AVwebFlash - Volume 19, Number 23b

June 6, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Close Call with Drone back to top 

Video Shows Drone, Airliner Near-Collision

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It was 2004 when a small Luna reconnaissance drone almost collided with an Ariana Airbus A300 over Kabul, but the video was posted online this week by Der Spiegel and is adding fuel to a debate over the use of unmanned aircraft in Europe's airspace. About 100 passengers were on board the A300. According to Der Spiegel, the video from the drone was classified as "secret" in an accident investigation report, but the clip has been posted online for several years. The 88-pound drone hit the wake turbulence from the Airbus, crashed, and was never recovered, according to Der Spiegel.

Spokesmen for EMT, the company that manufactures the Luna drone, told Der Spiegel the Airbus had flown into restricted airspace where the drone was operating. Officials in Germany have been coping with controversy in recent weeks over the planned purchase of a Euro Hawk drone from Northrop Grumman. Officials reportedly invested hundreds of millions of Euros in the technology, which doesn't meet the collision-avoidance standards required to operate in European Union airspace.

EAA AirVenture || July 29 - August 4, 2013
EAA AirVenture 2013: You Gotta Be There!
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Looking Ahead back to top 

Van's Delivers First Factory-Built RV-12

Van's Aircraft has delivered its first ready-to-fly aircraft and it seems like there will be a lot more to follow. George Longino took possession of his Signature Series RV-12 S-LSA at Van's Aurora, Ore., manufacturing plant on May 31. He flew it back to his home near Dallas with a transition training pilot. Van's did a production test run of 12 RV-12s and they were all spoken for within hours of the announcement, but there will be one available to Sporty's customers.

Sporty's bought one of the positions and is offering the aircraft as its Sweepstakes airplane in 2014. The drawing will be held next May 17. The Signature series aircraft is a fully tricked out model featuring two-axis autopilot, Dynon Skyview with ADS-B and custom interior. The test run is nearing completion and deliveries will continue through the summer. Van's will evaluate the program in the meantime and decide whether to enter the ready-built market for the long term. Recent AVweb coverage of the RV-12 program is here.

Solar Impulse Lands In St. Louis

A month after its departure from San Francisco, Solar Impulse on Tuesday landed in St. Louis, marking the fourth stop on its six-stop flight across the U.S. The unique solar-powered airplane previously landed in Phoenix and Dallas, and plans to stop next in Washington, D.C., and New York. The latest leg of the trip, with Bertrand Piccard at the controls, lasted 21 hours and 21 minutes and covered 562 nautical miles. The advance crew for the first time used an inflatable hangar that was designed for the project's planned 2015 round-the-world flight, after the planned hangar space in St. Louis was damaged by storms over the weekend.

The aircraft made an average groundspeed of 26.3 knots on its latest leg, and flew as high as 24,000 feet. The public can register online to visit the aircraft at the Lambert-St. Louis airport during open hours on Thursday and Friday. Solar Impulse is expected to fly to Washington in mid-June. The Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Va., near Dulles airport, hopes to host Solar Impulse and about 50 other aircraft for a special exhibit on Become A Pilot Day on June 15. The aircraft is expected to land at JFK airport in New York in early July.

Gulfstream Hiring In Wisconsin

Robust demand for Gulfstream's new ultra-large-cabin G650 jet is driving a hiring surge in the company's Greenville, Wis., plant, which has added about 60 new jobs so far this year and plans to fill 30 to 40 more positions in the next few months. General manager Gregory Laabs told the Appleton Post-Crescent the company has more than 200 orders for the G650, which will keep the work force busy at least until 2017. The job openings are "across the board from design work to engineering," Laabs said. "And we also have positions for cabinet finishing and some sheet metal posts. There are many good jobs still available." The $58 million G650 started deliveries in December.

The G650, with a top cruise speed of Mach 0.925, is the fastest certified civilian aircraft in production, a place it wrested from Cessna's Citation X. Cessna, however, plans to re-take that title with the upgraded Citation X, which will max out at Mach 0.935. Deliveries of the X are expected to begin later this year.

Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. at the 2013 Golden West Fly-In
Visit Aircraft Spruce at the 2013 Golden West Regional Fly-In
Visit the Aircraft Spruce exhibit in Marysville, CA in booth #A-8 from 9:00am to 5:00pm on June 7 & 8 and 9:00am to 4:00pm on June 9. Take advantage of some of your favorite products on sale, exclusive show promotions, complimentary UPS ground shipping on most orders, and Aircraft Spruce's helpful staff to answer your questions. For more information, please call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
Flying for the Future back to top 

Think Global Flight Ramps Up Support

The Think Global Flight Initiative has received funding from the Wolf Aviation Fund as it gears up for a circumnavigation flight in support of a global effort to increase student interest in the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects in school. Flight organizers have already involved 10,000 students in 10 countries (including 25 states in the U.S.) with projects to help with flight planning, navigation and logistics of the flight. Donors who want to be involved can buy a "Skyway" that will fund fuel for the flight. Judy Rice will be the pilot and she will be accompanied by navigator and relief pilot Fred Nauer. Rice said in an interview with AVweb the goal is to inspire and enthuse students all over the world in the "hard" subjects.

The flight's Cirrus SR22 will launch from Sun 'n Fun 2014 and head west. Rice will fly alone from California to Hawaii for weight considerations and then she and Nauer will hit dozens of stops from there. The duo will visit each of 25 "student command centers" that are now busy with projects related to the flight. Numerous aviation organizations and companies, including AVweb, are sponsoring the flight.

Podcast: Think Global Flight Counting Down

File Size 4.8 MB / Running Time 5:15

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

A circumnavigation flight that will launch from Sun 'n Fun 2014 is aiming to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to high school students. AVweb spoke with pilot and founder Judy Rice.

Click here to listen. (4.8 MB, 5:15)

XGPS170 GPS + ADS-B Receiver || From Dual Electronics
Weather Where You Want It the Most — In the Cockpit!
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AirVenture Controllers: Who Picks Up the Tab? back to top 

Senators Trying To Stop AirVenture Controller Fees

EAA is rallying the troops to encourage Senate action to block an FAA proposal to collect expenses for the controllers that staff AirVenture. In a bulletin to EAA members, EAA Chairman Jack Pelton urged members to contact their local representatives and ask them to sign a letter being circulated among senators (PDF) calling on the FAA to abandon the plan. But Pelton also said there was no time to waste since the letters were being collected for presentation to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta by close of business on Tuesday. EAA has set up a petition website.

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.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Question of the Week: Summer Flying Plans

Ah, June -- the beginning of summer and the inspiration for flying plans. What's your agenda?

What are your summer flying plans?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
Send your suggestions to .

NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments. (Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.)

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.

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Coming Soon to a(n AirVenture) Theater Near You back to top 

Disney 'Planes' To Fly This Summer

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A new animated film from Disney will bring the world of air racing to the masses this summer, when Planes hits theaters in August. The official opening, in 3D theaters across the country, is Aug. 9, but visitors to AirVenture can see a preview screening of the film on Friday, Aug. 2, in the EAA Fly-in Theater. A real cropduster, an Air Tractor AT-301, with a fresh paint job to transform it into "Dusty," the hero of the film, also will be featured at AirVenture all week. Disney says the design of Dusty was inspired by a combination of the Air Tractor 502 and the Dromader, built in Poland.

Some of the aircraft characters in the film were based on historic airplanes, including an F4U Corsair; others are based on a combination of real aircraft, and others are imaginary. The voice of Dusty is provided by comedian Dane Cook. Other voices include Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards -- both of whom starred in Top Gun -- plus Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Garrett, and Cedric the Entertainer. Director Klay Hall is a lifelong aviation enthusiast, whose father and grandfather both were pilots, according to a Disney fan site.

WingX Pro7 on the iPad || Take a Test Flight at HiltonSoftware.com
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Compatible with 10 of the industry-leading ADS-B in-flight weather and traffic receivers, WingX Pro7 gives you maximum flexibility and safety. Our latest release features our customizable split screen, advanced FlightShare™ technology for ease of flightplan sharing in the air, unique ChartTouch™ capability for quickly adding fixes and VORs to your route, and SmartTaxi™ for utmost safety at the airport. Give it a test flight Give it a test flight.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: FK's P-51 -- Innovation That Irritates?

At Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany this spring, FK Lightplanes showed off a terrifically detailed scale P-51 LSA. Resident blogger Paul Bertorelli wants one, but it has retractable gear, which U.S. LSA rules don't allow. So change the rules already.

Read more and join the conversation.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

Bagram Investigation Suggests Cargo Shift

Investigators in Afghanistan have discovered evidence that may support the widely held theory that shifting cargo caused the crash of a National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 in late April near the airfield at Bagram. The New York Times reported Monday that the heavy military vehicles hit the back of the aircraft so hard on takeoff that parts broke off the plane and were left on the runway. Cockpit voice recorder copied the pilot's last words as "Wait, wait," but there is also speculation that it was actually "Weight, weight," the pilot was saying. Investigators also found the charred remains of some cargo straps that were cut but there is no way to tell if they were the cause or an effect of the tragedy.

The crash killed seven Americans, six from Michigan and the other from Louisville. The aircraft had three armored trucks and two minesweeping vehicles weighing a total of 80 tons onboard. It was flying to the seaport at Dubai where they were to be offloaded onto ships. On May 17 the FAA issued a notice to civilian operators in the region reminding to make sure their cargoes were secure before takeoff.

Santa Monica Airport To Impose More Fees

Residents in the urban neighborhoods that surround busy Santa Monica Airport in southern California have complained about operations there for years, citing noise, air pollution, and the danger from plane crashes, and now the city has approved new landing fees that not only more than double the fees for transient flyers, but also now apply to airport tenants, including flight schools. "Our students will go from not paying for a landing to paying about $12 for each landing in a Cessna 172," said Jay Elder, executive vice president of the American Flyers flight school. The fee increase would add "hundreds of dollars" to each pilot's training, he said. Transient pilots will avoid the airport because of the fee, he added, reducing traffic at the school's pilot shop. If pilots don't visit the shop, they won't learn about instrument-training courses, "and it hurts the whole airport," Elder said.

About a half dozen flight schools operate from the airport. Activists and politicians from the nearby neighborhoods, in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, have said for years they'd like to see the airport closed down. The new landing fee of $5.48 per 1,000 pounds was approved by the Santa Monica City Council on April 30, and is due to take effect Aug. 1. AOPA said it is "strongly opposed" to the changes. AOPA is disputing the plan, and has asked the airport operators to produce more financial data to support their expressed need for more revenue.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?

Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

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

Video: Maverick Flying Car Crash

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

When a Maverick Flying Car crashed in Vernon, British Columbia in May of 2013, on-board cameras helped determine the causes of the accident. AVweb's Russ Niles assembled this report from the various media used in the investigation.

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Able Flight || Changing Lives Through the Power of Flight
Changing Lives with the Power of Aviation
Able Flight makes it possible for people with disabilities and wounded veterans to become pilots or have a career in aviation. We don't offer rides or introductory flights. We make pilots! With nearly 30 licensed pilots to date and more to come very soon, Able Flight is the only non-profit of its kind in the United States. Support the scholarship fund with your tax deductible donation at AbleFlight.org.
Worth a Look on AVweb.com back to top 

Brainteasers Quiz #184: What's in a Name?


A Cub by any other name would fly as sweet (although not as sweet as a Champ). But does calling a cloud a "ceiling" make it any less alluring? Tease out your aviation terminology by acing this quiz. (Includes a new reader survey.)

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

AVweb Insider Blog: FAA Customer Service -- Jekyll, Meet Hyde

As far as delightful customer experiences go, the FAA doesn't bubble to the top of the list. But on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli reports that he had one good experience with the FAA and one not so good one.

Read more and join the conversation.

Light Plane Maintenance || Practical Maintenance Advice for Mechanics and Pilots
40 Top Maintenance Tips at No Cost to You!
Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance now and receive these time- & money-saving tips! Find out how much money you can save on annuals and overhauls!

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Base Operations (Page Field Airport, Ft. Myers, FL)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Base Operations at Page Field Airport (KFMY) in Fort Myers.

AVweb reader Frank Ladd recommended the FBO:

I have been to this FBO many times in the past on our yearly jaunts to Sanibel Island. I have always had excellent service with Scott and Debra at the Page Airport. This year, they excelled themselves. Their line personnel are very accommodating and most helpful. We were delayed due to weather on May 1, but they still accommodated us and our four-hour late arrival. Fuel prices are very competitive, too. The line guys had my car waiting and were helpful in loading our luggage. This FBO will get my business again.

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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"The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Create It"

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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.