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FLEET RAVAGED BY TORNADOES
About 60 airplanes were damaged or destroyed when tornadoes
tore through the Daytona Beach, Fla., campus of Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University on Christmas Day. Two tornadoes with winds of
about 120 mph tore a 100-foot-wide swath through the center of campus as
a line of violent thunderstorms passed across the region. "The
maintenance hangar was destroyed and there was damage to a high
percentage of the fleet of planes," said a statement posted Christmas
night on ERAU's Web
site. "There is substantial damage to several buildings on campus,
including the administration building, Spruance Hall, and the Student
FUEL PROBLEMS QUICKLY MITIGATED
Some of the airplanes were
flipped over, some had wings torn off, and some were thrown against a
building, ERAU Director of Communications Jim Hampton told Central Florida News 13. Two or three airplanes were
inside the maintenance hangar when it collapsed. A piece from an
airplane that tore through the wall of a building sparked a fire, but
airport firefighters quickly brought it under control, Hampton said.
Hazmat teams also dealt quickly with spilled fuel. The campus is
currently closed to visitors until it is declared safe by authorities.
TORNADOES ARE RARE
The weather system brought at least two
confirmed F2 tornadoes to the region, according to the Weather Channel. On the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale, an F2 tornado packs
winds of 113 to 157 mph, and can do considerable damage, including
tearing roofs off frame houses, demolishing mobile homes, overturning
boxcars, snapping or uprooting large trees, generating light-object
missiles and lifting cars off the ground. The last time a tornado
occurred on Christmas was an F2 in Tennessee in 1982, TWC said. The
storm system has moved out into the Atlantic and quiet weather is
expected most of this week for the cleaning up. The next threat of bad
weather in the region will be Friday night into Saturday, according to
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TO FOCUS ON NEW PILOT STARTS
Despite the interest in
sport-pilot training, the number of pilots in the U.S. has been steadily
declining for the last 20 years, and that has repercussions through all
of aviation, The Wichita Eagle reported on Wednesday.
Manufacturers worry that the market for their aircraft won't be there in
the future. Airlines and other operators worry that they won't be able
to find qualified pilots. And with thousands of very light jets expected
to join the fleet in the next few years, the demand for professional
pilots will likely grow. The trend has not gone unnoticed. AOPA, for
example, has recently refocused its efforts on Project Pilot, which
recruits current pilots to act as mentors to new students.
EXPANDS LSA TRAINING NETWORK
As the sport aircraft sector has
ramped up in the last couple of years, one concern has been getting
enough qualified instructors and sport aircraft at airports around the
country to train eager new students. One company working on a solution
is Sportsplanes.com, which has created a network of
Sport Aircraft Regional Centers. On Wednesday, CEO Josh Foss said Leading Edge
Aviation, of Rutherfordton, N.C., is the latest addition to that
network. "It was a perfect fit with our plans for expansion," said Greg
Turner, manager of Leading Edge. More...
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FLIGHT AWARDS FIRST TWO SCHOLARSHIPS
A new scholarship
program that helps people with disabilities learn to fly gave away its
first two awards last week in Atlanta. Able Flight chose Brad Jones and
Stephany Glassing to take part in an intensive and demanding
flight-training program. "Able Flight's goal is to challenge its
scholarship winners so that their own achievements will help them become
more self-reliant and confident in their abilities, said Executive
Director Charles Stites. Jones, 22, was paralyzed in an automobile
accident last summer. Glassing was also injured in an auto accident, 22
years ago, when she was a teenager. "Being in a chair instantaneously
makes everyday life and events challenging," said Jones. "The challenge
of learning to fly will be a difficult one, but upon successfully
completing the training, will bring a renewed sense that anything is
possible, no matter what other challenges life might have for me in the
YORK PILOTS CAUGHT IN RESTRICTED AIRSPACE
Pilots flying above
New York City are getting sloppier, according to an analysis by the New
York Post based on FAA data. Incidents of pilots flying into restricted
airspace in the area in the last year increased 42 percent over the year
before, according to the Post. Violations included flying into temporary
restricted areas over Yankee and Shea Stadiums during games, and flying
into airspace restricted during visits by President Bush, the Post said.
Private pilots weren't the only violators -- on Sept. 18 jets were
scrambled when a State Police helicopter violated a presidential TFR.
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SELLING IN EUROPE
The venerable Cessna 172 Skyhawk faces a
lot of competition these days for spots on the flight school lines where
it once dominated. But four European flight schools are upgrading their
aircraft fleets with new Skyhawks, Cessna said last week. Flight schools in Romania,
Italy, Spain and Germany have ordered a total of 22 new Skyhawks, four
of them with G1000 glass cockpits. "The Skyhawk combines safe and
economical operation with the best avionics on the market," said Pana
Poulios, regional sales manager for Cessna. More...
CONVICTED IN ALASKA "AIR RAGE" INCIDENT
A pilot in Alaska
endangered hunters, guides and another pilot when he harassed them with
his Super Cub, a jury decided last week. Edward Lamb, 38, a hunting
guide, was found guilty of assault for the aerial attacks, the Anchorage Daily News reported. In one incident, Lamb
buzzed a competing guide who was scouting in a meadow with two clients,
forcing them to run for cover in the trees. Another time, Lamb circled
above as another pilot was trying to take off from a lake after picking
up the competitor. Lamb told the Daily News that the issue is
complicated and he is innocent. The competitor was working in area
traditionally used by Lamb, according to The Associated Press. More...
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INJECTOR TESTED FOR HYPERSONIC ENGINE
A team of engineers in
Maryland has developed a scramjet engine design that they say solves the
problem of how to mix fuel efficiently in an aircraft that might be
traveling as fast as Mach 25 (that's not a typo). Faculty members from
the University of Maryland teamed with Astrox Corp. to develop the
combustor design. Astrox President Ajay Kothari said the engine is
shaped like a funnel, with air entering through a circular opening,
which develops more thrust and less heating than a rectangular scramjet
engine. Kothari and the research team designed an injector resembling a
small aerodynamic wing, which enters the engine at an angle in the same
direction the air is flowing. Fuel is injected just at the wake where
the air, which is moving at supersonic speeds, crosses the injector. The
novel design provides both strong thrust and good mixing.
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A 747-400 with Tony Blair on board hit runway lights
at Miami Int'l...
Fuel tank harnesses could spark on some Embraer
Legacy jets, the FAA says...
Superior Air Parts has added 1,000
cylinder heads to its previous recall...
EAA will host a ski-plane
fly-in in Oshkosh on Jan. 27...
Two lawsuits blame a faulty engine
cylinder in a fatal Aztec crash...
An Air India pilot was arrested
after a dead body found in the hold...
Delays at Gary, Ind., airport
blamed on FAA's failure to fix the ILS. More...
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DAILY NEWS COVERAGE
You can now get the latest general
aviation news from AVweb -- the world's premier independent aviation
news source -- as it happens at AVweb.com. Or sign up for our news feed and
have the most recent headlines pushed directly to your RSS-based news
reader. Either way, you'll be able to read the same concise, but
comprehensive, news stories that you've come to expect from AVweb. And
for major breaking general aviation news, AVweb will send out news
alerts via e-mail to keep subscribers informed. Dont worry --
you'll also continue to receive AVwebFlash every Monday and Thursday.
If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why
Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
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visit online to hear the rest of the
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll find an interview with NORAD's Stacia Reddish on its
Santa tracking project. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews
with Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President Jim Coyne; Eclipse Aviation's Vern
Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith; Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO
Alan Klapmeier; Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton; and
Spectrum Aeronautical chairman Linden Blue. In Monday's news
summary, hear about the Goldman Sachs/Onex deal to buy Raytheon
Aircraft for $3.3 billion, Loran making a resurgence in the UK as a GPS
backup, a truly personal jet called Jet-Man, Pratt & Whitney Canada's
plans to build more fuel-efficient turbofans and more. Remember: In
AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Brought to you by
Bose Corporation. More...
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for
AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly business newsletter,
AVwebBiz? 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. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/. More...
Avidyne TAS600 Because Two Antennas Are
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enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna
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OF THE WEEK: HEARING AIDS IN THE COCKPIT
This week, an AVweb
readers asks, "Do you wear hearing aids while flying? If so, do you have
difficulty hearing transmitted messages?"
results of last week's poll. What type of IFR approach charts do AVweb
readers prefer paper or electronic? FAA or other?
If You Live in One of These States, Mike Busch
Is Coming to a Town Near You in 2007
Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, New
Mexico, and Oklahoma are states where Mike Busch will be offering his
acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar
. In one information-packed weekend,
you will learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving
thousands on maintenance costs, year after year. For complete details,
and to reserve your space,
OF THE WEEK: GOSHEN AIR CENTER
AVweb's "FBO of the Week"
ribbon goes to Goshen Air Center at KGSH in Goshen,
AVweb reader John Wesley said this FBO has been
turned around by its current owners.
"Zane Gillin and Randy
Sharkey took over this operation 14 years ago, it was broke and had been
on the skids for years. They have developed it into a clean, modern
facility that cheerfully serves everyone in aviation from the ultralight
through the large corporate jet. They have a courtesy car, wireless
Internet, pilot lounge, flight-planning room, meeting room, a large
comfortable waiting area and free lunch Friday."
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Perform Maintenance Legally & More Easily
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OF THE WEEK
Each week, we go through dozens (and
sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to
share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on
AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded
an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Blue
Christmas is surely just an expression to
of Cypress, Texas. After all, Randy
lives in the Dry Creek Airport
, has enough free time to trim the plane up right for the
holiday season, and is today's AVweb "Picture of the Week" winner! (On
the off-chance Randy really is feeling as blue as his holiday lights,
we'll be sending an official AVweb baseball cap to brighten his
spirits!)Though we probably won't run any more holiday
light photos here in "POTW," we'd love to see some more of them!
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU
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Going Off to Visit Friends and/or Family This
Get there by sharing a ride. Pilot or passenger, long cross-country or
short hop, PilotShareTheRide.com is for you! No cost to sign up,
and you will save by sharing expenses!
Check out the web site today.
Better than an IFR Refresher, This Manual Is
With Rod Machado's Instrument Pilots Survival
Manual, private pilots can learn: mimicking pro pilot thinking
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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 Contributing Editor Mary Grady (bio).
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
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on
marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Happy New Year from the AVweb staff.