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Volume 17, Number 46a
November 14, 2011
iPad Gear || Sporty's Pilot Shop
Are You an iPad Pilot?
Sporty's Has You Covered!

Sporty's is iPad headquarters, with the best selection of aviation apps, custom iPad kneeboards, GPSs, RAM mounts and other great accessories. Plus, we are the source for exclusive tips and tricks, with our detailed FAQ, our iPad webinar and our monthly e-mail newsletter. It's all at
Shifting Landscape Moves Data Away from Pilotsback to top 

The days of inexpensive navigation and chart apps for your mobile devices appear to be numbered with the FAA's announcement that it will begin charging for downloads that were previously free starting April 5, 2012. A story in the December issue of our sister publication Aviation Consumer says the Aeronautical Navigational Products Directorate (Aeronav), which currently makes the latest charts and other navigational products available online for free, says it has to recover the costs associated with developing and hosting the products. That means charging fees to companies for those downloads and no longer allowing individuals access them at all. As of April 5, only those with distribution contracts with Aeronav will be able to download the data. The most noticeable impact will likely be on the small but increasingly popular industry segment (like ForeFlight and WingX) that develops flight-related apps for iPads and other consumer electronics. It will also have an impact on websites like RunwayFinder that use the data for their online products, some of which are currently available for free. How much impact isn't known because the FAA hasn't announced what it intends to charge for the data. Affected companies have been invited to a meeting Dec. 13 in Washington to hear details of the FAA's proposal and offer input to the final pricing structure and the distribution contract. More...

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Aviation Safety Reportsback to top 

The FAA plans to impose mandatory fixes for nearly 700 GE turbofan engines Monday because the engines are unacceptably prone to uncommanded inflight shutdown due to ice and a 2007 fix didn't work. Government and industry experts have documented single or dual-engine shutdowns of GE's popular CF6-80C2B engines  on more than 100 Boeing and Airbus jets from the mid-1990s through 2008, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The figures far exceed the expected inflight single-aircraft, multiple-engine shutdown rate of about one in one billion. Following the FAA directive issued in 2007, at least 10 uncommanded inflight shutdowns have been reported. On Monday, the FAA will formally propose a new fix. More...

On March 3, 2011, a Dash 8 operated by Flybe between Exeter and Newcastle, UK, dropped a right main wheel on takeoff right in front of window-seated passengers, but it was Air Traffic Control that notified the crew, according to an AAIB report. The precise chronology of the event is not known, but passengers seated next to the high-wing's landing gear clearly saw the wheel fall shortly after takeoff. Tower controllers also witnessed something fall from the aircraft and alerted the pilot. The pilot then directed cabin crew to investigate. At that time passengers told the senior flight attendant what they'd seen. With confirmation, the pilot issued a Mayday, turned back to Exeter and prepared for landing while at least one passenger took pictures of the landing gear. More...

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau stated that pilots flying a loaded Airbus A330 from Singapore to Perth Tuesday received system messages about the jet's elevator control system before the jet violently pitched over, injuring 74 passengers of 313 passengers and crew. According to the ATSB's Julian Walsh, an "irregularity" in the system affected the aircraft's elevator control. The flight's pilots say they received messages in the cockpit that something was wrong with the system. (Those messages presumably came from the aircraft's own systems but that point has not yet been made clear by investigators.) Then, while cruising at 37,000 feet, the jet pitched up, climbed 300 feet and sharply nosed over. After recovery, the aircraft dove again. More...

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End of the Runway for Airbus A340back to top 

Production of the Airbus A340 four-engine commercial jetliner has ended, making it Airbus' shortest-lived production model. The aircraft entered service in 1993, but soon began losing favor with carriers due to the economic factors associated with feeding fuel to and maintaining four engines. Demand for the A340 also took a major hit with the expansion of extended operations or ETOPS. As regulators increased the amount of time twin-engine aircraft were allowed to fly away from suitable landing sites under more lenient ETOPS regulations, four-engine aircraft lost a key competitive edge. And, Thursday, Airbus confirmed that it had sold zero A340s over the past two years. Meanwhile, some twin-engine jets from competing manufactures have done quite well. More...

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It All Starts with a Blank Sheet of Paperback to top 

It's just natural to adapt to one's environment and when you're Burt Rutan in Idaho with too much time on your hands, that means designing an airplane to take advantage of the circumstances. "Going out and exploring little lakes and rivers in a STOL seaplane is a fantasy, I think, for a pilot," the legendary designer told EAA. "So having something that would be a high-speed boat, a very efficient boat for Lake Coeur d'Alene, and then convert into a seaplane to go to the rivers and small lakes and elsewhere is what I'm trying to do." Rutan admitted he's bored since retiring earlier this year from Scaled Composites, the Mojave-based aircraft and spacecraft design company he founded. And if Rutan's inspiration for what he calls 372-3 is any indication, this could be one of his most innovative designs yet. More...

Deadline for proposals for the Wolf Aviation Fund is coming up Dec. 15 and organizers are urging those with project ideas to get cracking on their applications. The idea of the Wolf Fund is to provide small grants to folks who have ideas that foster and promote GA. In the past, grants have been awarded for everything from helping disadvantaged youth in Alaska learn about building airplanes to encouraging Chinese women to learn to fly. The application process isn't complicated or necessarily time-consuming but there are things applicants need to know, so the first step is reading that page. More...

Legal Aspects of Aircraft Leasing and 
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The successful Legal Aviation Workshop (LAW) on Aircraft Leasing and Financing is returning to Dubai in 2012 in order to address legal issues and answer critical questions. The workshop will cover themes such as Principles of Contract Law, Operating Leases ("Dry"), Aircraft Finance, Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance ("Wet") Leases, and Aviation Insurance. A practical exercise is included in order for the participants to debate the results of the day. Click here to learn more and register.
And Then There's This ...back to top 

Whether it's all just a publicity stunt or it's been Michael O'Leary's dirty little secret, the flamboyant owner of Ryanair certainly knows how to stimulate headline writers. The Irish entrepreneur's latest media bombshell is the suggestion that his no-frills airliners stream, among other things, porn to the handheld devices of passengers. He's also thinking about games, gambling and more wholesome fare like movies but it's the prospect of catching a glimpse of something creating heat besides the engines that has tweaked the Times, titillated the Telegraph and seared the Sun. "I'm not talking about having it on screens on the back of seats for everyone to see," he told the Sun. "It would be on handheld devices. Hotels around the world have it, so why wouldn't we?" Perhaps the Sun reporter didn't mention that hotels have doors with locks on them, too, but the problem with quoting O'Leary is that it's impossible to tell when he's serious. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Having spent multiple thousands for new glass, some owners are shocked at how the database costs add up. And with the FAA poised to start charging for its heretofore free digital flight data, the needle may be going in the wrong direction. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli opines that this could eventually become a drag on sales and ownership, if it isn't already. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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New on AVweb.comback to top 

Learning to fly the B-25 was a joy to Richard Taylor ... and also a pain, dealing with a castering nosewheel and crafty instructor pilots, as we learn in Richard's continuing memoir. More...

As LSAs make more inroads in new airplane sales, they're also coming up on the used market. The Rotax 912 and 914 have proven to be reliable, durable engines, but they have a couple of tender spots. For one, they don't like to be overheated and if run on fuel that's of too-low octane, they can detonate, leading to crankshaft issues. In this podcast, Dean Vogel of Lockwood Aviation Supply tells Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli what to look for when asking for a pre-buy on a Rotax-powered airplane.

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

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


Letter of the Week: Laser Tag

I was on approach to Ontario, Canada one night in a Pilatus PC-12 with all the lights on. For those of you that have never seen a PC-12 with all the various lights on, it is a wondrous sight. From the ground, I'm sure that a non-aviation person would mistake it for a much larger aircraft.

Shortly after turning final, I was hit by an intense light. I immediately reported it to the tower, and, as luck would have it, there was an Ontario PD helicopter flying close by in contact with the tower. The tower relayed the location of the light to them, and they raced off to look for the source. To me, this is a perfect example of how serious the authorities take this very real threat. I'm happy that the FAA takes this problem seriously and know that the more the public knows about the threat, the better off we will be.

Bill Campbell

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


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

Diamond's DA40 Star is a popular entry-level and midspeed cruiser, but it lacks air conditioning and other options. Fort Lauderdale's Premier Aircraft added a rich options list to the airplane, and in this report, Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli took a trial flight. More...

Last summer, Jeppesen rolled out its iPad-based Mobile FliteDeck, a complete chart manager system for owners who already subscribe to Jeppesen's electronic charting products. In this video, AVweb launches the first of three Product Minutes to review the new app. 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.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Yelvington Jet Aviation Inc. at Daytona Beach International Airport (KDAB) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

AVweb reader Dave Gillespie nominated the FBO and shared his outstanding experience if memory of the FBO's manager, Mike Fuller:

We landed our helicopter and were met by a beautiful young lady marshaller, then picked up by FBO manager Mike Fuller and delivered to the front door to a waiting Suburban, whereupon we were given an escort around the airport to the entry gate by two Daytona Beach motorcycle policmen! We were even given a cell to call for our return trip. Mike's courteous and exceptional service was the best I've ever seen in over 35 years flying. He will be missed. He was unfortunatly killed last weekend in a T-34 accident. The FBO community and aviation as a whole has lost one of the best. Godspeed, Mike.

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 


I heard this going into Los Angeles International Airport on SoCal approach frequency:

"Airliner 123, turn right, heading 180, for spacing."

Airliner 123:
"Right turn, 180. Airliner 123. What's up?"

"Well, our computers have the ability to suggest a specific vector to help us get the required spacing. So the computer says you gotta go south for a while."

Airliner 123:
"Oh. Well, our computer says that direct to the airport for the visual will work."

Approach (laughing) :
"Yeah, but my computer trumps your computer."

Frank Bowlin
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.