AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 19, Number 8a

February 18, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Lycoming || Factory-Rebuilt: The 
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AVflash! Money Matters back to top 

Funding Pulled For Spitfire Dig

The English farmer who claims there are more than 100 Spitfires buried in Burma vows to continue his search for the aircraft even though his financial backer has pulled out. David Cundall says the reason the six-week effort to find some of the Second World War aircraft has failed is that the government won't allow him to dig in the right place. He said it now seems the aircraft, which eyewitnesses have told him were packed in grease paper and enclosed in crates, may be near or even under a runway at Rangoon's international airport. The airport used to be RAF base Mingaladon. "The authorities will not give us permission to dig because of the risk of undermining the active runway," he said in an email to AVweb. He declined to be interviewed. Cundall says he has heard from eyewitnesses who said they saw large crates being buried at other locations and Cundall wants to dig there. "Getting permission will take months," he said.

Last week the Belarussian video gaming company Wargaming.net announced it was withdrawing financing for the project because it became convinced the buried Spitfires were a myth. "No one would have been more delighted than our team had we found Spitfires," said Wargaming.net spokesman Tracy Spaight. "We knew the risks going in, as our team had spent many weeks in the archives and had not found any evidence to support the claim of buried Spitfires." Magnetic anomalies turned out to be pieces of war-era metal runway and the gaming company's study of RAF records indicated the surviving Spitfires that were brought to Mingaladon were sent back to England after the war. Cundall says he's undeterred. "I want to come back when we have permission to dig at the other site," he said.

Langley Air Show Cut For Budget Concerns

The Air Power Over Hampton Roads airshow and open house held at Langley Air Force Base, Va., has been cancelled due to "threat of operating under a continuing resolution and a potential sequestration," the Air Force announced Friday. The event was scheduled for May 3-5 and may be among numerous other military airshows cancelled. No future dates have been set for the Langley event. Sequestration in lieu of other U.S. government action on budgetary issues could remove substantial funding from the military and may halt future performances by military demonstration teams like the Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds.

Col. Korvin Auch, 633rd Air Base Wing Commander, told reporters the Air Force must consider "fiscal challenges" affecting the nation and is "taking prudent steps now in order to be good stewards of taxpayer resources while focusing on maintaining readiness." NAS Oceana officials say no final decisions have been made regarding performances by the Blue Angels scheduled for the third and fourth quarter, local news station wavy.com reported. But officials said on Feb. 12 that the Navy has plans to cancel 30 Blue Angels shows this year if sequestration cuts are allowed to take effect, March 1. Multiple congressmen have suggested they would back grounding the Blue Angels as part of the cuts. "In order to do what this country needs to do, we can no longer afford to do the things we like to do," Rep. Jeff Miller told Floridatoday.com. Miller represents Florida's 1st district and includes an image of the Blue Angles on his congressional web page. He is also a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

What He Didn't Know About His Life
Insurance Cost His Family $500,000

Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
Tomorrow's Technologies back to top 

App-Makers Appeal To President, FAA

Thirteen companies, claiming to be "part of the solution" to flight services, modernization and pilot training, have signed a letter to President Obama, the FAA and Congress, arguing that the FAA's "cost recovery" pursuits threaten entrepreneurship. At issue is the FAA's stated intent to impose a per person user fee on digital products created by private companies and produced from content originated at the FAA. The FAA claims the new digital products have driven consumers away from its own products, resulting in a $5.3 million shortfall it now seeks to recover. Among the letter's signatories are the founders of ForeFlight, FlightAware, WingX, and SkyVector as well as the chairman of RedBird Flight Simulations and the CEO of Avidyne.

Find the full content of the letter here (PDF).

Aerion Supersonic Laminar Flow Testing

Aerodynamic testing organized by Aerion Corporation in conjunction with NASA began Jan. 31, and may contribute to the design for the "world's first supersonic business jet," Aerion announced Thursday. Aerion is working with NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on the project. It seeks "to measure the real-world robustness of supersonic natural laminar flow," which the company sees as "vital" to its design. Aerion has enlisted a NASA F-15B to carry its phase-two test article at speeds up to Mach 2.0. The tests are expected to continue well into March.

Aerion says the test article, slung in a centerline position on the belly of the F-15, has been engineered with consideration for the aerodynamic influences of its host jet. As a result the "40-inch vertical span by 80-inch chord phase two test article" is not an exact scaled physical representation of the concept vehicle's wing. However, Aerion says it is "sufficiently representative" for its purpose "to evaluate the effect of surface imperfections on the stability of supersonic boundary layers." The company says data collected during these tests will include temperature readings and "flow angularity." The company will use the results will help determine the standards for surface quality and assembly tolerances with regard to a full-size future-production supersonic business jet.  

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Visit ForeFlight.com to learn more and upgrade.
Aviation Safety back to top 

Off-Airport Landing Video Captures Attention

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The cellphone videographer who kept the camera rolling as he and four others, including his seven-month-old baby, made a rough off-airport landing in Utah Feb. 2 has defended the pilot's choice of a field covered in two feet of snow instead of a straight stretch of interstate highway. The video, which records what inevitably happens when the long main gear legs of a Cessna 175 dig into that much snow, has attracted more than 500,000 YouTube views and been featured on dozens of news channels. Happily, the videographer, Jonathan Fielding, his wife, child, mother-in-law and the pilot, a family friend, suffered only minor scrapes and a bit of whiplash in the incident. In a lengthy post with the video, Fielding said the Interstate, which can be clearly seen at various points in the video, was too busy and had too many power lines across it to risk a landing after suspected carburetor icing caused the engine to lose power. "Had he tried I'm confident that a collision would've occurred and this story could easily have ended in a fatality," Fielding wrote. "The pilot made the best landing given the circumstances." The nose gear sheared off and the plane flipped, coming to rest less than 100 feet from the point of impact. The occupants were picked up by a family that was snowmobiling nearby. While Fielding and his family have been most gracious in their reaction to the incident, the pilot's insurance company is less so, according to Fielding.

Fielding said the pilot had neglected to renew the aircraft insurance and it had expired at midnight the day before. "The insurance company will not honor any kind of grace period and will do nothing for him, so now he's lost a $40,000 plane in a matter of 13 hours," Fielding wrote. "He is still happy and cheerful despite his loss."

Airbus Rejects Lithium Ion Batteries

Airbus says it has abandoned lithium ion batteries for its new A350 airliner and it's because of all the problems rival Boeing is experiencing with its 787. "Airbus considers this to be the most appropriate way forward in the interest of program execution and A350 XWB reliability," spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said. The flight test program will continue with lithium ion batteries but production models will all have the heavier, less energy-dense nickel cadmium batteries.

The company said it had a different design for the lithium ion batteries it intended to use and it believed its setup was less prone to the types of problems experienced by Boeing, but the questions raised by the ongoing investigation into the 787 sealed the deal for Airbus and prompted it to drop the technology "to optimize program certainty," Greczyn said. Meanwhile, Boeing is expected to propose a short-term fix designed to get its flagship airliner back in the air as early as this week. The Band-Aid solution would involve beefing up defenses against an in-flight fire with a titanium box and a high-pressure gas evacuation system. The FAA is reportedly cool to the idea.

'The Aviators' Season 3 || The Biggest Aviation Show on the Planet - Now on PBS, 
iTunes, and Hulu
The Biggest Aviation Show on the Planet ... Is Back!
The award-winning hit TV series The Aviators is back for an all-new third season showcasing everything from the F-22 and DC-3 to LSA and balloons. We take you dogfighting in the Nevada desert, flying with the USAF Thunderbirds, and look on as Mötley Crue frontman Vince Neil learns to fly. Join our 10 million weekly US viewers and countless more worldwide.

Watch The Aviators on PBS, iTunes, Amazon, and Hulu.
Mergers and Acquisitions and Reactions back to top 

World's Largest Airline, American

When American Airlines and US Airways approved a merger deal it created the possibility of an airline with more than 1,500 aircraft in its fleet and 600 more on order, governed by a board that includes representatives from both airlines and American's creditors. The new carrier would serve 336 destinations in 56 countries through 6,700 flights. It would operate as the world's largest airline. The new entity would be valued at roughly $11 billion, according to Reuters, and would reportedly support 113,000 workers. It would leave the U.S. with a total of three full-service international airlines, according to Air Transport World.

Five years ago, the U.S. had six full-service international airlines. The figure has so far been eroded by mergers that absorbed Continental, which merged with United, and Northwest Airlines, which merged with Delta. National carriers Southwest and AirTran also merged. If approved, implementation of the deal and integration of the carriers is expected to take up to two years. Some analysts predict that fewer options will lead to fewer low-cost seats. Morningstar analyst Basili Alukos told Reuters he expects prices to rise in the wake of the merger and flights to concentrate more on major hubs to the detriment of smaller cities. The deal would see American emerge from Chapter 11 as part of the combined new carrier that would take its name, American Airlines. The merger is still contingent on approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court and the Department of Justice.

AVweb Insider Blog: Airline Mergers -- Why Bother?

If they had a history of offering customers more choices and more competition and even helping the airline companies themselves, we would say, "Why not?" But the coming merger between American Airlines and US Airways promises little of that, according to Purdue University's Airline Quality Rating project. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli looks at some of AQR's numbers and agrees with the organization's view that this merger will be a fiasco, at best.

Read more and join the conversation.

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Kitplanes Welcomes New Editor back to top 

RV Builder New Editor At 'Kitplanes'

The new Editor-in-Chief of AVweb's sister publication, Kitplanes magazine, says he intends to build on the magazine's long history of home-built know-how and adapt it to an evolving market. Paul Dye began tinkering with airplanes when he was 13 and has finished two RV projects, one of which he built with his wife, Louise. He also tracked down and restored the aircraft that Van's founder Dick VanGrunsven used as the proof of concept for the first RV kits. It's now in the EAA Museum in Oshkosh. "I want Kitplanes magazine to be the place where people go to for building advice and flying advice," Dye said in a podcast interview. "Both are equally important." He noted a large percentage of homebuilt owners did not build the planes they fly and many have never bucked a rivet. He said they need advice on care and maintenance of their aircraft. Dye took over from Mary Bernard on Feb. 15. He comes to Kitplanes after a long and distinguished career with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Dye worked on every Space Shuttle mission and was the longest-serving flight director in NASA's history. He served as flight director on 39 shuttle missions and lead flight director on nine of those. Before that, he was a flight controller on the earlier missions. His last position at NASA was as a flight director of the International Space Station. In addition to building and flying airplanes (he has a commercial certificate) he enjoys outdoor pursuits like mountaineering and caving and watersports like diving, power boating and sailing. He and his wife live in Friendswood, Texas.

Podcast: Down to Earth at 'Kitplanes'

File Size 6.8 MB / Running Time 7:25

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Paul Dye is the new editor-in-chief at Kitplanes magazine, AVweb's sister publication. Dye is an accomplished pilot and builder, and he comes to us from NASA, where the hardware he oversaw was a touch more complex. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with him from his home near Houston.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation.

Click here to listen. (6.8 MB, 7:25)

iSpO2 from Masimo || Track and Trend 
Your Blood Oxygen & Pulse Rate
Masimo Introduces a Pulse Oximeter for
iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

From the leader in hospital pulse oximetry comes the world's first pulse oximeter for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that measures during movement and low blood flow to the finger. The iSpO2 allows you to noninvasively track and trend blood oxygenation (SpO2), pulse rate, and perfusion index – for sports and aviation use.* Click here for more information.

* Not intended for medical use.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Saugeen Municipal Airport (CYHS, Hanover, ON)

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

Our "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Saugeen Municipal Airport (CYHS) in Hanover, Ontario (Canada).

AVweb reader Philip Englishman's been treated well there and has high praise for the airport FBO:

Saugeen Municipal is a great gateway to Canada with customs available with your Canpass. The superb restaurant is open Thursday to Sunday and is famous for its breakfasts and lunches. The best part about this airport is the inhabitants on site, who will be more than happy to show you what they are constructing and flying. Over 400 pilots visit here for one day annualy to take part in the Rust Remover safety seminars to get ready for the flying season. So come north to enjoy the hospitality, great Bruce Peninsula scenery, and great flying adventures beyond the U.S. border.

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

Video: Audio Authority's Flexible Power Unit

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

More owners and pilots would probably invest in ground power units for starting and running avionics in the hangar if the things were just more flexible. One that is comes from Audio Authority, which, besides being a GPU, also doubles as a battery tender. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano gives us the lowdown on this versatile unit.

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Video: Yves Rossy's Jetman School (Without the Jets)

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

A video released Feb. 8, 2013, by Jetman Yves Rossy suggests the skydiving innovator may be on the verge of marketing an unpowered version of his strapped-on wing and opening a school to teach people how to fly it. Rossy has piloted another version of the wing with four micro-turbines attached to its underside delivering power. He has flown that version across the English Channel and a section of the Grand Canyon. Rossy describes the unpowered version by saying it can achieve a "glide angle" of 4.5. English is not Rossy's first language and a glide angle of 4.5 would translate to a glide ratio of roughly 13:1 -- substantially better than a Cessna 172. It's possible that Rossy's use of the term instead indicates the wing's glide ratio. Rossy says he's flown his gliding wing in excess of 150 mph, he has demonstrated aerobatics while flying it and believes there is much more potential for his unique brand of flight. Rossy is meticulous in his flight preparations, studying terrain, angles of flight and walking portions of the route when able. It is not yet known if his apparently proposed school will train the same pre-flight planning.

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Aviation Safety || The Journal of Risk Management and Accident 
Prevention || Subscribe Now and Receive a Bonus Gift!
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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.

AVweb's Refurbished Airplane of the Month

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 information.

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

My neighbor spent most of his career as an airline pilot, but he also did one stint during a furlough in the early 1980s as a controller at Van Nuys. He swears the following is true.

One day, my friend, who we'll call Bob (since that's his name), was reading a clearance to an an aircraft as an MU-2 (high-wing twin) was landing.

The other controller prodded Bob and said, "Look at this." The MU-2 had landed but was having trouble taxiing, despite applying plenty of power.

"I think our brakes have locked up," radioed one of the crew. "Can you look us over and tell us if you see anything?"

"Do you want to tell them or should I?" asked the other controller.

"You tell them," replied Bob, grabbing a pair of binoculars. "I want to see their faces when you tell them that the gear is up."

Art Friedman
via e-mail

Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke.

Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story.

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.