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|AVflash! "The Start of an Exciting Journey
STARTS CONSTRUCTION IN MOJAVE
Stratolaunch Systems, the new
company formed in December by Paul Allen to build a giant Burt
Rutan-designed aircraft that will launch payloads into Earth orbit, has
started construction on a production facility and a hangar at the Mojave
Air and Space Port in California. Over the next year, the company plans
to tear down a pair of 747-400 aircraft and salvage parts and subsystems
to integrate into the new airplane. "Today marks the start of an
exciting journey for us," said Gary Wentz, CEO of Stratolaunch. "We look
forward to many years of great work in Mojave." The two new buildings
together will comprise about 180,000 square feet of workspace and
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GROUPS WELCOME FAA FUNDING BILL
reacted with relief this week to news
that a $63 billion, four-year FAA funding bill has finally been agreed
on in Washington. AOPA said, "General aviation pilots can celebrate"
-- the bill left out user fees and doesn't increase taxes for avgas or
jet fuel. The bill makes it possible for the government to create an
incentive program to help GA pilots equip for NextGen, and authorizes
$13.4 billion for airport improvement projects. It also addresses through-the-fence
operations, allowing airport access to adjacent property owners.
Other aviation groups, such as NBAA, the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association, and the Air Line Pilots Association, also
reacted positively to the news. More...
Lycoming & Continental
Aircraft Starters: Aviation-Manufactured, OEM-Endorsed, &
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WANTS TO SLASH 13,000 JOBS
About 400 pilots are affected by
sweeping layoffs proposed by American Airlines as it tries to emerge
from bankruptcy. In a plan unveiled Wednesday, the airline announced it
will lay off 13,000 employees, about 15 percent of its workforce, cancel
unprofitable routes and retire old inefficient aircraft. "We are going
to use the restructuring process to make the necessary changes to meet
our challenges head-on and capitalize fully on the solid foundation
we've put in place," CEO Thomas Horton said in a letter to employees.
The employees have a different take. More...
OIG: FAA FACES CONTROLLER SHORTAGE
Atlanta, Chicago and New York were identified as areas that face the
risk of having too few controllers as veteran controllers retire,
according to a report (PDF) by the Department of Transportation. The FAA
anticipated the problem, but efforts to train new recruits have seen too
many fail to qualify for work at high-traffic facilities. To complicate
matters, the report says those high-traffic facilities have seen
attrition rates above the national average and many hold high numbers of
controllers eligible to retire. The report concluded that "the
Nation's most critical air traffic control facilities are facing
significant staffing shortages" that "could lead to potential risks to
their daily operations."The FAA has a different opinion and has issued a
Paperless Enroute Charting Revolution for Your iPad®
Aviation is transformed with the first interactive mobile enroute flight
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accurate information, improved situational and operational awareness,
and a more streamlined flight process. The app's features include
enroute chart data and Airway Manual®
text, class-leading vector map imaging, and
data-driven IFR and VFR terminal charts.
Watch a video overview.
CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER IN CRASH
A New Hampshire pilot
faces manslaughter charges for a crash in January 2011 that killed his
35-year-old daughter. Steven Fay, 57, of Hillsborough, N.H., will be
arraigned Thursday on one count of involuntary manslaughter in
connection with the crash of a Cessna 310F twin, which killed Jessica
Malin. Fay is accused of "unintentionally and unlawfully" causing
Malin's death by means of "wanton or reckless conduct." According to the
NTSB's factual report, Fay held a private pilot certificate for
ASEL only, with no multiengine rating, although he had logged about 50
hours of multi instruction time. The airplane hit trees on final
approach as the pilot was attempting a visual touch-and-go landing,
about 90 minutes after sunset, at a small airport in Orange, Mass.
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APP USES ATC TO TEACH MATH
A new free app from NASA is
designed to help kids understand math by solving simulated ATC problems,
but developers hope it will also inspire them to pursue a career in
aeronautics. "Using an interactive game to spark their interest, while
at the same time teaching them fundamental math concepts
perfect way to help cultivate the next generation of engineers and
technologists," said Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for
education. The "Sector 33" app, which can be downloaded free from
Apple's app store, allows the player to work a sector of
airspace spanning Nevada and California, adjusting each airplane's path
and speed to move as fast as possible while maintaining separation and
avoiding thunderstorms. More...
HAWK INSPIRES UAV DESIGN
Goshawks can fly at top speed
through dense forest, and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology are studying the birds to help design unmanned aerial
vehicles that will fly at high speeds through city streets and other
crowded environments. Emilio Frazzoli, an associate professor of
aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, said today's drones fly just fast
enough to be able to stop within the field of view of their sensors. "If
I can only see up to five meters, I can only go up to a speed that
allows me to stop within five meters," Frazzoli says. "Which is not very
fast." The trick the goshawk employs is to gauge the density of the
forest, and speed past obstacles, knowing intuitively that, given a
certain density, it can always find an opening through the trees.
AeroExpo UK: 25-27 May
AviationExpo Europe: 22-24 June 2012
Established, proven, and successful!
The exhibitions to attend in
the U.K. and in Europe, whether you are interested in learning to fly or
are already a pilot and want to view the latest products available!
sections of the market, including the latest
aircraft available from light aircraft or pistons and turboprops
from all the major manufacturers to gliders and power gliders;
at Sywell Aerodrome (EGBK) and AviationExpo
at Bitburg Airport (EDRB) has them covered!
Click here to learn more about both
FLY OVER NEW YORK CITY (WITH VIDEO)
What appeared to be
human forms recently seen flying over New York city made passes along
the Brooklyn bridge, flew past the Statue of Liberty, and some even
performed loops -- they were also part of a viral marketing campaign. To
promote a movie, three remote-controlled aircraft designed to look like
flying people were flown by ground-based operators. The illusion is at
least surreal and at most rather convincing. The RC people design is a
product marketed by rcsuperhero.com, which offers "full scale
RcSuperhero 78-inch show plane plans and kits, as well as hand tossed
gliders shaped as flying people." Click through to see them in action.
For Your Piston Aircraft ... Like Bizjets
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DELAYS UAS RULEMAKING
The FAA has further delayed publishing
rulemaking on access by unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to the National
Airspace System (NAS). The agency announced Monday that a proposed rule
that was supposed to be ready by the end of January will instead be
published "this spring." The FAA did not say why the rule was delayed.
This rule will deal with drones that weigh less than 55 pounds and the
delay will affect businesses that have already found numerous uses for
the increasingly sophisticated and remarkably affordable devices.
MEDICAL SYSTEM TO GO PAPERLESS
All applications for medical
and student pilot certificates will be filed electronically instead of
on paper by Oct. 1, the FAA said last week. In the January issue of the
FAA Medical Bulletin (PDF), Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Fred Tilton said the
paper system "allows for too many errors, leads to storage problems, and
creates security risks." It also costs the FAA $150,000 every year to
print, store, distribute, and mail Form 8500-8. The electronic MedXPress system
will eliminate those problems and expenses, and will make it possible to
offer new services -- for example, Tilton said, pilots and AMEs will be
able to track the status of applications online. EAA and AOPA raised
concerns about the change. More...
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's
no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter,
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
Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb
subscriptions today by clicking
here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
Fly More for
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.
|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: CRASH PILOTS AS CRIMINALS?
A New Hampshire pilot
is facing manslaughter
charges in the death of his daughter after the twin he was flying
without a multi-endorsement crashed in Massachusetts. Are there
circumstances where pilots should face criminal
Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers
about the proposed weight limit increases for light sport aircraft;
click through to see the breakdown of answers. More...
Traditional Tactics Need a
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition
of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with
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.
SPORT AVIATION EXPO 2012: VIDEO ROUND-UP
Did you miss any of our video
coverage of the 2012 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida? We
were on hand to kick tires, ask questions, and fly some of this year's
most exciting light sport airplanes. Be sure to check out our videos on
the FK12 Comet biplane, the Vans RV-12, Flight Design's CTLE light sport
police aircraft, the Renegade Falcon LS, Allegro Airplanes, and Corbi's
air conditioning system for LSAs. More...
OF THE WEEK: FRANKLIN AVIATION (K1A5, FRANKLIN, NORTH
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Franklin Aviation at Macon County Airport
(K1A5) in Franklin, North Carolina.
AVweb reader Gerry
McCarley is a regular at 1A5 and vouched for Franlin's top-notch
service in his recommendation of the FBO:
I visit Franklin Aviation several times a
year. Their customer care and service are some of the best I have found.
On a recent visit (over Christmas) the weather changed, and snow/ice was
forecast. Without my asking, Neil and his people found space in their
hangar and kept my airplane inside over that night. Their fuel prices
are competitive, and with the new extended runway and GPS approach, it's
one of the best places to stop.
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...
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the
latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on
world's premier independent aviation news resource.
AVwebFlash team is:
Jeff Van West
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,
here or contact Tom Bliss,
e-mail or via telephone [(480)
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
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 or handheld device),
there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
instructions on making the switch, click
Navigate. Communicate. More...