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TEAM INVESTIGATING SNOWBIRD CRASH
Canadian officials say they
still dont know why a Canadian Forces Snowbird suddenly broke
formation and then pitched into the ground during a rehearsal for the
groups first show of the year at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great
Falls, Mont., on Friday. Capt. Shawn McCaughey of Candiac, Quebec, died
instantly when the CT-114 Tutor aircraft disintegrated in a ball of
flame on the south side of the base. Witnesses said the plane dropped
back from a formation and then plummeted into the ground. Snowbird
Commander Maj. Robert Mitchell told the Canadian Press that there was little he
could tell grieving family members. "We just had to say we don't
entirely know, which is tough for a family member," Maj. Mitchell said.
"They want to know for closure." McCaughey, 31, was to be married in
three weeks to Claudia Gaudreault, a social worker on the Snowbirds home
base at Moose Jaw, Saskatewan. More...
SUPPORTS PILOTS IN BRAZIL COLLISION
The full cockpit voice recorder transcript from the
Embraer Legacy bizjet that collided with an airliner over Brazil last
Sept. 29 appears to support the pilots contention that they were
following normal procedures. The airplanes winglet clipped a GOL
Airlines Boeing 737 at 37,000 feet, and the Boeing crashed, killing all
154 on board. In February, Brazilian authorities leaked excerpts of the
transcript, which suggested the pilots, Jan Paladino and Joe Lepore, of
Long Island, N.Y., were not competent to fly the twinjet because they
couldnt figure out how to program the flight management system, a
fundamental skill required to fly most advanced glass cockpit aircraft.
The full transcript reveals it was the airplanes entertainment
system that was puzzling them at the time of the collision, something
experts interviewed by Newsday said would be a normal distraction for
pilots cruising at 37,000 feet under air traffic control.
CANADA JOIN ATC NEXTGEN EFFORT
Mexico and Canada have agreed
to implement the FAAs vision for the Next Generation Air
Transportation System (NGATS) in concert with the U.S. to create a
seamless continent-wide, space-based air traffic management system. At a
North American Aviation Trilateral meeting in Quebec last week, all
three nations agreed to proceed with implementation of required
navigation performance (RNP), RNAV and ADS-B technologies in an
integrated way so that procedures and standards will be harmonized over
North America. The primary goal of the NextGen technology is to increase
system capacity but, in a speech during the meeting, FAA Administrator Marion
Blakey said there are also environmental and financial benefits
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mentioning this AVwebFlash
FAA "STAFFING TO BUDGET"
The FAA seems intent on challenging
long-established norms in terms of staffing levels, work hours and
overtime management in many of its facilities as it copes with the
"retirement bubble" of controllers hired in 1981 when President Ronald
Reagan fired thousands of striking controllers. According to the
National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the agency
recently began ordering controllers to stay at their consoles beyond the
two hours that the unions says is the "longest possible period that
controllers should ever work to ensure safety and allow them adequate
rest periods." In a news release, NATCA says the agency is also
instituting mandatory overtime to maintain minimum staffing at
facilities and, even though traffic is increasing, recently reduced the
minimum staffing levels at hundreds of facilities by as much as 26
percent. NATCA claims the reductions are reducing safety margins and
increasing controller fatigue. The FAA did not respond to
AVwebs request for comment. More...
DENOUNCE RADARLESS ARGENTINA
While controllers in the U.S.
often complain about the decades-old equipment they use, imagine if they
had to work without radar. Thats the situation in Argentina, where
the countrys only radar, near Buenos Aires, was hit by lightning
on March 1 and hasnt been repaired. The International Federation
of Air Traffic Controllers Associations says controllers are
coping with their blipless environment by plotting traffic based on
position reports and limiting takeoffs to one every 10 minutes and
landings to one every eight minutes. Theres no indication when the
government might get around to fixing the radar, and thats not the
only problem in Argentina. "Air safety is compromised here today," Cesar
Salas, president of Argentinas air traffic controllers association
told McClatchy newspapers. "The problem is this is a
system that's collapsed. There's no plan, and there's no effort to make
the improvements that are necessary." More...
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MAY DECIDE "PIPER TOWN'S" FATE
Vero Beach and Indian River
County voters may have the final say on whether Piper Aircraft stays in
the community. On May 8, city and county officials agreed to split a $50
million incentive package aimed at keeping the aircraft manufacturer in
town and building its PiperJet factory there. But it would appear the
civic governments are leaning toward a vote on the package. "I would say
we have to put this in front of the voters as a referendum," Vero Beach
Mayor Tom White told TCPalm.com. "It's important to get community support
behind this." But while hes high on voter involvement, White said
he was less enthused about one officials suggestion to change the
airports name to "Piper Town." More...
NUMBERS ARE UP
Even if youre still not convinced that
diesels are the piston engine of the future for light aircraft, enough
people apparently are that you might want to consider adding Thielert to
your stock portfolio. The company recorded an impressive 60-percent increase
in sales in the first quarter over the same period last year, and
thats getting some attention in the financial journals in Europe.
Of their total revenue of about $32 million in the quarter, about $19
million came from sales of its two and four-liter diesel aircraft
engines and the rest came from its technology and prototyping division.
Thielert also owns Superior Air Parts, which makes certified and
experimental engines based on Lycoming designs. More...
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ICING AD ISSUED FOR CARAVANS
Operators of Cessna Caravans and
Grand Caravans who want to fly them in known icing conditions will have
to equip them with a "low airspeed awareness alert system" by Sept. 20,
according to an Airworthiness Directive (AD) the FAA published last
week. The system, developed by Cessna, costs about $8,200 per airplane
to install and is designed to help Caravan pilots better manage airspeed
in icing conditions. It was developed and then jointly tested by the FAA
and Cessna to address the very rapid degradation of the airplane's
flying qualities in icing conditions, which appears to surprise Caravan
pilots. "The accident/incident history of the Model 208 indicates that
pilots have not been diligent in the management of the aircraft when
operating in icing conditions, as aircraft performance can decay very
quickly," the AD reads. More...
FLIGHT AT HALFWAY POINT
Irving, the 23-year-old Miami pilot whos trying to become the
youngest pilot ever to circumnavigate the world, was, at this writing,
in Calcutta and about half way through the trip. He left Miami on March
26 and had hoped to be back by now but weather and maintenance checks on
his Columbia 400 have combined to slow the schedule somewhat. Hes
now hoping to get back to Miami by the end of this month and, after
flying through sandstorms and being stalled by a tropical depression
over India, hes facing what might be his biggest challenge on the
trip -- his longest leg, a 1,530-nm trip from Japan to Alaska.
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situational awareness afforded by XM WX Satellite Weather allows pilots
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PLANE CARRIES A MESSAGE
The Cape Air Cessna 402 normally
carries passengers to various Massachusetts and Florida locations, but
the twin was to have arrived in Anchorage on Sunday to deliver a
conservation message to the International Whaling Commissions
annual meeting there. On board the Whale Plane, which is painted in a
whale motif, are 50 drawings by children urging the commission to stop
hunting whales. The piston twin, with International Fund for Animal Welfare founder
Patrick Ramage and his 12-year-old son Henry aboard, stopped in 12
cities along the way for media events calling attention to the
escalation of whaling. More...
LOOKING FOR FIVE-YEAR-FLIGHT
The Defense Department is
calling for proposals for a 1,000-pound aircraft that can stay aloft
continuously for five years with a 99-percent probability. According to
Government Executives Tech Insider blog, the Defense Advanced Projects
Research Agency (DARPA) issued a solicitation call last Wednesday for
the project its calling the Vulture, after the energy-conserving
bird that uses thermals to stay airborne while it waits for more
energetic predators to kill something. Just what the military would do
with such a creature is anyones guess, but its pretty much
narrowed down the performance parameters to virtually ensure the winning
bid will be some kind of solar/battery/fuel-cell combination or a
robotic refueling system. More...
Reason #31 Look Ma, No
The new Garmin GFC 700 autopilot gives you more hands-free flying
control than ever. The flight director is seamlessly integrated into the
G1000 glass cockpit and standard on new Skylanes and Stationairs.
Letting go never felt so good. For more great reasons,
Spectrum Aeronautical moves its headquarters to
Nose gear inspection AD proposed for
PrestoSim puts King Air simulator into
Flying Physicians Association wins Hall of Fame Award.
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Garmin 496 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather
How does the Garmin 496 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM
Check out this link to find out
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new
in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's
podcast, you'll hear an interview with Pogo Jet's Cameron Burr. And
AVweb's podcast index includes
interviews with Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia; Air Journey's Thierry
Pouille; Epic Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; Cessna's Jack Pelton; Embraer's
Ernest Edwards; LAMA's Dan Johnson; Piper's Jim Bass; DayJet's Ed
Iacobucci; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster;
Avfuel's Craig Sincock; and Comp Air's Ron Lueck. In today's special
podcast, hear Ed Iacobucci of DayJet talk about how the air-taxi
start-up is getting ready to start service in July. Remember: In AVweb's
podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors
and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced
fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and
more efficiently. Call 888-FLY-GAMI
order a kit online for your Continental
or Lycoming engine
OF THE WEEK: HEARTLAND AVIATION
AVweb's "FBO of
the Week" ribbon goes to Heartland Aviation at KEAU in Eau Claire,
AVweb reader David Stone said the FBO stepped up to
the plate when he had to divert due to weather.
"For two months I
had been planning a trip to the Metrodome -- a birthday gift to my
12-year-old baseball-possessed nephew to see the Red Sox versus
Twins game. The forecast at KSTP was thunderstorms, with surface winds
over 35 knots. Radar showed storms on the way, so I landed at KEAU
instead. The car rental was closed, but Heartland lent me a great crew
car for the 180-mile round trip with only a request to return it full
(it was full when they gave it to me). They are the best."
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!
Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for aircraft on ASO
, you get the most complete
picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings
with detailed specs and photos or use ASO
's advanced search tools
to quickly find your next aircraft. Best of all, know that every ad is
current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for
your next aircraft, it's ready for you on ASO
Visit ASO today!
|Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the
I was flying a Cirrus SR22,
introducing the plane to a CFI interested in seeing it in action. We
were still about 20 miles out, but the controller was working us into
the sequence with other planes, mostly trainers, setting up for practice
Seattle Approach: Cirrus Seven Charlie Delta,
Cirrus: Seven Charlie Delta is indicating
Approach: Wow! Uh, okay. Cirrus Seven Charlie Delta, slow
to 140 or less.
The CFI was rolling with joy, saying, "Dude, you
got a 'Wow!'" More...
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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 Russ
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
intended for publication.)
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about the news should be sent
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