AVwebFlash - Volume 17, Number 32a

August 8, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! GA Comes to China in a Big Way back to top 

China To Hold First GA Fly-In

The first-ever general aviation fly-in will take place in China in September as part of a five-day summit on GA issues in Beijing. According to AOPA, the summit, sponsored by AOPA-China, will include government and military officials discussing the incremental relaxation of the almost prohibitive regulations that currently restrict private aviation. It will also include a two-day forum on the economic opportunities that will flow from the regulation changes. "It is an excellent networking opportunity with China's aviation delegation, GA industry members as well as clients," Yinjie Jason Zhang, a New-York-based pilot and member of the AOPA-China board of directors, told AOPA.

AOPA is sending Melissa Rudinger, its senior VP for government and regulatory affairs, and John Sheehan, the secretary general of the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations. "With the decision by the Chinese government to support GA development and airspace reform, China is a promising future market for the worldwide GA industry," Rudinger said. The summit runs from Sept. 20-24, and information about participation can be obtained by e-mailing yinjie.zhang@aopa.org.cn.

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Turbulent Times back to top 

Congress Acts On FAA Funding

Lawmakers announced Thursday a plan to end the partial shutdown of the FAA, and the Senate passed a temporary funding measure Friday. The FAA's last temporary funding measure expired July 23, reportedly causing the immediate layoff of about 75,000 people either directly employed by, or contracted to work for, the FAA. The shutdown also prevented the FAA from collecting approximately $30 million per day in airline ticket taxes. After failing to pass a temporary (or more permanent) funding measure for the FAA, the Senate began a five-week-long "district work break." Had the Senate not acted on funding the FAA before returning to work in September, the FAA was on track to lose about $1.3 billion in ticket tax revenue.

The Senate failed to pass a funding measure for the FAA in part because of disagreements between the House and Senate over funding for air service to certain remote airports and laws affecting airline worker unionization. Thursday, reports stated that the temporary deal was said to follow along the lines of the House's version of the bill, which excludes subsidies for 13 rural airports. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood can issue waivers to at least partially fund those subsidies, regardless. As of Thursday, it appeared issues regarding worker unionization are not addressed by the temporary measure but will be left for further debate in the future. One FAA engineer who was interviewed on CNN said that the experience has left him cautious, saying he planned to be more frugal with his money for fear of another layoff.

GAMA: GA Shipments Down

Total GA shipments dropped 15.5 percent in 2011 when compared to the same six-month period last year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) said Thursday, but small piston aircraft weren't the biggest losers in the segment. The first six months of 2011 saw 791 shipments versus 936 shipments for that period during 2010. The biggest loser in the general aviation segment was business jets. The industry shipped 355 last year, but recorded 261 in 2011 -- a 26.5-percent drop. Turboprop deliveries fell by 8.9 percent. And piston-powered planes fared better, but only by the slimmest of margins -- their numbers fell off by 8.7 percent. GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce included his political observations in a news release that delivered the figures and didn't seem to hold back.

"These negative shipment numbers demonstrate precisely how ill-timed and potentially destructive the Obama Administration's rhetoric and policies toward corporate jets are for general aviation," Bunce said. He added that the administration has "singled out business aircraft owners with political demagoguery," in a way that is "doing more damage to an industry that has obviously not yet clawed its way out of this recession." Year-to-date airplane billings for general aviation added up to more than $7 billion through two quarters of 2011, according to GAMA. The administration has singled out business jets while pressing to close what it has identified as tax loopholes. And it has also suggested changing depreciation schedules for general aviation aircraft purchases from five years to seven. GAMA's complete report is available online (PDF). Find Bunce's comments, here.

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GPS Faces Bigger Threats than WiFi back to top 

Solar Flares Could Hit GPS

It might be time to review those VOR skills in light of sunspot activity that had the potential to disrupt GPS signals on Friday and Saturday. On Thursday, the sun sent a significant burst of electromagnetic energy toward earth after sunspot 1261 belched three major solar flares. The eruption was rated at three on a scale of five and that's enough to make GPS equipment lose its way. It's particularly hard on high-precision units like WAAS-capable aviation gear. The worst was expected to be over by late Saturday but there could be more solar storms coming.

After a prolonged period of unusual sleepiness, the sun appears to be waking up as it moves to the apex of its 11-year activity cycle. More big flares are possible, even likely, and if they get bigger than those on Thursday they can cause real problems. "In a solar cycle there are perhaps 10 or 20 events of this size," Brian J. Anderson, a research physicist at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab, told the Baltimore Sun. "This is not a once-in-a-century type of thing. I'd say it's the first really strong one we're seeing out of this solar cycle."

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So What's Boeing Been Up To? back to top 

Boeing Plans For Space Flight

With the last Space Shuttle flight in the history books, Boeing is stepping up plans to provide a manned space mission alternative with a modern take on the space capsule. The company has selected to use Atlas 5 rockets to test its CST-100 seven-place "space taxi" on three flights in 2015. Only the third will carry people. Boeing's first test will attempt to deliver the CST-100 to orbit. The next will be intentionally aborted after launch and before the vehicle has reached space. The third plans to deliver Boeing test pilots to the International Space Station, setting the stage for more regular service in 2016.

The Atlas 5 has recorded 26 successful flights without one failure over five years. Meanwhile, multiple companies have been working for years on products and propulsion systems that would deliver cargo or passengers into space. Boeing may have at least one advantage. Boeing's effort is partly funded by NASA. Its tests will set the CST-100 and its propulsion system for competition against products from SpaceX, which has already completed a series of test launches. XCOR, Armadillo Aerospace, Blue Origin, and Orbital Sciences Corp are also all pursuing space vehicle programs. The last company plans to launch a resupply vessel into space early in 2012.

Boeing Brands U.S. With 747 Track

Tuesday, a marathon flight of Boeing's latest cargo freighter, the 747-8, carried the jet 11,666 miles over 17 hours and roughly traced "747" across the western half of the United States, according to tracking provided by FlightAware.com. The practice isn't entirely unique. In another notable example, Cessna in 2008 used a Citation X's track to draw the company logo across several Midwest states. Boeing expects the FAA to evaluate test data over the next few weeks and return with certification for the aircraft. The big jet has flown more than 1200 flights through the test program and that did lead to some changes for the aircraft.

Flight testing revealed problems with the flaps and outboard ailerons that required aerodynamic changes and fly-by-wire system adjustments, respectively. However, Boeing believes they've achieved their goal of creating a newer, more advanced aircraft while preserving flight characteristics that will make transition easier for current 747-400 pilots. Those qualified in the older jet will not need any simulator time to qualify in the new plane, but will need three days of ground school to learn its systems. A passenger version of the 747-8, called the Intercontinental, is still in testing.

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News Briefs back to top 

Pilot Thought F-16s Were Admiring Her Cub

A Chicago-area pilot who says she thought the pilots of a pair of F-16s circling her were just admiring her award-winning 1941 Piper Cub will undoubtedly get a written explanation of why they were really there. Myrtle Rose, 75, admits she didn't check NOTAMs or even turn on the radio in the blue-and-yellow Cub she calls Winston when she went for a hop from her fly-in community on Aug. 5 and strayed into a presidential TFR. When the fighters appeared, it apparently never occurred to her they might be on official business. "I thought, 'Oh, well, they're just looking at how cute the Cub is," she told The Associated Press. It's not clear whether the fighter jocks attempted to escort her to an airport but it may not have done any good. Rose headed home and the airstrip in the affluent Chicago suburb of South Barrington soon filled with police cars.

Rose said she filled out a report to the FAA explaining that she thought the fighter jocks were just trying to ogle her Cub, which recently earned best-in-class honors at AirVenture Oshkosh. That's not a likely flight profile for $9,000-an-hour, fully armed fighters, according to NORAD spokeswoman Stacey Knott. "The biggest thing to keep in mind is that when F-16s come screaming up to you, they are probably trying to tell you something," she said. The FAA will be telling her something but spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory told the AP she doesn't know how stern that message will be. Penalties for busting TFRs range from letters to fines to suspension of flying privileges and it will likely be a few weeks before Rose's punishment is meted out.

Breitling App Puts You In The Reno Air Races

Breitling Chronometers has released a free iPhone game called Reno Air Races, where you get to try your hand at the pylons at Reno using the accelerometer in your iPhone in place of stick and rudder. The visuals are rather stunning and performance is quite good for something running on a phone. The game has a quick play mode, multiplayer (online) mode, tutorial and even its own YouTube movie.

You hold the phone horizontally and tilt back for elevator, left and right for aileron, and there are two buttons in the bottom corners for the rudders. There is also a button for a speed brake, and a button for an extra "boost" of speed when you need it. Tip: for a knife-edge turn, you still need rudder in the direction of the turn rather than "top rudder." Warning: it's easy to blow a lot of time without realizing it, and the hard turns can be hard on your phone if you're standing too close to a wall.

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

AVmail: August 8, 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: Things Will Be Better If Pilots Pay

Regarding the user fee issue: As a group, aircraft owner/operators are among the most affluent members of society. We should never have been on the government dole and should always have been paying for every service we get.

This is necessary not only as a matter of equity, but we must have control of the "services" offered. Free enterprise should be allowed to provide WX, traffic, ATC, whatever.

Cell phones automatically and invisibly change frequencies and power levels constantly. Why in this age should we have government workers telling us when to make frequency changes? We are held back by government's inability to adapt to the times. If we were paying, we would demand efficiency.

So, for both reasons, we should pay.

Darryl Phillips

... Or It Will Get Worse

This "departure fee" is only the start of the usual ruse of our government to open the door to other user fees. Once this small fee is allowed, it will lead to many other fees, not to mention a simple ongoing set of increases on this fee to where it becomes a monster in and of itself.

This is simply a "foot in the door," and acceptance of this fee is simply the start of the proverbial snowball rolling down the hill. History has shown this to us time after time after time.

Blaine Banks

Let D. B. Die

This is a bad question. Let it die. He stole $200,000. I'd bet the FBI and other agencies have spent more than $20,000,000 trying to solve this. Worse than that, they are still spending money. Let it die. Enough money has been wasted on a dead man. Your question just perpetuates the spending of more taxpayer dollars.

Fred Willson

Pictures Perfect

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy the expanded "Picture of the Week" segment. Can never get enough.

Rick Humphries

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

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: The Art, Science, and Politics of Flight

The cumulative power of thousands of airplanes can affect even the most jaded worldview. Mary Grady experienced that for herself at EAA AirVenture this year and shares some observations on the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: Lycoming on Automotive Gas

A significant subtext in the quest to replace 100LL with an unleaded equivalent is the use of automobile fuel or mogas in engines that are approved to burn it. The two major engine makers, Lycoming and Continental, have traditionally avoided the approvals required to do this. But Lycoming sees a place for automotive-type fuels in the supply chain, and beginning this week, in a series of three guest posts to the AVweb Insider blog, Lycoming GM Michael Kraft explains the company's views on how automobile fuels can be integrated into aviation. The blogs will run on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Read the first here, then share your own comments.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 

Forty-Seven Years in Aviation -- A Memoir: Chapter 4 -- Primary Flight Training Part 3

Richard Taylor continues his memoir with the final section of primary flight training: navigation, night flight, and IFR. After a short delay to avoid not one but two hurricanes in North Carolina, he graduates and is ready to go on to basic flight training in Texas.

Click here to read the fourth chapter.

A considerable amount of classroom time was devoted to aerial navigation, including the resolution of wind drift and other problems on the two-sided E6B computer:

Compared to contemporary electronic magic, the term "computer" is lost on the E6B, but it did the job for us more than half a century ago. The computer side (on the left) is little more than a circular slide rule modified for aviation use. The wind side has a sliding grid and an erasable plastic screen on which the wind arrow can be drawn, providing a graphic solution of ground speed and wind drift correction.

My E6B (which mysteriously wound up in my personal goods when I left Stallings) is shown here, with its leather carrying case and a string to hang the computer from a knob on the instrument panel. Keep in mind there is no floor in a T-6, just the belly skin; anything dropped -- pencils, flashlights, E6Bs, etc. -- stays dropped until you land, or until you turn the airplane upside down and catch whatever falls off the floor.

The training curriculum included cross-country solo flights, all of which were intended to familiarize us with chart reading, pilotage and the art of coming up with good estimates of time and distance. To the best of my recollection, no one in our class got lost ... possibly because Mr. Cole, the chief flight instructor, briefed us that if we were ever uncertain about our position over North Carolina, we should turn to a heading of 090 and fly until we came to a large body of water, then do a 180 -- and there was the United States of America straight ahead.

We also flew a solo night cross-country mission. After briefing all afternoon on the value of precise flight planning, location of check points and the limitations of the human visual system, we launched ... an in-trail stream of T-6s describing a huge triangle in the North Carolina sky. The two turning points were lighted airports, and when I reached cruise altitude (perhaps four or five thousand feet), I could see the rotating beacons of both locations. So much for the difficulty of night navigation, at least at this level of experience. But just in case any of us got disoriented and wandered off into the black of night, Serv-Air had instructors in T-6s orbiting each of the checkpoints and we were required to check in as we arrived at the turning points.

The R-1340 engine put on a different face at night. The smoke that was part and parcel of every engine start obscured what was really happening at the exhaust on the lower-right side of the airplane about six feet ahead of the cockpit. But in the dark of night, as the nine cylinders tried to decide which of them would start first and in what order, bright colors and occasional bursts of flame mixed with the smoke until the engine settled into a smooth idle. On takeoff, with full-rich mixture and full power, the unburned products of combustion streamed out of the exhaust looking like the world's biggest blowtorch. (We weren't taught sophisticated cruise control-techniques, but it was possible to arrive at a reasonably economical mixture setting for cruise by watching the color of the exhaust flame while leaning the mixture. Yellow wasn't bad, but a short, light-blue flame was much better.)

I don't think there were any students in the class who had previous experience in aerobatics, but by the time we finished that part of the course most of us could have put on a decent show ... given enough altitude, of course. We learned loops, barrel rolls, slow rolls, wingovers and the occasional split-S. For me, the barrel roll was the most difficult of these maneuvers. From straight-and-level flight, the procedure was to lower the nose a bit to pick up some airspeed, start a roll to the left (or to the right, your choice) then reverse the bank and fly the airplane around a point on the horizon. The barrel roll was aptly named when compared to a slow roll, in which you roll the airplane around its longitudinal axis while maintaining the nose on a point. Each of these needed a fine touch on stick and rudder because the T-6 ran out of airspeed in a hurry and required constant changes in control displacement throughout the roll. The most common error was "dishing out" at the top by allowing the airplane to stop rolling, at which time it fell out of the sky sideways. I can still hear Ray Petty -- "Taylor, let's try that roll one more time" -- and until I caught on, "one more time" frequently turned into several additional attempts. But I figured it out eventually and for the balance of the program enjoyed solo aerobatics at every opportunity.

Primary flight training did not include formation flying -- that was reserved for basic flight training a few months later, which was much more operationally oriented. But the urge to fly close to another airplane just like the big boys led inevitably to occasional join-ups far enough from Kinston to reduce the possibility of detection by instructors ... and, for the same reason, always in radio silence. We probably never got closer than 50 feet or so from each other, but these illicit adventures had all the excitement of forbidden fruit. I would not be surprised to learn the instructors knew some of this was going on and chose to look the other way.

A little knowledge can sometimes be a dangerous thing. I joined up with a classmate one day at 5000 feet over the Trent River about 30 miles southeast of Kinston. We flew together for a few minutes, then Don hand-signaled his intent to do a split-S, which involves going inverted and completing the second half of a high-speed loop; I nodded agreement and down we went. After leveling at 2500 feet or so he indicated "let's do it again," to which I replied with a vigorous head-shake -- "No way, Jose!" Don shrugged his shoulders, rolled the T-6 on its back and started down. As he got closer to the water, the shadow of the airplane shrank until it was almost the same size as the airplane itself, indicating he pulled out very close to the surface. When we got back Don admitted it was a close call; if nothing else, he found out how much altitude a T-6 requires for a split-S.

Instrument training for Air Force student pilots in 1955 hadn't moved very far beyond Jimmy Doolittle's pioneering work in the late 1920s. He recognized the problems of spatial disorientation and instrument interpretation and developed the methodology for "flying blind." In 1929 Doolittle configured an Army Air Corps biplane as an instrument trainer with a hood that covered the rear cockpit. On Sept. 24, he took off from Mitchell Field, flew for five minutes, used a radio signal to line up with the runway, and landed the airplane with no outside visual references. It was the first time anyone had done this. (There was a safety pilot in the front seat but he didn't touch the controls throughout the flight.) Doolittle was awarded the Harmon trophy for this astounding accomplishment.

Doolittle's IFR flight and our instrument training in 1955 had two things in common. First, the instrumentation in the back seat of his Consolidated NY-2 biplane was essentially the same as that in the back seat of a T-6; second, the apparatus he used to preclude outside references was remarkably similar to the hood in the back seat of the T-6, except for the manner in which they operated. The photo above shows Doolittle's two-piece canvas hood that was raised from each side and fastened at the top; the T-6 hood was stowed behind the back seat and was pulled forward over the student's head ... it looked something like a beach cabana. Of course, students being clever fellows, it didn't take us long to discover how to get a quick look outdoors to recover from confusion under the hood.

I have used a variety of plastic and cardboard hoods, goggles, and other vision-limiting devices for training instrument students and for my own IFR practice, but none of them were as effective as the T-6 hood; it was as close as you could get to a simulation of flying in the clouds.

His name notwithstanding, Doolittle did a lot. He enlisted as a cadet in the Signal Corps in 1917, earning his wings and a commission several months later. He resigned his commission in 1930 to join the Shell Oil Company as manager of their aviation department and was instrumental in the production of 115/145-octane fuel used by the high-performance airplanes that were crucial to the outcome of World War II. Doolittle was also active in air racing: He won the prestigious Bendix, Thompson, Schneider and Mackay trophies.

Recalled to active duty shortly after Dec. 7, 1941 Doolittle was selected to lead the B-25 raid on Tokyo in April 1942. For his effort in this project he was awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted to Brigadier General. He served as commander of the 8th Air Force in WWII. Doolittle's many achievements and contributions to military and civil aviation were rewarded with a fourth star in 1985.

Instrument instruction in primary flight training was intended to provide nothing more than a familiarization with the basics of instrument flight: straight-and-level, climbs, descents and turns. To begin this part of the program, we spent 25 hours in the Link C3 trainer (the "Blue Box"), which was the first effective flight simulator. Earlier efforts to provide initial pilot training without the expense and risk of actual flight were rather lame. In this 1909 "simulator" for the French Antoinette airplane, the pilot sat on a half-barrel and operated the control wheels on either side: one for pitch, the other for roll. In response to the pilot's inputs, a man standing at the rear moved the "elevator" up or down to change pitch, and the fellow on the left created roll by lifting or lowering the long handle sticking out to the side.

The Link C3 was capable of simultaneous movement in all three axes, and once you became accustomed to control movement and simulator response, it was much like actual flight -- except for the lack of noise. The smoothness derived from the air-operated bellows on which the trainer rested; that was because Edwin Link, inventor of the C3, was a pipe-organ builder and was therefore familiar with pneumatic machines. His trainer rested on bellows that expanded or contracted and produced the movement in response to control inputs by the student. The Link Company is still making flight simulators, but the bellows are long gone.

The Link trainer department at Stallings was rather unique: It was the first -- and perhaps the only -- of the nine contract schools with an all-female instructor staff. The original Link C3s were equipped with control wheels, but our trainers were modified with a control stick to resemble the T-6 cockpit.

One of the film presentations in ground school featured personified instruments doing their thing in a T-6 panel. I don't remember all the names, but they might have been something like Albert Attitude Indicator or Harold Heading Indicator and -- the one I remember clearly -- Tommy Turn-and-Bank. Each had a cartoon face and moved about with simple animation. The film showed the instrument panel of a student who let his airplane enter a spin; after a couple of turns, Tommy Turn-and-Bank (who was jammed against the side of his instrument case) looked into the camera and said in a Mickey Mouse voice, "Let's get the hell out of this spin!" A little profanity went a long way in 1955 ... and a heavy foot on the opposite rudder is still the best way to get out of a spin.

After completing several Link trainer lessons, we started flying under the hood in the T-6. Fortunately the instrument panel in the Link was somewhat similar to the T-6 back-seat panel, which eased the transition:

I began instrument training like a house on fire, but after several hours in the airplane it all came unglued ... nothing was going right. ("Mayday, mayday, Mr. Petty.") Ray sent me to a friend of his in the Link department who spotted the problem right away: I was over-controlling in turns and losing the coordination of roll and yaw that is fundamental to instrument flying. He (a part-time male instructor) solved the problem in one lesson with a simple technique: Control the turn needle with the stick and make the ball behave with rudder pressure. It was like having my personal physician send me to a specialist, and it was smooth sailing under the hood from that point on.

Radio navigation wasn't included in our instrument-flying curriculum, but one day when I was hard at work under the hood, Mr. Petty said, "Push the hood back and take a look on the ground just behind the right wing." And there, recognizable instantly because of its distinctive "witch's hat" shape, was a VOR transmitter, at that time the cutting edge of aerial radio navigation. Of course we had nothing on board to receive the signal or display the information it had to offer -- that would be developed in basic flight training, still several months away -- but it was a glimpse of the future.

In mid-August our training was interrupted by a visit from two nasty ladies named Connie and Diane. These two hurricanes didn't fit the description of a perfect storm, but they managed to beat up the North Carolina coastline and the Kinston area with high winds and heavy rains. In a somewhat unusual display of storm tracks, Connie headed straight for Kinston (red star) for several days then veered off to the north; Diane followed a similar path five days later but continued to the northwest and hit Kinston right between the eyes:

Several days before Connie arrived, Mr. Petty re-arranged a routine training mission so we could see what the beach-dwellers were doing to prepare for the hurricane. Most of them had retreated to higher ground but some, well aware of the damage that might be done to their properties, hired earthmoving equipment to pile up sand in front of their homes. This seemed a rather desperate move in light of the fact that hurricane-strength wind and the predicted eight-foot storm surge would reconfigure the beach despite the homeowners' best efforts.

When it became apparent that these two storms were going to do some serious damage in the Kinston area, the ServAir people put their disaster procedures into effect. Instructors flew the T6s (which belonged to the Air Force) to safe-haven airports farther inland, and the PA-18s (owned by the contractor, ServAir) were moved into hangars and stacked close together with their tails in the air. This was a good way to protect the Cubs ... unless the wind dislodged the hangar roof and dumped it onto the airplanes, a distinct possibility.

Connie brushed the North Carolina coast with 100-knot winds and Kinston experienced several days of 40-50 knot winds with occasional gusts near 100 knots. Rainfall was frequently horizontal and the wind picked up lots of sand -- not good news for things such as automobile finishes. To protect our almost-new car from being sandblasted, I parked it in the lee of the house and moved it whenever the wind direction changed. Following the suggestions of the local radio station, we stocked up on canned foods, filled the bathtub with water, and stayed well clear of the windows. (This was our first hurricane ... the locals were not quite so concerned.) With no airplanes to fly and academic pursuits finished, those of us who lived in Green Acres resorted to hurricane parties to pass the time ... what else is a bunch of 20-somethings to do?

As it turned out, there was no damage to the house, the electricity didn't miss a lick and the car survived unscathed.

When the airplanes came home, we filled the remaining squares in the training schedule, passed our final checkrides, and celebrated our achievement with a hangar party. (Pettys on the right, Taylors on the left, boisterous classmates in the background.)

Receiving orders for Basic Flight Training was one of the final events at Stallings Air Base. Those of you who are familiar with the abbreviations and truncated phrases used in Air Force orders in the 1950s may fast-forward to the next chapter; if not, this is a good opportunity for a short lesson in military language. Here, in its original typewritten form, is the opening paragraph of my orders to Vance Air Force Base for multi-engine flight training:

And here's the translation:

The following named officers, grade indicated, scheduled to graduate with primary pilot training class 56-I, are released from their assignment to the 3308th Pilot Training Group at this station and are assigned to the organization indicated. Report to the commander thereat not earlier than 8 a.m. and not later than noon 1Sep55, for entry into basic pilot training multi-engine course number 122100. Duration of this course is approximately 24 weeks. Days delay en route authorized as leave. [In other words, we could use some of the travel time for leave.] Travel pay is authorized, with six days of travel time authorized. If a personally owned vehicle is not used, travel time will be the time of the carrier used. Students have been granted final clearance for access to classified defense information up to and including secret; investigation and clearance has been recorded in unit personnel records in accordance with Air Force Regulation 205-6. Advance payment and maximum partial payments are authorized. This is a permanent change of station and permanent change of assignment.

If you are able to translate the rest of this order, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din. I figured what I didn't know about all that gobbledygook would probably not hurt me.

With plenty of time to travel from Kinston to Enid, we used several days of leave to visit with our families in Ohio and then off to Oklahoma, the land of farmers, ranchers, oil wells, Vance AFB, and the second half of pilot training.

[Continued next month.]

To send a note to Richard and AVweb about this story, please click here.
More articles, stories and fiction about the joy of aviation are found in AVweb's Skywritings section.
// -->

Podcast: Google and Emission-Free Aerial Transportation

File Size 6.6 MB / Running Time 7:10

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Google's Larry Page has attended three of the CAFE Foundation's Electric Airplane Symposiums, and now his company is putting up money to help them out. AVweb spoke with CAFE Foundation President Dr. Brien Seeley about what the sponsorship means and how it affects the coming Green Flight Challenge in late September.

Click here to listen. (6.6 MB, 7:10)

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Carlson Aviation (KYKN, Yankton, SD)

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

Word of a good FBO spreads far and wide — as evidenced by our latest "FBO of the Week," Carlson Aviation at Chan Gurney Municipal Airport (KYKN) in Yankton, South Dakota.

AVweb reader Bruce Robertson tells us how, in Carlson's case, you really can believe the hype:

After reading their profile on various web sites, I thought I'd make Yankton a stop on my way to Oshkosh. They were better than all reports, welcoming us and taking care of our every need. As we needed to stay the night, Katie Carlson took care of hotel and transportation details. She also loaned us the crew car so we could explore the area a bit. We liked Carlson so much, we stopped in again on the way out of Oshkosh. They are worth a visit.

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!

Peter Drucker Says,
"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly, click now for details.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

EAA AirVenture 2011: Complete Coverage Round-Up

Click here for all our news stories from AirVenture — both for 2011 and previous years. And our AVwebAudio newsletter has the complete run-down of this year's multimedia coverage:

Want to get AVwebAudio in your inbox every Friday? Just log in to AVweb (or create a free account in the upper right corner of this page) and visit AVweb.com/profile. Choose "Update E-mail Subscriptions" in the profile center, and from there, you can add or drop any AVweb newsletters.

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Back in the early '70s, I was an FO for now-defunct Cascade Airways in the Pacific Northwest. We were known to ATC as the VFR on-top airline. The following exchange was heard one day:

"Ah, Cascade 123, Seattle Center; what do the clouds look like for you out there?"

Cascade 123:
"Well, let's see -- there's one at 12 o'Clock that looks like a fat little bunny and another at 9 o'Clock that looks like a big pony with a really long tail."

[no reply]

Bob Kay
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:

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.

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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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