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Volume 17, Number 51b
December 22, 2011
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AVflash! Up and At 'Em! FAA's New Fatigue Rulesback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
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Pilots will have a 10-hour minimum rest period prior to flight duty with enough time during that period for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, according to new rules (PDF) finalized Wednesday by the FAA -- there are other details and exceptions. Cargo operators will not be subject to the new rules unless they elect to opt in. Echoing the concerns of his cargo-carrying brethren, Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association President Capt. Steve Chase said, "It is our hope that lawmakers will reconsider the cargo carrier exemption and ensure that legislation meets the original intent of 'One Level of Safety.'" The NTSB Wednesday voiced similar concerns. The fact that the final rule will not take effect immediately has earned it criticism from safety advocates, and there are other concerns about the rule's details. More...

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The FAA's Leadership Vacuumback to top 

With Randy Babbitt's recent departure from the FAA's top job after a drunk-driving arrest, the job is being filled by his former deputy, Michael Huerta, but speculation has already begun about who will be the next administrator. In an analysis by Politico on Tuesday, five names are floated, including several who are well-known in aviation circles -- NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman, former ALPA leader Duane Woerth, and former U.S. Rep. James Oberstar. More...

Politico has named its top five potential successors to former FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. Who do you like?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers what they thought of the FAA's plan to charge for access to AeroNav's electronic charts; click through to see the breakdown of answers. More...

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Leaner Times, More Cutbacksback to top 

As part of its strategy to upgrade the National Airspace System, the FAA last week proposed to reduce the number of VOR facilities to a "minimal operational network" by 2020. The agency said the minimum network would enable aircraft anywhere in the continental U.S. to proceed safely to a destination with a GPS-independent approach within 100 nm. The FAA will convene a working group to consider which VORs will be shut down. "Each facility will be evaluated on its own merits," the FAA said. The group will use "relevant operational, safety, cost, and economic criteria," along with input from industry stakeholders and the public, to reach its conclusions. More...

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"Barefoot Bandit's" 15 Minutes of Fameback to top 

Colton Harris-Moore, the teenager whose two-year crime spree included the theft of several airplanes -- which he taught himself to fly from manuals and videos -- was sentenced on Friday to serve seven years and three months in jail after pleading guilty to 33 counts of burglary and theft. Harris-Moore, now 20, was "pleased" with the sentence, according to his lawyer, John Henry Browne. "He was expecting the worst," Browne told The Associated Press. In a letter (PDF) to the judge, Harris-Moore apologized for his crimes and described the "euphoria" of his first flight, even though the weather was horrible. "My first thought after takeoff was 'Oh my God, I'm flying,'" he wrote. "I had waited my entire life for that moment." Harris-Moore flew the Cessna 182 stole from Orcas Island Airport in the dark into the teeth of a Northwest wind and rainstorm that grounded a lot of other aircraft and admitted he was lucky to survive. He eventually landed it hard near Yakima. He stole at least two more planes, a Cirrus SR22 and finally a Cessna Corvalis that he ditched in the Caribbean, where he was captured after police shot out the engine of a boat he'd stolen. He said he planned to use his prison time to study and he hopes to eventually go to college for aeronautical engineering. More...

Colton Harris-Moore is an airplane thief and con artist. Is he the inspiration for a new generation of pilots? In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles explains how a big-budget Hollywood treatment of Harris-Moore's story could (sadly) overshadow AOPA's initiatives, the EAA's Eagles programs, the Sport Pilot Rule, and third-class medical reform when it comes to boosting pilot outreach. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

LightSquared has thrown down a potentially tricky legal gauntlet and challenged the Federal Communications Commission to clarify its right to use the sliver of radio spectrum it owns for a ground-based broadband network. In a petition for declaratory ruling (PDF) filed Tuesday, the upstart broadband service wholesaler repeats its claim that the manufacturers of GPS devices that are affected by the broadband signals are to blame for the interference. "It recently has become apparent that the commercial GPS industry has manufactured, and sold to unsuspecting consumers, unlicensed and poorly designed GPS receivers that 'listen' for radio signals both in the 'RNSS' frequency band in which the U.S. GPS system is intended to operate, as well as across the adjacent 'MSS' frequency band that is not intended for GPS use, and in which LightSquared is licensed," the petition says. "The commercial GPS industry claims, without justification, that these GPS receivers somehow are entitled to 'protection' from the LightSquared authorized operations ...." LightSquared is also asking that the manufacturers of GPS equipment be kept out of any deliberations on the future of LightSquared's applications because, according to LightSquared, the GPS makers lack the legal standing to have their comments heard. The GPS industry says the filing is a rerun of previous LightSquared rhetoric that selectively cites previous FCC rulings and ignores its own positions on the interference issues. More...

When the Cirrus SR20 and 22 first appeared a dozen years ago, the models' full airframe parachute system and stall/spin resistant wing were expected to set new standards for light aircraft safety. But according to Aviation Consumer's January edition, the Cirrus line has achieved, at best, a middle of the road safety and accident record that makes its fatal accident rate a bit better than Mooney and Piper high-performance models, but a bit worse than the Columbia/Corvalis series and Cessna's venerable 172 and 182. The magazine studied accident records dating back as far as 30 years on 11 popular GA light aircraft. Among its findings are that the Cirrus overall accident rate is 3.25/100,000, placing it closer to the top of the list of airplanes Aviation Consumer considered and about half of the GA average overall accident rate of 6.3/100,000. Only Diamond's DA40 and DA42 had better overall accident rates -- dramatically so in the case of the DA40, whose overall rate is 1.19, a little more than a sixth of the GA average. More...

All five people on board a Socata TBM-700 were killed Tuesday morning after the single-engine turboprop apparently lost a wing in flight, then spiraled to a crash in the median of busy Interstate 287 in New Jersey and burned. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The airplane had taken off from Teterboro just 14 minutes earlier, about 9:50 a.m., headed for Atlanta, the NTSB said on Tuesday afternoon. The pilot and ATC discussed reports of icing in the area. A chunk of the missing wing was found about a quarter-mile from the wreckage, lodged in a tree. The airplane belonged to Jeffrey Buckalew, 45, a New York investment banker, who was the pilot. Also on board were Buckalew's wife and two children, a co-worker, and a dog. More...


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Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

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

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...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
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Fly More for Less
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Many of us dream of a gleaming gray expoxy-coated hangar floor illuminated by the glare of bright lights. But most of us actually have oil-stained concrete, dingy from years of abuse. If your floor is stained badly, a product called ReKrete can help improve it. Aviation Consumer's Paul Bertorelli demonstrates the product in this brief video. More...

This is an unusual story. The jet you're looking at is an F-106 Delta Dart. A storied interceptor in its day, it was built to exceed an Air Force requirement for 1.9 mach and continuous flight at 57,000 feet. It did both. And in December 1959, it set a speed record, of 1,525 mph, or about 2.3 mach, while flying at 40,000 feet. Its pilot at the time, Major Joseph Rogers, claimed the record might not be accurate. He was still accelerating, he said, at the time. But this particular jet is famous for a different reason. More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb reader Mac Forbes gives us the low-down on a top-notch FBO at North Carolina's Asheboro Regional Airport (KHBI) — Cardinal Air, recipient of our latest blue ribbon for exceptional service:

Their service starts with a friendly "welcome" on the CTAF and, unless they're very busy, a personal greeting on the ramp with an offer to pump 100LL for you — at the self-service price! Karen's team (Bobbi, Ben, etc.) make you feel as if you're the most important customer of the day! Right there on the field, also, Mr. Jeffers operates an excellent full-service avionics shop where convenience and cordial, competent service are clearly priorities, with everything from VFR TXP checks to full glass cockpit upgrades. And the North Carolina Aviation Museum is adjacent, convenient, and loaded with interesting aircraft and artifacts well worth a few hours for touring! HBI is a great stop and/or excellent destination!

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!


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.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

This week's winning photo comes from James Lichty of Brampton, ON (Canada). Click here for the rest of this week's submissions. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Scott Simmons

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Advertising Director, Associate Publisher
Tom Bliss

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 phone, 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.