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This year's Collier Trophy has been awarded to the international team behind the International Space Station. The National Aeronautic Association announced the award on Wednesday. The association
says it selected the station "for the design, development, and assembly of the of the world's largest spacecraft, an orbiting laboratory that promises new discoveries for mankind and sets new
standards for international cooperation in space." NASA Administrator Charles Golden said the award "is a testament to the dedication and hard work of thousands of people around the world."
The space station is a joint project of NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency. It has been
continuously inhabited for almost 10 years and plans are to keep it occupied for another decade. "There's a new era ahead of potential groundbreaking scientific research aboard the station," said
Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate. The award will be officially presented May 13.
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Bring your-kid-to-work-day took on a decidedly different turn last week when a tower controller at New York's JFK evidently had a child communicate with aircraft on the outbound local frequency.
Recorded audio reveals the child made a handful of transmissionsobviously coachedand the controller said on the frequency "that's what you get guys when the kids are out of school." The
kid's directives included takeoff clearances and frequency switches to departure. Although the pilots on frequency appeared amused, the FAA and controller's union, NATCA, are not.
In a statement to Fox 25 in Boston, the FAA said "pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic. This behavior is not acceptable
and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees." NATCA released a statement saying "we do not condone this type of behavior in any way and it is not indicative of
the highest professional standards that controllers set for themselves."
Everyone has an opinion on the controller who took his son to work and gave him a little time on the radio. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli doesn't think it's a security crisis, but he does have
some advice to offer on the AVweb Insider blog: "You might wanna run this by some adults before you try it again."
Last week, we asked AVweb readers what stance GA should take toward the future of lead in avgas.
For the first time this year, one option in our poll received a clear majority of votes. 56% of you said we should accept that its days are numbered and work rapidly to replace it
with unleaded options. Running a very distant second, only 17% of said lead is not a significant environmental hazard; we should continue to use it.
Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to
NOTE: 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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100 Years of Women in the Skies; Here's to 100
Around the world, women plan to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first time a woman earned a pilot certificate by taking a woman or girl for her first flight in a general-aviation aircraft
during the week of March 6 to 12. Raymonde De Laroche, a French balloonist, learned to fly a fixed-wing aircraft and was the first woman to receive a pilot certificate, on March 8, 1910. So far,
pilots from the U.S., France, Spain, Mongolia, and many other countries have signed up to participate in what they hope will be a world-record-setting event. The Ninety-Nines, Women in Aviation
International, the International Society of Woman Airline Pilots, EAA, and other groups have signed on to help with the effort. "Nothing can inspire a woman to learn to fly more than meeting a woman
who became a pilot," say the organizers of the Centennial of Women Pilots. Women who want to participate in the record attempt must pre-register at the group's Web site.
Pilots who take a girl, age 8 to 17, for her first flight can also participate in EAA's Young Eagles program at the same
time. The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum is also celebrating Women's History Month on March 13 with a family day event at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Recently, Women in Aviation International wrapped up its annual meeting, in Orlando,
Fla. Nearly 3,000 women and men attended, with visitors from 20 countries. EAA confirmed that it will host WomenVenture for the third consecutive year during this summer's AirVenture Oshkosh. WomenVenture is a celebration of women's achievements in flight designed to attract more women
to all aspects of aviation. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt spoke at the event; click here for the full text
of his remarks. "Once again this year, everyone's passion for aviation was displayed in their enthusiastic approach to learning, mentoring and expanding their aviation knowledge and advancing their
aviation careers," said WAI President Peggy Chabrian. Next year's event will be held in Reno, Nev., Feb. 24-26.
India Aviation 2010 launched on Wednesday amid high hopes for expanding markets in the region, but the opening day
airshow was marred by a crash that killed two pilots. Spectators from more than 100 countries were on the show site in Hyderabad when a Kiran MK-II, a military jet trainer, crashed into a nearby
apartment building. Four people in the building were hurt, two seriously. One pilot reportedly ejected but the chute failed to deploy, and the other died in the crash. They were flying with Sea Breeze
(Sagar Pawan), a four-ship naval aerobatic team that launched in 2003. A video posted by CNN shows the accident aircraft veering off from the other airplanes, apparently out of control, as they pull up from a maneuver. General aviation manufacturers
from the U.S. attending the show include Cessna, which is introducing its Citation Mustang
jet there, and Hawker Beechcraft (PDF), which is showing a King Air 350 along with two of its bizjets,
the Hawker 750 and Hawker 4000.
Cessna is also showing a Citation CJ2+, a Grand Caravan and a Skyhawk on the static display. "India is a growing market for general aviation," said Todd Duhnke, Cessna's director of international
sales. "We believe there is potential growth in the area for the entire line of Cessna products as this region continues to embrace the advantages of general aviation."
Organizers of a mass arrival of DC-3s and C-47s at AirVenture Oshkosh this year now expect 40 aircraft to take part. The original goal was
25 aircraft making an hour-long flight from Rock Falls, Ill., to Wittman Regional Airport for a formation flyby at 1,000 feet to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the iconic
aircraft. Organizers were deluged with requests to participate in the flight, which will be the largest formation of Douglases since the Second World War. The current record is 27, set in South Africa
in 1985. There are 12 aircraft on standby to fill any slots that open up before the flight. Once in Oshkosh, the aircraft will be the centerpiece of festivities throughout the week and may include a
one-of-a-kind heritage flight.
The Air Force has approved Altus Air Force Base's "Rat Pack" C-17 Globemaster demonstration team to fly in formation with three C-47s to commemorate the huge impact the Douglas had on the outcome
of the Second World War and to remember those who didn't come back. The heritage flight still must be approved by EAA but that's expected shortly. Celebrities, C-47 war veterans and some other
surprises are in store for the event, which begins with two days of preparation at Rock Falls.
The New Meridian G1000 Commanding
The new Meridian G1000 with Garmin G1000 avionics and GFC 700 autopilot suite, business jet luxury and turbine simplicity for 30% less than any comparable six-place turbine-powered aircraft.
With a panel as commanding as the airplane, and a million dollars less than its closest competitor, "Pilot in Command" means precisely that.
New Zealander (he's half Australian) Rudy Heeman has, over 11 years, transformed his hovercraft into a wing-in-ground-effect vehicle, and now it's for sale. Heeman says he's found the ideal flight
altitude under the vehicle's 7-meter wingspan to be about 1.5 meters, over flat water or land, where he reached a top speed of about 60 mph in a test. It will hop small bushes or short trees and, yes,
Heeman has hit shrubbery with it (and continued to a safe landing). Theoretically, the pilot plus one vehicle can cruise at about 55 mph for roughly 140 miles. The project includes parts from six
different cars, including what was originally a 1.8-liter Subaru engine, and a gas bottle from an old barbeque. Its wings consist of what appear to be a front and rear aluminum tube spar,
foam/fiberglass ribs (four per side, plus an end rib) and zip-to-close fitted fabric covering -- all of which separate for storage/transport. The vehicle is controlled by rudder and elevator, actuated
by a control wheel (no rudder pedals). The cockpit includes a GPS and engine gauges, but Heeman has included other creative refinements.
To better manage the aircraft in flight, and improve its performance, Heeman has created a system that allows him to retract the hovercraft's skirt while in flight to reduce drag. He's also
devised a "thrust diverter" that at the same time "converts lift air to thrust when flying." The vehicle operates under New Zealand's rules for boats, according to a recent SkyNews report, even when
flying with its removable 23-foot wing attached. Heeman has put about 150 hours on the craft. Last we checked, the vehicle's auction (plus trailer) had attracted a bidder at $26,800. The sale includes
training ... and a liability disclaimer, "which must be signed on pickup" according to Heeman.
Eurocopter announced the week of February 25 new "Blue Edge" and "Blue Pulse" technology that significantly reduces the noise generated by a helicopter blade. Tested on an EC155 helicopter, the
Blue Edge blade itself created a three to four decibel drop in noise and then Eurocopter added more technology. For the blade, itself, Eurocopter dramatically redesigned the shape, creating what might
best be described as a seagull-wing shaped bend at the blade's tip. It then layered active "Blue Pulse" technology on top of the Blue Edge design. Blue Pulse adjusts three trailing edge flap modules
15 to 40 times per second via piezoelectric motors. The flaps move to reduce the effect of blade/vortex interaction. That interaction occurs as a trailing blade encounters the vortex of the preceding
blade, causing an audible "slap." And adjusting the interaction dramatically reduces the slap. For disbelievers, the company has supplied audio. Find it after the jump.
Eurocopter plans to incorporate the two technologies into its "Bluecopter" and says the goal is to create a more neighbor-friendly helicopter that produces less noise with reduced emissions. Click
here for an audio comparison of Bluecopter to non-Bluecopter technology in action.
Business aircraft activity is up considerably, bucking a trend that saw an overall decline in general aviation activity (it's down 3 percent overall) in the U.S. according to FlightAware. In its
monthly analysis of aircraft movements, the popular online tracking and data site says private jet traffic is up a whopping 8.8 percent in February, compared to the same month in 2009. Turboprop was
up 2.2 percent but the tale of the tape was in charter and fractional operations. Charters were up 16.5 percent and fractional traffic 6.5 percent, perhaps reflecting a shift from ownership to
charters for economic and public relations reasons. Every other sector of GA activity measured by FlightAware was down.
Single and multi piston operations were off a staggering 14.1 percent and private operations lagged by 4 percent. As might be expected, Wichita Mid-Continent Airport saw the biggest overall
reduction in traffic with 15.8 percent fewer movements. Fort Lauderdale Executive was up 23.3 percent. FlightAware also tracks movements by type and the Learjet 40 and 45 posted the highest gains. And
whether it's a sign of the times or a reflection of the changing market at the low end, the Cessna 152 saw the biggest overall reduction in use at 35.1 percent.
The Oahu Aviation Initiative, an ad hoc coalition of 20 small general aviation businesses in Hawaii, is asking the federal government to compensate them for $200,000 in losses they incurred due to
almost two weeks of flight restrictions during President Barack Obama's recent holiday visit to Oahu. The group is also working with the Secret Service and the TSA to negotiate less severe
restrictions before the next presidential visit to their state. The restrictions essentially banned flights within a 30-mile radius of the rented house where the Obama family was staying outside
Honolulu. Pat Magie, president of Island Seaplane Service, told the Honolulu Advertiser that aviation company owners were not informed of flight restrictions until four days before the president's arrival, and many of them had no option but to shut
down entirely during the 12-day visit, from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4.
More visits are expected from President Obama, including an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference planned for November 2011. "We know we've got to live with it somewhat and sacrifice some,
but if it happens next year with the international summit, plus if Obama came back again for Christmas, we could be shut down for a month," Magie said.
New rules proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to control runoff from aircraft deicing fluids would
"create safety hazards at many airports," the American Association of Airport Executives says. Under the proposed rules, airports with more than 10,000 annual aircraft departures and 1,000 annual jet
departures would be required to re-capture up to 60 percent of the fluid, rather than allow it to drain off the pavement, where it can end up in nearby rivers, lakes, streams and bays. AAAE says the proposal doesn't allow airports enough time to
comply, would impose financial burdens, and the use of additional fluid recovery vehicles around crowded gate areas could cause safety issues. "Safe airport deicing procedures are paramount to winter
weather practices," said AAAE Director of Regulatory Affairs Leslie Riegle. The EPA says stricter rules are needed because airport
discharges from deicing operations can affect water quality. Impacts include fish kills, contaminated drinking water, and noxious odors in residential areas and parks, among other effects.
Airports affected by the new rules would be required to collect spent aircraft deicing fluid and treat the wastewater. They may either treat the wastewater onsite or send it to an offsite treatment
contractor or publicly operated wastewater treatment facility. Some airports would be required to reduce the amount of ammonia discharged from urea-based airfield pavement deicers or use more
environmentally friendly airfield deicers that do not contain urea. EPA says it expects compliance with the proposed regulation would reduce the discharge of deicing-related pollutants by at least
44.6 million pounds per year, and the annual cost of the rule would be an estimated $91.3 million.
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
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Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
Diamond Has Your Training Needs Covered
Getting your license or upgrading your rating? Operating a flight school? Diamond offers the only complete modern fleet of technically-advanced training aircraft, along with model-specific flight
training devices and a safety record that is second to none. Leading flight training schools around the globe fly Diamond Aircraft.
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Win a Garmina aera 510 handheld GPS 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 March 12, 2010.
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy
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The crash of a rare and historic English Electric Lightning MK T5 on November 14, 2009 was unique for the history of the model and the renown of its pilot, Dave Stock. Here
AVweb compiles historic video and actual event footage to review the event that saw both Stock and the aircraft lost.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
This week saw more AVweb readers telling us about their favorite FBOs via our online nomination form which makes us feel good about traveling around North America, but it makes
picking an "FBO of the Week" a little more difficult. After some thoughtful consideration, we decided to award our latest blue ribbon to Starlink Aviation at Montreal, Québec's Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport (CYUL).
AVweb reader Keith McLellan is a regular visitor to CYUL and reports that he has "tried all the FBOs on the field," but he's now settled on Starlink as his homebase-away-from-home,
"and for good reason," he writes:
Zoran Bratuljevic and his hand-picked staff of professionals are the best anywhere! The guys and girls at Starlink are very sharp, courteous, friendly, and truly sincere in their efforts to take care
of your needs. [G]reat service, a nice facility with all the amenities you want, a well-trained and friendly staff, and competitive pricing for all services. I highly recommend them! Oh, and just
FYI, how many FBOs offer a late-model BMW as a crew car?
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 ***
We don't usually pay much attention to the timestamps on "POTW" submissions. This week, however, we couldn't help noticing that most of your submissions came at the tail end
of contest (Tuesday and Wednesday) rather than earlier in the week. Not that we're complaining: The last ten or twelve photos in this batch were jaw-dropping as you're about to see.
Ice, sleet, snow, and more ice have been standard issue for the last couple of weeks across most of the U.S. and in our "POTW" submission box. Andrew Wall of Ankeny, Iowa asks, "Will this winter weather ever end? These F-16s have been waiting for a chance to fly for a long time and certainly won't be
doing it today."
"It seems that some effort is needed to get this plane to the air again," writes Olafs Blukis of Riga, Latvia.
(Olafs got two chuckles from us this week. He also sent us this screenshot with the comment, "I found this
extraordinary runway at NZCH on Google Earth. Does this require special certification for landing?" While we couldn't make it a "proper" "POTW," we can't resist
Nigel Mott of Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) assures us there's no PhotoShop tomfoolery at play here but there is a slightly more
mundane explanation that the photo would suggest: "The Argos G92 yacht was returning from the Miami boat show, where it was displayed with the Sportsman on its aft deck."
It's been a long busy day here at AVweb world headquarters, and that's just the note for us to end on! See you next week with more great reader-submitted photos provided
you send 'em in, of course.
Want more? Click here and scroll about 1/3 of the way down the page to see our bonus pics slideshow!
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
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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
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