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All 29 aboard an Embraer-E120ER Brasilia turboprop survived a ditching off the Comoros Islands near Mozambique Tuesday; one passenger, a military officer, told Reuters he saw fuel leaking out of
the aircraft "like an open tap" after takeoff. The aircraft, a T-tail low wing, was operated by Inter-Iles Air, carrying 25 passengers and four crew. It departed Prince Said Ibrahim International
Airport just after 1 p.m. local time and impacted the waters of the Indian Ocean less than 1000 feet from the coast and three miles north of the airport. Local fishermen were on scene and effected
rescue of all the aircraft's occupants. Early reports suggest crew members were aware of a problem.
First reports state that the crew radioed that they were experiencing an unspecified problem and requested a return to the airport but lost altitude in a turn and touched down in the water.
According to the local aviation authority, the aircraft had passed an inspection earlier in the month. One early report states that a passenger said one engine failed before the aircraft lost
altitude. Another states that the crew was made aware of the fuel leak and decided to attempt a return to the airport. Time and further investigation should provide more clarity, but as the aircraft
turned back for the airport it lost altitude and successfully ditched. Multiple sources did not agree on the number of injuries, which may have included two people who suffered minor injuries,
including the flight's pilot.
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.
Michael Huerta has been working as "acting administrator" in the top job at the FAA since Randy Babbitt's sudden departure following a drunk-driving arrest last December, but now the Republicans in Congress have lifted a block to his confirmation. After Huerta was approved for
the FAA job by a Senate committee in July, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, of South Carolina, blocked a final confirmation
vote until after the election, so the Republicans could choose their own administrator if they won the White House. With DeMint's objection lifted, the confirmation process can now move forward.
Some aviation advocacy groups have spoken out in support of confirming Huerta for a five-year term as soon as possible. AOPA President Craig Fuller said on Wednesday that Huerta has been good for
general aviation. "Michael Huerta is well-qualified to manage the monumental changes taking place in the FAA airspace, navigation, air traffic control and safety programs that directly impact general
aviation," Fuller said. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association also weighed in recently on the appointment. "President Obama made a wise decision to nominate Huerta for administrator last
spring," said Paul Rinaldi, NATCA president. "He has been a steady hand at the controls of an agency that is making very positive strides forward in serving the public. It is time the Senate moves to
approve his nomination."
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Introducing: Headset-Friendly Sunglasses
Flying is better when your noise-canceling headsets perform at their best and when you don't have an aching head from uncomfortable sunglasses. So we bring you a completely unique pair of
sunglasses designed by a pilot specifically for this purpose: to be the best, most comfortable sunglasses to wear with a headset. Flying Eyes:Watch the video review and take advantage of our special introductory price.
The X-47B, designed to fly autonomously as an unmanned strike aircraft and land on the deck of an aircraft carrier, was taken aboard the USS Harry S. Truman Monday at Norfolk naval base, Va.,
for its first shipboard tests. The aircraft will undergo three weeks of testing, both at Norfolk and along the Atlantic coast, to confirm on-deck handling, control and performance. In a news release,
Monday, the Navy did not directly state that the aircraft would undergo flight operations, but that it would "demonstrate seamless integration into carrier flight deck operations." Carrier launches
and recoveries of the X-47B are not expected until next year and could mark all new and controversial capabilities for Naval operations.
The X-47B is designed to be capable of carrying out combat missions without real-time human interaction. It can be programmed ahead of time to fly missions autonomously, guided by onboard systems
designed to deliver it from a ship to its target and back. Aside from automated shipboard launches and traps, the drone is meant to also be capable of automated refueling. It hosts a weapons bay
capable of holding 4,500 pounds. Its 62-foot wingspan is wider than the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet -- a notable difference for shipboard operations. On the Truman, members of the carrier's crew and
engineers will use a hand-held controller to maneuver the aircraft on deck.
The classic biplane that flew above the savanna in the popular Academy-Award-winning 1985 film "Out of Africa" will go up for auction in February in Paris, Bonhams announced this week. The biplane
was featured in several scenes when stars Meryl Streep and Robert Redford flew together to explore the beauty and wildlife of the Kenya highlands. The airplane, a 1929 De Havilland 60GMW Gipsy Moth,
is in excellent condition and ready to fly, according to Bonhams.
The aircraft still wears the same yellow-and-black livery and registration G-AAMY (in homage to English aviatrix Amy Johnson) seen in the film. The auction will be held at the Grand Palais from
February 6 to 7, Bonhams said. Bidding for the aircraft is expected to be in excess of $180,000.
Lycoming & Continental Aircraft Starters: Aviation-Manufactured, OEM-Endorsed, & Factory-Installed For Over 20 Years
TCM supplier Hartzell Engine Technologies introduces the zero back torque M-Drive starter the best lightweight starter designed to start even the hardest-cranking
large-bore TCM engines while safely disengaging from the starter adapter. Lycoming-chosen E-Drive starters from Hartzell Engine Technologies are unaffected by kick-backs, saving hours
of service time and replacement costs along with the best warranty available two-year unlimited!
If you own or operate a GA aircraft, the FAA's annual safety survey needs your data. The survey is the only
official source of information about the activities of the GA fleet, including the number of hours flown and the reasons people fly, and this Friday is the deadline for you to participate. The survey
covers private aviation activities and Part 135 operations. "Reducing GA fatalities is a top priority of the FAA, and our goal is to reduce the GA fatal accident rate by 10 percent by 2018," said FAA
Acting Administrator Michael Huerta. "By taking the time to participate in the FAA's GA survey, owners and operators share valuable data that help the entire GA community."
Data collected from the survey help determine funding for infrastructure and service needs, assess the impact of regulatory changes, and measure aviation safety. The survey is also used to
prepare safety statistics and calculate the rate of accidents among GA aircraft. Responses are private, says the FAA, and information will be used only for statistical purposes. Owners who did not fly
their aircraft in 2011, have sold it, or are awaiting repairs should also respond to the survey. A random sample of owners was notified by the FAA and asked to participate, but an invitation is
not required to fill out the online form.
A recent report (PDF) from the Transportation Department's
Office of Inspector General found that contract towers are cheaper to operate than FAA towers. The contract towers also had a lower rate of safety incidents compared to similar FAA towers. "On
average, a contract tower cost about $1.5 million less to operate than a comparable FAA tower, mainly due to lower staffing and salary levels," according to the OIG. The OIG made several
suggestions to the FAA to improve the program, including strengthening financial oversight and implementing voluntary safety reporting systems at the towers.
Contract towers are used at 250 low-activity U.S. airports that otherwise wouldn't have air traffic services. The OIG based its cost comparison on 30 randomly selected contract towers and 30 FAA
towers with a comparable level of operations. For the safety study, the FAA reviewed 240 of the contract towers, which reported a total of 197 safety incidents, compared to 362 incidents at 92 similar
FAA towers. The OIG said the FAA should include contract towers in voluntary reporting systems for safety incidents, such as the Air Traffic Safety Action Program currently in place at all FAA
Are You Facing TBO? Want to Upgrade Your Engine? Are You in Need of High-Quality OEM Parts?
Now is a great time to purchase. With a factory-rebuilt or new engine, you receive upfront pricing, latest product improvements, zero time, no history, new cylinders, new lifters, etc. And the
factory lead time is 15 business days on average from engine order to shipment. Several engines in stock.
Embraer flew its all-new midsize Legacy 500 jet for the first time on Tuesday, for an hour and 45 minutes. It's the first jet in its class to use a fly-by-wire control system, according to Embraer.
It also features a large cabin for up to 12 passengers with six feet of headroom. Two Honeywell HTF 7500E engines drive the jet at up to Mach .82 for 3,000 miles. The flight was "flawless," the
company said. First deliveries are expected in 2014.
The cockpit also features sidestick controllers and Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics with synthetic vision. The jet is aimed to fill the gap between the light Phenom models and the
big-cabin 600 and 650. The company has two other prototypes in the works for the flight-test program.
Avionics companies L-3 and Avidyne will square off in court in February over L-3's claim that Avidyne copied some of its technology in the Entegra glass cockpit system. According to an Avidyne news
release, the issue boils down to the method used to calibrate an electronic attitude indicator to correct for the alignment of the device in the aircraft. Avidyne denies the allegation and has
countered that attitude indicator calibration was not a new technology.
L-3 first leveled the charge seven years ago and no longer has the rights to produce SmartDeck. It sold an exclusive license to Canada's Esterline CMC in 2010 to use the technology. Avidyne says
that regardless of the outcome of the trial, the effect on customers will be minimal because only early model Entegra systems produced in 2004 and early 2005 are affected.
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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
With the iPad Mini and other compact tablets selling in the thousands, it's only a matter of time before users will demand approach plate displays optimized for tablet aspects and displays rather
than awkwardly adapted for 70-year-old paper graphic standards. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli places his bet that it will happen within three years.
Over 20,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong! GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation.
GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other
factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY‑GAMI, or
go online for complete
The Collings Foundation's Derek "Otter" Ward sometimes serves as co-pilot aboard the organization's WWII B-17 Boeing Flying Fortress bomber Nine-O-Nine. He describes some of
the aircraft's ground and flight characteristics.
Safelog Is the World's Most Trusted Electronic Pilot Logbook System!
Suitable for student pilots through senior captains, Safelog features legendary flexibility and ease of use. Available for PC, iPhone, iPad, Android, web, Mac (through emulation), and more.
Stuck with some underperforming other logbook? Join thousands of others by taking advantage of our complimentary transition service and step up to the power, value, stability, and professionalism of
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AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" comes to us from reader Sandra Wirth, who found herself making an unplanned stop at Burnet Municipal Airport/Kate Craddock Field (KBMQ) in Burnet,
Texas, where she discovered Faulkner's Air Shop:
While on a ferry flight from California to Florida in a Piper Warrior last month, due to a weather system in western Texas, I made an unplanned evening landing at KBMQ. It was after 6:00pm, and I was
expecting to find a deserted airport and to have to figure out the fueling and lodging on my own. Instead, the lights were on at Faulkner's Air Shop, and smiling faces greeted me as I entered the
building. Dale took care of my fuel needs before I had much chance to think about it and then gave me some phone numbers of nearby motels. When none of [the hotels] would pick me up, Johanna drove
The next morning, I ended up waiting several hours for some low clouds to clear. Johanna brought me back to the FBO, and I had a comfortable place to relax while the activity of
a busy flight school swirled around me. At lunch time, they offered me a ride into town. Meanwhile, Dale towed the aircraft into the shop, serviced the flattened nose strut with nitrogen, and towed
it back to the ramp.
They wouldn't accept payment for any of this, nor were there tie-down fees. By the time I was finally able to take off around 2:30pm, I felt I had been given VIP
treatment to a level that was far above anything else I experienced on my 2,500-nm journey across the country.
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