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Volume 16, Number 1a
January 4, 2010
A Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums? — YES
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2010's Top Priority? Safety, Of Courseback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Eur-Avia Cannes || 4-6 June 2010 || 
Leading GA Exhibition in Southern Europe

Click for more photos
The FAA will increase its oversight of American Airlines following a string of non-fatal landing incidents that took place in December, including one that left an AA 737 in pieces in Kingston, Jamaica. FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford made the comments to CNN, adding that the FAA's review will attempt to determine if those incidents "might be indicative of a larger issue." On Dec. 13, an American MD-80 went off the side of the runway while landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and dragged a wingtip while realigning. The Dec. 22 incident at Kingston left 91 passengers injured and the 737 broken when it overran the runway in heavy rain. And on Dec. 24, another AA MD-80 dragged a wingtip landing at Austin. More...

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Quote reprinted with permission:
Professional Pilot, 2008 Headset Preference Survey, 12/08.
Eager Owner's Unexpected Escortback to top 

Jean-Claude Courtois bought a plane in Florida but an allegedly iffy checkride and some miscommunications saw his maiden flight shortened by a pair of F-15s. The incident began at American Aviation on Hernando County Airport in Florida, where Courtois purchased a Cessna 425. While Courtois was getting checked out in the plane, his instructor developed concerns about the Frenchman's command of English and his piloting skills. Based on those concerns, the instructor recommended to American Aviation (the plane's seller) that Courtois fly with and be re-evaluated by another instructor. But before that could happen, the Frenchman hopped into the aircraft and departed Hernando "without (air traffic control) clearance," FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac told Next, due to a miscommunication somewhere in the chain, a call from American Aviation to controllers along Courtois' presumed route of flight became a report of a foreigner who wasn't talking with controllers flying a stolen aircraft. Soon after, Courtois found himself putting down at Everglades Jetport at the urging of two NORAD-deployed F-15s. 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
News Briefsback to top 

A single-engine Vickers abandoned on the Antarctic ice during the 1911-1914 Antarctic expedition of Australian Douglas Mawson may have been found on New Year's Day, 2010. If true, the find itself may be as unique as the circumstances that allowed for it. Wreckage was found on ice-encrusted rocks on the shore of Commonwealth Bay. Modern-day expedition leader Dr. Tony Stewart told Reuters, "Friday was the only day in several years when the rocks were sufficiently exposed and the tide was low enough." Only rusted lengths of metal tubing were found, but they match structural tubing from the monoplane's fuselage and the expedition believes they're a match. The Vickers was originally intended to fulfill Mawson's goal of launching the first human flight over the Antarctic ice cap, but that bid ended before it began. More...

A $2.1 million investment has yielded a hand-sized infrared controlled micro air vehicle (MAV) that flies by flapping its four polyethylene wings up to 30 times per second. Displayed last Monday by Professor Hiroshi Liu, of Japan's Chiba University, the 2.6-gram, four-inch long MAV carries a rechargeable battery that's reportedly good for six minutes of powered flight. The vehicle has yet to demonstrate its ability to hover, which is next on the list, but has demonstrated stable figure-eight flight. Liu plans to ultimately develop the MAV for earthquake-aftermath search missions by equipping it with a tiny camera. The addition of a camera would make it not terribly unlike an existing MAV, the Dutch DelFly Micro, an ornithopter that weighs in (with camera) at about 3 grams and has a flight duration of about three minutes. 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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Meanwhile, Down at the Airportback to top 

Public-use, privately owned reliever airports have again won the negative attention of USA Today, this time with two articles -- one titled, "FAA and taxpayers prop up small, little-used airports." USA Today writer Thomas Frank's two articles appeared in USA Today on Dec. 31, stating among other things that some small airports are owned by "businesses," and that "raises questions about whether public funds should go toward assisting private enterprise." Like a similar article printed in USA Today back in September of 2009 these latest two have drawn reaction from AOPA. The pilot group wrote Friday that the latest articles cast reliever airports as "playgrounds for the rich," when they actually "support business aviation, medical services, and disaster relief." AOPA noted that it had provided a statement to the reporter prior to the story's inclusion in the paper, "but the newspaper chose not to include it." More...

Heritage Aviation, Burlington International Airport's new general aviation facility, has installed -- onsite -- a wind turbine, claiming "a first for renewables and aviation industries," according to Heritage. The Northwind 100 (100-kilowatt) turbine erected at the airport stands 121 feet tall, measuring from atop the 41-foot-diameter rotor's disc area. The airport hosts a number of instrument approaches, and Heritage pushed through heavy FAA scrutiny with the help of turbine supplier Alteris Renewables. "Basically we had a very close look at radar maps and found a 10-foot circle where this could go," Nils Behn, director of Alteris' wind division, told the Burlington Free Press. Another turbine erected by the University of Vermont is close to the airport and won FAA approval in part because it was constructed next to a larger pre-existing water tower. More...

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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

Win a Bose Aviation X headset as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Friday, January 29, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.


WingX GPS-Enabled Terrain-Aware Moving Map for iPhone!
Just released — Moving Map for your iPhone! Also: File flight plans and obtain and view legal weather briefings. View any NACO chart or airport diagram — entire USA stored right on your phone. A/FD, AOPA Directory, Route Planning, FARs, Animated RADAR, METARs, TAFs, winds and temperatures aloft, TFRs text and graphics, an E6B, and much more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile and Blackberry. Click here for more information.
Year in Reviewback to top 

We've looked back through the electronic monstrosity that recorded the roughly 600 million hits you generated for AVweb last year so, without further ado, here are the stories that you found most clickable in 2009. In January, your interest was dominated by our same-day breaking news coverage of Sully and Jeff and their "Miracle On The Hudson," along with our comprehensive first impact video footage and CVR audio. In February, C-17 belly landing pictures and video won the top slot. The third month was dominated by Terrafugia, specifically our Terrafugia first flight video coverage. In April, a King Air pilot died en route, forcing a low-time SEL pilot/passenger to orchestrate a landing and our audio coverage won out. In May, more audio -- this time covering Sean Tucker's off airport landing. In June, video of a Beaver that crashed on takeoff claimed the top spot. More...

Q: What's the Difference Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?

Mike Busch and his team of seasoned maintenance professionals are saving their aircraft-owner clients thousands of dollars a year in parts and labor — not to mention hours of hassle — by providing professional maintenance management for owner-flown singles and twins. Learn how they do it.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: Spin Recovery

Unfortunately, I don't think most pilots would be able to react to a stall/spin situation. Most pilots I talk with fear spins and spin training. Some are actually reluctant to do stalls. Thus they don't have the opportunity to experience a spin until they inadvertently enter one, at which time it is too late.

It's difficult to find an instructor today who will teach spin recovery from an actual spin, as many instructors have not experienced an actual spin. A pilot flying light aircraft today would benefit themselves and their families by taking spin recovery training from actual spins from a qualified instructor.

Pat Bartlett

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


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...

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.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening?back to top 

John Zimmerman, vice president at Sporty's Pilot Shop, explores what kind of new products are popular with pilots, takes a look at what's coming up in 2010, and explains why if you don't yet own a personal locator beacon, maybe it's time you should put it on your shopping list. More...

AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Come along for the ride as Kyle Franklin explains his entertaining Super Cub comedy act and Ben Wabknoski goes flying. Franklin makes it look easy — but trust us, it's anything but. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Best Rewards 
in the Business

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Georgetown Air Services at Sussex County Airport (GED) in Georgetown, Delaware.

AVweb reader Mark Galbraith had high praise for the staff and facilities at Georgetown:

I'm in my third year of flying regularly to GED for both business and pleasure, and the guys at Georgetown Air never disappoint. The large ramp assures parking is available. All requested services are done immediately and to high standards. Free long-term vehicle parking is available, as are several courtesy cars. Randy and Greg are like family, giving my daughters rides on the golf cart and, when I'm in on business alone, helping me with all of my belongings and airplane duties. I am always treated as well as the corporate jet folks.

See? We told you Mark gave them high marks all around!

With the new year upon us, there's no better time to tell us about your favorite FBO. Click here to nominate someone. 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!


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


On approach into OAK, I was left-hand seat in the Cessna 182, and my wife was working the radio with the following transmissions:

OAK Tower:
"Cessna 1234, cleared to land. Caution: banner-towing plane crossing in front of you."

Cessna 1234:
"Cleared to land — and we have the banner on the right and the plane on the left."

OAK Tower:

Gary Cook
via e-mail


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.