Introducing: Our Best Pilot
NEW Bose A20 Aviation Headset
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'N FUN NEWS EVERY DAY THIS WEEK
The Sun 'n Fun International
Fly-In and Expo launches on Tuesday in Lakeland, Fla., promising a full
roster of aviation events all week long. AVweb staffers are
already on the grounds, compiling news reports, videos, and podcasts for
delivery to your inbox Tuesday through Sunday. All of general aviation's
major players are here, with news about new products and updates on
projects in the works. Cirrus, Garmin, Cessna, Piper, Avidyne and
Lightspeed all have news conferences scheduled early in the week, and
AVweb will bring you all the details. The show is earlier than
usual this year, launching even before April arrives, but the weather
promises to be plenty hot, with temperatures in the 80s all week and a
threat of thunderstorms just about every day. More...
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|Administrator Weighs in on Nonresponsive Tower||back to
"OUTRAGED" OVER SLEEPING CONTROLLER
The NTSB is on
the case, the controller says he fell asleep, and FAA administrator
Randy Babbitt is "personally outraged" following an event that saw two
airliners land at Reagan National Airport, without communication from
the tower, very early Wednesday. The two jets, an American Airlines 737
and a United Airbus A320, touched down between 12:12 a.m. and 12:26
a.m., with help from Potomac TRACON. The tower controller reappeared on
frequency at 12:28 a.m. to provide ground control to the United flight
after it landed. In a statement, Babbitt said that "as a former airline
pilot, I am personally outraged that this controller did not meet his
responsibility to help land these two planes." Transportation secretary
Ray LaHood has now ordered a change, requiring a second controller to be
on duty overnight at the airport, and the NTSB's investigation is
underway and the controller is talking.
Garmin Magic Days at JA Air
Garmin has drawn back the curtain on some new and exciting avionics
technology. You are invited to be amongst the first to see and touch
this revolutionary equipment during Garmin Magic Days
: Monday, April 11
and Tuesday, April 12
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for
one of the three formal presentations.
JA Air Center Aurora Municipal Airport
CAN'T SHAKE TRILLION-DOLLAR CONTROVERSY
In 2008, the GAO
estimated (PDF) the cost of buying and operating 2,443 F-35
fighter jets at $1 trillion, and this month The Atlantic magazine noted that fleet would
represent a force 20 times larger than Russia's at a cost larger than
Australia's GDP. Estimating the cost of a jet is difficult and varies
widely -- in part because some estimates factor in design development
and future maintenance costs, while others assign single-unit purchase
price to the final product. We've seen estimates range from $60 million to $300 million per copy. Whatever the case, the cost
is already significant and many participating nations are struggling
with budgetary constraints and applying fiscal conservatism, which could
force the price per unit up. But not everyone agrees. More...
WARNS ABOUT CIRRUS SALE
A freshman Minnesota congressman is
urging the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to use
"extreme caution" in assessing the potential sale of Cirrus Industries
to the Chinese state-owned China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co.
Chip Cravaack, who represents the 8th District in Minnesota, which
includes Cirrus's home of Duluth, says he's afraid the Chinese will use
technology developed by Cirrus for military purposes. "I'm very
concerned with Chinese history of reverse engineering," Cravaack told the Northland's NewsCenter. "What they do is
take our components and are able use them as dual tech for their
military aircraft. We do not need to be sending our technology
overseas." Cravaack might be expected to urge caution about the
potential loss of jobs in his district but the rookie congressman's
military background adds some interest to his pleas before the
The Only General Aviation
Exhibition in France
The Cannes AirShow
brings together the leading protagonists in
general and business aviation to allow a demanding clientèle
discovery of the latest developments and industry innovations in a
geographically logical and appealing setting. This professional
exhibition is designed for owners and pilots, whether passionate fans or
professionals, in general and business aviation throughout Europe,
Africa, and Russia offering visitors a large and representative
palette of the aeronautics industry. The Cannes AirShow is southern
Europe's leading exhibition in general and business aviation.
Click here for details and registration
100-OCTANE FUEL ADDITIVE SHOWS PROMISE
In the nearly three
decades that the GA industry has been searching for an unleaded
replacement for 100LL, one recurring question: Isn't there an additive
that will provide the octane? Ed Kollin, a petrochemist and consultant
to Aircraft Specialties Lubricants, told us this week that there very
well may be. After a months-long intensive research project, Kollin said
Friday that he has developed an additive that shows promise as a direct
replacement for the octane-boosting properties of tetraethyl lead.
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AT FLORIDA AIR SHOW
A member of the Red Thunder
demonstration team died Saturday when his Yak-52 reportedly failed to
pull out of a maneuver and crashed at the Wings Over Flagler airshow in
Palm Coast, Fla. William E. "Wild Bill" Walker was in formation with
members of the six-aircraft team when the accident occurred. "He was in
a dive when he was supposed to pull, and he didn't pull out for some
reason," Roy Sieger, director of the Flagler County Airport, told The Jacksonville News Journal "They did everything
by the book, but unfortunately it's one of the drawbacks to this
business." The Red Thunder team, made up of Yak-52s and the Chinese
version, the Nanchang CJ6, were scheduled to appear at Sun 'n Fun this
week. Meanwhile a less serious mishap at a Texas airshow involved the
wife of the state's governor. More...
PILOT GIVES UP WINGS AFTER FLYOVER
It was Nov. 20 at the University
of Iowa and a pre-game flyover to remember, in part because it was flown
at nearly 400 knots and cleared the football stadium's press box by
about 16 feet, according to FAA radar records. The four T-38 Talon jets
were led by Major Christopher Kopacek, previously of the 25th Flying
Training Squadron. In exchange for his cooperation in a legal agreement
with the Air Force, Kopacek bypassed a court-martial and received
non-judicial punishment. He also submitted a request to give up his
wings (an action still pending) and depart the Air Force -- a decision
he apparently made prior to the flyover. More...
ForeFlight Mobile HD: Now
with Geo-Referenced Plates!
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plans, and keeping procedures and charts current. ForeFlight Mobile
is ready to support every mission, wherever it may lead.
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your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Ranked the #1 best selling iPad
weather app of 2010 by Apple. Now available on Verizon.
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|It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's A
If you don't know
Festo, you don't know the AirPenguin, AirRay, or the AirJelly, and now
you'd be missing the masterful bio-mimicry of Festo's SmartBird flight
model, which the company says attains "an unprecedented level of
efficiency in flight operation." SmartBird is Festo's latest aerial
creation: a polyurethane foam and carbon fiber ornithopter inspired by
the herring gull. The 6.5-foot-wingspan craft weighs about one pound and
is capable of taking off, flying and landing autonomously. Festo says
the complex system that powers and controls SmartBird has "succeeded for
the first time in creating an energy-efficient technical adaptation of
this model from nature." Click through for video. More...
See What You've Been
Active-Surveillance Traffic Now Available Starting at
Avidyne announces new full-featured TAS605
models, along with the lowest price available for dual-antenna, active
traffic with our TAS600
. All TAS600 Series systems provide timely
audible and visual alerts with the precise location of conflicting
traffic. Patented Top & Bottom directional antennas detect other
aircraft sooner and more accurately. Avidyne's TAS600 Series
the smallest, lightest, best performing, and most affordable active TAS
Click here to learn more about the TAS600
INSIDER BLOG: SNOOZING AT DCA TOWER LAST WEEK'S CRISIS DU
But was it really? With Japan sinking and Libya
exploding, the press still had a field day with a midshift controller
nodding off in the Reagan National tower, as if Randy Babbitt really
needs this on his desk. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul
Bertorelli argues that throwing more people at the problem is just
featherbedding, but Mary Grady says you can't beat Mother Nature:
Circadian rhythms mean that nobody can be expected to be fully alert at
more and join the conversation. More...
INSIDER BLOG: "I'M SORRY, DAVE; I'M AFRAID I CAN'T DO
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...
Fly More for
Visit the AVbuys
page for discounts, rebates, incentives,
bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help
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Click for the resource page.
OF THE WEEK: GREGG FLYING SERVICE (ANIMAS AIR PARK, DURANGO,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Gregg
Flying Service at Animas Air Park (00C) in Durango,
AVweb reader Paul Leadabrand discovered
how great Gregg can be when, "flying a 100mph Kitfox after a
considerably long day, [he found] mountain passes closed and strong
headwinds." That meant Paul wouldn't be able to make the FBO until long
after they'd closed, but he couldn't just camp out overnight; his
schedule was too tight. Here's what happened next:
To get an early morning departure for
another long day, we would need a hangar, fuel, transportation, lodging
and dinner. I was able to relay to another aircraft landing,
asking them to ask the FBO to stay open for our arrival. That was the
last conversation I had for the next hour. Upon arrival after
dark and with the temperature below freezing we were warmly met
by FBO owner Del Gregg. He immediately squeezed into an already full
hanger, gave us his extra vehicle, made us a hotel reservation using his
locals-only discount at a wonderful downtown hotel (with a wide variety
of late-night restaurants). The following morning, arriving at the FBO,
we found our aircraft pulled out in the sun, engine heater plugged in,
and fueled. Not to mention low-price fuel (as compared to the nearby
commercial airport), this FBO offered the warmest welcome and
professional service I've ever had, even driving a $10 million
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...
Get Them While They're
Order the Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
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GARMIN GTN SERIES
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...
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.
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
ATIS was being implemented in the late 1960s, and
many pilots were not yet aware of it. While making practice instrument
approaches at San Jose International Airport in California, I overheard
the following exchange:
Tower, Cessna 1234. Ten south, landing San Jose."
"Cessna 1234, do you have information
do you have information Hotel?"
"Ahhh, no thanks. We're
staying with friends."
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...