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Volume 17, Number 38a
September 19, 2011
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Investing the Reno Air Race Crashback to top 

Crash investigators have recovered memory cards that might have come from an on-board camera on Jimmy Leeward's P-51 that crashed at the National Championship Air Races in Reno last Friday. There was also a flight systems telemetry set-up on board that transmitted information on the aircraft's health and performance to his ground crew, according to an Associated Press story. Investigators have now confirmed their probe will focus in part on the aircraft's tail structure and the possibility that a failure of the left horizontal stabilizer trim tab was a contributing factor in the crash, which killed nine people, including Leeward and eight spectators. More than 60 people on the ground were injured and about a dozen remain in the hospital, some in critical condition. The near-vertical impact of the fighter left a crater in the concrete three feet deep and eight feet across and spread debris over almost two acres. More photos and videos have surfaced since the crash and while the primary focus has been on missing tail parts, there are a couple of other anomalies in the photos. More...

A photo by Tim O'Brien of the Grass Valley Union appears to show that Jimmy Leeward's Galloping Ghost P-51 race plane lost a trim tab before crashing at the National Championship Air Races in Reno on Friday, killing Leeward and eight others and injuring scores of others. Officials now say seven people died at the scene and two in the hospital. According to the Aviation Law Monitor, "without the trim tab, the aircraft may have been uncontrollable." The photo was taken seconds before aircraft dove into the ramp on the edge of the spectator viewing area at Reno during a qualifying heat. Although the tab does appear to be missing, it can't be determined from the photo whether its departure caused the sequence of events that led to the crash or whether the violent movements that preceded the crash caused the part to fail. Regardless, this photo is likely to be scrutinized carefully as investigators continue the grim task of piecing together what happened. More...

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Jimmy Leeward Crash: Eyewitness Accounts, Opinionback to top 

AVweb subscriber Scott Peterson, of Santa Rosa, CA, was snapping photos of the final heat of the day at Reno last Friday and got the full sequence of Jimmy Leeward's fatal crash. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about his impressions of what he saw. (Click through for his photos.) More...

For as much as we, aviation enthusiasts, might hope so, it's not up to us. It's up to the community of Reno. Accidents like the one last week rightfully spark some inward examination of safety procedures and the risk/reward equation of doing things that are dangerous. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli has the immediate takeaway: Air shows and air races represent the tiniest of risk for spectators. But anyone who thinks the risk is non-existent should stay home. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Jeppesen Mobile Flite Deck
Mobile FliteDeck:
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West Virginia Crash Detailsback to top 

The pilot was killed Saturday when a T-28 performing at an airshow in Martinsburg W.Va., crashed and exploded. No one on the ground was hurt. The aircraft was part of a six-ship formation group called the Trojan Horsemen performing at the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge show. According to the Martinsburg Journal, the crash airplane had just broken from a belly-to-belly maneuver with another T-28 when it "wobbled and went straight into the ground." More...

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Another Angle on the Bandwidth Battleback to top 

LightSquared, a start-up developed by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, says its ground-based high-speed wireless network wouldn't interfere with high-precision GPS devices if GPS manufacturers built their receivers properly. According to LightSquared, Department of Defense standards for the operation of the GPS system are not being met by GPS manufacturers. The company says that GPS manufacturers should be building receivers that filter out interference like that created by LightSquared's national wireless network. And to prove the point that building such a device is possible, LightSquared has (at least temporarily) entered the GPS receiver manufacturing business and produced a product it says is up to the task. More...

Airline Business Plan Development: How to 
Start an Airline || October 21, 2011 || London, UK || Register Now
Starting an Airline? What you Need to Know
A new seminar is introduced by Aeropodium and Airline Visions this October in London, UK. The event is hosted by Gates and Partners. A great opportunity to learn about airline business plan development. Themes include: Introduction to the Airline Industry, Generic vs. Airline Business Plan, Common Business Plan Mistakes, Non-Disclosure Agreement, Elements of the Airline Business Plan, Implementation Plan, Management and Support Team, Risk Factors, Capitalization Plan, Certification, Success Strategies. Click here to learn more and register.
That Metaphor About Kicking a Can Down the Road ...back to top 

Congress passed another temporary funding measure for the FAA Thursday, averting the layoff of possibly as many as 80,000 people, one day ahead of a Friday deadline. Thursday, the legislation was headed to the desk of President Obama for his signature. Language in the extension passed by the House would fund the FAA at previous levels through January 2012. There was no additional funding for Next-Gen hardware and construction included in that version. The House managed to pass the extension earlier in the week and threats boiled up in the Senate to hold up the bill. Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., resolved not to pass the bill without a promise about certain long-term funding for bike paths. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

The Air Transport Association (ATA) has sent a letter to the White House budget office saying that proposed fatigue rules will cost billions of dollars and kill tens of thousands of jobs in the airline industry. ATA says it is basing its estimates on numbers provided by a consulting agency. The job losses are based on ATA's assumption that the industry will react to costs associated with the regulations, which it says are $2 billion annually, by cutting up to 27,000 jobs. ATA says those losses could ripple out to eliminate 400,000 jobs industry-wide. The government doesn't agree with ATA's estimates and the attack isn't the first from the airline industry. Early this year, one carrier argued that compliance with the rules would force airlines to hire people. More...

The launch customer for Boeing's new 747-8F is refusing to take delivery of the first airplane, prompting cancellation of a ceremony that was scheduled for Monday. Cargolux hasn't responded to media inquiries about why it's turning the aircraft down but Boeing officials said on Saturday there was a contract dispute between the planemaker and the customer, a large Luxembourg-based cargo carrier. Cargolux has ordered 13 copies of the new-generation 747. "We have unresolved issues between ourselves and Cargolux," Boeing spokesperson Jim Proulx said in a statement. "We are working with our customer to determine a date for delivery." More...

WingX Pro 7 for the iPad (And Other Mobile 
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: Cost Is the Issue

Regarding the "Question of the Week": AOPA has stepped around this before and will likely continue to do so. Not too long ago, AOPA reached out to members requesting ideas and suggestions on how to get people interested in flying.

AOPA specifically stated it was interested in hearing ideas other than lowering the costs associated with flying. What is wrong with lowering the cost of flying? Lowering the cost will open the door for many more people to participate. Unless someone can explain how this is bad, I stand behind it.

John Galouzes

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


Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to know. We're doing a survey on owner experiences with factory-new, factory-reman and factory-overhauled engines. (No field overhauls this time.) The survey will take about five minutes, and you can take it merely by cliking this link. 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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Recent Blogs of Noteback to top 

Actor Cliff Robertson was a fixture around Oshkosh because, besides acting, he was an accomplished pilot, too. Robertson died over the weekend, a day past his 88th birthday. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli reveals a couple of interesting coincidences about Robertson's intersection with history. Read more and join the conversation. More...

We got through 9/11 unscathed, more or less. But the tsunami of reporting on the anniversary revealed some new detail. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explains how a couple of incidents revealed that the flying public, or at least the security agencies, are still nervous. Read more and join the conversation. More...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


This week's AVweb blue ribbon goes to the FBO at Upshur County Regional Airport (W22) in Buckhannon, West Virginia.

AVweb reader Michael Davidson discovered Upshur while trying to stay ahead of Hurricane Irene:

[W22] was a large terrain feature away from the Delmarva Peninsula and listed good support facilities. I reached the line manager, Mr. Dick Bennett, who was very welcoming [both] then and when I called CTAF with landing intentions. He guided me to a better runway choice based on his observation and pilot background. He drove us to Enterprise Rent-A-Car just down the hill, waived the tie-down fee, and in general made us feel very welcome. I would recommend this destination for large numbers of regional coastal evacuees, not only for goodwill hospitality, but for ample ramp and hangar space, long runways, physical security measures, and proximity to ground transport and lodging.

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!


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"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

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New on AVweb.comback to top 

At AOPA Summit in Hartford, Garmin will unveil its latest portable, the touchscreen aera 796. Take a video tour of the navigator's features, which include synthetic vision, enhanced chart functions, and a new touchscreen interface. More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Witnessed by me as an FAA controller at Waterloo (Iowa) in the mid-'80s. The G.A. ramp is next to the terminal ramp, so these two aircraft were parked in close proximity to each other. Here is how the exchange went:

Tomahawk 86B:
"Waterloo ground: Tomahawk 86 Bravo, ready to taxi."

"Tomahawk 86 Bravo: Roger, taxi to runway 30."

TWA 687:
"TWA 687, ready to taxi."

"TWA 687, taxi to runway 30."

[The controller has the Tomahawk follow the DC-9.]

"Tomahawk 86 Bravo, follow the DC-9 off your right; taxi to runway 30."

Tomahawk 86B:
"Tomahawk 86 Bravo. Roger."

The DC-9 just sat there and sat there. Finally, the DC-9 started his taxi and apologized to the Tomahawk pilot. It went like this:

TWA 687:
"Sorry about the delay there, Tomahawk; this our first time in here."

Tomahawk 86B:
"That's O.K. I'm a student pilot, too."

[Followed by complete radio silence ... .]

David Morales
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.