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Volume 17, Number 12b
March 24, 2011
 
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AVflash! "Are You There, DCA?"back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement
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REAGAN NATIONAL TOWER GOES QUIET
A Boeing 737 out of Miami and an Airbus A320 from Chicago landed at Reagan National Airport very early Wednesday morning, without contacting anyone in the tower, but it wasn't for lack of trying, the Washington Post reported. The inbound flights were handed off from Potomac TRACON to the tower at Reagan National shortly after midnight. When the tower failed to respond, at least one flight requested assistance from Potomac TRACON. Controllers there used a shout line to call over to Reagan Tower. The shout line allows them to speak directly from a loudspeaker in the tower at Reagan National. No one responded. When a pilot asked one TRACON controller why the tower was empty, the controller reportedly replied, "Well, I'm going to take a guess and say that the controller got locked out. I've heard of it happening before." And, apparently, it has, although later reports Wednesday said the FAA was investigating whether the lone controller on duty, a supervisor, simply fell asleep. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood responded to the report by ordering the FAA to assign a second controller to the downtown Washington airport on the graveyard shift and told the FAA to investigate the incident. "It is not acceptable to have just one controller in the tower managing air traffic in this critical air space," he said. "I have also asked FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt to study staffing levels at other airports around the country." More...

 
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Like Gadgets? It's Your Weekback to top 
 
click for larger version

GARMIN'S NEW MEGABOXES DEBUT AT AEA
If everyone in the avionics biz suspected Garmin was about to announce something big, they did exactly that at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Reno this week. Garmin said its new GTN650 and 750 series hybrid navigators will replace the long-in-the-tooth GNS 430 and 530 products, although those units will remain in production for at least another year. More...

Related Content:

HONEYWELL AND ASPEN'S NEXTGEN MFD
The Aircraft Electronics Association's annual convention has kicked off with a host of new products, including a NextGen-ready "affordable open-interface multi-function cockpit display." The Bendix/King KSN 770 being developed by Aspen Avionics and Honeywell is expected to hit the market by year-end. It's a multi-function display with GPS, comm and nav on a 5.7-inch touchscreen with supporting architecture that, according to Honeywell, "effectively future-proofs" the product. Aspen's contribution to the KSN770 includes Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV), WAAS capabilities, data link weather, traffic, charts, maps, enhanced ground proximity warning (EGPWS) and more. More...

 
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Everyone's a Criticback to top 
 

CREWS CRITIQUE TRAVOLTA AVIATION VIDEO
Qantas has introduced a new in-flight safety video hosted by their spokesman John Travolta, which has been criticized by some pilots and flight attendants in online comments as "cringeworthy," "corny," "trite," and "tacky." Some commenters, according to the Telegraph, took offense at Travolta's use of the term "team" instead of "crew." One commenter said the word is demeaning: "It makes us feel like we work at McDonald's." Others said Qantas should have used a "real pilot" in the video, many suggesting as an alternative Richard de Crespigny, who was credited with saving 466 lives after he and his crew safely landed an A380 after an engine exploded. A Qantas spokeswoman told the Telegraph the company has had only positive feedback. "We're really happy with the video and we think it's really engaging," she said. More...

ART INSPIRED BY FLIGHT, IN N.Y. AND CALIFORNIA
A new play about two young French aviatrixes preparing to compete in a long-distance race from Paris to Moscow opened in New York this week. "Flight," written by Robyn Hunt and Steven Pearson, is set in 1913, and follows the two women as they work to assemble a Bleriot XI monoplane. The play opened in South Carolina last year. It's the third installment in a trilogy inspired by the works of Anton Chekhov, integrating art, history and science. Also coming soon is Skydreamers, a photo exhibit that opens at the Autry National Center's George Montgomery Gallery in Los Angeles on April 29. The show features 150 photographs, as well as works on paper, paintings, posters, and memorabilia drawn primarily from the center's extensive collection of art related to the American West. More...

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

U-FUEL OFFERS SPORT FUEL STATIONS
U-Fuel, of Eau Claire, Wis., now is marketing "Sport Fuel stations" to small airports. The 24/7 self-service fuel stations, which can hold up to 3,500 gallons of fuel, were designed with input from the nonprofit Aviation Fuel Club, which is sponsored by U-Fuel. Mike Webb, founder of the company, said this week the stations should be a good fit for small- to medium-size airports and can store avgas, Jet-A, or Sport Fuel, U-Fuel's new brand of unleaded, ethanol-free 91-octane aviation-quality auto gas. The pre-fabricated systems are cheaper and easier to install than existing options, Webb said. More...

FAA UPDATES "THROUGH-THE-FENCE" POLICY
Federally funded airports that now allow "through-the-fence" access for owners of hangar homes on adjacent private property may continue to do so, the FAA said in an interim policy published on Friday. The FAA had moved to stop all such access in 2009, citing economic and security concerns. The interim policy, which is effective immediately, requires airports involved in such agreements to develop a plan that outlines how they will meet federal standards for security, safety, sustainability and nondiscriminatory airport rates. No new agreements will be approved, the FAA said. The policy will be reviewed again in 2014. Dr. Brent Blue, organizer of ThroughTheFence.org, told AVweb the FAA's interim policy fails to address the real issues facing owners of hangar homes. More...

SUN 'N FUN OPENS NEXT WEEK
The Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo launches next week in Lakeland, Fla., with a robust schedule of forums, news events, and flight demos. The show, in its 37th year, runs from Tuesday through Sunday, with a celebration of the 100th anniversary of naval aviation, recognition for mission aviation, and the return of the popular Friday night airshow. Other highlights include flight demos by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the F-22 Raptor, programs hosted by NASA Space Shuttle Commander Robert "Hoot" Gibson and former SR-71 pilot Cmdr. Ed Schneider, a seaplane splash-in, and a hot-air balloon launch. Pilots can choose from 450 educational forums and shop for new products from more than 500 commercial exhibitors. AVweb staffers will be there, bringing you fresh news, videos, and podcasts every day of the show. More...

 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 
 

L.A. CITY COUNCIL SEEKS TO CLOSE FLIGHT SCHOOLS
Responding to complaints from residents about noise and fumes from the Santa Monica Airport, members of the Los Angeles City Council have asked lobbyists in Washington to pressure the FAA to close all five flight schools at the field, change a flight path, and ultimately shut down the airport. The airport is one of the oldest in the region, and over the years residential areas have encroached on the field. "They knew they were moving into a house near an airport, and it cost a little less," Stuart Cook, owner of Skyway Aviation, told the L.A. Business Journal. "It's kind of scary to think they're trying to close the flight schools. We train a lot of pilots that go on to work at airlines." The airport handles about 285 operations a day, and due to local congestion, private jets often spend a lot of time idling on the runway. The flight path changes aim to address that. More...

LAHOOD SUPPORTS GA AT WICHITA RALLY
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told a rally of about 2,000 general aviation workers at the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kan., on Monday that he will advocate for GA in Washington. "I am proud to stand with you, to work with you and to fight with you to make sure that general aviation ... continues to flourish," he said. "You will be one of the leaders in helping the global economy pick up. ... I believe the industry's efforts are crucial to President Obama's goal of doubling exports within five years." The crowd also heard from industry leaders, and state and local officials. Cessna CEO Jack Pelton told The Associated Press that LaHood met privately with GA executives before the rally and expressed support for the industry. "You couldn't ask for a better outcome," Pelton said. LaHood also said he would lobby President Obama to visit Wichita to learn about the GA industry. More...

POLITICS AND PRIVATE AIRPLANES COLLIDE IN MISSOURI
The use of private aviation by public figures is back in the spotlight, this time in Missouri where the state's former auditor and now Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill has admitted to some bookkeeping lapses of her own. Last week, she cut a check to the Department of the Treasury for $88,000 to reimburse the government for charter fees she'd billed while flying in the Pilatus PC-12 she owns with her husband, St Louis developer Joe Shepard. McCaskill said the whole thing was an "innocent mistake" but, as can happen when issues like this hit the public arena, there were some further complications for the senator and the checkbook got another workout. More...

AVWEBBIZ: AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER

Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?

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 a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

More...

 
GAMI - General Aviation Modifications, Inc. 
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Over 19,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY‑GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
 
We Ask, You Answerback to top 
 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: HOW'S ATC BEEN LATELY?
In light of the apparent lapse at Reagan National early Wednesday, we're wondering if you've noticed any slip or improvement on the other end of the radio in the past couple of years. How would you rate ATC service?

Plus: With U.S. investors loking at the viability of a counterbid to AVIC's Cirrus offer, we asked AVweb readers what they thought of Cirrus as an investment. Click through to see how they answer's last week's poll question. More...

ARE YOU FLYING WITH A CONTINENTAL POWERLINK SYSTEM?
If so, we would like to hear your impressions of the system for a follow-up article on this product, which Continental might be about to take another run at promoting. Drop us a line at pbertorelli@avweb.com, and we'll get back to you. More...

 
AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great 
Deals in Aviation
Fly More for Less
Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

Click for the resource page.
 
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 
 

AVWEB INSIDER BLOG: "I'M SORRY, DAVE; I'M AFRAID I CAN'T DO THAT"
Could your audio panel one day tell you that? Even if your name's not Dave, Garmin's new GTN products with voice recognition in the wings brings that classic line from 2001: A Space Odyssey to mind. In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog (and two accompanying videos), Paul Bertorelli reports on his impressions of these sophisticated new avionics. It might not necessarily change anything, but it opens the door to changing everything. Read more and join the conversation. More...

AVWEB INSIDER BLOG: LAHOOD'S SPEECH — HOW I'D HAVE WRITTEN IT
From AVweb Insider to Washington insider? Not quite. Paul Bertorelli may not hold the title of Secretary of Transportation, but after hearing Ray LaHood's speech in Wichita, he wanted to try his hand at making a few promises to the aviation community. And while he may not be headed to the Beltway anytime soon, you can read his speech and add your own comments here. More...

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

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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 newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

ASSOCIATE EDITOR OPENING
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 instructions.) More...

ICAS FOUNDATION'S KYLE & AMANDA FRANKLIN FUND
Kyle & Amanda Franklin Fund || Click to 
Donate via the ICAS FoundationThe aviation community is coming together to help Kyle and Amanda Franklin get back on their feet and eventually back in the air after their mishap at Air Fiesta at the Brownsville/South Padre Island Airport. If you'd like to contribute, click on the banner at right to visit the ICAS Foundation web site. More...

 
Peter Drucker Says,
"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly, click now for details.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 
 

VIDEO: GARMIN GTN SERIES
At the 2011 Aircraft Electronics Association show in Reno, Garmin rolled out its long-awaited replacements for the GNS430/530 series. Garmin's Jim Alpiser gave AVweb the rundown on the new products, called the GTN650 and GTN750. More...

VIDEO: GARMIN GTN FLIGHT TRIAL
Garmin's new GTN navigators have some cool features like touchscreen control, voice recognition, and remote transponder and audio panel control. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli flew with Garmin engineer Grant Wittenborn to wring out the new products. More...

 
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: LEAVENWORTH AVIATION SERVICES (KFLV, FT. LEAVENWORTH, KS)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Leavenworth Aviation Services, LLC at Sherman Army Air Field (KFLV) in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

"This is obviously a one-man operation (plus volunteers)," writes AVweb reader Denis Walsh — but sometimes one man can do more for you than a large operation. To wit:

We were met with complete cooperation and helped to get the courtesy car running so my son could drive to the prison to visit a friend. All this despite the absence of the FBO operator. His stand-in went out of his way to accomodate our no-notice needs. The very small terminal facility was the tidiest and best maintained I have seen [and is] worthy of being compared to the fanciest FBO. They had all the latest mission-planning equipment and free refreshments. A very pleasant surprise for me.

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!

More...

 
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
 

PICTURE OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
This week's winning photo comes from Michael R. Lochowitz of De Pere, Wisconsin. Click here for the rest of this week's submissions. More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback to top 
 

MEET 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.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
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.

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