Don't Leave the Show without Trying the New Zulu!
The new Zulu offers more comfort, more clarity, and a quieter experience than ever before. A distinctive new look and continuous innovation make the new Zulu the ultimate blend of design,
technology, and high performance. Stop by our booth (D51) to learn more about the advancements that take the new Zulu to the next level of headset performance or
Southwest Airlines Flight 812, a Boeing 737 carrying about 118 people out of Phoenix for Sacramento, Friday, diverted to Yuma Marine Corps air station in Arizona after an in-flight fuselage rupture
caused rapid decompression at 36,000 feet. Passengers who called in to local news stations said a six foot long gash opened with a loud bang in the top of the cabin. They said the sky was visible
through the opening and that some passengers lost consciousness during the rapid descent to 11,000 feet. According to Southwest, a flight attendant was the only one aboard to have suffered an injury.
One passenger who saw the flight attendant speculated that the crewmember may have broken his nose. The NTSB has sent a Go Team to investigate the fuselage rupture.
Video showing the extent of the damage to the 15-year-old Boeing 737-300 was posted to Youtube shortly after the event and at least one passenger posted to twitter pictures of the damage. Several
incidents of structural failure leading to a loss of cabin pressure have occurred on U.S. airliners in recent years, including an October 2010 incident involving an American Airlines flight and a
Southwest flight in July of 2009. In 1988, a Boeing 737 operated by Aloha Airlines lost a flight attendant when a 20-foot section of fuselage tore away at 24,000 feet. Sixty-one passengers were also
injured in that event, which was blamed in large part on metal fatigue.
FIND THEM AT:
B-078 B-079 B-090 B-091
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The National Weather Service confirmed in a report released on Friday that a category EF-1 tornado hit the Lakeland airport on Thursday about noon time. The tornado had top winds estimated at 95
mph, a path length of just over a half mile, and a path width of about 30 to 40 yards. The NWS report also confirmed the impact of 70 to 75 mph "downburst thunderstorm severe straight-line winds,"
with the tornado impacting the west end of the runway about 12:05 p.m. The full NWS report is available online (PDF).
In the main exhibit area at Sun 'n Fun, most airplanes came through Thursday's storm unscathed, but a few suffered minor dings, and a few others were totaled. At Cessna, a couple of airplanes ended
up with cracked fairings, where they apparently were hit by flying debris, but for the most part, a little extra mulch was laid down and by Friday morning the exhibit was back to normal, though muddy
in spots. Over at Piper, they were not so lucky. Late in the morning, the exhibit was roped off with yellow tape while awaiting examination by insurance folks. A battered orange Rans S-7 that had
blown over from the neighboring exhibit sat askew among the Pipers. "We rode it out, with people in our tent and in the mock-up trailer," Piper spokesman Randy Groom told AVweb on Friday. "It
got very noisy in the tent, but everyone is safe. Some neighboring aircraft pulled out of their tie-downs and hit our airplanes." It all looks to be minor damage, he said. He was hoping to have the
tent open for visitors by Friday afternoon, and everything back to normal by later in the day, or Saturday morning.
At Cirrus, the airplanes were fine. "We were lucky that the airplanes downwind of us [Embraer's Phenoms] were too heavy to blow over into our airplanes," said Debbie Breemeersch. At Rans, there
were two S-7s on display, and both suffered extensive damage. The one in the Piper exhibit was probably a total loss, said Michele Miller, of the sales team. The blue one might be okay if the fuselage
isn't bent. "The sad thing is, these were both pristine airplanes, that were on loan to us for display from customers," she said. They were both tied down and had been checked that day, she said, but
when the storm came "they just popped out like a cork from a bottle." The company airplanes had been delayed getting to the field because of the weather earlier in the week. Those airplanes should be
on display for the weekend, she said.
AVweb staff have been on-site at Sun 'n Fun all week, including Thurday's shockingly destructive
storm. As he dries out from the ordeal, editor-in-chief Russ Niles has one thought he wants to share via the AVweb Insider blog: Come out and support the show this weekend. Friday's
forecast calls for sunny skies, and the volunteers have been hard at work cleaning up the mess and putting things back on track for the weekend. We'll be here, and we hope you'll join us for a
weekend of, well sun and fun.
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Burt Rutan announced through a November 2010 Scaled Composites press release his plans to retire in April, 2011, and that day has come ... but there may be at least one more aircraft up his sleeve
before he goes. Rutan's career began in earnest in 1974, with a $15,000 loan from his father and an idea to build a more efficient, more affordable aircraft. By 1975, his VariEze arrived on the
homebuilt scene. Thirty-six years later he's known as the man who designed Voyager, the piston-engine aircraft that flew around the world, unrefueled; and SpaceShipOne, the first privately produced
manned vehicle to reach space. At 67 years of age at least 45 of his designs have been built and flown. And at least five of them have been put on display at the Smithsonian. Rutan has set markers of
achievement that have been recognized well beyond the circles of aircraft builders, pilots and the aviation community that calls him one of their own. He was set to retire quietly, as early as Friday,
but has publicly stated we'd see one more design before he does.
Rutan, currently a Mojave, CA, native, told an audience at a local high school fundraiser, "there will be one more Burt Rutan design before I retire in April. I can't tell you anything about it
until it's flying." Rutan's previous designs have earned him the FAI Gold Medal, the Collier Trophy, and the Society of Test Pilots' Doolittle Trophy. He's also earned the Presidential Citizens Medal.
His Voyager is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum where it shares space with the Wright Flyer and Spirit of St. Louis. Rutan stepped down from his
duties as company president at Scaled in 2008, after open-heart surgery, but still played an active roll at the company. After his departure, Scaled, which now employs roughly 350 people, will
continue to be headed by its current president, Douglas B. Shane. Rutan and his wife plan to retire to Idaho on a property by a lake.
FIND THEM AT:
SNF-001 SNF-002 SNF-004 SNF-005
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Strong demand from the corporate sector, plus interest from emerging countries and high-net-worth individuals translated to a sharp rise in fourth quarter profits at Bombardier that have so far
continued in 2011. The company earned 88 net orders in the last quarter of 2010 and most (74) were for business jets. That compares to 33 orders, including just seven for business jets, placed during
the same period just one year prior. The surge was followed this year by an order for 50 aircraft from NetJets. Executives at the company forecast that 2011 should bring 150 orders, in total. If the
company's recent good fortune serves as a bellwether for others, that forecast may do as much to lift spirits as the outlook from some market analysts.
CIBC World Markets analyst Michael Willemse recently published that, "continued strength in emergeing market economies (parcticularly China and the Middle East) is expected to result in strong
international demand for business jets." Within those markets, long-range, large business jets are preferred, says Willemse. The orders recorded by Bombardier in the fourth quarter caused a surge in
earnings, which jumped to $325 million and nearly doubled's the previous year's $175 million.
FIND THEM AT:
As Vital As Vision
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On the heels of a study that revealed opportunities to increase the number of flight students who complete their training, AOPA is holding input sessions in six cities in the coming year.
AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with AOPA's Jennifer Storm.
Within 18 hours of a devastating tornado-packing thunderstorm that caused millions of dollars of damage, Sun 'n Fun attendees could barely notice. AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with SNF
President John Burton about how many hands did a lot of work to make that happen.
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We always enjoy a visit to the Liberty Aerospace display at an air show but at Sun 'n Fun, we found a little something unexpected. What's that Liberty XL2 doing with a Rotax
engine (912F) instead of the trusty Lycoming IO-240? CEO Keith Markley explains why they're getting the Rotax STC'd for Asian markets and (no surprise here) it's down to fuel.
It's good to be King. But when you're the King Air 250, your challenge is staying modern and finding ways to improve history's most successful turboprop. In this video, Don Mercer
explains how Hawker Beechcraft has discreetly improved the 250.
Diamond Aircraft Announces Cash Credit Spring Incentives
Take advantage of significant time-limited incentives for new or demonstrator DA20, DA40, DA42 and HK36 aircraft with Diamond Aircraft's Cash Credit Spring Incentive Program. (Valid for North
American deliveries only for orders placed by April 30, 2011).
Or, if it is, Paul Bertorelli couldn't make the case in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog. When ATC decided to vector a Southwest 737 to have a look at a NORDO Cirrus this week near
Jacksonville, the incident exploded into yet another you've-got-to-be-kidding hairball rolling across Randy Babbitt's desk. If it weren't for bad luck, the man would have no luck at all but
we're wondering: What the heck is next? At least tower and ground now appear to be awake and alert at DCA.
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.
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
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The 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.
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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
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