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Gulfstream's newest business jet, the large-cabin, long-range G650, flew for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, in Savannah, Ga. Shortly after takeoff, the crew was alerted to a slight
vibration in a landing-gear door, and returned for a landing 12 minutes after launch, as a precautionary measure. During those 12 minutes, the airplane reached an altitude of 6,600 feet and 170 knots,
and the company declared the flight a success. "Systems were fully operational. ... Flight controls and characteristics performed as expected," said Pres Henne, Gulfstream's senior vice president for
Programs, Engineering and Test. "We consider this flight a success and look forward to pursuing our full flight-test plan." The airplane remains on schedule for type certification by 2011, followed by
entry-into-service in 2012, the company said.
The G650 is the largest Gulfstream ever built, with a top cruise speed of .925 Mach, a maximum operating altitude of 51,000 feet and a range (at .85 Mach) of 7,000 nm. It will carry up to 18
passengers and includes a separate compartment for a second crew on those long flights. Click here for the full text of the news release.
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Yves Rossy, the Swiss pilot who has set numerous records flying a pair of eight-foot-long carbon-fiber wings propelled by four
jet-fueled microturbines, ended up in the chilly North Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday while attempting to fly from Morocco to Spain. A helicopter arrived on the scene and within less than 15 minutes
Rossy was rescued, unharmed. He later told the press he was foiled by descending air that was pushing him toward the sea, while flying at about 2,500 feet. "Unstable at this height, that's no playing
any more," he said. "So I did throw away the wing and opened my parachute." The flight across the Strait of Gibraltar, about 24 miles, was supposed to take about 15 minutes, but the ditching occurred
just five minutes after launch. Rossy will probably try again sometime next year, according to news reports. "He is a man of courage," said Stuart Sterzel, one of the sponsors of the attempt. "He will get up and dust himself off." The wing and engines were expected to be retrieved from the sea.
Click here for a brief video of the attempt and the rescue. Rossy successfully flew across the
English Channel last year. He jumped from a Pilatus at 8,000 feet and covered the 22 miles in just over 9 and a half minutes.
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
Funding for the next-generation air traffic system would create thousands of jobs for engineers, software developers, and other high-tech workers, advocates said this week, as they lobbied House
leaders to act before the December recess. Money invested in NextGen would "benefit Main Street, not just Wall Street," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. AOPA, NBAA, GAMA and 15 other aviation
advocacy groups sent a letter ( PDF) this week to Congressmen James Oberstar, D-Minn., and John Mica, R-Fla.,
leaders of the House transportation committee. "Congress should seize this opportunity to expedite NextGen capabilities and to provide a platform for domestic NextGen job creation, thereby ensuring
that the civil aviation and travel industries -- which directly and indirectly generate over 10 million jobs and $1.2 trillion in economic activity annually -- can continue to positively contribute to
growth in the domestic economy," the letter reads.
President Barack Obama will host a Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth on Dec. 3, and the House said last week it will consider job-growth legislation in the next few weeks, AOPA said, spurring the
GA groups to act now. "Moving forward with the new air traffic control system also would improve aviation safety, reduce delays, cut carbon emissions, and help the United States remain a world leader
in aviation," said AOPA.
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Passenger rights groups are applauding the Department of Transportation's decision to levy $175,000 in fines after 47
passengers were held onboard a regional jet overnight on the ramp at Rochester, Minn., on Aug. 8. The DOT fined Continental Airlines and ExpressJet, who operated Continental Express Flight 2816 from
Houston with an intended destination of Minneapolis-St. Paul. It fined Mesaba Airlines, which provided ground handling services for the Rochester Airport, $75,000 for its role in the incident, which
resulted in the passengers being confined to the aircraft from about 12:30 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. "I hope that this sends a signal to the rest of the airline industry that we expect airlines to respect the
rights of air travelers," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We will also use what we have learned from this investigation to strengthen protections for airline passengers subjected to
long tarmac delays." The plane was diverted to Rochester because of bad weather and that's when a bad night got worse for the pax, according to the DOT.
As he taxied to the terminal, the aircraft captain asked to deplane the passengers but the ground crew refused because there were no Transportation Security Administration staff in the airport at
that hour. The captain tried several times but eventually had to take no for an answer even though TSA rules would have allowed the passengers to get off as long as they were kept in a sterile area of
the airport. It's the first time airlines have been punished for a ramp delay, Lahood said.
Got a Minute? Watch Hybrid Power, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
They're just trying to save the planet. What's your excuse? Watch this humorous pilot safety announcement that drives home the importance of fuel management.
The U.S. government is seeking ideas for creating "sense and avoid" technologies so unmanned aircraft could safely operate in the National Airspace System. The Office of Naval Research issued a request for proposals last week, noting that it is
"increasingly important" that Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) become capable of sharing airspace with commercial and military aircraft. "The UAS must not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and must
be relied upon to strictly observe the 'Right of Way Rules' developed for manned aviation platforms," the ONR said. The UAS must be able to sense even aircraft that have no transponders, TCAS, or
other collision-avoidance systems, including gliders and balloons. Also last week, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt told the Aerospace Industries Association he believes unmanned aircraft systems are
"the way of the future." However, as of today, UAS "are not ready for seamless or routine use yet in civilian airspace. ... we can't give you the thumbs up." Babbitt said the number of UAS operations allowed in civilian airspace has tripled since 2007, and in the last
year, there were about 20,000 such flights totaling about 2,500 hours.
He also said the FAA is working on an NPRM for small UAS that will define standards for routine commercial operations, and the agency is working with the Department of Defense to revise its
agreement regarding "critical access" to the airspace system. The ONR is proposing to spend up to $7 million on the sense-and-avoid research proposals. The Air Force also recently put out a request to fund
research into see-and-avoid technologies for UAS.
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Ed Stimpson, a man who played a key role in reviving the general aviation industry, died at his home in Boise, Idaho, Wednesday. Stimpson was the driving force behind the 1994 General Aviation
Revitalization Act, a law that resulted in the resumption of manufacturing by some planemakers, notably Cessna. In fact, Cessna put Stimpson's initials on the first 100 piston planes produced after
restarting the line. "The aviation world has lost one of the greatest statesmen it has ever known," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. "For nearly 40 years, he has been a leader in shaping aviation
policy, both in the United States and around the world."
Stimpson held many influential positions during his career. He was the first president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and retired in 1996 to become the president of Be A Pilot.
He was a U.S. representative on ICAO and most recently the chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation. In June, although he had never smoked, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
The new AV8OR ACE from Bendix/King by Honeywell is the latest in paperless, full Electronic Flight Bag solutions a highly affordable, portable system for the cockpit. Its
compact, lightweight design includes airborne navigation, all FAA charts, airport diagrams, weather, traffic, automotive, and multimedia capabilities. With its geo-referenced charts and large,
easy-to-use touchscreen, the AV8OR ACE lets you clearly read your charts as you stay on course. For more information,
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Epic Aircraft continues to wind its way through the courts and the next hearing is set for Dec. 7 in Portland. Spokesman Christopher Sanders told AVweb Tuesday there
are four bidders vying to buy the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy including one established aircraft manufacturer. The names of the bidders are confidential for now but Sanders said at least two
of them would be well known to those who follow aviation. There are currently 15 incomplete aircraft at the Bend, Oregon plant and Sanders said he's talking with all the owner/builders to try and
ensure they can complete their projects. Epic sold a $1.8 million kit that produced a six place turboprop aircraft called the LT and the 15 unfinished aircraft are in varying stages of construction.
Sanders said he was hired shortly after the departure of former CEO Rick Schramek and his role is to "maximize the value of the company and to make the company viable again."
The company ran into trouble earlier this year and the doors shut in August. By September, lawsuits were flying and the company was formally in Chapter 11. There have also been allegations of
wrongdoing by some Epic executives but none have been proven in court.
A California court has denied an injunction application (PDF) by JoAnn and Sandy Hill that would have stopped the National Association of Flight
Instructors from using curriculum the Hills say they created. The Hills have filed a lawsuit claiming NAFI is violating their copyright on the instructional material. Rich Stowell, who authored the
aerobatics section of the material, has also filed suit. They sought the injunction to stop NAFI from using the material while the suit moves through the courts. In denying the application, U.S.
District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder ruled that the circumstances of the case do not meet the test of whether an injunction is appropriate. "It's what we expected," said NAFI President Jason
Blair. JoAnn Hill told AVweb a press release would be forthcoming from their group after it's been discussed among them.
The Hills lost their positions on the NAFI board of directors in 2008. They had been on the board for more than 15 years and were active in the development of the Masters Instructors program, which
was run through NAFI during that time. After their departure from NAFI, the Hills created Masters Instructors LLC and their court actions are an attempt to claim the curriculum they developed while at
NAFI as their own intellectual property.
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
Delivered every 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."
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Last week, we asked if the TSA's interest in repair stations as a potential security threat is warranted.
An overwhelming majority of readers who responded (62% of you) said it's just more paperwork and expense for businesses who are already barely making it.
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.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
The TSA has announced plans to impose stricter security requirements on FAA-certificated repair stations in
the U.S. and in other countries. This week, we'd like readers to gauge the security threat posed by repair stations.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
IFR Magazine's Jeff Van West flew Garmin's corporate Mooney to see how the G500/600 retrofit glass cockpit performs for instrument approaches. He also looks at how the unit
stacks up against fully-integrated systems like the G1000.
Our cup did runneth over AOPA Summit last week, but we managed some time to shoot another brief video on cool products we saw, including a Cirrus engine modification from Next
Dimension, Flightline Systems' new AuRACLE Engine Monitor for legacy twins, a nifty flashlight that's really a glove, and a new Cessna 210 inspection guide from the Cessna Pilots Association.
AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to another TAC Air location, this time the one Lexington, Kentucky.
AVweb reader Melvin Price spent a little more time at KLEX than he intended and got to know the FBO well when his Piper Malibu's battery died just prior to departure:
The line man immediatedly brought the battery cart, but my battery was so low that it could not maintain the alternators online. ... The adjoining maintenance shop was contacted, and they offered to
charge my battery for three hours. ... While waiting for the battery to charge, the ladies behind the counter offered me the crew car and directions to a good lunch spot. ... I was very impressed
with the entire operation, and the best part was that I did not have to pay for the three different external starts nor for the battery charge, although I offered. ... [E]xcept for losing a few
hours of time, my visit to Lexington's TAC Air was exemplary in all ways.
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 ***
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S. (And a happy Thursday to the rest of our readership.) One thing we're perpetually thankful for around the AVweb offices are our
readers and at no time do we appreciate you guys more than when we hunker down and sort through each week's batch of reader-submitted photos.
It's not often enough that "POTW" contributors end up in front of the camera, but Canoga Park, California's Mujahid Abdulrahim handed the
shooting duties over to Connie Saucedo for this photo that would make a few Macy's Parade entrants green with envy. Mujahid's comments have the whole
When a southern California aerospace company hosts a halloween costume contest, there can only be one right answer. Rather than dressing up as a ninja, pirate, or viking, I built a
mostly-scale costume of the Van Nuys air traffic control tower in honor of the controllers (and their building) that help me fly into and out of my home airport. The rotating beacon on top of
the tower uses a Gaussian function to flash bright white and green LEDs to simulate the rotation. I built a small light gun to flash the six color combinations, and two speakers on the side play
radio traffic from one of my weekend flights, courtesy of LiveATC.net. The purpose of ATC towers is, of course, to control air traffic, so I
installed an R/C transmitter inside the costume and flew a small electric helicopter around the party. Granted, it is a bit unconventional for a tower to follow a helicopter around.
Larry Durner of Simla, Colorado couldn't pass up a great background to shoot this Stearman. As he put it, "The neutral colors of the background
make the colorful Stearman look almost three-dimensional." And he's right. (Though he forgot to mention that this photo makes a great desktop wallpaper.)
Christopher Ebdon of Pasadena, Texas sees us off this week with a shot that never gets old Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis taking
off for it's 30th mission. Christopher got the shot from the Banana Creek Lauch Viewing Area 3 1/2 miles away.
See? We told you it never gets old!
There are more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page and trust us, you don't want to miss this week's batch.
(There are quite a few we'd like to have included here.)
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
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