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The 24-year-old pilot who landed a Piper Warrior with two passengers onboard on Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY Monday reportedly told police he got the idea from Discovery Channel's reality TV
series Flying Wild Alaska. The show depicts the flying exploits of commercial pilots in Alaska where beach landings
are relatively more common than they are in New York. Jason Maloney, 24, of Cornwall, NY, hasn't been charged with anything yet but the FAA is likely to have something to say about his decision to set
the Warrior down on the famous beach despite an air traffic controller's suggestion that he not. Click here to listen to the ATC tape. In
addition to the FAA, NYPD, Port Authority and likely several other organizations, Maloney will have some explaining to do with the plane's owner and insurer.
The tide was out when he landed. At high tide the plane was up to its wings in salt water, which, at a minimum, will likely result in a thorough cleaning and inspection before it's airworthy.
Maloney announced his intention to land on the beach because an alleged "teensy teensy" roughness in the engine and a sick passenger but the unconventional nature of his reports to ATC might play a
role in the FAA investigation. There were no injuries.
The two occupants of a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet died when the jet crashed about a half mile from NAS Lemoore in central California Wednesday. The Navy told various media outlets the aircraft was on
a routine training mission prior to deployment. The crash happened just after noon. The plane went down in a field but it wasn't immediately stated what phase of flight it was in at the time. There
was also no word about whether the crew tried to eject.
NAS Lemoore is about 40 miles south of Fresno in California's Central Valley and is home to fighter squadrons deployed on five aircraft carriers based on the West Coast. The two-seat version of the
Super Hornet is designated as the F model and is not simply a training version of the type. Single- and two-seat F/A-18s are used operationally.
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While the crew of United 497 was struggling with smoke in the cockpit and loss of electrical power to the Airbus A-320's instrumentation, ground crews had their hands full, too. The aircraft had
just departed New Orleans en route to San Francisco when fire or smoke detection equipment in the cockpit alarmed and smoke began filling the cockpit. The crew immediately requested a vector back to
the airport and shortly thereafter declared an emergency. It also requested runway 10/28, New Orleans' longest runway, at 10,080 feet. But the runway was undergoing maintenance and cluttered with
numerous vehicles and workers. Despite an urgent request from the tower to clear the runway, it remained obstructed and United 497 landed on the 7001-foot runway 19 instead. Because its steering and
braking may have been compromised by the electrical failure, the Airbus departed the runway to one side and came to a stop with the nosewheel mired in mud. All 109 persons aboard evacuated without
serious injury. The NTSB reported that one forward slide failed to deploy, but neither the airline nor the safety agency provided any information on the extent of fire damage in the cockpit.
From takeoff to emergency landing, the entire event transpired in 12 minutes. Flight 497 took off from runway 19 at 7:07 a.m. and reported smoke in the cockpit just as it climbed through 4000 feet,
four minutes later. The aircraft then turned northeast and flew a wide loop over Lake Pontchartrain as it was vectored back to runway 19 at Louis Armstrong Airport.
According to recordings of approach, tower and ground operations provided courtesy of LiveATC.net -- download the MP3
here -- the crew requested the longest runway, 10/28, but the tower informed the flight that "there is a bunch of equipment on there. They're trying to get it off now." An unidentified voice on
the tape, which may have been 497 or an interphone reply, said, "You need to clear it for us." At one point, the tower operator said to ground ops: "Can you verify the vehicles are exiting
'cause I haven't seen any of the vehicles move and the aircraft is 10 to the northwest and they have to have runway 10." A ground operator told the tower, "We can start trying to pull them off, but I
don't know if we're going to get them off in time." The runway was not cleared in time and Flight 497 landed on the same runway it departed from, 19.
At 7:15 a.m., Flight 497 was given a 140-degree vector to intercept the runway 10 localizer, but a minute later, at 7:16:10, it reported that all of its primary instruments had failed, although its
comms continued to function normally. The crew said, "Ah we've lost all of our instruments right now and we're gonna need just a PAR." ATC responds by saying, "I can give you no-gyro,
sir, if you need it." (New Orleans has publish ASR radar minimums, but not PAR capability.)
The radar controller then issued stop turn directives to line the aircraft up with the Pontchartrain shoreline and a straight-in visual approach for runway 19.
The weather at the time of the incident was reported as 2500 broken with visibility of 7 miles. The wind was 180 at 15 knots, with gusts to 22 knots.
If there's a constant truth about in-flight fires, it's that you don't have a lot of time to deal with the emergency. United Flight 497's skilled handling of its smoke-in-the-cockpit incident on
Monday is a textbook case of quick decision-making and skilled airmanship. But, as Paul Bertorelli details on the AVweb Insider blog, there was a role for luck to play as well: Had it
occurred two hours later, it might have been far more difficult to resolve favorably.
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According to a press release, Wednesday, Seawind LLC says it has 50 orders for its Seawind amphibian on the books, the design is frozen following successful flight tests and funding is needed to
start assembling pre-production aircraft. Seawind says the design went to Ottawa a full year ago to begin flight tests and completed flutter tests there, last month. It plans to install a "stall
prevention system" it says will prevent both stalls and spins and continue toward certification. The Seawind 300C is marketed as "the world's most versatile land plane" and "the world's fastest
seaplane," but has faced significant challenges, including the loss of a test pilot in 2007.
Company chief Richard Silva told AVweb last year that he expects demand to exceed 120 aircraft per year. The company has been plodding alone toward its goal of certification since 2008, one
year after a test pilot was killed in the crash of a Seawind 300C prototype. The aircraft has since been modified and Silva says the latest incarnation flies with a Continental IO-550 310-hp
FADEC-equipped engine offered with a turbo-normalized option. Silva says the aircraft will fly faster than a Mooney and offer more elbow room than a Beaver. If funding is acquired, Seawind says it
will start pre-production at its facility in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
A German company has successfully test flown a single-seat electric airplane it says will have a range of 250 miles and an endurance of three hours. The Elektra One by PC-Aero flew for about 30
minutes and used less than three kilowatt hours of electricity, according to a company statement. The first flight was conducted March 19 by test
pilot Jon Karkow at Augsburg Airport. A second flight is said to be imminent and Norbert Lorenzen will be at the controls. While the Elektra One is intended to be perhaps the first commercially viable
electric plane in the single-place sport aircraft niche, PC-Aero CEO Calin Gologan believes it will lead to the development of progressively larger aircraft, including airliners.
In the meantime, the Elektra One, if its numbers work out as planned, could scratch the flying itch for a lot of pilots looking for a relatively inexpensive weekend mount. Gologan intends to sell
the plane as a package with a hangar that comes with a solar array. It's been estimated that the solar panels could provide up to 300 hours of energy for the aircraft per year even in Germany's
climate. The plane and hangar package is estimated at $150,000.
The Only General Aviation Exhibition in France
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The FAA Wednesday announced it will review its approach to aging aircraft and metal fatigue, after a five-foot gash tore open in the top of a 15-year-old Southwest Airline 737-300, Friday. The agency issued a rule last November that was meant to prevent "widespread fatigue damage." That rule gave manufacturers five years to set inspection plans and allowed airlines six years on top of
that to implement those plans. Now, the agency says fatigue inspections must have more aggressive schedules. Monday, the agency mandated inspections for early model 737s. Tuesday it issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive (PDF). The review could result in new
guidelines. The Southwest jet had flown 39,781 cycles, which is more than 20,000 cycles short of predicted limits. And there are many older jets flying in North America.
According to the aviation research group, Ascend, North America flies more aircraft that are at least 20 years old than any other region, worldwide, but the number of aircraft with more than 30,000
cycles is limited. Boeing has said that group includes 175 of its 737s and Southwest flies 90 of them. Concern is currently focused on the Boeing 737 Classics built between 1993 and 1999. Those
aircraft incorporated a lap joint like the one that ruptured on the Southwest flight, a design that was later phased out. Operators that find cracks during inspections will need to work with Boeing to
determine the best fix, which may include cutting out the affected area and replacing sections of fuselage.
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The Flying Nun ... And Banker ... And Teacher ...
Frederick Airport in Maryland, home airport of AOPA, earned another distinction during Women of Aviation World Week in March. A total of 22 pilots gave free introductory flights to 185 girls and
women to claim the title of Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the World. "This accomplishment set a new world record for most girls and women introduced to flying in one day and one location...,"
said organizer Mireille Goyer, a Vancouver, BC flight school owner. Most of the flying took place outside the sunbelt but regardless of location there were some gritty performances turned in by
volunteers trying to hook girls and women on aviation. For a complete list of winners, click here.
For instance, there was Diana Stanger, of Port Lavaca, TX who flew 98 girls and women, by herself, in her Eurocopter EC120 to become the Most Dedicated Female Pilot. Casey Cowan in Arlington, WA,
USA, braved the rainy weather to win the "Most Supportive Male Flight Instructor in the World" title. A total of 707 girls and women got to go flying that day and that's about one percent of the
female pilot population worldwide said Goyer.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org for one of the three formal presentations.
Cessna says it took 30 orders for propeller-driven aircraft at Sun 'n Fun and fingers are crossed that the long-awaited recovery may actually be taking hold. In a news release, the company said it
sold 16 new Corvalis TTX high-performance singles, which were introduced at the show. It also sold 13 high-wing piston singles and one Caravan. "The opening days of Sun 'n Fun were very positive, and
while the storm on Thursday interrupted that mood somewhat, the exhibitors and the crowds bounced back to finish the show strong," said Mark Paolucci, Cessna's senior vice president of Sales and
At least one of the announcements has been in the works for some time. University of North Dakota firmed up its intention to buy five Cessna 172s. Cessna said the new Corvalis created a buzz at the
show that resulted in a steady stream of people through the Cessna display.
The House version of the FAA reauthorization bill passed last Friday contains an amendment that would maintain the Blocked Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program and allow aircraft owners to
prevent Internet tracking of their aircraft's movements. The amendment, if it survives the conference stage of the legislative process in which the Senate and House merge their versions of the
authorization bill, could trump a proposed rule by the FAA to permit N-number blocking only if a "valid security risk" exists. As we reported last month, the FAA rule, whose comment period closed Monday, would require those asking to block their
aircraft registrations to prove "a verifiable threat to person, property or company, including a threat of death, kidnapping or serious bodily harm against an individual, a recent history of violent
terrorist activity in the geographic area in which the transportation is provided, or a threat against a company." NBAA mounted a furious lobbying effort and it apparently bore fruit with House
heavyweight John Mica, R-Fla.
According to The Republican, Mica, head of the House
Transportation Committee, said his amendment provides "privacy protections for airspace users," and the amended reauthorization bill passed 251-168. No Democrats spoke against the amendment.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood apparently spearheaded the FAA proposed rule and told the House Appropriations Committee last week that some business aircraft owners, like drug dealers and college
athletic recruiters, are abusing the BARR program. "When I find out that there are people that are taking advantage of it for no other reason than they don't want somebody to find out where they're
flying, I say that doesn't work," LaHood said.
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Do you hangar your aircraft? Do you wish you could hangar your aircraft? Do you wish someone would rent that #$^% empty hangar you still own? Please take a moment to share your thoughts (or
rants) in Aviation Consumer's survey. Thanks.
As the pilot population declines, the Department of Transportation might consider listing Pilotus americanus on the endangered species list. Reverse this decline by recruiting new students
who will marvel at your score on this quiz.
Fly More for Less
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In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli has a novel idea for discussing Sun 'n Fun: Let's banish the word recovery and just talk about what we liked
which was plenty, actually. Frankly, there was more new stuff and market vitality than anyone expected.
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lake Texoma Jet Center at North Texas Regional Aiport/Perrin Field (KGYI) in Dennison,
A little common courtesy (not just a car) from LTJC impressed AVweb reader Daniel Dorgan on a recent unscheduled stop:
Flying a friend for his first flight from McKinney, Texas to the Sherman/Dennison [area]. My friend became airsick and needed a break from the airplane. This FBO provided a courtesy car knowing we
would not be refueling there or having any repairs made to the Arrow. No financial incentive whatsoever and yet they treated us with respect, as if we were a kerosene-powered aircraft
providing a significant amount of revenue.
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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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.
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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
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Contributors Jeff van West Mariano Rosales
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