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Volume 17, Number 15b
April 14, 2011
'IFR Principles and Practice' || Book 
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AVflash! Staffing Wake-Up Call for ATCback to top 

Effective immediately, 27 airport control towers that have only controller on the overnight shift will get a second staffer, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said on Wednesday. The decision was made after yet one more solo controller was caught napping. About 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, the pilot of a Piper Cheyenne carrying an ill patient on a medical flight was approaching to land at Reno-Tahoe International Airport and could not get a response from the tower. Weather was clear and the pilot landed safely, according to the Associated Press. The Reno controller, who was out of communication for about 16 minutes, has been suspended while the FAA investigates. "Air traffic controllers are responsible for making sure aircraft safely reach their destinations. We absolutely cannot and will not tolerate sleeping on the job," Babbitt said. "This type of unprofessional behavior does not meet our high safety standards."

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Listening In on Inhofe's Landingback to top 

Newly released audio recordings detail first-hand witness accounts of Sen. James Inhofe's (R-Okla.) October 21 landing on a closed, marked and occupied runway in south Texas, and suggest runway workers may have had reason to fear for their lives. Three separate audio segments have been made available through a Freedom of Information Act request, along with a section of an incident report. AVweb has merged the audio segments into one file and posted the Incident Report page. Click through for direct links. More...

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Pilots of Tomorrowback to top 

Virgin Galactic put out a call for pilot-astronaut applicants this week, as the company ramps up to offer tourism flights into space. Virgin is ready to select three candidates, one to start now and the others to come on board as needed. The pilots will participate in the ongoing test-flight program for WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo in Mojave and later will help launch commercial operations and train new pilots at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Virgin is looking for graduates of test-pilot school with experience flying high-performance jets and large multi-engine aircraft as well as "low lift-to-drag ratio glide experience (e.g. simulated flameout landings) in complex aircraft." Their ideal candidate would have spaceflight experience as well -- a criterion that might not be so hard to meet as NASA winds down its shuttle program, leaving their astronaut corps grounded. More... || We're All New!
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Spacecraft of Yesteryearback to top 

As the 30-year-old space shuttle fleet neared final flights, aviation museums around the country lobbied to get one for their collection, and this week NASA announced final homes for four of the shuttles. The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia will become the new home for shuttle Discovery, which retired after completing its 39th mission in March. Enterprise, the first orbiter built, which is now on display there, will move to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. Endeavour, which will fly for the last time later this month, will go to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Atlantis, which will fly the last planned shuttle mission, in June, will be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex in Florida. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

An Air France A380's wing clipped the tail of parked a Comair CRJ 700m, Comair Flight 6293, while the superjumbo was taxiing Monday night at JFK, and spun the smaller jet nearly 90 degrees. No major injuries were reported due to the collision. The same can't be said for the aircraft. Click through for video of the incident along with a clip that includes the audio exchange that followed. More...

The Coalition To Save Our GPS has added members and is taking its fight to prevent the potential jamming of GPS signals by a proposed wireless broadband network to Washington. The coalition, which now counts all major aviation groups and GPS manufacturers along with marine and agriculture interests among its members, submitted a statement to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology on the widely feared impact of LightSquared's plan to erect 40,000 transmission towers to distribute wireless broadband to rural areas. As we reported in February, it's not the service itself that has the GPS group worried, it's the frequency band that's been allocated. More...

Aero Friedrichshafen, Europe's largest general aviation show and one of the largest in the world, opens April 13 in the picturesque town on the German shore of Lake Constance. Organizers say there are more than 550 exhibitors from 26 countries filling more than 800,000 square feet of exhibit space in 11 halls. The show runs through April 16. The world's major light aircraft OEMs will all be there and the show is always a showcase of the latest in Light Sport type aircraft and gliders. Aero was one of the first shows to embrace electric aircraft and that tradition continues this year. More...

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

Controllers can't be the only folks nodding off while on duty. If one of the following meets your job description and you've caught a few Zs while on the job, choose it. Don't worry — we can't trace your responses, so be honest! (Click here to send us an e-mail about this week's Question.)

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers if they'd ever made an impromptu off-airport landing; click through to see how many said they had. 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...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Is the A380 just too freakin' big to operate at airports designed in the 1950s? Following this week's collision between an Air France A380 and a Comair CRJ, you have to wonder — as Paul Bertorelli does in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog. When you read JFK's 36 pages of instructions for handling an A380, you long for it to end with "just clear the guy to land at Newark." Read more and join the conversation. More...

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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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!


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

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...

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The Franklins: How to Helpback to top 

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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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.