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Volume 17, Number 6a
February 7, 2011
Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
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AVflash! "Can You Hear Me Now ... ?"back to top 
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The GPS industry is warning that a proposed broadband Internet network could effectively jam GPS signals. Further, it says it has data showing that any of the anticipated 40,000 (yes, four zeroes) transmitters can make a Garmin 430 go dark at a range of five miles. GPS World calls the proposal by LightSquared "disastrous" and warns of major problems for all kinds of GPS-reliant devices. The publication says a study (PDF) by GPS-industry stakeholders, including Garmin, determined the LightSquared network "will create a disastrous interference problem for GPS receiver operation to the point where GPS receivers will cease to operate (complete loss of fix) when in the vicinity of these transmitters." That, says the report, "will deny GPS service over vast areas of the United States." The industry told the Federal Communications Commission of the potential problem but the FCC approved the multibillion-dollar effort, which will carry 4G broadband throughout the country. In a podcast interview with AVweb, LightSquared spokesman Jeff Carlisle said the broadband system won't affect properly filtered GPS devices and his company is both mandated (by the FCC) and anxious to work with the GPS industry to identify devices that might be affected.

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Is There Anything More Important than Protecting Your Family?
Be certain you have the right life insurance coverage. Get the information you need to find the right policy for your family's protection at the Pilot Insurance Center. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit
Between Space and the Spotlightback to top 

Astronaut Mark Kelly apparently agrees with NASA that the safest thing for the final flight of the shuttle Endeavor is for him to command the mission. Kelly announced Friday he will leave the bedside of his severely injured wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to resume training for the left seat of the mission, which is scheduled to launch April 19. Kelly told ABC's Diane Sawyer he doesn't need the air miles and his decision to command the flight is "the right thing for me to do." Giffords was shot through the head in an assassination attempt Jan. 8 in Tucson and is in rehabilitation in Houston, where Kelly will resume training. "I've flown in space three times. I don't have to do it again," Kelly said in the interview. "My number-one goal is to make sure that my crew is safe and that they can execute this mission safely."

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The FAA and the Skies of Tomorrowback to top 

The FAA Friday announced it will form a rulemaking committee made up of industry and government members to guide the development and deployment of a new unleaded avgas. The Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee's first target is to formalize membership and initiate work activities by March 31. The FAA said it intends to have the committee produce "an industry-government framework and implementation plan intended to guide the GA community toward deployment of unleaded aviation gasoline." The goal, said FAA administrator Randy Babbitt, is to "bring together all the industry stakeholders" to achieve a drop-in replacement fuel "in a timely fashion." More...

The FAA Friday announced it will pay $4.2 million to equip up to 35 JetBlue A320s with ADS-B, allowing the airline to fly new routes and the FAA to "collect important data" and "demonstrate the benefits of NextGen." The airline will receive the equipment over the next two years. JetBlue will use it to fly a new route to the Caribbean and use of the equipment may also lead to the development of new, shorter routes from Boston, New York and Washington to the Caribbean. The FAA says it will observe the equipped JetBlue aircraft and conduct real-time evaluations of the system in practice on real-world revenue flights. The FAA is picking up the tab for the avionics, but the airline will pay for a few things, too. More...

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The Taxman Comethback to top 

Less than a year after a similar tax proposal was quashed, Washington State legislators have introduced a bill (PDF) to impose a 0.5 percent annual excise tax on the value of all GA aircraft in the state. AOPA is calling on the state's pilots to mount the same sort of organized and focused campaign that killed the first tax. The bill was sponsored by 13 state representatives and AOPA members in all those districts have been sent letters urging them to buttonhole their representative and tell them what a bad idea it is. AOPA says the tax could cause "irreparable harm" to Washington's aviation industry at the cost of thousands of jobs. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
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News Briefsback to top 

click for more photos
No one was hurt, but one man had to be rescued and six airplanes and one helicopter were damaged when the roof of a hangar collapsed under the weight of heavy snow at Norwood Airport, near Boston, Wednesday. The hangar, occupied by Swift Aviation Services, reportedly had two people in it at the time of the collapse. Employee Ted Robinson, who had to be rescued from a corner office, told the Norwood Bulletin that the event was "a little out of the ordinary." Fire officials were called to contain leaking fuel and a ruptured gas line; it's estimated that damage to two of the aircraft was excessive. Images appear to show the tail of a Lancair IV P suffering under the weight of debris while the helicopter next to it is nearly unrecognizable. Meanwhile, a Piper Malibu (or variant) sits nearby relatively unscathed and a prop jutting from the snow behind it suggests another outcome for a different aircraft. More...

Rescued from a scrap yard in 1997, the restored two-seat, first-generation, ex-RAF 4 SQN Harrier Jump Jet currently available on was accepting bids over $112,000, when last we checked, but if you want an engine you'll be paying more. Its current owner, 33-year-old former RAF mechanic, Chris Wilson, says the decommissioned display-worthy aircraft could be made airworthy with the addition of the appropriate Rolls Royce engine, sold separately (and not by him). That fantasy will take some work. The aircraft's front cockpit is "around 80-percent complete" (it does include a Martin Baker mk9 ejection seat) and the rear cockpit is "fairly empty," according to the listing. But the aircraft is sporting a full set of external stores, including 100-gallon drop tanks and SNEB rocket pods. "There is also a set of Aden cannon pods fitted to the belly." More...

Lightspeed Aviation Foundation
Don't Let This Opportunity Pass You By!
The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation Has Extended the Deadline
For Aviation-Related Charities to Apply for 2011 Grants

Twenty charities were awarded over $100,000 in grants for 2010. Your favorite charity could be on that list this year. To fill out the application, simply go to

Make sure you submit it by midnight, February 11. Once the 20 finalists are chosen, the pilot community will decide how the funds will be distributed.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

NASA and Mark Kelly say the safest thing for everyone is for Kelly to command the last flight of Space Shuttle Endeavor — but with Kelly's wife Gabrielle Giffords recovering from a high-profile brain injury, AVweb Insider blogger Russ Niles isn't convinced the agency is making the right call. Read more and join the conversation. More...

That's the prevailing wisdom, anyway. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explains how years of research for Aviation Consumer have convinced him the little airplanes are priced just about right. He's clearing out space on his hard drive for your disagreements. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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

BrainteasersSuccessful aviating involves more than just doing the right thing. Aeronautical nirvana is achieved when you also know the proper sequence of events. How well you can predict the future will determine your quiz score.

Take the quiz.

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 255,000 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 

A plan to put up 40,000 broadband transmitters across the U.S. has the GPS industry worried that interference from the signals could make popular navigation units go black. Jeff Carlisle, VP of regulatory affairs for LightSquared, the company planning the broadband network, told AVweb it's too early to know what GPS devices might be affected and that his company is committed to working with the GPS industry to mitigate the effect.

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

Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, the tailless, strike-fighter-sized unmanned system, the X-47B, under development by Northrop Grumman, completed its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California. The flying wing took off at 2:09 p.m. PST and flew for 29 minutes. The UAV climbed to an altitude of 5,000 feet, flew several racetrack-type patterns, and landed safely at 2:38 p.m. Northrop says the flight provided test data to verify and validate system software for guidance and navigation and the aerodynamic control of the tailless design. The aircraft will remain at Edwards AFB for flight envelope expansion before moving its test program to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., later in 2011. There, the system will undergo tests to validate its readiness to begin testing in the maritime and carrier environment. The X-47 is being prepared for carrier trials in 2013. More...

Ever wish you could replay a flight and analyze what really happened? Aviation Consumer's Jeff Van West reviewed three different cockpit recording systems that target three significantly different needs. Here's the video recap. More...

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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Kenosha Jet Center at Kenosha Regional Airport (KENW) in Kenosha, Wisconsin — and while KJC was recemmended by a human reader, Warren Levin, we suspect the FBO is also popular with four-legged passers-through. Warren writes:

Over the last 18 months, I have done a dozen Pilots N Paws rescues and have used the assistance of Steve and Eric [at Kenosha Jet Center] to unload puppies and full-grown dogs. ... These two line personnel will meet me at the hangar and help me move the dogs to their new owners or rescue mission; they are always available to help and/or fuel. Marie, the manager, is always happy when they do assist, as she is also an animal lover.

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!


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


I was flying with my friend Mike in a 200 King Air inbound to TPA. When we couldn't get three gear lights, we told the tower we would abort to work on the gear problem.

"Would you like to declare an emergency?"

"Emergency is such a harsh word."

"Understand. We'll roll out the equipment anyway, though."

(Thankfully, we landed without a problem.)

Dan Carr
via e-mail


Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke. Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story. More...

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.