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|Top News: The FAA, Flight Training Rules, and
REACTS TO FAA'S PROPOSED CHANGES IN PILOT TRAINING
to respond to the FAA's latest proposed changes to flight-training rules
closed on Monday, and nearly 400 comments were logged. The National
Association of Flight Instructors said that while overall the 16
proposals are on the right track, they still had issues. "Some of [the
proposed changes] lack the detail needed to fully allow their
implementation," said NAFI Executive Director Jason Blair. "Others,
instead of enhancing safety, actually decrease the level of flight
proficiency and experience students will gain through their training
activities. We also believe that further research on a number of these
proposals is needed before final rules can be finalized." AOPA also commented on the changes, and said they would like
to see some of the proposals go even further. For example, while the
proposal would tweak some requirements for the commercial pilot
certificate, AOPA said it would like to see a thorough review of those
requirements. EAA said it was OK with most of the proposals, but raised
a red flag regarding certain changes aimed at operators of jet aircraft.
The changes were clearly intended to address operators of VLJs, EAA
said, but would potentially impact the operation of warbirds and other
vintage and homebuilt jets operated under Experimental rules.
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|Hellcat Rises from the Water for a Second Life||back to
HELLCAT RECOVERED FROM LAKE MICHIGAN
A Navy Grumman F6F-3
Hellcat fighter plane that sank more than 60 years ago was lifted from
the muddy waters of Lake Michigan on Monday. "Relatively speaking,
having been down there since 1945, it's in pretty darn good shape," Mark
Kish, a worker for the marine retrieval company, told The Navy Times. The lettering on the side could
still be read and gauges in the cockpit were intact, Kish said. The
airplane was found in water about 260 feet deep, where it sank after a
mishap during a training flight for carrier landings. The pilot of the
airplane, Lt. Walter Elcock, survived the crash and is now 89 years old
and living in Atlanta. His grandson, Hunter Brawley, was present for the
event and was the first to sit in the cockpit. "He told me to look for a
pack of Lucky Strikes he left [behind]," Brawley told the Lake County News-Sun. "That's his sense of humor."
The airplane will be moved to the National Naval Aviation Museum in
Florida, where it will be restored for display. Click here for a video of the recovered airplane on
a local news site. More...
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DESIGN LSAs APPROVED IN CHINA
Flight Design is the first LSA
manufacturer to obtain type design approval and a production certificate
from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the company said this
week. The approval for the CT design will make it easier for the company
to deliver airplanes in the growing GA market there. "Up to now, LSA
airplanes [sold in China] have been brought into service on the basis of
a manufacturer's self-declaration alone, without any kind of
certification," said Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design, which is
based in Germany. "This is a completely new level of qualification the
CTLS has obtained with this step." Flight Design has sold more than
1,500 airplanes in 39 countries, and the CT has led the U.S. LSA market
for five years. "We congratulate Flight Design Germany on this success,"
said Tom Peghiny, president of Flight Design USA. He added that sales are picking
up in the U.S., with better sales numbers in September and October 2009
than in those months of 2008. "A market recovery can be seen," he said.
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
Click here for this quick tip
OFFERS G1000 FOR MIRAGE AND MATRIX
Piper's Mirage and Matrix
single-engine aircraft can now be ordered with Garmin G1000 glass
cockpits, the company announced this week. "The G1000 takes our premier
aircraft to a new level of performance," said Dennis Olcott, Piper's VP
of engineering. "The G1000 deployed in the Meridian -- and now the
Mirage and Matrix, as well -- [provides] sophisticated avionics that
give pilots the feel and capabilities experienced in larger,
business-class aircraft." The G1000 flight deck comes with three
large-format, high-resolution displays as well as synthetic vision, the
company said. The Meridian, Mirage and Matrix currently feature
Avidyne's FlightMax Entegra Integrated glass avionics as standard
equipment. That option will continue to be offered. More...
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MIGRATION'S WISCONSIN HANGAR VANDALIZED
While the staff of Operation Migration was working at a wildlife refuge
in Florida last month, helping to establish a migrating flock of
endangered whooping cranes, their hangar in Necedah, Wisc., was broken
into by vandals who stole and destroyed thousands of dollars worth of
gear and slashed the fabric wings of four ultralights. "A few minutes of
senseless destruction means we're looking at a bill for $20,000 to
replace the wings," Joe Duff, CEO of the nonprofit group, wrote in the
group's blog last week. There was no insurance on the hangar
contents. A vintage ultralight that was used in the filming of Fly Away Home was damaged, artwork created by
one of the staffers was destroyed, and tires were slashed on two cars
stored in the hangar. "All of us lost something in that willful
destruction of property, but mostly we lost faith," wrote Duff. "Who
knows what motivates such unrepressed anger. ... Instead of lashing out,
we will redirect our anger at this cowardly act of destruction into more
resolve." Supporters of the group have started a fundraising drive to try to replace some of the
damaged goods. More...
Got a Minute?
Watch It's a Drag, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from
the Air Safety Foundation
Don't let airframe icing drag you down. This quick PSA shows pilots that
it makes no sense to fly into icing conditions.
Click here to watch
MANDATES: DON'T BUFF FROST, REMOVE IT
The FAA this week
published a final rule prohibiting takeoffs with "polished
frost," which it defines as "frost buffed to make it smooth," on the
wings, stabilizers and control surfaces of aircraft operated under
fractional or charter rules. The rule requires operators to remove any
frost adhering to critical surfaces prior to takeoff. Since most such
operators already were prevented from using the procedure under FAA
operating specs, the change mainly affects operators in Alaska, FAA's
Les Dorr told AVweb on Tuesday. Out of 188 aircraft affected by
the new rule, 177 are in Alaska. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said
the FAA has advised pilots not to take off with frost or ice
contaminating their wings for years, "because it made good sense. Now,
it's the law." The change, however, does not apply to non-fractional
operators flying under Part 91, although of the 12 frost-related
accidents the FAA identified, 9 involved such operations. Those
accidents, the FAA says, would not have been prevented by this new rule.
"Nevertheless," the FAA said, "these accidents illustrate the risk
involved in flying with polished frost." More...
FATIGUE RULES DELAYED TILL NEXT YEAR
The FAA is behind
schedule on its proposal for new rules addressing pilot fatigue, and
they won't be out until sometime early next year, Peggy Gilligan, the
FAA's associate administrator for aviation safety, told a Senate panel
on Tuesday. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate aviation
subcommittee, said lawmakers were running out of patience with the FAA,
which had said earlier this year the NPRM would be out by this fall and
then extended that to the end of the year. Gilligan also told the
aviation subcommittee the new rules will not allow pilots to take naps
in the cockpit as a fatigue-fighting strategy, as some other countries
allow. "The crew has to come to work prepared for the schedule they are
undertaking," she said. "We can manage and mitigate their fatigue
through the regulations sufficiently that they should be alert
throughout that flight." John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots
Association, raised the issue of long commute times for pilots. "The
regional carriers, especially, they lose a contract and all of a sudden,
people who lived in Cincinnati for 20 years, flying out of their home
base, now have to commute overnight," said Prater. But Gilligan said
that issue may be addressed by FAA guidance to operators rather than in
the new rules. "How to do it is hard," she said. "But we know we do need
to address it." More...
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...
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: YOUR 2009 LOG BOOK
2009 is winding down, and
that's our cue to get nosy about our readers and their flying habits.
We'd like to know how much air time you've logged this
Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers
about the hefty fines levied against three airlines involved in a
notorious ramp delay last year; click through to see what your fellow
readers had to say on the subject. More...
Fly the Avro
Exciting new DVD that puts you into the cockpit of this legendary
British heavy bomber, of Dam Buster fame. Multiple on-board cameras ...
stunning air-to-air photography ... the roar of four Rolls Royce Merlins
magic! Other titles in the series include Flying the B-25
, Flying the PBY Catalina
, Flying the Legendary
, and Flying the De Havilland Vampire
$19.99 + s&h.
Order your copy online direct from
VIDEO: PRODUCT MINUTES NEW PRODUCTS AT AOPA SUMMIT
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.
OF THE WEEK: LEBANON AVIATION SERVICES (FLOYD W. JONES AIRPORT, LEBANON,
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lebanon Aviation Services at Floyd W. Jones
Airport (KLBO) in Lebanon, Missouri.
AVweb reader Bill
Lanman stopped in over the holiday and tells us how LAS rolled out
the Thanksgiving welcome for a weary traveler:
A full course buffet of homemade food and
freshly baked pie made my stop at LBO a real treat all for a
small donation! Last year I stayed overnight, and they paid for my cab
to and from the hotel. The pilot is truly king here! Great people and
service. I stop here whenever in the area, and I recommend any pilot
flying through do the same.
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
As you might expect,
reader submissions to our weekly photo cornucopia dropped a little bit
over the week of Thanksgiving but don't panic. We've still got
plenty of terrific shots to make your eyes bug out of your head today.
William Derrickson of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania proves our point with this simply amazing shot that fairly
begged to be this week's top photo. More...
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...