AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 17, Number 47a

November 21, 2011

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! The Weekend OSU Crash & Investigation back to top 
 

OSU Plane Hit Nose-First, Weather Not A Factor

Investigators have ruled out weather as a factor in the crash that killed two Oklahoma State University basketball coaches and determined that the Cherokee 180 involved hit the ground nose-first. The crash killed OSU Cowgirls coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna. The pilot and aircraft owner, former state senator Olin Branstetter, and his wife Paula were also killed. The aircraft crashed about 4:30 p.m. in mountainous terrain 45 miles northwest of Little Rock, Ark. NTSB investigator Jason Aguilera told The Oklahoman the nose-down attitude leads to inescapable speculation on the flight's final moments. "That's pretty significant," he said. "That makes us feel as though there's a good chance there was a loss of control prior to impact." And while there's no initial indication that the size and type of aircraft had any bearing on the crash, size is apparently all that matters for OSU and other schools now assessing the transportation policies for staff and students.

OSU already has strict rules in place governing aircraft used for transporting student athletes after a 2001 crash killed 10 members of the men's football team. The minimum standard is a twin-engine turboprop (the 2001 crash plane was a King Air 200) and it must be rented from a charter service that has been vetted by the school's own aviation consultant. Aircraft privately owned by school benefactors are not to be used. However, there is some question whether that rule applies when coaches and other staff travel for recruiting (as was the case Thursday) and other athletic business. Branstetter, 82, was a longtime OSU supporter who donated the money to start an aviation program at the school. He was also a longtime pilot who had flown the aircraft involved in Thursday's crash over the North Pole in 1984. The FAA said his medical was current and he had a clean flying record.

 
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Another Look at ADS-B back to top 
 

Committee: No Case For ADS-B Mandate

A committee chartered by the FAA has determined that the FAA has yet to make a business case for mandated near-term ADS-B equipage and recommends the FAA not pursue such a mandate at this time. The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) was formed in June 2010. Its mission is, in part, to "provide recommendations that clearly define how the community should proceed with ADS-B In while ensuring compatibility with ADS-B Out." The ARC has concluded that "many of the ADS–B In applications show significant promise, but additional development and analysis are necessary before aircraft operators can justify investment or implementation decisions." As per its charter, the committee did offer ideas to change that.

The ARC recommends the FAA demonstrate achievable benefits to the user community of ADS-B In that may be implemented "in a cost-effective manner." One challenge faced by the FAA right now is that ADS-B In applications have not yet matured to the point where achievable benefits can be defined with certainty, according to the committee. Also, certification and operational approval guidance are not "sufficiently mature to enable widespread manufacture of avionics" in roles that might support an equipage mandate. The committee recommends that the FAA address these challenges through basic field trials that "validate key assumptions and benefits" and use that experience to relate the benefits of equipage to the user community. Those efforts will require the FAA to direct funding toward maturing standards guidance and regulation of ADS-B equipment. Click here to read the ARC's full report (PDF).

 
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Boeing Printing More Invoices back to top 
 

Boeing Lands Biggest Deal, Ever

Lion Air, a private Jakarta-based airline, has signed a commitment to order 230 Boeing aircraft with a street value of $21.7 billion -- Boeing's latest clean-sheet design, the 787, is not represented in the order. The order consists of 201 737 MAX single-aisle airliners (aircraft that are expected to first enter service in 2017) and 29 extended range 737-900ER jets, plus options for 150 more aircraft. Even without the options, those figures make this the largest deal Boeing has ever negotiated with a carrier by number of aircraft and dollar amount. The deal coincides with a visit to Indonesia by President Obama ... and one potentially relevant lawsuit brought Wednesday by the Airline Transport Association.

The ATA is arguing that low-rate loan guarantees provided to overseas carriers like Lion Air allow those foreign airlines significant financial advantages in commercial competition. The lawsuit addresses its complaint against entities like Ex-Im Bank -- the one credited by Mr. Obama for facilitating Boeing's deal with Lion Air. ATA says Ex-Im allows foreign carriers to buy and finance jets at rates that may be half of those paid by U.S. carriers in similar transactions. Aside from the president's comments, it is not clear at this time what role Ex-Im played in the Lion Air Deal. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that an Ex-Im Bank official said the bank's involvement did not yet include financial backing. At more than 460, Boeing's 2011 net order sheet has passed its estimate for production this year. Nearly all the orders are for 777 and 737 variants.

 
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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

Brazilian Charges Linger For Columnist

A New York Times columnist says he'll continue fighting a court ruling stemming from his coverage of a 2006 plane crash in Brazil even though the proceedings might seem ludicrous in the U.S. Joe Sharkey was onboard the Legacy 600 business jet that collided with a GOL Boeing 737, causing the airliner to crash and killing all 154 people aboard. Pilots of the damaged Legacy were able to land safely and all seven people aboard were uninjured. The pilots, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, were subsequently convicted of negligence and sentenced to four years of house arrest in absentia. Last week a Brazilian appeals court overturned a lower court's dismissal of defamation charges brought against Sharkey by the widow of one of the GOL passengers. The suit was based on a peculiarity of Brazilian jurisprudence that allows individuals to file suit if the country itself is dishonored by the publication of material deemed defamatory. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Sharkey says the case is difficult to grasp in the U.S. and other countries in which freedom of speech and the press are taken for granted, but it's become an ongoing drain on his time and money as he fights to clear his name, even if it is in Brazil. "The First Amendment means something to me," Sharkey, a longtime beat reporter and columnist, said.

Notwithstanding the premise behind the charges, Sharkey insists he's not guilty anyway. He said he never wrote anything defamatory about Brazil or the plaintiff in the case. Rather, the defamatory comments cited in the action were taken from the thousands of reader comments generated by news stories and other commentary on the accident and the legal fallout. For instance, one of the allegations in the case is that he called Brazil "a banana." Sharkey said that he's pretty sure he could do better than that if he intended to insult the country. Meanwhile, he said a larger issue is the potential impact of the case on his ability to travel and the intrusion on his private life. He said process servers working on behalf of Brazilian lawyers have visited his former home in New Jersey and his current residence in Arizona. "They always come late at night," he said.

Podcast: Legacy Collision Legal Nightmare Continues

File Size 11.2 MB / Running Time 12:15

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

A Brazil appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling that cleared New York Time columnist Joe Sharkey in a strange lawsuit resulting from his coverage of the tragedy. In an interview with AVweb's Russ Niles, Sharkey says he'll keep fighting, even if it means more late-night visits from Brazilian-paid process servers.

Click here to listen. (11.2 MB, 12:15)

 
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Emergency Landing back to top 
 

Pilot Lands Mustang After Aneurysm

Danie Minnie was flying a Cessna Citation Mustang on Nov. 12, out of Bloemfontein for Johannesburg, South Africa, when he suffered an aneurysm -- he landed the plane safely but did not survive the larger event. Minnie, 43, suffered symptoms that included vomiting and paralysis that affected his left side. He contacted controllers who found him sounding confused. The pilot elected to return to his less populated point of departure. Minnie's brother, also a pilot, and his wife were at the airport to meet him when he landed. A local news station reported that Minnie "managed a perfect landing." Paramedics then took more than 40 minutes to remove Minnie from the aircraft as his condition worsened.

According to local news reports, Minnie was able to grab and kiss the hand of his wife as he told her that he loved her, but showed difficulty in his speech. At some point, Minnie also contacted the client he had been dispatched to retrieved and told the man that he'd lost feeling in his left side. Minnie later lost consciousness. He was admitted to intensive care and was declared brain dead two days later. Minnie's story has served as a local inspiration. He was remembered online at Iflyafrica.com as one of South Africa's most competent pilots and a man whose efforts in his final hours touched the hearts of many.

 
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Offbeat Airline Stories back to top 
 

Airline Troubles Upset Passengers

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After enduring a nine-hour ground delay, one might think the last thing passengers would want is to stay on the aircraft after it arrived at its destination. That was the situation facing Hong Kong Airlines staff last week when more than 50 passengers refused to get off the flight when it finally arrived in Hong Kong from Singapore. The passengers staged the sit-in to protest what they considered inadequate compensation for the original delay, which was caused by a mechanical fault on the aircraft. They left the plane after 90 minutes and continued the protest inside the airport until the airline agreed to pay them about $150 instead of the $50 originally offered. Almost exactly the opposite occurred in Vienna last week when passengers had to dig into their wallets to continue their flight to England.

The Comtel flight originated in Amritsar and was headed for Birmingham when it made a fuel stop in Vienna, the airline's home base. Comtel couldn't pay for the fuel needed for the flight to England so passengers were told they had to come up with $34,000 between themselves to top the 757's tanks. Those who didn't have cash on them were escorted to ATMs in the terminal to withdraw the money. The plane and its unhappy passengers made it to Birmingham and Comtel blamed the incident on late payments from travel agents, After first promising compensation to the passengers, the airline abruptly declared bankruptcy, leaving another 180 customers stranded in India.

Pilot's Toilet Incident Sparks Terror Concerns (Audio)

The Nov. 16 flight of Indianapolis-based Chautauqua Airlines operated as Delta Flight 6132, an ERJ-145 out of Asheville for LaGuardia, took a turn for the unusual when the captain stepped out of the cockpit and failed to return as expected. The flight was carrying 14 passengers and was progressing normally until, about 30 minutes from a holding pattern for LaGuardia, the captain left the cockpit to use the lavatory and got stuck there. Unable to force the door open, the captain pounded until he acquired the attention of a passenger. The captain endowed that passenger with his confidence and a message for the copilot. However, when the copilot received the message, recordings archived at LiveATC.net clearly show the copilot did not apply the same confidence to the messenger. "Someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit," the copilot tells controllers, "and I'm not about to let him in."

After hearing the initially sketchy details, a voice on frequency offered advice: "OK, Chautauqua, you guys ought to declare an emergency and just get on the ground." Fortunately, that wasn't necessary. Some minutes later, the captain won his contest with lavatory door and was able to return to the cockpit. The helpful passenger remained in the cabin and the aircraft landed safely without further incident. In a written statement, Chautauqua said, "The first officer did the right thing in securing the flight deck when he was not able to personally confirm the status of the aircraft's captain." It continued, "No one was ever in danger, and everyone, including the good Samaritan who tried to help the captain, as well as the crew, are to be commended for their actions."

Click here for the MP3 file.

 
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Opinion & Commentary back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Ramp Delays -- I Got My Education

In last week's blog, Paul Bertorelli opined about the $900,000 fine levied against American Eagle for busting the DOT's three-hour ramp delay rule. He asked for some feedback from the airline community, and in his latest post to the AVweb Insider, he says he got just that.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVmail: November 21, 2011

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: Online Chart Fees

With budget deficits in the trillions, no one can deny that our government has a problem with spending. So the ruckus in the aviation community because the government wants to cover its costs in producing and distributing aeronautical data seems to me a symptom of what got us here.

Everyone is for cutting the cost of government, so long as it doesn't affect their benefits. At the end of the day, that attitude will not solve our budget problems. It is hard to argue that we in aviation don't benefit greatly from the government. From the millions spent on infrastructure at the 5,000 GA airports to data, weather, FSS, ATC — the list goes on.

While we do pay for some of that with the tax on avgas, I am confident that it doesn't come close to covering the total benefit we receive. To solve the budget crisis, funding changes will have to be made. Rather than fight every proposal for change like it is the end of the world, I would encourage the flying community — and AOPA, EAA and NBAA specifically — to proactively evaluate and choose which changes are most palatable and affect the least number of users.

They should offer those up, while fighting to save [us from] those that have the most negative impact to flying. I will gladly pay another $75 per year to have IFR data if it means I can avoid user fees on every IFR flight. AOPA and EAA need to show leadership in helping to solve this problem rather than blindly objecting to every proposal. Change is coming; we can either embrace it and try to manage it, or we can be run over by it.

Don Ward

Editor's Note:

We got a huge response to our coverage of the FAA's plan to charge for and limit access to its online chart products. We couldn't run all of the notes, but we hope what follows is representative of opinions expressed.

Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief

I won't mind paying for charts if the fuel tax goes down to compensate. Of course that isn't going to happen, so this is just another stealth tax from big government. Time to occupy the FAA!

Cliff Tamplin

I've been a Jepp paper subscriber for years but now have an iPad and intend to drop my Jepp subscription. The raise in price for ForeFlight (which I intend to use) will just mean I don't save as much money. But will save in update time.

Bruce Marshall

Maybe I will just quit flying. I have only owned a personal/sport plane and been a commercial/airline pilot for 40 years. They won't miss me.

Fred Johnson

I bought an iPad two weeks ago, precisely for this particular use, and subscribed to both WingX and Foreflight. Now I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

H. Paul Shuch

It seems these fees will benefit Garmin and Jeppesen, as many will put away their Android and iPad apps. We need the competition to keep data rates in check, but I'm not opposed to a very modest free. I'm an Android Galaxy Tab user.

Brock Steiner


In Defense of Instructors

In regards to Louis Hastings' letter, I have a few words back. As a type-rated multi-engine ATP with CFI, CFII, MEI and ACR privileges, I would like to say that training times have more to do with today's flying environment than the aircraft used.

Gone are the days when you fly from a grass strip in an airplane with no complicated systems. (Louis — not many people learn in C-150s anymore.) Have you even heard of NOTAMs and TFRs? Back in the days of old, no one was going to send up a fighter if you got too close to a sporting event. I invite Mr. Hastings and anyone else who thinks flight schools are milking students to open up the FARs and advisory circulars and read what a flight instructor must make sure his/her student knows before that student can solo.

Since our endorsement of said student's log book is a legal statement, ask yourself how far you are willing to stick your neck (and your family's financial well-being) out for a student in today's legal environment if you are not 100 percent certain they can repeatably perform to standard?

What is the most common statement after a student screws something up? "My instructor never taught/told me that." Don't believe me? Ask a DPE.

Mark Lindquist

In response to Louis Hastings' question on training in a Taylorcraft compared to a Cessna 150 and the time it now takes to solo: As flight instructors, we have a whole litany of items to be taught to our students before they are allowed to solo.

This list of subjects to be taught can be found in the FAR's Part 61. The list is very comprehensive and is dictated by law. I have no quarrel with what needs to be taught a flight student before he is allowed to solo; I am merely suggesting this is the main reason it takes much longer to reach the goal of solo today, and it has been this way for more than three decades. It's all in the name of safety for our students as well as for the rest of our aviation community.

Bert Aagesen


A Taxing Question

Your article on the suit was the first I had heard regarding any ticket taxes being collected on "private" flights, meaning non-Part 121 operations. So are ticket taxes collected on all Part 135 operations? Is the logical extension to collect on all Part 91 operations? After all, it is just transportation.

Patrick Donovan


Pay by the Pound?

When are the airlines going to start selling tickets and seats by the pound? There are so many fat folks that take up most of two seats to the substantial discomfort of everyone else that something has to be done. When are they going to put in at least some large seats and make big people pay for their size and not punish the rest of us?

How about for anyone weighing more than 250 pounds, you pay for a bigger seat — five across instead of six? Too big for one seat? Then pay the 50% premium for taking half of another regular-size seat. The more you weigh, the more it costs to fly you. Pay for it.

Dale Rush


Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

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

Survey: How's That Glass Panel Working Out?

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on owner experiences with early model EFIS systems such as the Garmin G1000 and Avidyne Entegra installed in OEM aircraft no newer that 2007. The magazine is interested in finding out how these systems have held up in the field. For this survey, we're interested only in OEM aircraft, not experimentals or LSAs and not aftermarket glass.

Click here to take the survey.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

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.

 
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Galaxy Aviation (St. Augustine Airport, FL)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Galaxy Aviation at St. Augustine Airport (KSGJ) in St. Augustine, Florida.

AVweb reader Joe Jenkina recommended the FBO:

When my wife and I flew in in our 182, we were greeted as if we were flying a jet. Kathy, Juan, and all the staff made sure our car was out on the ramp with the A/C on. Everyone we encountered from the Galaxy staff was courteous, and I recommend them to anyone flying into KSGJ.

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!

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

Video: Jeppesen's Mobile FliteDeck (Part 1)

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

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.

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Video: Jeppesen's Mobile FliteDeck (Part 2)

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

Jeppesen's new Mobile FliteDeck is a route-based app that compiles approach plates and procedures from Jeppesen's charting materials. In this video, part two of three, Paul Bertorelli takes a look at how its route functions work.

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The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Sad but true. I was en route to Winchester, north of the DC area, when I heard a pilot in a Piper making this request:

Piper:
"I am low on fuel and need to go direct Martinsburg."

Potomac:
"Sir, I cannot give you direct Martinsburg. That route would take you through P40."

Piper:
"But I am low on fuel and need direct Martinsburg."

Potomac:
"Sir, if you are concerned about fuel I can give you vectors to Gaithersburg."

Piper:
"If you give me direct Martinsburg, I won't need to stop for fuel."

Potomac:
"Sir, If you went direct Martinsburg from your position, it would put you right in the middle of P40 and fuel would be the least of your worries."


June Smith
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.

 
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:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributors
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.