AVwebFlash - Volume 17, Number 34a

August 22, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Aviation Safety Reports back to top 
 

Three Dead In Weekend Air Show Accidents (Corrected)

It was a tragic weekend for air shows as three fatal accidents occurred, killing a wingwalker and solo aerobatics performer in the U.S. and a member of the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows at a show in England. On Sunday, wingwalker Todd Green was trying to perform his signature transfer from a wing to the skid of a helicopter when he fell about 200 feet to his death at the Selfridge Air Show near Detroit. Green was a close friend of Kyle Franklin. whose wingwalking wife Amanda died earlier this year from burns suffered in a crash in March."It's really tragic," Franklin told reporters. "We are not thrill seekers trying to cheat death. We love what we do. We all know the risks involved." On Saturday, Red Arrows pilot Flt. Lt. Jon Egging died after a low-level ejection in his Hawk aircraft at the Bournemouth Air Show and Bryan Jensen was killed when his highly modified Pitts Special, called The Beast, crashed on the field at the Kansas City Aviation Expo Air Show.

Egging was in formation with the Red Arrows when he split from the others and called a Mayday. Witnesses said he maneuvered the small jet trainer away from populated areas. His body was found face down in a river, not far from the wreckage of his aircraft. His wife and other members of his family attended the air show. Egging is being hailed as a hero. Jensen, a Delta Airlines 747 pilot, had been performing in air shows for 15 years. The aircraft, which had a modified Russian radial engine boosted to 412 horsepower, impacted vertically and caught fire.

Airliner Crashes During Disaster Exercise

A Canadian airliner crashed, killing 12 people of 15 people aboard, in the middle of a mock military and civil defense exercise that was simulating an airliner crash in the country's high Arctic. The First Air Boeing 737-200 was not part of the exercise but was on a charter flight to Resolute Bay in the northern territory of Nunavut. The elderly airliner crashed into a hillside near the airport while emergency workers and the military were at the peak of readiness during Operation Nanook. "We're here to improve our capabilities to operate in the Arctic ... The operation was going to involve an air disaster scenario that would have seen us responding to an aircraft going down in the Arctic, which, unfortunately, is exactly what played out today," Royal Canadian Air Force spokesman Andrew Hennessy told Sun Media Group. "The aircraft was not involved in the exercise - this was a civilian charter." Airport workers said the airport was blanketed by thick fog at the time of the crash, about 12:50 p.m. local time.

The civilian and military personnel immediately joined the rescue effort, dousing the burning wreck and pulling the plane's occupants out. Initial reports say two flight attendants and a seven-year-old girl were the lone survivors and that the passengers were all residents of the Resolute Bay area.

 
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Controllers Weighed the Options, Made the Call back to top 
 

Controllers Justified Cirrus Intercept

The NTSB says air traffic controllers who vectored a Southwest Boeing 737 to a close-quarters intercept of a NORDO Cirrus in Florida last March invoked a section of the FAA orders (PDF) that compels them to take extraordinary action if the situation warrants. The intercept made headlines and there were at least short-term consequences for the controllers and pilots involved but a factual report issued by the NTSB last week suggests the controllers and supervisors on duty at the Central Florida TRACON may have believed they were duty-bound to get the passenger-laden 737 within a few hundred feet of the Cirrus, which hadn't been heard from in 90 minutes despite repeated attempts at contact, to assess its potential threat. "The controllers at Central Florida TRACON considered the Cirrus to be an emergency due to the length of time the airplane was NORDO and considered the Cirrus a potential threat to the Disney World complex and the NASA space center, where a space shuttle was on a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center," the report says. "The controllers cited FAA Order 7110.65, paragraph 2-1-1, ATC Service that tasks ATC in part, to provide support for National Security and Homeland Defense." They'd also done it before, according to the report.

As we reported in April, the operations manager at the TRACON set up a separate scope and discrete frequency to run the intercept. The Southwest crew flew the last part visually and reported they could see a silhouette in the cockpit. The 737 paced the Cirrus only briefly before being vectored away to a normal landing at Orlando. Meanwhile, on board the Cirrus, the pilot told investigators he'd been trying raise ATC for more than an hour when he finally got hold of Jacksonville ARTCC. Just as he was dialing in the new frequency, the airliner pulled into view and "was pretty close." Once radio contact was re-established, the Cirrus was vectored to a normal landing at its destination of Kissimmee.

 
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Big Airplane, Big Bills back to top 
 

How The Dreamliner Is Costing Boeing

Rolls Royce-powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners flew their last certification flight Aug. 13, but the aircraft will be a drag on Boeing's bottom line until the 1,000th jet is out the door, according to an Aug. 16 report. According to a report by the New York firm Bernstein Research, the jet's initial popularity is actually partly to blame. Orders flowed in so quickly when the program launched that 800 orders were locked in before the program's rising costs became apparent and could be factored into new list prices. Fortunately, that popularity also suggests that the 1,000th delivery may not be too far off.

According to the report, Boeing could begin seeing positive returns in the 787 program by 2015. The research firm says that Boeing sold roughly 1,000 of the jets for an estimated $115 to $137 million, each. Currently, Boeing lists the 787-8 at $185 million and the 787-9 at $218 million. New orders and increases in production-line efficiency are expected to help the design turn the corner to profitability. Currently, nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners have completed more than 1,700 flights through 4,800 flight hours. And the first customer 787, to be delivered to ANA, hasn't yet flown a single hour. ANA is expected to take delivery of the first commercially operated Dreamliner sometime in September and put that aircraft on the line in October. GE powered versions are still in testing.

 
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Aviation Crime Blotter back to top 
 

Stolen Plane Crashes, Pilot Missing

A Piper PA32 crashed in a wooded area about 20 miles from Horace Williams Airport, in North Carolina, Tuesday at about 7 a.m. -- the aircraft was stolen, the pilot was missing, and someone left a blood trail. According to local police, the pilot is believed to have escaped out the front window of the aircraft after the crash. He or she then crawled onto the wing before leaving the scene into the surrounding woods. Authorities say there was no significant fuel spilled at the sight of the crash. According to local news, as of Wednesday evening the pilot had been identified, but not found.

The aircraft had been stolen sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning and a search had involved the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which tracked the aircraft's ELT beacon. Satellites had picked up the signal, presumably when the aircraft crashed. The aircraft was located and identified by CAP, which ran a search for the registered owner. Authorities allege the Piper Saratoga was stolen by 46-year-old Curtis Rene Mellott. A warrant was issued for Mellott on charges of felonious larceny and felonious possession of stolen property. Bloodhounds were brought in to track the pilot, who authorities speculated may be disoriented and wandering in the woods.

 
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Keep 'Em Flying back to top 
 

New Icing Rules And Definitions For Carriers

Effective in 60 days, the FAA will require carriers operating aircraft of less than 60,000 pounds (MTOW) under Part 121 rules to change how they deal with icing and observe a clear definition of icing conditions. Operators will have to install ice-detection equipment or update flight manuals "to ensure timely activation of the airframe ice protection system." The action is intended to address circumstances that have led to accidents and eliminates crew guesswork by setting a definition for icing conditions. Documents submitted during the rule's comment period included some from private citizens who, according to the FAA, stated the agency "had not done enough, early enough."

The rule identifies icing conditions as the presence of visible moisture in temperatures of 5 degrees Celsius or less static air temperature, or 10 degrees Celsius or less total air temperature -- unless the AFM defines it differently. The final rule is identical to the proposed rule and gives the flight crew primary ice detectors, specific visual cues and air temperatures to check for while flying. Aircraft that are not equipped with primary ice detection or an advisory ice detection system are required to take specific measures. Flight crews in those circumstances must activate and continuously or cyclically operate the ice-protection system when in icing conditions. The FAA estimates the cost of compliance at $12.7 million for benefits estimated at $27.2 million. Read the full document online (PDF).

 
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Fun Tours to Start Your Week back to top 
 

A Virtual Tour Of Discovery's Business End

With the shuttle era over, memories of the amazing accomplishments of the program, and its terrible tragedies, are the stuff of history books but enterprising NASA technicians have created a digital tribute to the venerable spacecraft. Just before they decommissioned Discovery to send it to the Udvar Hazy Center of the Smithsonian in Washington, NASA shot an interactive 360-degree view of the cockpit and its immediate environs. Click anywhere on the screen and move the mouse where you want to see.


Trump Flaunts Custom 757 (Video)

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Donald Trump is literally making a show (on YouTube) of the $100 million custom 757 that he purchased form Paul Allen in February. It's significantly larger than the Boeing 727 he previously operated, but Trump is not without his old steed. His 727 has been for sale since 2009, asking $8 million. The newer jet's interior wears 24-carat gold on exposed metals from sink faucets to seat belts. It has a first-class seating area, a separate lounge and a separate bedroom. The tour doesn't cost anything.

 
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Suddenly, 70 Years Later ... back to top 
 

A Spitfire Flying School Opens Near London

If you can scrounge up about $9,000 you can now buy a two-day course at London Oxford airport culminating in about one half-hour flying a Mark IX Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. The offer comes from the Boultbee Flight Academy and requirements include a private pilot's license and good health. Students learn the Spitfire like a wartime (WWII) pilot -- first flying a de Havilland Tiger Moth or Chipmunk, then the Harvard. Time in type may be short but the class's first graduates seem satisfied. One told a reporter for the Telegraph.co.uk, "This is the most exciting thing I've done in my life." Another, a surgeon who'd seen action in Iraq, "couldn't stop crying once he'd landed."

Among the class's instructors are the former head of the Royal Navy Flying Standards, the man who led the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and an RAF test pilot. When all is said and done, students will only have enjoyed roughly 2.5 hours total, in several aircraft. A bit more than one half-hour will have been spent flying a two-seat Spitfire. Students do not take off or land the Spitfire themselves. If that's not enough, there is a Spitfire conversion course that gives pilots 15.5 hours in the aircraft. At roughly $90,000, enrollment may be somewhat more restrictive, especially because pilots will have to transition from the Harvard first. Of more than 23,000 Spitfires made, estimates place the number still flying near 40. With a cost of about $6,500 per hour to fly one privately, not to mention acquisition costs, Boultbee may present a relatively economical option.

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Innovation, Cooperation, and Prognostication

The road to aviation's future is winding and unpredictable, and the slow way forward is not always the worst way. In her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Mary Grady explains how our biggest challenges aren't likely to be solved by quantum leaps in technology or thinking.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: EAA's Not So Young Eagles

The EAA's Young Eagles program has introduced thousands of kids to the wonder of flight. Now EAA plans to expand this program to include adults. Can this possibly work? "Well, why not?" asks Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. As the association retools itself, it's perfectly positioned to take on the grassroots role of student pilot recruitment. The key to success will be execution.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Video: Aviation Consumer's Remos NXT Flight Trial

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

Remos has a successful line of light sport aircraft, and now they've introduced a new and improved model, the NXT. Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli flew the airplane recently, and here's his video report.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: AvCenter (Nampa Municipal Airport, KMAN, Nampa, ID)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to AvCenter at Nampa Municipal Airport (KMAN) in Nampa, Idaho.

AVweb reader Neal Wright recommended the FBO:

Car rental company promised a cr would be waiting on arrival. Got there, no car. AVcenter called [the] rental agency, [and] they said they had a comouter glitch and had no cars available. AVcenter gave us a courtesy car and said we could keep it for the four days if [the] rental agency couldn't find us a car. They called about four hours later and said the rental agency found a car for us. Fuel was reasonable, and [there was] no tie-down charge for the four days.

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

I flew for Air Wisconsin, and O'Hare was an important hub for us. Taxiing out one day, Ground requested a "short count" from us. My co-pilot, who had been a controller there, replied:

"One. Is that short enough?"


Edward J. Godec
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

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.