AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 12, Number 41b

October 12, 2006

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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New York Crash Aftermath

Details as of our deadline were still in flux, but it appears that two people, including Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, were killed when a Cirrus SR20 (Lidle, a private pilot since February, purchased the aircraft in June) crashed into a Manhattan apartment building near the East River yesterday at about 3 p.m. The fiery crash attracted intense media attention and eerily recalled the horrors of 9/11 as black smoke poured into the sky and fire blazed from the upper floors of the 50-story Belaire building. Late reports said an instructor in the airplane also died and up to 21 people, most of them firefighters, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. No residents of the building were hurt. AOPA warned last night that an editorial in today's USA Today will call for a ban of GA flying over large cities. A response from AOPA will run with the editorial. The response will say, in part, "Thousands of small aircraft fly safely over and near cities in the United States every day, just as cars and trucks drive on our highways and city streets.... The facts simply don't support USA Today's sweeping and harmful proposal." AOPA President Phil Boyer made similar points in network TV interviews during yesterday's media coverage of the crash.

A Sightseeing Flight

Clear day view, East River corridor at right

The pilots in the Cirrus had reportedly been on a sightseeing flight in the area. They had taken off from Teterboro Airport, six miles west of New York, in nearby New Jersey, just 23 minutes before the crash. Weather indicated a ceiling at 1500, with visibility 8 miles in drizzle. The airplane circled the Statue of Liberty then headed north up the East River. The VFR airspace beneath the Class B follows the river at 1100 feet and below, ending (dropping to the surface) north of the crash site. The VFR airspace in that area might be described as a box canyon with a roof. The corridor (and river) is roughly 2,000 feet wide, contains five bridges, Roosevelt Island, has tall buildings on both sides and often includes helicopter and sometimes seaplane traffic. Winds were reported ENE at 13, with gusts to 22. Witness reports suggest that the airplane had made a u-turn to the left from a northern heading. The aircraft hit the north face of the building, at about the 40th story, and broke apart. The Manhattan landscape one block north of the crash site includes two tall buildings to either side of the Belaire -- one closer to the river, one farther.

TFR In Place Above The Site

For now, a Temporary Flight Restriction is in place above the accident scene, extending up to and including 1,500 feet AGL, with a radius of 1 nm. Lidle had apparently bought the airplane this summer and had learned to fly in the last off-season. He talked to the New York Times last month about his passion for flight. His instructor Tyler Stanger, in Pomona, Calif., said he was an excellent student. "He learned very, very quickly, and a lot of it is desire. He had huge desire," Stanger told the Times. Lidle said he felt safe in the airplane. "If you're up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly," he said. The NTSB has dispatched a team to investigate the crash, they were due to arrive in New York last night.

PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.

Safety Board Increases GA Scrutiny

General aviation safety issues have been getting more attention lately from the NTSB, and that trend is going to continue, says the board's chairman, Mark Rosenker. "From my perspective, we need to continue to elevate GA safety in public and political eyes, while operating within increasingly tight budgets," Rosenker said at a meeting of safety investigators in Wichita, Kan., late last month. "We are doing this by realigning our priorities, conserving our efforts on accidents that have no safety payback, and ramping up efforts to highlight significant accidents and safety issues. We've already seen the fruits of this realignment over the past few months through an increase in the number of Special Investigation Reports, Safety Recommendations, and board meetings that address GA issues," he said. Rosenker said that over the last few years, the presence of NTSB investigators on-scene for fatal GA accident sites was in decline.

But the accident backlog has been reduced substantially, and he expects on-site investigations to increase over the coming years. Rosenker said he intends to hire 11 investigators if next year's budget is approved, and the majority of those would be assigned to aviation. The board's current staff of just 43 regional investigators is supplemented by 3,200 FAA inspectors. Rosenker has been acting chairman of the safety board since March 2005, and was officially sworn in this August. He'll serve as chairman until August 2008.

NTSB's Close Watch Over New Technologies

Jeff Guzzetti, the NTSB's deputy director for regional operations, told AVweb on Tuesday the board is keeping an eye on about a dozen different GA safety issues, many of them involving new technologies. He said the board will be "monitoring very closely" the introduction of very light jets (VLJs). "We'll be very attuned to the operational aspects. We're expecting to see a lot of propeller pilots moving into faster-moving aircraft, and that raises potential issues," he said. He added that the NTSB already has seen three serious accidents in flight testing with VLJ prototypes -- Sino-Swearingen, Spectrum, and Excel Jet -- and investigators have their "eyes and ears perked up" to watch for user-interface issues regarding the VLJs. If there are safety problems with new aircraft, those problems tend to appear early on, Guzzetti said, as the airplanes enter the market and get into the hands of real pilots in real situations. Glass cockpits and new technologies such as GPS systems are also being closely watched to catch any problems early on.

Aging Aircraft, Airbags, LSAs And More

Other GA areas of concern to the safety board, Guzzetti said, include aging aircraft, air-tour operations, unmanned aerial vehicles and flight into thunderstorms. He's also "very intrigued" with any accidents involving GA aircraft with airbags. "We'll be launching on every one of those, and collecting data," he said. The board wants to study the safety benefits, check to see if the airbags deploy or not and why, and watch for any unintended hazards. Aging aircraft are also a concern, with the average age of the GA fleet approaching 40 years. "These airplanes were never meant to fly this long," Guzzetti said. He doesn't foresee life limits being imposed anytime soon, but noted that the board recently sent two safety recommendations to the FAA regarding problems associated with aging GA aircraft -- cracking control yokes and corroding elevator parts. "The NTSB is very closely monitoring this," he said. As for light sport aircraft (LSA), they will also be getting a close look.

"Just as with VLJs, these are an emerging new technology," he said, and thus require extra scrutiny. NTSB investigators will be on scene for every crash of a special-LSA that results in death or serious injury. One area investigators will be watching is whether LSA manufacturers are complying with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) industry standards. "We investigated a fatal accident last year in which we found some non-compliance," Guzzetti said. "We want to be sure that the LSA industry complies with those standards." He added that preliminary figures for this year so far show a "substantial" decline in GA accidents -- down about 20 percent -- which he expects is related to a decrease in flying hours due to high fuel prices and maybe weather. The drop means investigators can be sent to a larger proportion of accidents, he said.

Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets
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Transponder Wasn't Faulty, Says Honeywell

As two American pilots continue to be held in Brazil -- not charged with any crime, but also not allowed to leave the country -- questions about the apparent midair collision between a Legacy 600 business jet and a Boeing 737 over the Amazon jungle on Sept. 29 remain unresolved. All 154 aboard the 737 were killed. Honeywell said on Sunday that the transponder aboard the Legacy jet was not subject to a recent airworthiness directive that outlined deficiencies in some models, according to The New York Times. Earlier, the charter service that owns the Legacy had said it believed the transponder was subject to the AD. The directive, which takes effect Oct. 17, noted that some Honeywell transponders can erroneously go into standby mode if the flight crew takes longer than five seconds to change the ATC code. That, states the AD, could "result in improper functioning of the traffic alert and collision avoidance system."

Moreover, a Honeywell spokesman told the Times that the company had long ago advised its customers of the problem and had issued a software upgrade to fix it. The pilots have repeatedly denied accusations that they purposefully turned off the transponder. The Brazil crash is only the second fatal midair of two aircraft equipped with collision-avoidance systems. The first was the collision of two jets over Germany in July 2002.

As Investigation Of Midair Proceeds, Intense Emotions

The tenor of the investigation, and the accusations against the pilots, have raised concerns about accuracy and fairness. "We call on the Brazilian government to stay strong in the face of immense public pressure and continue to respect the integrity of the investigation and not rush to judge the various players in this accident," said Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, in a news release last week. American attorneys representing victims' families have said they will conduct their own investigation. "Official reports often suffer long delays, and official investigations often include manufacturers and others who could potentially be held responsible," lawyer Lexi Hazam told The Associated Press. Brazilian authorities have said the Legacy jet was assigned to fly at FL360. The collision took place at FL370.

Some reports have also said that air traffic controllers lost radio contact with the Legacy crew shortly before the collision. The incident has fueled anti-American feelings in the country, say some observers. "If those two pilots had been out on the street, I think a mob would have torn them to bits," a commenter wrote to Brazzil Magazine online. "Before the invasion of Iraq, there was already a lot of anti-American sentiment, here, but now, this country is about 99 percent anti-American, and this mid-air collision has let the floodgates open."

Aircraft Spruce Carries Nitrogen Inflation Systems
GENTEC® refillable nitrogen inflation systems allow for easy, cost-effective inflation of aircraft tires with pure nitrogen. Michelin, the FAA, and other leading tire manufacturers recommend the use of nitrogen for all tire inflation. Nitrogen has a larger molecule than air, thus tire pressure is maintained longer. Tires run cooler from the lack of moisture internally, and oxidation and corrosion are eliminated as well. Help extend the life of your aircraft's tires; use nitrogen. For more information and to order, call 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit online.

The Eclipse Lawsuit

Late last month, Swiss aviation startup Aviace filed suit against Eclipse Aviation, saying the Albuquerque-based aircraft manufacturer delayed and then canceled its order for 112 Eclipse 500s at a price of $1.045 million apiece. When Aviace placed the fleet order for the very light jets in May 2002, it said it planned to offer the aircraft through a jet club scheme, with the Eclipse 500s to be used for point-to-point, on-demand private jet travel, at attractive prices, throughout Europe. Aviace says it later shelved this business plan due to delays in the aircraft program, and last year decided it would sell some of its Eclipse 500 positions for nearly a half-million-dollar per airplane profit (Eclipse currently prices the jet at $1.52 million), putting Aviace in direct competition with Eclipse Aviation. And that, according to Aviace, is where the trouble began.

According to the lawsuit, deliveries to Aviace were to begin with the Eclipse 500 serial number 31. However, the Swiss company claims Eclipse recently bumped its first delivery to serial number 47 and then later canceled the order for failure to pay a $634,305 production deposit. According to Aviace, it did not have to pay these deposits for the first few deliveries. "Eclipse desires to terminate the purchase agreement so as to retain the aircraft under contract for sale to Aviace for Eclipse to resell for a profit greater than that to be obtained under the purchase agreement," Aviace claims in the lawsuit. Through the lawsuit, the Swiss company seeks either to have its delivery schedule reinstated or have Eclipse pay unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Report Shows Engine Problems In Mooney Crash

A recently released NTSB factual report on the May 23 crash of South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's Mooney M20E says the Lycoming engine had flown just 20 hours since a recent overhaul, and suggests that some bolts may have been incorrectly installed. The piston single was halfway down the runway at a private airstrip near Blacksburg, S.C., when power began to drop, according to passenger John Leonhardt, who holds a commercial pilot certificate. Bauer said there wasn't room left on the runway to abort, so he took off. The Mooney collided with trees and power lines. Both men suffered serious injuries, and the airplane was destroyed in a post-crash fire. The NTSB report indicates that at least two bolts securing an engine induction tube were a quarter-inch too short and had vibrated loose.

At the accident scene, investigators found two intake bolts missing from the engine block, while the washers that were supposed to hold them in were not flattened, meaning the bolts weren't properly locked in place. According to Leonhardt, Bauer had taxied the Mooney to Runway 6 and then performed an engine run-up with no anomalies noted. He said Bauer then taxied into position, held the brakes and increased the engine power to full power at 2,600 rpm before starting the takeoff roll. Bauer told the NTSB he didn't compute the takeoff distance for the soft strip, and investigators found that the 1,383-foot runway was about 200 feet too short to allow the Mooney to take off and clear a 50-foot obstacle. The NTSB investigation is continuing and no probable cause has been reported.

Garmin 396 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
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More Air Traffic? No Problem, Says Chew

The FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO) is preparing to make the necessary changes to handle predicted increases in air traffic over the next two decades, says Chief Operating Officer Russell Chew. "It isn't about being the best and the brightest," he told aviation industry executives last Thursday, at the Aerospace Industries Association's civil aviation council meeting. "It's about being able to change." Chew stressed that the ATO needs to pursue a single "revolutionary" goal, and avoid spending years developing programs that will be obsolete by the time they're done. "Whatever you build, you have to have the future in mind," he said.

He also told the council that it's essential for ATO leaders to understand the value of the services they provide. "You have to be able to go to the [Joint Planning and Development Office] and say 'If you shut off this program, these four services will be delayed.'" Chew told attendees the ATO appreciates their input. "This is very much a team effort," he said. "In the ATO, we value our partnership with you. It's important to get the perspective of industry as we chart the course of aviation." The ATO was established three years ago to bring more businesslike practices to the FAA's air traffic control division.

Flying With Google 3-D

Google's 3-D maps of the Earth are proving useful in the aviation world. Dispatchers who work with firefighting airplanes for the U.S. Forest Service are incorporating the 3-D maps into their flight-following system, and they say it works great. Linda Naill, an aircraft dispatcher at the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center in Minden, Nev., uses the Google system to manage up to 20 aircraft at a time. "When I put a [temporary flight restriction] in place, I can really see if I'm impacting someone, and if someone violates it, we can easily figure that out," she told Government Computer News (GCN). The software helps avoid air-traffic conflicts and makes it easier to coordinate aircraft converging on the fire from different directions, according to GCN. Others also have found uses for the maps.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses them for aerial wildlife surveys and to track ships in the Antarctic. Flight-tracking Web sites like fboweb.com and Aeroseek have integrated the 3-D maps to show flights in real time and three dimensions. Users can zoom in to individual flight tracks, rotate around them and see them from any angle. The maps also can add layers with, for example, the Class B airspace in its 3-D form around an airport. Explore more ideas about Google Earth and aviation at the Google Earth blog.

The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious Sophistication
Avidyne's Flightmax Entegra Integrated Flight Deck is standard equipment on the New Piper Mirage. Three flight displays, moving map, Garmin GNS 430, autopilot, color radar system, and dual Air Data/Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) combine to provide serious sophistication for a higher level of confidence. Click here for complete information on the New Piper Mirage.

Researchers Work On Morphing Aircraft

It's a simple idea: If a wing could change shape in flight, it could do things that our rigid wings can't do. The Wright brothers attempted it with wing warping. We use the same idea when we employ flaps and ailerons, and some military aircraft have variable-geometry wings that can sweep back and change aspect ratio in flight. This week, the University of Dayton was awarded a $580,000 federal contract to further the development of "morphing" aircraft. The researchers will evaluate flexible-skin concepts that would enable wings to change shape, develop better simulations, and try to find ways to use devices within the wing skins to recover or "harvest" energy as the wings move. In August, the first in-flight demonstration of a truly shape-changing, or morphing, wing was accomplished by a small U.S. company, NextGen Aeronautics, funded by Boeing. NextGen, based in Torrance, Calif., flew a remotely piloted vehicle called the MFX-1 at speeds of 100 to 120 knots, and changed the wing area in flight by 40 percent and the wingspan by 30 percent. Sweep varied from 15 degrees to 35 degrees, FlightGlobal reported.

Cessna Pilot Charged With Cocaine Smuggling

A pilot from Calgary, Alberta, was indicted last week in California for allegedly carrying about 300 pounds of cocaine, worth some $30 million, aboard a Cessna 340 headed from San Diego to British Columbia on Sept. 27. The pilot, Daniel Raymond LeClerc, 35, was arrested when he landed to refuel at an airport in a small northern California town. According to the Calgary Sun, California narcotic task force agents received a tip that a large drug shipment was en route via a Cessna twin that would be stopping to refuel at Montague Airport. The agents stormed the airplane after it landed, and a search yielded the illegal stash. LeClerc faces several drugs charges and is being held at a federal facility in Sacramento, Calif.

When It Comes to Aircraft Insurance, the Choice Is Easy
The AOPA Insurance Agency is the only agency that offers the built-in expertise of AOPA's 66+ years' commitment to general aviation and the only aircraft insurance agency qualified to carry the AOPA name. More than 405,000 pilots trust AOPA for their aviation needs, so when it comes to aircraft insurance, why call anyone else? One call to the AOPA Insurance Agency and you'll have multiple quotes from major A-rated underwriters in minutes. Call AOPA Insurance Agency for a complimentary quote at (800) 622-2672, or go online.

On The Fly...

The new CEO of Airbus has quit after just three months on the job, saying he wasn't given the autonomy he needed to lead the company through its current crisis...

NBAA's annual convention is coming up next week, Oct. 17-19, in Orlando. AVweb's Jeb Burnside will be there. Watch for two special editions of AVwebBiz in your inbox. Not a subscriber? Sign up here...

Daniel Webster College will raffle off a free online MBA for Aviation Professionals at the NBAA convention...

Investigators have released their final report on a Helios 737 that crashed near Athens in 2005 after losing pressurization...

FAA tells controllers they can't go out for lunch...

Deliveries of Sino Swearingen's SJ30 light jet have been delayed due to problems with the wing installation on the first two copies...

Popular Mechanics has named Burt Rutan as winner of its Breakthrough Leadership Award...

Special from Sam's Club... buy a Citation Mustang jet for Christmas, get a lifetime membership to bargain shopping tossed in for free...

It's fall, and Operation Migration is underway, with ultralight pilots leading endangered cranes to their winter home.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 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.

Find all of today's stories in AVweb's: NewsWire

Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Starting at $9,990, Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes premium performance, active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable for virtually every general aviation aircraft. Visit Avidyne online.

New Articles and Features on AVweb


Aircraft Tire Selection and Maintenance
Tires don't get the respect they deserve. Most folks just say that they are "round, black, and dirty." The reality of the situation is quite different.

Audio News

Audio news, plus a new in-depth interview are posted online each Monday and Friday. Check AVweb's audio news index to hear news directly from the newsmakers.

Find exclusive interviews featuring Cessna's Jack Pelton on his company's LSA, TCM president Bryan Lewis, NATCA president John Carr, New Piper CEO Jim Bass, Hal Shevers for Sporty's Pilot Shop, Light Sport guru Dan Johnson, Excel Jet's Bob Bornhofen, Adam Aircraft's Joe Walker, FAA administrator Marion Blakey, Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier and more. AVweb's Podcast index, is online, now. You'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

AVweb's Business AVflash

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb’s NO-COST twice monthly Business AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ .

WingX 2.0 Now Available — With NACO Approach Charts, SmartTaxi™, Online Weather, and Podcasts!
Hilton Software LLC has just released WingX 2.0 for the Pocket PC — now with approach charts, weather images, podcasts, N-number search, helicopter W&B, and SmartTaxi™ to help prevent runway incursions. Of course, this is in addition to WingX's great Weight and Balance, Route Planning, FARs, color-coded weather reports, and superb E6B capabilities. Excellent A/FD with auto-dial. WingX is now GPS-enabled! Learn more and download WingX at HiltonSoftware.com.

FBO of the Week: Dixie Chopper Air

For local prices, enter your U.S. ZIP Code or Airport Identifier:
Fuel prices provided weekly by AirNav,
based on prices from the past 2 weeks.
Changes are relative to last week.

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Dixie Chopper Air at K4I7 in Greencastle, IN.

AVweb reader Bruce Cameron offered comments and a few reasons to stop by.

"Stopped twice in the last month (X-C in my Bonanza Coast to Coast R/T) Excellent service and prices, Great restaurant and 12 guest suites overlooking the runway. What else could a pilot/passengers ask for?."

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!

Your Last Chance to Save Thousands on Your Aircraft's Maintenance!
Aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed weekend Savvy Owner Seminar in Las Vegas November 18-19. This is the final seminar in 2006! In one information-packed weekend, Mike will teach you how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving literally thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. To reserve your space in Las Vegas, click here.

Question of the Week: How Many Hours Did You Log with Your Instructor This Year?

This Week's Question | Last Week's Results


Last week, AVweb asked our Instrument-Rated pilots how many IMC hours they'd logged in the last 12 months.

Not very many, it turns out — 62% of those who responded said they'd logged 15 or fewer hours, while only 5% of respondents said they'd logged a substantial 70 hours or more.

What about the rest of our readers?
Find out how many hours they logged when you view the complete breakdown of last week's QOTW poll here.


Within the past 12 months, how many hours have you flown with an instructor (simulator time with an instructor included)?

Click here to answer.

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to qotw@avweb.com.

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.

Visit AVweb's Sponsor Companies at the 2006 NBAA Convention
AVweb will be in Orlando, Florida for the annual NBAA Convention and Conference next week, October 17-19. If you're one of the many AVweb readers who make a living in the business of aviation, please take a moment while you're at the show to stop by our sponsors' booths. Their patronage of AVweb makes it possible for us to deliver the high quality of news, reviews, and information you've come to expect in your inbox twice a week — at no charge to readers. We encourage you to visit with them at the show and thank them for their support of AVweb. Click for a complete list of AVweb sponsors and where to find them at the show.

Picture of the Week

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past POTW Winners

With 142 photos submitted, this week's "POTW" was an especially tough call!  We managed to winnow the pile down to 40 really outstanding photos and then, through perseverance, to a mere fifteen photos.  When we looked at the names on those 15, we discovered some duplication, which gave us just the excuse we needed to trim our stack down to a manageable 10 photos.  (Whew!  That's still plenty!)

One of our multiple contributors this week was Jeffrey Austin Randall of Clyde, Texas, who had three photos in our Top 15.  While it may have broken our hearts to leave out his Thunderbird photo, we think you'll enjoy the one we chose as "Picture of the Week."  Naturally, Jeffrey will receive an official AVweb baseball hat for his contributions — and an equally official encouragement to keep going to air shows and taking pictures!

Want to see your photos here?  Submit them for consideration, and each week we'll run the best of the best in our Thursday AVwebFlash newsletter.  If your photo is chosen as the "Picture of the Week," we'll even send you an AVweb hat as a token of our appreciation.


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Used with permission of Jeffrey Austin Randall


The other photos Jeffrey Austin Randall of Clyde, Texas submitted to this week's contest were a little sexier — featuring more cool planes and airborne action — but we just had to run this one.  Here, Jeffrey caught a Major in the U.S. Air Force taking time to answer questions and share the love of flight with a youngster.

According to Jeffrey, the F-16 here was on display from the USAF Reserve's 301st, based at Carswell Field in Ft. Worth, Texas.  The photo was taken at the 2006 Ft. Worth Alliance Air Show.

AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up.  Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of readers who submit photos.

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Used with permission of Mark Silvestri

Given the Choice, I'd Wing-Walk on a Stearman (Nice and Slow!)

Mark Silvestri of Upton, Massachusetts takes a pragmatic approach to a death-defying performance.  I suppose we'd have to agree with his assessment — if you're going to take the risk (as pilot Walt Pierce and wing-walker Jenny Forsythe are doing), you might as well stack the deck in your favor.

Mark snapped this shot a couple of weeks ago over Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.


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Used with permission of Stoney Truett


It's not often that a skyline photo (without a plane in it) is a serious contender for "Picture of the Week," but this breath-taking image from Stoney Truett of Cayce, South Carolina very nearly took the title.

"Returning home from a trip to the Bahamas, we passed through a line of storms — standard weather for the  summer in the southeast U.S. — and saw this sight," writes Stoney.  "I've got the best job in the world!"

(Second to looking at airplane pictures for a living, maybe.)


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Used with permission of Robert J. Mazur

Rocky Mountain High

Blue skies and a green grass strip!

Robert J. Mazur of Cochrane, Alberta (Canada) reminds us why we love this type of weather ... .


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Used with permission of Guy Lynch

Artistic Effort at This Year's Farnborough Air Show

It's always nice to see a little air-show-grounds problem-solving at work.

Guy Lynch of Pewsey, Wiltshire (U.K.) reminds us how much fun it can be to wander the grounds and gawk at other people's planes, with this photo he snapped at Farnborough.

Hmmm — now that we think about it, we didn't see very many photos from Farnborough in the "POTW" contest this year.  (Hint, hint.)


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copyright © Ales Litomisky
Used with permission

B-2 Spirit Flying Over Burbank

Ales Litomisky of La Crescenta, California treats us to the still-eerily-beautiful silhouette of a B-2 in flight.


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Used with permission of Donald L. Reid

A Few Well-Placed Lines and Curves

Donald L. Reid of Bumpass, Virginia was another AVweb reader who had multiple submissions in the Top 15 this week.  Here's another guy who'd spend more time at air shows taking photos if we had our way.


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Used with permission of Ryan Johnson

A King Air Sunset

Ryan Johnson of Denair, California returns with "a nice, peaceful evening on the ramp before putting the stallion away."


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Used with permission of Bill Whitney

Alaskan Summer Days

Bill Whitney of Soldotna, Alaska tells us that he "caught no fish [on this trip], but didn't really need to.  Just getting there was enjoyable enough!"


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Used with permission of Eric Hutchins

Oldies in Autumn

Eric Hutchins of Grand Rapids, Minnesota sees us off this week, as "11-year-old Labrador Joey and a 1946 Aeronca Champ gracefully show their age on a beautiful fall day."

To enter next week's contest, click here.

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.

Perform Maintenance Legally & More Easily by Knowing What & How
If you are an aircraft owner, you need to know more than an average pilot about your aircraft's maintenance. Light Plane Maintenance brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform legally and easily. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by news writer Mary Grady (bio).

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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Freedom, independence, responsibility.



Use the Best — ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs and FAA Exam Prep Now Available
ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs, Test Preps for pilots, and Fast-Track Test Guides for AMTs are now available. Prepware combines all the information in the Test Prep and Fast-Track Test Guide series in computer-based training. Contains all FAA Knowledge Exam questions. Virtual Test Prep lets students study from their TVs or computer DVD players. For complete details about these products, visit ASA's web site.

If You Think "Bargains" Are Something Alien to Aviation — Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's marketplace. Bennett Avionics provides pilots with quality avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!

AVweb's Flight Explorer 5.0 Includes Enhanced Services
AVweb's Flight Explorer features include FAA Airport delays; enhanced terrain/elevation map depictions; updated Airways, NAVAIDs, Fixes, Special Use Airspace, and Flight Service Stations; and much more. Click here for more information and to subscribe.

Comm1 Radio Simulator — Special Offer to AVweb Subscribers
Receive a complimentary Communications Reference Card with the purchase of any Comm1 Radio Simulator. Fly confidently by training with Comm1 Radio Simulators — unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Available in VFR, IFR, and Clearances on Request versions. Experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics from the safety and privacy of your desktop. Also Available: VFLITE's Garmin GPSMap 396 Interactive Guide. Order online.

Better than an IFR Refresher, This Manual Is Real-World Flying!
With Rod Machado's Instrument Pilots Survival Manual, private pilots can learn: mimicking pro pilot thinking strategies; developing IFR self-talk skills; managing cockpit resources; planning for unanticipated changes; a three-step instrument scan; IFR charting secrets; insights into flying GPS approaches; and techniques for avoiding thunderstorms and handling icing conditions. Pilots claim, "You can't find some of this information anywhere else!" Order online.