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A SIDE ISSUE IN HIGH-STAKES BROADBAND BATTLE
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...
DEFEND GPS, SUBMIT COMMENTS NOW
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.
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EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT SAFETY STUDY
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.
RULES THREATEN RUSSIAN AIRLINES
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.
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CESSNA CHINA BUSINESS JET PROJECT
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...
Leading Avionics Resource Now More
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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,
JOBS ASSURED SAYS CAIGA
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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INVESTIGATION FOR BOSTON COLLISION
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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JULY 18, 2011
Letter of the Week: EASA's Threat to the
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
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.
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
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
Click through to read the rest
of this week's letters. More...
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
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|Mid-Air Collision And a Near-Perfect
P-51 AND SKYRAIDER MIDAIR WITH PILOT ACCOUNT
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.
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MIKE GOULIAN, AEROBATIC PILOT
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.
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OF THE WEEK: YELVINGTON JET AVIATION (KDAB, DAYTONA BEACH,
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
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
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
A slight departure from our usual hijinks this
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
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
Vining III More...
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...