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Volume 17, Number 16a
April 18, 2011
What He Didn't Know About His Life
Insurance Cost His Family $500,000

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AVflash! Naps Nab Headlinesback to top 
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A controller at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) was suspended Saturday for falling asleep on the midnight shift. The FAA said in a statement there were no missed calls or any disruption to control services. There were 12 controllers and two supervisors on duty at the time. Another controller noticed the sleeping controller and turned him in. The incident came hours after the midshift crew at the ARTCC was "given a briefing on professionalism and the importance of reporting to work fit for duty," according to a news release posted on the agency's Web site. Meanwhile, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt says the agency is putting a stop to scheduling practices it says contribute to controller fatigue.

Related Content:


The head of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization has resigned amid the growing controversy over sleeping air traffic controllers. Hank Krakowski, who assumed the post in 2007 after 30 years with United Airlines, quit Thursday morning after meeting with FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. Krakowski didn't have anything to say about his resignation, but Babbitt did and essentially laid the issue in Krakowski's lap. "The last few weeks we have seen examples of unprofessional conduct on the part of a few individuals that have rightly caused the traveling public to question our ability to ensure their safety," Babbitt said, in a prepared statement. "This conduct must stop immediately. I am committed to maintaining the highest level of public confidence and that begins with strong leadership." More...

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Flights That Didn't Go As Expectedback to top 

The Navy has released video of the April 11 one-engine landing made by an F/A-18C aboard the USS Carl Vinson and during which the aircraft caught fire. The aircraft had undergone maintenance and was performing touch-and-go's when one engine caught fire and was shut down in flight. Immediately after landing, the aircraft's aft fuselage was engulfed in flames. Flight deck fire crews responded and the fire was extinguished with aqueous film forming foam. The Hornet was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 and its pilot escaped the episode uninjured. Crash and Salvage leading chief, Petty Officer Benjamin Bilyeu, said in a military news release, "You can drill day-in and day-out but when the event happens, to actually see the training being as effective as it was, that was incredible and made me proud to be a sailor on the Vinson." Click through for the video. More...

A British report alleges a Singapore Airlines crew refused to divert a flight from Singapore to London for a critically ill passenger. The Daily Mail , quoting unnamed sources, says BBC Radio journalist Max Pearson suffered a heart attack shortly after the flight took off from Singapore but the crew refused requests to land so he could get medical attention. The paper says a doctor onboard tended to Pearson for the 14-hour flight. Pearson was taken to hospital on arrival at Heathrow and underwent emergency surgery. He is now recovering at home but the sources say his heart has been permanently damaged. The airline has not commented. More...

Risk Management and Practical Solutions || 
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Following the success of this event in London, Dublin, and Dubai, the fourth conference will focus mainly on legal issues for lessors and financiers as well as risk management. Distinguished expert speakers will offer again the opportunity to participate in high-level discussions and extensive networking opportunities. This is a must-attend event for banks, lease companies and operators with aviation assets. This event is hosted by Gates and Partners. Click here to learn more and register.
News Briefsback to top 

The General Aviation Airport Coalition (GAAC) has now officially formed as a national organization to "preserve and promote our nation's general aviation airports." In a press release, the GAAC said it believes existing advocacy groups are "excellent" but general aviation airports "need eyes and ears on the ground to exclusively look out for policies that impact our airports." It aims to create strength and solidarity among smaller airports and protect them from the potentially damaging influence of outside interests, including federal agencies. It's is up and running online at, meets monthly via teleconference and online, and is actively seeking new members. More...

The TSA declined an invitation to participate Thursday in a House hearing to discuss how to improve pilot certificates -- the same certificates that the TSA does not currently accept as valid identification. The TSA was asked by Congress in 2004 to work with the FAA and other agencies to create biometric ID cards for pilots that would serve as secure identification cards and flight certificates. So far, the agencies have failed to come together with a plan. They have instead pursued more limited independent approaches and have not yet implemented a universal solution. A frustrated House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica has reportedly threatened to subpoena TSA Administrator John Pistole "to get some responsiveness" from the agency. The TSA told that it doesn't have oversight of the FAA and "reached out to Chairman Mica to explain its reasons for declining the invitation" to attend the hearing. The FAA, which did attend, offered its own explanations for its slow progress on the matter. More...

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It's finally here — Reletex, the new version of the highly-touted ReliefBand that is so effective for nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness. Worn on the wrist, the Reletex produces a small neuromodulating current which stops peristaltic waves in the stomach, ceasing nausea and vomiting without drugs or side effects. Reletex is available in 60- and 150-hour versions. O.K. for pilots and great for aerobatic flight. Reletex — exclusively at
Friedrichshafen Finale a Financial Successback to top 

Organizers of Aero Friedrichshafen say a shift in focus to a trade show attracted business-oriented attendees and benefited exhibitors. The show wrapped up Saturday in the German city and the final tally shows that 33,400 people from 40 countries attended. There were 630 exhibitors in 11 halls. The show eliminated the airshow and shifted the dates to mostly weekdays (Wednesday-Saturday) to attract a more focused clientele. "Exhibitors widely reported making valuable contacts with many new customers from around the globe, as well as being greatly relieved that the level of interest from trade visitors at the exhibition exceeded all expectations," show organizers said in a news release. More...

Flight Design unveiled its four-seat, all-composite, strutless high-wing aircraft, the C4, at the AERO 2011 in Germany this week. The design can run behind either a 180-hp IO-360, burning 10.4 gallons per hour in cruise, or a 155-hp single-lever-operated Centurion 2.0 turbocharged diesel that sips just shy of six, according to Flight Design. The C4 is 1320 pounds empty with a maximum takeoff weight listed at 2640 pounds. A whole-airplane emergency parachute system is standard equipment. Max cruise is listed at 160 knots and cruise behind the diesel is good for 145 knots and 1700 nm, according Flight Design. The company says its application for EASA certification was filed in Q1 2011. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

A nine-year-old New Mexico boy is preparing to become the youngest ever to solo a hot air balloon. Bobby Bradley, son of renowned balloonists Troy and Tami Bradley, of Albuquerque, will fly a balloon classified as an ultralight, and therefore has no minimum age requirement for solo flight. The Bradleys insist this is all Bobby's idea and they wouldn't let him fly if they didn't think he was ready. "Like I tell everyone, it's not rocket science," Troy Bradley told The Associated Press. "You heat the air. You let the balloon go up. You let it cool and come down. It's learning to do it with some precision, and that's the amazing thing, he has such a great feel for it. He's got the ability so why not allow him to do it?" Bobby is equally confident in his ability. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Only the U.S. government could, in response to a labor situation in which the job is so boring and low-key that workers can't stay awake to do it, double the workforce. In a post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli predicts how this will affect ATC: This time next year, we'll be running a story about two controllers who fell asleep in a tower. Read more and join the conversation. More...

The services work their people hard, especially the Navy when doing flight ops. On a shipboard visit some years ago, Paul Bertorelli found that exhausted sailors could take sleep breaks. In this post to the AVweb Insider blog he asks, "Why not controllers?" Read more and join the conversation. More...

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

AVMAIL: APRIL 18, 2011

Letter of the Week: More Equal

About five years ago, I was returning to Van Nuys from Fresno in my Hawker Hunter after doing an Air Show there. After departing Fresno, I requested FL250, and Oakland Center replied by clearing me to FL230, which I acknowledged. But in my head I was still thinking FL250 and went right through 23,000 and leveled at 25,000.

Oakland Center never said a word, nor did Los Angeles Center when I contacted them, requesting a descent into Van Nuys. Just as I was walking to my car, after putting the Hunter away, I got that magic message from someone in the office. "Hey, George, they want you to call ... ." Well, I ended up taking a 30-day suspension rather than fight the FAA since I didn't fly for a living, and it was no big deal.

Now consider the recent story about Sen. James Inhofe — and keep in mind that nothing has been done about it and no action was ever taken against him.

My clear conclusion, as was written by George Orwell in his classic work Animal Farm, [is that] "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

So, did I get it right?

George Lazik

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

Eventually, every instrument pilot gets a slam-dunk approach. IFR magazine's Jeff Van West explains how to practice for the slam to remove the guesswork and even add the high-speed technique to your instrument flying toolbox. 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 latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Atlantic Aviation at Philadelphia International Airport (KPHL). Terry Carlson recently visited the FBO and shared his experience:

I visited KPHL for a business meeting in the City of Brotherly Love. I flew in ... with some reservations, since my Bonanza A-36 was no match for the serious jet traffic into and out of the city. But it was a joy, starting with approach control through ground control. All [were] professional and treated my Bonanza as though we were the Airbus landing on the parallel runway. [T]he real surprise was at Atlantic Aviation. While it was not cheap, the service was exceptional. Stephanie and Mary Ann arranged a conference room for us and treated us as though we just arrived on an empty Gulfstream [and were] buying a full load of fuel. Rental car was arranged, and when I had to leave early because of an emergency, they had my plane fueled and ready right up front. While it is not inexpensive, I will definitely come back to Atlantic Aviation at KPHL.

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 Franklins: How You Can 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...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


There used to be a controller at my home base of Shoreham, SE UK who had the kind of plummy voice that you might expect of a Victorian actor. One day there were two non-radio Cubs in the busy circuit. After giving my take-off clearance, he asked, "Now, where are my pride of cubs?"

Bob Gilchrist
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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