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Volume 18, Number 2a
January 9, 2012
A Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums? — YES
The Return of Premium Term policy available through Pilot Insurance Center features fixed premiums and guarantees to return the total of all premiums at the end of the policy. No aviation exclusions. Call (800) 380‑8376 or visit
AVflash Cirrus 'Chutes in Actionback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
AeroExpo || 25-27 May in Sywell, UK || 
22-24 June in Bitburg, DE

A combination of good weather, good equipment and maybe a little good luck resulted in little more than some wet clothes for two Alabama residents who ditched off the coast of the Bahamas on Saturday. Richard McGlaughlin, 59, and Elaine McGlaughlin, 25, of Birmingham, were in a Cirrus SR22 just after noon when they reported engine trouble off Andros, southeast of Miami. From there, as is evident in this video by Petty Officer Third Class Sabrina Elgammal, everything seemed to go like clockwork. More...

The full airframe Cirrus CAPS system by BRS has definitely saved lives. When deployed properly, it seems to work as advertised. But on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli points out that it hasn't been successful enough to have given the Cirrus aircraft anything other than a barely average safety record. Why not? Read more and join the conversation. More...

Legal Aspects of Aircraft Lease Agreements 
|| February 10, 2012 || Washington, DC || Register Now
Aircraft Leasing and Financing Workshop to Be
Hosted by Cozen O'Connor in Washington, DC

The Legal Aviation Workshop (LAW) on Aircraft Leasing and Financing is returning to Washington, DC 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 & 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.
Skyraider's Homecomingback to top 

A federal judge has ordered an Alabama man to forfeit his AD-4N Skyraider after siding with the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) branch of the Department of Homeland Security that the Vietnam-era close support aircraft was illegally imported to the U.S. ICE is turning the Skyraider over to the Navy for display in the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. As we reported in 2009, ICE agents seized the aircraft, which is in good flying condition, from Claude Hendrickson. In a news release, ICE said the aircraft and parts, including four 20-mm cannons, were "smuggled" into the U.S. because the plane is a "defense article" and Hendrickson hadn't done the required paperwork to import it and his hired pilot lied about it to customs agents. "The Skyraider aircraft, its cannons and parts are all subject to import licensing requirements as 'defense articles' under the Arms Export Control Act. Federal law prohibits the importation of defense articles without a license or permit," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans. "ICE aggressively investigates these cases in order to deter this type of illegal activity and protect those who abide by our nation's laws." When the feds initially took the aircraft, Hendrickson started a website. The site does not make reference to the Dec. 21 court ruling and Hendrickson did not immediately respond to an e-mail inquiry Sunday evening. More...

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Lithium Batteries and Cargo Firesback to top 

The FAA believes lithium batteries can pose a threat to flight safety and bans them from the cargo holds of passenger aircraft, which carry fire-suppression systems, but that's not the case for cargo aircraft and the disparity is not sitting well with cargo pilots. The Independent Pilots Association (IPA), which represents UPS pilots, is seeking standards that will provide cargo crews with a reasonable expectation of survival should a lithium battery fire break out on board a cargo flight. Cargo carriers can carry thousands of batteries on one flight and each battery can burn at thousands of degrees. But without regulatory guidance each carrier is left to balance safety investments against short-term competitive interests. More...

Lithium battery fires can burn hotter and faster than other electrical or cargo fires, rapidly destroying an aircraft's structure and systems. The FAA realizes the threat and bans the batteries from the cargo holds of passenger-carrying aircraft. It treats cargo aircraft very differently, and the differences are staggering. Glenn Pew speaks with Captain Robert Travis, president of the Independent Pilots Association, about the FAA's position and the union's plans to make substantive changes. More...

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.

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News Briefsback to top 

Hawker Beechcraft, which is suing the Air Force over its plan to go with a Brazilian aircraft for its proposed light attack and support aircraft, has ramped up the publicity campaign to get back in the running. At a news conference on Friday, Hawker Beech CEO Bill Boisture told reporters the company's AT-6B was tossed out of the bidding improperly in favor of the Embraer Super Tucano, which is being developed with Sparks, Nev.-based Sierra Nevada Corp. "We believe there's been a flaw in the acquisition process," Boisture was quoted by the Wichita Eagle as saying. Boisture was accompanied by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who also said the process was flawed in that the Air Force and the Government Accountability Office have used procedural arguments to avoid explaining the decision and delayed the announcement of the contract award to Embraer by a week when it should have been made public the same day. "That is highly unusual," Pompeo said. The increasing pressure has caught the attention of Air Force brass and they've put the contract award on hold. More...

Microsoft shut down the group responsible for its popular Flight Simulator X (FSX) in 2009 and by 2010 announced that a new game, "Flight," was in the works -- now it says that game will arrive this spring and it will be free (with limits). Microsoft Flight will be available free via download and will include "flying challenges," and "a variety of exciting missions" limited to a setting that mimics the Hawaiian islands. Extra content, including "new aircraft, regions and customization options," will be made available through an upgrade at a price yet to be announced. According to Microsoft, "players" will experience "authentic piloting procedures" and can "tailor the flight controls to match their skill level." Microsoft has posted some online samples of the Flight experience. More...

U.S. Sport Aviation Expo || Sebring, FL || 
January 19-22, 2012
Sebring Regional Airport Hosts U.S. Sport Aviation Expo!
January 19-22 get ready to see what's new in the LSA world. Conventional aircraft, kitplanes, powered parachutes, trikes, gyros, amphibians, and innovative designs such as electrically powered aircraft — 150+ aircraft on display. Plus demonstration flights, educational forums, food and wine pairing events, a live aircraft auction, and more. Visit for details.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

A fiery hot air balloon crash in New Zealand Saturday morning killed 11 people, making it the country's worst aviation accident in more than 30 years. Witnesses said the balloon, carrying five couples and the pilot, was on fire and some reported a 30-foot jet of flame coming from the basket as it came down in farmland near the town of Cartertown, about 50 miles northeast of Wellington on the country's North Island. Authorities said the balloon hit power lines before it caught fire and caused a brief power outage. More...

Singapore Airlines and Qantas have found "small cracks" in the wing-rib feet of at least three of their Airbus A380 super-jumbo aircraft; both say the cracks are not a safety issue. The two carriers operate at least 24 A380s between them with about 25 more on order. One of the affected aircraft is the Qantas jet that in November 2010 suffered an en route uncontained engine failure. A Qantas spokesman said the company believes the cracking is unrelated to that event, according to investigators. Both carriers said Friday that repairs have been made. More...

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Security Snagsback to top 

Lana Sator may be something of a real-life Lara Croft (played in the film Tomb Raider by Angelina Jolie), in that she managed unauthorized access to very unique places -- in this case, a Russian liquid-fueled rocket plant. Sator apparently first studied the plant, NPO Energomash Academician, located on the outskirts of Moscow, from the outside -- both online and on foot before gaining access through a fence. The plant is an active facility owned by a company (NPO) that has participated in some of the leading rocket activities of our time. Sator's photos may be as stunning as the act. Click through. More...

A Green Beret demolitions expert who twice had explosives confiscated by the TSA before he tried to board airliners over the holidays has been released to the supervision of his superiors at Fort Bragg on $50,000 bail. As we reported Jan. 1, Sgt. Trey Scott Atwater was arrested and charged with trying to bring explosives onto an aircraft after TSA screeners in Midland, Texas, found military-grade explosives in his carry-on. According to the Los Angeles Times, court documents revealed the explosives to be C-4 and also noted that Atwater had a smoke grenade taken from him before he boarded a Dec. 24 flight from Fayetteville, N.C., for the trip to Texas to visit relatives. In that case, he was given a stern talking to by the TSA and allowed to continue his trip. Other details revealed by the documents raise the question of whether the Fayetteville screeners may have missed the C-4 when they discovered the grenade, however. More...

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New on AVweb.comback to top 

Finally joining the Air Force's Strategic Air Command, Dick Taylor and his wife move to Florida, and Dick begins training in air-refueling techniques in the KC-97 Stratotanker. More...

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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...

Peter Drucker Says,
"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

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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...

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

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

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