AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 33a

August 16, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Aviation Safety in the News back to top 

Roush Blames Crash On Landing 'Conflict' (Corrected)

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Click for more photos of Roush's Beech

NASCAR racing legend Jack Roush appears to blame air traffic controllers working EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh for the events that led to the crash landing of his Beech Premier jet on July 27. "The reality of it -- on a trip arrival into Oshkosh, Wisc., I was put in conflict with the flight plan of another airplane close to the ground, and I was unable to address the conflict and keep the airplane flying. I ground-looped the airplane..." Roush told the car racing publication Motorsports. In tower recordings Roush appears to question tower instructions "Is 6JR (Roush's plane) going to be OK with this?" Roush asks. "Affirmative," says the controller working Roush's aircraft. "Don't think so," says Roush. Seconds later the first controller begins ordering traffic on final to go around. The NTSB has issued its preliminary report and says, based on amateur video it has seen, Roush apparently overshot the centerline of the runway and made several course corrections.

"The airplane appeared to overshoot the runway centerline during this turn and then level its wings momentarily before entering a slight right bank simultaneously as the nose of the airplane pitched up," the report says. "The airplane then turned left toward the runway centerline and began a descent. During this descent the airplane's pitch appeared to increase until the airplane entered a right bank and struck the grass area west of the runway in a nose down, right wing low attitude." The aircraft had a cockpit voice recorder and it's being analyzed. Meanwhile, Roush is out of the hospital after two weeks of surgeries and treatments for severe facial injuries. He lost the sight in his left eye in the accident and suffered multiple broken bones, including a broken jaw. Roush, who survived a previous plane crash, told Motorsport he's counting his blessings. "I feel very lucky," Roush said. "I've had several bites at the apple."

Alaska Crash Update

Former Sen. Ted Stevens and four others, including pilot Terry Smith, died of blunt force trauma and wouldn't have survived no matter how speedy the response to the crash of their Otter floatplane near Dillingham, Alaska, earlier this week. Autopsies were performed in Anchorage and the results were consistent with the type of accident. Photos released by the NTSB showed the Otter largely intact but obviously destroyed and heading directly into rising terrain. There has, of course, been no suggestion of the cause, but weather was terrible at the time of the crash. NTSB Chairwoman Debra Hersman said one of the survivors, who wasn't identified, said "they were flying along and then just stopped flying." Meanwhile, the survivors, including former NASA chief Sean O'Keefe and his son, appear to be literally and figuratively out of the woods.

O'Keefe suffered a dislocated hip but it was put back in place without surgery and without any serious damage to his pelvis. His condition has been upgraded to serious. His son required surgery for unspecified injuries but is in fair condition. The other survivors, Jim Moorhard and William Phillips, are in fair and good condition respectively.

Cirrus Issues Safety Alert Re: "Recent Accidents"

Following "several recent accidents" Cirrus Aircraft and the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) have issued a safety alert (PDF) that makes a training request of all Cirrus pilots. The alert urges Cirrus owners, regardless of their flight experience, to conduct a currency flight with a qualified Cirrus Training Center. Cirrus has created a specific training syllabus for the 1 to 1.5 hour training, which focuses on airspeed control, touchdown accuracy, approach stability and overall safety. Aside from seeking training, the alert requests that Cirrus pilots carefully review their aircraft's operating procedures "with special attention to approach stability, traffic patterns, landing procedures and go-arounds." AOPA's Air Safety Foundation has found that Cirrus aircraft generally fare better in pilot-related takeoff, approach and maneuvering accidents, but worse in go-arounds.

The safety alert did not mention the specific crashes that provoked its dissemination. A July crash near Essex County Airport in New Jersey killed a senior associate dean at New York Medical College who also served as a program director for internal medicine at St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, along with two of her relatives. Shortly after the crash, initial reports indicated that the doctor had attempted a go-around and that marks on the runway indicated a fresh prop strike.

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Diverting from the Flight Plan back to top 

25-Year-Old Tow Pilot Lands Near Mall

Returning from a banner towing flight out of Albert Whitted Airport, a 25-year-old pilot was faced with few good options when he suffered engine trouble Thursday near St Petersburg, Fla., landed on a relatively busy road near a mall, and walked away unscathed. Choosing a tree- and light-pole-lined road, the pilot dropped his banner, landed, hit one tree with the aircraft's left wing and sideswiped an occupied rental car. The banner landed in a Walgreens parking lot and the aircraft came to rest with one gear leg collapsed. After the landing, the pilot got out to check if he'd hurt anyone on the ground and found he had not. The aircraft, a single-seat Piper Pawnee PA-25-250, had been towing a banner "for more than three hours" prior to the incident, a fire department spokesman who spoke with the pilot told Tampa Bay Online. The young pilot told the spokesman he had 10 years of flying experience.

The aircraft and the car both suffered damage, but no fuel was leaked at the site. The road was closed to both east and west traffic while investigators checked the scene. Several hours later, the aircraft was towed away. It is owned by Advertising Air Force, which operates from Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg.

O'Hare Evacuation Citizen Journalist Video

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Some passengers were evacuated from a United Airlines A320 parked at the gate at Chicago's O'Hare Airport Saturday morning and a "citizen journalist" got cell phone video of it (at right). Although passengers had already started deplaning through the bridge, a fire warning light in the cargo hold prompted the crew to open the emergency exit and pop the slide, providing some drama for pax waiting inside the terminal. A little girl can be heard on the video saying "Mommy can I do that slide?" It wasn't as whimsical inside, according to passenger Doug Reed, who spoke to the Chicago Tribune. "It was panic. The buzzers went off and the flights attendants started saying, 'Hurry. Run. Get off,'" he said.

About 40 of the 144 passengers aboard the plane got the little girl's wish. There was no evidence of a fire in the hold and the airline is now trying to figure out what triggered the sensor.

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Calling It a Day — Or Not back to top 

Robinson Helicopter Founder Retires

The man who made certified helicopters reasonably affordable is retiring, although a little later than he intended. Frank Robinson, whose piston-powered R22 and R44 helicopters are the best sellers in their class worldwide, had hoped to retire on his 80th birthday last January. Instead, he turned the company's direction over to his son Kurt on Aug. 10. "I felt I needed to keep myself available to handle a lot of management concerns," he told the Los Angeles Times. He also wanted to see the completion of the R66 turbine-powered model.

The Robinson story is one of those increasingly rare tales of a bootstraps entrepreneur who ends up being a world leader in his field. Robinson was an engineer working for other helicopter companies when, in 1973, he saw the need for a safe, reliable and affordable light helicopter. The two-place R22, whose prototype was built in Robinson's garage, is the best-selling helicopter in the world and a mainstay of the training industry. The four-place R44 is not far behind and is an increasing popular news-gathering and law-enforcement platform. It was not an easy journey and Robinson is the first to admit the company was on the brink of failure in the early years. "We tend to refer to all those years as the dark years," Robinson said. "It was touch and go whether the company could survive."

Already Flying, Pilot Fights For Full Privileges

Ian Andrews has reportedly spent a small fortune ($200,000) in court and was there again Wednesday seeking to fully reinstate his New Zealand pilot certificate even though he's legally flying unrestricted in New Zealand with his U.S. certificate. Andrews is currently 66 years of age, instrument rated, and began flying in 1986. He suffered a health event in 1991 that may have been a stroke and has since suffered no similar events. He reported the episode when applying for his subsequent medical certificates and has passed every Civil Aviation medical test. The problem, it seems, is that the director of Civil Aviation in New Zealand in 2007 imposed conditions on Andrews' New Zealand certificate, prohibiting Andrews from carrying passengers, or flying over populated areas unless necessary for takeoff and landing. The New Zealand court must now decide the legal grounds that allow the director to impose restrictions on a pilot's certificate after it has been issued and a medical certificate granted. The case has earned the interest of some U.S.-based pilot advocacy groups that feel the outcome may have widespread impact.

Andrews has been flying unrestricted in New Zealand using his American pilot's certificate in a U.S.-registered Piper Mailibu, but is seeking to lift the restrictions imposed on his New Zealand certificate. His legal case may have far-reaching ramifications and that has attracted some high profile, big-gun aid to Andrews' side. The Air Line Pilots' Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association have now reportedly put their heft behind Andrews. The U.S. issued Andrews his certificate in full knowledge of Andrews' dispute. Andrews' court case went to the Court of Appeal, Wednesday. Three judges will reportedly make their judgment on the legal merits of the case and with the assumption that Andrews is medically fit.

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Oshkosh Flashback back to top 

Jonathan Trappe, Cluster Balloonist

Jonathan Trappe is a sort of super-hero to some children and a crazy man to some adults, but we found him to be a rather enthusiastic, and certificated, lighter-than-air gas balloon pilot. Trappe is licensed to fly beneath a group of (usually more than 50) homemade helium-filled polyethylene balloons. That means his aircraft is one of the most structurally redundant vehicles in the sky. After politely explaining the complications of flying with a parachute, he concluded that he didn't fly with one at Oshkosh and asked, "When you fly your aircraft, do you wear one?" Trappe's aircraft is registered and carries an "N" number. But because he can change "gondolas" (in this case a paraglider harness) and sometimes knifes balloons in flight, the exact part of the overall rig recognized by the FAA as an aircraft is a story in itself. We chatted with Trappe at AirVenture Oshkosh the day after his successful night flight across Lake Michigan.

Trappe controls his direction of flight like any balloonist -- by varying his altitude. He can drop water ballast or stab balloons with a knife to alter his buoyancy as he flies. That basically means that ballast is his fuel. Once he runs out of ballast, he effectively loses his ability to control his aircraft's altitude with any precision and therefore becomes even more limited in his directional control. Trappe used the winds at 12,000 feet to successfully carry him across Lake Michigan. He's also flown the English Channel. But for the price of helium, we'd imagine he'd be making more regular flights. Trappe flies with a radio and transponder to keep in touch with air traffic control and his ground crew and relies mostly on his 50-foot cluster of colorful balloons for collision avoidance. At night, he uses appropriate lighting. We asked Trappe what he hoped for from his next flight. He said he was hoping to make a flight from the West Coast, maybe launching from Catalina, for a trip (some distance) east.

EAA: AirVenture Figures Down, Probably Not 37 Percent ...

EAA's estimate of 535,000 in attendance for this year's AirVenture Oshkosh seems to set a new low since 1998's high of 855,000 (when the Concorde graced the grounds of Oshkosh for the fifth and final time), but there may be some simple reasons for that. "We've changed the way we count attendees," EAA communications director Dick Knapinski told AVweb, Friday, "and we're confident our estimates for more recent years are more accurate than those from a decade ago." The estimates made by EAA still count each person anew, each day, including those who stay for multiple days. Knapinski guesses the larger attendance totals likely break down into roughly 200,000 separate bodies visiting the field, some for numerous days. That said, AirVenture 2010's count was hampered especially in its first days by some of the wettest pre-show weather the region has seen in decades. But other reasons may have factored in, too.

The storms that hit just prior to the show left the grounds unfit for aircraft when many aircraft and campers would otherwise have made their arrivals. After the storms left, some aircraft attempting to make early arrivals from the east faced headwinds of roughly 50 knots. All told, the weather was not inviting and it likely caused delayed arrivals if not canceled trips. Aside from weather, the show's attendance may also have been negatively affected if the broader audience (general population) failed to recognize a single major draw akin to last year's A380 superjumbo arrival or, prior to that, Rutan's SpaceShipOne and WhiteKnight, or 1998's Concorde. So while EAA's estimates have fallen since their 1998 high, (which, again, was calculated by different, and per EAA, less accurate math) the numbers have held in the 500,000's since 2006. And while 2010's estimate of 535,000 may appear to set a new post-1998 low, that may not be the case. Knapinski says that when current formulas were applied to 2008, they resolved an even lower number of 515,000. There's always next year.

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News Briefs back to top 

Coming Soon -- Aviation For Your TV

Summer is still in full swing, but soon enough the days will get shorter, and if there's time for TV, you'll find some new options to help ensure you get your aviation fix. The Aviators, which has been in the works for a while now, is a new magazine-style broadcast series that will debut on PBS stations nationwide in September. The producers premiered their first episode at EAA AirVenture last month. The weekly program mainly aims to attract a general audience and will feature profiles of interesting aviators, new aircraft, cool technology and beautiful fly-in destinations. For viewers who are already pilots, safety tips and career advice will also add to the mix. Also, the documentary film Barnstorming will debut on PBS this fall. The film tells the true story of the lifelong friendships that grew between a farm community and the two pilots who landed in an open field one summer day.

Filmmaker Paul Glenshaw and pilot Andrew King spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady about the Barnstorming project at EAA AirVenture recently. (Click here for the podcast.) Glenshaw also talks about an interesting new aviation documentary he has in the works using restored archival footage from the early 1900s. Another film that debuted at EAA AirVenture this year was Pearl, the story of a 12-year-old Chickasaw girl who befriended Wiley Post in the 1920s and became the youngest certificated pilot in the U.S. The film will be shown at various venues around the country this year (see the website for the schedule), but the producers are also taking advance orders for the DVD online.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Stevens Crash — A Deadly Reminder

When the NTSB studied Alaska accident trends 15 years ago, it found something it called "bush pilot syndrome." Basically, that meant many accidents were the result of bravado, poor judgment, and lack of professionalism. Whether that attitude still exists or not (if it ever did), Alaska remains a risky place to fly — and, as Paul Bertorelli notes in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, that may be the biggest factor in accidents like the Ted Stevens crash.

Click here to read more and add your own comments.

AVweb Insider Blog: Cessna — California Law Needs A Go-Around

Julie Filucci from Cessna Pilot Centers agrees with our blog that flight students need protection — but she argues that California's new law will unnecessarily burden small flight schools with paperwork and added cost that might force them to close.

Read her counterpoint in a special guest installment of the AVweb Insider blog.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 

Filmmaker Paul Glenshaw and Pilot Andrew King at AirVenture 2010

File Size 8.1 MB / Running Time 8:49

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(l.-r.) Andrew King, Paul Glenshaw

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Paul Glenshaw created Barnstorming, a documentary film about barnstorming pilots and their impact on a Midwest farming community. AVweb's Mary Grady talked with Glenshaw and one of the pilots, Andrew King, at Oshkosh.

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Click here to listen. (8.1 MB, 8:49)

Cluster Balloonist Jonathan Trappe

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

Jonathan Trappe is a sort of super-hero to some children and a crazy man to some adults. We found him inspirational. Trappe is licensed to fly beneath a group of homemade helium-filled balloons. That means his aircraft is one of the most structurally redundant vehicles in the sky. But it's also challenging to fly. Trappe controls his direction by varying his altitude. He can drop water ballast or stab balloons with a knife to alter his buoyancy as he flies. Wind direction can vary with altitude, and Trappe uses that to his advantage, adjusting his present reality to the forecast conditions. To stay visible to controllers and aircraft, Trappe carries a radio and transponder, making him visible on radar. For visual avoidance, Trappe relies mainly on the 50-foot brightly colored canopy of balloons above his head. At night, he uses lights.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: WaCo Aviation (KGWW, Goldsboro/Pikeville, NC)

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

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Maybe it's the summer heat or the relentless thunderstorms, but a lot of AVweb readers took time to nominate FBOs for recognition here on our site this week. (And yes, we continue to hear from readers who had stellar experiences at KUNU, KMTW, and KRYV on their AirVenture trips!)

Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to WaCo Aviation at Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport (GWW) in Pikesville, North Carolina.

Michael Davidson discovered the charms of WaCo when thunderstorms forced him to divert from his route recently:

I was met before the deluge on the ramp by the WaCo FBO manager, Doug Lancaster, with chocks, tie-downs, and an offer of fuel. Inside, I frequently checked the weather situation online and met local pilots as they stopped in to hang out. Soon it became clear that I would compromise personal flight minima to leave before next daybreak, so I asked about local accommodations and was kindly offered instead the sofa at the FBO as they closed. When Doug came back to pull in a scheduled home-based jet arriving before midnight, he stopped by the FBO for the sole purpose of bringing to me a pillow and blanket! ... All levels of flyers and craft would be comfortable here, and Doug knows how to take care of airmen — learned from his Air Force service as a senior non-com. This is the kind of service with a touch you write someone about!

Hey, we're someone! And we're always happy to spread the word about top-notch FBOs. Kudos to Doug and the crew at WaCo.

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

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... We're Giving You Another Chance to Win a Bose Aviation Headset X

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Our 15th anniversary celebration continues, with a second chance to win a Bose Aviation Headset X! 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, September 3, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Roger Newcomb of Austin, TX, who won our last drawing, for a Spidertrack Aviator! (click here to get your own from Spidertracks)

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.


medium | large

Used with permission of Don Aldridge

OSH Sunset

While the AVweb crew gets to experience more than our fair share of AirVenture magic, we always look forward to the reader pics we know will start arriving in our "POTW" submission box when we get home. No matter how active we were at the show, there's just too darn much for any one (or ten) people to see.

Enter Don Aldridge of Hardy, Virginia, who brings us an incredible sunset view of the tower — complete with the Goodyear Blimp in the background.

medium | large

copyright © Boris Natasich
Used with permission

Young Airman

Boris Natasich of Euclid, Ohio put together this panoramic submission from four individual photos. Looking over teh simulator room at Simcom in Orlando is Adriano Stavole, "a new co-captain candidate. [Adriano is] one of seven hired and sent for type ratings on the C550 Citation II and differences training for the Citation Bravo." According to Boris, the seven candidates will eventually be flying organ transports (and related trips) for our friends at the Cleveland Clinic.

medium | large

copyright © John E. Rees
Used with permission

AirVenture 2010

Speaking of AirVenture, it looks like John E. Rees of Blacklick, Ohio managed to take in a couple of the afternoon air shows while he was in Oshkosh. (Somehow, we never seem to get time to break out the lawn chairs and frosty beverages as much as we'd like.)

medium | large

copyright © Robert Koch
Used with permission

275 Years of Construction Work in Russo, Switzerland

"In Russo, within the steep valley Onsernone, construction work is only possible with the support of helicopters. [There are] mostly no roads," writes Robert Koch of Zurich (Switzerland), "just pathways and stairs leading to the construction site."

As if that weren't impressive enough for the discerning AVweb reader, Robert invites you to consider this fact: "275 years ago, they had to build the church without helicopter support."

medium | large

copyright © Larry E. Powell
Used with permission

South Prairie Stearman

Buckley, Washington resident Larry E. Powell helps us wrap things up with a scene that warms our heart. Airplanes, bikes, a long front porch, and plenty of hangar space? If you've got a couple of spare bedrooms and can make a good lemonade, Larry, we may have to pay Buckley a visit!

Don't forget to visit AVweb's home page and view our "POTW&quo; slideshow for more great photos that we couldn't squeeze in here.

And click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

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

Several years ago, I was flying my father-in-law back to Portland, Maine. He had been in Connecticut preforming a wedding. We got an early start, and at about 7 a.m., we were overflying the Worster, MA Class Delta.

After making contact with the tower, I commented that it was very quiet on their frequency.

The controller responded that everybody must be asleep or in church.

My father-in-law, the ever-alert minister, pressed the button that was both intercom and transmit PTT and said, "Maybe they are in church and asleep!"

David Faile
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.

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