AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 19a

May 10, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Emergency Landing Raises Eyebrows back to top 
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Pilots Pull Rank, Declare Emergency At JFK (With Audio)

The crew of American Airlines Flight 2, a Boeing 767 out of Los Angeles for New York, ultimately declared an emergency while trying to land in strong crosswinds at JFK, May 4, after apparently being denied their runway of choice. Speaking for the JFK Controller union, Steve Abraham told ABC news the pilot "had no choice. He couldn't land 22L, it would have been illegal for him," due to the crosswind. Wind was 320 at 23 gusting to 35, at the time. JFK's main runway, 31 Left, has been closed for upgrades for about eight weeks, and controllers say that maintaining the flow of traffic at the airport has led to some less than ideal clearances. FAA spokesman Arlene Sarlac told AVweb Thursday that the agency studied the situation "for over a year" prior to closing the runway and worked with airlines who "agreed to reduce their schedules during this closure time." The FAA says the situation at JFK is safe. After receiving their clearance, the crew of American Flight 2 said, "We can't land on 22," adding, "We're breaking off approach and if you don't give us to Runway 31R, we're going to declare an emergency." The controller responded "alright, I'll pass it along, fly runway heading for now." At that point, things got more serious.

The pilots immediately responded, "OK we've declared an emergency, we're going to land 31 Right. We're going to the left and then we're coming around." The controller acknowledged the call and told the crew to "just fly runway heading." Exchanges followed and the crew ultimately announced, "Remove everybody from our way. We've declared an emergency." At that point, the controller cleared American Flight 2 for the landing on 31 Right. JFK's 14,572 foot-long 13R/31L, was closed in March to undergo a four-month-long facelift that includes widening and repaving. The closure is expected to last through June and means that traffic must be diverted to the airport's three remaining runways. Controllers say the American Airlines event shows that maintaining the traffic flow, without incurring delays, has presented challenges. According to the FAA, the situation was studied ahead of time, the airlines are flying on reduced schedules and operations at the airport are safe. The FAA is investigating the incident and will "look into all of the air traffic procedures and operations at the time of the incident, as well as the actions of the crew."

Click for audio (MP3 file).

Related Content:

AVweb Insider Blog: Trumped-Up JFK Emergency?

Under what authority did the Captain of an American 767 reject a runway assignment and take the runway he wanted? Command authority, says Paul Bertorelli in the latest installment the AVweb Insider blog — and, like it or not, it was the PIC's call to make.

Click here to see what others think.

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But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis

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Back to the Drawing Board for Boeing? back to top 
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A Clean-Sheet 737?

Speculation is rampant in commercial jet circles that Boeing is ready to build a clean-sheet replacement for its bread-and-butter 737. "Everything's on the table," Liz Verdier, Boeing's spokeswoman for New Product Development, told Seattle's KING 5 News. While much of the focus on Boeing has been on its prestige lines, like the 787 Dreamliner and the new 747-8, the company's Renton plant is cranking out the latest generation of 737 at the rate of almost one a day. Although it continues to outsell its rivals, there is more competition on the horizon and that's why pundits are wondering if something completely new is in the works.

The single-aisle airliner market (not counting regional jets) has belonged to Boeing and Airbus for decades but new aircraft from Canada's Bombardier, China's AVIC and Russia's Sukhoi threaten to chip away at that dominance. Analysts say Boeing may also be gambling that Airbus will simply re-engine its next A320 and a new design will give Boeing a market advantage. It's likely a given that a new 737 would borrow heavily from the lessons learned in development of the mostly composite 787 to maximize efficiency for the budget airlines that typically fly the 737.

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V-22 Osprey in the Spotlight back to top 

Osprey Crash -- The Aircraft And Its Legacy

The first fatal crash of an Air Force CV-22 Osprey in Afghanistan, this April, served as a reminder of the aircraft's costly and deadly development history, but comparing the current aircraft to the development aircraft may be an apples-to-oranges comparison. In this week's podcast, AVweb's Glenn Pew speaks with Richard Whittle, author of the newly released book, "The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey." In the podcast, Whittle explains the problems encountered during the Osprey's development, the deadly crashes it experienced, and how the government's own development process may have contributed to those problems. Today, Whittle believes the physical lessons of the Osprey's development have been incorporated into the current Osprey airframe, along with its hardware and software. But the aircraft's reputation in the general public may not have similarly evolved. And the government may have yet to incorporated the lessons learned.

Today, the Osprey has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and has safely flown more than 70,000 flight hours dispersed over more than 100 aircraft already delivered. Still, its long and very expensive development was as public as the fatal crashes that killed 30 people during the Osprey's testing. And the aircraft's 68-percent readiness level in Iraq leaves ample room for improvement. As the aircraft continues to serve quietly in Afghanistan, and the U.S. government seeks to tighten its belt, the aircraft's more public history may prove hard to shake.

Related Content:

The Storied History of the Osprey, with Author Richard Whittle

File Size 13.9 MB / Running Time 15:14

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The first fatal crash of an Air Force CV-22 Osprey in Afghanistan this April served as a reminder of the aircraft's costly and deadly development history — but comparing the current aircraft to the development aircraft may be apples to oranges. AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with Richard Whittle, author of the newly released book The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey.

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Find out more at NATCA.org and read about our annual Archie League Medal of Safety award winners, many of whom assisted general aviation pilots who needed help to land safely.
From Mud to Museum back to top 

Group Hopes To Pull P-38 From UK Beach

Lost during a training mission in 1942, a Lockheed P-38 Lightning was first revealed by shifting sands at Gwynedd, UK, in 2007; now a recovery team aims extract the aircraft, in whole, from its partially submerged spot. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) began looking after the aircraft when it was discovered three years ago. The aircraft was identified as the Maid of Harlech, which was flown by Second Lieutenant Robert Elliot. The Lieutenant walked away from the crash that eventually saw the aircraft buried, but was reported missing in action three months later while flying in Tunisia. His "Maid" is now thought to be one of the oldest surviving P-38 airframes. It is presumed to be USAAF serial number 41-7677. The restored P-38 Glacier Girl's number is 41-7630. As such, museums are in discussions with TIGHAR over hosting the "Maid". But removal of the seriously eroded airframe, from its sand-and-seawater home of 68 years, won't be easy.

"Museums have raised historic aircraft from salt water in good condition and at great expense only to see them crumble to white power in a matter of months," TIGHAR's Ric Gillespie told the Telegraph.co.uk. Gillespie said that "techniques for conserving and stabilizing metals recovered from nautical environments have been developed and tested, but have never been applied to complete aircraft." TIGHAR is working to develop a plan that would extract and preserve the aircraft, and is seeking funding to fulfill the task.

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Remembering Rudy Opitz back to top 

Komet Test Pilot Dies

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Rudy Opitz, the chief test pilot of one of the most uniquely ambitious programs of the Second World War died May 1 in Bridgeport, CT at the age of 99. Opitz headed up the testing and eventual deployment of the Me 163 Komet, which still holds the distinction of being the only rocket-powered airplane to enter combat. Opitz was snapped up by the U.S. occupying forces after the war in Operation Paperclip and became a U.S. citizen in 1955. He joined Lycoming to run their jet program but he never lost his love for gliders, which, after seven minutes, the Komet became.

Opitz taught himself to fly in a homemade glider in his birthplace of Silesia, Germany, before he took formal instruction in 1932. In the U.S. he was a glider and soaring instructor and an FAA glider examiner. He was named to the National Soaring Hall of Fame at Elmira, N.Y., in 1994 and FAA Instructor of the Year for New England.

View Opitz's obituary online at Legacy.com.

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News Briefs back to top 

Tennessee Airpark Ravaged By Flood

About 20 aircraft were underwater and an aircraft parts warehouse was flattened by a landslide as privately owned Cornelia Fort Airpark, Nashville, Tenn., succumbed last Monday to the highest water it's seen since it opened in the 1940s. All but one aircraft were still mostly submerged through last Tuesday afternoon, even though the floodwater had then receded from its Monday high by about two feet. This comes after the airpark, which was reportedly having financial difficulties, had been put on the market. "The water rose so quickly that it was already over the runway before anyone knew they had to get the airplanes out," Jerry Shephard, an aircraft mechanic for the airport's operator, told The Tennessean.com. Just one twin, parked just inside the perimeter fence on the road that leads out of the airport, stayed almost dry -- but "almost" appears to mean the water may have stopped short of the engines. But damage came to some other aircraft not only from the rising water, but the current (and debris) that came with it.

The airpark is located just across the Cumberland River from Tennessee's Opryland. One Navajo that had been tied down on the apron ended up with a large tree trunk on top of it. Hangars were also flooded. Reports suggest that every aircraft on the field -- hangared or tied down -- plus the airpark's buildings and repair equipment were caught up in the rising water. The airpark is located just five miles northeast of Nashville, with a field elevation of 418 feet, according to AirNav.com. It operates one 3,500- by 50-foot runway and is privately owned by Colemill Enterprises.

Snowbirds Welcome Female Commander

The first woman ever to fly as a member of a jet military demo team is now the commanding officer of the team. Lt. Col. Maryse Carmichael took over Canadian Forces 431 Squadron (Air Demonstration) Squadron, more popularly known as the Snowbirds, last Thursday as the team entered its 40th season. "This is a chance for me to give back to the team," she told Canadian Aviator Magazine. "To be back here is a chance to really support this team." Carmichael is a 20-year veteran of the Canadian Forces and joined the Snowbirds for the 2000 and 2001 seasons. She joined the Snowbirds a year after Fl. Lt. Joanne Mein, became a member of the Royal Australian Air Force's Roulettes, who fly turboprop PC9s.

She said the Snowbirds are an important symbol of military excellence to Canada and an effective recruiting tool for its military. She said she was inspired to become a pilot at a young age after seeing the Snowbirds. Prior to joining the Snowbirds, she flew the military version of a Challenger business jet in both tactical support and VIP transport roles (the country's prime minister often uses a Challenger for getting around the country) and she also put in two years flying CC-130 Hercules. Carmichael is not a flying member of the Snowbirds but does have a personalized Tutor aircraft to use to join the team at some of the shows on its schedule.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVmail: May 10, 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: Clearance Change Overdue

The change to the FAA "Taxi to Runway" clearance is way overdue. ICAO procedures (in use outside the U.S.) require that a pilot receive a clearance to cross each individual runway when taxiing from any point on an airport to another point on the airport.

This has been a set-up for U.S. pilots, used to FAA regs and unaware of ICAO procedures, to have a runway incursion when outside the U.S.

Bob Ryan

Cell Phone Use Encouraged

I routinely fly in Canada, and not only are you permitted to use your cell phone in flight, you are actually encouraged to use it for things like border crossings, emergency situations like a radio failures, etc. It's also legal to use your cell phone to call the FBO, arrange fuel, transportation, pizza delivery, etc. The only time using your cell phone is not recommended is during flight in IMC.

Phil Seizinger

LORAN Backup

I remember sending an e-mail to Garmin some time ago with the suggestion they develop an add-in board to their G400/500 series of navigators which would add LORAN capability. Never really heard back. I have always thought it would have been a near no-brainer.

I have two panel-mounted GPS receivers — because I believe in redundancy. Most pilots do. Adding LORAN is simply an extension, and with all the logic and display already in place, it simply is the logical extension. As letter writers so nicely stated, LORAN is the reasonable and cost-effective solution to providing all users of navigation services redundancy.

But this may be simply too rational for our government leaders to deal with.

J. T. McDuffie

It's plain to see how little knowledge the average aviation user of GPS has with regards to LORAN-C and E-LORAN by the number of responses to AVmail. I used LORAN-C (in Canada) in the days before GPS and found it wanting only before the mid-continent chain. After that, it served my purposes just great. E-LORAN should be carried on with and the technology incorporated into GPS receivers for true backup. And consider the bragging rights of another antenna on the airframe!

John Phillips

Best Wishes

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Colemill Enterprises staff at Cornelia Fort Airpark. My wife and I have used Cornelia Fort for the last few years to visit our family in Nashville. They have always bent over backwards to take care of us, including putting our airplane in a hangar on Christmas day to thaw out following an ice storm. An excellent operation with excellent staff. We wish them the best and hope for them to rebuild soon.

Josh Johnson

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

AVweb Insider Blog: Newsflash — A Powerful Radio Won't Shoo Away Traffic

The next time you fly into an uncontrolled airport, there may be some traffic in the pattern who won't answer on the radio. Of course, you already knew that — you just didn't know it might be AVweb Insider blogger Paul Bertorelli.

Give the radio a rest and exercise your eyeballs with Paul's latest post.

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

Kitplanes Reports from CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium

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

With electric airplanes continuing to gain favor, the fifth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium was held recently, and here's a video report from Kitplanes magazine editor Marc Cook. In case you haven't been paying attention, there has been broad progress in battery technology and endurance, motor weight, and power and charging systems. This video summarizes the high points.

If you enjoy this video, be sure to check out our sister publication, Kitplanes magazine.

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Aviation Consumer Looks at the FX8 Jeppesen Chart Reader

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

It's light enough to fit in a chart holder on the yoke, yet big enough to view a Jepp plate at full width. This new digital chart reader from SOLIDFX is a winner.

If you enjoy this video, be sure to look for the print review of the FX8 in the June issue of our sister publication, Aviation Consumer.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Danville/Boyle County Airport Board (KDVK, Danville, KY)

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

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We saw plenty of great FBO stories this week, but none that wowed us so much as AVweb reader Liza Kummer's story of above-and-beyond service at Danville/Boyle County Airport Board, located at Stuart Powell Field (KDVK) in Danville, Kentucky:

We landed late at night enroute from Penn to Texas and stayed at the fabulous Hampton Inn. The lady with Sharon's Car Service — Danville did not have taxis — waited an hour for us at the airport! It looked like we were going to be unable to fly the next day because of a scary-looking squall line with forecasts of hail. I called the FBO early in the morning and asked if they could hangar my plane. J.W. [Lynn] sent his son Nathan to the hotel to pick up the keys! After thoroughly researching the weather, we were able to plan a path to avoid all those nasty orange and red radar echoes and decided to forge on before the squall line hit. J.W. sent Nathan back to retrieve us from the hotel! It was raining now, and they retrieved my plane from the corporate hangar, filled the tanks at the self-service for me, pulled the plane close to the FBO to avoid getting wet, handed me an umbrella for my pre-flight, and gave us bottles of water for the flight. We felt like royalty.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture. I'll definitely plan a stop there on my next cross-country flight back to PA. Good luck to Nathan on getting his private pilot's ticket. (Oh yeah, J.W. is also a CFI!)

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!

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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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 King Schools Get-It-All Training Kit

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Get-It-All Training Kit from King Schools 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 May 21, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to David Schieman of Lawrenceville, Georgia, who won Scheyden Dual RX frames and a Scheyden flight gear package in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from Scheyden)

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

This was heard the about a week ago when I was out getting night current and was returning to Mid Continent for landing. There was a regional jet that was landing ahead of me in my Mooney.

"Regional jet, taxi to the gate."

Regional Jet:
"Roger. To the gate."

[a long pause]

"RJ, you going to the gate? I have a Mooney on short final."

Regional Jet:
"Uh, yeah, we are. We're just waiting for the skunk to clear ahead of us."

"Take your time."

James Oliphant
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:

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.