AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 17, Number 45a

November 7, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
Bose® A20® Aviation Headset
The Best We've Ever Made
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly. Today, we continue to set the standard with the Bose A20 Aviation Headset. The headset provides acclaimed noise reduction, with a comfortable fit and the clear audio you expect from Bose. It also features Bluetooth® connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more.
Air Show Crash Victims' Families Headed to Court back to top 

First Lawsuit Filed In Reno Crash

A $25 million lawsuit filed last week in Texas is the first in what is expected to be many following the Sept. 16 crash of a race plane at the National Championship Air Races in Reno. The crash of Jimmy Leeward's highly modified P-51 adjacent to a seating area killed 11 people, including Leeward, and injured more than 70. Among the dead was Craig Salerno, of Friendswood, Texas. The Associated Press reported Tony Buzbee, the lawyer for his family, cited the mods to the Galloping Ghost in his identification of "two groups of wrongdoers" the suit alleges are responsible for Salerno's death: "Those who pushed the limits of physics on the plane, being risk takers and reckless without regard for the people who might be watching them, and those who promoted and profited from hosting the show." Although there has been no indication so far that the crash will threaten the future of the Air Races, a crash the following day at a West Virginia air show may be a factor in its cancellation next year.

Organizers told a news conference the crash, which killed T-28 pilot Jack Mangan, of Concord, NC, is one of the factors that might seal the fate of the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge show in Martinsburg. Show President Brian Truman told a news conference that the National Guard base that hosts the show is also facing budget cuts and there are other unspecified factors. A decision will likely be made before the end of the year.

Pilots Require a Different Approach
When It Comes to Buying Life Insurance

Just because you fly, don't overpay for life insurance. Get the information you need to find the right policy for your family's protection at the Pilot Insurance Center.

Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
In the Marketplace back to top 

US Airways, Unions Bring Jobs Back To U.S.

As part of a union deal, US Airways is now hiring 400 customer service agent workers total in Phoenix, Reno, and Winston-Salem to replace positions formerly held in the Philippines. The deal came about as part of negotiations between unions brought together under the 2005 US Airways and America West Airlines merger. US Airways handles roughly 18 million customer service calls each year, and the airline's new hires will bring its U.S.-based customer service workforce to about 1,900. Hiring has already started.

The airline announced the plan to move the jobs in April and began hiring on Nov. 1. In a statement, the airline touted the move as "a testament to the positive relationship" it has with the union. US Airways still operates a customer service call center in England to field calls inbound from outside the U.S. Concurrent with the jobs deal, US Airways also launched an interactive voice-response system, which suggests that you will be talking to a machine before talking to any new hires. The unions are touting the new hires as the combined result of solidarity and working with a successful airline.

Jet Deal Raises Hackles In South Africa

An opposition member of the South African parliament is calling on the government to cancel the proposed purchase of two more long-range business jets, calling it an "outrageous extravagance" considering the plight of many people in the country. David Maynier, who is the "shadow" minister of defense is also asking for an investigation into the purchase and the general state of affairs in the South African Air Force's VIP Transport Squadron. Although it's common for governments to maintain a fleet of aircraft for use by government officials, Maynier is tweaked that both President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will have virtually exclusive use of each of the aircraft. Negotiations are already under way with Airbus and Boeing to see who gets the contract. South Africa already has a Boeing Business Jet for VIP flights. "The fact is that it is simply wrong to spend (1.6 billion South African Rand) on business jets when millions of people in our country do not have housing, health or access to basic services," Maynier said. "And these are no ordinary airplanes."

The specs for the aircraft call for a private bedroom, preferably with a shower-equipped bathroom and a dressing room. A sound-proof workstation and a private conference area for six people are also among the requirements. The government says it needs the jets in case the existing BBJ breaks down. The administration now rents aircraft if the BBJ is down or already busy but Maynier says it shouldn't even be doing that. He claims the leaders are ignoring government guidelines that say they should be traveling commercial unless time constraints or other compelling reasons dictate otherwise.

Cessna Aircraft || Makers of the Cessna Caravan
More Versatile than a Swiss Knife
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So, where will the Caravan take you? Visit Cessna.com.
Getting Ready to Fly the Dreamliner back to top 

787 Training Snags Hit ANA

Although Boeing has started deliveries of its three-years-late 787 Dreamliner, launch customer ANA is grousing about another costly hiccup in the timeline. Boeing touted the ease of transition to the 787 as a selling point saying 777 pilots could make the switch in about a week. ANA says it's spending five weeks to train Dreamliner pilots and it's not finished reworking the curriculum set forth by the manufacturer. "We added what we thought was necessary," Capt. Hideaki Hayakawa told the Wall Street Journal. "We will be adjusting the content of the training, rather than its duration." It's up to airlines and the regulators of the country in which the aircraft are registered to determine the training required and the Japanese are notoriously conservative but Airbus apparently wasted little time capitalizing on the training issue.

Airbus salespeople have hit the streets touting the commonality of their aircraft's cockpits and systems and the normally short transition training periods. However Hayakawa said the 787 has some features, like the head-up display, not found in previous models and he wants to make sure his pilots are comfortable with them. "Getting accustomed to landing with this new technology is a big focus of our training," he said.

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Get your Reletex at AeroMedix.com.

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Hashing Out the Details back to top 

Sheriff's Built-To-Be-Armed UAV

The Sheriff's Office of Montgomery County, Texas, has a drone thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security -- it's built to carry weapons, though the Sheriff says he won't be using it that way. But that potential use isn't the only one riling locals. The 50-pound ShadowHawk unmanned vehicle is about the size of (and closely resembles) a large remote-control helicopter. It costs about $40 per hour to operate compared to $500 per hour for the manned alternative. According to the FAA, the county has received a limited Certificate Of Authorization to fly over unpopulated areas at altitudes no more than 400 feet. A report from the Government Accountability Office noted that 65 percent of drone crashes were due to mechanical failure. And practical use of the vehicle's potential future deployments raises concerns about shared airspace and midairs. Texas civil libertarians have also voiced concerns about invasion of privacy and others are concerned about the drone's potential to be armed and use force. The Sheriff says he has other plans.

According to Vanguard Defense Industries, the helicopter's manufacturer, the ShadowHawk can be equipped with Tasers or stun baton bean bag guns. The Montgomery County's version has no such weaponry. Its vehicle is equipped with forward-looking infrared, and an onboard camera can be switched between day and night vision. It transmits the images in real-time to a small ground-based monitor. The flight controls are actuated via controller and laptop. Sheriff Tommy Gage told reporters Friday that the UAV would be used to hunt criminals who were running from police, or to help SWAT teams assess threatening environments. Gage said also that the helicopter could have found use aiding firefighters during the state's recent wildfire outbreak. The sheriff said he has no immediate plans to outfit the drone with weapons of any kind and would take all of these concerns, including the potential for midairs, into account when his UAV is working in the field. Over the past four years, drones have found routine use only with the Department of Homeland Security as an active participant in immigration and customs enforcement. At least one such drone crashed after losing contact with its ground-based controller.

737 MAX Engine Configuration Set

Boeing will add about eight inches to the nose gear of the existing Boeing 737 to squeeze 68-inch diameter fans into the nacelles of the MAX variant announced in August. The engines, LEAP-1Bs from CFM in France, will offer comparable fuel savings and noise reduction to Airbus's re-engined A320neo but the relatively low slung 737 was not originally designed for the huge fans that such efficient engines require. The lack of room had Boeing considering a clean-sheet replacement for the 737 because reworking the main gear would have been a major job on the existing aircraft but the nose-gear tweak seems to have done the trick. Meanwhile, the redesigned 737 seems to have found favor with Boeing customers.

Boeing launched the project with commitments for 496 aircraft. The potential orders have grown to 600 from a total of eight airlines. Besides the engines, the new 737s will have a more spacious feeling cabin because the overhead bins will disappear into the ceilings but carry more bags. The total configuration will be set by 2013, first flight is scheduled for 2016 and entry to service 2017. Boeing spokespeople have said the timeline is deliberately conservative so they don't run into the delivery issues that have dogged the 747-8 and Dreamliner's development.

Jeppesen Mobile Flite Deck
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Wild Rotorcraft Takes Off back to top 

E-Volo, Closer To Flying Car Functionality? (With Video)

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A team of three men operating from Germany has designed, built and announced the successful flight test of a manned electric 16-rotor multicopter. The aircraft, which looks like (and may actually be) little more than four large remote-controlled multicopters rigged together with an aluminum frame, flew for 1 minute and 30 seconds. The rotors have independent power supplies and motor controllers, and are vastly more simple than conventional helicopters in their operation and maintenance. They've also proven to be highly agile, maneuverable and stable in smaller-scale remote-control operations. In large-scale flight, the proof of concept machine is controlled by a remote controller handset held by the pilot. The first flight was piloted by team member Thomas Senkel, who sat at the center of the rig in a seat mounted above what appears to be a silver inflated exercise-ball landing cushion.

E-Volo has an empty weight of 80 kg. According to its creators, the aircraft can fly for up to 30 minutes, and 20 on average, depending on the payload. Motors are arranged on four arms that extend from the central seat structure with four motors per arm. E-Volo is capable of safe flight if up to four of its motors fail. Also, because of its configuration, which places the pilot above the rotor blades, E-Volo can easily be fitted with a ballistic parachute -- with an accompanying weight and endurance penalty. The propellers are all fixed-pitch, making them relatively maintenance-free. Multiple "mutually monitoring onboard computers" control the engines for directional control and stability. According to the pilot, "the flight characteristics are good-natured" and "without any steering input it would just hover there on the spot." The team says control firmware could be integrated with GPS systems (as it is in some smaller-scale radio-controlled versions) for fixed obstacle detection and automated flight between predetermined points. E-Volo's creators are considering folding-arm designs and the integration of an internal combustion generator to create a hybrid drive to extend range and endurance. But their hope is that battery technology will improve enough over the next half-decade or so to allow for a more commercially practical vehicle.

IFD540 GPS/NAV/COM from Avidyne
Introducing Avidyne's IFD540 Touchscreen FMS/GPS/NAV/COM
As a slide-in replacement for existing 530 Series navigators, the new IFD540 sets a new standard for user interface simplicity. Leveraging the award-winning interface of our Entegra Release 9 system along with a highly intuitive touchscreen control, the IFD540 makes it much easier to access the information you want when you want it. Now you have a choice. And the choice is easy. Avidyne.

Learn more at IFD540.com.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: This Veteran's Day, Thank an Airman

This Veterans Day, AVweb publisher Tim Cole invites you to chime in on the AVweb Insider blog and publicly thank an airman who defended freedom in the armed services. To kick things off, he has a special "thank you" for Capt. William L. Bacheler, author of the memoir Brave, Splendid Fools.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: LOT's Gear-Up Landing -- Miracle on the Vistula!

Not really. But there's one good reason to cheer, as Paul Bertorelli explains on the AVweb Insider blog: Several news crews got great footage of LOT's gear-up slide down the runway, perhaps proving once and for all that passengers don't need to get too stressed about gear-up landings.

Read more and join the conversation.

Lightspeed Aviation - Trade Up to a Zulu || What 
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Visit LightspeedAviation.com, learn the value of your headset, and trade up to Zulu.
New on AVweb.com back to top 

Podcast: Whose Loss Is It?

File Size 5.1 MB / Running Time 5:35

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

There has been some controversy over Sun 'n Fun's request that owners of aircraft damaged in the March 31 tornado submit claims for recovery and environmental clean-up to their own insurance carriers. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Avemco president Jim Lauerman about how the insurance protocols normally work in circumstances like this.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (5.1 MB, 5:35)

Brainteasers Quiz #165: Something for Everyone


Whether you're a student anticipating your first solo, a commercial pilot upgrading to turbines or a presidential candidate lost in Iowa, this quiz will tax your ability to identify the truth. (Politicians will be graded on a curve.)

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals in Aviation
Fly More for Less
Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

Click for the resource page.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Million Air FBO (Bob Hope Airport, Burbank, CA)

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

On the electronic nomination form for "FBO of the Week," we often hear about operators who made visitors in small planes feel as important and some VIP or another — but this week's story takes the prize. AVweb reader Bruce Riter explains how the Million Air location at Bob Hope Airport (KBUR) in Burbank, California rolled out the red carpet for him when they clearly had other visitors to attend to as well:

We arrived at Million Air Burbank in our Cessna single just before a Presidential visit. We received the same VIP treatment as the celebrity visitors with their private jets and the Marine Corps One flight crew and security staff. The line crew brought our rental car to the aircraft and loaded baggage on arrival and departure. On departure day, the plane was ready to go within minutes after the ramp security was lifted. Thanks to all at Million Air Burbank for an unforgettable experience!

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!

Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
Is Your A&P Keeping Secrets?
Learn to recognize maintenance issues and take action before they turn into something big. The Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox shows you how.

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

Video: American Champion Factory Tour

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

Even in an age when composite airplanes rule, the rag-and-tube taildragger still has a place in the market. In Rochester, Wisconsin, American Champion Aircraft still builds the airplanes the way they always have, but with a number of modern improvements. In this video, ACA owner Jerry Mehlhaff gives us a factory tour and tells us about some of ACA's models.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
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Video: Denali Hotrod

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

When the Aeronca Champion first appeared, it had 65 horsepower and was just fast enough to get out of its own way. Into what is a very similar airframe, American Champion has stuffed a 210hp Lycoming IO-390 to produce ACA's latest model, the Denali Scout. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli recently took a test flight in it, and here's his video report.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
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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.
Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

I was flying a particularly noisy pusher seaplane back to KPIE one day. These things have the engine right over your head and between the straight-through exhaust and prop swinging by the fuselage. They are super noisy.

On my first radio call to the tower, they came back with:
"Transmission unreadable. Just a loud noise."

I keyed up again, using my loud voice:
"Just a second. Let me shut off the engine."

The tower replied:
"No! Nooo!"

It was then obvious to me that my intention to go to idle power had been misinterpreted ... .

Mike Dwyer
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.

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.

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:

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.