AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 16, Number 39a

September 27, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! ADS-B Just Around the Corner Now back to top 

ADS-B Full Deployment By 2013

ADS-B will be fully operational in the U.S. by 2013; the FAA announced Friday that it had approved full deployment of the satellite and ground-based system. In a statement, the agency said it approved full deployment after successful testing of full systems at Philadelphia, Louisville, over the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska proved it could work in the full range of operating conditions. "This approach ensured that ADS-B was tested in the most extreme environments, allowing the agency to uncover and resolve any anomalies before the commissioning," the statement said.

The FAA has already installed 300 of the 800 systems that will be required to ensure ADS-B provides all the coverage that radar does now. In mountainous areas, a system of ground sensors called Wide Area Multilateration will provide coverage for the nooks and crannies that the ADS-B sensors can't see. WAM will also serve as a backup for GPS in high-traffic areas. By 2020, aircraft operating in controlled airspace will have to have ADS-B out capability to announce their position and identification. If they have the optional ADS-B in they'll get cockpit displays of traffic and weather.

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D Is for Data, F Is for Funding back to top 

15th FAA Extension

The seemingly never-ending saga of actually paying for the FAA got another extension last week as, has become eerily routine, the House and Senate simultaneously passed bills to keep funding the agency for another three months based on the authorization that expired in 2007. It's the 15th such extension and it has all the alphabets hoping the coming lame-duck session will create the wiggle room needed to get the thing passed. In case you've forgotten why that's important, this is the reauthorization that ignores user fees and increases fuel taxes.

The issues that are holding up the process have little to do with aviation and plenty to do with politics. FedEx has summoned its considerable political resources to block a proposal that would allow local unionization of its workers. It currently enjoys the provisions of the Railway Act, which only allows national certification of unions. UPS, however, doesn't operate under the same rules and thinks it should. It, too, has considerable political clout. There's also tussle over allowing a more normal airline traffic flow to Reagan National in Washington by opening more long-distance flight slots.

FAA To Merge Safety Reporting Programs

The FAA Wednesday announced that it will merge information collected through voluntary safety programs for both pilots and air traffic controllers to "help guide safety decisions." The FAA is billing the merge as a "data-sharing program" that will collect information from the existing Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) and the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP). It will then use both perspectives to assess and review safety events. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt calls the merger "revolutionary" in its ability to provide "an incredible amount of data," help the agency identify trouble spots within the aviation system, and "make corrections and avoid incidents." The FAA says it will develop policies and processes to make sure information is analyzed and applied in a non-punitive way.

Both ASAP and ATSAP encourage employees to voluntarily report information relevant to accident aversion by identifying potential precursors to accidents. The FAA encourages carriers to involve themselves in the ASAP program. To date, some 73 carriers have taken them up on the offer. Those carriers that participate encourage their pilots to involve themselves, too, but participation is optional for both carriers and pilots. The ATSAP program similarly aims to cultivate a "voluntary cooperative and non-punitive environment" for controllers to report their safety concerns. The FAA says it acts proactively on information received from both programs. The agency believes merging the two programs will provide a more well-rounded picture of problems in the national airspace system.

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Crash Reports back to top 

Pilot Critical After Airshow Crash

click for larger images

Alexander Supeli was in critical condition Friday after escaping the burning wreckage of his crashed Super Decathlon at an airshow some 80 miles southeast of Jakarta. The crash at the Bandung Air Show at Husein Sastranegara Airport was witnessed by hundreds of spectators, including "dozens of schoolchildren," according to a report in The Daily Mail. The moment of impact was caught on film by the Associated Press and Reuters. Local news coverage included video of the crash, which also made its way to YouTube. The video shows the aircraft descending into the ground as it performs a low-altitude roll to the left. The roll appears to hesitate as the aircraft passes through inverted and continues to descend. The roll then seems to accelerate slightly, but the right wing strikes the ground before the aircraft reaches wings-level. It cartwheels and quickly bursts into flames.

Early details not provided by the images are lacking. The Daily Mail quoted a fellow pilot who said, "I believe it was a human error because the plane was in good condition." It was not clear whether that pilot could have been aware of other potential complications that may have led to the crash. The airshow had been celebrating the 200th anniversary of the city of Bandung. The accident took place on the show's second day. Supeli reportedly has more than 2,000 hours of flight experience. He survived the crash but was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

UPS 747 Crash Investigation Update

News agencies in the Middle East Thursday said investigators have found evidence that the crew of a UPS Boeing 747-400 that crashed Sept. 3 near Dubai conducted their final moments in a cockpit filled with dense smoke. UPS has responded directly to one report published by The Khaleej Times, adding comments also directed at the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal has already published a report suggesting that lithium batteries may have contributed to the intensity of fire and smoke. UPS told the Khaleej Times that early speculation is "irresponsible" and "everyone must let the GCAA [The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority] investigation run its course." The NTSB's factual report states "the crew declared an emergency due to smoke in the cockpit." GCAA Thursday announced that complete flight data and voice recorder information had been successfully downloaded by NTSB technicians and analysis of the data is ongoing.

Investigators have said several systems on the flight deck indicated fire or smoke on the main deck and the lower aft cargo hold. Investigators have also commented that there appear to have been some "difficulty in the communication process," but did they not elaborate. The investigation is continuing with a focus on the aircraft's cargo. The crash took place more than 45 minutes after departure from Dubai. The crew had reportedly been offered an alternate airport but requested a return to Dubai. They ultimately overflew the airport at 4,000 feet and crashed roughly five minutes later after performing a right-hand turn. The crash killed both pilots, the only two people aboard. It was the first fatal accident for UPS.

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The Race Is On! back to top 

Gas Balloon Racers Launch

Steady and brisk northwest winds were pushing competitors in the annual Gordon Bennett International Gas Balloon Race into southern Europe and toward the Mediterranean when we last checked. The race, billed as the oldest aviation race, was first launched in 1906 and has been held 54 times in those 104 years. The premise is simple. All competitors (20 this year) launch at the same time and the one that travels the farthest wins. This year's launch site was near Bristol in southern England and the winds put everyone over the English Channel within hours.

The French team of Sebastian Rolland and Vincent Leys took the lead over the Japanese team of Sabiro Ichioyoshi and Akio Hachinohe over the Bordeaux region of France. The northerly flow is expected to shift more westerly and put the balloons on track for French Riviera. The balloons normally stay aloft for 70 to 80 hours. Winner of the race earns the right to host the launch of a future race.

Local Candidate's Bid To Swap Airport For Pot Farm

Jon Louis Mann would like to close Santa Monica airport and grow industrial marijuana there, he's running for a seat on the Santa Monica City Council, and if past performance is any indicator, he won't win. But his position caters to public opposition to the airport, which has centered in recent years on noise and safety concerns. Mann's position would merge those with a desire to fill city budget gaps in conjunction with California's Proposition 19, which would legalize marijuana in the state if passed by voters in November. "We should close the airport down in 2015" (when obligations to the Federal government expire) Mann told local news, TheLookOut. "We can use the hangars and have the city go into medicinal marijuana. Instead of making $1 million in taxes, they'll make $10 million," he said. Concerned pilots may be encouraged by Mann's previous record running for office, and his own expectations this time.

This effort marks Mann's tenth run for City Council, following nine failed attempts. According to TheLookOut, Mann finished 19th in his first race and "usually finishes last." Mann believes that showing is a result of his ideas and personality. "I make a lot of enemies because I speak my mind. I can afford to do that because I don't expect to win. I'm too much of a radical. I'm too negative," he told the news service. Santa Monica airport averages 452 operations each day, according to AirNav.com. It is bordered by populated coastal suburban neighborhoods and has recently survived attempts to ban certain business jets.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: In the Age of Glass Cockpits, a Glass Ceiling?

Fewer than seven percent of pilots are women. Why is that? In this guest post to the AVweb Insider blog, flight instructor (and ATP) Mireille Goyer argues the aviation culture discourages young women from becoming pilots even if it embraces them after their trial by fire.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Rules to Ignore

Noise abatement rules top the list when complying with them whittles your margin down to unacceptable limits or is just — stupid. Better to have the neighbors complain about the noise than to have a Cub come down on the patio. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli offers his usual inciteful, hot-headed and %#*! crazy observations on the topic.

Read more and join the conversation.

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

AVmail: September 27, 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.

Editor's Note:

We have been inundated with letters in the past few weeks and rather than run them all in one huge file, we're splitting them by topic to give all the perspectives a decent airing. Today, it's the cost of LSAs. Thursday will be UAVs in North Dakota. Next Sunday will be through-the-fence agreements. Thanks for all the great feedback.

Russ Niles

Letter of the Week: Flying's Never Been Cheap

Flying has never been cheap and never will be, our great technological capabilities notwithstanding. David Thurston in his classic books Design for Flying and Design for Safety showed clearly why the LSA category could never have met its lofty goals of affordable flying: small market, high development costs (even with LSAs' relaxed regulatory regimen), and the amount of infrastructure necessary for a sustainable business.

We always get caught in the trap of expecting the advances we enjoy in our cars and electronic equipment to be directly applicable to light aircraft without considering the vast differences in market size that make such advances possible. The proponents of the LSA category misapprehended the sources of new aircraft cost as onerous regulation of airframes and aviators. The real drivers of the high cost of light aircraft flight are basic physics, basic business, and its economically non-essential nature.

Shaun Simpkins

The current light sport aircraft will not save GA. These mostly-plastic planes have been priced well beyond the range of the average GA pilot. It is my conviction that the FAA and certain aircraft manufactures acted in lock step to place the arbitrary weight of the LSA just beyond the range of many classic, inexpensive and available aircraft.

Case in point is the Cessna 150. There are thousands of them out there, yet they were not included in Light Sport. It's odd that Cessna now builds a light sport!!

I owned a beautiful 1958 Forney Aircoupe. (Aircoupe is correct for this model.) It was too heavy by FAA standards by 80 pounds because it had an all-metal wing as compared to the only Coupe to be LSA-qualified. That would be the "C" model with a rag wing and 12 to 15 years older than the modern Coupes. Does this make sense?

I will never own or rent a new LSA airplane. They're too much money for way too little airplane!!

John Brier

That Elusive Perfection

"How the ruling is ultimately enforced will effect how new planes are funded"? Please, it's "affect"! I expect a higher degree of professional journalism from you guys.

Bob Sundquist

AVweb Replies:

We do miss the odd thing, Bob, and we appreciate the heads-up when we do. And while ours was actually a usage error, yours was a genuine grammatical error, which we fixed for you. Neither journalism nor professionalism was "affected" in either case.

Russ Niles

Call and Response on "Line Up and Wait"

I would like to see how many pilots think "Line Up and Wait" is going to improve on "Position and Hold." If it is such a good idea, why not "Traffic is waiting in position" or "Wait short of runway 12R"?

David LeRoy

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

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 

Prowler Command, Warbird Flying Club

File Size 7.3 MB / Running Time 7:55

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Scott Perdue, chief instructor for the Pacific Prowler B-25 based in Fort Worth, Texas, talks with AVweb's Mary Grady about how you can get a second-in-command rating in the big bomber and the benefits of joining the Prowler Command flying club.

Click here to listen. (7.3 MB, 7:55)

Video: Kansas City's Airline History Museum

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

AVweb visits the Airline History Museum in Kansas City.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
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Video: "First Ever" Human-Powered Ornithopter Flight

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

A group of University of Toronto students has just announced that a flight of their human-powered flapping-wing aircraft, The Snowbird, on August 2 may have set an FAI record with a "first ever" flight for its kind. The group believes that after being towed aloft, the aircraft maintained speed and altitude for 19.3 seconds and covered approximately 145 meters while flying at 25.6 km/h. During that time, it was powered solely by its pilot and designer, U of T engineering Ph.D. candidate Todd Reichert, who estimates he's capable of about 0.3 horsepower. Reichert believes his team's effort represents the first ever sustained flight of a human-powered ornithopter. The FAI ruling committee (the record keepers) is expected to offer its opinion in October.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Sugar Land Regional Airport (KSGR, Texas)

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

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AVweb reader Dale Davis discovered our latest "FBO of the Week" at Sugar Land Regional Airport (KSGR) in Sugar Land, Texas. "Beautiful interior design, multiple seating areas in stylish leather, a boutique gift shop, museum, clean restrooms and a full-service, friendly staff" put Sugar Land at the top of Dale's list, and his recommendations puts it at the top of ours.

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 ... It's Your Chance to Win a Lightspeed Zulu Headset

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Lightspeed Zulu aviation headset 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 October 15, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

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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.


As we mentioned Thursday, a time crunch kept us from serving up last week's batch of reader-submitted photos. Not to worry, though — we've got them all here, and, as usual, you'll find even more rockin' bonus pics in the slideshow on AVweb's home page.

medium | large

Used with permission of Gary Landgraf

Flying Scooter

We can just hear the anti-pet contingent among "POTW" fans complaining that this feature has gone to the dogs — and now, strangely enough, we can hear the anti-pun segment of readers groaning. But that didn't stop us from making Scooter the star of the show this time around. It's tough to tell whether our one-size-fits-all prize hat will actually shade this good boy's eyes, but maybe submitter Gary Landgraf of Brentwood, California can put a quality ball cap to good use if Scoot can't.

medium | large

Used with permission of Donald Tiso

Mirror Image

Donald Tiso of Edinburgh, Scotland (UK) captured the Red Arrows mid-crossover during their appearance at the RAF Leuchers Air Show.

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copyright © Stan Lindholm
Used with permission

"I'm Sure We Parked Around Here Somewhere ..."

"Every year, the kids 'decorate' an airplane with TP" at the MAAC Fly-In (in Brodhead, Wisconsin). Stan Lindholm of Westlake, Ohio insists it's "considered an honor to be the victim!" We're curious to see if Stan will feel the same next year when it's his bird under all that Cottonelle. (Er, just to be clear: AVweb is in no way affiliated with the papering of classic biplanes.)

medium | large

copyright © Gary Dikkers
Used with permission

Matt Younkin's Twin Beech 18

"Matt Younkin does a graceful slow roll in his big Twin Beech 18 at AirVenture 2010" — and Madison, Wisconsin's Gary Dikkers was there to catch him in the act.

(Psst — this makes a great desktop wallpaper!)

medium | large

copyright © James M. Payne
Used with permission

Small Airports Are All the Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

James M. Payne of Grand Blanc, Michigan serves up a great sign-off photo for this week. (If you're wondering where this particular pot o' gold can be found, James tells us it's the Flushing Dalton Airport.)

You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em — it's a good crop!

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

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

I heard this on the air between a Bonanza and Kansas City Center:

"Bonanza One Alpha Bravo, turn right 20 degrees, vector for MOA."

"Sorry. I didn't know it was hot tonight. How low does it go? Maybe I could just go under it."

"Well, it's a military bombing range. If they drop one, I guess it will go all the way to the ground."

Nathan Burns
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.