AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 19, Number 26c

June 28, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Today's Exclusive AVweb Feature back to top 
 

Increasingly, You're Being Watched -- Why That's Good

The NTSB's recent release of a final report regarding the fatal November 13, 2011, crash of a Cirrus SR-22T shed light on a flight noteworthy for its aerobatics; it also invites speculation regarding the potentially untapped value of recorded flight data in general aviation.

Both Avidyne and Garmin produce avionics (the Entegra and G1000, for example) capable of recording tens of different flight parameters that the entire aviation community -- let alone individual pilots -- may not be using to full advantage. In the case of the Cirrus crash, data stored in a remote (tail mounted) data storage unit supplied sufficient information to not only reconstruct the aircraft's activities immediately prior to the crash, but also for several days before. One man in particular, outside of the NTSB, made unique use of that data. And hopes to play a part in the charge for the release of more data in other crashes. His name is Rick Beach and what he hopes for would help us all.

Particular to the November 13, crash, the aircraft, a rental, recorded information from its Avidyne and other systems to a recoverable data module (RDM). Beach told us the folks who make the RDM for Cirrus are a company called Heads Up Technologies. The company makes a "single chip processor capable of addressing large flash memory arrays" that is contained in an "armored housing" and mounted somewhere in the aircraft that isn't likely to hit the ground first or be consumed by a post-crash fire. Usually, that means the vertical tail. On a normal day, the data can be downloaded via a standard USB cable. In the case of a crash, the NTSB can of course access data in several other ways that don't involve the standard USB plug. In this case, they recovered very telling information.

Recovered data led the NTSB to determine that the crash was the result of a roll attempted at low altitude. The NTSB used the information to describe the moments leading up to the crash and also its recent flight history, which involved aerobatic maneuvers while the aircraft was in the care of the same pilot. The agency made some of the accident aircraft's recorded data publicly available, and that's where Beach comes in. Beach mined it. He took the data points and created a virtual presentation (a video created in a flight simulation program) of the event -- something he's done for roughly 15 other accidents. He then took that video and posted it to Youtube as well as Cirrus-related forums. But it's the "why" that makes all the difference.

Click here to read the full article.

 
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AVweb Classic Analysis back to top 
 

Probable Cause: Stick To The Procedure

Instrument currency is more than simply controlling the aircraft in the clouds. Currency also means making the right decisions when weather goes sour.

Click here to read the full article.

 
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AVweb Audio — Are You Listening? back to top 
 

Podcast: Balloons Across the Atlantic

File Size 6.5 MB / Running Time 7:03

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Pilot Jonathan Trappe, who has crossed the English Channel flying his unusual cluster of small helium balloons, now is in Maine waiting for the right weather to launch across the sea. Trappe spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady about how he is preparing for the flight, what challenges he expects, and how you can track his progress after launch.

Click here to listen. (6.5 MB, 7:03)

 
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You Refurbish It, We Show It Off back to top 
 

Refurb of the Month: Chris Cook's Restored Decathlon

Mid-1970s Decathlons are good buys on the used market. They're fun to fly and affordable to own. And if you fancy some gentleman's aerobatics, so much the better. Chis Cook has been working on restoring a 1977 8KCAB and here's his report.

The restoration originally started in July 2009 when the aircraft was owned by myself and two other partners, Tony and Alex Darby.  We originally were just taking off the wings as an owner assisted repair for the American Champion wooden wing spar AD to inspect some loose nails and our plans were to simply recover the wings after the inspection and put them back on. With the help of some friends  we took the wings off and then Tony, Alex and I started working on the wing repair with the assistance of a local A&P.

 

We were able to complete the AD with the help of the local A&P but the process of recovering the wings was more than the time we had available and the project dragged on for about a year until I finally I wanted to get it done professionally.  At that point my two partners Alex and Tony Darby wouldn't agree to getting the wings finished by paying someone so I purchased their share of the aircraft in 2010.  After that, I took it to 92nd West Aviation in Lonoke, AR where Don Adamson has since taken on the project.  We decided once it got there that the rest of the aircraft needed to be recovered to do it properly and the project turned into a ground-up restoration.

 

The project is nearly completed, and although it started as a two- to three-month month wing inspection AD and turned into a four-year project, I'm really happy with the work that Don Adamson has done.

 
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:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

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