AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 3a

January 18, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Top News: Bendix/King Working to Resolve DB Issues back to top 
 

URGENT: Bendix/King Database Problem

Certain Bendix/King KLN and KLX products have been compromised by their latest database updates and the company says those products should not be used until the problem is corrected. Bendix/King adds that "it is imperative" that the units not be used for arrival, departure or approach operations until corrected. Jeppesen apparently delivered some bad data to Bendix/King that contained incorrect Dynamic Magnetic Variations for all terminal and en route waypoint records. Affected databases include Cycle 1001 databases either downloaded from Wingman Services or delivered on programmed media and received prior to Jan. 12, 2010. Affected units are KLN 35A, 88, 89, 89B, 90, 90A, 90B, 94 and 900 models; plus KLX 100, 135, and 135A models. To fix the problem, Bendix/King customers just need to acquire a new database that's already available.

Customers should have a look at the Bendix Safety Bulletin. Those with Web distribution can download a new data file Cycle 1001 and load it. Customers who obtain their updates through any other type of distribution need to return the distribution media (except diskettes) to Wingman Services and a new database will be sent back to them.

 
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GA Communities Rally for Haiti back to top 
 

Haiti Airport The Beachhead And Bottleneck For Aid

January 14, United States Air Force Special Tactics personnel were on the ground controlling airport operations at Toussaint L'Ouverture International, Haiti, but the ramp area was already saturated with 44 aircraft, forcing a temporary closure. The airport operates a control tower, two fuel trucks and one 9,974-foot runway. The control tower was rendered useless by the January 12 earthquake. Initial aid flights arrived using the UNICOM frequency to organize themselves, then by a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter off the coast. But two days later, the airspace was closed, turning away 11 aircraft that had been waiting for other flights to depart so they could land. Among those turned away was a C-130 from the 15th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla.. With ground damage hindering the expedient dispersion of supplies, and physical space preventing further arrivals, departures were at the same time beginning to be challenged by a dwindling fuel supply. The American aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson had by Thursday been dispatched to the region, primarily looking at providing increased helicopter capacity in the afflicted area.

The January 12 earthquake that struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, leveled much of of the capital city and crippled the country's infrastructure, including water pipelines. With the Haitian airport operating at capacity, the USS Carl Vinson will be able to provide helicopters for aid distribution and emergency air lift operations, including moving construction equipment to areas unreachable by now destroyed roads. First estimates from the American Red Cross listed the potential dead tally at 45,000-50,000.

Agape Flight Helping Haiti

As the enormity of the earthquake disaster in Haiti becomes more clear, relief agencies are shifting into high gear to try and prevent further suffering and death in the impoverished country. And while government-sponsored relief and the Red Cross will lead the charge, there are ways that individuals can help. Venice, Fla.-based Agape Flight is accepting donations and already has aircraft in the air helping with the crucial first days of the effort. It may also be looking for pilots and planes to take part.

AVweb Insider Blog: Airlifts, Haitian Relief, and the How to Help

Paul Bertorelli has a couple of posts on the AVweb Insider blog about aviation lending a helping hand with Haitian earthquake relief. Click here and then click here to see how you may be able to do more good at this stage by dropping a little cash out of your wallet than by dropping supplies over Haiti.

 
What He Didn't Know About His Life Insurance Cost His Family $500,000
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More on Westwind, US Air (sort of) back to top 
 

ATSB Releases Preliminary Westwind Ditching Report

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a preliminary report on a Westwind 1124A jet that successfully made a nighttime poor weather ditching in the ocean three nautical miles west of Norfolk Island, some 900 miles east of Brisbane, Australia. The jet was operating IFR as an aeromedical flight with one patient and five others aboard -- all survived 90 minutes in the water before rescue. The intended route would have taken the jet from Apia, Samoa, to Melbourne, with a fuel stop at Norfolk Island. En route, the flight experienced increasing headwinds and reports of deteriorating conditions at Norfolk. About 20 minutes out, Norfolk UNICOM provided a weather report indicating that conditions had deteriorated "well below the landing minima," according to the ATSB. The crew attempted four VOR/DME instrument approaches, before committing to the ditching. After transmitting their intentions to Norfolk UNICOM, the crew put the airplane in the water and all escaped -- without the life rafts -- as the jet quickly sank.

The pilot in command had selected full flap extension for the ditching and slowed the aircraft to 100 knots. He switched the landing lights on and watched the radio altimeter to time his flare. Neither the pilot nor his copilot saw the water before impact. The occupants reported two or three strong impacts (more violent at the rear of the aircraft). The aircraft's main door was damaged during the ditching and the aircraft immediately took on water. The PIC opened the port emergency exit, through which water poured in as he exited. All other occupants exited through that and other available exits. The doctor, flight nurse and one passenger were the only passengers who exited the aircraft wearing life preservers. The passenger believed that he swam upwards for some distance before reaching the surface. All were rescued after a rescuer on the island spotted a light in the ocean. Read the full report, online.

Flight 1549-Inspired Tow Plane Crash Lands Near Hudson

Friday, a Piper Super Cub banner tow aircraft reportedly dispatched to buzz a New York City Flight 1549 anniversary celebration while trailing a sign that read "If you died today, would you go to heaven or hell? John 14:6" made a forced landing at Fresh Kills landfill, which holds 9/11 wreckage. The owner of Smoketown Banners, LLC, of New Holland, Pa., which operated the aircraft, told CBS news that an anonymous client paid for the ad meant to be seen by survivors of the "Miracle on the Hudson." The owner said the Piper blew a cylinder, its pilot notified controllers at Newark Liberty International Airport, dropped the banner in a stand of trees and made a safe landing on a road after circling back to the now-closed landfill.

The landfill was closed after it became a burial ground for debris created by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Other than its arrival, the aircraft did not disturb the site as it set down on Arden Avenue shortly before 1 p.m.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Embry Riddle Initiates Aviation Ph.D.

Designed for working professionals and available as a mix of online courses and six-day on-campus residencies, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University's Ph.D. in Aviation, the "only one in the nation," has begun. There are eleven students pioneering the research-intensive three-year course that began this month and aims "to tackle the major issues facing today's aviation aerospace industry." Getting into the program isn't easy. "We were able to be highly selective in assembling this first cohort of students," Alan Stolzer, director for the Ph.D. program, said. The first group is roughly balanced between males and females and each individual will explore topics in management, training, economics, regulation, communications, and NextGen air transportation, with a special focus on aviation operations. The program is designed to allow them to do that while continuing with their careers. A next group will be accepted to the program beginning in July, 2010. Applications will be accepted prior to April.

After receiving their doctorates, no sooner than three years from now, the program's first graduates have so far expressed desires that include research in aeromedical issues, airspace redesign, human factors, space tourism, and unmanned aerial systems. Those who believe this kind of higher education may be their calling should visit the program's online home for more details, including application requirements.

Red Bull Air Race Headed To New York City

The city that in 2001 saw its greatest aviation disaster and in 2009 a relative aviation triumph will now see aviation's great racing spectacle; New York City has been selected to host a Red Bull Air Race in 2010. The air race itself is a series and New York will host the fifth race of the 2010 season, on June 19 and 20. The season should see racers visit a total of nine cities around the world, including Abu Dhabi, Perth, and Lisbon. Red Bull didn't specify the exact location of the race, but judging from the comments of Bernd Loidl, CEO of the Red Bull Air Race, it sounds like the course will be placed in the lower Hudson visible from lower Manhattan and across the river form New Jersey's Liberty State Park. "Staging a Red Bull Air Race in New York City and Jersey City marks an important milestone in the history of the global motorsports championship," Loidl said.

Bringing the air race anywhere doesn't just involve moving pilots and their 15 airplanes, but the transport of approximately 380 tons of infrastructure, including the series' own traveling control tower. And so, New York, the same city that holds citizens who may be prompted to panic by low-flying commercial (or presidential) aircraft, will in 2010 invite some of the most aggressive low flying imaginable and televise it around the world.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

AirVenture To Salute Veterans

Already set to host what may be the last largest DC-3 gathering, EAA's AirVenture has announced it is working together with Warbirds of America and Disabled American Veterans to bring a "Salute to Veterans" to AirVenture Oshkosh 2010. The complete list of events has yet to be finalized, but EAA announced a sketch of events Friday. The Salute will mean special forums and speakers; a mass gathering of veterans for photo opportunities; a special airshow segment featuring Vietnam-era aircraft; an "upgraded Warbird Aircraft Display area," according to EAA; and a closing-day concert played by the Lt. Dan Band, featuring actor Gary Sinise. All veterans and active military who purchase AirVenture tickets online in advance of the show are eligible for a discounted admission rate of $28. Noting the nation's debt of freedom owed to its service men and women, EAA president Tom Poberezny said, "This is the right thing to do at Oshkosh."

The overall Salute to Veterans events will have a "thank a veteran" focus, according to EAA, which says the event's timing matches two significant anniversaries -- that of the DC-3 and that of the B-17. Both aircraft celebrate their 75th year in 2010, according to EAA. Said Poberezny, "Salute to Veterans will be one of the primary focuses during AirVenture 2010."

Paradise for Sale

As they gut it out in the toughest economy to hit general aviation in history, business owners could be forgiven for dreaming of being stranded on a tropical island. But what if that island came with five airplanes and a profitable charter business that has barely been touched by the recession? After building it from a single-aircraft operation 11 years ago into Fiji's largest charter operator, Pacific Islands Seaplanes owner Dusty Simon says he's looking for a change. "I'm 70 years old. It's time for me to move on to my next adventure," he said. Simon was asking $5.2 million for the operation.

The deal includes two de Havilland Beavers and a turbine-powered de Havilland Otter, all on amphibious floats. There are two Britten-Norman Islanders on wheels. Both Beavers just underwent a full restoration and all the aircraft are well maintained Simon said. All the buildings and equipment at Nadi International Airport are included as are operating licenses that allow the company's aircraft access to the whole country. As for Simon, the former Canadian rancher and logger is looking forward to literally getting back in the saddle. "I just bought a ranch in Brazil," he said.

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

AVmail: January 18, 2010

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: Non-Military Navigation Alternative Needed

The battle for common sense to prevail regarding the retention of LORAN-C is apparently drawing to a close, and the result appears to be the near-sighted, uneducated and inexperienced people who are making these decisions are controlling aspects of what we, in the aviation and maritime communities, need as a viable non-military backup to a navigation system.

Our air traffic routes are now incorporating GPS-based airways that, if the GPS system is compromised by solar activitiy or degraded by its masters due to military action, will be unusable. This will put immeasurable burdens on the ATC structure that will have to rely upon the VOR airway system, which, though adequate in the past, cannot support the primary type of navagation upon which most of today's domestic navigation methods/modes have become dependent. The ease and simplicity that has characterized the use of GPS navigation can be duplicated with LORAN-C with the minimal funds needed to complete the upgrades already nearly completed.

Once the upgrades are done and the resource is in place, the electronics manufacturers will see this as a new source of income in the form of new dual-mode navigation devices as an alternative to GPS-only devices. The level of safety and reliability will increase; national security will not be compromised or degraded as the LORAN-C signals are primarily domestic. It will benefit all aspects of air, marine and ground transportation in the U.S. by providing a reliable alternative to GPS should this fragile and vulnerable system suffer a degrading or crippling event or its accuracy be deliberately reduced by its controllers.

Someone with knowledge, experience and authority, please reign in this unwise and ill-conceived plan. This time, they are putting the safety of the traveling U.S. public at risk.

Stoney Truett


End of LORAN-C

This past week, I read that LORAN-C service is to be discontinued. This is not good news.

Extraordinary accuracy is both the glory and the potential tragedy of GPS. Especially when its accuracy is augmented by WAAS or local area augmentation, GPS blows everything else away. Because of this, we have seen discontinuation of Omega, and now LORAN-C. Will VOR/DME and ILS facilities face the axe next?

If we are tempted by the accuracy of GPS to put all our eggs in this one basket, what will happen if the system is sabotaged, or if there are launch failures, or if the GPS system otherwise breaks down?

Alex Kovnat


eAPIS Made Easy

I travel to Mexico about once a month, and, let me tell you, if you have several passengers, filling out eAPIS online can be very time-consuming. An alternate program is offered by FlashPass, a product of Lobo Labs, a group of clever young techie aviators in Monterrey, Mexico.

It is available for purchase through Aircraft Spruce for about $100, one-time! I use it all of the time, from several different computers, and, once set up, it only takes a few seconds online to upload it. The eAPIS people consult and communicate with these guys about their own program!

Amazing!

Brian Conway


Aviation News Sullied

Please, oh please, no more Sully!! I can't take it anymore!

AVweb used to have such rich, informative content. Guys like Busch and The Pelican would talk about aviating. I used to look forward to seeing what each new week would bring.

Does anybody really care about corporate promotions or mainstream media type stories? General aviation magazines and web sites have all become generic and dull. C'mon, guys, we are all drowning in Sully, AirVenture, sweepstakes giveaways, etc. The world needs an aviation web site for the jaded who are wondering why we even care anymore.

T. Price


Numbers in the Green

Reader J. M. Mount's reply entitled "Green BS" mixes up the cost of generating a kilowatt of electricity (power) with the cost of purchasing kilowatt hours of electricity from a utility. His company does not sell electricity for ten cents per Kw, they sell it for ten cents per Kw-hour. There are 8,760 hours per year. One would need to make an assumption about the average power consumption the airport requires, but you can see that the airport's claims are not that far-fetched.

Jack Burton

J. M. Mount's letter about the proposed wind turbine at Burlington International Airport seems to question the projected savings of $14,600 per year. He says that his company sells power at 10¢/Kw. In fact, electricity is typically sold as units of energy, not power, so that should be 10¢/Kw-hour.

Decent wind turbines seem to produce about 30% of their peak capacity on average. That means a 100 Kw turbine would generate 262,800 Kw-hours per year (100 Kw X 30% X 24 hours X 365 days). At 10¢/Kw-hour, that's $26,280. I don't know what the expected operating costs of the turbine would be, but savings of $14,600 at least sounds like a reasonable possibility. There are reasonable and valid arguments on both sides of the wind turbine debate, but, if we're having that discussion, we should at least work with the facts.

Chris Landry

Regarding J. M. Mount's flame of the Burlington wind power article, if Mount is a utility industry professional he should at least get the cost of electricity in Burlington, VT correct. According to published sources, the commercial rate was 13¢/Kw-hr in September '09, not 10¢. That's a bargain, too; the New England average is over 15¢.

I did the math using the numbers in the article and specs for the turbine and solar panels. $14,600 a year is in the ballpark using average wind and solar data for Burlington.

Jim Grant

J. M. Mount complained that the AVweb article about the wind turbine at the Burlington airport failed to tell the whole story about the true cost of energy production.

What he failed to include is that whether his company produces power from coal, oil or nuclear power, the taxpayers and citizens of the world are subsidizing its production by footing the costs (health and economic) associated with burning fossil fuels or storing nuclear waste. I too would like to see a true comparison.

Mark Adams


Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

Had an Engine Overhaul? Aviation Consumer Wants to Hear About Your Experience

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Click here to participate.

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)

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.

 
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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 
 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a Bose Aviation Headset X

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

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 email 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.

 
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

A Fresh Look at Cockpit Design with IFR Magazine and Del Fadden

File Size 16.2 MB / Running Time 23:43

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

What goes into a cockpit design? IFR magazine's Jeff Van West talks with Del Fadden, who was Chief of Flight Deck Technology during the development of the Boeing 757 and 767. In this extra-long podcast, hear how the engineers made these two planes so similar up front that they share a common type rating and how lessons learned in that cockpit could inform the NextGen-enabled cockpit of the future for big and small aircraft.

For more content like this, subscribe to IFR magazine.

Click here to listen. (16.2 MB, 23:43)

Exclusive Video: Improving Your Cockpit Lighting

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Ancient 1970s-style post lights don't cut it for night flying in a modern world. Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano explains some of the products available to improve panel lighting.

Want more product reviews airplane advice? Click here to check for AVweb deals on a subscription to Aviation Consumer.

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

 
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Rectrix Aerodrome (KSRQ, Sarasota, FL)

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

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AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Rectrix Aviation & Aerodrome at KSRQ in Sarasota, Florida.

AVweb reader Rollin Wiggington took a chance on the FBO on a recent trip to Sarasota and was blown away by the service:

We go into SRQ often and thought we would try the new guy. [We were] treated like a Bizjet! [This is] the newest and nicest FBO I've been to, fuel was priced right, and they even gave us free tie-down for a week because we were first-time customers. We'll go back to Rectrix again and again.

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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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.

*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***

Last week, we whined and moaned about our readers being too busy with the new year and the holidays to heap great piles of photography on us — but this week, the generosity of AVweb readers struck back with a vengeance, burying us in so many photos we couldn't get them sorted in time for Thursday's issue. Still, we eventually managed to pick our favorites (no easy task), and here they are.

medium | large

copyright © P. B. Schafer
Used with permission

"Where's the Field?"

P. B. Schafer of Sutherlin, Oregon takes us into "the front cockpit of my friend's Starduster" for a great close-up shot that stole our affections this week. Watch your mailbox, P. B. — one of those spiffy AVweb caps you see above will be on its way in the next few days!

medium | large

copyright © Donald L. Thun
Used with permission

Blue Angels Two-4-One

Donald Thun of Topeka, Kansas caught the Blue Angels at last September's Reno Air Races and couldn't resist submitting this photo with the question, "How many Blue Angels do you see? If you see only three, then look closely at '#31.'"

medium | large

copyright © Timothy O'Connor
Used with permission

"Here I Am at a Non-Towered Airport, and I'm Still Getting a 'Sign' to Land Long"

Batavia, Ohio's favorite gyro pilot, Timothy O'Connor, gives new meaning to that expression about having God as a co-pilot. In Tim's case, though, it looks like the Almighty may have been working the tower.

medium | large

Used with permission of
Archer D. Livengood Jr.

Tiger in 1975

How could there be a pilot out there with a great name like Archer D. Livengood Jr. (of Roanoke, Virginia) who's never submitted to "POTW" before?! Bad enough you guys are living it up in your fancy airplanes, goofing off every Saturday, traveling to exotic locations, and constantly sending us pictures to prove that you're living the dream — now one of you is even crowing about it in his surname!

In all seriousness, Archer did ask a question that comes up a lot: "Could you put captions on all your photos telling what kind of aircraft it is?" We'd certainly love to, but the honest answer is that we often can't tell. Some of our best photos are ones taken from an unusual angle or depicting an aircraft we've never had an personal experience with — and the detective work required to ID some of them would be too crippling to get a dozen or two photos prepped and ready for "POTW" every Thursday morning. With that in mind, we (once again) throw ourselves on the mercy of photo contributors and ask you to make any non-obvious IDs in the comments field when you submit photos.

medium | large

Used with permission of C. Larry Tatsch

Snow-Clad NYC from 7,500 Feet

Brr! C. Larry Tatsch of Ringoes, New Jersey flies us out this week with a timely shot of New York City from above just before Christmas. (Larry says he snapped this from his '77 Tiger; maybe we should make introductions between him and Archer, eh?)

medium | large

Used with permission of H. Leon Winter

Southern Cross Revisited

We realize we ran a bit late with the photos this week, so how about a bonus picture? Well, after a fashion ... .

H. Leon Winter of Waxhaw, North Carolina called us to task for missing a key element of Barry Hudson's photo a couple of weeks back:

I think you ... missed the photographer's point. If you look above the rotor, you will see the Southern Cross. The way the picture is framed, I believe he meant for you to notice it. ... [I]t looks like a tilted, upside-down kite, [which] can also appear upright depending on the time of year. The picture I send [seen here] is a poor quality crop of the original. Have a great new year!
Leon (member of WBT-JAARS)

Now there's a good excuse to go check out the original photo again, don't you think?


You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. It's a good crop this week, so do give that link a click, O.K.?

And click here to submit your own photos to "POTW." (That's how we get the new ones!)

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.

 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Returning from a $100 hamburger in Lakeland to Orlando one Saturday afternoon:

Orlando Approach:
"N1234X, you have traffic 2 o'clock and 3 miles at 2,500, 7 o'clock and 2 miles at 3,000."

[pause]

Orlando Approach:
"Hey, just be careful. You're surrounded."


John Summerford
via 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:

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.

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.