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WEST SHOWS LOWEST ACCIDENT RATE, EVER
The accident rate for
Western-built jet aircraft in 2010 was the lowest in aviation history,
the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) announced this
week. The data measured hull losses, which occur when an accident
destroys an aircraft or damages an aircraft beyond repair. In 2010, for
every one million flights of Western-built jet aircraft, IATA says the
global figure for hull losses was 0.61 -- that's one accident per 1.6
million flights. And that figure bests the previous low set in 2006,
when the rate was 0.65. According to IATA, the data translates to the
safe carriage of 2.4 billion people flying on 36.8 million flights
(split as 28.4 million jet and 8.4 million turboprop operations). That
said, the number of fatalities was up in 2010, and safety of flight was
significantly different depending on the geographic region of operation.
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TOLD: PHOTO IDS DON'T FLY
The FAA's proposal
to require photos on pilot certificates has drawn almost 500 comments, many of them objecting to the plan, and
several advocacy groups have asked the FAA to modify or withdraw the
proposal. "As an ATP pilot, I already have an encrypted military ID
[and] a state-issued drivers license," said one commenter. "The
government does not need an ID to keep the terrorists and radicals in
control. This is absolutely a waste of time and money." GA groups who
weighed in before the close of comments last week included AOPA, EAA,
the National Association of Flight Instructors and the Society of
Aviation and Flight Educators. None of them supported the FAA's
proposal, which could charge applicants up to $50 for a certificate and
would cost pilots about $446 million over 20 years. More...
TRAINING STUDY AVAILABLE
AOPA has released the final report
(4MB PDF) of its student pilot retention study and
the tweaking hasn't changed the basic message. As
we reported in November, the final report shows that the flight
training industry isn't exploiting the cool factor of being a pilot as
much as it might. It also says instructors should brush up on their
organizational skills and flight school owners should sharpen their
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|File Under 'Could Have Turned Out Much Worse'||back to
AIRSPACE, RENTED PLANE, HIJACK CODE
A pilot flying from an
Ottawa airport last Wednesday in a rented Cessna 172M inadvertently set
his transponder to broadcast the hijack code and then inadvertently flew
into restricted airspace, according to Canadian authorities. Transport
Canada says the pilot had planned a trip out of Ottawa with stops in
Arnprior, Ontario, and Gatineau, Quebec. While en route at roughly 9:40
a.m., the aircraft suffered a mechanical problem, the agency said. In
addressing that problem, the pilot mistakenly set the aircraft's
transponder to broadcast the hijack code and then managed to fly into a
restricted area that surrounds Parliament Hill. Transport Canada is
apparently content that both actions were inadvertent, but that didn't
prevent police involvement and the collection of one quote that everyone
might have seen coming. More...
Meet the New Reletex
It's finally here Reletex
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FLAPS MAY HOLD EARHART'S DNA
A Canadian scientist plans to
extract DNA from envelopes licked by Amelia Earhart to help determine if
a bone fragment found on a Pacific island -- or any other remains found
in the future -- might belong to the lost aviator. Dongya Yang, a
genetic archaeologist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, told National Geographic News last week that he will try
out the technique on test envelopes first, to ensure that the process is
not destructive. "When we have the best technique available, that's when
we'll move on to the real letters," Yang said. If enough DNA is found in
the envelope seals, it will be compared to DNA from Earhart's living
relatives to determine if it's really hers, National Geographic said.
GROUP NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Wings of Hope,
a charitable flying group based in St. Louis, Mo., is on a list of
nominees for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, the Air Care Alliance said this
week. The group is one of 237 candidates for the prize, the largest
number ever. Each nominee is selected by a qualified nominator who works
with the Nobel Committee to identify deserving groups and individuals
around the world. "This is a great honor to all of our volunteers and
donors," Wings of Hope President Doug Clements told the Bellville News Democrat. "They are the ones who see
the humanity of our fellow men and who seek to extend the hand of human
kindness to them." By the end of March, the Nobel committee will reduce
the nominee list to a short list of prospects, and in October, the Nobel
laureates will be announced. More...
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FLORIDA PLANT A BEGINNING?
Embraer CEO Fred Curado says the
Brazilian company now has a "industrial footprint" in the U.S. and
future expansion will depend on developing new products and markets.
Curado told AVweb in a video interview at the ribbon-cutting for
its new Phenom final assembly plant in Melbourne, Fla., that while there
are no firm plans for expansion, there's room to grow in the U.S. and
particularly in Melbourne. The central Florida town will be hard hit by
cutbacks at NASA, and the Embraer plant has been welcomed with open arms
by a community that has a strong aerospace base. More...
NO TURNAROUND IN 2010, BUT MAYBE THIS YEAR
Aviation Manufacturers Association released its annual industry report
(PDF) on Tuesday, showing that aircraft deliveries
continued to fall in 2010 despite improvements in the global and U.S.
economies. Deliveries of GA aircraft fell by 11.4 percent overall in
2010 compared to the year before. Piston deliveries were down by 7.7
percent, from 963 units to 889; turboprops declined 17.7 percent, from
441 units to 363; and business jets fell from 870 deliveries in 2009 to
763 last year, a drop of 12.3 percent. John Rosanvallon, CEO of Dassault
Falcon Jet and chairman of GAMA, said shipments traditionally lag an
economic recovery by one to two years, and signs are good for the
industry to start a rebound in 2011. More...
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's
no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter,
Delivered every Wednesday morning,
AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry
leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it
Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb
subscriptions today by clicking
here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
Trade Up to the Lightspeed
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OF THE WEEK: WHAT DOES "MADE IN THE U.S.A." MEAN?
American aircraft manufacturers perform varying amounts of the
construction of their aircraft in other countries. Now Embraer is doing
final assembly of its Phenom light jets in
Melbourne, FL and saying those aircraft are "made in the
U.S.A." This week, we put the question to readers: What is an
Plus: Last week, we asked what
project would top Congress's aviation spending if AVweb readers
were in charge of the budget; click through to see the breakdown of
Avoid Even What You Can't See
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
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EMBRAER COMES TO THE U.S.
Brazil's Embraer held the ribbon-cutting for its first
U.S. assembly plant in Melbourne, FL on Feb. 21. Embraer CEO Fred Curado
says the plant, which is designed to build as many as 100 Phenom 100 and
300 light business jets a year, may not be the end of the company's
investment in the U.S. More...
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OF THE WEEK: BAY MINETTE AVIATION (1R8, OUTSIDE MOBILE,
Our latest "FBO of the Week" has actually held the
honor once before two
Bay Minette Aviation at Bay Minette Municipal
Airport (1R8) near Mobile, Alabama makes a return appearance on our top
FBOs list after getting high marks from AVweb readers in the
intervening months. "Friendly staff, low prices, and plenty of runway,"
remarked Tim Hynes, before confessing, "I almost want to keep
this one a secret!"
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create
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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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...