AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 18, Number 26a

June 25, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! NTSB Rules on Jack Roush Crash back to top 
 
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NTSB Rules Pilot Error In Roush Oshkosh Crash

NASCAR team owner and AirVenture regular Jack Roush says he accepts the findings of the NTSB report (PDF) released Friday that blamed him for the crash of his Hawker Beechcraft 390 business jet at AirVenture 2010. But Roush also told The Sporting News the NTSB could have taken into account the circumstances that led to him stalling the aircraft and crashing it on the infield by Runway 18R during the show on July 27, 2010. "It was a very sad day in my life when I crashed that airplane," Roush was quoted as saying. "I'm glad to have closure now. … I accept the findings. There are some omissions. I wish they had been more complete in the description of the things that were happening in the congested airspace that I was presented there in Oshkosh. They didn't do that, so that's a moot point." The NTSB found that Roush didn't properly execute the go-around he initiated when he thought his aircraft was in conflict with a Piper Cub that had just been cleared to take off on the same runway that he was approaching. The board lists the probable cause as "the pilot's decision not to advance the engines to takeoff power during the go-around, as stipulated by the airplane flight manual, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at a low altitude." As we reported on the day of the accident and in the accompanying ATC recording, Roush queried controllers about the potential conflict with the Cub.

According to the NTSB report, Roush wasn't monitoring the departure frequency and didn't hear the takeoff clearance for the Cub, which called for an offset departure to get the slower aircraft clear of the runway. Roush said he saw the Cub as he turned base and overshot the centerline while setting up for landing. He told investigators he decided to go around. He advanced the throttles about a third of the way while looking for conflicting traffic. The stick shaker started at the same time the right wing dipped and the aircraft pancaked onto the grass to the right of the runway. Roush suffered severe facial injuries that resulted in the loss of an eye. His passenger was only slightly hurt.

Related Content:

AVweb Insider Blog: Lessons from the Jack Roush Crash

It's all there in black and white. Roush simply stalled the airplane near the ground, the result of a botched go-around. Before you remind yourself that you'd never do that, just remember that the intensity and distractions of AirVenture flight operations can throw anyone off their game. Paul Bertorelli meditates on the importance of circumstances in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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Crossing the Finish Line back to top 
 

Solar Impulse Flight Highlights Challenges

The solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse landed safely at Ouarzazate International Airport, Kingdom of Morocco, after flying 17 hours and twenty minutes over 683 km, and not without challenges. Pilot Andre Borschberg told local journalists it was "one of the most difficult flights we've done." The area presents pilots with frequent thunderstorms, strong winds and thermal activity. The team's flight planners used sophisticated modeling programs supported with information from local meteorologists to optimize the fragile aircraft's route. But Borschberg himself still found challenges in working with the information.

Following his successful flight and landing, Borschberg told reporters "it wasn't easy to find the adequate altitude to avoid turbulence, to charge the batteries and to avoid being too cold." But, he said, "striving for the impossible is the DNA of our team." The flight flew at an average altitude of 16,405 feet at an average speed of 64.82 km/hr. The team chose the Moroccan destination in part for its dedication to solar power activities. Solar Impulse landed near the site of a planned thermo-solar power plant that, when complete, will be capable of producing 160 megawatts. The plant is part of a larger complex that aims to generate 500 MW by 2015.

 
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There's a "Roxanne" Quip in Here Somewhere ... back to top 
 

FAA Changing Tower Marking Requirements

The FAA is planning to omit the requirement for steady red marker lights on some types of towers and antennae to reduce the toll on migratory birds. Radio World reports that a federal study (PDF) has shown that eliminating the red lights or making them flash, while maintaining the bright white flashing lights on towers, will reduce the number of "avian fatalities" without increasing aviation fatalities. "The results showed that flashing the steady-burning lights was acceptable for small towers (151 to 350 feet in height) and that they could be omitted on taller towers (over 351 feet) so long as the remaining brighter, flashing lights were operational," the study says.

The FAA will put together a formal rule change but in the meantime tower owners can apply to turn out their red lights in the form of a waiver application, so the lights could start disappearing fairly soon. Radio station owners and telecom companies are welcoming the news because it will reduce power costs and the birds will benefit, according to wildlife biologists. They are apparently attracted to the steady-burning red lights and thousands smack into towers each year because of that.

 
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Braving the Weather back to top 
 

Travel Challenges On East Coast

An untimely fire combined with the collision of a cold front and some warm southern air united to create air travel mayhem along the east coast of North America on Friday. As some relatively typical summer weather organized itself into lines of thunderstorms the building that houses the equipment that helps the FAA cope with these eventualities caught fire. About 1,600 people at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Atlantic City Airport were evacuated when the fire started around noon. The equipment most affected by the fire institutes ground holds at airports across the country when weather is limiting access to airports in other parts of the country. FAA staff did their best the old-fashioned way, with telephone calls to airlines and other forms of notification, but JetBlue COO Rob Maruster took to Twitter to tweet the bad news to his followers. "It will not be a pretty evening," he said.

Indeed, hundreds of flights were affected, as much by the weather as the fire damage. Intense storms ripped through the Northeast, dropping as much as five inches of rain in a few minutes and kicking up 60-mph winds. The nasty weather is expected to continue through Saturday but Sunday looks good.

 
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From the "Things You Don't See Every Day" File back to top 
 

Human-Powered Helicopter In Testing

A team at the University of Maryland is currently undergoing flight tests of their improved Gamera II human-powered helicopter targeting a challenge established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society. The team's goal is 60 seconds of sustained flight achieving (if only momentarily) an altitude of 10 feet. They've already achieved 35 seconds. The Gamera project is a study in extreme engineering -- if any single component is not about to break, it's too heavy. Working toward that goal, a new "micro-truss" structural design has slashed the weight of Gamera II by 39 percent, compared to its predecessor, Gamera I. The new design is about 105 feet from tip to tip and weighs in at about 75 pounds without its 135-pound powerplant/pilot. AVweb spoke with team advisor Dr. Inderjit Chopra about the project, who offered more details. Click here to listen.

Dr. Chopra told AVweb that Gamera II incorporates improved airfoils that offer more stiffness with no weight penalty and the vehicle's new drive system delivers more thrust with less effort. Aside from aerodynamic work, the effort has involved extensive physiological testing, yielding some interesting results. According to Dr. Chopra, Gamera's combination of foot and hand cranks increase power output by about 20 percent. However, that gain tapers off quickly through exertion. The team has found that for flights of longer than sixty seconds, should they be possible, the addition of a hand crank does not significantly improve power output. Aside from propulsion, the pilot has no mode of control. The aircraft's rotor blades which can be adjusted -- but only when the aircraft is stationary on the ground. Because of this, and the fragility of the craft, all flight tests must be conducted indoors. If the team succeeds with its goal of a 60-second flight that momentarily achieves an altitude of 10 feet, Dr. Chopra says the next project could be a solar-powered helicopter design.

Seneca As Art

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To a pilot just about any airplane is "art" but an Anchorage artist is expressing that feeling in a, uh, pivotal way. Paolo Pivi's How I Roll is a 1977 Piper Seneca mounted between steel posts from the wingtips in the Doris C. Freedman Plaza just off Fifth Avenue in New York's Central Park. The aircraft rotates slowly on its motorized mounts and will be tumbling there until Aug. 26. The work, according to NYC-Arts, is an example of her "recontextualization of familiar subjects, objects and places." It's sponsored by New York's Public Art Fund. The Seneca is no scrap yard relic. It looks like it could fly off its stand and, according to the FAA registry, it appears it could.

The aircraft has a valid certificate and is registered to a Delaware company, Euro Air Consultants, which also has associations with companies in Florida. How it got to its dizzying perch and what will happen to it when its job of bemusing the tourists and locals at the entrance to the park hasn't been discussed in the media accounts of the installation. But for two months it will continue creating "the striking and surreal experience of a familiar object seen in an unexpected place doing a very unfamiliar thing."

 
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Dramatic Landing Video back to top 
 

Video: ANA 767 Hard Landing Creases Fuselage

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 767-300 carrying 193 passengers was damaged during a hard landing at Tokyo Narita airport, Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The ANA jet touched down on Runway 16R. Airport weather reports show winds at 230 and 16 knots gusting to 29 at that time, suggesting a potential crosswind component of more than 27 knots. However that may have affected the pilots and aircraft, security camera footage shows the airliner came down first on the right main, then on the nosewheel alone, before porpoising into a second impact that appears to impart visible flex on the airliner's forward fuselage. No injuries were reported, but an early post-flight inspection clearly showed buckling and creases in the fuselage skin forward of the wing root. Japan's transportation safety board is investigating.

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

AVmail: June 25, 2012

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: Test Jitters

Regarding the FAA's written test revisions, I am a student pilot, and I first and foremost put aviation safety to at the top of the list of my training priorities. I believe the written test is fine. I do have concerns about the oral and practical test standards that are not adhered to by the FAA examiners.

They are the ones who sign the final papers to allow the certification to be issued. They make the decision as to a pilot's ability to fly safely and responsibly. I feel that once again the government is laying fault some place else other than where it belongs, with itself.

The student pilot has a great deal of money and time invested into his or her training. If a student takes a practical test and is passed, then he or she must feel that they are ready for the task.

I have not taken my practical test yet but will in two or three weeks. If I fail a task, I will expect to fail the test, but we will see. Perhaps you will be interested in the result. If I feel that I failed a portion of the test but yet passed the test, it will be interesting, and the point will be made.

I will say that a good pilot is always learning and should improve with every hour as pilot in command. I have not heard the statement about a private pilot's license, but I have heard a statement from a sport pilot instructor that a sport pilot license is a license to learn.

Name Withheld

AVweb Replies:

We've withheld your name so as to eliminate any chance of skewing your practical test results. Examiners are not the enemy, and the vast majority are looking out for your best interests and the best interests of your fellow pilots. Your stress is appropriate if a little unconventionally expressed. Welcome to flying ... and always learning.

Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief


F-22 Safety Factors

I am surprised that the only focus with the problem on the F-22 is on the proven oxygen system. These systems have matured over the last 60 years and very seldom have faults now.

I believe a stronger possibility is the toxic "paint" coating that is applied frequently for stealth radar dispersion and absorption. Also, flight uniforms have been treated with special chemicals to reduce infrared signature.

Hopefully Lockheed Martin, their subcontractors, the military, and others have considered these other possibilities, or that they would look into them upon suggestion.

Capt. Thomas Carey (Ret.)


JetBlue's Turbulent Ride

If you get a blog going on the crew's decision on the JetBlue flight, I would like to add that flying around for three hours with only one hydraulic system working was not what I would consider a smart thing.

If the third one fails, is the plane flyable? Why wait? Land the plane and let the mechanics determine the cause.

Bill Lardent


The Airline Experience

Regarding your "Question of the Week": [Commercial air travel] keeps getting worse to the point that I will almost always use my plane (Citation) in spite of the cost. The service has markedly declined over the past few years, even in first class, that is really no better than coach should be.

Howard Tobin

On your last-airline-experience survey, none of the available choices provided a good answer.

My last airline experience was better than outstanding. I looked forward to the ride as much as I looked forward to the time spent at my destination. However, that ride was in Singapore Airlines' Long-Haul Business Class. It was sheer luck that got my wife and me into that part of the aircraft, and will be more luck if we ever get to sit there again. But given the opportunity and the necessary money, I'll gladly do it again.

Jay Scott

I had traveled from Tokyo to Vancouver and had a couple of hours in Vancouver before my connecting Air Canada flight to Edmonton. At first, the flight was delayed about a half hour and then delayed a second time for about a half hour.

When we eventually boarded, we just sat there for about another 20 minutes until we were told the flight attendants had "timed out." It was no problem as there was a "fresh" crew of attendants onboard that were dead-heading to Edmonton. They got up, and the others sat down.

Still, nothing was happening to get the flight off the ground. About a half hour after the flight attendant crew change, it was announced that the flight crew up front had timed out, but it would not be a problem as there had already been a call for a fresh flight crew who were expected in about 30 minutes.

About 45 minutes later, the new flight crew arrived and began their pre-flight checks. Eventualy, after another half hour or so it was announced that we were ready to go!

Still nothing happened! After waiting for another 10 minutes, it was announced that we were now waiting for a ground crew to do the push back!! Eventually we were pushed back and had an uneventful flight to Edmonton.

Grant Short


Simply the Best

A few months ago, a friend of mine from Wisconsin e-mailed me a photo of a Capital Airlines DC-3 Number 234C from AVweb, knowing that I began my flying career with Capital Airlines, and that I once flew 3s.

Capital Airlines hired me on June 21, 1957, and after spending a couple of weeks in ground school at Washington National Airport, I was thrust into the right seat of 234C and flew it for the next three hours at BAL, making several types of approaches and doing three landings and take-offs to qualify as co-pilot.

Man, that was a big step up, as the largest plane I had ever flown was a UC-78 Cessna for about eight hours. For the next three years, I was dual-qualified in the Viscount and DC-3 and flew both during that time.

I flew A/C 234C on many line trips during the next three years. Some trips had as many as 30 landings and take-offs in three days, with no autopilot.

I loved the old bird, though us pilots would get wet in the cockpit when it rained and freeze when it got cold in the winter. I have seen it get -4 in the cockpit.

We would land at the Michigan cities in the winter and plow through snow drifts on the rollout. In the summer, we would fly with the windows open to stay cool.

Believe me, flying a DC-3 will teach you more in one hour than you can ever learn in a classroom.

Capital's 3s had Wright single-bank 900-horsepower engines, with no cowl flaps. We carried 21 passengers and a crew of three.

In 61 years of flying and more than 20,000 hours of flight time, I have lived the best flying has to offer and flown and met many great people, including Charles Lindbergh.

Bob Crosby


A Landing to Remember

Even though it has been about 45 years, after reading Allen G. Weisner's description of that text-book landing by the crew of the Beech Queen Air at Randolph AFB I knew that we both saw the same landing, of which I have slides somewhere down in the basement. Amazing!

Donald W. Stephens


Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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We're interested in all kinds of light sports, but we especially want to know what costs are like when the airplanes are in partnerships.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

 
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AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Video: 'Aviation Consumer' Takes the Show on the Road with Five Folding Bicycle Reviews

The July issue of our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, features a blow-by-blow comparison of some of the best folding bikes for pilots we could find. See them in action in these five video reviews by Consumer's Jeff Van West.

Video: Cessna Grand Caravan Flight Demo

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Since its launch in 1985, the Cessna Caravan and later the Grand Caravan have been strong sellers for Cessna. In this video, AVweb takes a flight demo in the latest model, complete with G1000 and GFC700 autopilot.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Laredo Aero Center (KLRD, Laredo, Texas)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

Summer is here, local air shows are in full swing, and AVweb readers are logging some serious flying time. At least, that's the way it looks from the number of great FBOs we've heard about in the last seven days. It was tough choosing one nomination, but our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Laredo Aero Center at Laredo International Airport (KLRD) in (you guessed it) Laredo, Texas.

Jimmy Harrison brought Aero Center to our attention with his praise:

The people who operate Aero Center are absolutely fabulous. This includes the line handlers, the refuelers and the ops desk personnel. I have stopped here several times and am always delighted with their excellent service and can-do attitude.

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!

 
What Have You Missed on AVwebcom? back to top 
 

AVweb Insider Blog: Now What for Hawker Beechcraft?

The company presented three post-bankrupcty plans this week, none of which are likely to be slam dunks. It didn't mention selling the assets or merging with another player such as Cessna or Gulfstream. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli sorts through the possibilities. Whatever follows, HBC will have a fierce competitive environment against the well-established players.

Read more and join the conversation.

Podcast: Gamera II, the Human-Powered Helicopter

File Size 5.4 MB / Running Time 5:56

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

A team at the University of Maryland hopes to fly their 105-foot, 76-pound human-powered helicopter for at least 60 seconds and up to an altitude of 10 feet. Glenn Pew speaks with Dr. Inderjit Chopra about the project's advances and, if it's successful, what's next.

Click here to listen. (5.4 MB, 5:56)

 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

On a Young Eagles flight recently, the 8-year-old girl sitting in the right seat asked me what why I had a switch for "rotting bacon." Confused, I asked her to point to it. Then I said, "Oh, that's for the rotating beacon!"

I'm going to use that term from now on.


Rich Oleszczuk
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story.

 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

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:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

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].

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.

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 here.

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