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Volume 15, Number 40a
October 5, 2009
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Lasers, Passenger Jets and Moreback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Boeing announced that it had successfully shot a stationary truck on the ground with a laser onboard a C-130 flying overhead. Last week video of what happens when airborne laser meets truck was released showing metal sizzling from an area outlined in duct tape on the truck's hood. Boeing earlier said the test had "defeated the vehicle" although it's not clear in the accompanying video what, if any, damage was done besides some melted sheet metal. Still, it represents a milestone in weapons technology which will have the result of making war just a little safer for those caught in the crossfire. More...

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), Japan's state-backed stab at earning a foothold in the commercial passenger jet market, has won a 100-plane order with a street value of $40 billion from a U.S. regional carrier. Trans State Holdings, based in Missouri, operates GoJet and Trans States Airlines, along with feeder services for United and US Airways. Said Trans States President Richard Leach, "Making a decision of this size in this economic situation was difficult." But Mitsubishi says the aircraft's Pratt & Whitney PW-1000G geared turbofan engines (shared by Bombardier C Series aircraft) can bring fuel burn savings of up to 30 percent per hour over other similar but differently engined designs. A report by the AFT notes that Mitsubishi was "advised by US Aircraft maker Boeing" and switched "to aluminum for the wings, from carbon-fibre." Boeing has suffered significant delays in the late stage development of its larger next generation all-composite 787 Dreamliner, due most recently to a redesign of the composite wing root. More...

Business Aviation Will Help Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis

To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for all. Visit
Tightening Continental's Beltback to top 

Teledyne Continental Motors Inc. announced Friday that it will close for one week, Monday Oct. 5 through Monday Oct. 12, and will put other cost-cutting measures into effect "in response to reduced demand" for the aircraft engines and parts it produces. Salaried staff will go to four-day workweeks as of Oct. 12 and vacations for Thanksgiving and Christmas will last one week each. Beyond that, TCM has a shutdown planned for Jan. 4 to Jan. 9, 2010. The company says its goal is "to protect as much of our valuable employee base as possible," and rebuild its backlog while it endures this period of reduced demand. Customers will not be left entirely in the dark during the closures. Sales will be open, TCM will make customer service available for emergency support calls, and shipping/receiving will continue to manage delivery of incoming and outgoing orders. According to TCM, the cost cutting is only part of the company's slow-market strategy. More...

Relief for Passengers and Pilots Alike: ReliefBands for $124.95!
Every pilot is subject to a passenger experiencing nausea at some point. Alas, an upset stomach needn't ruin a flight and force you to forever fly alone! ReliefBands prevent motion sickness and nausea, providing relief and enabling you to fly in the company of friends and family without the fight. Make friends in-flight and buy today at

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News Briefsback to top 

Air India has some trouble to sort out following reports Sunday that the crew of one of its commercial flights was involved in pilot/purser fisticuffs and pilot(s)/flight attendant sexual harassment all while en route over Pakistan with 106 passengers aboard. The flight was out of UAE for Delhi, and the whole mess may have begun with confrontational verbal exchanges during the pre-flight briefing. According to The Times Of India, it escalated in flight when the pilots' allegedly attempted to molest a female flight attendant in the cockpit. The flight attendant resisted the alleged harassment and the altercation then spilled into the galley where, according to the BBC, punches were thrown. The event has ended (so far) with two crew members suspended, and two pilots grounded with a molestation charge filed against them. It also seems that the pilots have since lodged their own complaint of misconduct against a male flight attendant, claiming the sexual harassment (or molestation) charge is a false diversion from that real issue. More...

Avidyne is, from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2009, offering "instant rebates" via its FlySafe promotion that will save single-unit buyers $500 and could save multiple-unit buyers up to $5,000. The deal is applicable to Avidyne's Entegra, Entegra MFD, Wx, and Traffic series units, with one small catch. To save the money, customers must "register for the rebate" on Avidyne's Web site prior to purchase. To save $5,000, you (or you representing four people) will have to buy four units. Purchasing just two through the program will knock $1,500 off of the price and buying three will save you $3,000. Company COO Patrick Herguth says the initiative "is designed to provide substantial savings that make all of our safety-enhancing products -- including our full suite of displays and safety sensors -- available to an even wider number of aircraft owners." More...

Big South Fork Airpark is located 50 miles north of Knoxville, Tennessee, and boasts an asphalt runway 5,500 feet in length, with four instrument approaches. The airpark grounds, totaling 450 acres, offer 1-to-3+ acre home sites starting at $89,000. Personal hangars are also available and start at $95,000. Each home has convenient runway access and is in the immediate vicinity of the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. For more information, visit
Accident Reportsback to top 

Witnesses saw a man appear to escape the single-engine float-equipped experimental Avid Catalina registered to 61-year-old Jim Eachus that sank Wednesday into Inks Lake near Burnet, Texas, but then saw him disappear into the water. It took until Saturday morning for searchers to find the body of the pilot. Witnesses say one of the aircraft's pontoons appeared to run low in the water, sinking until a wing touched the surface and the aircraft flipped over. The pilot, according to the witnesses, emerged from the plane's window but then disappeared into the water. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department deployed search parties in boats and employed SONAR to try to locate the missing pilot. The lake is about 40 feet deep in the area of the crash site and wind, noted in the FAA's preliminary report out of the south gusting to 15 knots, pushed some of the aircraft's wreckage to shore, expanding the search area. A dive team that searched Wednesday and Thursday failed to find the pilot, who was remembered by his instructor as a passionate, hard-working and excellent pilot who flew regularly. More...

Mark Dusenberry, vintage aircraft builder and pilot, was seriously injured Thursday when he crashed a replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer III at Huffman Prairie Flying Field. The airfield is cited by some as the world's first airport. Dusenberry was practicing for the 104th Anniversary of Practical Flight ceremony planned for the week of Oct. 4. Huffman Prairie Field sits just south of the main runway at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio. Dusenberry has flown the aircraft successfully at reenactments, but did suffer a minor crash at the same airfield on Oct. 5, 2007. This year, he was just seconds into his second early morning flight when witnesses saw the aircraft begin to oscillate vertically before pitching down from about 20 feet and impacting the ground. Dusenberry was conscious and talking with paramedics as he was airlifted by a CareFlight helicopter from the airfield to a local hospital. The flight ceremony, an event that includes educational outreach programs for local students, has been canceled. Click through for local news video. More...

If You Own a Cirrus, Or If You Are Considering Purchasing a New or Used Aircraft, Consider This:
Avidyne and leading Cirrus sales and maintenance facilities have launched the G3-R9 program combining the purchase of a late-model, low-time Cirrus and the Avidyne Entegra Release 9 avionics suite for much less than purchasing a new aircraft. G3-R9 — combining the best airframe, best engine, and best avionics for the best value. Click here for more information.
News Briefsback to top 

Some days just don't go as planned and the crew of this Germania Airlines Boeing 737 was having one of those days on Wednesday. The Daily Mail says 200 starlings were ingested by the right engine of the aircraft as it took off from Dusseldorf bound to Kosovo. There were 80 people on board. Planespotter Juergen Kienast said the engine pitch immediately changed as the crew continued the takeoff. More...

It's not only the aircraft that needs fuel on a long cross country so the crew of a Canadian Forces CH-146 Griffon helicopter satisfied man and machine with two stops in Kenora, Ont. last week. The crew was on its way from the garrison at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton to Thunder Bay, Ont. (about 900 nm). According to the Canadian Press, the crew of the medium-sized twin-engine single rotor utility helicopter, based on the Bell 412 EP, landed at Kenora, two-thirds of the way to their destination, for fuel. There was no food available at the airport but there was a vacant ball diamond across the street from an A&W in the nearby town. More...

World Class Service Since 1951
Crownair Aviation is offering lower labor rates and fuel discounts through 2009 when you combine services. Crownair Aviation has a history of customer satisfaction that spans more than five decades and provides a wide range of aircraft services, including a dedicated fuel station, pilot and passenger amenities, personalized concierge service, hangar space, and two class-leading maintenance and avionics service centers. As one of the most experienced and respected names on the West Coast, Crownair has been serving the aviation community since 1951 with integrity and professionalism. For more information, visit
New on AVweb: A Leap of Faithback to top 

Click to read the full story and see more pics
Jump For The Cause (JFTC) just set a record on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, for the largest female-only formation parachute jump of 181 women. Not being female and not being a skydiver, Dr. Brent Blue decided to tag along anyway. Good thing, too, since Brent learned quite a bit logging air time with several dozen parachuting women and one talking lamb. More...

Really big events tend to raise really big amounts for charitable causes, and the Jump for the Cause was no exception, gathering almost $1 million for breast cancer research and setting a new world record for women skydivers. Bambi Knight was one of 181 women who linked in so many ways in the searing heat of California last week, and she spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about the jump. More...

Jeppesen Pilot Training
Smart pilots never truly fly solo. For 75 years, pilots have taken their aviation partner along for the journey — Jeppesen. Pilots (and future pilots) look to us for the tools and training they need to fly safely and effectively. Throughout your career flight path, you can count on Jeppesen. Choose the learning tools best for you with our integrated system. Learn more at
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Stability is a good thing ... except when it isn't. Nearly all general aviation aircraft are inherently stable, which makes them, in the words of military experimental test pilot Desmond "Deuce" Brophy, "God-fearing aircraft." But the fighter jets Brophy flies and tests are a little different. During our visit to the flight test center at Edwards Air Force Base, Brophy explained the fundamental aerodynamic differences between the aircraft we fly and what he calls "non-God-fearing aircraft." More...

Video Marketplace Spotlight

Classic Cockpits DVDs
Rick Searle Productions takes you behind the stick of some of the world's most incredible classic airplanes — the Douglas DC-3, the PBY Catalina, the de Havilland Vampire, and the Avro Lancaster — in a series of Classic Cockpits DVDs.

Click here to watch the video (and discover other great products) at AVweb's Video Marketplace.

eBooks & eVideos
Most titles on the AVweb Bookstore (including Jeppesen, McGraw-Hill, ICAO, and many others) are also available as electronic downloads. Why not consider an eBook in Adobe .PDF format? Instant delivery. No shipping costs. Fully searchable, bookmarked, and hyperlinked. Hundreds of reference titles at your fingertips, in your laptop computer. Environmentally friendly. And no import taxes to international customers. Are you sold yet? Click here to learn more, and download a sample to try it out.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

BrainteasersSeemingly insignificant regulations can bite. So bite back and defang the FAA's oft-overlooked regs by testing your grasp of the Code of Federal Regulations. (Think old-school FARs, if you like. We do.)

Take the quiz.

Aviation Consumer's 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...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Five Star Jet Center at Barne Municipal Airport (KBAF) in Westfield, Massachusetts.

AVweb reader Tim Stevens told us how 5SJ keeps 'em coming back for more with great prices and that old pilot favorite, free food — "burgers and hot dogs on the patio while we overlook the fueling on the ramp." Tim says "great hospitality and superior facilites" make this a must-stop destination when you're in the area.

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!


Aviation Consumer, the Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell the Truth
Truth about the gear you buy and the planes you fly. Aviation Consumer is packed with in-depth and uncompromising ratings of equipment, avionics, accessories, mods, services, aircraft, and much more. Order online and receive unlimited access to Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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 What have you heard? 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"

CTAF offers a smorgasbord of irritating communications techniques. Somewhere in California's Central Valley, I heard a pilot repeatedly report, "Turning left, final, runway 20."

After what must have been the tenth "left final," a pilot who'd obviously had it replied:

"There is no left final; there is no right final — just final. It's a straight line!"

Ralph Lund
Malpaso, California


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
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.

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.