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Volume 17, Number 50a
December 12, 2011
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AVflash! Backing Off the PiperJetback to top 

Piper is seeking to renegotiate a deal it made with the state of Florida and Indian River County to avoid paying back some government incentives, TCPalm reported Thursday. In 2008, Piper agreed to repay more than $1.5 million of a $10.7 million incentive package it received from the state and county if it failed to meet specific employment benchmarks. Piper has now written state officials to ask forgiveness for those government investments. In a letter to the state, Piper officials said, "This will help ensure the company can successfully continue to manage its financial affairs and accomplish its marketing, sales and employment goals in the future." More...

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What Was That in the Skies Over Iran?back to top 

In a state TV broadcast, Thursday, Iran showed off what it says is a U.S. drone brought down in that country, but some observers have found reason to question portions of that account. The video broadcast shows two men in military garb walking around something that looks very much like an RQ-170 Sentinel drone aircraft. U.S. officials believe Iran is in possession of an RQ-170 that had been flown by the CIA and was lost over the country last week. At least initially, they appear less convinced that the object displayed in the video is that vehicle. U.S. officials claim the aircraft they lost was likely brought down due to a technical malfunction and did not immediately confirm that the video showed an authentic drone. Iranian officials have their own explanation. More...

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Well, It Is the Shortest Route to Orbitback to top 

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has sent a letter to the FAA seeking designation as a spaceport and the ability to create facilities for that purpose. Colorado ranks third for highest state revenue generated from the aerospace industry, according to the governor. It also hosts 140 aerospace companies, the Air Force Space Command headquarters and NORAD. The governor's target is Front Range Airport, about 20 miles east of Denver. If federally approved, Hickenlooper hopes to transform roughly 10,000 acres of land surrounding the airport into fertile ground for spaceport support services and the jobs that go with them. He appears to be hoping for a quick turnaround from the FAA. More...

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2012 Not the End of the World for ICASback to top 

The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels released their 2012 schedules last week at the International Council of Air Shows annual meeting in Las Vegas. Both teams fly their first show in March -- the Angels at El Centro, Calif., and the Thunderbirds in Yuma, Ariz. The Thunderbirds also are scheduled to fly at Sun 'n Fun, in Florida, March 31 and April 1. The ICAS schedule can be downloaded here (PDF). Besides the military teams, however, much of the season's schedule remains to be filled -- the slot for EAA AirVenture, for example, is nearly empty -- but you might find your favorite airshow on the 13-page list. More...

Legal Aspects of Aircraft Leasing and 
Financing || February 16, 2012 || Dubai, UAE || Register Now
Legal Aspects of Leasing and Financing
to be Debated in the Middle East

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.
Aviation Safety: Expect the Unexpectedback to top 

Air Canada officials told authorities that two rowdy passengers who caused the diversion of a Toronto-Beijing flight last week actually chewed threw the restraints used by the crew and passengers to subdue them. The Vancouver Sun quotes CBC News as saying the pair, a couple of IT executives on a business trip, were so out of hand that the captain ordered the cabin "locked down" for 80 minutes as they made a run for the nearest airport, Vancouver International, to offload the troublemakers. George Campbell, 45, and Paul Wilson, 38, were immediately hauled before a judge where they pleaded guilty to mischief and were ordered to pay $72,000 in restitution. However, Air Canada has tallied up its expenses and estimates the fiasco cost it $200,000, not including a roughed-up flight attendant and a planeload of upset passengers. More...

Authorities in the Philippines are focusing on the fuel system of a Beech Queen Air that crashed into a school in the Manila suburb of Paranaque City on Saturday killing at least 13 people, including 11 on the ground, and leveling the school. Only the two pilots and one passenger were aboard the aircraft. Because it was a Saturday, there were no classes and a much bigger loss of life was avoided. The plane exploded on impact and caught the school building and adjacent shanty homes on fire and it took three hours to quell the flames. The pilots had requested an emergency landing shortly after takeoff. More...

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


Letter of the Week: Did Babbitt Have to Go?

Regarding Randy Babbitt's resignation: Randy Babbitt was the head of ALPA for years and a former airline pilot. One of the wonderful accomplishments of ALPA over the last two decades was the realization that alcoholism is a disease and pilots who have run afoul of laws concerning driving, flying, and alcohol may actually be suffering from an addiction that affects health and judgment.

Airline pilots that I know who have gone through "the program" and returned to duty are the some of the safest, driest pilots on the line! Instead of a rush to judgment that resulted in an early end to Randy Babbitt's career, I wish the FAA had used this incident to further raise public awareness of the fact that addiction can hit anyone and of the avenues available to help those who have problems with alcohol.

Let's treat Babbitt the same way the airlines treat pilots now: treatment for the addiction in a HIMS program, resulting in an FAA administrator who is much wiser and


John Hanson

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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New on AVweb.comback to top 

For advanced flight training in Texas, Dick Taylor and his class try their hands at the B-29, which by the mid-'50s was used as a trainer. And yet, although huge and pressurized, with a third guy in the cockpit (flight engineer), it still had a castering nosewheel. More...

For reasons we find mystifying, the FAA steadfastly refuses to answer questions about budget and revenue plans for its AeroNav charting division. It's supposed to sort this out with vendors in a closed meeting this week, which the public and press are barred from attending. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli runs downs the issues and options. Read more and join the conversation. More...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
in Aviation
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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.
AVweb Audio — Are You Listening?back to top 

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has resigned after being arrested for driving while intoxicated. What does that mean to the industry? Ed Bolen, president and CEO of NBAA, has known Randy Babbitt for roughly two decades. Bolen has been an aviation industry insider -- acting in a position of influence -- for just as long. AVweb's Glenn Pew spoke with him to discuss the impact of Babbitt's departure.

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

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Advanced Wings at Wings Field Airport (KLOM) in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

AVweb reader Jeff Kircher told us about Advanced and called their team "the most helpful people I have come across."

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!


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 Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

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...

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. More...

Jeppesen has switched strongly to delivery of charts via electronic means, and its new iPad app, Mobile FliteDeck, does the heavy lifting. In this video, the final of three, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli takes a video tour of the plate management part of the application. More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Our tower does periodic checks. About mid-day, I heard on the scanner:

Salem Tower:
"Tower test for tapes. One, two, three. Three, two, one. Test out."

A Local Aircraft:
"Salem tower, loud and clear. N12345."

Salem Tower:
"Aircraft N12345: Frequency change approved."

Mary Ann Lebold
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.