View Online | View Extended Version | View Printer-Friendly Version (recommended for mobile devices)

Volume 17, Number 13a
March 28, 2011
Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
Introducing: Our Best Pilot Headset Ever
NEW Bose A20™ Aviation Headset
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly. Now the Bose A20™ Aviation Headset sets an entirely new standard, providing significantly greater noise reduction than currently available. It also features an improved level of comfort, clear audio, Bluetooth® connectivity, auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more.
AVflash! Sun 'n Fun 'n Flight 'n AVwebback to top 

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...

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
Administrator Weighs in on Nonresponsive Towerback to top 

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.

Related Content:


Garmin Magic Days at JA Air Center || 
Click to E-Mail Us Your RSVP
Garmin Magic Days at JA Air Center
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 at JA Air Center: Monday, April 11 at 3pm and 6pm and Tuesday, April 12 at 6pm. Please RSVP to for one of the three formal presentations.

JA Air Center — Aurora Municipal Airport — KARR
Government and the Cost of Flightback to top 

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...

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 committee. More...

Cannes AirShow || 9-11 June 2011 || The 
Only GA Expo in France
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 info.
Tomorrow's Avgasback to top 

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. More...

EDM 830 from JP Instruments || Technology 
That Works
JP Instruments Cash Rebate Offer:
Don't Leave the Ground Without Us!

JPI, the EDM & Fuel Flow leader, is running an incredible rebate offer, directly for AVweb readers. Outfitting your aircraft with our EDM monitor is like having a flight engineer aboard every flight. Back on earth, download your in-flight data with our no-cost EZTrends software to spot any future problems. From the classic EDM 700 to the bright-LCD EDM 830, nothing compares to the accuracy and quick response of JPI Systems. Click here for more info.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

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...

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... || Intelligent Apps for 
ForeFlight Mobile HD: Now with Geo-Referenced Plates!
Experience the joy of flight planning, checking weather, filing flight plans, and keeping procedures and charts current. ForeFlight Mobile HD is ready to support every mission, wherever it may lead. Elegantly designed and carefully crafted to work exceptionally well on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Ranked the #1 best selling iPad weather app of 2010 by Apple. Now available on Verizon. Click here for details.
It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's — A SmartBird?back to top 

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...

TAS600 from Avidyne || Dual-Antenna 
Traffic || Now Just $8,490
See What You've Been Missing!
Active-Surveillance Traffic Now Available Starting at $8,490

Avidyne announces new full-featured TAS605 and TAS615 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 are the smallest, lightest, best performing, and most affordable active TAS systems available. Click here to learn more about the TAS600 Traffic Systems.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

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 3am. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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...

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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Gregg Flying Service at Animas Air Park (00C) in Durango, Colorado.

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 jet.

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!


Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
Get Them While They're Hot!
Order the Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD now and get over two years of issues in searchable PDF format! Find out how much money you can save on annuals and overhauls!

Click here to order now!
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

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...

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...

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

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, and we'll get back to you. More...

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...

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...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


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:

Cessna 1234:
"San Jose Tower, Cessna 1234. Ten south, landing San Jose."

SJC Tower:
"Cessna 1234, do you have information Hotel?"


SJC Tower:
"Cessna 1234, do you have information Hotel?"

[more silence]

Cessna 1234:
"Ahhh, no thanks. We're staying with friends."

John Forker
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.