AVwebFlash - Volume 17, Number 22b

June 2, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! 4G, GPS Struggle to Share the Air back to top 

Tests Show LightSquared Interferes With GPS

Testing has shown that a proposed national wireless broadband network system could negatively impact some GPS systems, or worse, and at least one company has already stepped forward to say they can fix the problem. LightSquared, which hopes to install 40,000 antennas across the country, may now face problems winning FCC approval that could also translate into additional costs for its primary financial backer. Meanwhile, a committee that advises air-traffic management policy believes GPS and LightSquared can be made to co-exist. And at least one company thinks it could offer an effective solution.

LightSquared's largest financial backer, Harbinger Capital Partners, has already invested $2.9 billion of assets into the project, according to LightSquared. According to a Wall Street Journal article published Wednesday, regulators are probing certain trades Harbinger (a hedge fund) made years ago. It is not yet clear if that will have any affect on the company's relationship with LightSpeed. Those who would like to see LightSquared prosper may include Symmetricom, a company that says packet-based primary reference source synchronization solutions could eliminate any interference between the LightSquared system and aviation GPS. Whatever the case, moving forward may require further modifications and testing to determine a method for safe and practical deployment of the LightSquared system.

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"Shining a Laser into the Cockpit Is Not a Joke" back to top 

FAA Will Fine Laser Violators

The FAA, frustrated by a rise in incidents of lasers pointed at aircraft, said on Wednesday it will impose civil fines of up to $11,000 against violators. "Shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft is not a joke," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "These lasers can temporarily blind a pilot and make it impossible to safely land the aircraft, jeopardizing the safety of the passengers and people on the ground." The FAA said after a legal review (PDF), it has determined it will cite a rule against interfering with a flight crew performing its duties. The agency is also supporting pending legislation in Congress that would make it a criminal offense to point a laser at an aircraft. Pilots have reported more than 1,100 laser events already this year.

Los Angeles International Airport recorded the most laser incidents of any airport last year, with 102 reports. Airports in Chicago, Phoenix, and San Jose, Calif., also reported 80 to 98 incidents. The increase in reported incidents over the last several years is due to a number of factors, the FAA said, including increased outreach to pilots to encourage reporting, the easy availability of cheap and powerful laser devices online, and the introduction of green lasers, which are easier to see than red lasers. The FAA said it also works with law enforcement agencies to assist with criminal prosecutions under state and local laws.

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From Point A to Point B — With a Little Help back to top 

Unscheduled Qantas Fuel Stops Raise Questions

Qantas says an unscheduled fuel stop on a Pacific island during its new route from Dallas to Brisbane on Monday was due to stronger-than-expected headwinds, but the pilots union has recently accused the airline of pressuring crews to carry minimum fuel to cut costs. The Boeing 747-400ER, flying one of the longest routes in the world at almost 8,600 miles, diverted to Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia. "We're a few weeks into the new route and we'll keep monitoring it," Qantas spokesman Thomas Woodward told the Sydney Morning Herald. "If it becomes an ongoing issue, we'll obviously look at ways of addressing it." A Qantas A380 en route to Melbourne from Singapore also made an unscheduled fuel stop earlier in May, citing headwinds. Meanwhile, deteriorating relations between the company and the pilots union threaten the survival of the airline, according to CEO Alan Joyce.

Last week, the pilots union gained approval for long-haul pilots to take "industrial action" against the company, for the first time in 45 years. Richard Woodward, spokesman for the Australian & International Pilots Association, told The Australian the union is contemplating several actions it could take, including work stoppages of up to two days. "Our preference, of course, has always been to negotiate," he said. Barry Jackson, president of the union, said the dispute is not about pay. "It is about fighting Mr. Joyce's offshoring agenda and keeping Qantas pilots operating Qantas flights," he said. Joyce wants to move Qantas operations to Southeast Asia, Jackson says. "He wants pilots and crew employed on Asian conditions and working to Asian standards." Joyce has blamed "rogue union leaders" for the dispute, and told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the union's move to take action "is an attempt at further damaging the brand."

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Air Taxis to Oshkosh? back to top 

Oshkosh Seeking Charter Permit

Wittman Regional Airport may be permitted to allow Part 139 charter flights to land at the airport during AirVenture 2011 but only if talks between local officials and the FAA improve. To accommodate the flights, the FAA says Wittman Field would need to comply with certain FAA requirements (including the installation of a 10-foot fence) and safety standards that local authorities may find cost prohibitive. Charters would bring visitors directly into Oshkosh. Supporters argue that could bring an economic boost to the city. Two flights are already scheduled and it's not clear if those flights will be allowed to operate under Part 139.

One flight would bring 100 passengers to the air show. The other would deliver World War II veterans on a round-trip flight from Oshkosh to Washington, D.C., for a day-visit in the nation's capital and as part of an Honor Flight. Aside from the fence, compliance with the FAA regulations would reportedly require, tightened security measures, new emergency response plans, changes to sheriff's patrols, and the addition of paid TSA officers. The airport has previously held a permit, but surrendered it in 2006.

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Young Eagles Day Just Around the Corner back to top 

Young Eagles Day Set For June 11

About 150 EAA chapters around the country will host Young Eagles Day events on Saturday, June 11, EAA said this week. The annual event, which launched in 1994, is a "chance to focus on the program and share the freedom to fly with a new generation," said EAA President Rod Hightower. Many EAA members independently offer Young Eagles flights for youngsters all year round; so far the program has provided more than 1.6 million free introductory flights worldwide. Local events can be searched via the EAA website, just enter your zip code or airport ID to find an event near you.

Pilots who want to volunteer to fly with Young Eagles must be EAA members. Others are welcome to help out in various capacities at the events, from teaching introductory aviation classes to helping with registration and logistics. Young Eagles can go on to participate in EAA's Flight Plan activities, which include free access to Sporty's Online Pilot Training Course, a free flight lesson, and reimbursement for the costs of a successful FAA written test. Young Eagles also are eligible for more than $300,000 in scholarships and awards each year.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

A New CEO For Cessna

Just a few weeks after CEO Jack Pelton left the company, Cessna has a new leader, Scott Ernest, who was formerly with GE Aviation. "Scott is a talented global business leader who has strong expertise in the aviation industry," said Scott Donnelly, CEO of Textron, Cessna's parent company. "Accelerating Cessna's new product and service development, strengthening its manufacturing and sourcing operations, and intensifying its global expansion efforts are key to moving Cessna forward. Scott brings an extensive track record of success in these areas along with a reputation as an outstanding leader. I am confident that he is the ideal person to position Cessna for growth as the business jet market gains momentum."

Ernest spent 29 years at General Electric, where he most recently served as vice president and general manager of the global supply chain for GE Aviation. He has a master's degree in engineering from the University of Cincinnati. AOPA President Craig Fuller released a statement welcoming Ernest to his new role. "Cessna has long been a leader in the general aviation manufacturing community, and I am confident we will have many opportunities to collaborate as we address the challenges and seize the opportunities facing general aviation today and into the future," Fuller said.

Related Content:

Alaska Airlines OK's iPad For Cockpit

Alaska Airlines is now giving iPads to all of its pilots to replace 25 pounds of flight manuals. "We've been exploring the idea of an electronic flight bag for several years, but never found a device we really liked," said Gary Beck, Alaska Airlines' vice president of flight operations. "When the iPad hit the market, we took one look at it and said this is the perfect fit." By mid-June, all of the airline's pilots will have iPads. The airline is also exploring using the iPad to replace paper aeronautical charts. The airline said the iPad will eventually eliminate up to 50 pounds of paper per cockpit, saving on fuel costs and reducing back and muscle injuries to overloaded pilots.

The airline's decision follows a successful trial by 100 line and instructor pilots and Air Line Pilots Association representatives, who evaluated the feasibility of using iPads as electronic flight bags this past winter and spring. The iPads contain an app called GoodReader that is loaded with PDF versions of 41 flight, systems and performance manuals, reference cards, and other materials. The electronic manuals include hyperlinks and color graphics, enabling pilots to find information faster and easier, the airline said. Updating can now be accomplished with one tap on the iPad screen instead of the labor-intensive process of replacing individual pages one by one. The iPad is considered a Class 1 electronic device, meaning it is stowed during takeoff and landing under FAA regulations. In February, the FAA OK'd the iPad as a replacement for paper aeronautical charts for Executive Jet.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

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

Question of the Week: Advice for Cessna's New CEO

Scott Ernest was named Cessna's new CEO this week after replacing the well-respected and occasionally outspoken Jack Pelton.

What's your advice for Ernest?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
Send your suggestions to .

NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments. (Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.)

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals in Aviation
Fly More for Less
Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Fatal Accident Reduction — No Easy Task

Paul Bertorelli's been looking at the numbers from a single year of GA accident fatalities —— and he shares his findings on the AVweb Insider blog. When you look at the numbers, says Paul, it's not easy to see any low-hanging fruit because there isn't any. Stall-related accidents still kill the most pilots every year, but plain, unimaginative loss of control is a close second. And don't even get him started on the bad judgment calls.

Read more and join the conversation.

Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Video: 100 Years of Naval Aviation — Erik Hildebrandt's 'Fly Navy'

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

No one does aviation quite like the Navy, and carriers are only half of the story. In this vodcast, author/photographer Erik Hildebrandt talks about his experiences in shooting and compiling an impressive history of a century of naval aviation.

Related Content:

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Video: Simulator Training for GA with 'IFR' Magazine

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Come ride along on some simulator training in a Cirrus SR22 to see the kinds of things you can do better in the box than in the real world. We'll also give you some tips for getting the most out of your simulator time.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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 FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Kissimmee Jet Center (KISM, Florida)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

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:

[The] 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 here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

This week's winning photo comes from Todd Bohlman of Lemon Grove, CA. Click here for the rest of this week's submissions.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet 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.

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.