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Volume 17, Number 42b
October 20, 2011
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AVflash! Sullenberger & Skiles -- Together Againback to top 
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US Airways Flight 1549 pilots Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger (retired) and his FO on that day Jeff Skiles will be back in the cockpit together for the first time Nov. 18 but they have some work to do first. The Miracle on the Hudson pilots will be among the crew members on a fund-raising round-trip flight from Opa Locka Airport near Miami to Charlotte, NC in the Historical Flight Foundation's DC-7B. Foundation President Roger Jarman said Sullenberger and Skiles were invited along as celebrity passengers but they said they wanted to work their way to what was to have been their final destination in the Airbus Jan. 15, 2009. "They will be down here a week early getting checked out so they can be part of our live crew going to Charlotte and back," Jarman said in a podcast interview. Those who get the 20 or so remaining seats on the flight (details here will be in for another treat after landing in Charlotte. More...

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The Future According to Virginback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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As WhiteKnightTwo, the space vehicle designed by Scaled Composites, flew overhead on Monday, Sir Richard Branson celebrated the construction of a new spaceport facility in New Mexico that will support Virgin Galactic's space-tourism business. The 110,000-square-foot Gateway to Space building will serve as a combined operations terminal and hangar, with room to store two WhiteKnightTwo and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles. The soaring steel-and-glass building also will be used for astronaut training, mission control, and facilities for friends and families of space travelers. A public visitor area also is planned. More...

Virgin Atlantic CEO Richard Branson said last week his company is investing in technology that will develop low-carbon jet fuels from the waste materials produced in the steel industry. Virgin Atlantic aircraft will be using the new fuel within two to three years, Branson said. "With oil running out, it is important that new fuel solutions are sustainable, and with the steel industry alone able to deliver over 15 billion gallons of jet fuel annually, the potential is very exciting," Branson said. "This new technology is scalable, sustainable and can be commercially produced at a cost comparable to conventional jet fuel." More... || We're All New!
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NTSB Weighs in on Washington Controller Napback to top 

A tower controller fell asleep on the overnight shift in March due to fatigue that resulted, at least in part, from the FAA's scheduling practices, the NTSB concluded in a report released on Wednesday. Two air carrier flights landed at Reagan National Airport, in Washington, D.C., after the controller failed to respond. After the incident, which was widely reported in the media, the FAA began to schedule a second person on the mid-shift and expanded time off after each overnight shift to at least nine hours. "This new report indicates how swiftly the FAA reacted to correct the problem and NATCA continues to support those improvements," NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said in a statement on Wednesday. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

China Eastern Airlines has abandoned plans to acquire 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners but will instead purchase 45 737s, and Boeing expects more changes. The company says it is expecting to see more cancellations (and more orders) for its newest jet as it works through mitigation with customers affected by the aircraft's delayed arrival to market. More than 800 orders for the airliner have been placed worldwide and Boeing expects to increase production of the airliner from two per month to ten per month by 2013. At least one analyst believes the loss of the early China Eastern orders could actually turn positive for Boeing, even if the manufacturer can only sell most of those lost order spots. More...

The RAF's twin-engine, variable-sweep wing, low-level attack Tornado has hit a milestone few other aircraft models may reach -- it has surpassed one million hours flying in 30 years with the RAF and 7,000 hours of combat operations. Tuesday one of the 131 Tornados still in service with the RAF was flown back to a BAE Systems facility at Warton, England, to celebrate the mark. The facility is the same one where the first Tornado ADV rolled out 30 years ago. The aircraft's exterior has shown little change over the years, but its systems have made giant leaps to keep up with advances in avionics and advancing technologies. RAF pilots still speak highly of the jet even when compared to modern attack fighters. More...

Hang glider enthusiasts will celebrate 100 years of sport soaring this weekend at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina. The event marks the date of a glider flight by Orville Wright, on Oct. 24, 1911, that lasted for almost 10 minutes, setting a record that held for almost 10 years. That flight marked the start of the "sport and science of modern soaring as we know it today," according to the event organizers. A variety of sailplanes and hang gliders will fly into Kill Devil Hills between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. "For pilots, this is equivalent to landing on hallowed ground," says the event web site. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

LightSquared, the broadband company that has met with resistance from GPS users due to interference from its system, said last week technology company Partron America has developed a filter that costs only $6. This technology, along with several other prototypes, will undergo extensive testing in the coming weeks, LightSquared said. "Preliminary testing leaves LightSquared confident that the debate over our system and interference from GPS signals will be resolved," the company said in a news release. More...

Piper Aircraft interim CEO Geoff Berger is out, the company announced on Monday, and Simon Caldecott has been appointed the new interim CEO, effective immediately. Berger had been with the company since July 2010, when he replaced Kevin Gould, who had been appointed CEO in June 2009, replacing James Bass, CEO since 2005. Piper also said on Monday the Altaire jet program is being reviewed. "This is being undertaken to ensure the company is properly aligning business goals and light-jet market forecasts with investment strategies and economic forecasts," Caldecott said. Monday's news release said the company will announce the conclusion of this review "as soon as possible." More...


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AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
in Aviation
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We Ask, You Answerback to top 

Virgin Galactic celebrated the construction of its spaceport in New Mexico on Monday, and 450 people have signed up for suborbital flights so far. We want to know: Would you like to go?

Plus: Last week, we asked what the top story out of this year's NBAA Convention was; click through to see how AVweb readers answered. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

That's the upshot of Richard Branson's announcement last week that his Virgin Atlantic airline will be testing out and maybe using a synthetic jet fuel made from steel plant effluent. As much as we cheer the idea, we're less thrilled with his statement that we're running out of oil. In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli stresses that, to remain credible, opinion leaders should stop saying things like this. Read more and join the conversation. More...

In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles says Piper is correct in reviewing (and ultimately killing) the Altaire/PiperJet project -- for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that the idea of a single-engine business jet is dated and the concept doomed from the start. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
NBAA Recapback to top 


Click here for all our news stories from the NBAA Convention — 2011 and previous years.

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 Choose "Update E-mail Subscriptions" in the profile center, and from there, you can add or drop any AVweb newsletters.


Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb reader Robert Inman discovered our latest "FBO of the Week" — Branson JetCenter at Branson Airport (KBBG) in Hollister, Missouri. Robert writes:

The initial service here was very courteous and professional. [My] aircraft was fueled promptly, a rental car was waiting on ramp, and all the paperwork [was] filled out and ready to go. When weather prohibited our planned departure, the people at Branson JetCenter went far beyond expectations in providing comfort to my wife and me, providing a courtesy car for lunch transportation and finally a rental car and hotel accommodations. The next morning, the aircraft was in front of the building at 0700, ready for our departure. These folks know the meaning of service!

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

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...

Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

This week's winning photo comes from Gonzalo Valverde Mordt of Camas, Sevilla (Spain). Click here for the rest of this week's submissions. 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.

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