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Volume 17, Number 43a
October 24, 2011
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AVflash! User Fee Battle Lands at the Capitolback to top 
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Opposition to a $100-per-operation user fee for business and commercial aircraft continues to mount among lawmakers. Last week, Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent a letter to the Congressional Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction saying the fee proposed by the administration is arbitrary and could hurt the aviation industry. "The president's proposed $100 per flight fee is an arbitrary number with no basis for its establishment," John Mica, R-Fla., said in the letter to deficit reduction committee. He said the current method of taxing aviation through fuel consumption is efficient and should be maintained. The National Business Aviation Association heartily endorsed Mica's letter. More...

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Probable Causes Iback to top 
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A book titled "Erreurs de Pilotage" (Pilot Error) by French flight instructor Jean-Pierre Otelli provides a transcript of the last two minutes captured by Air France Flight 447's cockpit voice recorder, as the jet crashed at night into the ocean off Brazil in June, 2009, killing all 228 aboard. The BEA says disclosure of the transcript is a violation of European regulations and is also ethically improper. "Any attempt at interpretation at this stage is partial," the BEA said as part of a statement that also warned that the disclosure could be "harmful to all concerned." Air France has called the newly published information "unverifiable" and says it "impairs the memory of the crew and passengers who lost their lives." At this time, the information is widely available from numerous sources. AVweb has made some of it available after the jump. More...

Video appeared to show that the thrust reversers of American Airlines Flight 2253 were slow to deploy before the 757-200 slid off the runway at Jackson Hole Wyoming last December -- now we know the crew thought so, too. The NTSB Friday released a transcript of the flight's cockpit voice recorder. The airliner had touched down safely under a 1,000 foot overcast with a broken layer at 400 and 3/4 mile visibility in light snow. At the moment the wheels touched, the flight's captain said "very good." Twenty-seven seconds later, the first officer (who had flown the landing) expressed his opinion of how events had developed since then by stating, "we're screwed." He then told the tower why: "and American ah twenty two fifty three is goin' off the end of the runway." More...

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The LSA show is January 19-22, 2012 and features conventional aircraft, kitplanes, powered parachutes, trikes, gyros, amphibians, and innovative designs such as electrically powered aircraft — 150+ aircraft on display. If it exists in the recreational aviation market, it will be at Expo! Over 12,500 aviation enthusiasts attended last year for demonstration flights, EAA forums, and what's new in the LSA market. Visit for details.
Probable Causes IIback to top 

Video memory cards and equipment recovered from the wreckage of Jimmy Leeward's P-51 at the National Championship Air Races last month in Reno were too badly damaged to be of any help in the investigation of the crash, the NTSB said Friday. However, a card retrieved from flight data equipment and telemetry received by the ground crew of the Galloping Ghost are still being examined as investigators piece together the five seconds between a normal home-stretch pylon turn and a high-speed dive that ended with a horrific crash that killed 11, including Leeward, and injured scores of others. "NTSB investigators continue to review the dozens of videos and hundreds of photographs provided to them by spectators at the air race," the board said in a news release. More...

A lawyer for families of those killed in the February 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 says that the carrier's internal emails prove it "chose profit over safety." The Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 crash killed 50, after the aircraft stalled at night in freezing conditions over Clarence Center, N.Y. Colgan emails sent between supervisors six months prior to the crash include exchanges about the man who would later fly as captain of the accident aircraft, Marvin D. Renslow. "Renslow had a problem upgrading," states one supervisor. Another adds, "Anyone that does not meet the mins and had problems in training is not ready to handle the Q." A response to that email states, "He is already off the list." Attorneys for the families say Renslow was promoted one month later. The crash came five months after that. Colgan is standing by its actions. More...

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Here Today, Gone When You're Over Capacityback to top 

Those who use iPads for charts and approach plates are advised to pre-flight their devices before counting on them for navigation, thanks to Apple's latest operating system upgrade. iOS5 includes a file management feature that might be handy if you're downloading a movie, but could be inconvenient at the very least if it messes with your navigation-app databases. In an explanation on its website, flight-planning app provider ForeFlight says iOS5 will randomly delete data to make room for new files and that could include your charts and approach plates. The iPad does display a "cleaning" symbol by the app icon that it's busily deleting data from but that can be easy to miss. ForeFlight recommends several strategies to keep you from discovering that the latest Transformers has pre-empted the information you now need for your flight. More... || Be READY for Your FAA 
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Storm Hammers Diamond Fleetback to top 

click for photos
A hail event at Murfreesboro Municipal Airport may have damaged up to 22 of 25 Diamond trainers operated by Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and left the school's entire fleet grounded, temporarily putting a stop to flight instruction for hundreds of students. MTSU has roughly 400 students studying in its professional pilot concentrations and it operates one of the largest fleets of Diamond trainers in the country. Diamond is sending experts from Canada to inspect potentially hidden (and apparent) physical damage to the Diamonds' composite skins. Dr. Wayne Dornan, chairman of the school's Aerospace Department, told AVweb Thursday that the DA-40s operated by MTSU carry glass cockpits, some with synthetic vision, and cost roughly $365,000 each, new. MTSU's aircraft weren't the only ones to suffer. The airport was hosting a regional competition and aircraft from other schools were also damaged. More...

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


Letter of the Week: Single-Engine Jets Viable

Regarding the blog about the future of Piper's jet: Single-engine jets? Heaven forbid! Why, for that much money, you can have a —


In my worthless opinion, it's all about cabin comfort and access to the technology at a price that the potential buyer can afford. In an age in which people (albeit fewer than in the industry's heyday) are willing to pony up three quarters of a million dollars for an unpressurized high performance single, there's a real market out there for a low-seven-figure "personal" aircraft that is pressurized, can fly above much of the worst weather, has enough speed and range to cover half of the country in one hop and is comfortable.


Arguably, jet engines are the most reliable component of a jet aircraft (the avionics companies would do most of the arguing). They're also unarguably the most expensive component. Single-engine jets are defensible, rational, and cost-efficient. (Ask the USAF.) This is a market niche that is just begging to be filled if the product is compelling. So far, Cirrus is the only product that looks like a winner.

Tom Yarsley

Click through to read the full letter and others from our readers.


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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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

The transcript reveals confusion and dithering in the cockpit as the crew appears to have held the airplane into a persistent stall for three minutes or longer. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli predicts that Air France will have some explaining do to show why its pilots couldn't fly the airplane on raw data well enough to recover a stall. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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...

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 Audio — Are You Listening?back to top 

Judy Tarver of has worked for more than 30 years in pilot recruitment, helping airlines to select the best pilots and advising job seekers on the best strategies for getting hired. She shares her insights with AVweb's Mary Grady for anyone hoping to get a job in the cockpit.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Most portable intercoms barely meet the mark for basic cabin chatter. DRE's newest unit may be a bit big, but it performs like a certified panel-mount system. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to a location that's had the honor in the past — Kissimmee Jet Center at Kissimmee Gateway Airport (KISM) in Florida.

AVweb reader John Wilson explains why KJC is his destination of choice:

Small and friendly with service and prices that can't be beat, Kissimmee Jet Center is our spot when in the Orlando area! We call ahead, our rental car is sitting at a pre-assigned tiedown spot, [and] a staff member is right there to get us on our way. ... [When we return, it's] to a plane fueled with the lowest-cost gas around. How much better can you get?

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 Flightback to top 


My son and I took advantage of a beautiful October day to fly to Blairstown, New Jersey and catch the fall foliage. Sipping a Coke and watching the arrivals and departures, we saw a bright orange Grumman Tiger taxi in. From it emerged a man and a woman; the woman seemed to be carrying a big fur hat in her arms. As they approached, I realized it was a cat!

"You take your cat flying?"

The Woman from the Tiger:
"Yes, and she loves it."

I shook my head in amazement.

The Woman from the Tiger:
"And she's not just a cat — she's a Grumman cat!"

Rabbi Don Weber
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.