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Volume 16, Number 40a
October 4, 2010
Is There Anything More Important than Protecting Your Family?
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AVflash! Air Safety in the Newsback to top 
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Even the early critics of ADS-B, who warned that broadcasting the position, type and altitude of individual aircraft might help terrorists target specific aircraft, probably didn't envision pointing a cellphone at an aircraft in flight and getting all those details. But a British software company has released an iPhone/iPad and Android application called Plane Finder AR that matches the real-time ADS-B signals of passing aircraft with a database built by ADS-B-equipped planespotters and displays the ID of the plane, altitude and destination. The "AR" stands for "Augmented Reality" and it's the feature that has furrowed the brows of British lawmakers. Pointing the phone's camera at the aircraft will superimpose the aircraft's bearing and range on the screen. More...

An unmanned aerostat was struck by a manned airship at roughly 9:15 p.m. Thursday, in high winds, during a heavy rainstorm at Elizabeth City, N.C, leaving one man seriously injured. The accident took place at a TCOM facility. TCOM is a blimp manufacturer and maintenance company. The 216-foot manned Skyship 600-series blimp had been tethered, but broke free and collided with the aerostat. Multiple early reports state the pilot of the manned blimp survived the accident but suffered head, limb, and possible abdominal injuries. His aircraft was lifted up about 60 feet before it struck the aerostat and crashed. Both the blimp and the aerostat were destroyed. More...

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Footing the Bill — In Space and In the Air Spaceback to top 

The FAA will provide four projects with grants as part of the NASA reauthorization bill and a federal effort to ensure the U.S. "remains the world leader in space development and exploration," according to FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. The projects will direct funding to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority for automated weather observation; the Alaska Aerospace Corporation for a rocket motor storage facility; the East Kern District in Mojave, Calif., for an emergency response vehicle; and the Hacksonville Airport Authority in Florida to devise a master plan for a spaceport at Cecil Field. The grants range from about $40,000 to nearly $105,000 and are part of the NASA reauthorization bill, which backs commercial crew and cargo programs with $1.6 billion. The FAA's own reauthorization bill was substituted with another three-month extension on Sept. 24 (the 16th, we think ... if you're still counting). More...

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New Aircraftback to top 

Bombardier has confirmed it will launch a new model of large-cabin ultra-long-range business jet in answer to Gulfstream's development of the G650. The G650, which is now in flight tests, is about 20 percent larger and has a maximum range of 7,000 nm, about 650 nm farther than the Global Express XRS, the latest model. Gulfstream also says the G650 will have a maximum speed of .925 Mach, compared to the XRS's .89. As we reported in September, Bombardier will unveil the new aircraft at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Atlanta later this month, Bombardier CEO Guy Hachey told Bloomberg his company isn't about to surrender what it considers to be its supremacy in the large business aircraft market. "Our intention is to grow our leadership position and the time is right to move forward with our extended Global aircraft family," he said. More...

The TBM 850 single-engine turboprop and TBGT piston singles produced by Daher Socata may get a stablemate if the company's evaluation of what was Grob Aerospace's SPn business jet grows roots. The SPn had earned more than 100 orders before development stopped, and before a 2006 crash killed Grob's chief SPn test pilot, Gerard Guillaumaud, during a demonstration flight of a prototype. The project continued after that episode, but Grob Aerospace announced its insolvency in 2008 following repeated delays in the jet's flight-test program. Socata's interest in the jet reportedly could evolve into an all-composite twin-engine business jet program for itself, derived from the SPn platform. More...

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Captains and Crisesback to top 

Peter Burkill, the captain of a British Airways Boeing 777 that crashed short of the runway at Heathrow with no fatalities in 2008, is now back at his old job. Burkill left the airline citing difficulties with co-workers after the accident. Investigators ultimately blamed the crash on ice that formed in the aircraft's fuel lines and determined Burkill's actions had extended the aircraft's glide, perhaps helping it miss buildings and structures near the airport's perimeter. But shortly after the crash and before the investigation was complete, Burkill said he faced coworkers who'd been told by their trainers that he'd frozen at the controls and that that environment ultimately led him to quit. AVweb's Glenn Pew conducted podcast interviews with Burkill about the crash and the aftermath, and those are still available online. Burkill's blog about his experience soon won't be. More...

The Hero of the Hudson has landed a Hollywood deal. Variety is reporting that heavyweight film development firms Flashlight Films and Kennedy/Marshall Co. have reached a deal with former U.S. Airways Capt. Chesley Sullenberger for the rights to the film about his involvement in the successful ditching of an A320 in the Hudson River in January of 2009. There were no fatalities and only a few injuries among the 155 people on board. The movie will be an adaptation of Sullenberger's book Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters. The project is now with writers and it hasn't been decided whether it will be a TV movie or theater release. Nor has there been a decision on who will play Sullenberger, but the genesis of the current deal may offer some clues. More...

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New on Something in the Airback to top 

Last week, a blimp and an aerostat collided in horrible weather in New Jersey. The big gas bags are naturally vulnerable to weather, and IFR magazine editor and AVweb contributor Jeff Van West spoke with the ground crew of the Goodyear Blimp at AirVenture Oshkosh about how they keep the iconic aircraft safe.

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

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

One of them is that the only real pilots are taildragger pilots. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says he never really believed that. But what's this? He's changing his tune? And now he thinks the ideal trainer is a Cub with a glass panel? Go read the blog and help reel this man back to reality. More...

Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis were equipped with the latest in tracking technology when they disappeared over the Adriatic Sea. On the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady asks the question on many minds: Shouldn't we be able to build this stuff so it survives a crash and tells us where it happened? Read more and join the conversation. More...

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


Why Through-The-Fence Agreements Work

The argument that federal funds should not subsidize airport use by residential through-the-fence users can be negated by ensuring those users pay their fair share for access to the airport. Fair share could be construed as equivalent to a based aircraft tiedown fee. This is not altogether different from charging a commercial through-the-fence user the same access fee. Also, through-the-fence users should not be allowed to store their own fuel but rather purchase from the FBO at the airport.

On another issue, it is hard to imagine that residential through-the-fence users would complain about aircraft noise impacts. People in glass houses don't throw stones.

Security issues at general aviation airports have been an issue that is still unresolved. Somehow, as an industry, we need to know that those obtaining access to the airside are trusted to be there. Through the fence users can be cleared by law enforcement. Their passengers cannot be treated that way, so the aircraft operator must assume that responsibility. Isn't that what is done at general aviation airports now? It should apply to through-the-fence users as well.

There is a simple way to allow any type of through-the-fence users at federally obligated airports, if those responsible for policy will just think it through. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Ronald Price

Why They Might Not

I do hope you'll give equal time to the other respondents at the hearing, Russ. This is a complicated issue and all sides deserve to be heard in order that a reasonable solution can be reached. If you know airports, then you know that [Acting Associate Administrator for Airports] Catherine Lang has been a tireless proponent for airport development and a voice of reason in the FAA.

I've read her testimony and that of the others and I think Dr. Blue has portrayed a sensationalist view of what was said and unfairly characterized it in order to further his own position. There are good points on both sides of this issue. Let's try and listen to them all so we can find the best solution for all.

Greg Phillips

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


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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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Chuck Aaron is an FAA-certified aerobatic helicopter pilot. And he flies for Red Bull. The helicopter is a modified Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm BO-105. Aaron can be seen flying at Red Bull events. More...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Cris Methvin describes our latest "FBO of the Week" as "a quiet and picturesque airfield in rural Virginia where you will not find a luxury crew car or a maze of cubical crash pads." So what does Lawrenceville/Brunswick Municipal Airport have to offer instead? "A huge amount of coustomer service and great southern hospitality." Cris reports, "I was met by the president of the airport and the field manager, a warm greeting, breakfast, low fuel prices and great conversation. Very relaxing atmosphere and accomidating staff attended to my aircraft and made it a memorable visit."

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!


Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

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.

Congratulations to Ronald C. Hanna of Independence, Oregon, who won our last prize, a PMA6000B audio panel! (click here to get your own from PS Engineering)


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

On a snowy afternoon at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, the arrival spacing turned out to be inadequate for the as-yet-unplowed runway:

"Commuter 1234: Runway 14R, cleared to land. request braking report. Braking is reported fair, but if you can make taxiway T5 for spacing, it will help the heavy behind you."

"Commuter 1234. We'll try."

Tower (moments later) :
"Airliner 567 Heavy, go around. Aircraft on the runway." [Then issues missed approach instructions.]

"Sorry about that."

"Thanks for trying, Commuter 1234. Hey, how do you rate th braking?"

"Poor, I guess."

Chris Bardon
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.

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