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2010 AirVenture under the big red tents.
PILOTS, YOUR PRIVATE INFORMATION IS AT RISK
Department Inspector General (IG) report dated June 18 found "serious
security lapses" in systems that the FAA uses to store pilots' personal
information, including medical data. Information collected from roughly
465,000 current medical certifications is just the tip of the iceberg.
The IG says the FAA's Internet-accessible Medical Support System (MSS)
holds records for more than three million airmen, past and present. The
IG listed names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other
"personally identifiable information" as information "not properly
secured." According to the report, the system's vulnerabilities allow
for the "potential falsification of medical certificates," and more.
"Failure to encrypt sensitive personal identifiable information and
control remote access to MSS," says the report, "places airmen at
unnecessary risk of identity theft, jeopardizes the integrity of the
medical certification process, and increases risks of attacks on
departmental networks." The FAA is responding and the IG believes the
FAA's current and planned actions will positively address the IG's
concerns in most cases. More...
COMING SOLAR STORMS AND YOUR GPS
Space scientists say that
solar storms are on the rise and do cause problems for
satellite-dependent systems like GPS and ADS-B. So, if you're wondering
if there's anything to worry about, the short answer is, "yes," but
there are caveats. Scientists at NASA's heliophysics division and NOAA's
space weather prediction center told AVweb the storms can -- and
have -- temporarily shut down certain GPS capability and are likely to
(read: will) do it again. While that's not likely to happen very often,
the challenge of predicting or identifying those moments (which can last
days) and effectively communicating the threat to end-users (pilots) is
not easily met. With more pilots relying on satellite-based systems
during demanding modes of flight, the stakes are high. Joe Kunches is a
space scientist at NOAA who works with industry stakeholders to define
and understand their space weather needs. AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke
with Kunches Friday to determine the nature of the threat, our
current defenses, and what the average pilot can do about it. (Hint:
Don't throw out inertial navigation, VOR, or DME just yet.)
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|Something New, Something Old, A Little of Both||back to
FIRM INTRODUCES HIGH-PERFORMANCE PUSHER
There haven't been a
lot of new aircraft introduced at AirVenture Oshkosh in recent years but
a French company says it will have the soon-to-be-flying prototype of
its unconventional canarded pusher design at the big show. Cobalt
Aircraft Industries will unveil the Co50 at a news conference at
AirVenture July 28. The aircraft will compete in the high performance
piston single category and will be powered by a twin turbo TCM
TSIOF-550-D2B mounted midships and turning a tail-mounted pusher prop.
It predicts a 245-knot cruise at 25,000 feet on 25 gph
and five-place configuration with a useful load of 1213 pounds. Empty
weight of the composite airframe is 1,867 pounds and the tanks hold 109
U.S. gallons. More...
LSA EMBRACES IPAD
Sportair USA has announced itself as the
U.S. importer and distributor of a new LSA, the iCub, which it
touts as a "classic taildragger" that starts under $100,000 and includes
a "panel mounted iPad aviation information center." The iPad comes
loaded with software that includes the WingXpro7 GPS-enabled
terrain-aware moving map, ForeFlight Mobile HD and ForeFlight Charts,
and the iHUD (EFIS) and MotionX GPS HD. Sportair says the iCub is also
equipped with "backup analog" instrumentation. The aircraft itself is
manufactured by Zlin Aviation, now operating from the Czech Republic. It
turns a 100-hp Rotax 912 ULS sipping from a full 18 gallons of fuel (24
with optional larger tanks) and requires 280 feet to become airborne and
265 feet to stop. Sportair says the iCub has a 565-pound useful load and
offers a Bush iCub version for rougher field work. More...
FLYABLE B-29 RETURNS TO SKIES WITH CUSTOM ENGINES
Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) B-29, dubbed FIFI, is scheduled to take
flight later this month, retaking its crown as "the world's only flyable
B-29" after four years on the ground, CAF announced Friday. The flight
is planned for 8 a.m., Tuesday, June 29, 2010, out of the CAF Airpower
Museum, at Midland International Airport, and it will showcase the
plane's unique new engines. CAF is inviting visitors to come witness the
event. Doors will open at 7 a.m. CAF will allow visitors into the
museum's main hangar to watch the crew prepare the historic bomber for
its latest "first flight." They'll then escort viewers to a safe area to
witness the aircraft's takeoff. The moment will come with great thanks
to CAF's member-volunteers whose efforts will have made it all possible.
Four years was a long absence from flight, and there was good reason for
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|Look, Up in the Sky! (It's Not a Bird, It's a
TRIED TO SHOO AWAY BANNER PLANE
The FBI says it's perfectly
normal for agents to call air traffic control towers and ask that
aircraft be diverted for safety reasons. Whether or not they're towing
banners over a major golf tournament mocking its marquee player is
irrelevant, the Bureau claims. It was confirmed on Friday that the FBI
agent made the call as a Cessna pulling a banner that read "Tiger: Are
You My Daddy?" flew legally over the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, Calif.,
June 20. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the Monterey County Herald the agent asked tower
personnel to order the aircraft away from the event. "We said there were
no flight restrictions in place so the pilot was free to fly near or
over the course provided he abided by the applicable Federal Aviation
Regulations," Gregor said. FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler told the
newspaper the call was made out of concern for the safety of the
thousands of people crowding the course for the tournament in case the
airplane (which was either over the water at 500 feet and above or at
1,000 feet above the course) had to make an emergency landing on the
course. "In all seriousness, we don't care about what might be on the
banner," he said. "Our concern is the safety of the people on the
SEEN AN EMERGENCY ORDER OF REVOCATION?
On March 13, 2010, the
Diamond DA40 piloted by Joseph Kirkbow flew low enough over Crystal
Beach, Texas, to snag a fishing line, snap a fishing pole and blow off a
man's hat, twice (on separate passes), according to the FAA. The FAA
says in its subsequent emergency revocation order that witnesses saw the
pilot smile or laugh each time he made a pass that caused people on the
beach to duck. But, according to the FAA, upon learning that he could be
in trouble he phoned one of his two passengers to tell her that, if
anyone asked, she was "never on that plane." The FAA listed 21 findings
in the revocation order that read like a laundry list of things the FAA
does not want you to do in an airplane ... because most of them are.
Based on that, the FAA determined "an emergency exists related to safety
in air commerce," in allowing Kirkbow to remain certified. And based on
his demonstrated "lack of qualification" to hold an airman's certificate
the agency issued its emergency order of revocation on June 16, which we
now offer as educational reading for pilots. More...
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2nd Annual BALA Summit During
LABACE in Brazil
Following the success of last year's BALA Summit
Paulo during LABACE, the 2nd Annual event coincides again with this
major exhibition in Brazil. Explore the latest developments in the
business aviation sector of Latin America, as well as new business
opportunities and challenges. The summit will also provide the platform
for manufacturers and operators (as well as any organization interested
in this exciting marketplace) to explore the future of this industry.
Click here for more information.
|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
JUNE 28, 2010
Letter of the Week: Federal
Regarding the FCC's proposal
to ban 121.5 MHz ELTs: What a classic case of lack of coordination with
other agencies like state highway patrols.
In February, our EAA
Chapter 1445 at Casa Grande, AZ had as our guest speaker the chief of
the Arizona highway patrol aviation section. The thrust of his talk was
on their contribution to aviation search-and-rescue. I quote what he
said, and it makes a lot of sense: "Due to budget constraints, we at the
Arizona Highway Patrol will not be upgrading our aircraft to the new
standards in the near future. Therefore, we will continue to use the
He didn't have a list but said many other
states have the same problems, and he recommended pilots continue to use
So now the FCC comes up with this new rule, obviously
having not coordinated with other agencies like state highway patrol
aviation sections which, in most cases, next to the Civil Air Patrol, do
the lion's share of search and rescue. Unbelievable.
Click through to read the rest of this week's
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STORMS VS. YOUR GPS
Space scientists tell us that
solar storms are on the rise and affect satellite-dependent technologies
like GPS and ADS-B there is something to worry about.
AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with Joseph Kunches, a scientist
at NOAA's space weather prediction center, to determine the nature of
the threat, our current defenses, and what the you can do about it.
The New EX600 MFD with
QuickPan Is Simplicity Reinvented
With the EX600
's simple "map-centric" operation and new
Map Panning feature, you can display a moving map of your flight plan
and view Datalink Weather all along your route of flight. And view
On-Board Wx Radar. And Special-Use Airspace. And Traffic. And Terrain.
And Color Lightning. All without ever leaving the map page.
It's the only MFD available that provides the complete picture.
Flying Made Simple.
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an authentic Avidyne leather bomber jacket!
SR22T FLIGHT DEMO
is out with a new version of the SR22, the SR22T, with a TSIO-550-K
groundboosted turbo system. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a demo
flight in the new airplane with Cirrus's Matt Bergwall.
JP Instruments Don't
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OF THE WEEK: BRUNSWICK COUNTY AIRPORT (KSUT, OAK ISLAND,
The Cessna Pilots
Association descended on North Carolina en force for their annual
CPA Get-Together, and quite a few of them were impressed with the
friendliness and efficiency of services at Oak Island's Brunswick
County Airport (KSUT).
Dave Williams was the first
CPS member to nominate
KSUT, but he was followed by about a dozen others throughout the
week who sung the praises of an FBO that "handled a whole flock of CPS
fliers like it was an everyday event" (Daryl Medd), "wrote the book on
hospitality and service" (Jim Epting), and offered "better services at
their self-service pumps than most do at full-service!" (Ed Abrams). For
his part, Dave told us how "Howie Franklin and his crew provided us with
the best service and hospitality an FBO could offer. All of our wants
and needs were handled quickly and professionally. Thanks,
And that sounds like a top-notch operation deserving of
recognition as AVweb's "FBO of the Week"!
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...
Is Your A&P Keeping
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YEARS AND NOW 15 GRAND GIVEAWAYS ... IT'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A ZAON PCAS
Win a Zaon PCAS XRX 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
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.)
entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Friday, July 16, 2010.
Click here to read the contest rules and
Congratulations to Richard Kemp of Canton,
Georgia, who won an AV8OR handheld GPS in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from Bendix/King by
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|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
While cruising through New York's class
B airspace on a busy Friday evening I heard
"New York departure control, Cherokee
One Two Three Four Five off Teterboro: 1,000' climbing to
New York Departure:
"Cherokee One Two Three
Four Five, why are you squawking
"Umm. I don't
New York Departure:
"Cherokee Three Four
Five, 3012 is the altimeter setting; you're supposed to be squawking
"Roger, New York. Squawking
Lin Weeks 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...