AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 45a

November 8, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
What He Didn't Know About His Life Insurance Cost His Family $500,000
Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
 
AVflash! Aerobatics without the Airplane back to top 
 

JetMan Yves Rossy Loops

Friday, Yves Rossy, 51, strapped his latest custom-made microturbine-powered wings to his back, threw himself off a platform attached to a hot air balloon's gondola, powered up, and performed at least one roll and a looping maneuver before landing safely, as planned, under parachute. Rossy flew the loop on new smaller wings that span only two meters -- that's about one half-meter shorter than his last set. The wing is still powered by four microturbine jet engines. Rossy left the gondola at about 7,875 feet over Lake Geneva for the flight, some four years since his first public flight with personal wings. His past adventures include a September 2008 trip across the English Channel, and his future goals include a flight through the Grand Canyon (if granted permission). Rossy's flights have so far met with good outcomes, though they haven't always gone as planned. Click here to watch Rossy's looping flight.

In 2009, Rossy attempted a flight from Morocco to Spain over the 24-mile gap imposed by the Straight of Gibraltar. For that trip, he was strapped to an eight-foot-long carbon-fiber wing powered by the usual salvo of four jet-fueled microturbines. Those turbines, produced by JetCat are capable of about 200 pounds of thrust, combined. The effort was meant to last about 15 minutes and ended early in the North Atlantic Ocean. Rescued by helicopter from the sea, Rossy said he'd first been forced down to about 2,500 feet. There he reported, "Unstable at this height, that's no playing any more." He ejected his wings and pulled his chute. Of his failed attempt, then sponsor Stuart Sterzel said, "He is a man of courage." Sterzel added, "He will get up and dust himself off," and very likely find another adventure or try again.

 
SP-400 Radio from Sporty's Pilot Shop
Sporty's SP-400: "Better Than Some Panel-Mounted Gear"
That's what The Aviation Consumer said in their latest review of portable aviation radios. And: "Sporty's SP-400 shines ... . Its performance is clearly exceptional." It's the ultimate backup radio, with full ILS display, flip-flop COM, and much more.

Call 1 (800) SPORTYS for more info or find out more (and watch the video demo) online.
 
Beyond Healthcare: The 112th Congress and GA back to top 
 

Election Results And General Aviation

The Nov. 2 elections will usher in a change in leadership at the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee next year, and raises questions for the future of aviation legislation and funding. James Oberstar, D-Minn., a 36-year veteran of the House of Representatives, had chaired the transportation committee since 2007. He opposed user fees on general aviation and worked to pass the reauthorization bill that funds the FAA. The FAA has been attempting to plan its future for the past three years while operating under 16 temporary reauthorization extensions. The latest extension is due to expire at year-end. Oberstar's seat was lost this election to Chip Cravaack, a former Northwest Airlines pilot. The shift in representation of 60-plus House seats was driven in part by voters concerned with fiscal responsibility in government. It has also altered the Congressional General Aviation Caucus, which is something AOPA had sought to avoid.

"General aviation had made significant strides with the current Congress, including the House and Senate Aviation Caucuses," according to Lorraine Howerton, AOPA vice president of legislative affairs. The association had sent an e-mail to members prior to the election encouraging them to vote for every member of the Congressional General Aviation Caucus. All advocacy groups will now seek to forge new relationships with the newly elected people they'll wish to educate and influence on matters of aviation.

 
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Qantas Investigation Continues back to top 
 

Qantas A380s Still Grounded

Qantas says its A380 fleet will be grounded "for a matter of days, not weeks" as it probes anomalies discovered in Rolls Royce Trent engines similar to one that suffered an uncontained failure over Indonesia last week. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told reporters inspections of three engines discovered oil "where oil shouldn't be" as Qantas and Rolls Royce engineers bear down on the possible cause of the failure. "These are new engines on new aircraft, they shouldn't have these issues at this stage so it's given us an indication of an area for us to focus into," Joyce said. "It's too early for us to say what components or parts of the engine we think could have been the issue." Meanwhile the Australian Transportation Safety Board has residents of an Indonesian island on a high stakes scavenger hunt.

The engine came apart over the island of Batam and residents reported that debris rained over a wide area. The ATSB is hoping someone finds a missing chunk of turbine disc that departed the nacelle. "The recovery of that turbine disc piece could be crucial to understanding the nature of the engine failure, and may have implications for the prevention of similar occurrences in the future," the ATSB said in a statement. At least two of the engines with errant oil are in Los Angeles and have been removed from the aircraft for more detailed inspection.

 
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The Next Best Thing to the Original back to top 
 

Curtiss Pusher Marks 100 Years Of Naval Aviation

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The Navy will mark 100 years of naval aviation with an air of authenticity next week thanks to a former naval aviator's handiwork. Bob Coolbaugh, who is now an airline pilot, spent two and a half years building a replica of the Ely-Curtiss Pusher that Eugene Ely took off from a ship on Nov. 14, 1910. Coolbaugh first flew the replica aircraft in early October and took turns with friend Andrew King flying it 150 miles over two days from his home in New Market, Va., to Norfolk, where the celebrations will be held. The delicate-looking aircraft had to climb to 4,800 feet to clear the Blue Ridge Mountains but Coolbaugh said the flight went well. "Aside from the fact that I was freezing to death, it was wonderful," he told the Virginian-Pilot.

Coolbaugh used photos and drawings to re-create the aircraft and, where possible, used materials identical to those used by Curtiss. For instance, the bamboo structure came from the same importer that Curtiss used. However, there were some safety compromises. A relatively modern engine powers the aircraft and it has Dacron covering rather than linen. Coolbaugh also added brakes and a radio. The handling is all authentic, however. "It's squirrely," he said. "You never let go. You never stop fighting it. I should have done this about 20 years ago when I was young and strong."

 
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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

NATCA, FAA Cooperating

File Size 7.0 MB / Running Time 7:40

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Yes, that's what we said. After a fractious few years, the union representing air traffic controllers and the agency are working together on some major projects. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with NATCA President Paul Rinaldi on how the new relationship is benefiting aviation in general.

 
Rediscover Jet City!
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Aspen — Driving a Stake Through Iron Gyros

With its clever EFD1000 series, Aspen Avionics has quietly figured out a way to eliminate the need for all but a single backup instrument, an iron attitude indicator. But even that is on the verge of being eliminated, says Paul Bertorelli in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: FedEx and UPS — New Terrorism Targets?

Could be, but it seems to AVweb's Paul Bertorelli that the first step to keep their airplanes from being blown up is to have a peek inside packages coming from Yemen, the world capital of terrorist bomb-making. On the day explosives were recovered last week, the two companies shipped a total of thirteen packages out the country. Hard to imagine the clerks were too busy to wonder why a printer was being shipped from Yemen to the U.S. when you could buy a new one for less than the shipping cost. Of such stuff is knuckleheaded airline security made.

Read more and join the conversation on the AVweb Insider blog.

 
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Letter of the Week back to top 
 

AVmail: November 8, 2010

Editor's Note:

A big AVweb "thank you" to the hundreds of people who commented on Sen. Jim Inhofe's closed-airport landing and the fate of third class medicals. We couldn't run them all, so we tried to run a representative selection.

Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief

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.

Letter of the Week: Where Is the Outrage?

My question regarding Sen. Inhofe's closed-runway landing is: Where are the angst and diatribe normally associated with an apparently errant airman? We are exhorted and cajoled by all manner of alphabet groups and agencies to put forth our best, most compliant behavior at all times. We are encouraged to be aviation ambassadors and show that we are not Wild West cowboys and, more importantly, not a threat to national security.

The senator's actions and subsequent public statements are eroding the public trust we have built up.

I remember a fable about an emperor and his clothes, or lack thereof. Maybe it is time to call a spade a spade. If the senator is truly in error, I would think it best for the aviation press to call him on it rather than waiting for the Nervous Nelly public to do it for us.

Louis C. Ridley Jr.

I hope the FAA applies sanctions uniformly. I looked it up; Senator Inhofe will be 76 soon. Maybe he needs to quit flying if he doesn't have the time to look up NOTAMs. Or maybe he should hire a pilot who does have the time.

Yes, the NOTAM system is less than ideal, but it is what we have. With the Xs on the runway (and people and equipment on the runway!), there is no acceptable excuse.

His position as a Senator should not get him off the hook for this.

David Conrad


Nice Photo

This week's "POTW" (Salmon River) is absolutely the singularly most mind-blowing aviation photo I have ever seen in forty plus years of flying and photography! It is positively stunning. That image will be my computer desktop background (with Tim's copyright notice) for a long time. Please pass my appreciation to Tim for a fabulous photo. Since I am no longer an active pilot, these photos are especially meaningful to me. Thanks again!

Ken Sabel



Nice Video

I watched Paul's video on the iPad versus the 696. Good review. His "oops" slide showing Martha King stepping out of her 172 with "hands up" was pretty damn funny. I enjoy his video presentations.

There are very few web pages I read on a daily basis. AVweb is one of them. Keep up the good work.

Howard Benz


Medical Issues

Just think of the amount of time spent behind the wheel of a car compared to an airplane. If some medical issue were to arise, the risk is far greater it will happen in a car. With cars traveling in such close proximity to each other, the damage level is much higher in cars. For the smaller amount of time in an aircraft, the portion of that time over civilization is just a small fraction of that total time. Third class medicals are keeping people, potentially me, out of aviation.

Rick Caldwell

The requirements for a third class medical are very simple. Basically, if you can walk into the doctor's office under your own power, hear what he has to say, and pass a simple eye exam, you qualify. If a pilot can't meet these simple requirements, do you really want him or her in the same sky as you, or flying over your house, or your child's school?

Richard Pearson

I think third class should go away. However, would the FAA consider loosening the list of meds considered disqualifying? I know plenty of people who take anti-anxiety meds (currently disqualifying) who drive cars every day and don't have issues. While airplanes add a third dimension to travel, the risk to the general public is much less than that of driving a car.

Jim Thrash

Yes, I think third class medicals should be eliminated. I think they may actually cause more issues than they fix, in that pilots may defer diagnoses or treatment for medical conditions becuase they are afraid to the losing their flying privileges.

Brian Case

And why, as Davis Wartofsky suggests, should it be mandatory to have a valid drivers license? What if you do not drive?

Paul Hoskey


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

 
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Video: Yves Rossy Does Loops in His JetMan Rig

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

The man you're watching is 51-year-old Yves Rossy — also called Jetman, for reasons that should be obvious. In 2006, he became the first person to fly with custom-made composite wings on his back powered by four small jet engines. This footage (shot Friday, November 5, 2010) is proof that he's now the first man to perform aerobatics and loop in the rig.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

 
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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 an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot 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 Sunday, November 28, 2010. (That's a couple of days later than our usual Friday deadline, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.)

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

 
Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Northern Aroostook Regional Airport (KFVE, Frenchville, ME)

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

The AVweb staff has been pulling some late nights gearing up for the AOPA Summit in Long Beach this week, so we can identify with the manager of our latest "FBO of the Week."

AVweb reader Joel Cutler told us how Dave Fernald, the manager of Northern Aroostook Regional Airport (KFVE) in Frenchville, Maine "waited for me until midnight and was there at 04:45 when I returned to depart. He didn't even go home to sleep!" writes Joel. "Pumped my fuel, put my plane in the hangar, and couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. I'll go back just to visit!"

Now that's how you get to be named an AVweb "FBO of the Week"!

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!

 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Picture of the Week Will Return ...

We know we teased a new installment of "Picture of the Week" for today, but the barrage of news and preparations for the AOPA Summit have us stretched a little thin this weekend. Thanks for bearing with us as the rest of the world distracts us from our favorite pasttime, and rest assured that "POTW" will indeed return and that we'll catch up on all the great submissions without missing any photos. (We'll be scheming on a way to manage that part during the Summit.)

Short Final

While flying my Archer from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Lancaster (PA), I heard this exchange. (Lancaster has a well-known pilot shop located on the field.)

Cessna 12345:
"Lancaster Tower, Cessna 12345 right base for runway 31, three miles out."

Lancaster Tower:
"Cessna 12345: Cleared to land, runway 31."

Cessna 12345:
"Cleared to land, runway 31."

[10-second pause]

Cessna 12345:
"We're heading to the pilot shop."

Lancaster Tower:
"I think it would be a good idea to land first."


Dr. Russell Owens
Wilkes-Barre, PA

 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

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.

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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
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.