AVwebFlash - Volume 19, Number 28a

July 8, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Aviation Safety back to top 
 

Asiana Pilot Called For Go-Around

A pilot aboard Asiana Flight 214 called for a go-around 1.5 seconds before the tail of the aircraft struck a seawall off the end of Runway 28L and San Francisco International Airport Saturday morning. At a news conference Sunday, NTSB Chairwoman Debra Hersman said the cockpit voice recorder also recorded a crew member calling for more speed seven seconds before the aircraft struck the seawall, tearing off the tail and resulting in the deaths of two passengers. She also said preliminary flight data recorder information showed the aircraft was hanging on the stall before it smacked the concrete and rotated laterally almost 180 degrees before coming to rest on the grass beside the runway. Also, CNN has obtained amateur video of the crash sequence. Meanwhile, airport officials have confirmed the glideslope of the ILS system for Runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport wasn't working at the time of the crash. That means the Boeing 777's autoland system would not have been available to the crew and they would have had only localizer guidance to the runway. Visibility was unlimited and winds were light when the 777 touched down about 1,000 feet before the normal landing point, leaving its horizontal and vertical stabilizers on the threshold before careening off the runway. Two 16-year-old Chinese girls were killed and more than 180 others were hurt, about 50 of them seriously.

A NOTAM issued in June advises the glideslope will be unavailable until Aug. 23. A pilot familiar with SFO (whose name we agreed not to publish) said the inoperative equipment has challenged many pilots who have grown accustomed to the electronics flying the approach, regardless of the weather. "It can be exciting for an airline crew to have to fly a LOC approach with step downs and everything, after not having done anything but ILSes for the last gazillion approaches," he said.

777 Landing Accident At SFO (Updated)

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The CEO of Asiana Airlines has ruled out technical issues with the aircraft involved in Saturday's landing accident in San Francisco. "For now, we acknowledge that there were no problems caused by the 777-200 plane or (its) engines," Yoon Young-doo said at a news conference in Seoul Sunday. Yoon would not be drawn into blaming the pilots aboard the aircraft, which included three experienced captains. Two people died and about 180 were injured, some seriously, in the first fatal crash of the 777. Although the aircraft was eventually heavily damaged by a post-crash fire, it appears the fire didn't take hold until after the more than 300 people aboard had gotten off the aircraft. A photo tweeted by passenger David Eun moments after the crash showed passengers walking away from the aircraft and taking cellphone photos. "I just crash landed at SFO," wrote Eun in the tweet. "Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I'm ok. Surreal..." According to USA Today the aircraft hit a seawall that surrounds the airport and stopped about 2,500 feet north beside Runway 28L. All of the 307 aboard have now been accounted for. The bodies of the two girls were found outside the aircraft.

One witness quoted by The New York Times said on Twitter that the aircraft "came in at a bad angle, flipped, exploded." Television images show a debris field extending to the water's edge and there have been numerous reports that the aircraft's tail struck the ground. It then spun laterally before stopping in the infield between two runways, minus the tail and parts of the wings. Two of SFO's four runways reopened about four hours after the accident. A LiveATC recording that was apparently edited has been copied to YouTube. It begins with a pilot aboard the aircraft reporting a seven-mile final but the next audio appears to be an exchange between the aircraft and tower after the crash in which the controller assures the crew that the equipment is rolling.

AVweb Insider Blog: SFO Accident -- Shocking in Its Rarity

If Saturday's crash of an Asiana 777 was a shocker, it's only because major hull losses like this are so rare in the U.S. The scheduled airlines now have a fatal accident rate that's effectively zero, and this accident won't change that much.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
'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.
 

10 Dead In Alaska Otter Crash

Nine passengers and the pilot aboard a de Havilland Otter air taxi died when the aircraft reportedly crashed on takeoff at the airport in Sodotna, AK late Sunday morning. The aircraft burned before firefighters could reach it. The airplane reportedly belonged to Rediske Air, of Nikiski, AK and may have been an Otter converted to turboprop using a Honeywell engine.

The accident occurred about 11:20 a.m. local time and no names of the occupants have been been released. The NTSB is sending an investigation team to the scene. It's among the worst accidents in Alaska since the crash of a similar aircraft killed five people including former Sen. Ted Stevens in 2010.

 
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Your Blood Oxygen & Pulse Rate
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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.
 
Solar Impulse Arrival Not Quite as Planned back to top 
 

Damaged Solar Impulse Lands Early

In the end, one of the most photographed aircraft journeys in U.S. history will have one shot missing, but for the crew of Solar Impulse the mission to fly their solar-powered aircraft across the country has been accomplished. The fragile aircraft, which makes power on its solar-cell-covered wings and stores it in batteries, landed about 11 p.m. at JFK in New York on Saturday night with pilot Andre Borschberg at the controls. The landing came three hours early and before the iconic aircraft could take a victory lap over Manhattan and have its picture taken with the Statue of Liberty. An eight-foot tear in the fabric on the underside of the left wing prompted the crew to set down as soon as possible. The tear caused a minor balance issue but did not seriously threaten the flight. "It was supposed to be the shortest and easiest leg," Bertrand Piccard, who co-founded the project with Borschberg, said after the aircraft landed. "It was the most difficult one." And as pilots familiar with New York will attest, it wasn't just the tear, or fatigue, or weather that gave the flight trouble: It was getting a slot at JFK.

The crew had to negotiate with air traffic controllers to insert the ponderous airplane into the still-busy flow into New York's busiest field and some of the world's most crowded airspace. In fact, because of the damage, Solar Impulse needed more time than usual for this landing so Borschberg could minimize the stress on the wing by not using air brakes. It brought a new definition to the term low and slow. Borschberg had to hold off the coast of New Jersey while ATC sorted out traffic enough to allow him to land. One option considered was bailing out and parachuting into the ocean if the aircraft became seriously destabilized. The U.S. trip began May 3 at Moffett Field, near San Francisco, and included stops in Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Washington.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

Next Tech -- Ionic Thrusters?

Researchers at MIT have been experimenting with ionic thrusters and say their results show the technology may potentially provide a "far more efficient source of propulsion than conventional jet engines." In a news release posted in April, the university said Steven Barrett, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, and his research team have published a paper about their experiments, in which they found that "ionic wind" produces 110 newtons of thrust per kilowatt, compared with a jet engine's 2 newtons per kilowatt. "Ionic wind" is the colloquial term to describe the phenomenon known as electrohydrodynamic thrust, or a wind which is produced when a current passes between two electrodes -- one thinner than the other. If enough voltage is applied, the resulting wind can produce a thrust without the help of motors or fuel, according to MIT.

Barrett said he believes that ionic wind has the potential to be used as a propulsion system for small, lightweight aircraft. In addition to their relatively high efficiency, ionic thrusters are silent, and invisible in infrared, as they give off no heat -- ideal traits, he says, for a surveillance vehicle. "You could imagine all sorts of military or security benefits to having a silent propulsion system with no infrared signature," Barrett said. More details about the technology are posted in the MIT news release.

The Time Is Here For AirVenture Planning

Now that July has arrived, AirVenture is just a few weeks away, and EAA is promising a full agenda for the seven-day event. Terrafugia is bringing the latest prototype of its Transition flying car to Oshkosh for its first public airshow flight. The aircraft is scheduled to fly just before the night airshow on Wednesday, July 31, at 8 p.m. The 20-minute demo will feature conversion from driving to flying and back again, a flight demonstration, and a driving pass in front of the crowd. Another first at the show will be demo flights by "Jetman" Yves Rossy, with his unique jet-powered flying wing. Also new this year, the show will host an expanded Education & Interactive Zone with a College Park where companies and colleges can network with young people, and an expanded menu of WomenVenture events.

Teachers Day returns on Tuesday, July 30, offering free admission, free parking, and free lunch to all educators, plus a full slate of special events, including a visit with Patty Wagstaff. Thousands of aircraft will be on display, including the world's only flying example of a Fairey Gannet T5 and the only flying PV-2D Harpoon Lockheed PV-2. On Tuesday, July 30, Space Night will feature a talk by Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who became a YouTube hit with his "Space Oddity" music video filmed aboard the International Space Station. Pilots who are planning to fly in to the event can find a video webinar offering tips for both first-timers and repeat arrivals posted online. A copy of the official Notam is also posted at the same link. During the show, AVweb staffers will be posting daily news reports, podcasts, photos, and videos from the show grounds on our website, and sending daily news updates to subscribers.

 
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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 at hiltonsoftware.com/avweb.
 
AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 
 

Video: Safe Flight's Angle of Attack Indicators

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

Safe Flight Instrument Corporation is in the process of achieving FAA certification for their new angle of attack and speed control system for Part 23 aircraft. Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano flew with the system in Safe Flight's Beech Baron. This video features a tour and wring-out of the new system.

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Garmin Sport Aviation
Garmin G3X Systems Now Starting at $4,375
Now you have even more options when installing a Garmin G3X™. A new Garmin autopilot system brings robust capabilities to virtually any aircraft. An angle of attack pitot provides accurate, real-time measurement of wing performance to provide stall margin indication. And best of all, a new ADHARS unit and other essential system components means you can get a complete G3X system for a new low price starting at only $4,375. Learn more.
 
New on AVweb.com back to top 
 

Brainteasers Quiz #185: Know Before You Go

Brainteasers

Displaying sloppy stick-and-rudder skills or ignoring NOTAMs and FSDO inspectors lurking in the shadows can lead to unpleasant surprises. Paranoia aside, the savvy pilot thinks ahead, knows the rules, and doesn't break a sweat acing this quiz. (Includes a new reader survey.)

Take the quiz.

More Brainteasers

 
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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.

 
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

During the '80s, while with Mugu Approach, a controller asked an aircraft "to state position."

Pilot came back: "Fiscally conservative. Socially, somewhat liberal. Two miles west of Point Dume."


Greg Andrews
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:

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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