AVwebFlash - Volume 17, Number 24a

June 13, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! Ash Over the Atlantic back to top 
 

Volcanic Ash Cancels Flights

Ash from a major volcanic eruption in Chile has cancelled hundreds of flights and stranded 25,000 passengers from neighboring Argentina to far-away New Zealand and Australia, and experts say this could be just the beginning. "It's got a very strong satellite signal and it's right up there with the big, big eruption clouds ... it will keep going. I would suspect it will do a loop of the globe," Andrew Tupper of the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Strong westerly winds are pushing the cloud from the Cordon Caulle volcano but the plume over the South Pacific, 6,000 miles away, is expected to start dissipating soon. Australian airlines are taking no chances but New Zealand's flag carrier is still flying.

"We always put safety before schedule," Qantas spokeswoman Emma Kearns told the Sydney Morning Herald. " We have decided that we don't believe it's safe to fly. If you get ash cloud in your engines it can seize your engines up." Air New Zealand is maintaining its schedule but flying at lower altitudes to stay out of the ash. The ash is affecting flights as far north as Melbourne and it came as Australians and New Zealanders were in the middle of a long holiday weekend. The volcano has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in Chile and officials there are worried that a river that has its source on the mountain will silt up and cause widespread flooding. The volcano has heated the water in the river to more than 100 °F. The eruption began last Sept. 28.

 
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Please Turn Off Your Electronic Devices back to top 
 

Report Suggests Cellphone Interference Happens

An International Air Transport Association report suggests cellphones and other personal electronics, notably the iPad, can cause alarming disruptions to aircraft systems. The report, obtained by ABC News, is said to document 75 instances between 2003 and 2009 in which flight crews believed interference from passengers using an electronic device caused something to go wrong with the aircraft. Anomalies ranging from autopilots disconnecting to a clock that ran backwards were said to disappear when the electronics were shut off. The report is getting mixed reviews from those who study aviation safety.

John Nance, author and former commercial and military pilot and ABC's own aviation analyst, dismissed the report as a collection of anecdotes that prove nothing. "There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there, but it's not evidence at all," said Nance, "It's pilots, like myself, who thought they saw something but they couldn't pin it to anything in particular. And those stories are not rampant enough, considering 32,000 flights a day over the U.S., to be convincing." But Dave Carson, of Boeing, the co-chair of a federal advisory committee looking into the issue, said tests have proven onboard electronics can produce signals that are over what Boeing considers to be the safe limit for avoiding interference. Blackberry and iPhone cellphones were both over the limit but an iPad produced signals that far exceeded the standards.

 
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USA 1549 Reunion back to top 
 

1549 Pax, Crew, Revisit Aircraft

Passengers who were thankful to have lived through it and an airline captain who became an instant celebrity because of it gathered around the battered hull of Airbus A320 N106US Sunday to celebrate the aircraft that changed their lives. The dented and gashed fuselage of the aircraft used for US Airways Flight 1549 from La Guardia to Charlotte on Jan. 15, 2009, arrived at the Carolinas Aviation Museum Friday and will go on permanent display there. At a private reception on Sunday Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, other members of the flight crew and some passengers gathered to remember that chilly winter afternoon when the aircraft hit a flock of geese and Sullenberger and his first officer Jeff Skiles put the airplane, carrying 155 people, in the Hudson River. Among the cabin crew was Doreen Welsh, who, with 38 years of patrolling the aisle, probably had the most time in the air of anyone on the flight. She told NY1 she thought she'd given her last safety demo when she heard Sullenberger tell the people in back to "brace for impact" over the PA. "Thirty-eight years, who hears that? And who lives through hearing that? I'm sure a lot of people in crashes, that's probably the last thing they ever hear," said Welsh. "I said prayers. I thought it was it."

Others shared similar stories and paid frank homage to the technology that made Sunday's event possible. "I think of this plane as our savior. Our piece of equipment that saved our lives," said passenger Beth McHugh. Others said the event created a "family" of survivors who keep in touch with one another. As for the aircraft, rather than the restoration that usually awaits new museum exhibits, 106US will undergo the opposite. Museum staff will put the plane in the same condition it was in when it was plucked out of the river and create a display that will allow visitors a glimpse of what it might have been like aboard the plane as it floated in the water. The interior has been cleaned and freed of mold that grew after the dunking.

 
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And the Rest of the Story ... ? back to top 
 

RAF Eurofighters Lose To F-16s?

Internet chat forums have for months been alive with comments after 1970s-era F-16s were said in a Pakistani air force blog to have beaten state-of-the-art Eurofighter Typhoons in close air combat exercises, but there's at least one problem with the story. At the core of the issue is an interview in which an unnamed alleged Pakistani air force (PAF) pilot recalls flying three hops against RAF Typhoons. In those three exercises, the Typhoons lost every time, he said. When asked to explain that success rate, the interviewee offered his opinion that "NATO pilots are not that proficient in close-in air-to-air combat." The problem is that there does not appear to be a specific date associated with the event and, while the story may be true, the inability to independently confirm it means it's just as likely that it's not true.

The Typhoon is touted by its supporters as one of the world's best air-to-air combat jets and has been seen by its critics as an especially expensive acquisition, yet to prove itself. In the interview, the alleged PAF pilot described the success of the older F-16s, saying the exercises favored the PAF pilots because the pilots are "very good at" close-in air combat. Details of the engagement, when it took place, specific equipment, pilot experience and the purpose of the exercise were not discussed in the interview, which has nonetheless led to online speculation and some concern. The interview has been a point of interest on three major aviation forums online, beginning several months ago, and made it to TheRegister.co.uk Wednesday. TheRegister concedes the interview may be "a lie" but "it seems likelier that the story is the truth as he perceived it: that the RAF's new superfighter was thrashed in the very type of combat it is supposed to be best at by a 1970s-era plane, albeit much modernised."

 
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Terrafugia: Not Quite Street-Legal ... Yet back to top 
 

Terrafugia's Roadable Aircraft Delayed

Citing challenges in production design and problems with third-party suppliers, the developers of the Transition roadable aircraft have announced a delay that extends their expected first delivery date to "late 2012." The company still plans to show, but not fly, one of two production prototypes at AirVenture Oshkosh this July and says its past experience suggests flight tests might take place by March 2012. Terrafugia's press release declined to expand on the problems that led to the delay and stated that the company remains committed to the success of the program.

Terrafugia CEO/CTO Carl Dietrich says his team is pushing forward as quickly as safety and rigorous testing allow. "We will continue to focus our efforts on developing the safest, most convenient, and most fun personal aircraft the aviation world has ever seen," he said. Dietrich says program has spent the past year working on prototype production tooling and the construction of two production prototypes. Terrafugia was granted an exemption from the FAA that allows it to produce its vehicle for use under LSA rules while operating at a maximum takeoff weight 110 pounds above that category's usual limit.

 
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Maynard Hill Remembered back to top 
 

RC Record Setter Dies

Maynard Hill, who set 25 aviation records and whom the Washington Post called a "virtuoso of balsa and glue," died June 7 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. Hill was a legend in the remote control model aircraft world and his exploits included some remarkable records. He flew an RC model to 26,990 feet and one of his aircraft was clocked at 151 mph. As a metallurgist at Johns Hopkins University's applied physics lab, his work with RC models became the foundation of the development of unmanned aerial aircraft. Of all his records, however, it was the trans-Atlantic crossing of his Spirit of Butt's Farm that attracted the most attention.

The aircraft could weigh no more than 11 pounds, including fuel, to be considered a model so the design challenges were enormous. Hill and a group of engineers and computer programmers who were intrigued by the project built 29 versions of the model, which was powered by a four-stroke engine that used just two ounces of camp stove fuel per hour. After numerous failures and delays, the aircraft took off from Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador in August of 2003 and landed 38 hours later in Ireland. Hill was 85 years old.

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

AVmail: June 13, 2011

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: A Great Commute

I enjoyed the article about Gordon Boettger's flight.

While working at NASA JPL in Pasadena, CA and building my hangar and business in Fallon, NV for three years I commuted on many weekends between KWHP near Burbank, CA and KFLX, Fallon, NV.

I made about 100 round trips. At least half of them were direct GPS route which takes you right down the middle of the Sierra Nevadas. I would make it a point to always be about 2000' above the highest peaks I intended to fly over. I did them both day and night.

I made many of these trips up there when the wind over the Sierras was up to 65 Kts. FSS virtually always had a sigmet for moderate to severe turbulence below 18K'. I found that to be the exception rather than the rule. I would not be up there if there were lenticular clouds hovering over the mountains. And sometimes there was light turbulence. There was almost always some light wave action. I found that there were considerably more opportunities to fly up there in the winter months than in summer. Cold air seems to lay right down on the mountains. A couple of thousand feet above thre was virtually no turbulence.

I have never seen another airplane up there.

I have flown this trip in both my 0-360 powered Cruisair and my 0-360 powered Geronimo. And yes, you can soar a Geronimo up there sometimes. I have pulled it back to idle and enjoyed good lift for streches of up to maybe five minutes.

Try it; you'll like it.

Kent Tarver


Not the Airplane's Fault

What a difference of quality between the podcast with Jason Goldberg and the Letter of the Week by Capt. Anonymous. (I loved to hear this — very balanced and answers full of expertise by Goldberg.)

Capt. Anonymous is again warming up the sidestick vs. yoke debate and also fixed thrust levers vs. moving thrust levers.

I have just a few remarks.

The most produced U.S. fighter has sidestick? How do they survive?

As for tactile feedback of moving thrust levers, [I] just read about the Turkish Airlines stall/crash at Amsterdam. Approaching an aerodynamic upset caused by unreliable airspeed indication the thrust levers in a "moving" design would have changed to some thrust lever angle and thrust would be either too high or too low. Only by sheer luck they would be appropriate. With this design also you have to remember your cruise thrust and attitudes to get into "survival mode."

He also does not mention that on the A330 moving thrust levers out of detent you can vary thrust like in any other airplane. The main problem in this accident seems to be that all three pilots never realized that they were in a stall. There are programs out there for upset training, etc. but cutting training (you never stall an airliner, and you never stall a GA airplane attaining PPL) the knowledge is only with few airline pilots — including instructors, unfortunately.

His airline seems even less keen on covering and training all aspects of the airplane. He does not remember if he as ever tasked with alternate law. If true, what a training department and what an oversight of the FAA.

From a professional standpoint, Capt. Anonymous only speculates on the actions of the pilots. Does he know more than the investigating authority? Citing simulator experience for these occurrences is naïve. Both big aircraft manufactures give only a certain (incomplete) amount of data for those regimes — either because they want to keep proprietary information from the simulator company or because it is just simply not necessary to test those regimes for certification under FAR 25.

Blaming the sidestick seems easy. He just forgets that with ?conventional? airplanes valid IAS is often needed for pitch (feel) control, attaining the correct stick force gradient or rudder ratio limiter. For some of these failures you revert to a dumb spring and are also away from known stick (yoke) forces or rudder forces. Giving advice to fly the FD is to my knowledge against both of Airbus's and Boeing's abnormal/ non-normal checklists for this situation.

Last, but not least: Capt. Anonymous's description of himself as one of the most experienced A330 pilots in the world is a little out of reality. What makes him believe that? There are hundreds of pilots out there, some of them flying the A330 for almost 20 years, many of them cross qualified on the A320/321 who have more than three times the hours he claims. If he is so frightened by Airbus airplanes, how about changing to an airline flying only Boeing? Hundreds of pilots would love take his seat and be delighted.

I have 30 years of flying Boeings and eight years on Airbus. I love the airplanes of both companies.

A. J. "Toni" Beidl


Delta Disappoints

I am an Atlanta native and remember Delta's beginnings. Its emphasis then was on customer service and achieved a great record by treating its employees well, so well that for many years the people there rejected unionization.

Then the "bean counters" gained power, and company/personnel relations suffered. They unionized, and the company developed the callous attitude toward its customers demonstrated by its treatment of the 34 soldiers described in this issue. I am continually saddened by Delta's history.

Bob Barton


Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 
 

Forty-Seven Years in Aviation -- A Memoir: Chapter 2 -- Preflight, and Primary Flight Training Part 1

In the second chapter of his aviation memoir, Richard Taylor and his new wife cool their heels in Ohio waiting to get called to flight training, and then quickly bounce to San Antonio for indoctrination and on to North Carolina to finally begin primary flight training.

Click here to read the second chapter.

In 1954, the typical, newly-minted, AFROTC officer tied the wedding knot and shortly thereafter began his first tour of active duty, a commitment of three years. For pilot wannabes, the tour included a full year of pilot training. Flight school assignments didn't necessarily follow on the heels of commissioning; there was a significant delay while the paper pushers worked out the scheduling problems. Finding ourselves in the limbo that resulted, my wife Nancy and I obtained an open-ended lease on an apartment in Columbus (see sidebar at right) that was the remodeled attic of a three-story house. ("Apartment" is a stretch; it was a one-room cubbyhole with a tiny kitchen and a Murphy bed ... no snide comments please). The lease permitted us to vacate on short notice, depending on when the Air Force decided to send me to flight training. Nancy was able to continue her job as a receptionist and the company for which I worked part-time through college agreed (thank you very much) to keep me on the payroll until my orders showed up.

Late in November, I received a letter from the Air Reserve Records Center in Denver. I've edited it considerably for content and length; the people who write military orders leave out no details -- they are very good at CYA. In short, it said,

"By direction of the President, each of the following named officers having volunteered for Active Military Service are relieved from the Air Reserve Records Center and ordered to Extended Active Duty and are assigned to the 3700th Pre-Flight Training Group (Officer), Lackland AFB, Texas, reporting not earlier than 0700 hours and not later than 1000 hours on 13 January 1955, for personnel processing and further assignment to the first available Pilot or Observer [in other words, Navigator] training class."

The letter contained the usual personal information; name, rank, serial number, DOB, home address, etc. It's interesting to note that one of the "et cetera" items was "race" -- apparently the military was still hung up on skin color in 1954, although President Truman had signed an executive order six years earlier that forbade segregation in the armed forces. In the late 1950s, the Air Force ordered removal of the "race" information from our personal records ... a step forward. A year or so later we were directed to re-enter that data so that, I assume, the statistics people could tell how the Air Force was doing, integration-wise ... a step sideways?

But I digress. As part of a herd of prospective pilots, I reported to the preflight training center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, on the appointed date. For the next four weeks we attended lectures and presentations dealing with all facets of life in the Air Force. We were also ushered frequently into the base theater to watch a multi-reel film titled, "The Air Force Story" -- not an Oscar-grade production, but a great lesson in aviation history.

The most critical event was a complete flight physical; those who failed any part of the examination were out of luck as far as pilot training was concerned. My roommate at Lackland exceeded the general height limitation by a fraction of an inch; granted a retake, he resorted to jumping off a chair with his knees locked and managed to compress himself enough to qualify -- that's dedication. The probability of flying fighter aircraft equipped with ejection seats called for an additional height limitation. Considering the close quarters in a fighter cockpit, a pilot whose sitting height (which implied longer legs) exceeded the limit would likely leave the lower parts of his legs behind if he had to fire the ejection seat. Candidates who met the rest of the physical requirements but still sat too tall in the saddle would wind up in the multi-engine program for basic flight training ... not a happy prospect for those who wanted to be fighter pilots.

The apparatus that was used to test us for depth perception was truly a medical dinosaur, probably dating back to the 1930s if not earlier. The examinee was seated before an opening in the end of a long, square box lighted on the inside and containing two dowels set vertically on parallel tracks that ran the length of the box. The dowels were moved by strings (one in each hand) until the dowels appeared to be the same distance away. If you could line them up, you passed. Years later an old-timer shared the secret of the test: Because nearly all trainees were able to line up the sticks and because the strings were apparently never cleaned or replaced, one needed only to align the soil marks to achieve a passing score. Clever folks, those old pilots.

As we exited one of our late-in-the-program meetings in the base theater, we noticed two tables set up in the lobby. (How could anyone miss them? We all had to leave through the same door.) One was attended by a representative of a local clothing company -- Lauterstein by name -- that offered a package of basic uniform requirements for $300 ... co-incidentally (yeah, right) the exact amount of the uniform allowance we had just received. The other desk was manned by representatives of the United Services Automobile Association, a San Antonio-based insurance company whose clientele at that time was officers only. Most of us bought the uniform package and the auto insurance; the uniforms wore well and are long gone, and to this day it's a pretty safe bet that most of us still insure our cars with USAA.

Near the end of the preflight program at Lackland we were assigned to specific pilot classes, in my case 56-I. Classes were designated by the year we were expected to graduate from flight training and the alphabetical sequence for that year; there were 22 flight training classes in 1956, 56-A through 56-V. I have no idea of the scheme that was used to populate the classes, but I know that Class 56-I consisted of 381 young men (no female pilots at that time) from all over the country including ROTC graduates, Aviation Cadets, a few AF officers already on active duty, and a number of student officers from foreign countries.

We were then given the opportunity to request assignment to the Primary Flight Training facility of our choice. For a number of years after WWII the Air Force outsourced its primary flight training to nine civilian contract schools spread across the southern tier of states from Florida to Arizona; the obvious concern was the good flying weather that prevailed throughout the year in those states. Class 56-I was parceled out to three facilities: Marana, Ariz.; Kinston, N.C.; and Hondo, Texas (see sidebar at right).

I chose Kinston because of its proximity to home and family in Buckeye country, and my request was granted. Located 60 miles southeast of Raleigh, Kinston is in the heart of the "bright belt," so-called because of the yellow-green leaves of the tobacco grown in that area. The countryside is populated with many small farms, each one marked with the tall barns in which tobacco is cured. By the way, "Kinston" is not a spelling error; the town was created in 1762 and named "Kingston," to honor King George III of England. Following the Revolutionary War, the unhappy citizens showed their contempt for Great Britain and King George by removing the "g" and renaming the city "Kinston."

When my young bride and I arrived, the only decent off-base housing in Kinston was a development with the euphemistic name "Green Acres," located several miles northwest of town and close to the airport. The selection was rather limited -- you could have a three-bedroom ranch or a three-bedroom ranch -- but the price was right and the owners were willing to rent for the six months we would spend in the primary-flight-training program. The turnover in Green Acres rentals must have been very high, with a new class arriving shortly after the previous class finished training and got out of town -- the used-furniture business in Kinston was also booming.

Kinston Air Base (the "Air Base" designation was applied to flight training facilities operated by civilian contractors) was built by the Navy in 1944 as an auxiliary to the Cherry Point Marine Corps airfield 55 miles to the southeast. Naval Aviation Cadets ("Navcads") went through basic flight training at Kinston until the Navy closed it late in 1945 ... war over, no more pilots needed, base closed.

The Cold War generated an increase in Air Force pilot training and Kinston Air Base (later renamed "Stallings Air Base" in honor of two local airmen killed in WWII) was reopened in October 1950 as a contract training facility. The 3308th Pilot Training Group was the military overseer and the Serv-Air Aviation Corporation supplied ground and flight training. The first class began in October 1951 and by the time the base was closed six years later more than 4000 Air Force pilots had been trained. Serv-Air bowed out of the contract flight training business with the best safety record of the nine primary schools. (To the best of my knowledge and memory, Class 56-I suffered zero mishaps).

We spent the first couple of days at Stallings jumping through the in-processing hoops, attending orientation sessions and other mundane but necessary activities. One of the most significant events for all of us was receipt of the order requiring that "the following named officers, who are assigned to a course of instruction for qualification as pilots, are required to participate frequently and regularly in flight as crew members" (emphasis added). That order, the emphasized language of which is probably still in use, meant we were qualified to receive flight pay in recognition of the risk involved. Those words added $100 to a second lieutenant's base pay, a 38-percent increase. Sorry 'bout that, Cadets; you'll be exposed to the same risk, but you'll have to wait a year for the big bucks.

Then we met our flight instructors. These were the men who would determine whether we would continue in the flight training program and, as a result, they were held in near-royal esteem. In the briefing room, each instructor held court at a table to which four students were assigned; I will be forever grateful for the alphabetical position of "Taylor" that put me at the table ruled by Mr. Raymond Petty. Not only did he do a superb job teaching us to fly, he taught us a song that was the ultimate student's call for help when everything had gone wrong in the air. I have forgotten most of the words but I will never forget the closing line: "Mayday, Mayday, Mr. Petty; send instructions please!"


Attrition is inevitable in any flight training program. Latent physical problems caught up with a few students and, of course, there were some who failed to pass checkrides. A few students quit of their own accord; the official term was "self-initiated elimination" (SIE; see sidebar at right) and it carried an undeserved stigma for those classmates who realized they simply weren't cut out for flying and had the good sense to leave the program voluntarily.

It was my good fortune to remain with Ray Petty to the end of the course. Mr. Petty's excellent instruction and sound advice served us well in our careers as military and civilian aviators ... thank you, Ray.

The primary flight training schedule was a mix of flying and classroom instruction; one week we would fly in the morning and attend classes in the afternoon, and the routine would be reversed the following week. The academic part of the program turned out to be serendipitous because the subject matter was nearly identical to the aerodynamics, meteorology, navigation, etc., that we had covered in advanced ROTC courses. Nevertheless, it was a good review and strengthened the foundations of our aviation knowledge ... most of us went through that part of the program like hot knives through butter.

[Continued next month with Chapter 3.]

// -->

Extreme Low Pass Video

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Video of an extremely low, low pass is making the rounds on the internet and we thought we'd share. The aircraft appears to be an Argentinean FMA IA 63 Pampa or something similar. It also appears to be flying about three feet off the ground. The picture at right is a screen capture from in-cockpit footage that shows people running out of the way ahead of the jet.

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Video: Eastman Aviation's CH750 Video Review

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

There are only a few LSAs that qualify for true STOL status, and Eastman's CH750 is one of them. With full-span flaperons and leading-edge slats, it won't win any beauty contests, but it could excel at some short landing contests. In this video, Aviation Consumer editor Paul Bertorelli takes a spin with Eastman's Gary Webster.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Aviation Biofuels — Continuing Self-Delusion

A recent ASTM conferred technical approval on specs for aviation biofuels. That means we've got a bright new future with these fuels, right? Sure we do, says Paul Bertorelli with an eyeroll in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider. Read his latest blog post for some thoughts on why new-fuel boosters always neglect market (and technical) realities.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: BARR and the State of Privacy

The U.S. Department of Transportation, under the umbrella of sunshine in government, proposes to do away with the blocking of N-numbers for flight tracking. Guest blogger Michael Harris makes the case for why that's wrong in our latest post to the AVweb Insider.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Dominion Aviation Services (Richmond, VA)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Dominion Aviation Services at Chesterfield County Airport (KFCI) in Richmond, Virginia.

AVweb reader Chris McClure was blown away by the top-notch treatment he received at Dominion:

On a recent trip to the Richmond area, I flew into Chesterfield County Airport, primarily due to convenience to the friends that I was visiting and the fact that, when I called ahead, the lady at the desk indicated that they would find a hanger where I could park my airplane (an Aviat Husky A1-B) for two nights. Storms were predicted in the area in the evenings, so I was particularly interested in putting the plane in out of the weather. When I arrived, the staff was very courteous and efficient, and the same lady I had spoken to earlier exhibited wonderful Southern hospitality, [having] located hanger space for me. The friendly staff made sure that the airplane was properly stowed in one of the corporate hangers on the field and carried my bags to the FBO where I had a friend meeting me. I mentioned that I would be topping off the tanks with 100LL before departure, and when I returned to head back home, the staff had already done so, [then they] helped me take my gear to the plane and pulled the aircraft out of the hanger. The FBO itself was clean and well-equipped, including the seemingly ubiquitous fresh popcorn machine. I will definitely return ... when I next fly into the Richmond area, and I highly recommend them.

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 Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Years ago, an air traffic controller at KSYR was working Approach Control and had numerous aircraft on his screen.

Controller:
"N1234, can you identify yourself? Are you a Cardinal?"

N1234 (after a moment's hesitation) :
"No — but I used to be an altar boy!"


Tom Grover
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

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.

 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
Jeff van West
Mariano Rosales

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