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Volume 17, Number 29a
July 18, 2011
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AVflash! Battle of the Bandwidth Marches Onback to top 
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Although the FCC's rulemaking process is nowhere near finished on the LightSquared/GPS issue, LightSquared's multi-billion-dollar business plan appears to be unaffected by the nagging details of regulatory approval and the potential destruction of the GPS system. According to CNET, Sprint, Nextel and LightSquared are about to announce a blockbuster partnership that will allow Sprint to migrate its service to the Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband service that LightSquared is offering and is apparently the next big thing in wireless. In exchange, LightSquared gets the use of the 40,000 cell towers (remember those 40,000 towers?) that Sprint already owns for a rental fee of about $2 billion a year. What's significant for those who care about GPS in all of this is that the interference that's been clearly demonstrated is a side issue in high-stakes intrigue that may alter the broadband services landscape considerably. More...

The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) is urging -- and guiding -- GPS users to actively participate in defending GPS from the potential interference of proposed wireless broadband services. AEA's concern is a reaction to the efforts of a company called LightSquared, which is seeking to construct a nationwide infrastructure to support wireless broadband on radio frequencies adjacent to those used by GPS. Tests have shown that implementation of the system can cause interference with GPS and the FCC is seeking public feedback on those results. Toward that end, AEA has provided guidelines and advice for delivering your message to the FCC prior to the agency's deadline. Click through for links, etc. More...

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Safety, Studies and Practicalityback to top 

The NTSB with the support of EAA has launched a study to evaluate and improve the safety of amateur-built experimental aircraft, beginning with an online survey. Nearly 15 percent of general aviation aircraft (33,000 of 224,000) in the U.S. fall into the amateur-built experimental classification, the NTSB says. And that group exhibits "accident rates greater than those of other comparable segments of GA." Together with EAA, the NTSB hopes to identify risks unique to the segment and improve on the segment's record. According to the NTSB, the study will be the first to examine the building and piloting of experimental aircraft with direct input from owners and operators. More...

The Russian domestic airline industry says recently announced safety requirements are impossible to achieve and an unusually frank report in the Moscow Times suggests fares will double if they're implemented as planned. By January, aircraft used for scheduled service have to have TCAS and ground proximity warning systems, which have been standard equipment for airliners in much of the rest of the world for decades. However, the workhorses of the Russian fleet are aircraft like the An-24, rough, rugged and conceived in the 1950s. The estimated cost of a retrofit is $350,000, far more than most airlines paid for the twin turboprops. "Where will we find so much money?" wondered Valery Fisher, whose Katekavia operates 14 An-24s. What's more, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recently called for the accelerated decommissioning of the An-24 fleet after a fatal crash on July 11. More...

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Cessna, AVIC Talk Turkey Over Bizjetsback to top 

Cessna and the Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC) are in "exploratory" talks regarding possible collaboration on a business jet. The talks reportedly revolve around joint design and production of such an aircraft. Cessna has already developed ties in China, where its Skycatcher LSA is produced by Shenyang Aircraft Corp. The company's interest in forming a joint venture to produce business aircraft is not unique. AVIC is holding talks with multiple airframe manufacturers, including Hawker Beechcraft, the Wichita Eagle reported Wednesday. Decisions about partnerships could start to roll in before year-end. More...

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The newly designed industry-leading web site has been released! Get to know all of SEA's services: Part Sales, Repairs, Installations, Special Missions and Engineering. Each online department provides detailed information on services, capabilities, experiences and contact information. Save time and go directly to the resources you need. And, as always, you can find real-time inventory pricing and delivery on the part sales site,
Retaining Jobsback to top 

An unusual example of grassroots diplomacy has netted Duluth, Minn., an assurance of sorts that it will retain the jobs that go with one of its biggest employers. When China Aviation Industry General Aircraft announced plans to buy Cirrus Aircraft last February, the fear (and assumption by some) was that the operation would be moved to the People's Republic. The concern persisted after repeated assurances from Cirrus brass, and the Duluth City Council was among those looking for assurances. About six weeks ago, the city government sent a memorandum of understanding to CAIGA's top brass seeking assurances the production facilities and their jobs will stay in Duluth. Last week CAIGA President Xiangkai Meng and Duluth Mayor Don Ness signed the document in a ceremony in Duluth. More...

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Aviation Safety Reportsback to top 

The NTSB is now investigating a taxiway collision that caused millions of dollars in damage and disrupted travel plans for almost 300 Delta customers but didn't cause any serious injuries. Late Thursday, the winglet on a Delta 767 that was setting up for a trip to Amsterdam from Boston's Logan Airport clipped the tail of a CRJ900 (operated for Delta by Atlantic Southeast Airlines) that was about to leave for Raleigh. Much of the winglet remained with the RJ's tail. The FAA initially rated the mishap as an "incident" but later gave it "accident" status, which triggers a full-scale investigation including pulling the recorders and interviewing all involved. "This accident is getting the serious attention it deserves from the agencies that need to investigate it," said FAA spokesman Jim Peters. Click here for recordings of the radio exchange between the crews and controllers. More...

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AVweb Mailbagback to top 

AVMAIL: JULY 18, 2011

Letter of the Week: EASA's Threat to the U.S.

You highlight the fact that LSA are going to suffer under the EASA regime. Sadly, this is just one of many, many actions being taken by EASA that will damage light GA both in Europe and worldwide.

Perhaps the biggest impact will be the changes to licensing laws, which will require any resident of the European Union to have to hold a valid EASA license and ratings for the flight being undertaken. One can now fly on an FAA license in an FAA-registered aircraft anywhere in Europe (as a resident or not). We have a large number of FAA-registered aircraft in Europe operated by people that have only FAA licenses for a variety of reasons.

When this new legislation comes into force (sometime between April 2012 and April 2014), it will effectively ground a lot of people, particularly FAA instrument-rated pilots. It will also render their aircraft effectively useless. There are bound to be a large number of aircraft for sale in an already depressed and arguably saturated market, and many of these aircraft will be unsaleable in Europe as they will have modifications that are not approved by EASA and will therefore end up back in the U.S. and being dumped on the market for whatever the seller can get.

So not only will EASA destroy GA in Europe but also do potentially irreparable damage [to] the U.S. market and possibly the world market in the process. It is estimated that more than 10 percent of the European GA fleet is currently on the FAA register, probably several thousand aircraft.

Why is this happening? Well, I am not close to the detail, but from what I understand it is all about some ridiculous tit-for-tat dispute between EASA and the FAA. The issue for all of us is that this is probably the beginning of the end of GA in Europe, and it could do a lot of harm to the value of your asset in the U.S.

Geoff Semler

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.

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

For a follow-up article on Thielert-powered diesel airplanes, we would like to hear from owners operating these airplanes. Please e-mail us at with contact information, and we'll get back to you. More...

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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Mid-Air Collision — And a Near-Perfect Ejectionback to top 

Sunday, July 10, the P-51 Mustang dubbed Big Beautiful Doll crashed after a midair collision with a Douglas Skyraider while performing a flyby at the Duxford Flying Legends event in Duxford, England. No one was seriously injured. The Mustang's pilot, Rob Davies escaped under parachute, but was struck by the aircraft on his way out. The Skyraider completed a full roll to the right after hitting the P-51 and landed safely, missing a portion of its right wing. Davies gave a local news station his account and AVweb has obtained video of the event. Click through to watch the impact, see Davies escape and hear his story. More...

That's what Rob Davies's exit from a damaged P-51 Mustang last week in the UK looked like, at least on video. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli examines some of the risk factors in low-altitude bail-outs. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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More Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Mike Goulian loves to compete, and he takes his search for perfection to the limit every time he flies. He talks with AVweb's Mary Grady about the finer points of tumbling his custom-built Extra 330SC, how he balances safety and risk, and why the air show crowd at Oshkosh is the best in the world. More...

There are at least a half-dozen training programs that offer help. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli takes a brief look at some of the offerings. Each has plusses and minuses, but any of them can get you ready to fly the G1000, if not confident and proficient. More...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Yelvington Jet Aviation at Daytona Beach International Airport (KDAB) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

AVweb reader Ron Horton tells us how the Yelvington exceeded his every expectation last week:

Despite the "jet" in their name, Yelvington was extremely helpful as we flew our Cessna 182 from North Carolina to KDAB to watch the final space shuttle launch. We called all the FBOs at KDAB, and Yelvington alone answered with courtesy, efficiency, and a desire to help us make our trip easy. Their fuel prices were the lowest on the field; they handled us quickly on the ramp despite the bad weather; they shuttled us to the terminal to pick up our rental car; and the warm cookies inside were a bonus! When we were headed from the Cape to KDAB for departure, we called for them to get the plane out of the hangar — they got it out, but when the storm beat us to the airport, they put it back in the hangar for safety and rolled it back out after we arrived and the storm had passed. We will definitely take advantage of Yelvington's hospitality when we return to KDAB.

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!


Short Finalback to top 


A slight departure from our usual hijinks this week:

The fallen Betty Ford was returning to Grand Rapids for the last time. Her remains were abord a beautiful United States Presidential airplane painted blue and white. The airport was closed to all other traffic for 30 minutes. Airliners waited patientally on the ground and some in a hold over the GRR VOR. As Ms. Ford's plane, SAM 324, landed, they were cleared to taxi all the way to the end, in front of a thousand people. The tower frequency was absolutely silent.

One unknown airline pilot, in a low, respectful voice, said, "Rest in peace, Mrs. Ford."

After a short pause and in a slow, measured response, the Presidential plane's pilot identified himself:

"SAM 324."

Len Vining III
via e-mail


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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