Introducing: Our Best Pilot
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INJURED IN AIR SHOW MISHAP
Kyle and Amanda
Franklin, a young husband and wife aerobatic and wingwalking team, were
seriously injured after the Waco Mystery Ship they use in their routine
caught fire in flight during a performance at the Brownsville/South
Padre Island Air Fiesta Saturday. The Brownsville Herald reports Amanda Franklin was
on the wing of the Waco "Mystery Ship" when fire erupted from the engine
at low altitude, all of which is visible in video (click through to see
video) shot by a member of the audience. Amanda was able to get into a
seat while her husband made the best of a very bad situation as the
aircraft came down in a wooded area and burned. Emergency crews
responded almost immediately, apparently while the aircraft was still
coming down. They arrived and drove through the shorter brush to douse
the flames. Kyle's worst injuries may have been suffered while trying to
remove his wife from flames in the forward cockpit. Amanda was more
seriously burned. An update on their condition was posted to the Younkin
Airhsow Facebook page (included, below) by Amanda's brother Matt
Younkin, who credits Kyle Franklin's decisions and skill as pilot in
saving both their lives. More...
More Versatile than a Swiss
For more than 25 years, operators have relied on the Caravan
models to meet the most demanding mission parameters. To which the
Caravan replies, "Bring it on." Its confidence is backed by a
remarkable dispatch reliability rate of over 99 percent and exceptional
payload capabilities from its 675-horsepower engine. And when you
consider the versatility, configurability, and sheer ruggedness of the
Caravan line, the applications are virtually limitless.
So, where will the Caravan take you?
CATCHES AIRPORT TSUNAMI WAVE
photos and video|
Narita airport was closed and
coastal Sendai Airport was flooded by tsunami waves after an earthquake
of magnitude 8.9 -- the seventh most powerful earthquake ever reported
-- hit northern Japan Friday. The initial quake was centered roughly 81
miles east of Sendai, which suffered meters-high tsunami waves that
swept well inland, taking up boats and cars and washing away homes. At
Sendai airport, people took refuge on the terminal rooftop. At Guam, two
U.S. Navy submarines had to be secured by tug boats after the waves
broke them from their moorings. In the Hawaiian islands, CAP launched
speaker-equipped aircraft to warn residents. The islands reported tidal
surges that flooded some low-lying roadways and hotel lobbies.
Exaggerated tidal flows later affected coastal areas from Oregon to
California, with some marinas suffering damage. More...
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
LOWERS CEILING ON ECLIPSE JETS
The FAA has released a
mandatory safety directive, effective March 21, that reduces the maximum
operating altitude of Eclipse Aerospace EA500 jets from 37,000 feet to
30,000 feet in response to reported engine problems. The AD affects the
whole fleet of 259 EA500s that use Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F-A
engines. Operators are required to make the change to the limitations
section of the airplane flight manual. The FAA says that hard carbon
buildup on the static vanes of the engines has resulted in at least six
reported incidents of engine surges. Pilots may be forced to respond to
those surges by decreasing the power of the affected engine. According
to the FAA, that "could result in flight and landing under single-engine
conditions" and, if present in both engines, it could require dual
engine shutdown. More...
AD DISABLES LAVATORY OXYGEN
The FAA says it will take
comments until April 22 on an airworthiness directive (PDF) that was issued in secret on Feb. 10 to all
U.S. airlines with airplanes that have bathrooms. The existence of the
AD, which required the airlines to disable the chemical oxygen
generators that create oxygen for decompression masks in the lavs, was
made public last week after all those who got the February notice had
confirmed their compliance with it. About 6,000 aircraft were affected.
The agency said in the AD that the systems could "jeopardize flight
safety" and that it was in the public interest to have the work done
quietly. The FAA didn't say specifically what the hazard is but there
are various reports that suggest the action was taken to prevent
would-be terrorists from going behind closed doors to turn the bathroom
oxygen generators, which are identical to those in the main cabin, into
something capable of bringing the aircraft down. More...
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COALITION TO SAVE GPS FROM 4G
A group of representatives from
ATA to GAMA announced Thursday they have formed the "Coalition to Save
Our GPS" from the potential threat of interference from 4G broadband
signals. The FCC in January granted to LightSquared a waiver that allows
the company to build 40,000 ground-based broadband transmission stations
if it can demonstrate the stations won't cause harmful interference. The
coalition says the move reverses the process of test first, approve
next, and has put forth a series of recommendations to provide
"additional safeguards." More...
Fly More for
The Legal Aviation Workshop (LAW) "Aviation Law After September
11: Passengers Rights and Aviation National Security
" will be
held on March 22, 2011
in Miami, FL
. This event will cover the following
themes: Historical Background; Consumer Protection and Aviation
Security; International Liability Treaties; and Hijackings, Terrorism
and Civil Rights. The workshop Leader is Timothy Ravich of Ravich Law
Firm, who is recognized as a "Florida Bar Board Certified Aviation
Click here to learn more and
ATTRACTS EQUITY INVESTORS
Quest Aircraft says it has
attracted some equity investment that will help it boost production and
expand its service network. The company, which certified the highly
regarded Kodiak utility aircraft in 2007, did not disclose who the
investors are or how much money is involved. The aircraft is a
clean-sheet design that was developed by a consortium of missionary
flying groups to be a purpose-built back-country airplane for mission
work. There are plenty of other applications for an airplane with the
STOL and payload capabilities of the Kodiak and they're in service in a
variety of roles in the U.S. Canada, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and
South Africa. In a statement, CEO Paul Schaller said the new money is
part of Quest's long-term plan. More...
PILOTS THE "UP" HOUSE
photos and video|
March 5, Jonathan Trappe, like
some sort of aerial Willy Wonka, has again taken to the sky in a unique
aircraft (this time for a National Geographic special) -- a likeness of
the cartoon house from the Disney Pixar movie "Up." "It is certainly the
strangest aircraft I have flown," Trappe told AVweb
more than that, it may be one of the strangest aircraft to have ever
flown." The roughly 4,400-pound aircraft flew under 282
eight-foot-diameter (at ground level) helium-filled balloons. Trappe
says he calculated gross lift for the craft at close to 5,400 pounds.
The "house" took off from a private ranch east of Los Angeles, flew for
one hour and ten minutes, reached an altitude of 10,500 MSL, and due to
variable winds, landed about 10 miles from where it started. Of course,
Trappe envisions grander possibilities. The aircraft was very
well-equipped, Trappe said, adding "This had the capability to fly
across the country on a multi-day flight." Click through for image
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INSIDER BLOG: ENGINE DESIGN NO TALENT
If there's a
single motorhead bone in your body, you've heard this complaint before.
Have Lycoming and Continental, through a lack of innovation, put us in
this mess we're in over avgas? Or should fickle buyers share the blame
instead of decrying the death of engine innovation? AVweb's Paul
Bertorelli has met with enough engineers, policy-makers and complainers
to have an opinion on the subject and he's happy to share it in
the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog.
For Your Piston Aircraft ... Like Bizjets
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
One of our sister
aviation publications is looking for an associate editor. If you are a
savvy, motivated layout master and wordsmith, they would love to hear
from you. (Click through for a job description and application
MARCH 14, 2011
Letter of the Week: Better Testing
Regarding the story
about changes to FAA test questions, I recently took a practice
knowledge exam for the CFI as an initial study guide, without doing any
preparatory study. I passed in the mid-80s.
As a professional
educator, I would posit that if the FAA knowledge exams are legitimate
testing tools, then any current, certificated pilot who has passed a
thorough BFR within the past year should be able to achieve a passing
score on the knowledge exam appropriate to that pilot's rating. After
all, we use this material every time we fly, either explicitly or
implicitly. To the extent that a current, active pilot population misses
a certain bank of questions, those questions are simply not legitimate
tests of the knowledge pertinent to being a skilled pilot.
sure we all have our favorite candidate questions in this category, like
those about the obsolete analog instruments you've never flown behind or
the E6B calculations rendered obsolete by calculators and GPS. Those are
the questions that applicants usually memorize by rote, for the simple
reason that they are not relevant to modern flight regimes.
would further posit that the test bank questions that resulted in
increased failure rates were specifically those irrelevant questions
that were passed simply by memorization.
I applaud the FAA for
attempting to modernize the knowledge test. If indeed the current
questions are more relevant to the way we actually execute our flights
in the 21st century, it will be a very good thing. Ideally, the
revisions will now emphasize questions that demonstrate a fundamental
understanding of basic principles, and thus there will be no further
need for memorization of arcane information and cram courses that "teach
Click through to read the
rest of this week's letters. More...
Fly More for
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OF THE WEEK: RIDER JET CENTER (KHGR, HAGERSTOWN,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Rider Jet
Center at Hagerstown Regional Airport/Richard A. Henson Field
(KHGR) in Hagerstown, Maryland.
AVweb reader John
Keller uses RJC on a regular basis and vouches for their dedication,
year-in and year-out:
been a frequent customer of this fabulous FBO for several years, and
their high quality service has never waivered! When the snow was three
feet deep and the winds blowing 35 MPH and the temperature 10 degrees,
the line and staff personnel were performing at the 110% level. We
return on a regular basis because their attitude towards the customer is
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...
ERRORS UP BUT THAT'S NOT A BAD
Reportable errors by air traffic controllers
have almost doubled in the last four years, but that doesn't mean the
skies are any less safe. Steve Hansen of the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles to explain
Traditional Tactics Need a
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A LOOK INSIDE THE CESSNA FACTORY
ever-growing global competition, Cessna has to find way to make
airplanes more efficiently. In this video, Terry Clark explains how the
company has done that at the company's Independence, Kansas plant.
BELL 407AH HELICOPTER UNVEILED
Helicopters bypassed the usual military procurement procedure and
adapted a 407 for "law enforcement and paramilitary" use. With a
3,000-round-per-minute machine gun, a rocket launcher and FLIR, it's a
potent adaptation of a proven airframe that's already attracting
WORLD'S FASTEST HELICOPTER PILOT
Bredenbeck took the Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator to 250 knots and
beyond last September. He spoke with AVweb about the aircraft,
the program, and what it's like to go that fast in a helicopter in this
interview at the 2011 HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida.
"Cessna 1234, the HOG MOA
is hot. Recommend course or elevation change to remain
"How many planes are in there?
Usually if there's only a couple, I'll go on through."
"Well, even if there's only one, you're supposed to
remain clear. But we've got four A-10s with transponders off, and I
can't see them on radar."
Cessna 1234 (laughing)
"O.K., I think you convinced me to remain clear."
Charles Lloyd More...
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...