AVwebFlash - Volume 18, Number 40b

October 4, 2012

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Aircraft Spruce West Coast Super Sale & Fly-In || October 6, 2012
Aircraft Spruce Annual West Coast Super Sale & Fly-In
Aircraft Spruce West will be holding their annual Super Sale and Fly-In on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 7:00am to 3:00pm in Corona, California. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce team and vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars. Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite vendors. A no-cost shuttle will be offered to and from Corona Airport. For more information, call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
AVflash! AOPA's Flying Club Initiative back to top 

AOPA Fosters Flying Clubs

AOPA says it's tapping an underused resource by offering some structure and incentive to build the flying club population in the U.S. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Adam Smith, head of AOPA's new Center to Advance the Pilot Community, said there are about 650 flying clubs in the U.S. and the goal is to have up to 2,000. He said most flying clubs do tremendous work in the areas of promotion, training and fostering of grass roots aviation but they do so in isolation. AOPA, which has done a study on flying clubs, will unveil the full program at next week's AOPA Summit in Palm Springs, Calif. It hopes to build a network of flying clubs with transferrable benefits and common strategies for the growth of the pilot community.

Smith, a Scot, said flying clubs are an essential element of GA in Europe and have become a "coping mechanism" for aviation enthusiasts in the costly and bureaucratic environment there. In the U.S., he sees a better organized flying club movement as a fundamental part of building GA and lifting the spirits of many involved in aviation.

Podcast: AOPA Looks to Flying Clubs

File Size 12.2 MB / Running Time 13:19

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Flying clubs do a great job of fostering GA, but AOPA believes that benefit can be compounded. It's launching a major effort to help out existing clubs and create new ones. AOPA's Adam Smith spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (12.2 MB, 13:19)

Question of the Week: Can Flying Clubs Help?

There are more than 5,000 airports in the U.S., but only 650 flying clubs, and AOPA hopes to change that.

Can flying clubs help turn GA around?
(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.)

Pilot Workshops || Three Things You Should Never Say to ATC || Click 
Here to Find Out
Three Things You Should Never Say to ATC
Listen as two ATC pros share tips on better communication with ATC. Avoid these common mistakes and make your interactions more efficient and accurate. This is a sample from Pilot Workshops' Tip of the Week. Click here for this quick tip.
A Place in the Marketplace for AOPA back to top 

AOPA Defends Business Activities

AOPA President Craig Fuller says he's puzzled by the reaction of three aviation companies to the organization's move to modernize its flight planning product. In a Sept. 25 letter (PDF) to Fuller last week that was made public this week, the companies complained that AOPA was competing directly with them when it should be paying more attention to its core functions of advocacy and building the pilot population. "... we believe AOPA products and initiatives that detract from the organization's main goals are bad for members and the industry in general," the letter read. "And, as advertisers, we feel our financial contributions are furthering these initiatives that will ultimately compete with our own products –- essentially we are funding a competitor."

So far, only Sporty's Pilot Shop has publicly acknowledged its participation in the letter. AVweb has confirmed the identities of the other companies but has not been told by either that they are willing to go on the record with their complaints. Sporty's CEO Michael Wolf told AVweb his company has a long history of cooperation with AOPA but is concerned by the "new direction" of the organization. "They're getting into business and they're becoming our competitors rather than our partners," Wolf said. But Fuller said AOPA has been offering products and services that compete with those of some of its advertisers for decades and the updated flight planning platform, called FlyQ, is an extension of that.

"This is a place we've been in for many years," he told AVweb. He said the old flight planning system was based on outdated technology and FlyQ will give users of the AOPA service the tablet and smartphone-friendly platform that is becoming the new standard for flight planning. He also confirmed that AOPA is embarking on a new initiative to use some of the resources of its considerable investment portfolio for "strategic investments" directly in aviation projects, but he said that program is in its infancy. On the over-arching concern that AOPA is digging in the sandboxes of its sources of advertising revenues, Fuller said it's no secret that advertising income is down for all publications. "To somehow say we shouldn't bring revenue in by other means is not realistic," he said. "For us to accomplish our mission, we have to find other sources of revenue."

AVweb Insider Blog: AOPA -- The Business

As AOPA has sought more revenue to fund itself in a declining market, three companies have complained that it's engaging in predatory competition with the very people who support it. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli argues that they have a point. It's time for AOPA to recalibrate.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Missing de Havilland back to top 

Dragon Wreckage Found

A meticulously restored and rare 1934 De Havilland DH84 Dragon with six aboard went missing Monday northwest of Brisbane, Australia, and its wreckage was found Wednesday in bushland near Mount Kandanga, with no survivors. Weather conditions at the time of the aircraft's afternoon flight, Monday, included low-level clouds. The restored aircraft was not equipped for instrument flight and two hours into the fatal flight, the Dragon's pilot, Des Porter, contacted air traffic controllers for help, saying he'd been flying up and down through clouds trying to establish his location, according to the HeraldSun.com. Rescue teams located the aircraft's wreckage with the aid of mobile phone technology by tracking a signal from a phone that was still operating, post-crash.

The aircraft's condition after the crash was very poor and "fundamentally destroyed," search chief Mike Barton told the CourierMail.com.au. Peaks in the area reach approximately 1200 feet, which may have been above cloud base on the day of the accident. The crash site is located in a remote wooded area. Witnesses reportedly saw the aircraft circling before it disappeared into thick clouds. At least one witness told authorities it appeared the aircraft was trying to find a place to land. Porter was in contact with a rescue helicopter prior to the crash. After being asked to switch to another frequency, he was not heard from again.

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Watch the video demo at BrightLineBags.com.
Back to Business, with a Smaller Slice of the Band back to top 

LightSquared Tries Again

LightSquared has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to revive its broadband proposal without, it says, interfering with GPS signals. According to Broadcast Engineering, LightSquared, which went bankrupt last May when its first application was rejected by the FCC, says it would like to initially use a 5 MHz sliver of radio spectrum it says did not interfere with GPS signals during testing. It also hopes to share a 5 MHz slice of spectrum owned by the federal government to carry signals for the ambitious nationwide LTE wireless system. It has not, however, given up on using the 10 MHz slice of spectrum it owns that was shown to interfere with GPS.

Broadcast Engineering reported that LightSquared "still wants the FCC to consider use of that 10 MHz, but agreed to wait for and cooperate with 'operating parameters and revised rules for terrestrial use of this spectrum.'" In testing, use of those frequencies by LightSquared's massive transmitters disrupted GPS signals for virtually every type of equipment in use, from consumer receivers to those used by law enforcement, first responders, aviation and the military. LightSquared maintained throughout the testing that it was the receivers' inability to properly filter out the broadband signals that was the root of the interference issues.

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What to Do This Weekend back to top 

727 Crash To Air On Discovery Channel

The deliberate crash of a Boeing 727 will be the topic of a new Discovery channel program, Curiosity, which airs this Sunday night (9 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. Central time). No airplane of this size has been crashed for science since 1984, according to the channel's website, when NASA and the FAA crashed a Boeing 720 to see what would happen. Discovery strapped several crash-test dummies into the fuselage, filled it with cameras, and enlisted a panel of experts to analyze the results. A single pilot flew the jet until it was on course for its final destination, above a Mexican desert, then parachuted out. The 727 was flown into the ground at a shallow angle by a remote operator in a chase plane, breaking up on impact.

The experiment investigates what really happens as an airplane goes down and explores how to increase your odds of survival. The show "puts you in the passenger's seat during the heart-stopping moment of impact," according to the Discovery website. "Alongside an international team of experts, you will get to experience this terrifying plunge through our footage from inside the plane to understand the significance of every bump, twist and turn of the aircraft and what that might mean for you if you were strapped in next to our dummies." The Discovery channel trailer for the show is posted online, and you can also take a quiz there to test your knowledge of air-travel safety. The NASA/FAA crash experiment resulted in a fiery wreck (MPG video file).

New Feature Coming from AVweb

Beginning next week, AVweb will step up its coverage of general aviation with a new news feed called Friday Features. Each week, we'll be offering in-depth reporting on products, services and companies that we're sure will be of interest to our readers. Our focus will be primarily on stories related to aircraft upgrades, repair and refurbishment, but we'll also be covering new products of interest to all pilots. Twice a month, we'll also feature articles on safety, maintenance and instrument operations condensed from Belvoir Media Group's widely read aviation print publications. We'll continue to offer audio podcasts as part of Friday Features.

If you have a topic in mind, drop us a line. We'd love to hear from you.

Aerial Tribute || Every Cloud a Monument
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

NBAA Small Aircraft Exemption Renewed By FAA

The FAA has extended an exemption that allows operators of certain small aircraft to be reimbursed for expenses, NBAA said last week. Operators must be NBAA members to qualify for the exemption, which allows for cost sharing in situations such as transporting a guest on a company aircraft or the use of an aircraft by employees of a subsidiary company. The exemption applies to Part 91 operators of piston airplanes, small airplanes, and all helicopters. The extension expires on March 31.

"The FAA will be reviewing the Small Aircraft Extension to clarify some elements of the additional maintenance flexibility granted under the provisions of the exemption," said Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president for safety, security, operations and regulation. "NBAA does not expect that the FAA's review will ultimately alter the provisions of the exemption in a way that would affect any members that currently qualify for and utilize the exemption."

Honda Expands In N.C.

Honda Aircraft Co. is working to expand its facilities in Greensboro, N.C., the company said last week, starting construction of a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility to service the coming fleet of HondaJets. The 90,000-square-foot $20-million building will support up to 12 aircraft at a time, and also has space for workshops, a pilot's lounge, conference rooms, a flight-planning area, and spare-parts storage. The facility will operate seven days a week, around the clock, Honda said, and will be ready for occupancy by the second half of next year, in advance of first deliveries. "It is my commitment to build the best maintenance, repair and overhaul facility to serve the HondaJet customer," said Honda Aircraft CEO Michimasa Fujino.

According to HondaJet, the new airplane will be "the fastest, highest-flying, most quiet and most fuel efficient in its class." The jet is powered by two GE Honda HF120 turbofan jet engines, and is equipped with customized Garmin G3000 avionics. The HondaJet is Honda's first commercial aircraft. Earlier this year, Fujino said the company was going after 25 percent of the worldwide light jet market. "I'm very optimistic about our prospects," Fujino said. "We're doing with HondaJet what the Civic did to American cars from the 1960s. Our competitors are still producing with technology from the 1990s." The jet will cost about 30 percent less to operate than competitors, Fujino said.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?

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."

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

Survey: Are You Instructing in LSAs?

If so, AVweb would like to talk to you regarding your impressions of teaching flying in light sport airplanes.

Send us an e-mail with your contact information, and we'll set up an interview.

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

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

Video: Super Legend Flight Trial

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

American Legend gained success with its popular Legend Cub, and now it's followed up with a new Lycoming-powered version of the airplane. If you like the Super Cub, you'll like the Super Legend, too, because its performance is quite similar. AVweb ventured to Legend's Sulphur Spring, Texas, homebase to fly the airplane, and here's a video report on the flight.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Video: The Last Flying B-24 Bomber (Collings Foundation)

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

The B-24 was the most widely produced bomber in world history. This video shows the sole surviving regularly flown example, from roughly 18,000 B-24 Liberator bombers produced. This is the Collings Foundation's B-24, Witchcraft.

During World War II, at peak production, factories put out roughly ten of these aircraft per day. Each was driven by four supercharged turbocharged radials putting out 1,200 horsepower each. Flying with greater range than the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator bomber could drop about 8,000 pounds of bombs from high- or low-altitude attacks. When WWII's most widely used big bomber went down, it often took all ten crewmen at a time. It was notably involved in the infamous Ploesti raid, in which more than 50 aircraft and 660 crewmen were lost. The surviving men who flew in the bomber and the men and women who produced these historic aircraft are becoming few. Talk to one if you get the chance.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Tradition Aviation (KTRM, Palm Springs, California)

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

AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Tradition Aviation at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport (KTRM) in Palm Springs, California.

AVweb reader Ted Seastrom recommended the FBO:

For many months, KTRM was my home airport. This recommendation is based not on just one experience but the consistency of dozens of experiences under all conditions. Tradition Aviation, run by Penny Nelson and Ann Goodwyn, is simply a jewel — everything an FBO can and should be. Every person there is competent, friendly, and professional. It's obvious they love aviation and support pilots, passengers, and crew with energy and enthusiasm. Planes are met, escorted, and attended to with efficiency. The building itself has a rustic feel to it while offering the most up-to-date amenities. Everyone is made to feel welcome — from corporate moguls and their jets to new private pilots. Tradition is a case study in FBO excellence.

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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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:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Kevin Lane-Cummings

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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.