AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 19, Number 12c

March 22, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Guest Editorial: Jason Blair on Tower Closings back to top 

Wanted: A Methodical Means to Close Towers

As the government's budget sequestration gains steam, the FAA is expected to announce which control tower might close as a result, perhaps as early as today. Discussion on this topic has produced plenty of opinions, some valid and some best characterized as fear mongering, in my view.

Sequestration cuts will likely result in at least temporary tower closures. This isn't the doing of the FAA, but that doesn't necessarily mean the FAA is choosing which towers will close in a manner that best serves long-term aviation interests or safety. I am hopeful that any permanent closures will be evaluated using more thorough methodology. There actually is a formal process to do this.

I can't say that all control towers should stay open. In fact, I can personally think of a few where the level of enplanements, traffic volume, or the types of activity that once justified a tower changed long ago. These towers should probably go. But I also know that there are places where towers do a great deal to help pilots avoid accidents.

Click here to read the full article.

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NATCA Weighs In back to top 

Podcast: Life Without Contract Towers

File Size 8.0 MB / Running Time 8:47

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

The budget deadlock in Washington will affect aviation today, when the FAA is expected to release its list of contract towers that will be closed. Earlier in the week, AVweb's Mary Grady talked with NATCA representative John Bratcher to find out more about how long this might last and how it could affect GA operations.

Click here to listen. (8.0 MB, 8:47)

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More Tower Closing Coverage on AVweb.com back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: But Which Towers?

Communities and pilots alike have always accepted the notion that the federal government has a definite role in building aviation infrastructure. But does that apply to control towers and sleepy little fields that don't really need them? The FAA is about to answer that question. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli gives you a shot at offering your own opinion.

Read more and join the conversation.

Survey: Should the FAA Close Control Towers?

You tell us. We're publishing a reader survey seeking your opinions on whether and/or how the FAA should go about closing some airport control towers.

Click here to take the survey, which will require about five minutes.

You can also express your views by commenting on our blog post on the matter.

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From the Pages of IFR Refresher Magazine back to top 

Probable Cause: Stick To The Procedure

On Oct. 7, 2005, the pilot of an A36 Bonanza deviated significantly from the ILS Runway 27 approach procedure he was flying into the Pike County Airport (PBX) at Pikeville, Ky. The pilot lost control of the aircraft and crashed just south of Pikeville, killing all three people on board.

The flight began many hours earlier when the pilot contacted the Louisville, Ky., Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) just after noon (EDT), explaining his intention to fly to Pikeville from Paducah (PAH). Paducah is located in Western Kentucky along the Illinois River. Pikeville is 286 nautical miles to the east not far from the Virginia and West Virginia state lines.

The Bonanza pilot asked the AFSS specialist about "weather echoes" in the eastern portion of Kentucky. The specialist explained the returns as light rain over the central portion of the route and at the destination, part of a slow-moving cold front over Eastern Kentucky. The area forecast called for a broken ceiling at 700 feet, an overcast layer at 1,500 feet, four miles visibility in light rain and mist and a north wind at five knots.

Two previous automated weather reports from Pikeville showed a broken ceiling at 300 feet with three miles visibility and later 300-foot scattered with 10 miles visibility and calm winds.

Click here to read the full article.

You Refurbish It, We Show It Off back to top 

Refurb of the Month: Kitchener Aero's 208 Re-Do

click for larger images

For every "after" photo of an aircraft refurb, there's a "before" photo to match, and this time, we're showing just such a pair from Kitchener Aero Avionics, a well-known shop in Canada.

To be fair, the "before" panel isn't too shabby. With a Bendix/King HSI and a Garmin GNS530/430 pair in the stack, you could find your way around in the clouds without too much stress. But for a turboprop working airplane, the panel is somewhat dated.

Kitchener's upgrade package for the Caravan centers around an Aspen EFD-1000C3 PFD, along with Class B TAWS. The Aspen replaces the gyros that formally drove the KFC150/225 autopilot, making for a more reliable system that should require less maintenance. The Aspen units are now fully compatiable with older KFC-150 autopilots and well as newer KFC-225 systems.

Kitchener's Barry Aylward told AVweb that with the addition of Class B TAWs, the system is fully compliant with the enhanced altitude accuracy TAWs requirement by Transport Canada. You can find out more at KitchenerAero.com.

If you'd like to enter your airplane in AVweb's "Refurb of the Month," send us some photos and a short description of what you've done.

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

Video: Bad Elf's New GPS Module

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

Although tablets like the iPad have decent on-board GPS receivers, they aren't necessarily the most robust in hanging onto a position fix. As a result, a number of companies make portable remote GPS units that Bluetooth position fixes into the tablet. In this AVweb video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano reviews a new product from Bad Elf called the GPS Pro. Besides basic GPS, it also includes datalogging.

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Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to watch on YouTube

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

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