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NABBED NAPPING IN MIAMI: SCHEDULE CHANGES COMING
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
Related Content: More...
RESIGNS OVER SLEEPING CONTROLLERS
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 Versatile than a Swiss
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RELEASES VIDEO OF F/A-18C LANDING FIRE
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.
REFUSED DIVERSION FOR HEART PATIENT: PAPER
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...
Banks, Lease Companies and
Operators to Attend the
Fourth Risk Management and Practical
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
AIRPORTS COALITION FORMS
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
GAAirportCoalition.org, meets monthly via
teleconference and online, and is actively seeking new members.
SKIPS HEARING ON PILOT IDS
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 NextGov.com 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
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AERO CALLED SUCCESSFUL
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...
FOUR-SEATER FROM FLIGHT DESIGN
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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TO SOLO BALLOON
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...
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
APRIL 18, 2011
Letter of the Week: More
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
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
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
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
Click through to read the rest
of this week's letters. More...
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OF THE WEEK: ATLANTIC AVIATION (PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT,
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
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
FOUNDATION'S KYLE & AMANDA FRANKLIN FUND
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. More...
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?"
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having
trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd
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there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
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Navigate. Communicate. More...