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Volume 17, Number 15a
April 11, 2011
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AVflash! Martin Jetpack Flies Soloback to top 

The Martin Jetpack flew for more than seven minutes and at altitudes of more than 100 feet last week but there was a dummy at the controls. The New Zealand company put a mannequin onboard and flew the ducted-fan VTOL ultralight aircraft by remote control in the first publicized glimpse of what the device might be capable of doing. Company officials said the remote-control flight was mandated by the rigid safety protocol that aims to make the Jetpack the "safest and easiest-to-fly aircraft" available. It's been more than two years since the device, which uses a high-revving two-stroke engine to power the fans, was demonstrated at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Although it has taken orders, the company is still not firmly predicting delivery dates for the $100,000 machine. More...

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Napping Controllers in the Newsback to top 

The FAA says it's moving forward to fire a controller caught sleeping on the job at Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport in February. According to the Washington Post, the incident was revealed on Wednesday when FAA administrator Randy Babbitt was testifying before a House transportation subcommittee. Babbitt told the committee he learned of it shortly after the widely publicized incident at Washington's Reagan Airport when a supervisor nodded off while working a midshift. More...

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
Dramatic Safety Issues: NTSB Weighs Inback to top 

The NTSB has released its preliminary report on the crash last week at Roswell International Air Center Airport, N.M., of a Gulfstream GVI (G650) that killed all four aboard, and Gulfstream has suspended flight activities of its four remaining GVI jets. The NTSB says the jet was performing a takeoff with simulated engine failure and minimum flap settings at the time of the accident. Gulfstream says the accident aircraft had accumulated 425 hours since February 2010 and the GVI test fleet has accumulated 1570 hours to date. Certification and production work will continue, according to the company. Prior to the accident, first deliveries were expected sometime next year. No changes to that schedule have been announced. Gulfstream says it will provide any updates regarding the accident "appropriate with the pace of the investigation." The NTSB's investigation confirms the accident aircraft was engulfed in flame before it stopped. Click through for more details. More...

It appeared at first that an onboard fire had led to the emergency landing at New Orleans, on April 4, of United Airlines' Flight 497, an Airbus A-320, but investigators announced Thursday they had no evidence to support that. According to the NTSB, shortly after takeoff an automated system warned the crew of smoke in the equipment bay. But "preliminary examination has not revealed any signs of burning, indications of smoke or other anomalous system findings," according to the NTSB. Plus, the agency says neither the captain or copilot recalled smelling smoke or fumes during the flight and pre-interview reports suggest the cabin crew didn't smell or see smoke, either. What we know is that the aircraft had issued an autothrottle-related message, followed by the avionics smoke warning, which included instructions to land. The captain says he followed the relevant checklist, which led him to shut down some of the aircraft's electrical systems. And then things got more interesting. More...

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Another New Home for Popular Jetback to top 

Emivest Aerospace Corp., formerly Sino Swearingen, won approval from a bankruptcy court Thursday to sell its assets to MT LLC at a deep discount, leaving the future of the struggling SJ30 business jet program temporarily in question. MT's total cost appears to be $5.2 million, made up of a $3.5 million purchase price and $1.7 million in liabilities. It was the best available offer. Emivest vice president, Mark Fairchild, has said he expects MT "to maintain Emivest as a jet manufacturer of the SJ30." But specific plans had not been announced prior to our deadline, though they may become available as early as this week. Until then, anything is possible and not all the speculation has been positive. More...

AeroExpo UK || 17-19 June 2011 || Sywell, 
AeroExpo UK
... is the dedicated General Aviation exhibition in 2011, showcasing everything from ultralights through to turboprops and jets. Whether you are interested in learning to fly or are already a pilot and want to view the latest products available, AeroExpo UK has it covered!

Click here to learn more.
Greenbacks Power Green Innovationback to top 

NASA is crystal balling about the future shape and performance of airplanes and has awarded more than $16.5 million in research grants to four organizations with specific goals to make flight leaner, greener and more lightning-resistant. Of course, $16.5 million won't result in any flyable developments but NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington says the wind-tunnel models and computer projections could result in technologies that will fly 20 to 30 years from now. "NASA refers to this time period as N+3, representing technology three generations more advanced than what is in service today," the agency said in a news release. More...

WingX Pro 7 for the iPad (And Other Mobile 
Platforms) || Hilton Software
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The new WingX Pro7 Version 5 Moving Map adds ADS-B In-Flight Weather, Terrain-Enhanced VFR Sectionals, IFR Low/High Enroute charts, ADS-B NEXRAD, TFRs, SUAs, and a lot more. All moving map views can be displayed fullscreen or side-by-side. Also included: Animated weather images, DUATS, A/FD, AOPA Directory with Yelp integration, Route Planning, FARs, E6B, and more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Android. Click here for more information.
Kyle & Amanda Franklinback to top 

Investigators have found anomalies with a fuel servo on Kyle and Amanda Franklin's Waco UPF-7 biplane as they probe the March 12 crash landing and fire. The 1940 biplane was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-985. That engine was supplied by Tulsa Aircraft Engines, which is one of the few outfits that specialize in repairing the type. The NTSB chose the company's facility to host its examination of the engine. It found that the engine itself may have been capable of functioning normally prior to impact, but investigators couldn't say the same for the fuel servo. 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...

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

AVMAIL: APRIL 11, 2011

Letter of the Week: Impromptu Not Necessarily Improper

The "Question of the Week" really doesn't match the heading. Impromptu off-airport landings don't automatically translate to "landing where you shouldn't."

The guy in New York should get his ticket suspended for a while at least for the simple reason that he misled ATC and (by extension) the emergency responders.

However, what isn't clear in all the noise in the media is what regulations, laws, etc. were violated in the landing. Was the beach closed to aircraft by regulation? Was the landing dangerous due to people nearby?

If the answers to the above questions are yes, then this impromptu landing should not have been made, and the pilot should be doubly scrutinized for misleading ATC. However, all "impromptu" off-airport landings don't trigger these issues. In many areas where I fly, the land is publicly owned, not closed to aviation activities, and, as long as one's skill and aircraft are suitable, off-airport landings are one of the really enjoyable aspects of flying.

Clyde Lewis

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


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...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

The young pilot who landed his Warrior on Rockaway Beach in New York said he got the idea from a television program about flying in Alaska. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli takes a quick look at why that's wrong on so many levels. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

When a tornado hit Sun 'n Fun this year, Avemco Insurance was sure to be in the middle of it, one way or another. It just so happened that, in this case, Avemco president Jim Lauerman very nearly was. AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with Lauerman about coverage, claims, and calamity. And you may be surprised about how pilots can safeguard their aircraft and the reasons their coverage might be denied. More...

Development of the Martin Jetpack is continuing in New Zealand, and the latest publicly released video shows it reaching new heights. However, that's a mannequin onboard and not a human pilot. 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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Great Lakes Flight Centre at Windsor International Airport (CYQG) in Windsor, Ontario.

AVweb reader Jeff Lehman discovered the stellar service at GLFC on on his back from Sun 'n Fun:

We were just ahead of some unpleasant weather. (The tornado was long behind us!) As we headed north, we needed to find an FBO after hours so that we could clear customs. After several calls and being unsuccessful at several FBOs, we found Chris at Great Lakes Flight Center in Windsor, Ontario. Not only did he confirm reasonable fuel prices and customs availability, but he offered to stay late (over two hours) so we could arrive that night and stay ahead of the weather. Upon arrival, Chris cheerfully welcomed us and, after clearing customs, promptly fuelled us up and made hotel arrangements. After this, he offered to drive us to the hotel and then come back to tie down the airplanes. We insisted that we help secure the airplanes, and he drove us to the hotel before he admitted he still had to head back to do a few things. Chris and Great Lakes deserve recognition for great service and for going above and beyond.

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!


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Heard over Oakland Center frequency in northern California:

"Bonanza 123G: Report Chico in sight for the visual approach."

Bonanza 123G:
"Roger. Looking ... ."

[Several minutes pass.]

Bonanza 123G:
"Bonanza 123G has Chico in sight."


Bonanza 123G:
"Still looking for the airport, though."

Zack Brown
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.

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