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 PilotWorkshops'
Tip of the Week.
Click here to this quick tip.
Citing concerns over privacy, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta has told members of Congress that the selection of six test sites for unmanned aerial systems will not happen in time to meet the
agency's target of the end of this year. In a letter (PDF) to U.S. Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif., co-chair of the Unmanned Systems
Congressional Caucus, Huerta said FAA staffers have been "working diligently to establish the framework for test-site selection However, increasing the use of UAS in our airspace also raises
privacy issues, and these issues will need to be addressed as unmanned aircraft are safely integrated." Earlier this month, 20 aviation advocacy groups (including AOPA, EAA, NATCA, NBAA, GAMA, and
more) jointly sent a letter (PDF) to Huerta, asking him to keep the FAA focused on safety, not privacy issues, in
regards to the integration of UAS.
"The FAA has no statutory standing or technical expertise" in regard to privacy issues, the letter reads. The groups also asked Huerta to "ensure UAS are safely and responsibly integrated into the
national airspace in a timely manner." At a meeting of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems in August, Huerta said he was "very
optimistic" that the FAA would meet the congressional mandate to integrate most UAVs into the national airspace system by 2015 (2014 for UAVs weighing less than 55 pounds). "Rest assured that the FAA
will fulfill its statutory obligations to integrate unmanned aircraft systems," he said. However, a report by
the U.S. Government Accountability Office released in September noted that although the FAA "has taken steps to meet the requirements set forth in the 2012 Act, it is uncertain when the national airspace system will be prepared to accommodate UAS."
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Children's Flight Jackets Available at Aircraft Spruce Aircraft Spruce offers a wide variety of children's flight jackets, perfect for this holiday season. Styles include the classic MA-1, Bomber, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Astronaut. Each
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Three high school students have won an innovation award for developing an adaptive 737 winglet that could save the fleet up to $2 billion per year in jet fuel, the Department of Transportation has
announced. Miraj Rahematpura, Christopher Muckle, and Mario Chris, of Middletown, Conn., entered their project in a competition organized by the DOT to encourage interest in science and technology,
and recently visited the staff in Washington to talk about their work. "To say we were all impressed with the quality and real-world value of their work would be an understatement," said DOT Secretary
Ray LaHood. "Not only did they develop a highly technical winglet, they were able to explain their work with exceptional clarity and maturity."
Current 737 winglets are fixed at a 26-degree angle, which best reduces drag at cruising altitude and improves fuel efficiency by about 3 percent. The team used computer models to find winglets
capable of being moved to a more efficient angle during ascent and descent without adding too much extra weight or mechanical complication to the wing. The models indicate the team's adaptive tip
could improve fuel efficiency by 10 percent, LaHood said. The technology could save operators 600 million gallons of jet fuel per year.
You've no doubt noticed the wind skirts sported by most 18-wheelers today. They're there for a reason, and on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wonders whether the airplane equivalent
winglets might not become just as common. Both devices do the same thing reduce drag and save fuel.
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Recent reports in the mainstream media raised questions about whether FAA's NextGen air traffic control system might be vulnerable to hackers who can create "ghost airplanes," and also asked why
102 "zombie towers" across the country are kept open all night despite low traffic. The FAA has said that airports with four or fewer flights per hour at night don't need to keep the tower open,
according to Bloomberg News, yet about 100 towers are staffed that
fall within those guidelines, costing about $10 million per year. Meanwhile, an NBC affiliate in California's San Francisco Bay area reported that hackers say they could insert fake "ghost" airplanes
into the ADS-B system and controllers would be unable to tell them from real aircraft.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told NBC Bay Area the agency has "a thorough process
in place to ensure the safety and security of the ADS-B system." Potential vulnerabilities are assessed on an ongoing basis, he said. "We require continual, independent validation of the accuracy and
reliability of ADS-B and aircraft avionics signals. The air traffic system is based on redundancies to ensure safe and secure operations." As for the "zombie" towers, Bloomberg said "members of
Congress from both parties" have blocked attempts to reduce hours or merge facilities.
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Plans were in the works for a sequel to Top Gun, one of the most popular aviation films ever, when director Tony Scott's suicide in August stalled the project, but a 3-D Imax version of the
original movie now is expected to debut in February. The new version of the film already has been completed by Legend3D, according to The New York Times. It had been seen as a way to build excitement for the
sequel, but now representatives of Paramount, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Legend3D don't want to talk about the project, said the Times, and they are being careful not to seem "insensitive or
Scott, 68, died in August when he jumped off a bridge in Los Angeles; he reportedly left notes behind for friends and relatives, but no motive for his action has been made clear. Actor Tom Cruise
had been working with Scott, and a screenwriter had been hired for the sequel, but that project is now on hold indefinitely.
The 3-D flying film might become a "box-office triumph," said the Times. A 3-D version of Titanic, released earlier this year, brought in more than $342 million in ticket sales around the
Aero Telemetry, a small company in southern California, is finishing up a model of Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose flying boat with a 20-foot wingspan, which it calls "the world's largest flyable, most
historically accurate and detailed scale model" of the iconic aircraft. The airplane is one of three Hughes aircraft that the company is building to create a traveling exhibit. Joe Bok, the company
CEO and an aerospace engineer, designed the models used in The Aviator film, released in 2004. Bok, however, felt that the models used in the movie, created under intense deadline pressure,
"left much to be desired," company spokesman Rob Hartz told AVweb. So on his own, Bok is creating meticulous new versions based on extensive research.
So far the company has created a 1/2 scale Hughes H1 Racer, which flew last year, and this year, the company flew "the world's largest flyable museum-scale replica" of the twin-engine twin-tail
Hughes XF-11, with a 30-foot wingspan. According to the company website, Bok and his team were given access to rare photographs and original Hughes Aircraft blueprints of the XF-11, detailing the
intricacies of the complex design. The flying Spruce Goose replica will debut at the Academy of Model Aeronautics Expo in Ontario, Calif., in January. According to Hartz, "Joe considers these
airplanes to be his best effort at creatively combining design, engineering, technology and art as a functional form." No plans are in the works to sell copies of the models, Hartz said, but he
didn't rule out the possibility.
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A bankruptcy judge has rejected Hawker Beechcraft's bid to fire-sale its inventory of Hawker 4000 jets to raise some quick cash. The company was planning to dump the aircraft, the all-composite
flagship of its jet roster, for as little as about 35 cents on the dollar until some existing 4000 owners stepped in to prevent their $20 million aircraft from suffering the same devaluation. Hawker
Beech has 13 finished new 4000s, three in production and four used aircraft. The inventory clearance bid was part of a filing made by the company that also requested the court to allow it to abandon
warranty and extended service plans on the 4000 and on Premier I and Premier IA jets. Hawker Beechcraft VP Shawn Vick outlined the warranty decision in a podcast interview at the 2012 NBAA convention in Orlando in October.
Hawker Beech said in its filing it wanted to dump the aircraft before more advanced competitors hit the market and make them harder to sell. Cessna and Embraer are both working on aircraft in the
same class as the 4000 that offer new technology and are more efficient and are in the same price range. However, bankruptcy judge Stuart Bernstein wrote Monday that the company failed to make the
case that immediately slashing the price was necessary. The owners committee argued that Hawker Beech has promised it will find someone to take over service and support of the jets and if it does that
the aircraft can retain their normal used value. "This process will require a reasonable amount of time, not an accelerated process," the committee argued in its filing. "Thus, there is simply no
reason to race to sell the Hawker 4000 inventory before those efforts play out."
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Your FBO's Insurance Protects Them, Not You
Most insurance carried by the FBO or aircraft owner protects their interests, not the renter's. That's why we created Avemco® Non-Owned Insurance. It
could save you thousands in damages to a rental aircraft and thousands more in injury liability lawsuits and legal fees!
Piper's Matrix an unpressurized version of its Mirage has proven a popular seller and a stalwart of the company's M-class product line. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli
recently took a test flight in the airplane for this video report.
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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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
New airplanes sales may be a little soft, but we're seeing plenty of refurb work -- everything from new panels to fresh paint to full-up interiors. We would like to feature some of these airplanes
in the pages of AVweb and spotlight the owners and shops doing the work. If you have photos of your restored aircraft -- single, twin or turbine -- send them along to us, and if we select your airplane as refurb of the month, we'll contact you for more
IAFTP Share-a-Training-Practice Promotion
The first month of our promotion is complete, and the IAFTP Advisory Committee has selected training practices submitted from Canada, Australia, Italy, and Peru for recognition. The
instructors submitting these training practices have from less than 1,000 hours to more than 15,000 hours total time.
To learn more about this promotion and the instructors being recognized,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Sterling Aviation at Buchanan Field (KCCR) in Concord, California.
AVweb reader Sid Tolchin had a great visit at Sterling recently:
After landing and checking in at the FBO, we noted our rental car (from a major agency) had not been delivered. No questions asked, Justin had the crew van available immediately at no cost, helped us
get another rental when we asked, and made certain we were settled and comfortable. After all of this, no tie-down fee and nothing but friendship from all there especially noteworthy on a
holiday weekend. Previously, their service department had serviced a brake hydraulic leak on one of our aircraft again, at no charge. Just their smiles made it all worthwhile. The only
glitch was a thoughtless CAP who started up his engine full-throttle and blew away all of our covers and hats. He was chastised by the horrified FBO attendants and learned a lesson!
Peter Drucker Says, "The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"
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