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Volume 16, Number 33a
August 16, 2010
Is There Anything More Important than Protecting Your Family?
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AVflash! Aviation Safety in the Newsback to top 

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. Tower recordings do seem to suggest a clipped discussion between two controllers in which one wonders whether instructions issued to Roush could be successfully accomplished. "Is 6JR (Roush's plane) going to be OK with this?" a controller asks. "Affirmative," says the controller working Roush's aircraft. "Don't think so," says the other controller. 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. More...

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. More...

Following "several recent accidents" Cirrus Aircraft and the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) have issued a safety alert 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. More...

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Diverting from the Flight Planback to top 

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. More...

Some passengers were evacuated from a United Airlines A320 parked at the gate at Chicago's O'Hare Airport Saturday morning and "citizen journalist" Jason Stverak got cell phone video of it. 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. More...

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India's growing traffic and aircraft demands present a challenge for the industry. The CITA Summit will explore the latest developments in modern technology and new business opportunities and challenges for operators and manufacturers. It is a unique opportunity for all participants to debate the future of aviation technology, learn about the regional infrastructure development (as well as innovative technologies), and network with leading experts from India and around the world. Click here for more information.
Calling It a Day — Or Notback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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Oshkosh Flashbackback to top 

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 appropriately 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. More...

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. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

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. More...

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 What have you heard? More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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New on AVweb.comback to top 

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

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

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. More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


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Wings, Reward Yourself a Latte || Click to Get Your Card

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. 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.


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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

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 Photosback to top 

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. More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


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 Newsback to top 


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.