college professor, I do not buy into the hype surrounding
Internet education. I never have. Online education is not effective. It
is unsupervised. It lacks the give and take among students and
instructors that makes a classroom environment successful.
absent from online classes is confrontation. A classroom environment
should put students on the spot. They must be required to defend their
positions, the facts they believe, and their views on issues.
Instructors should be able to engage them, to question them, and to
confront them when appropriate. The flight deck is not a passive,
docile, and forgiving place. Nor should be the classroom.
Grayson, CFII, ATP, and the dean of Morton Aeronautical University
agrees. Despite the excellent revenue potential of online flight
training, Mr. Grayson said his institution will not consideri it.
"Flight training needs personal interaction between the student pilot
and instructor," he says.
"Our purpose is not just to impart
facts and figures. The job of the institution is to build a student
pilot's confidence and character. This is not an easy job and we are not
willing to entrust it to impersonal and unsupervised online classes,"
Mr. Grayson said. Dean Grayson specifically mentioned lessons relating
to flight planning, critical thinking, aviation weather, emergency
procedures, and go-no-go decision-making. "These do not lend themselves
to an online format. These areas deserve narrative, discussion, personal
context from the instructor, and a hands-on approach."
your flight training experience was anything like mine, you probably
learned as much from your CFI's war stories and bull sessions as during
formal study. Internet-based ground school students will miss a lot of
As a college professor myself (I teach contract law at
Holmes College), I am very sour on Internet-based programs and
curricula. Online education has not lived up to its billing. Such
programs usually attract the lowest quality instructors. And it should
therefore be no surprise that they attract the least qualified and least
ambitious students; ones not willing to dedicate the necessary amount of
time or money to a proper educational experience.
The FAA is
accepting comments on this proposal until November 30, 2009. You can
send the FAA your comments by logging into Regulations.gov.
You will need to enter the docket number for the
Click through to read the rest of this week's
INSIDER BLOG: EFIS AS LIFESAVERS?
survey of EFIS owners and users revealed widespread satisfaction with
the technology. Some readers even described glass panels as having saved
their lives. Consumer editor Paul Bertorelli chuckled a bit at
the thought, gave the pilot a little more credit that he did himself,
and started thinking about how much the definition of "flying" has
changed in a short time. Read his latest musings on the AVweb
Insider blog. More...
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OF THE WEEK: PACIFIC STATES AVIATION (KCCR, CONCORD,
your favorite FBOs is usually a feel-good occasion, but this week we
found a story in our inbox from one couple who had to rely on an FBO as
their lifeline when they encountered a terrible situation while
traveling. Bryan Liang explains what happened and how Pacific
States Aviation at Buchanan Field Airport (KCCR) in Concord,
California helped him cope:
My wife and I flew to CCR, hangared our plane with PSA, and
borrowed its crew car. During our stay, we were carjacked. I suffered
broken wrists and head wounds, and my wife spent eight days in ICU and
twelve days in hospital literally fighting for her life.
PSA folks were our main support the whole time. They came to the ER with
flowers Saturday night. On Sunday they rented, paid for, and delivered a
rental car to the hospital for me. They paid for my hotel, waived
fuel/hangar fees, waxed our plane, talked with me daily, and then drove
us 1.5 hrs to a commercial flight home. All because it was the right
thing to do.
PSA's generosity and kindness lifted a heavy
burden from us. They cared. Words cannot describe how much they opened
their hearts to us and helped us feel we weren't alone. We are deeply
grateful for all Greg, Shari, Jennifer, Marcy and the line guys did for
us. They represent the best in aviation and the best in human beings.
They deserve to be not only "FBO of the Week," but of the year, of the
decade, and of the century.
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
to our weekly photo showcase are up well above average for this time of
year. (We've ogled more than 600 photos since the beginning of
September!) This week's batch is particularly interesting, featuring
more gold, orange, and red than we've seen in a single week's
submissions in the last two or three years. (Yep, lots of
gorgeous skyscapes and sunrises/sunsets.) Plus, we had quite a few
reflection-themed photos, like this week's top photo, from Joseph Barber of Seattle, Washington.
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...