AVwebFlash - Volume 19, Number 24a

June 17, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Good Causes back to top 

Operation Migration Raises Funds For New Aircraft

Operation Migration says it's found a way to satisfy the FAA and whooping cranes to continue leading young birds on a migration from Wisconsin to Florida each fall. Two years ago, when a former pilot complained to the FAA about the nature of the flying in the operation (he claimed improperly licensed pilots were flying for hire in non-compliant aircraft), the FAA gave Operation Migration two years to meet new standards for the flying portion of the unique initiative. The FAA said the pilots, who are salaried employees, must have at least private pilot certificates and the aircraft have to meet at least SLSA standards. That's a considerable compromise from the normal standard that requires professional pilots to have commercial tickets and fly fully certified aircraft when they're on the clock. "Even though we're the regulators, we believe what they do is a good thing and we want to help them achieve their mission," FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory told The Associated Press. Washington State trike manufacturer North Wing has taken on the task of providing an aircraft that meets the requirements of the birds and the FAA. Operation Migration has turned to crowdsourcing to raise the $84,700 needed for three new SLSA-compliant trikes.

Operation Migration founder Joe Duff told AOPA the aircraft need to be able to fly safely on the ragged edge of a stall at times. Although whooping cranes can cruise at 38 mph, they don't always maintain that pace so the aircraft needs to be able to fly slow enough to allow them to catch up. Only a weight shift aircraft gives the pilot the precise control required to allow bird and machine to fly in formation. "That's something you can't do with a stick-and-rudder aircraft," Duff said. The next generation of migrating birds have hatched at a wildlife reserve in Maryland and will be sent to Wisconsin soon to mature.

Willow Run Preservation Campaign On

An ambitious campaign to save a unique part of aviation history is on in Michigan but just like the events that created the Willow Run bomber manufacturing plant, the volunteers trying to preserve it face a daunting challenge. The Ford-owned plant, which churned out B-24 Liberators at the astonishing rate of one an hour during the Second World War, was bought by GM in the 1950s and used to build transmissions until 2009. The trust created to manage GM's assets when it went bankrupt a has been trying to sell the defunct facility but the massive five million-square-foot building has to come down before anyone will buy it, they say. The Michigan Aerospace Foundation wants to preserve 175,000 square feet of the structure to house the new home of the Yankee Aircraft Museum but it needs to raise almost $5 million in six weeks to do it.

The GM trust has scheduled demolition to begin on Aug. 1. The preservation effort has secured $3 million in funding from the state of Michigan but initial fundraising has netted only about $100,000 of the remaining $5 million. The Smithsonian has agreed to donate the last of 8,700 B-24s built at the plant for display in the new museum. In addition to its important aviation heritage, the plant is widely regarded as the birthplace of modern manufacturing with its "just-in-time" inventory control and automated systems.

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Speak Up on Knowledge Test Changes back to top 

FAA Seeks Input On New Test Standards

If you have any opinions about the FAA's proposed revisions to the knowledge tests for private pilot and instrument rating, the FAA wants to hear them, but don't delay -- the comment period closes July 8. This is the second go-round after an initial comment period closed on May 24, just a few days after the FAA Safety Team sent out a notice about the planned revisions. The FAA says it got about 130 comments during that first period, and will be starting to review them now. To read the revised standards or to file comments, go to the federal docket and enter the code FAA-2013-0316. Documents with details about the proposed revisions can be found here. More information is posted in the Federal Register notice.

The revised tests will aim to align knowledge-test standards with the flight-proficiency standards set out in the existing practical test standards, and will incorporate risk management throughout, according to AOPA. "For too many, the knowledge test was often viewed only as a hurdle one needs to get over in order to get their certificate -- something to get out of the way," said David Oord, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs and co-chair of the industry/government working group that is developing the new standards. "By clearly laying out the knowledge a pilot needs to know with the skills they must have, and incorporating risk management throughout the standard, a pilot will have the foundation they need to fly safely. Everything from the beginning of training, through the written test, and ending with the practical test will be anchored to the standards."  

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Aviation Safety back to top 

Pilot Wants Others To Learn From Crash Video

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Last month, nearly 8,000-hour ATP certificated pilot Dale Hemman posted to YouTube multiple views of his 2012 engine-out controlled crash in a Bonanza at Fairbanks, Alaska and, Wednesday, the NTSB released its probable cause report, but questions remain. On the morning of July 26, 2012, Hemman was leading a flight of 12 aircraft on an aerial tour for a group called "Let's Fly Alaska." He was flying with one other occupant. Neither was significantly injured in the crash. His aircraft, a 1975 Beechcraft F33A Bonanza modified by D'Shannon Products with a 300-hp Continental IO-550, carried four video cameras -- all externally mounted. Each camera recorded a different angle of the events that transpired approximately 41 seconds after the plane began its takeoff roll. They show that while climbing at 400 feet AGL on departure with the gear up, the aircraft lost power. Hemman was faced with several options that included trees and an open field that sat just across a channel of water. It was, possibly, at the optimistic end of the aircraft's glide range. After an initial roll away from it, Hemman chose the field. It was roughly 90 degrees off his right wing.

Multiple camera angles that include partial views of the aircraft's elevator along with wind noise suggest Hemman used close to all available airspeed to cross the channel and reach the field. At least one of the cameras appears to break off of the airplane upon impact. Other cameras show the impact and damage suffered by the right wing as a result. The NTSB's factual report states that the cameras also captured the period of activity that included engine start. The pilot stated that he performed a preflight inspection that included taking fuel samples from the aircraft's sumps. According to the report the pilot reported that "start, taxi, and the before takeoff checks were all normal with no anomalies." The factual report also notes that the aircraft sat with the engine running for three minutes and 26 seconds after engine start. It then taxied to the hold short lines of runway 20L at Fairbanks where it sat for another 5 minutes and 30 seconds. The report states that "during this hold short period the audio did not record any sounds consistent with the accident airplane operating at higher RPM's." The aircraft's departure roll began less than 11 minutes after engine start. After the accident the NTSB ran the engine through a magneto check and conducted a series of throttle adjustments from idle to full power. "No hesitation in the engine operation" was noted.

The NTSB listed the probable cause of the accident as "the total loss of engine power for a reason that could not be determined because post accident examination and test run did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation." The cause of the power loss is listed as "Unknown/Not determined." Hemman has posted the video with comments that conclude, "I hope this video is instructive in some way."

Company Adopts A-4 Skyhawk Jet For Upset Training

An Arizona-based company announced Thursday that it is now offering pilots emergency upset training in a two-seat version of the famed A-4 Skyhawk attack fighter. Aviation Performance Solutions (APS) says its new program is designed to offer first-hand experience in real high-performance aerobatic-capable jet trainers. Their upset training course includes high-altitude stalls, high-mach conditions and "all-attitude upset prevention and recovery scenarios." According to the company, the course is designed for direct transfer of upset knowledge and skills to high performance operations flown at high altitude and it is serious about the training. Some pilots may question the applicability of transferable skills from an A-4 -- a former U.S. Navy Blue Angels selected design -- to their current aircraft. And APS offers an answer to that.

According to APS, research has identified loss of control in flight as the leading cause of crash-related fatalities in commercial aviation over a ten-year period ending with 2011. APS's president, Paul Ransbury, is a former airline pilot, military instructor pilot and four-time Master Certified Flight Instructor. The wing configuration of the A-4 may deliver different flight characteristics than those found in high-performance jet aircraft. Ransbury told AVweb Saturday that "Although the departure characteristics of the platforms my differ somewhat, it's important to clarify that the jet upset skills and strategies taught at APS are absolutely transferrable to business and commercial jet airplanes." Also, his company's programs offer a variety of platforms, from piston trainers to the A-4 and level D full flight simulators to suit different needs. He also believes the content of the instruction is as valuable as the platform. "The instructor is by far the most important component of the training equation," he says. Training sessions in the newly offered A-4 will cost pilots $7310, but lower introductory rates are currently available.

The Highway In The Sky for iPads
When all else fails, fly through these hoops to a safe runway.
Xavion is the point-to-point, full-time Highway In The Sky virtual cockpit app with 3-D guidance and 3-D synthetic vision. With your iPad and ADS-B/AHRS systems, you get an emergency back-up for your entire panel. If needed, Xavion's guidance hoops direct you to safe runways in best glide range. This Virtual co-pilot even warns if you exceed altitude limits or line up on short runways. Watch our demo for details.
Harbinger of the New Parts Market? back to top 

Printed Airplane Parts

China's AVIC Heavy Machinery has produced what it claims to be the world's largest titanium aircraft part critical to an aircraft's structure printed from a 3D printer -- and with massive cost savings. The part, displayed at the 16th China International High-tech Expo, fits a J-20 or J-31 stealth fighter. According to the company, the titanium alloy structural part costs $212,000 to produce through 3D laser direct manufacturing, versus $1.3 million through traditional methods. China's C919 passenger jet, which is expected to enter service in 2016, will incorporate a five meter-long titanium printed wing spar. The company also made bold claims about the potential benefits of printed parts in U.S. military aircraft.

The company also postulated that if titanium parts in American F-22 Raptors were built with printed (instead of forged) parts, they could see a weight savings of roughly 40 percent. It says that compared with conventional techniques, savings could reach 90 percent of materials and costs. Parts produced through the 3D printing process allow for more efficient component design optimized for both strength and weight savings, the company says. The process is not without its critics regarding the application of printed parts as structural components. Historically, forging is considered to produce a stronger part. AVIC's 3D printing technology can produce parts using titanium alloy and high-strength steel. It has been used to create parts in at least seven aircraft designs and those parts have served in load-bearing capacities. In the U.S., GE has started to develop manufacturing processes for jet engine fuel nozzles. The parts are expected to be 25 percent lighter and five times stronger than traditional parts. The nozzles are expected to appear in GE LEAP jet engines, which hold 19 nozzles each.

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More Options for Rentals back to top 

New Aircraft Rental Service Launched

There's a new way to rent an airplane at six airports across the U.S. and the founders of OpenAirplane hope it will modernize and rationalize the way people rent aircraft. The online service puts renters and aircraft owners together with an eBay twist. "Both pilots and operators contribute to a reputation system, creating first of its kind transparency for the community," said OpenAirplane spokesman Rod Rakic. OpenAirplane launched today with affiliates in New York, L.A., Chicago, San Jose, Kissimmee and Detroit and almost 6,000 pilots have registered even though the service has been in a beta mode until today. Rentals can be arranged through almost any kind of Web device and it's open to anyone with an FAA pilot certificate from Sport Pilot to ATP and it's free for pilots and the aircraft providers to join.

To start, the service is offering a range of single-engine aircraft from its affiliates but Rakic said as more aircraft providers come aboard there will be more options. OpenAirplane makes its money by taking a small cut of the rental fee. "The value proposition of private aviation is broken. It's time that we all work together to fix it," said Rakic. "Pilots want more utility, and the industry demands more safety. By offering a better user experience, we can have a measurable impact on both."

iPads in the Cockpit — ForPilotsOnly
Find the most versatile kneeboards and mounts for your iPad and iPad mini at ForPilotsOnly.com. These patented designs are manufactured in the USA and solve the issues that face iPad pilots. The iPro Series kneeboards are the only iPad kneeboards that include a clipboard that can be opened and closed in flight without bumping the yoke. And the iPro Navigator mount protects your mini from direct sunlight. Find your ideal iPad solution now.
No Time to Learn? Think Again back to top 

Learn To Fly While Traveling

A Silicon Valley company is tackling head-on one of the most-cited impediments to flight training (the time it takes) with an innovative flight training program. Visionary Airlines will teach its customers to fly while they're on their way to destinations they select for business or pleasure trips. They'll get real-world training while getting to their destinations more quickly and efficiently. The concept is the brainchild of Michael Flint, a former business jet and Air Force pilot, who believes private aviation is the answer to many transportation issues. Flint has launched an Indiegogo campaign to launch Flight Training Adventures, which will be limited to regional flights around the San Francisco Bay area at first.

But Flint says he has big plans for the concept and sees it spreading across the country and making private aviation more accessible to people. He's also planning to launch charter operations in the belief that frustration with modern air travel will force some people to look for alternatives.

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Download Sennheiser's new magazine app for the iPad at no cost and dive right into a new and interactive way to experience the world of sound. In the aviation issue, the high art of aerobatics features alongside the high art of plane building from scrap heaps. Watch Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe take his first flying lessons and learn how veteran pilots pass the torch in schools. Also listen to our new "Live Your Dream" theme song by Joe.e.

In May, BlueStage is all about the sonic experience on wings. Download, swipe, and enjoy! Learn more.
Air Traffic Cash Concerns back to top 

EAA Agrees To Pay

Thursday, EAA finalized a one-time agreement with the FAA that will assure air traffic control services for the 2013 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in at a cost to EAA of nearly $450,000, but according to EAA Chairman Jack Pelton, "This isn't over." Pelton has described the FAA's position as "holding AirVenture and GA hostage this year." The FAA, acting under budgetary constraints created by the sequester, this year must cut more than $600 million from its budget, this fiscal year. It determined in May that the cost of supplying a full complement of 87 air traffic controllers and supervisors at AirVenture will be $447,000 and that cost is EAA's to fill. Under the deal signed by EAA, the FAA will accept partial payment prior to the event with the remainder to be paid after the show. In a statement released Thursday by EAA, the organization said, "EAA maintains that this equates to the imposition of GA user fees without Congressional approval." The organization is seeking a policy reversal from the FAA.

In response to EAA's concerns, 28 U.S. senators have signed a bipartisan letter that demands an immediate reversal of the FAA's position. According to Pelton, "AirVenture and other GA events are pawns in the larger sequestration political standoff." He is calling for the support of pilots, EAA members, and aviation enthusiasts "to counter the FAA's stated policy of expanding these financial demands on the nation's aviation events in future years." According to Pelton, the FAA's intransigence on the issue created a lose-lose scenario for EAA. It meant that the only remaining course of action would have been to cancel this year's AirVenture after exhibitors and vendors had already committed millions of dollars to he event. Although it has now signed an agreement with the FAA and controllers will be on hand, EAA has included a letter stating that it signed the contract "under protest." EAA will continue to seek other solutions.

AVweb Insider Blog: Is the FAA Gouging EAA?

Without an itemized invoice for air traffic services at AirVenture, how can we tell? If the FAA forces industry to pay for these services, we at least ought to have the courtesy of an invoice, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. The FAA gilds the lily on costs and shouldn't force private events to pay for that.

Read more and join the conversation.

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

Video: Diamond DA40 Tundra Edition

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

It turns out there's money in Russia, and people want to fly sophisticated airplanes into places where the runways suck or don't exist. Diamond has risen to the challenge with its DA40 Tundra edition. Paul Bertorelli recently had a flight demo in the airplane and prepared this video report.

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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.

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Got ADS-B? WingX Pro7 Has Your iPad Covered.
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 at hiltonsoftware.com/avweb.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Atlantic Aviation (KAUS, Austin, Texas)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Atlantic Aviation at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (KAUS) in Austin, Texas.

AVweb reader Diane Myers let us know about their outstanding service:

We always park at Atlantic in Austin. Large airport means more expensive fuel, but their service is outstanding. Two years ago, we needed maintenance on Sunday after Thanksgiving. They called out a mechanic. He was out of town but called his co-worker to drive out to the airport to fix our problem. Great service!

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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Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Our latest winning photo comes from Christopher DeSalvo of Marion, IA. Click here for the rest of this week's submissions.
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.
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].

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Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

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