AVwebFlash - Volume 18, Number 31b

August 2, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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AVflash! United Pilots at 1600 (Pennsylvania Ave) back to top 
 

Pilots Picket The White House

More than 100 United Airlines pilots showed up in front of the White House on Monday to protest their stalled labor talks with the airline. The pilots, wearing their uniforms, carried signs asking for help from President Obama and protesting United's use of Aer Lingus pilots to fly a Washington-to-Madrid route. The airline is "addicted to offshoring," according to the signs. In a vote taken on July 17, nearly 94 percent of the eligible pilots voted, and 99 percent of them agreed to a strike, according to the Air Line Pilots Association. The vote followed two years of negotiations after the merger of United and Continental.

"The strength of this vote clearly indicates the level of frustration our pilots have with management's disinterest in reaching a conclusion to negotiations," said Jay Pierce, chairman of the ALPA unit representing the Continental pilots. "Our pilots are tired of management's lack of progress with the merger and the damage to our airline that grows every day." Over the last decade, pilots made sacrifices to help the airline survive, ALPA said, and management has eliminated jobs by offshoring and outsourcing "at the very same time they have given themselves millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and perks." The airline said in a statement that a strike vote "is not uncommon at this point in negotiations and was expected." About 7,600 pilots work for United and 4,800 pilots for Continental, ALPA said.

 
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The Search for Earhart back to top 
 

Earhart Searchers Return, Will Examine Data

A team from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery has returned to Hawaii after searching a reef on a remote Pacific atoll in search of evidence to support their theory that Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan ditched their Lockheed Electra there. The team spent about a week exploring the site with a research ship, using submersible vehicles, but reported no definitive signs of the airplane. However, the team collected "volumes of new sonar data, thousands of photographs and hours upon hours of high-definition video," Kate Aconfora, a spokesperson for the Discovery Channel, told AVweb. The TIGHAR team will now be "reviewing and analyzing" all of that material, she said.

This was TIGHAR's 10th expedition in search of definitive evidence of the fate of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. Nikumaroro is about 1,800 miles from Hawaii, and 400 miles away from Howland Island, which was Earhart's planned destination. Earhart and Noonan vanished 75 years ago during an attempted round-the-world flight. Aconfora said the results of the team's analysis will be revealed on a Discovery Channel special at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19.

 
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ForeFlight Mobile — the award-winning, multi-purpose app for pilots — now supports no-subscription-required ADS-B in-flight weather via Stratus. NEXRAD, METARs, TAFs, TFRs, AIRMETs/SIGMETS, PIREPS, and more streamed effortlessly to your iPad via ADS-B. Intelligent Apps for Pilots™ backed by Fanatical Pilot Support™. Visit ForeFlight.com to learn more.
 
Wanted! Bad Guys back to top 
 

Crime Spree Hits Airports, Fundraiser

An all-volunteer fundraiser, "Spirit of Flight Day" for Colorado's Erie Municipal Airport Spirit of Flight Center (an air museum), raised about $10,000 Saturday, before some of the money was allegedly stolen. The museum operates on an annual budget of $75,000 and maintains a collection of restored aircraft and artifacts covering decades of history. Supporters had hoped to use proceeds from the fundraiser to pay the center's property tax bill. But after spending $4,000 on a band and beer garden to attract people to the event, organizers say they also found $2,700 missing. And it appears that loss may have been part of a mini, somewhat localized airport crime spree.

Also on Saturday, an on-airport business at Erie suffered a break-in resulting in the loss of $250 in petty cash. Nearby Vance Brand Airport also suffered a break-in over the weekend where a laptop was stolen along with cash, tools, gasoline, radios and headsets. Gordon Page, president of the museum at Erie, told a local newspaper, "It's like having a birthday party and you blow out the candles and then someone punches you in the gut." Page said he went directly into "George Bailey mode" and began seeking additional donations to recoup the museum's losses. And in the end, the crimes may highlight the generosity of the aviation community. By Tuesday, he'd already amassed a little more than half of the money lost. Local police called the criminal activity "unusual" and had not yet established any connection between the robberies at Erie and Vance Brand airports.

 
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Wanted! Good Guys back to top 
 

Pilots Wanted! Angel Flight West

Angel Flight West is seeking volunteer pilots after a surge in activity this year left 10 percent of their missions unfilled due to lack of personnel. The nonprofit organization transports people in need of vital healthcare who can't take a commercial flight or other transportation because of health, financial or geographic considerations. Pilots who participate donate all flight-related costs (tax breaks may apply) and passengers never pay for a flight. The organization is on pace to provide an all-time high 5,000 missions this year but due to lack of pilots has cancelled more missions this year than ever before in its 29-year history. The need is greatest in specific areas of the country.

According to the organization "volunteer pilots are urgently needed in Southern California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Oregon."  Pilots can sign up online. Once cleared, they may peruse an online collection of missions and select those that fit their budget and schedule. Qualified applicants can fly their first mission in about a week after sign up. Angel Flight West serves 13 western states (including Alaska and Hawaii). Its missions include free air transportation for patients in need of non-emergency medical treatment and "compassionate response to other compelling needs." Since 1983, it has flown more than 50,000 missions. Lack of personnel and successful outreach has led to increased demand with lack of support. In practice, that has translated to cancelled missions.

 
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Looking Back on AirVenture 2012 back to top 
 

Hightower: A "Solid" Year For AirVenture

EAA released its final numbers this week on attendance for AirVenture 2012, with a total of 508,000 visitors, about 33,000 fewer than last year. EAA President Rod Hightower said the total was "tremendous," give the challenges of "intensely hot weather, storms, and struggles in the overall economy." The total number of commercial exhibitors was 802, and "numerous exhibitors reported record-breaking sales this year for Oshkosh," EAA said. More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport and nearby fields, about the same number as last year. "This was a solid year at AirVenture," Hightower said, "and, most importantly, it was a safe event."

Showplanes totaled 2,489, including 978 homebuilts, 907 vintage airplanes, 336 warbirds, 105 ultralights, 97 seaplanes, 35 aerobatic aircraft and 31 rotorcraft. Hightower said he was "very happy" with the operational execution of the show. "Bigger and better things" are in the works for next year, he added, especially continuing improvements in the "visitor experience." Next year's show is scheduled for July 29-Aug. 4, 2013. AVweb's editorial director Paul Bertorelli shared his impressions of this year's edition of AirVenture on the AVweb Insider blog; click here to read.

AVweb Insider Blog: AirVenture -- Let the Carping Begin

Complaining seems to be a traditional sport as they're knocking down the tents and breaking down the hangars at Oshkosh. But the reality is that AirVenture will never be the same quaint, personable fly-in it once was. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is somewhat pointless and won't change the reality one bit. So find a nice, cool chalet, grab a tall drink and enjoy yourself. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says he did exactly that at Oshkosh this year.

Read more and join the conversation.

AirVenture 2012: News Coverage Round-Up

The year's mostly eagerly anticipated fly-in and trade show, EAA AirVenture took place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from July 23 to July 29, 2012. Click here for an all-in-one-place index to coverage from the show — including podcasts, videos, blogs, and photo galleries.

Or skip to your favorite section here:

videos | podcasts | photo galleries | blogs | daily coverage

 
Aerial Tribute || Every Cloud a Monument
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 video overview.
 
We Ask, You Answer back to top 
 

Question of the Week: What Do You Make of Cessna's Diesel-Burning 182 NXT?

Cessna is widening fuel options for owners of the 182 Skylane, including an SMA diesel-burning engine. Some have said a diesel-powered Cessna would be a game-changer, but we'd like to know your opinion.

What did you think of Cessna's new diesel-powered 182 NXT?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
Send your suggestions to .

NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments. (Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.)

 
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 
 

Hackers Defeat BARR

It was perhaps inevitable that someone somewhere would find a way, and an apparently legal one at that, to track flights of aircraft on the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) but at least one of the architects of the project feels a little bad about it. Dustin Hoffman (the researcher, not the actor), who developed the system with Semon Rezchikov, is a private pilot who thinks it's none of anyone's business where consenting adults fly their aircraft. In fact, he's managed to strike a noble posture in his defense of OpenBarr.net. "I'm a libertarian. I don't think it's anyone's business where you travel to," he told Forbes "But what's worse, for everyone to know it's easy to track you, or to have a false assurance you can't be tracked?" NBAA isn't buying it. "Getting on an airplane shouldn't amount to forfeiting your security and privacy to anyone, anywhere in the world with an Internet connection," NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard told Forbes. "That's why a law was passed to create a program that allows citizens and companies to opt out from having their flights tracked. Attempts to compromise that opt-out ability amount to nothing less than an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of aircraft owners and operators, a threat to the competitiveness of U.S. companies and a potential security risk to the persons aboard aircraft."

Hoffman might have used his knowledge as a pilot to come up with the process. OpenBARR's software simply scans LiveATC's broadcast of pilot/controller interactions and picks out the N-numbers of arriving or departing aircraft. It would appear those scanning the data would have to know what they're looking for but aircraft registrations remain public information and finding out the tail number of a celebrity or business owner's aircraft is relatively simple. The site is active now scanning ATC transmissions from Henderson, North Las Vegas and McCarran International Airports serving Sin City. More will follow. The "service" was unveiled at the annual DEF CON hackers' conference in Las Vegas last week.

Some Hawker Beech Bonuses Approved

At least 31 senior Hawker Beechcraft employees will receive payments totaling $1.9 million after a bankruptcy judge approved that part of the Key Employee Incentive Program that is part of the company's bankruptcy filing. However, a decision on the big prize for the company's top eight executives, bonuses totaling $5.3 million, has been deferred until Aug. 6, with the judge inviting new evidence to be considered. The company insists the bonuses are justified because taking a company out of bankruptcy and transferring its assets to another owner is a lot of work. They will also preside over the "orderly shutdown" of the business jet part of the business.

The Machinists Union is upset about the whole idea of the sale of Hawker Beech to Superior Airparts, which has an exclusivity agreement with the company to pursue a takeover worth about $1.79 billion. Superior is owned about 40 percent by Chinese interests and the union has warned the sale will give China access to technology and equipment it does not now have. As for the bonuses, the union has hit the "complete irony and hypocrisy" of awarding millions of dollars to those who have been at the helm of the company for its decline.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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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 a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

 
Introducing the IFD440 FMS/GPS/NAV/COM || Avidyne
Introducing the IFD440 FMS/GPS/NAV/COM
As the newest member of Avidyne's integrated flight display family, the IFD440 has been designed to be an easy-to-install, plug & play replacement for legacy GNS430-Series navigators. The IFD440 provides powerful navigation, communication, and multi-function display capabilities, and its easy-to-use Hybrid Touch user interface allows pilots to perform virtually all functions using dedicated knobs/buttons or via the touchscreen interface. Now you have a Choice. And the Choice is Easy.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Signature Flight Service (KOMA, Omaha, Nebraska)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Signature Flight Service at Eppley Field (KOMA) in Omaha, Nebraska.

This Signature location earned the respect (and praise) of AVweb reader Charlie Bobbish when he needed a helping hand on a recent trip:

Being far from home with a mechanical problem is something no owner looks forward to experiencing. Having it happen on vacation is even worse. We had to stop in Omaha due to engine roughness. With no notice, Signature dedicated a mechanic to us, diagnosed the problem, and got us on our way with a smile. They offered us a crew car all day and made sure that our stop was as pleasant as possible. What a great way to treat a customer in need!

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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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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It's easy for your company to be more proactive, flexible, and entrepreneurial with AVweb's cost-effective marketing programs. Discover the benefits of instant response, quick copy changes, monthly tracking reports, and interactive programs. To find out how simple it is to reach 255,000 qualified pilots, owners, and decision-makers weekly, click now for details.
 
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.