Garmin Pilot App Now Available from Aircraft Spruce
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Forty-two year-old Gary Connery Wednesday may have become the first person to land a wingsuit without first deploying a parachute, on purpose and without injury, with the aid of about 18,000
cardboard boxes. Connery performed the stunt near his hometown of Henley, England, and flew two test jumps from a helicopter hovering at 2,400 feet about one mile from his landing site. He landed
those under canopy, before committing to the final jump. His last landing was facilitated by a 350-foot "runway" that stood roughly 12 feet high and 50 feet wide, made up of large empty cardboard
boxes. Aside from the wingsuit, Connery wore a full-face helmet and the kind of neck brace worn by race-car drivers. He flared above the cardboard runway before settling into the boxes at an estimated
forward speed of about 50 mph. Some of his first words after landing? "I'm in a strange space."
Connery's six-pound wingsuit was modified and a final design with thicker ribs was chosen after a handful of earlier versions. He flew the stunt with a parachute that acted as his abort plan.
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Tell MIT Researchers About GA's Challenges, Your Ideas and Concerns
The International Center for Air Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is conducting a study of general aviation trends. Let them know what you think about fuel
costs, how to advance general aviation and why you fly. It takes ten minutes or less. AVweb will publish the results so will MIT.
The NTSB on Tuesday released 16 recommendations for improving the safety record of experimental amateur-built aircraft, which have a fatal accident rate 3 to 4 times higher than the rest of the
general aviation fleet. Most of the recommendations focus on transition training, which has long been recognized as a problem, and also suggest changes in how flight tests are conducted and how the
flight characteristics of each airplane are documented. Nearly 10 percent of E-AB aircraft accidents occurred during first flight, the board said, and 14 out of the 125 accidents in aircraft that were
sold crashed on the new owner's first flight. The recommendations are meant to "improve safety while maintaining the adventure of this vibrant segment of aviation," said board chair Deborah
Besides 12 recommendations to the FAA, the board also suggested four actions the EAA could take to advance flight safety. The EAA should help develop flight manuals and flight-test standards for
experimental aircraft, create a repository of information about flight instructors for experimental aircraft, and help create transition-training resources, the board said. Listen to the board's
findings and the 16 recommendations (12 minutes) below.
The webcast of the two-and-a-half-hour discussion will be posted online soon, and the complete report will be
posted at ntsb.gov in a few weeks. AVweb will post a podcast interview with EAA officials later this week, with analysis of the NTSB conclusions and recommendations.
The NTSB On E-AB Safety
The NTSB has completed its study of safety issues affecting experimental-amateur-built aircraft. This 12-minute audio clip from Tuesday's board meeting includes the conclusions of the study and the
16 recommendations to the FAA and EAA.
"Both EAA and the NTSB know that we must improve the accident record of amateur-built aircraft," said EAA President Rod Hightower on Tuesday evening, in a video response to the safety board's
report released earlier that day. However, he said, some of the NTSB's recommendations to the FAA, which could result in more regulations, are "worrisome." For example, the NTSB wants new regulations
for testing engine performance and for documenting flight tests in amateur-built aircraft. "At EAA, we do not believe that more regulation is the answer ... Education, versus new regulation, is a
better solution," Hightower said.
The four recommendations the NTSB aimed at EAA would expand on programs that are already in place, Hightower said. EAA's Homebuilt Aircraft Council will continue to study the recommendations for
what effect they may have on the design, building and certification of amateur-built aircraft. "Any action must ensure that the freedom to participate in the amateur-built aircraft community does not
create additional burdens or hurdles," EAA said in its news release.
Reletex, the New Version of the Highly Effective ReliefBand
... is the most effective method to treat nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness and other problems. Worn on the wrist (acupuncture's P-6 meridian), the Reletex produces a small
neuromodulating current which stops peristaltic waves in the stomach, ceasing nausea and vomiting without drugs or side effects. Reletex is available in 60- and 150-hour versions. FAA-O.K. for
pilots doing aerobatic flight as well as everyday passengers.
The FAA's declaration last week that it will allow unmanned aircraft systems weighing up to 25 pounds to fly at altitudes up to 400
AGL and within sight of an operator didn't draw much reaction in the aviation world, but it did get a response from the mainstream media. Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer said all drones should
be banned in U.S. airspace. "Drones are instruments of war," he said on Fox News. "I don't want to see it hovering over anybody's home." At the other end of the political spectrum, the American Civil
Liberties Union foresees a "nightmare scenario" where drone surveillance "leads to an oppressive atmosphere where people learn to think twice about everything they do, knowing that it will be recorded
and possibly used to target them."
Krauthammer also said, "The first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that's been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country. ... I'm not
encouraging, I'm simply making a prediction." Already, the use of a police drone to conduct surveillance during a property dispute in North Dakota has prompted a court challenge on the grounds that
using the drone to collect information amounts to "unreasonable search and seizure," according to a recent story in Slate. The FAA plans to
fully integrate drones into the national airspace system by 2015.
A 52-year-old Piedmont Airlines pilot has been charged with unlawful possession of a concealed firearm after a security check of his bag Friday found a .357 Magnum revolver loaded with five rounds
of ammunition. Prosecutors now allege that the pilot, Brett Dieter, had been traveling with the gun since at least May 16, when he skipped an X-ray screening at Charlottesville airport. Dieter is
reportedly not a member of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. Authorities allege Deiter traveled with the gun in his bag over the course of two days and seven flights. And that may have harsh
Deiter now faces up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine, if found guilty. He will make his case in court next week. Questions remain about what security measures were in place and how those
measures were applied to Deiter during the two days he allegedly traveled with the weapon. TSA officials are reportedly reviewing the case with the U.S. Attorney's Office, local police and the FBI.
While pilots trained through the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program are authorized to carry firearms, they are subject to strict protocols. All other pilots and flight crew are prohibited from
carrying firearms on aircraft.
GNS 430W/530W Users: Aren't You Tired of Twisting Knobs?
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After 10 spectators and a pilot died in a crash at last year's National Championship Air Races in Reno, the fate of the event was uncertain, but now organizers say they are definitely holding the
races as usual this September, although with a modified course. Reno Air Racing Association Director Mike Houghton said on Tuesday the largest pylon course will be moved further away from the crowd,
and some curves will be modified to decrease the g-forces on pilots. The association has hired a new safety director, secured $100 million in insurance, and acquired a permit from the city. G-force
training will be required for all pilots, and organizers will scrutinize pilot age and medical certifications. Tickets for the event, which will run Sept. 12-16, are now on sale at the association's
Race pilot Jon Sharp, who served on the review panel, said the course changes won't be dramatic. "The planes will be a little further away, but they won't be little dots," he told The Associated Press. The NTSB has not completed a final report from its investigation of the crash, but the city's permit requires race organizers to comply with all of the board's
recommendations. "If [NTSB] had something they felt was going to be a deal-breaker, I'm pretty certain that would have surfaced by now," Houghton told the AP. The air racing association also plans to
host a "world-class memorial and tribute to those who lost their lives and for their family and friends."
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Following reports of cracked wing spar caps in several Cessna 210s in Australia and Canada, the FAA on Monday issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive requiring 3,665
of the airplanes in the U.S. to be inspected. If cracks are found in the spar cap, wing spar, or wing, they must be reported to the FAA, and the aircraft must be grounded until the affected parts are
replaced or modified. The AD is effective on June 5. Cessna issued a service letter (PDF)
addressing the issue last month.
The procedures and deadlines for inspecting the airplanes vary depending on the number of hours in service. Airplanes with more than 10,000 hours are grounded until a visual inspection has been
completed, and if no cracks are found, a more thorough check must be done within the next five hours. No action is required for airplanes with less than 5,000 hours of accumulated flight time. Cessna
built more than 9,000 210s between 1957 and 1986. The AD affects models produced after 1967, which have a cantilever wing. The inspections should cost $255 to $510 per airplane, the FAA said, but it
had no estimate for the cost of repairs if needed. The FAA said it will accept comments on the AD until July 5.
GippsAero announced Tuesday that its new GA10 turboprop flew for the first time on May 1. The aircraft uses a Rolls-Royce 250 engine and the company says it's "the first single turboprop to be
designed and developed in Australia." As the name implies, the GA10 has two more seats than the piston GA8 and is expected to pack the extra payload with even better performance than the
already-capable piston airplane.
The first flight went well, according to GippsAero, and the niche the company is aiming for is looking for an occupant. "The GA10 will bring an entry-level turboprop utility aircraft to the market
place enabling operators to make the not inconsiderable step of moving from piston to turboprop power," said CEO Dr. Terry Miles. "The projected low purchase price and low operating costs of the GA10,
coupled with its great versatility, will offer operators a commercially viable multi-role turboprop aircraft."
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Ascension Scattering: A Dignified Final Tribute for Any Aviator
Using a high-performance sailplane, Ascension Scattering releases cremated remains into strong thermals over the Rocky Mountains. The ashes are carried heavenward, making them part of
the sky. Your family is invited to personalize the release to create an individualized memorial event. Optional video of the release serves as a lasting memorial. Contact Aerial Tribute to
book an eternal flight, either as an advanced arrangement for yourself or as an arrangement for a loved one.
Click here for a
A House committee last week voted to kill the Navy and Air Force's plan to run their airplanes on a blend of biofuel and Jet A. If it stands, it's a major blow to the development of bio-based jet
fuel. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli points out how it's also short-sighted.
Fly More for Less
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
Are You Ready for Anything?
With Aviation Safety, you're more than ready. Sharpen your technique, understand your options, and get down safely.
Red Bull Wednesday shared video of one of its latest sponsored adventures -- five wingsuit skydivers joining up with and maintaining formation with two sailplanes in a dive over
Austria. The team flew two aerobatic LET L-13 Blanik sailplanes and just to complicate things, the lead flew inverted and one skydiver formed up in between the inverted and upright glider. The
skydivers and gliders came together in formation at roughly 12,000 feet. The sailplanes wore wingtip-mounted smoke canisters and one skydiver wore one on an ankle. The trick of the task was mating
airspeed and descent rates and this time all members performed flawlessly.
Generally, wingsuits manage their best glide (roughly 2.5:1) at close to 75 mph. The Blaniks are a 1950's-era metal design and manage close to 30:1 at about 55. For the stunt, the team
found a common airspeed closer to 110 mph, then found and held formation with the requisite precision.
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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AVweb reader Ralph Hoover had a longer delay than he'd planned at Tifton, Georgia's Henry Tift Myers Airport (KTMA) recently -- but what could have been a major delay served as
opportunity to discover the helpful, efficient staff at our latest "FBO of the Week," Walker Aviation. Ralph tells the
tale of our latest blue ribbon FBO:
My wife landed at Tifton on our trip from Florida. While taxiing back to the ramp, the nose wheel tire on our RV-7 went flat. While my wife was arranging a rental car and hotel, Robbie Fender
improvised a dolly and towed us back to the hangar. He then made tools available so I was able to disassemble and find the hole in the tube. The Western Auto in town was locked when we arrived but
reopened to sell us a $2.00 patch kit. The next morning, with the assistance of Josh Hulett, we reassembled the nose wheel and were on our way. Both employees of Mr. Clark Walker were polite,
friendly, and very helpful to us. We highly recommend Walker Aviation.
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