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.
Embraer Executive Jets took another step forward in its expansion into U.S. production this week with the first flight of the first Phenom 300 built at the company's Melbourne, Fla., assembly
plant. Embraer announced just a couple of months ago that it would be adding the 300 to its Florida production line, which
has been turning out Phenom 100s since last year. The company also said it has been refining its production processes and has cut in half the time required to assemble an airplane. "We are now on
schedule to produce eight [airplanes] per month in the coming months," said Phil Krull, managing director of the facility.
Embraer opened the Melbourne production facility in February 2011 and added a customer service center last December. Last month, the company started construction of a new engineering and technology
facility, expected to be completed in mid-2014. Next year, the company plans to produce 12 Phenom 300 jets in Florida, with the first delivery in March.
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Textron Systems and Bell Helicopter have jointly launched a new laboratory in Huntsville, Ala., to develop unmanned aircraft systems. The companies said on Tuesday the facility will make it easier
to quickly integrate and troubleshoot new components for both manned and unmanned systems, and will provide high-fidelity simulated environments to help with testing and system integration. A Kiowa
Warrior helicopter simulator at the site will be used for training. The lab will help researchers to explore "next-generation concepts for situational awareness," said John Garrison, Bell CEO.
The lab will also make it easier for defense customers to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures for use in the field, the company said, and should shorten the time from the development phase
to deployment. Bell Helicopter is a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron.
The Italico Aviation company announced this week it hopes in early 2013 to begin hiring for its new Kissimmee, Fla., facility, forming a base of employees the company says may eventually grow to
55, to produce the company's two-seat amphibious LSA, the FX1. State and local officials wooed the company with an incentive package, including a property-tax exemption, that is worth nearly $850,000.
The local government hopes the company will introduce to the area jobs that are expected to pay an average of $60,000 each. The company hopes the high-wing pontoon aircraft will find roles in
surveillance and agricultural work and also hopes to broaden the small-aircraft market with the FX1's sub-$100,000 price tag. The company's production targets may be ... optimistic.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that company CEO Eros Spinozzi has said his company plans to produce about 500 planes a year in Kissimmee. That pace would represent a major chunk of piston engine
deliveries, considering that for the first half of 2012 the General Aviation Manufacturers Association listed a total of 381 piston deliveries. "We want to sell to anybody who has not
thought to buy a plane before," Spinozzi said. The company is investing more than $3 million into its facility at Kissimmee Gateway Airport. The company has said that its plans are to launch with the
FX1, but that it will also pursue creation of a four-seat design and, separately, an electric aircraft. Local government officials are hoping that the company brings an economic boost to the city of
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In what Red Bull referred to as "an incredible synchronized moment," a pilot in an aerobatic Extra 300SR flew "in formation" with a skydiver recently in the skies above the Czech Republic -- and of
course, the moment is captured in video. Pilot Martin
Sonka, a former pilot with the Czech Air Force who has competed in the Red Bull Air Races, flew "within arm's reach" of skydiver Peter Mestak, according to Red Bull. This isn't the first time Red Bull
has experimented with various types of aircraft and divers flying together.
In May, the company released a video showing five wingsuit skydivers joining up with and
maintaining formation with two sailplanes, over Austria. In 2010, a Red Bull skydiver climbed out of a glider, hung from under the wing, and then hitched a ride on the wing of a second glider passing underneath. The lead pilot later explained to AVweb's Paul Bertorelli how he did it.
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Boeing has taken online interactive technology into the 787 Dreamliner with its "Dream Pass" that allows you to actively control through 360 degrees the view from an in-cockpit virtual jump seat as
a crew takes off flies and lands the jet. The technology allows you to scroll 360 degrees around the cockpit, looking where you like, including up and down, while the video plays with narration. In
other words, the technology effectively offers real-time control of the viewing angle over a 360-degree panoramic pre-recorded video. As the jet lands at Boeing Field Seattle, the "pilot commentary"
advises you to look left at the city's skyline, which comes into view, clearly, if you pan left. Another audio option provides "in-flight audio" through the flight. The tour offers exterior fuselage,
wing and engine views as well.
Click here for access. If you're not taken directly to the in-cockpit footage, look for the "Dream Pass" link and icon near
the bottom of the page.
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Every year around this time, people feel compelled to give, and that's also true in the aviation world. Over the weekend, 30 pilots volunteered to help deliver holiday gifts to foster children
across the state of Michigan. Bob Rivard flew about 350 miles in his Piper Saratoga to support the cause. "It's just a way for my hobby to give back, and it's an excuse to fly," he told the Detroit Free Press. All together, Operation
Good Cheer delivered 13,521 gifts to 4,507 kids. About 100 pilots had offered to participate, but many flights were grounded by thick morning fog. In Massachusetts, pilots also pitched in recently to
help out some stranded sea turtles.
Lighthawk volunteers Tom Haas and Janice Newman flew their Pilatus PC-12 from Portsmouth, N.H., to Cape Cod to pick up four endangered Kemps-Ridley turtles, and gave them a ride to an aquarium in
Virginia, where they can rest up and then return to the wild. "Every year, these turtles migrate from the North Atlantic to their breeding grounds in Mexico, and some of them run into currents that
strand them on the Cape," Lighthawk spokesperson Bev Gabe told AVweb on Tuesday. The nearby New England Aquarium ran out of room for them this year. "We're standing by, ready to help out if
they need us again," Gabe said. Any pilots interested in volunteering can contact Lighthawk or the Air Care Alliance.
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New technology now available will help pilots better cope with bad weather in the mountains near Montrose, in the western part of Colorado, the FAA said this week. The Wide Area Multilateration
(WAM) system makes it possible for air traffic controllers to track aircraft in mountainous areas that lack radar coverage, the FAA said. "This system will allow pilots to fly search and rescue
missions in weather conditions that would have previously kept them grounded," said Michael Huerta, acting FAA administrator. The system also will enable pilots to land in conditions that previously
caused diversions or flight delays, Huerta said.
WAM is a NextGen technology that tracks aircraft using a network of small sensors deployed in remote areas, the FAA said. Aircraft transponders receive and send back signals to these sensors.
System computers immediately analyze those signals and determine the aircraft's precise location. The system has also been deployed in Alaska and in Canada. WAM is being used in the near-term until
ADS-B is fully deployed, according to the FAA. WAM will then serve as a backup to ADS-B in case of a GPS outage, and also will provide an additional surveillance source for ADS-B traffic
Solar Impulse, the record-setting solar-electric aircraft built by Bertrand Piccard and his team in Switzerland, will visit the U.S. next year, according to a 60 Minutesreport that aired on Sunday. The aircraft will launch from California and
fly across the country to Virginia. No details have been released about the planned itinerary or public displays. Piccard's team is on track to attempt an around-the-world solar-powered flight in
2015, according to the report. That flight will take 20 days and 20 nights, in a new second-generation aircraft now under construction.
Solar Impulse flew about 1,500 miles from Switzerland to Morocco in June, and in 2011 the aircraft
visited the Paris Air Show. Sunday's 60 Minutes report, hosted by correspondent Bob Simon, stumbled over
aviation minutiae in the opening remarks. As all AVweb readers surely know, Charles Lindbergh was not "the first to fly over the Atlantic." Many also would dispute the statement that "the
Wright brothers [were] the first men to fly," since that overlooks more than 100 years of lighter-than-air flights.
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The Department of Transportation's OIG says contract towers are cheaper and have fewer safety-related complaints than do FAA towers. But it admits the FAA lacks the oversight to review billed
hours and FAA towers have voluntary safety reporting systems while contact towers don't. In other words, OIG's survey is less than confidence-inspiring. Further, it speaks little about customer
satisfaction and complaint resolution. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says we ought to be skeptical of DOT's claims.
A wise guy, who never flew, once said it's easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. Phooey! Life aloft is smoother with pre-planning, so discover how carefree flight becomes when you ace
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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.
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AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" can be found at Guntersville Municipal Airport (8A1) in Guntersville, Alabama. Reader
Alberto Silva shared all the details of his unscheduled stop in this compelling testimonial:
I was flying a Grumman Yankee with all of its 22 gallons of gas from Indiana to Florida. As I was going south, Hurricane Sandy was heading north, so I knew that I wanted to head south ASAP. I
started going southwest to miss the low ceilings in the mountains. About 120 miles west of my most direct route, I decided that the mountains were low enough that I could cross them with enough
clearance. However, as these things go, I was running out of daylight, and ceilings started to come down. In the interest of self-preservation, I decided to turn around to the last airport that I
This airport turned out to be 8A1 in Guntersville, Alabama. Although the airport looked like your typical sleepy county airport, I soon learned that Guntersville is a very popular fishing spot and
a good all-around place to have fun. As soon as I landed, and before I talked to the line person, he called the manager to let him know that someone had landed and probably needed a room for the
night. A few minutes after I made it to the FBO, the airport manager and his wife appeared. He was already off duty but came back because he knew I would need help. He told me that there was a room
for me at the Best Western and that the crew car was not available because four other guys had arrived about an hour earlier and they had it. However, they were staying at the same hotel and I could
probably talk to them for a ride in the morning. He gave me a name and a phone number to call and took me to the hotel.
As the hotel was already waiting for me, I promptly checked in and called the other guys. You see, there was some kind of fishing tournament in town and getting a room was not a trivial matter.
The airport manager obviously knew the hotel employees and "reserved" me a room at least until I got there. I had dinner with the other four guys and took a ride to the airport the next day,
fueled up, and took off again.
This story is not about a well-recognized FBO with excess resources. It is a story of a small county airport with modest FBO facilities and people who really care. The airport manager did not
have to arrange for accommodations for me, but he did. He did not have to leave whatever he was doing with his family to pick me up, but he did. He obviously cares about his customers, even if they
are just there for one night, and his actions showed it. I doubt that this customer service is part of his job description with the county. This was, by far, the best treatment I have received at
any FBO in my travels.
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.
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