AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 15, Number 45b

November 12, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Three Things You Should Never Say to ATC || Click for a No-Cost 
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Three Things You Should Never Say to ATC
Listen as two ATC pros share tips on better communication with ATC. Avoid these common mistakes and make your interactions more efficient and accurate. This is a sample from PilotWorkshops' Tip of the Week. Click here for this quick tip.
Top News: Younkin Injured, Looking Ahead to 2010 back to top 

Airshow Pilot Matt Younkin Hurt In Crash But Will Fly Again

Airshow pilot Matt Younkin was injured on Tuesday afternoon when the Mullicoupe he was flying crashed in a field, but he is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2010 airshow season, according to a statement at his Web site. "During his flight he experienced a loss of power and was forced into an emergency landing," the statement reads. The airplane came down next to a model airplane field south of his home in Siloam Springs, Ark. A local TV station reported that the airplane hit shrubs and trees, and parts of the airplane were torn off. The FAA is investigating the crash.

Matt's father, Bobby, also an acclaimed airshow pilot, died in a midair during a show in Canada in 2005. Click here for a report from local TV news with pictures from the crash site.

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Revisiting US Air Flight 1549 back to top 

'Miracle On The Hudson' Dissected By Pilot/Reporter

Captain "Sully" Sullenberger's book about his engine-out ditching last January is already on the newsstands, but joining it this week is a very different look at the same events, by writer William Langewiesche, who is also a pilot. In Fly By Wire: The Geese, the Glide and the "Miracle" on the Hudson, Langewiesche "uses Flight 1549 as the pretext for a smart, confident, wide-ranging discussion of commercial aviation," says a review in The New York Times. He also examines the role of the Airbus A320 itself in handling the zero-thrust glide, and says that some of the credit for the good outcome should to Bernard Ziegler, an Airbus engineer who developed the airplane's fly-by-wire control system. The Times reviewer describes the book as "prickly and uneven but plainspoken." Aviators are sure to find it interesting, whether or not they agree with all of Langewiesche's opinions or his interpretations of events.

The Langewiesche name may be familiar to pilots who recall his father's 1944 classic, Stick and Rudder. The younger Langewiesche grew up around airplanes, and began his writing career at Flying magazine, then left to find work as a professional pilot. In 1990, he returned to writing as a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, and since 2006 has been on the staff of Vanity Fair. He has written several books, including one about his experiences as a pilot: Inside the Sky: A Meditation on Flight. His new book is in bookstores now. Click here for a lengthy excerpt from the prologue, posted on the New York Times Web site.

'Miracle On The Hudson,' Animated

The NTSB in June released an animation of the short flight of US Airways Flight 1549, which ditched in the Hudson in January, but now a private company has posted online its own animated rendering of the data that is like watching a movie of the event. K3 Resources, a Denver-based company that specializes in technical animation and accident reconstruction, took on the project at first as a marketing promotion, but Kas Osterbhur, a vice-president of engineering who is also a flight instructor, got intrigued with the project and invested about 200 hours in it. "The human brain is an amazing computer but it doesn't do very well at reading gigabytes of raw data," Osterbhur told EAA. "My goal is to bring together as much information into one place as possible, usually in a graphic way, and allow that human computer to do its job."

The resulting HD seven-minute animation combines an in-cockpit view, an overview of the airplane in flight above New York City, the ATC audio, the in-cockpit discussion as released in the NTSB transcript, and a reconstruction of the altimeter and rate-of-climb indications. The K3 Web site also includes an extensive analysis of the available data and additional animations showing weather and the radar tracks of birds and airplanes.

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Cirrus Stoic in the Face of Latest Layoffs back to top 

Cirrus Cuts Staff, But Company Strong, Says CEO

Cirrus Aircraft laid off another 10 percent of its production employees Wednesday but CEO Brent Wouters said the reduction was anticipated and is not indicative of deeper trouble for the company. Wouters said the 58 workers who were "adjusted out" were retained in an earlier round of layoffs in anticipation of production increases resulting from some institutional sales of aircraft. The sales didn't materialize so the extra staff weren't needed, he said. "When production increases we'll bring them back," he said. Cirrus now employs about 550 people on the production floor. Wouters said a stabilizing market, along with aggressive cost cutting by the company has put Cirrus in relatively good shape and the focus is preparing for a return to more normal market conditions. Cirrus sent a memo to staff (PDF) outlining the company's position and offering a glimpse at the coming year.

In the memo, Wouters says company earnings have increased 65 percent since last March and revenue per delivery has increased 15 percent thanks to popular options like flight into known icing (FIKI) and new panel products. In the meantime, fixed costs have dropped by half and inventory is down 58 percent. As he said in an AVweb podcast last week, progress on the SF50 jet is slowed by a lack of investment capital but work is continuing on the project. He also indicated he believes the worst is over. "Now that the business climate has stabilized and begun to improve, let's leave behind the challenges of 2009 and move forward into 2010 with a growing sense of optimisim," he wrote.

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Twin Mustang Finds Its Final Home at USAF Museum back to top 

CAF Loses Appeal To Keep Twin Mustang

The Commemorative Air Force announced on Wednesday that it has lost an appeal to hold on to a rare F-82 Twin Mustang that it had operated for many years. Ownership of the airplane will remain with the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, a judge ruled last week in a federal court in Texas. "After countless hours of dedication on behalf of the CAF, our member-volunteers and staff are disheartened by the decision of the Court," said CAF President Stephan Brown in a news release. "The plane has been returned to the USAFM [in Dayton, Ohio] as directed by the District Court in July." The CAF had hoped to restore the aircraft to flying condition, after it had been damaged in an accident in 1987. Before that, the group had flown the airplane for 20 years in support of its efforts to honor military aviation.

The CAF had offered to abandon its plan to fly the aircraft, if the USAF would drop its case and let the CAF keep it, but that offer was rejected. The CAF then pursued the appeal to federal court, but that rejection would seem to be the end of the line for its efforts to change the USAF's mind. If the CAF had been able to restore the F-82, it would have been the only one of its kind flying. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli had some thoughts on this issue following the district court ruling; click here for that blog post and the ensuing discussion.

Question of the Week: Too Rare for the Air?

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers


Last week, hot on the heels of the news that the pilots of Northwest Flight 188 may have been using laptop computers when they overshot their destination, we asked what you thought of a proposed federal ban on such personal electronic devices in the cockpit.

Several of you wrote to point out that laptops weren't the real issue here — some citing refusal to acknowledge the radio, others the overshoot itself — but we still got quite a few responses about the proposed electronics ban. Opinions were pretty evenly distributed, with the largest segment of respondents (27%) saying that company policy and the FAA's power to pull a certificate are all that's needed to fight the abuse of electronic distractions by a flight crew. At the other end of the spectrum, 23% of you called the banb useless, and another 23% reminded us that no law or rule can cover every potential distraction..

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.)


The Commemorative Air Force lost its bid to keep a one-of-a-kind F-82 Twin Mustang when its appeal of an earlier court ruling in favor of the Air Force reclaiming the historic aircraft was rejected. The CAF originally wanted to restore the aircraft to flying condition, which prompts our latest Question. We'd like to know what you think about putting one-of-a-kind historic airplanes into the air.

Should one-of-a-kind historic aircraft be flown?
(click to answer)

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

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News Briefs back to top 

NTSB: Mountain Flyer Imeson Collided With Trees In Fatal Crash

Sparky Imeson, the author of the Mountain Flying Bible, was lost last March when the Cessna 180 he was flying crashed in the mountains near Bozeman, Mont., and this week the NTSB released its final report on the accident. Evidence at the site such as ground scars, contact evidence on the trees, and impact damage to the airplane were "indicative of a high-speed controlled flight collision with trees," the board said. There was no evidence of any failure or problem with the airframe or the engine prior to the crash. The report noted that a witness had seen an airplane similar to Imeson's near the accident site that was flying about 20 to 30 feet above the ground "at a high rate of speed," but there were no witnesses to the actual crash. The board concluded that the probable cause of the crash was "the pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees and terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude."

The wreckage was found among a cluster of scraped and broken trees, about 15 to 20 feet in height, along the bottom of a mountain drainage, according to the report. Parts of the airplane were scattered as far as 100 feet from the initial impact site. Imeson and another pilot had survived a crash in the Elkhorn Mountains in June 2007. In March, friends of Imeson's said he was heading to the site of that crash when his airplane went down.

Pilots 'n Paws Reunites Soldiers And Pets

Pilots 'n Paws, a nonprofit group that works to transport shelter dogs to new homes with the help of volunteer pilots, recently took part in a dramatic rescue of two dogs from Afghanistan, who had been adopted by U.S. soldiers on deployment. When the soldiers were sent home, they didn't want to abandon the pets. So their families worked to raise money to ship the dogs overseas to New York, where they were picked up by volunteer pilots for Pilots 'n Paws. John Lee picked up Ally, the pet of Cpl. Michael Lemmons, in his single-engine Commander and flew her to Louisville, Ky., where she was taken home by Michael's mom to await his return from Afghanistan later this month. The other dog, Delilah, flew to Texas to be reunited with his adopted family. Transport by airplane greatly reduces the stress of travel for the animals, compared to lengthy car trips, says Pilots 'n Paws co-founder Debi Boies. Click here for a video from the local TV news about the delivery to Louisville.

Last week at AOPA Summit, in Tampa, Fla., Boies welcomed a volunteer pilot, Jeff Bennett, who flew in with five dog crates loaded into his Cirrus SR-22. Packed inside were 17 puppies of various shapes and sizes, as well as a full-grown young Husky. Bennett had picked the dogs up in Georgia, where they would have soon been euthanized due to a lack of nearby homes. But shelters in the Tampa area were ready to accept all of the animals, with good homes waiting. Bennett has three dogs of his own at his home in the Florida Keys, and has made quite a few flights on behalf of Pilots 'n Paws, saving the lives of about 175 animals. The organization does not directly arrange the flights, but provides a Web site where shelters and pilots can connect. More pilots are needed, says Boies. All flight expenses are tax-deductible.

'Phone Home' - An Important Pilot Safety Announcement from the AOPA Air 
Safety Foundation
Got a Minute?
Watch Phone Home, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Wouldn't you rather be flying? This quick PSA serves as a reminder to be cautious down here so you can get up there.

Click here to watch.
New on AVweb back to top 

The Pilot's Lounge #135: Think You Fly IFR? Meet Dave Hertel and Friends at the Hump

Weather, ice, and keeping track of all those instruments can keep you pretty busy during a routine flight, eh? Imagine staying on top of the gauges in a 1940s-era cockpit, with the boys at the front lines of World War II relying on you to deliver supplies in even the most forbidding weather. The thought crossed Rick Durden's mind recently, and he knew just who to consult — a pilot who flew under those conditions day-in, day-out. Dave Hertel joins Rick in the latest installment of "The Pilot's Lounge" to reflect on challenges that might give you a few gray hairs just to read about.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb Insider Blog: Does Amelia Make the Sale?

Oh, great — now Paul Bertorelli imagines himself the Leonard Maltin of the aviation world in this, his first film review. If you've seen the new film Amelia log into the AVweb Insider blgo and have a go at your own comments.

Read more.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Senators Push For FAA Bill ASAP

Thirty-five senators have signed on to a letter (PDF) calling for the passage of a long-term FAA funding bill before the end of the year, AOPA said on Tuesday. The letter was circulated by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who is a pilot, and received bipartisan support from both Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "From rural America to our largest cities, the entire country will benefit from what the FAA bill will provide," the letter says, adding that the bill would create a safer and more efficient aviation system, while providing good jobs in construction and technology. The FAA has been operating on short-term funding resolutions since its last authorization bill expired in September 2007. "We're pleased to see that members of the Senate have taken the initiative to voice the necessity of passing an FAA funding bill this year," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. AOPA supports the Senate bill, Fuller said, which would fund the FAA through aviation fuel taxes, ticket taxes, and a contribution from the general fund, with no new user fees.

If the Senate bill passes, the next step would be to go to a conference committee to work out differences with the House version. The final bill would then go to the White House for presidential approval.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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The New Meridian G1000 — Commanding
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AOPA Summit Complete Coverage Recap back to top 

AOPA Summit 2009 Complete Coverage Round-Up

A complete recap of our podcasts, videos, blogs, and news reports from the 2009 AOPA Summit in Tampa, Florida.

Click here.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Wells Aircraft (KHUT, Hutchison, Kansas)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb readers did a lot of traveling last week, and we heard about some pretty terrific FBOs. Topping the list is Hutchison, Kansas FBO Wells Aircraft, located at KHUT and recommended to us by Bill Lavender. Here's Bill's story:

Traveling to a trade show, the prop started surging. [We] landed at [the] destination, and the good folks at Wells stopped all work and pulled the aircraft into the shop. Realizing I needed to be back in the air the next day, my aircraft was put front in line, the prop governor replaced, and we departed on time. There were no overnight hangar fees, and the courtesy car took us to the hotel and picked us up. (Again, no fees.) We did not need any gas, so all was done [under the auspices] of good service to the customer. The owner greeted us at the door and waved goodbye as well!

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!

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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.


We found a great batch of photos waiting for us after the AOPA Summit, quite a few of them showcasing military aircraft, personnel, and classic warbirds in honor of Veterans Day. By the time you see this, the day that commemorates the end of the Great War will have passed into history for another year — but we hope you'll indulge us a little longer as we salute the men and women of aviation who serve their countries in a special veteran-themed edition of "POTW."

medium | large

copyright © Gary Dikkers
Used with permission

"The Ponies Put Away for the Night"

Prolific "POTW" submitter Gary Dikkers of Madison, Wisconsin has been bucking for a new AVweb cap for a while, and this timeless photo of some Mustangs parked in the warbird section at EAA AirVenture has earned it for him.

(Hey, Gary — if you've got any more shots of this bird, feel free to share. We can't quite figure out what the paint job looks like from this angle.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Paul Oor

Old and New, Real and Virtual

While it isn't veteran-themed per se, we absolutely loved this photo from Paul Oor of Nieuwegein, Utrecht (Netherlands) and his comment that there's "no environment for flightsimmers like under the wing of a vintage DC-3!"

Paul's photo comes from the Netherlands' annual flight simulator convention at the Aviodrome. And before you ask: Yes, we've already added it to the list of supercool places we never knew we wanted to visit!

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Used with permission of Mark Beduhn

F-18 Leaving USS "Ronald Reagan"

Mark Beduhn of Menasha, Wisconsin was one of the earliest submitters to hit on the military theme this week, sending us this photo he snapped from the deck while watching jets take off. "This trip gave us an appreciation for the sacrifice sailors are making for our country," writes Mark.

medium | large

Used with permission of Andrew Wall

Air National Guard F-16 Departing Des Moines in the Fading Sunset

We're tempted to waste some time on a lame pun tying the name of this photographer — Andrew Wall of Ankeny, Iowa — to the fact that this shot immediately became our desktop wallpaper for the day.

But we won't.

(Mostly because we couldn't think up a clever way to do it.)

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copyright © Daniel Valovich
Used with permission

Night Vision

Speaking of workhorse submitters, the ever-delightful Daniel Valovich of Hot Springs, Arkansas came through this week with an awesome composite that we just had to sneak in.

We'd planned to use this as our sign-off piece for the week, but — well, our counting just ain't what it used to be, and we wound up with six finalists this week. So what the heck — we haven't done this in a while (and probably won't be able to make a habit of it), but let's look at one more photo before we send you off to check out this week's slideshow, eh?

medium | large

copyright © Steve Kessinger
Used with permission

First Things First ...

Steve Kessinger of Bellingham, Washington has been in the market for an airplane lately, and when he finally secured a hangar for his dream-to-be, he decided to celebrate by sending us a photo of the — er, "placeholder" aircraft that's currently filling the space.

(Steve tells us he's on the waiting list for a Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey and currently counting down the weeks until delivery. Assuming there's an internet connection out there at the hangar, Steve, we know this really cool web site where you can catch up on the last 15 years of aviation news and reviews ... .)

You mean you got to see a bonus pic this week and you're still not satisifed? Yeah, we know how your brain works — and that you can smell the smug satisfaction of a "POTW" editor who knows there's a stellar batch of leftovers this week. So go ahead and indulge. Hit up the slideshow on AVweb's home page for more than a dozen extra photos and join us in feeling a pang of regret that we couldn't cram more into today's edition of "POTW."

(Seriously, this week's bonus photos are outstanding.)

And this link is the one you click to submit your own photos to "POTW." All the cool kids are doing it.

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.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet 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.

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.