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Volume 17, Number 1a
January 3, 2011
Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
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AVflash! Mid-Air Collision Over Virginiaback to top 

A Eurocopter EC135 and a Cessna 172L collided near Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, Va., at about 2:30 p.m., Friday, killing both of the Cessna's occupants. The Eurocopter landed with damage to its skids and "it wasn't pretty," helicopter instructor Mark Huntley told The Eurocopter, a medical transport helicopter owned by PHI Inc. in Lafayette, La., was returning from a successful mission to University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlotte. All three aboard that aircraft did walk away. The Cessna lost part or all of its left wing in the collision and crumpled debris crashed down on two sides of Route 256, roughly one half mile north of the airport. More...

Is There Anything More Important than Protecting Your Family?
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Safety on the Groundback to top 

Russia's air transport watchdog Rostransnadzor is recommending the grounding of Tu-154 passenger jets after the third major incident involving the Soviet era trijet, of which there are now 14 operating. A Kogalymavia jet caught fire and exploded while taxiing at the airport in Surgut, Siberia on Saturday. Three people were killed and many of the other 113 aboard were seriously injured with everything from burns and toxic smoke inhalation to injuries suffered in the stampede that reportedly occurred during the evacuation. "Rostransnadzor has prepared an instruction which recommends air companies suspend flight operations carried out by Tu-154B aircraft until the causes of the plane accident in the Airport of Surgut are not established and measures to abate the risks coming from using this kind of aircraft are not taken," a statement by the agency said. More...

Video shot by a passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 2253 as it overran Runway 19 at Jackson Hole, Wednesday, shows unusual operation of the aircraft's systems, according to some pilots. The 6,300-foot runway sits at an elevation of 6,451 feet and the pilots landed in light snow at about 11:37 a.m. About seven inches of snow had fallen in the area since midnight, but the runway itself was reportedly in good condition with good braking coefficients. The aircraft appears to be on the ground prior to passing the PAPI lights and wind sock, which would be appropriate. In the video, the engine's thrust reverser panel first moves just after touchdown, but it does not fully open and the outboard spoilers are not visibly deployed. Because of that, things quickly get more interesting. More...

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Capitol Confusionback to top 

A Piedmont Airlines Dash 8 pilot's read-back error triggered an emergency response in Washington on Saturday. The FAA has confirmed the pilot selected the wrong frequency after a handoff while approaching Washington Reagan National Airport. Contact was lost for about 15 minutes while fighters were scrambled and government offices were evacuated. The plane landed safely after communications were restored. More...

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Sun Setting on Current Medical Requirements?back to top 

Following up on a health-related pilot story, AVweb contacted senior aviation medical examiner Dr. Brent Blue, who said, "I think the FAA is actually starting to float the idea of either dropping or relaxing third class medicals." Blue pointed out the limitations of aviation medical certification standards, and the risk factors that aviation medical examinations are not equipped (or regulated) to detect. In spite of that, Blue says medical issues are cited as causal factors in fewer than one percent of aircraft accidents. He notes that the FAA has relaxed regulations regarding the frequency of certain pilot health examinations and believes money (and safety statistics) may push the FAA to further relax, or remove, third class medical requirements. AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke to Dr. Blue in this week's podcast. Click through to listen. More...

Lightspeed Aviation || Change Your Mind
Lightpseed Aviation Tops ProPilot's
Annual Headset Preference Survey

For the 10th year of their independently conducted survey, readers were asked to rate aviation headset performance based on six categories — clarity, comfort, technical advancement, durability, product support, and value for price. Coming in second was Bose, followed by Telex, Sennheiser, and David Clark. The entire survey appears in ProPilot's December 2010 issue. For more information about Lightspeed headsets, go to
Valentine's Day Plans Up in the Air — Or Notback to top 

Founder Mike Crisp says his air charter's bed-laden Cessna Grand Caravan has been grounded "because of some prudish snobbery on the part of the CAA." The CAA disagrees. Crisp's business, Mile High Flights, operated for two years out of Gloucestershire, England, giving couples (and one threesome) the opportunity to join the mile high club. Now, the CAA says the company has failed to meet safety criteria and the regulatory agency will not renew the company's operating license. The Mile High Flights Caravan has been fitted with a few seats and a bed separated from the flight deck by curtains. According to a CAA spokesman, "We cast no moral judgments on what people do in their planes, that's not our business." Safety is, and the agency claims that's where they have discovered problems. Exactly what those problems are has not been widely reported but one source said the CAA has suggested in-flight activities on these special flights could prove distracting for pilots. Crisp says he's not giving up. More...

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Patent Pandemoniumback to top 

The FlightPrep patent story took another turn Friday when, which pulled down its popular site about two weeks ago, suddenly announced it had reached a deal with FlightPrep and will relaunch an updated website early in the New Year. "We got all the lawyers and programmers together from both sides, and after some good discussions, an agreement has been reached," NavMonster owner Marc Alexander said in a statement posted on the site. "No more patent infringement worries." It's a significant change in tone from the angry condemnation that appeared on the site two weeks ago when Alexander announced he was pulling the pin. More...

FlightPrep's enforcement of its patent on online flight planning has created a lot of discussion. AVweb had some questions we felt went unanswered, but FlightPrep's Travis Cannon joins us as a guest blogger on the AVweb Insider with responses. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Could there be more to the bottom line than just money? In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady looks at a new initiative aiming to recognize that profit is not the only worthwhile measure of success, especially when it comes to retaining students in flight schools and getting them through the program and into certification. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Are flight plans more trouble than they're worth? They can be, as Paul Bertorelli was recently reminded. If FSS has ever dropped your VFR flight plan or failed to close it when you ask, check out Paul's latest misadventure on the AVweb Insider blog. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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

Senior aviation medical examiner Dr. Brent Blue (of thinks "the FAA is actually starting to float the idea of either dropping or relaxing third class medicals." Find out why he thinks so and what may matter more in the case of second and first class certification. More...

You can't legally fly an NDB approach in the clouds using a GPS unless it says "or GPS" in the title. But there's nothing that says you can't practice VFR what it's like to fly an approach with a bearing pointer and no moving maps. Come along with IFR magazine editor-in-chief Jeff Van West and see how to make your glass cockpit (or portable GPS) go retro to fly an old-school NDB approach just for the fun and proficiency of it. More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Lately, we've featured FBOs that AVweb readers have discovered far from home — typically in the midst of dealing with a mechanical or weather crisis. But this week, Cathy Myers shines the spotlight on Logan, Utah's Leading Edge Aviation, located at Logan-Cache Airport (KLGU), where "a cordial and welcoming atmospher [for] the local aviation community" never takes a back-seat to the FBO's "excellent service to all types of transient aircraft." How do they manage it? Cathy writes:

LEA has co-sponsored airport open house festivities and provided discount fuel to all participating pilots. They also organized and funded several cross-country fly-ins to the beautiful Flaming Gorge area in northeast Utah. These events provided camping, rafting, live music, dinner, and flying competitions. Safety, service and professionalism is always the goal [at Leading Edge] and has always been appreciated by those who stop in.

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 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...

2010 is disappearing in the rearview mirror, and over the course of AVweb's 15th year of publishing, we gave away 15 prizes valued at least $1,000 each to our readers in celebration. It was our way to say "thank you" for your support, and we look forward to the next 15 years of covering aviation for you. Click through for a complete list of winners. More...

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 recent flight, a controller instructed myself and another pilot of each other's position and had us make the required adjustments. The controller was quite jovial and introduced himself as "Bruiser," warning us that he didn't want to see a repeat of the incident that earned him his nickname.

A few moments later, the other pilot came on the radio asked Bruiser how he got his nickname. The controller chuckled and told us that he and another controller had both been looking down while walking toward each other in the hall once and had bumped heads. Bruiser received six stitches, and the other controller received four.

I couldn't help myself and asked how these controllers managed to keep airplanes apart. A second later, a Comair flight checked in at FL290, adding that he too was "a little nervous now."

Bruiser at the center didn't miss a beat. He replied, "Don't worry, fellas. I'm using my good eye today."

Pete Harmon Lee
New Hampshire


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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