AVwebFlash - Volume 18, Number 28a

July 9, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Avidyne Mixes Knobs and Screens back to top 

Avidyne Aims at Garmin With New Drop-in Mapcomm

In a continued attempt to tamp down high avionics costs, Avidyne this week announced a drop-in replacement competitor for Garmin's popular GNS430. The new IFD440 is a descendent of a larger model Avidyne introduced last year, the IFD540, a drop in box to replace Garmin's GNS530. Both of Avidyne's products use a combination of touchscreens and traditional knobs in function keys, something that Avidyne claims will appeal to buyers who aren't sold on touchscreens in Garmin's newer GTN line.

The IFD440 contains a modern Flight Management System that meets FAA requirements for SBAS/LPV precision approach guidance and positional source integrity required for ADS-B position reporting. WAAS GPS approach and ADS-B capability top the list of requirements of today's GPS buyer as the clock counts down toward the year 2020 ADS-B requirement mandate. Aviydne reasons that the direct slide-in capability may appeal to owners on tight budgets. "Our 'plug-and-play' strategy has really struck a positive chord with aircraft owners, many of whom want to upgrade their avionics for touch screen, WAAS, or ADS-B, but are concerned with the high cost of installation," said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne's President and CEO. Garmin's GNS430-series navigator – arguably the single most popular avionics radio ever produced for general aviation application – is discontinued and since been replaced with the new GTN650 navigator. The GTN650 shares the same footprint of the GNS430 but with incompatible wiring that requires a new installation when upgrading. Avidyne is bringing to market a complete line of slide-in replacement products including the AMX240 audio panel, the AXP340 Mode S ADS-B transponder and the proven DFC-series S-TEC-replacement autopilot.

The IFD440 should be right at home in the line-up and appears to be well-leveraged for Avidyne-equipped glass cockpit applications, too since the Entegra integrated avionics suite found in a large number of Cirrus and Piper aircraft also contains dual GNS430 navigators, . Dropping the IFD440, the AMX240 audio panel, AXP340 transponder and the DFC autopilot into these existing applications will yield a fully-modern one-brand avionics suit without having to endure a complex, lengthy and high-cost upgrade project. Retail price is $14,995.For more information on the IFD440 visit Avidyne.com.

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Learning to Fly — And a Few Other Lessons back to top 

Students Caught In Funding Fight

A total of 80 foreign students from an Irish flight school are stranded in Florida after a financial dispute between the Irish school and its American contractor ended their training last week. The students, some of whom paid Pilot Training College more than $100,000 for courses that are conducted by the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) at its flight training campus in Melbourne, had completed only a fraction of their course before FIT stopped their classes. According to the Irish Times, the Florida school claims the Irish school owes it money and the Irish school says it's suing the Florida school. "Everything I've been working for in the past 10 months has been ripped apart," student John Rawluk told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has suspended the PTC's license pending a restructuring bid and the Irish government says there is no aid available for the students. Meanwhile FIT says it's trying to work something out with the students but it's rejecting any notion that it's the bad guy in the mess. "Florida Tech recently ended its relationship with PTC after the organization quit paying its bills, including costs for flight training and room and board. Currently, PTC owes the university approximately $1.2 million," said a FIT spokesman. "Any assertion that Florida Tech has failed to act professionally or otherwise appropriately throughout its relationship with PTC is false."

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Rise of the Machines back to top 

British Test UAV See-And-Avoid System

A consortium of British companies is now flight testing a see-and-avoid system for drones that it believes will lead to a lot less cockpit manpower in the not-so-distant future. "It is doing all the things a human pilot would be doing," BAE spokesman Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal told the Daily Telegraph. It would not appear to come cheaply, however and there is human backup available, at least in the test phase.

The "robot pilot" uses a vast array of sensors to visually and electronically detect things it doesn't want to fly into, like other aircraft, terrain and bad weather and if any of these get in the way of its preprogrammed flight plan, it sends a query to someone on the ground at a laptop. If the laptop jockey is indisposed, it knows what to do, however. "If the communication link goes down or the operator is not paying attention, the on-board system will take action itself," Dopping-Hepenstal said. "In an emergency, it can use infrared cameras to identify safe sites to set down aircraft by itself and can look for body heat to make sure a landing area is clear of living things."

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Flight 447 Report back to top 

Air France Flight 447 Final Report

The French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) Thursday released its final report on the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, an Airbus 330 that went down off the coast of Brazil in 2009, killing all 228 aboard. Among the report's conclusions are that neither of the two copilots flying the aircraft called for the "unreliable IAS" procedure after pitot icing led to the loss of airspeed indications. Neither pilot had training for hand flying the jet at high altitude, according to the report, or for flying with questionable airspeed indications. "Inappropriate pilot inputs" led the jet to "exit its flight envelope" less than one minute after the autopilot disconnected and before the captain returned to the flight deck from his rest station. The report faults the pilots' actions and also finds that their training met regulatory standards. There may be other implications for regulatory agencies, Airbus and Air France regarding their pre-existing knowledge of shortcomings in the aircraft's pitot system.

Loss of airspeed data during the event was attributed to icing of the pitot probes. Airbus and Air France had recognized deficiencies in the probe prior to the crash and began modifications to aircraft (that included new pitot equipment) on May 30, 2009. The loss of Air France Flight 447 took place two days later, on June 1, 2009. The report states that "EASA had analyzed pitot probe icing events; it had confirmed the severity of the failure and had decided not to make the probe change mandatory."

During the accident, a stall warning sounded continuously for 54 seconds. According to the BEA report, the Airbus A330 only exhibits buffet on the approach to stall. The pilots made no reference to the warning, the "appearance of buffet," or the stall suffered by the aircraft. BEA notes that the aircraft's angle of attack is not directly displayed to its pilots. The report concludes that the conditions of flying at high altitude in turbulence "led to excessive handling inputs in roll and a sharp nose-up input by the pilot flying." It goes on to say that, "In the minute that followed the autopilot disconnection, the failure of the attempts to understand the situation and the de-structuring of crew cooperation fed on each other until the total loss of cognitive control of the situation." The last recorded values of pitch attitude were 16.2 degrees nose-up with a roll of 5.3 degrees left and a vertical speed of negative 10,912 feet per minute. Find the full text of the BEA final report online (PDF).

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News Briefs back to top 

AKIA -- The Kit Manufacturers' Association

The Aircraft Kit Industry Association, AKIA, has formed around a primary objective of preserving the FAA's 51-percent rule, improving experimental-amateur built aircraft safety, and promoting the kit aircraft industry. The group is led by President Dick VanGrunsven, the designer of the world's most popular kit aircraft -- the RV series -- and Vice President John Monnett, a kit aircraft pioneer. AKIA so far includes Vans, Sonex, Lancair, Kitfox and Zenith among its members, and includes kit aircraft suppliers Wicks and Aircraft Spruce. Statistics show the experimental aircraft industry is growing and recent actions by federal agencies show that scrutiny of the segment may be growing, too.

Roughly one in ten general aviation aircraft in the U.S. is experimental, and about 1,000 more are added to the FAA registry each year, according to AOPA. In May, the NTSB released a study regarding the safety of experimental amateur-built aircraft. It found that more than 10 percent of accidents suffered by the segment occurred on the first flight of an aircraft. According to the NTSB, one of the most important findings of the study "is the number of seasoned and experienced pilots getting into accidents so early in the life of structurally sound airplanes." The NTSB made 16 safety recommendations based on its study, including that pilots submit a detailed flight test plan to the FAA and develop a flight manual with emergency procedures. Homebuilders are generally a group of self-confident, driven individuals -- traits that are generally required for completion of the task. AKIA is similarly "composed of some very independent and strong-willed people," according to its secretary, Dave Gustafson, "who are united behind the same set of values."

Terrafugia Completes Phase 1 Flight Testing

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Phase 1 flight testing of Terrafugia's roadable aircraft production prototype was successfully completed last month, and the company is pushing forward toward LSA certification and approvals from the NHTSA. Terrafugia's Transition aircraft will have to earn the approval of both the FAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) before it can go into production. The company says the vehicle has so far passed handling tests that included power-on and power-off flight, and aircraft stability. The team also checked engine cooling and determined optimal settings for different phases of flight. The current flight test program involves five more phases, but now ground (road) testing will be mixed in.

On the road, the aircraft's ground drivetrain and handling will be evaluated and tweaked. Its suspension will be tuned and its brakes will be tested. Then more serious testing will begin as the Terrafugia team pushes toward compliance with light sport aircraft rules and NHTSA standards. The team posted a video compilation of recent tests. The new design appears to leap off the runway after a relatively long ground roll, appears stable in cruise, and rolls well when breaking away from the camera aircraft in flight.

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New on AVweb.com back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Why Not More Partnerships?

That's the question posed by Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. A recent survey by AVweb revealed that only 7 percent of LSA airplanes are in partnerships. Even though taking on a partner or two is the most effective way to reduce the cost of ownership, far fewer owners than we imagine seem to do it.

Read more and join the conversation.

Forty-Seven Years In Aviation: A Memoir; Chapter 15: A Year In Korea, Then Back To OSU

The USS Pueblo incident near North Korea inspired a show of force requiring many reservists, including Richard Taylor, to drop what they were doing (teaching, in Richard's case) and head off to Korea. Along the way, he got to do a little bit of flying and practicing water landings with a parachute. Back in the States after a year, Richard went back to the classroom, but also flew the Ohio Army National Guard's Bird Dog and Beaver.

Click here to read the 15th chapter.

On Jan. 23, 1968, the USS Pueblo, a small, U.S. Navy, intelligence-gathering ship, was sailing off the east coast of North Korea doing her thing, when she was accosted by several North Korean warships. Our naval authorities and the Pueblo's crew insisted she was well outside the 12-mile international-waters boundary but the bad guys claimed the Pueblo had violated their 50-mile boundary. After a failed attempt to get away (the best speed the Pueblo could make was about 20 knots), the captain complied with the Koreans' demands; the ship was subsequently captured and towed into port at Wonsan. (The Pueblo was later moved to Pyonyang and became a tourist attraction, a demeaning exhibition that continues to this day.)

It is easy to imagine the diplomatic measures taken to gain release of the ship, but the Northies were having none of that ... the Pueblo and its crew were valuable political prizes. Long story short, the crew was bound, blindfolded, beaten, prodded with bayonets and taken to POW camps where they were starved and tortured for the next 11 months.

Shortly after the Pueblo was captured, President Lyndon Johnson put on a show of force by activating 14,700 reservists from all branches of the military. The Ohio Air National Guard's 166th Tactical Fighter Squadron (F-100s) at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus was federalized on January 25 and was ready to go the next day (98 percent of our personnel reported for duty at 0800 on the 26th). But where would we be sent? Or when? We had no idea ... it was several months before the dust settled and we were assigned to Kunsan Air Base on the west coast of South Korea. We were to join up there with a similar F-100 squadron from McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kan., to form the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing.

My faculty status with The Ohio State University Department of Aviation was, of course, suspended until further notice and my position would be held open until I was released from active duty, whenever that might be.

Once the urgency of the Korean situation dropped a notch or two (the entire Pueblo crew was in jail with no expectation of imminent release and it appeared the incident was not going to incite another war with North Korea), I didn't need to report every day; that provided some time to get my civilian ducks in a row for whatever was in the immediate future. I spent more than a few hours in the Cessna 140 with my friends in the Ajax Flying Club and flew with several other aviation students, hoping to complete all that training before I had to relocate, but there just wasn't enough time. While Uncle Sam was making up his mind what to do with almost 15,000 reservists, I flew the Helio Courier on a much-reduced schedule, participated in an AOPA weekend flight training clinic and spent a lot of time with my family. On the military side of those several months-in-waiting I logged 60 hours of T-33 time and 32 hours in the C-54.

Flight training for the fighter jocks in the 166th TFS was heavy on aerial combat and weapons delivery -- the F-100 was a formidable war machine that could fight with guns, rockets and bombs. And there was another area of training -- sea survival -- with life-or-death potential for our pilots who would soon embark on a trans-Pacific flight. The Tactical Air Command had developed a school based at Turkey Point, Fla, that covered all aspects of water survival. The fighter pilots were required to complete the course but there was room for several others, so those of us who flew the support airplanes (T-33 and C-54) got a "C'mon along" from the CO and off we went for several days in south Florida.

Classroom sessions were replete with information about survival equipment such as the full-body waterproof garment ("poopy suit" in pilot lingo), the one-man life raft and its emergency kit.

We learned the proper procedure to keep from drowning if the surface wind dragged us across the water before we could release the chute: Wearing a parachute harness, we jumped off the stern of a remodeled LCI and were dragged behind the boat until we either rolled onto our backs and assumed the proper position ... or swallowed a lot of salt water.

The Air Force has never required pilots to qualify as parachutists, but the pièce de résistance in the sea survival school was pretty close to the real thing. The LCI's deck was a long, narrow platform with a large-mesh net at the back. Dressed in full survival gear and standing on the deck, we were connected to a towboat with a line about three hundred feet long; the LCI's speed of about 10 knots inflated the parachute fully against the net, whereupon the towboat driver put the pedal to the metal and with just a couple of steps, voila! ... we were parasailing. The canopy was a lifter when being towed and when we were almost directly overhead, a crewman on the towboat waved a green flag, our signal to cut loose.

When the forward motion stopped, the canopy became a parachute, giving us just enough time to release and inflate the life raft, deploy the emergency kit and prepare for landing.

Parasailing launches were repeated in quick succession and we finished the exercise floating in a line of one-man rafts, waiting to be picked up by a helicopter. The over-water bailout drill was a great learning experience that fortunately wasn't needed by any of our F-100 drivers on their long, feet-wet flights to Korea and back home.

The exact date has long since departed my memory, but in late winter 1968 we were advised that Kunsan Air Base would be our military home beginning in June and continuing for a full year ... or two, if that became necessary. No one was jumping for joy, but volunteers go wherever they're told to go, no questions asked.

Kunsan AB is located on the western shore of the Korean peninsula, 100 miles south of Seoul, the capital city of South Korea. The surrounding landscape is rather bleak, consisting mostly of rice paddies and mud flats; it has been referred to with tongue in cheek as "Kunsan-by-the-Sea" but in 1968 it was definitely not a resort destination.

The 354th Tactical Fighter Wing was the second USAF unit assigned to Kunsan in response to the Pueblo incident. Col. Chuck Yeager and his F-4 wing launched from Ubon AB in Thailand the day of the capture, but by the time they arrived in Korea the game was over. In the following six months the miserable quarters and poor airport conditions they endured were vastly improved; instead of tents, there were real BOQs and most of the support facilities one would expect to find on a permanent air base.

My duty station was in the Wing Command Post, housed in a building commonly referred to as the "Mole Hole" ... it was really a half-buried Quonset hut covered with several feet of concrete.

For all practical purposes, this was the nerve center of the 354th, but some of the electronic nerves were getting a bit frazzled. The telephone system was of antique vintage and breakdowns were frequent; whenever it rained we knew communications problems would follow shortly thereafter.

There were several pilots (including myself) on the base who were required to fly at least four hours each month to earn flight pay, but because there was no aircraft for us to fly, some kind soul arranged a waiver of that normally inviolate regulation while we were in Korea. Oh, there was the occasional ride in the Beaver (U-6) owned by Base Ops and a couple of sorties in the back seat of an F-100F (the training version), but that didn't satisfy the need ... we wanted to fly. The problem was solved in September when a C-47 was acquired by the airbase support people in response to the need for a larger airplane to provide transportation from Kunsan to a pair of satellite bases that were part of the Wing.

This was one of several Gooney Birds in semi-mothball condition at Osan, a USAF fighter base just north of Kunsan. They had been used by the U.S. diplomatic corps in Korea (I suspect they flew high-ranking personnel to and from the Korean armistice talks at Panmunjom) and were "VC" airplanes with just fourteen airline-type seats ... no bucket seats for the big shots.

In the nine months from acquisition of the C-47 until we came home in June 1969 I flew 87 hours in the Douglas Racer, including numerous in-country flights to Kwangju, Taegu, and Seoul plus several round trips to Tachikawa AB on the west side of Tokyo, in the land of the big PX. It probably violated a regulation, but I recall one trip to Tachikawa carrying a briefcase stuffed with paper money (won -- the local currency) collected by the Korean ladies who worked in the Officers' Club to buy cosmetics and other "girl stuff" that wasn't available on the base or downtown Kunsan.

Speaking of the "O" Club, a bunch of the boys where whooping it up one night when an argument arose about the climb capabilities of the F-100 versus the Kaman HH-43 flown by the Air Rescue detachment on the base. The HH-43 was a most unusual flying machine, a jet-powered helicopter with two rotors that intermeshed overhead, eliminating torque and the need for a tail rotor.

The argument heated up, bets were placed and a live contest was arranged. The two aircraft -- both with minimum fuel on board -- would line up on the runway side by side and at the starter's signal both pilots would climb to 3,000 feet as fast as they could and call out over a public address system when they got there.

On the day of the race nearly everyone stopped work and gathered to watch; the Super Sabre was heavily favored. When the pilots signaled they were ready to go, the starter dropped a flag and the race was on. The F-100 roared out of the gate in full afterburner and the Huskie jumped off the ground, making much less noise -- but it was climbing for 30 seconds or so while the F-100 was still on the ground accelerating to takeoff speed. I don't remember the exact elapsed time, but not many seconds later there were simultaneous transmissions from the pilots -- it was a dead heat. Oh well, back to the bar, boys.

In mid-February, I arranged for some leave time and traveled to Hawaii for a mid-tour rendezvous with my wife. I rode on an Air America C-118 from Kunsan to Tokyo then shopped for a ride the rest of the way. In 1969 you could walk into any USAF Base Operations wearing a flight suit and carrying a B-4 bag and inquire about a ride … sooner or later you'd find someone who was going your way and you would be welcomed on board. In this case the free ride was a C-124 bound for Honolulu; it was slow, noisy, shook a lot and we had to RON at Wake Island, but the price was right -- and Nancy and I had a most enjoyable time.

Late in the winter of 1969 we got word that our tour would finish soon and if everything worked as advertised we would be home by the end of May. But on April 15 a pair of North Korean MiG-17s shot down a U.S. Navy EC-121 in circumstances eerily similar to the USS Pueblo incident -- this time an alleged invasion of North Korean airspace -- and there was probably not a man at Kunsan who didn't think, "Here we go again." Fortunately, cooler heads in Washington prevailed; instead of launching a military strike and possibly setting the stage for Korean War II, the reconnaissance flights were resumed within a week to make it clear the United States would not be intimidated by North Korea's action.

With this last-minute scare behind us, the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing finished its work; we departed Kunsan-by-the-Sea near the end of May with no regrets and headed for home. Once again the F-100 troops completed the 9000-mile trip with no hitches and the rest of us returned to Columbus via a contract airline.

Coming home and seeing one's family after a long absence is always a happy event; in my case, our three kids (and a friend) had posted a warm welcome in front of the house.

After a week of re-acclimation to civilian life, I eased back into classroom teaching and flying for the OSU Air Transportation Service (ATS). While I was away, the fleet had been reduced to a pair of DC-3s and two Piper Aztecs. Even with several other pilots hard at work, we were flying almost every day. (I took advantage of a break in the schedule to acquire an Airline Transport Certificate and a DC-3 type rating ... a vigorous two-hour workout, with everything except the first takeoff and final landing under a hood.)

In addition to the busy ATS schedule, I was teaching a regular class on campus, working on an MA in journalism, conducting weekend courses for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and barely maintaining currency in the T-33 and C-54. As 1969 ended, I realized something had to give, and after much deliberation I left the Air Guard and returned to the inactive reserve. About six months later things had eased up a bit and I cut a deal with the Ohio Army National Guard to join up as a warrant officer and fly their fixed-wing aircraft, the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog and the DeHavilland U-6 Beaver. (Their aviation detachment was literally across the street from my office at the OSU Airport and only a mile and a half from home). As a warrant officer, I would not be assigned any duties other than flying, which released more time to pursue my other interests.

The L-19 had deep civilian airplane roots, having evolved from the Cessna 170. Instead of four seats it had two in tandem configuration and it was flown with a stick; when you sat in the airplane, it felt like a much larger machine than its Cessna predecessor. With a larger engine (213-hp compared to the civilian version's 145-hp) and much more glass, the Bird Dog was obviously designed to be an observation platform and more. It was used sparingly during the Korean War but found its niche in Vietnam, where it was flown by USAF fighter pilots trained to fly low and slow, find and mark targets with white phosphorous rockets, then call in air strikes.

With no worries about bad guys in black pajamas trying to shoot me out of the sky, I had a good time flying the L-19. During the one and only summer camp I attended as an Army aviator, I set out to land on every unpaved strip in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. (We warrant officers were given a simple order each morning: "Take airplane number so-and-so and be back by dinner time.") I didn't get to all the grass airports, but I visited most of them.

The legendary DeHavilland Beaver was another story; if the L-19 was a Cessna on steroids the Beaver was the elephant in the single-engine utility airplane room. It was originally designed for bush pilots and built "hell for stout," as the Pennsylvania Dutch are wont to say. The 450-hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine and a very efficient wing design enabled the airplane to get its 5,100 pound max weight off the ground in about 1200 feet, with the capability of landing in the same distance; it was truly a STOL airplane. The Beaver didn't fly very fast (maximum airspeed 140 mph) but as one veteran bush pilot said, "You only need to be faster than a dog sled." There was room for a passenger in the right front seat and six passengers -- or whatever cargo would fit through the doors -- in the rear compartment.

This warrant-officer arrangement worked well for the next 12 months, until the Army's frequent changes in weekend drill schedules and my commitments elsewhere became incompatible. I resigned from the Army Guard, rejoined the Air Force inactive reserve and went about my business. It would be another three years before I regained my rank as a major and five years after that to put in enough time with the AF Reserve to lock up my retirement ... but more about that later.

[Continued next month.]

To send a note to Richard and AVweb about this story, please click here.
More articles, stories and fiction about the joy of aviation are found in AVweb's Skywritings section.
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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 

Podcast: An Aviation Classic

File Size 5.5 MB / Running Time 5:57

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Victoria Holt (l.) and Dianna Stanger (r.)

This year's Air Race Classic, which recently finished up in Batavia, Ohio, brought together women from across the country who share a passion for aviation. AVweb's Mary Grady talks with Dianna Stanger, who won the race with teammate Victoria Holt, about their strategy, their motivation, and how they hope to inspire girls to pursue aviation careers.

Click here to listen. (5.5 MB, 5:57)

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

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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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Trego-Dugan Aviation (KLBF, North Platte, Nebraska)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Trego-Dugan Aviation at North Platte Regional Airport/Lee Bird Field (KLBF) in North Platte, Nebraska.

AVweb reader Larry J. Newland got the royal treatment on a recent visit:

In June, we stopped overnight, and as soon as we landed I told them I needed a room for overnight each time — and they made arrangements right away and got transportion to and from the hotel. [They also] tied down the airlpane and fueled it, and the whole crew was very friendly.

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!

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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.

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK elevation: 303 feet) with a long-standing glider club on the field recently began tower operations. After the tower had been operating for about a week, on a relatively busy Saturday afternoon, I heard this exchange:

"Frederick Tower, Glider XXX at 1,600 feet inbound for a right downwind for landing runway 12 with information Sierra ... ."

"Glider XXX, Frederick Tower. Hold your altitude. I have a few ahead of you."

"Frederick Tower, I'm a glider."

"Glider XXX, cleared to land, runway 12."

Lance Nuckolls
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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.

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