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GROUNDS OLDER BONANZAS
Australia has grounded all older-model
Beech Bonanzas, Debonairs and Twin Bonanzas with the single pole style
yoke attachment. The Civil Aviation Safety Administration (CASA) issued
an airworthiness directive (AD) (PDF, one of four) on Beech model 33, 35-33, 35, 36
and 50 aircraft banning further flight (except for a single positioning
flight) until the forward elevator cables have been inspected. The AD
was issued after a cable failed on a Bonanza just before takeoff and
inspection of a similar aircraft revealed damage to its cable in the
same location. If the cable is frayed, it must be replaced before
further flight and cables not showing any damage that are more than 15
years old have to be replaced within 60 days. Only aircraft that have
had new cables since their last annual are exempt. Although the AD
applies only to Australian-registered aircraft, things like this tend to
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JOB LOSSES AT EAA
EAA Thursday announced that a
reshaping of the organization will result in the termination of roughly
30 employees, but because other jobs will be added, the net reduction in
workforce will be less dramatic. The change will "align our resources
with our priorities," EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski told AVweb.
The net effect should be closer to 15 jobs lost. The changes were not,
he said, a reaction to immediate financial concerns. In the words of EAA
president Rod Hightower, "This will strengthen our organization in
several key areas to more effectively meet the needs of our members,
donors and aviators. More...
WE NEED AVIATION USER FEES"
A petition titled "Take Aviation
User Fees off the Table" has been sent to the White House with well more
than 8,500 signatures, and the White House has offered an official
response. The response is titled "Why We Need Aviation User Fees." It
presents the Obama administration's "conclusion" that "a $100 per flight
user fee is an equitable way for those who benefit to bear the cost of
this essential service." The response is signed by Dana Hyde, associate
director for general government programs, Office of Management and
Budget, who twice raises the issue that users must pay or do their "fair
share." The fee would be targeted, omitting all piston aircraft.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen has responded, calling the
administration's position an "administratively burdensome,
bureaucracy-building, foreign-style user fee scheme that has very little
to do with actual costs imposed on the system." More...
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|Tuskegee Airmen Breaking Race Barrier ... Again?||back to
TAILS: HOLLYWOOD DIDN'T WANT TO FUND BECAUSE OF BLACK
Famed director George Lucas says his soon-to-be-released
movie on the Tuskegee Airmen almost didn't make it into theatres because
the film industry didn't want to fund its release because of the
all-black cast. "It's because it's an all black movie. It has no major
white roles in it at all," Lucas said in an interview with Comedy Central's Jon Stewart this
week. Lucas said Red Tails, which he funded himself to a budget of about
$58 million, met nothing but closed doors in the film industry, which
Lucas was depending on to market and distribute the film. He said Red
Tails was expensive and cost more than traditional black-cast films that
play to smaller audiences. "And they don't believe there's any foreign
market for it," Lucas said, adding that if the film isn't successful,
larger budgets for future films with black casts may be in jeopardy.
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WINDS CHALLENGE LONG HAUL CARRIERS
The speed of prevailing
winds over the North Atlantic trended higher in December than in recent
history and that has led to some complications for United Continental
airlines' Boeing 757s. Last year, when flying west over the North
Atlantic, the airline landed twelve jets short of their destination
because high winds slowed the jets' progress and ate into reserves. Last
month, the carrier landed 43 flights out of 1,100 to refuel, a
spokeswoman told the Boston Globe, and 57 flights were affected over a
five-week period. Those jets are generally flying routes on full tanks.
CRAB AND KICK TUTORIAL (WITH VIDEO)
While slip devotees
might decry the crosswind coping techniques displayed in the
the long lens and perfect angle offer an interesting perspective on the
relative effectiveness of the crab-and-kick technique that is now
clearly the norm for commercial airliners. The video, shot during a
gusty storm in Dusseldorf just after the New Year, also testifies to the
skill of some pilots in the technique and, in some cases, the ruggedness
of modern landing gear. Rate the landings and takeoffs for yourself.
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FLIES UNDER BACKFLIPPING MOTORCYCLE (WITH VIDEO)
photos and video|
Red Bull Air Race pilot and
airshow performer Kirby Chambliss last year went to Mexico and flew his
Zivko Edge 540 beneath a motorcycle as the bike performed a backflip
between two ramps, according to TheSun.co.uk -- and now we have video.
The motorcycle rider, Czech Republic's Petr Pilat, is billed as the
youngest person to ever do a backflip on a motorcycle, having
accomplished the feat at age 14. Chambliss is a highly accomplished
aerobatic pilot who has demonstrated his skills all over the world. The
Sun says the two met in November 2011, at Mexico City, to perform the
stunt. Video and still photographs of the event are now available
showing the motorcyle flipping over the airplane. At the end of the
video Pilat exclaims, "I'm so happy that I'm still alive." Photography
was provided by Mauricio Ramos of Mexico City. Click through for video
and stills. More...
CERTIFICATED IN RV HE HELPED BUILD
Plenty of kids grow up
around airplanes but not many are raised building the airplane in which
they take their checkride. And to top it all off, Blake Crawford was
signed off on his 17th birthday by a world-renowned aerobatic pilot who
is also an FAA examiner. Debbie
Rihn-Harvey, three-time national aerobatics champion and Southwest
Airlines pilot, confirmed Crawford as the U.S.'s youngest certificated
pilot last week after putting him through the paces in the RV-7A he and
his father built throughout his childhood. Crawford was "bucking rivets
at a young age," said his flight instructor Valerie Vaughn, of Dutch
Wings Flight School at Houston Southwest Airport. More...
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
JANUARY 16, 2012
Letter of the Week: Air Show and Air
Regarding the NTSB
hearings on air show and air race safety: As an occasional air show
performer during the summer months, I feel that I can say with
confidence that every reasonable precaution is taken to ensure crowd
safety. The regulations are thorough to the point of being onerous, and
air show performers are uniformly diligent and professional in their
approach to safety.
Are new rules required? Absolutely not! I
expect that there is more government oversight involved with me flying a
loop in public than is required for a doctor to remove an appendix. My
point is that professionals can be trusted to regulate themselves to
Click through to read the
rest of this week's letters. More...
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CAPE COD TO CAPE HORN IN A 172
Chris and Corinne
McLaughlin are on their way down the coast of South America in a
1978 Skyhawk, on a two-month journey from Cape Cod to Cape Horn to help
raise awareness about the need for more organ donors. Chris was a 747
pilot before he fell ill and an organ donation saved his life. He talks
with AVweb's Mary Grady about the trip and the mission.
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OF THE WEEK: THUNDERBIRD AVIATION (FLYING CLOUD AIRPORT, MINNEAPOLIS,
Our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Thunderbird Aviation at Flying Cloud Airport
(KFCM) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
AVweb reader Mark
Hegg told us about his recent visit:
Flew into Flying Cloud on a Friday in early
December 2011. They were expecting me and promptly guided me to a
convenient tie-down. I told them our departure would be Sunday at noon.
On Saturday a snow storm brought six inches of snow and cold temps. I
called them Sunday morning to inquire about pre-heat possibilities
before our departure. They said, "Don't worry; we had extra room in our
heated hangar, and your plane has been inside all weekend. No charge!"
When we arrived, they were just pulling the plane out and helped us load
up. Fuel was already done, as well. Fuel prices were very reasonable.
Their service was always cheerful, helpful, and efficient. I guess it's
true what they say: The colder the temperature, the warmer the
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
About 40 years ago, when I was learning to fly at
Christchurch International in New Zealand, I was holding for take-off on
the grass when I heard this exchange from the tower with a visiting
farmer who was heading back to the
"You're cleared for take-off
"Cleared for take-off;
Tower (a little while later) :
Chalie Alpha, nice take-off."
"Uh, thank you,
"Just one small thing: Next time, can
you use the runway instead of the taxiway?"
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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