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Volume 17, Number 43b
October 27, 2011
Aircraft Spruce at the Southeast Aviation 
Show || October 29, 2011
Aircraft Spruce at the Southeast Aviation Show
Join Aircraft Spruce at the Southeast Aviation Show in Booth #01 from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday, October 29, 2011 in Greenville, South Carolina. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, complimentary UPS ground shipping on most orders, and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to answer questions. AOPA President Craig Fuller will be the keynote speaker at this event. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit
AVflash! Revisiting the Safety of Compositesback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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In a report (PDF) completed last month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined "safety concerns" about the use of composites in commercial aircraft. Based on research and interviews with experts, GAO investigators identified four key safety-related concerns with the repair and maintenance of composites in commercial airplanes, but added that none of the experts they talked to believed these concerns were insurmountable or posed "extraordinary safety risks." The FAA is taking action to help address its concerns, the GAO said, but added that "until these composite airplanes enter service, it is unclear if these actions will be sufficient." More...

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Aircraft Safety Dominates the Headlinesback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Abu Dhabi Air Expo || 6-8 March 2012 || 
The Middle East's 1st GA Expo

More than 700 Boeing 757s operated by U.S. airlines will need to be inspected for potential problems that "could lead to loss of control of the horizontal stabilizer," according to a proposed Airworthiness Directive from the FAA. The FAA says that it is responding to a report of extensive corrosion of a mechanism essential to the aircraft's horizontal stabilizer trim. Failure of the mechanism (a ballscrew) could lead to loss of control of the airplane like that experienced by Alaska Airlines Flight 261 on Jan. 31, 2000. In that case, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 suffered failure of the jackscrew that controlled stabilizer trim. The aircraft crashed into the Pacific after flipping inverted, killing all 88 aboard. More...

After an extensive investigation and grounding, the Air Force doesn't know why some F-22 pilots have suffered symptoms similar to oxygen deprivation while flying the fighter (including one last week) and has returned the full fleet to service. During the more than four months that the aircraft was grounded the Air Force failed to find a common thread that linked at least 12 reported incidents in which pilots reported hypoxia-like symptoms while flying the jet. According to Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz, the oxygen system was not the cause of a fatal crash during a November 2010 nighttime training mission. Prior reports published by the Air Force Times have stated that tests performed on Raptor pilots have found toxins in the pilots' blood. And reports previously published by the Air Force Times, and an Air Force accident report, suggest that not everyone is convinced the jet's oxygen system is trouble-free. More...

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Digging Deeper on the Colgan Crashback to top 

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York on Tuesday asked the Senate's aviation subcommittee to schedule a hearing in response to last week's release of email exchanges relevant to the 2009 Colgan Air crash. "The fact that [these emails] were not shared with [NTSB] investigators compels us to take a closer look at how we investigate crashes to make sure NTSB has the best information possible when making critical safety recommendations," Schumer said. The emails, which were revealed by lawyers researching the case, show that airline staffers had expressed concern about the qualifications of the captain of Flight 3407 during his training. The airline's parent company, Pinnacle Airlines, said the captain was properly trained and certified.

WGRZ, a news station in Buffalo, N.Y., said Pinnacle sent them a statement saying it had provided over 400,000 pages of documents to the plaintiffs, including the emails in question, three months ago. "The plaintiffs asked Colgan to reconsider the confidential designation and we have voluntarily agreed to do so because we remain confident in our full compliance with FAA regulations governing our training processes, then and now," the airline said. The NTSB completed its 285-page report on the crash in March 2010, but the emails in question apparently were not among the documents examined by the board. "[Marvin] Renslow had a problem upgrading," stated a supervisor in one email. Another adds, "Anyone that does not meet the mins and had problems in training is not ready to handle the Q." Fifty people died in the crash of the Q400 in Buffalo, N.Y. More...

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Embraer's Light Attack Plane Certifiedback to top 

The Super Tucano turboprop, designed for light attack missions and military training, has been certified by the FAA, Embraer announced on Wednesday. The company said it will now plan a demo tour to U.S. military bases in an effort to win contracts for the aircraft. More than 150 of the airplanes are flying, and five countries use them in their armed forces. The U.S. military has lobbied Congress to send some of the Tucanos to Afghanistan, but so far funding has not been forthcoming. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

A major Hollywood movie about the Tuskegee Airmen is due in theaters soon, and meanwhile, a small documentary company has released a film about flying paragliders with wild birds in the Himalayas. Red Tails started production with LucasFilms in 2009 and will open in theaters on Jan. 20. "I've wanted to do this film for a great many years," said George Lucas, executive producer. "The Tuskegee Airmen were such superb pilots … It is an honor to bring to the screen a story inspired by their heroics." The film stars Cuba Gooding Jr.; trailers are online now. Meanwhile, Flight for Survival documents a different world -- the remote Himalayan region where today a small group of paragliders work to preserve endangered vultures. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

A leading lawmaker says he thinks long-term reauthorization of the FAA is possible before the current interim funding package expires Jan. 31. Rep. John Mica, R-FLa., the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, says he thinks a four-year deal is possible by the end of the year. But even though the FAA has been without a proper reauthorization package since 2007, Washington observers are terming Mica's plan "optimistic" because of the politics involved. Mica himself hinted at turning down the temperature on the dispute over subsidizing air service to isolated communities, an issue at least partly to blame for the impasse that caused a partial shutdown of the agency in July. More...

Boeing will lift the curtain a little today on the financial aspects of its 787 program, but that didn't stop pundits from predicting what it will take to make the world's most expensive civilian aircraft development program make money. Rather than make its own prediction, Bloomberg tallied up the crystal balling of 18 analysts, averaged them and came up with Boeing's making its first buck on Dreamliner No. 1101. The magic number was undoubtedly much lower than that when Boeing embarked on the 787 program but a series of problems compounded to create a three-year launch delay. The first Dreamliner was delivered to ANA last month and was due to enter service today. The company has about 800 firm orders for the mostly plastic jet and based on previous programs should therefore have no trouble hitting the black. More...


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AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

This week we learned that iPads have the ability to randomly delete files, including your charts and plates. We're wondering how dependent you've become on tablets, touch screens and other wonder boxes. How much do you rely on high-tech tools in the cockpit?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers if they're ready to sign up for a tour of outer space; click through to see how they answered. 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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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...

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.
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...

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...

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!


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

This week's winning photo comes from Geoff Thomas of Warner Springs, CA. 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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