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TRADITIONAL "BLACK BOXES" OBSOLETE?
Navigation Systems Group Ltd. has created TerraStar, a real-time
in-flight safety monitoring system that could make the post-crash search
for cockpit voice and flight data recorders -- as well as some crashes
-- obsolete. TerraStar tracks, and can continuously encrypt and transmit
to ground-based monitoring systems, up to 18,000-plus aircraft
parameters per minute. The system filters "out of spec" indications as
"alert notifications," which are prioritized in remote aircraft
monitoring data feeds that can be accessed in real time, online. In
practice, that means that operators on the ground could know about
problems with an aircraft before the plane's pilots, or (in the case of
distracted or incapacitated pilots) air traffic controllers observe any
symptoms. The company believes that capability could not only vastly
improve scheduling and maintenance, but also provide operators with the
necessary data to break some accident chains before the crash. And, in
the case of Air France 447 and the recent Air India crash, it could have
provided more information to investigators, immediately, says the
interview with Star Navigation CEO Viraf Kapadia
RECOVERED IN MANGALORE CRASH
Eight people were able to jump
through a crack in the fuselage of an Air India Boeing 737-800 and were
the only survivors of a crash at the "tabletop airport" in Mangalore,
India, early Saturday. The flight originated in Dubai. Weather
conditions were apparently benign throughout the early morning
period and authorities said visibility was good when the aircraft, with
172 people on board failed to stop, overran the runway, went through a
wall of sandbags and 200-300 feet over a cliff. One little girl was
pulled from the wreckage alive but died on the way to hospital.
Keeping Our Airspace
Over 14,000 strong, the members of the National Air Traffic
are aviation safety professionals whose
skill and professionalism help keep our National Airspace System moving
safely and efficiently.
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
TRIAL PROSECUTORS SEEK SENTENCES, FINES, FOR
Prosecutors pushing manslaughter charges over
the fatal crash of an Air France Concorde near Paris in July 2000 are
seeking a fine of $220,000 against Continental Airlines and Friday
argued for a two-year suspended jail sentence for an 80-year-old
engineer. Henri Perrier directed the Concorde program from 1978 to 1994
and was involved in the first Concorde flight in 1969. He is accused of
ignoring a string of evidence prosecutors say laid warning signs before
the crash. Perrier has denied the charges, telling reporters, "I will
not accept being held responsible for this accident." Continental is
blamed by prosecutors for losing a metal strip from one of its DC10s as
it departed Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport ahead of the Concorde.
Investigators believe the Concorde's tires ran over the strip at high
speed during its takeoff roll, initiating the accident chain. The trial
in France charges Continental and five individuals with manslaughter.
Air France, which operated the flight, paid millions of dollars in
compensation to families of the victims but avoided blame from
ARRESTED FOR BEACH LANDING
What started as a nice walk on the
beach with his mom ended with a trip to jail for an Arkansas pilot. Mark
Jensen thought it might be nice to spend a sunny Saturday on the white
sand of Tybee Island, in Savannah, Ga., so he put his taildragger (looks
like a Kitfox) down and they got out to spend the day, as they
apparently have done at other beaches in the past. However, the local
police took a dim view of Jensen's decision to drop in on the popular
spot and, ironically, after surrounding the plane with ATVs and a Jeep,
charged Jensen with operating a motorized vehicle on the beach and with
reckless conduct. Mom escaped the handcuffs and was not charged.
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FORUM HIGHLIGHTS TRAINING, FLIGHT HOURS, DEMAND
the NTSB's Safety Forum on Professionalism in Aviation, Tuesday, that
future airline pilots will be in short supply and therefore less
experienced, but also (according to The Associated Press) less ethical.
On ethics, Paul Rice, a pilot and spokesman for the Air Line Pilots
Association, was skeptical that the current generation of newly hired
pilots was less likely than previous generations to flout authority or
break rules. On numbers, Judy Tarver, a former recruiter for American
Airlines, told the panel some 54,000 pilots are working for the majors,
with some 19,000 at the regionals and roughly 2,500 qualified pilots
ready for hire in the U.S. She told the forum that retirements and
industry-wide growth will call for some 42,000 new pilots over the next
decade and that industry, economic, military and social trends suggest
that demand will be met with fewer qualified applicants. That could lead
to siphoning of less qualified pilots from the regionals and a cascading
effect leading to the promotion of less-experienced pilots to positions
of greater responsibility. At the moment, it appears demand for
commercial aircraft is at least on the rise. More...
THRUST? START ENGINE FIRST
As the NTSB continues its discussion of pilot professionalism this week, it
might consider the performance of two crews who, on separate occasions,
neglected to start the second engine before attempting takeoff. The Wall
Street Journal reported that both incidents occurred in regional jets,
the first last year as an American Eagle Embraer lined up at Los Angeles
for a short flight to San Diego. When the crew advanced the throttles,
one engine failed to respond and when they taxied back to the gate to
report it, mechanics informed the crew that the engine had never been
started. A similar incident occurred last March at Dulles, again in an
Embraer operated by Trans States Airlines. Once again, according to the
Journal story, the crew noticed the inert second engine only when the
thrust levers were moved forward for the takeoff. 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
PILOT DISARMED BEFORE FLIGHT
Police disarmed a distraught
pilot who had threatened to "harm himself in a spectacular fashion"
about an hour before he was scheduled to take a JetBlue flight from
Boston Logan Airport to an undisclosed destination. TSA spokesman George
Naccara told WBZ TV the unidentified pilot made the threat in an e-mail
to his ex-girlfriend, a flight attendant, who apparently reported it to
a federal air marshal. The marshal called the state police and seven
troopers confronted the pilot in the pilot's lounge at the airport. He
surrendered a handgun but JetBlue would not confirm whether he is a
federal flight deck officer and permitted to carry firearms onto
INVESTIGATES 757 IN-FLIGHT COCKPIT FIRE
Flight 27 diverted to IAD and landed safely, but the NTSB is
investigating the fire that broke out May 16 on the flight deck of the
Boeing 757, absorbed two fire extinguishers, and ultimately cracked the
captain's windshield. Early investigation shows the fire consumed
elements associated with the windscreen's heating system. The NTSB
reported that the captain and first officer were about 30 minutes out of
JFK for LAX,at approximately 9:17 p.m., when they noted a "strong acrid
smell and observed smoke from the Captain's lower front windshield." The
aircraft, with 112 aboard, was level at 36,000 MSL at the time. The crew
told the NTSB they immediately donned oxygen masks and smoke goggles and
segregated tasks, turning control of the aircraft to the first officer
as the captain addressed the fire. Smoke and fire dissipated after the
captain emptied a halon extinguisher into the flames, but the fire
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FUEL SAVING DREAM AND BREMEN'S SHARKSKIN PAINT
highlighted the 70-percent fuel savings of an MIT-designed airliner
built at least in part with technology and parts that don't presently
exist -- but thanks to another effort altogether, fuel-saving shark-skin
paint does. The MIT design would incorporate lifting body aerodynamics
to greatly reduce the weighty load-bearing structure of its wings while
also increasing stability, thus allowing for more structural weight
savings at the tail. One stumbling block stalling production is that the
aircraft's engines are based on forecast technology ... as is much of
the aircraft's structure and manufacturing process. As for present
technology, a team in Bremen, Germany, has designed, created and applied
a paint that mimics the exceptionally low drag features of sharks' skin.
Taking practical application of the technology one step further, the
team has also developed the associated manufacturing technology to apply
the paint on a production scale -- right now -- -but some challenges
ReliefBand: New Premier
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plus has a new, stylish look. The ReliefBand is also FDA-approved for
pregnancy and chemotherapy patients. It saves you and your passengers
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Q: What's the Difference
Between a $10,000 Annual and a $2,500 Annual?
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
MAY 24, 2010
Letter of the Week: Who Controls
[Regarding the guest
blog by Cleveland air traffic controller Jason Wilson:] Controllers
are employed for the pilot's benefit. It is never the other way around.
PATCO was a proving point to this fact.
This fact apparently once
again needs to made clear to Wilson and the newer controllers' union,
the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, that, like it or not,
when a pilot declares an emergency, the pilot receives everything from
ATC, no exceptions. Monday morning quarterback the incident later.
Bad-mouth the pilot all you want, but that pilot is the sole reason you
are in your government-protected position.
In my 50+ years of
aviation, I only "requested" a different controller twice and
immediately got a different voice on the radio. I don't recall any
emergency that required special handling. But if I had needed special
handling, I would not have taken any question or hesitation from some
S. S. McDonald More...
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MAP'S QUADRA GPS
things come in small packages really small in this case. Come see
what happens when you try and pack scanned charts, approach plates, and
more into a portable GPS that's about the size of a deck of cards,
courtesy of Aviation Consumer's Jeff Van West. More...
INFLATABLE WING ULTRALIGHT AIRCRAFT
The Woopy-Fly, a
sort of paraglider/trike/ultralight hybrid shown on the world stage at
AERO Friedrichshafen this April 2010 in Germany, has a wing that folds
for storage like a paraglider because it's inflatable. Currently,
it appears the wing itself is only available from distributors in
Switzerland, Russia, and Japan. Those wishing to buy the trike (plus
wing) can expect a complete kit cost to run about 13,780 Swiss Francs,
which currently is about US$12,400 plus the legal disclaimer that
releases the manufacturer of liability. More...
Traditional Tactics Need a
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of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with
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OF THE WEEK: SKY HARBOR AVIATION (KCRG, JACKSONVILLE,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Sky
Harbor at Craig Municipal Airport (KCRG) in Jacksonville,
Florida. Here's how they saved AVweb reader Gerry McMunn's
bacon a few weeks back:
departing Winter Haven, we could not retract our gear on our Piper
Arrow. We diverted to Craig Muni because of the maintenance facilities.
... Sky Harbor welcomed us in their beautiful office/pilot's lounge and
connected us with Northeast Florida Aircraft Maintenance Inc., ... [who]
immediately made space for our aircraft and got to work on the problem.
John and Duane conducted an extremely thorough and professional
investigation, found a broken wire, and repaired it. [They] got us
underway within 2 hours after having removed all luggage, back
seats, and interior panels. Their fee was very reasonable. ... This was
a very fortuitous stop at a very pleasant FBO and airport. We were under
stress upon arrival, but quickly were made to feel welcome and treated
very well. Terrific people all of them.
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...
"Hey, Tower what's Ft.
"It's a radar facility north of
us to assist pilots through the area."
I mean, what's the frequency?"
Paul Scott 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...