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Volume 16, Number 51a
December 20, 2010
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
AVflash! The Flight Planning Flapback to top 

FlightPrep's online flight planning patent could very well stand up to a court challenge says pilot and patent attorney Lionel Lavenue. In an exclusive podcast interview with AVweb, Lavenue says the emotion and sentiment being expressed by those angered by FlightPrep's preliminary efforts to enforce the patent mean little in front of a jury. Much of the ire against Flight Prep stems from a feeling that they are attacking the "little guys" and requesting nondisclosure agreements to prevent those involved from talking to the press or each other. Lavenue says Flight Prep's strategy is actually quite normal, and protects the patent holder from an immediate countersuit of "a declaratory judgment of non-infringement." He also says it's common to approach smaller companies first before going after the more powerful entities to see what the counter arguments might emerge. "The patent is not without warts," Lavenue said but he he also noted that a jury deciding infringement doesn't need to meet the "beyond a shadow of a doubt" level of certainty. In fact, they only need a "51 percent" certainty — more sure than not there's an infringement. Major players such as AOPA/Jeppesen, Flight Aware and have all been contacted by Flight Prep and have all said they don't infringe and will not discuss the issue with Flight Prep. This could come back to haunt them in court, Lavenue said. More...

RunwayFinder owner Dave Parsons says he will fight the patent awarded FlightPrep for online flight planning. In a blog post Parsons says he thinks he's found enough holes in the patent to defend his service's technology against it. "I think there is a clear path toward fighting the lawsuit against RunwayFinder, and potentially a way to invalidate their patent," Parsons wrote. He plans to represent himself and he won't have much time to prepare. He must answer the lawsuit filed by FlightPrep by Dec. 28. More...

Related Content:

Aviation Apps from the Sporty's Pilot Shop 
App Store
Looking for the Best Aviation Apps for Your iPad?
Sporty's App Store is the place to find apps for pilots that really work — for iPhone, iPad and Android. Whether it's the ultimate pre-flight planning app, video training apps or an E6B flight computer app, Sporty's has the best.

New ones are added weekly, so watch for the latest!
Finding the Money, Part Iback to top 

Air traffic controllers are among the highest-paid U.S. government workers and may find themselves exempt from a federal employee pay freeze proposed by the Obama administration. The U.S. employs about 15,500 controllers who earn an average of $136,000 per year. Those controllers last year negotiated a contract with the FAA that provides raises of at least 3 percent annually over three years. On Dec. 8, the House approved a proposal from President Barack Obama that would apply a two-year pay freeze to roughly 2 million federal workers, including controllers, in a bid to save the government $60 billion. The House has approved it, but Senate has yet to act on the measure. Meanwhile, the president's ability to apply the freeze to controllers may hinge on the wording of a 1996 law that created the controllers' collective-bargaining process. More...

A bill Friday signed into law by President Barack Obama contains provisions "that are critical to the recovery of the general aviation manufacturing industry," GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said in a statement issued the same day. The president's signature Friday afternoon has made the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 the law of the land. According to Bunce, it allows for 100 percent depreciation of capital investments, "including aircraft engines, avionics, and other upgrades to aircraft" during 2011 and 50 percent in 2012. General aviation aircraft, said Bunce, because of their longer production cycle, "will also be eligible for 100 percent depreciation in 2012 and 40 percent in 2013." GAMA says the new law will boost job growth in 2011 and beyond, and also provides specific additional incentives for manufacturers that will help them start growing again. More...

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Finding the Money, Part IIback to top 

The Future of Aviation Advisory Committee Wednesday urged the government to help pay for the cost of installing ADS-B equipment ... in airliners and business jets. The group suggested operators could match federal aid with commitments such as lowered emissions. That option may be most palatable for carriers, because lowered emissions are a byproduct of improved fuel efficiency and fleet modernization that is likely to occur, regardless. The committee was formed by charter in April 2010 and charged with delivering recommendations, information and advice to the Secretary of Transportation regarding the competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry. Its membership includes the presidents of airlines, government employees, union leaders, a representative from Boeing's commercial airplanes division and Jack Pelton, from Cessna. (See the full list here.) Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he plans to have a timetable by mid-February that will implement the recommendations but no decision has yet been made on financial aid for bizjets and airliners. Pelton had some specific comments. More...

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Avionics, Go with a Name You Can Trust
JA Air Center — When It Comes to Garmin Avionics,
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The Next Roswell It's Not ...back to top 

Department of Homeland Security officials said Friday that the unmanned aerial vehicle that crash landed in El Paso Tuesday was an Israeli-built Mexican-government-operated drone and that it's no cause for alarm. The UAV reportedly went off course during a test flight, fell out of control and landed under parachute largely undamaged in a suburban yard less than one half-mile from the U.S.-Mexico border. The single-engine Orbiter Mini UAV has a wingspan of about seven feet; it flies at roughly 50 knots, powered by a brushless electric motor that can carry it to about 18,000 feet. It is capable of autonomous launch and recovery, four hours of endurance, and can carry a payload of up to 3.3 pounds. The aircraft can be outfitted with an advanced data link system for surveillance purposes. According to U.S. officials who spoke to the media, none of it is cause for concern. More...

Let's Talk Planes! - U.S. Corporate 
Aviation Summit || February 22-23, 2011 || Miami, FL USA || Register 
Corporate Aviation Is Landing in Florida
Explore the latest developments in the U.S. corporate aviation sector. Debate the future of corporate aviation, discuss the latest developments in light jets, explore the air taxi market in the U.S., and network with leading experts as well as business aircraft operators. Meet operators, manufacturers, consultants, bankers, lawyers, airport executives, leasing and financing companies, and other senior professionals with an interest in the development of corporate aviation in the U.S. Learn more.
News Briefsback to top 

It's been a rough couple of months for the A380 fleet and the latest incident, although far less dramatic than the uncontained engine failure of a Qantas super jumbo, could nonetheless ground an Emirates A380 for months. It was felled by a catering truck at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and speculation on various forums is that it will be there until February as technicians work under a temporary structure to repair damage to the leading edge of the right wing. The A380 has been moved to an unused area of the terminal and a blue tarp encloses the area of the repair. More...

A New Jersey pilot and his passenger came uncomfortably close to becoming metaphors for their mission when the Cessna 182 they were in crashed on takeoff from Greenwood Lake Airport Saturday. The aircraft is owned by Last Wish LLC, which specializes in scattering the cremated remains of those who'd like to spend eternity as part of their favorite hunting, fishing or recreational sites. It's not clear if there was a silent witness to the crash but pilot William Fallon and his passenger Mark Gangi avoided joining the dearly departed and are in the hospital with a variety of injuries, some of them serious. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

He was just an 11-year-old kid from Chicago on his way alone to New York. But when a TWA Connie and a United DC-8 collided over Staten Island, he became known as the "boy who fell from the sky." Fifty years later, commenting on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli associates Baltz's life with a tragedy that reshaped the air traffic system. Read more and join the conversation. More...

There's not much point in worrying about the Chinese hollowing out U.S. aerospace manufacturing, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. They've got a lot of money to invest, and a lot of it is coming to the U.S. For Mobile, that could translate to actual jobs; for the industry at large, it could be a fast track diesel development that might not have happened otherwise. Read more and join the conversation. More...

A recent news report listed commercial pilot as one of the "top jobs for 2011." On the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady sees where that's true — and where it's not. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination King County International Airport/Boeing Field! For more information, visit online.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening?back to top 

FlightPrep's patent on online flight planning isn't perfect, but it doesn't have to be to fend off challenges. IFR editor and Aviation Consumer contributor Jeff Van West spoke with patent attorney and pilot Lionel Lavenue about how patents are generally a good thing and how difficult it might be for those fighting this one to win. More...

WingX Pro 7 || Moving Map for the iPad || 
Hilton Software
WingX Pro7 Moving Map for iPad!
The $99 Moving MapWingX Pro7 Moving Map for iPad is now available for your iPad. See your location on the approach chart; Approach Charts and Airport Diagrams are now geo-referenced*, and all are stored right on the iPad! WingX Pro7's interactive moving map displays Class B, C, and D airspaces; animated weather images; A/FD; AOPA Directory with Yelp integration; route planning, FARs, METARS, TAFS, winds, and temperatures aloft; TFRs' text and graphics; an E6B; and more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Android. Click here for more information.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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...

Bonus Depreciation Stories and Resources 
Fantastic Pricing and Tax Incentives make 2010 an ideal time to buy or upgrade an aircraft. We've compiled special offers on new or used planes, avionics, engines and more on the resource page. The pricing, rebates or incentives are available to everyone. Consult your tax advisor regarding the potential bonus depreciation benefits, and check our resources page for stories, podcasts, and videos related to bonus depreciation.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Everyone complains that light sport aircraft are too expensive, but Kitfox is doing something about it. AVweb recently went to Homedale, Idaho to try out Kitfox's new moderately priced LSA. Here's a full video report. More...

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Every issue of Kitplanes is crammed with the facts, figures, and stats you need to build and maintain your dream aircraft. Join the revolution in GA!

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Burrows Aviation at Sheboygan County Municipal Airport (KSBM) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

A little mechanical trouble goes a long way toward revealing the quality of an FBO. When AVweb reader Armand Bendersky "flew into SBM in my Seneca II for lunch at their excellent restaurant," he didn't realize he'd be facing a dead battery when he got ready to depart. Here's how it played out:

I called, and Rob came all the way across the airport riding a tug in sub-zero weather. [He] towed me to their main hanger and warmed and charged the plane. Rob and another young man couldn't have been more helpful. They had already arranged for a rental car in the event that I couldn't get the plane started and went above and beyond in service.

Armand already knew Burrows as a reliable destination for good food, but now he knows the service is top-notch, too.

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!


Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

Heard near Allentown, Pennsylvania some years back:

"Allentown approach, Commuter 123, inbound with information —"

[long pause]

"Oh, hell. I threw it away already."

John Price
Plainfield, New Jersey


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.