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JETPACK HITS 5,000 FEET
The Martin Jetpack
went to 5,000 feet May 21 and came back on its emergency parachute in
the most ambitious test flight to date. Equipped with multiple video
cameras and occupied with a weighted mannequin as a test pilot, the
remote-control version of the ducted fan device rose vertically over the
New Zealand countryside before the high-revving two-stroke engine was
shut down and the ballistic chute was fired remotely. It all seemed to
go according to plan, with the apparently undamaged machine and
mannequin settling in a farmer's field at a vertical speed of 15.7 mph.
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FRANCE 447 HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
The pilots of Air
France Flight 447 flew the aircraft into deep stall at 38,000 feet,
never verbally acknowledged or corrected that condition, and the
aircraft fell for more than three minutes at nearly 11,000 feet per
minute into the Atlantic, killing all aboard, investigators said Friday.
The jet maintained a nose up attitude -- along with an angle of attack
greater than 35 degrees -- throughout a descent rate that translates to
more than 122 miles per hour of vertical drop. "At no point" on the
cockpit voice recorder "is the word stall ever mentioned," Chief
Investigator Alain Bouillard said in an interview. The autopilot and
auto-throttle disengaged and the pilots recognized failure of the Airbus
A330's speed sensors. The pilots took manual control and the aircraft
climbed. A stall warning sounded as the jet ascended rapidly from 35,000
to 37,500 feet and by 38,000 feet three stall warnings had activated.
Less than two minutes after the autopilot disconnected, the aircraft was
at approximately 35,000 feet, with full takeoff thrust selected. The
angle of attack had exceeded 40 degrees and jet was falling at about
-10,000 ft/min. More...
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Airshow performer Amanda Franklin died Friday
night in a hospital from complications of burns she suffered in a March
12 crash in Brownsville, Texas. Husband Kyle Franklin announced the sad
news in a Facebook posting late Friday. "It is with a broken
heart that I tell you that my beautiful girl Amanda passed away at 10:10
central time this evening," he wrote. Kyle and other close relatives
were at her bedside. On Thursday Franklin announced that his wife, who
crashed with him while performing their wing-walking routine, had been
placed on Comfort Care for her final days. Amanda and Kyle's crash had
left her badly burned and treatments to combat the damage from the
burns, infection and effects on her major organs were no longer
effective. She was taken off of most of her life support, with the
exception of ventilator, sedation meds and pain meds. "I believe at this
point this is what she would want me to do," Kyle said Thursday.
The Isle of Man Is Open for
The new international conference Isle of Man: An International
will be held on 12 July
in the Isle of Man. This summit will explore themes such as Aerospace
Cluster, Aircraft Registry: The Journey So Far, Space, Treasury &
Tax, Customs and VAT, Legal Issues, Blaydon Jets: A Manx Story,
Corporate Service Providers, Tax Advisors, Registering Airliners in the
Isle of Man, MAC Financial, Aircraft Insurance, and Ronaldsway
Click here to learn more and
ADOPTS BARR RULE
Aviation groups will undoubtedly turn up the
heat in the political arena now that the Department of Transportation
has gone ahead with plans to dismantle a system that allows private
aircraft owners to block online access to services that track aircraft
movements. On Friday, the DOT announced its intention to eliminate the Block
Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program, which is used by about 5
percent of aircraft owners to keep others from logging on to flight
tracking websites to see who's flying where at any given time. Most of
the sites will give a history of flight activity, too. The FAA's new
rule will only allow N-numbers to be blocked if the aircraft owner is
able to convince the FAA that allowing the public to track their
aircraft will create a security risk. However, BARR's future is also
part of the deliberations on a new FAA reauthorization bill that is now
at the conference stage and its supporters are working the hallways
trying to get a law that will trump the DOT rule. Meanwhile, BARR
proponents called the new measure a "paparazzi protection rule" and
clashed with DOT over whose rights should be protected
ANGELS COMMANDER QUITS
The commander of the Blue Angels has
resigned and the team is back in Pensacola for training and practice
after an unspecified maneuver was performed at too low an altitude
during a show in Lynchburg VA on May 22. Navy Cmdr Dave Koss was
"voluntarily relieved of duty" as the elite team's commander and will be
replaced by Capt. Greg McWherter, whom Koss replaced as the team lead.
"This maneuver, combined with other instances of not meeting the
airborne standard that makes the Blue Angels the exceptional
organization that it is, led to my decision to step down," Koss said in
the statement. The No. 1 aircraft normally leads a flight of four or six
F/A-18s through formation maneuvers but the formation breaks for some
parts of the show, including the solo performances and the signature
cross maneuver. It's not clear whether Koss alone busted the altitude or
whether he took the others with him. It's also not been stated just how
much too low the aircraft got. More...
The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration
It's gonna be a big year at Oshkosh. We're celebrating 100 Years of
all week long. Plus:
Special tributes to Bob
Hoover and Burt Rutan, a Monday concert by REO Speedwagon, the return of
the Saturday night air show, and innovation in the air with the Electric
Flight Prize competition.
For more information or to buy your tickets online and save,
FLIGHT TESTING RESUMES
Certification flight testing of
Gulfstream's G650 resumed Saturday with an 89-minute flight of serial
number 0001. It was the first flight of Gulfstream's new flagship bizjet
since the Apr. 2 crash of one of five test aircraft in Roswell, N.M.,
during takeoff performance testing. Gulfstream said the two-month
suspension of flight testing will not affect its schedule for the
aircraft. The flight test program is about two-thirds complete.
Certification is planned by the end of this year and first deliveries
are slated for 2012. Production continued after the accident and the
13th G650 is now under construction. More...
FOR PUBLIC BENEFIT FLYING NOMINATIONS
Nominations are due by
May 31, 2011, for awards presented each year by the National Aeronautic
Association, in collaboration with the Air Care Alliance, to recognize
contributions to public benefit flying. Nominations are accepted for
five categories that cover volunteer pilots, volunteers, achievement in
the advancement of public benefit flying, teamwork between unaffiliated
organizations, and extraordinary support efforts that advance the cause
of public benefit flying. Nominations that fall outside of those
categories may not be considered. Click through for details.
Register to Win an ADS-B
Capable Avidyne TAS620A
Attention, aircraft owners!
Register now for Avidyne
"FlySafe Giveaway Extravaganza" to win a new TAS620A
Traffic Advisory System
with ADS-B In capability valued at
$20,990. Eligible entrants for the Grand Prize will be aircraft owners
with a valid Tail Number who complete the entire "Giveway
Extravaganza" registration form online at
EFFORT TO HELP INCAPACITATED PILOT
On May 17, 2011, the pilot
of a Cirrus SR22 became incapacitated while climbing for 17,000, through
clouds, out of San Bernardino en route to Colorado Springs -- we now
have audio of the event. On board the Cirrus, a 70-year-old pilot was
flying with his non-pilot wife. They were in daytime IFR conditions when
the Cirrus pilot is heard on frequency breathing heavily. He then
appears to become incoherent. Shortly thereafter, his wife responds to
inquiries from the controller, stating, "I'm trying to help. Hang on."
The next 40 minutes of the flight showcase a coordinated effort by the
controller, the pilot of a passing Great Lakes Airlines commercial
flight, and the non-pilot wife on board the SR22, as they attempt to
guide the aircraft away from rising terrain and down to a lower
altitude. AVweb has obtained and edited audio
(MP3 file) from the event. Click through for more details and to
listen in. More...
RUDY ENGHOLM, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LIGHTHAWK
small airplane can do a lot to advance the cause of conservation, from
providing a fresh perspective for legislators to transporting endangered
birds and wolves. Rudy Engholm talks with AVweb's Mary
Grady about what the organization is up to these days, how pilots can
help, and how things turned out after AVweb reported recently on
the group's search for a special volunteer.
This podcast is
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
MAY 30, 2011
Letter of the Week: Is It All a
The Pipistrel Panthera sounds
great, a dream what we've been waiting for all these years.
Is it real, an IO-390-powered version soon and hybrid or electric
in 2013? If so, why can't I see a real picture now, not an artist's
rendering? I'm hopeful but suspicious.
I've had this giddy feeling
before. Cirrus said they were going to build a true four-seater
with 160 knots' cruise for $120,000. Well, they built the plane,
but not at that price point. I think it started at $170,000 and is
probably double that now. Clearly there's a market for these, but
where's my affordable 150-knot cruiser that burns less than
Click through to read the rest of
this week's letters. More...
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OF THE WEEK: KISSIMMEE JET CENTER (KISM, FLORIDA)
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Kissimmee Jet Center at Kissimmee Gateway
Airport (KISM) in Florida.
AVweb reader John
Tunstall recently enjoyed top-notch service from touchdown to
take-off at KISM:
rental car pulled out to us on the ramp before I could even shut the
bird down. (Unloading into an air-conditioned car in the FL heat was a
blessing.) Upon departure, the same in reverse: We loaded the bird from
the car on the ramp, and they drove it away. Excellent fuel prices and
extraordinary service. Highly recommend.
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...
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I think it was one of my sons on his solo
cross-country from Whiteman, CA (WHP). Bakersfield was one of his stops.
He had tuned into Bakersfield BFL ground control. Before he called, he
heard another pilot call ground control:
"Bakersfield ground, Cessna 1234 ready for taxi to Los
"Cessna 1234, that is going
to be a very long taxi trip."
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
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...