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Volume 17, Number 24a
June 13, 2011
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AVflash! Ash Over the Atlanticback to top 

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. More...

Compare and Save at the Pilot Insurance Center
Don't pay more for life insurance coverage just because you fly. Contact Pilot Insurance Center to see how you can save. PIC works with A+ rated insurance companies to provide preferred rates for pilots. Call (800) 380-8376 or visit
Please Turn Off Your Electronic Devicesback to top 

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. More...

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USA 1549 Reunionback to top 

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." More...

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

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. More...

WingX Pro 7 for the iPad (And Other Mobile 
Platforms) || Hilton Software
WingX Pro7 Version 5 for iPad — Includes In-Flight Weather
The new WingX Pro7 Version 5 Moving Map adds ADS-B In-Flight Weather, Terrain-Enhanced VFR Sectionals, IFR Low/High Enroute charts, ADS-B NEXRAD, TFRs, SUAs, and a lot more. All moving map views can be displayed fullscreen or side-by-side. Also included: Animated weather images, DUATS, A/FD, AOPA Directory with Yelp integration, Route Planning, FARs, E6B, and more. WingX is also available for Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Android. Click here for more information.
Terrafugia: Not Quite Street-Legal ... Yetback to top 

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. More...

EDM 830 from JP Instruments || Technology 
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Maynard Hill Rememberedback to top 

Maynard Hill, who set 25 aviation records and whom the Washington Post called a "balsa-and-glue virtuoso," 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. More...

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

AVMAIL: JUNE 13, 2011

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

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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New on AVweb.comback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

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. More...

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. 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 "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 Flightback to top 


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

"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, 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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