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The NTSB has written the FAA asking it to
permanently close the East River Exclusion Area
to uncontrolled, non-amphibious VFR traffic in
light of its findings in the Cory Lidle crash.
Earlier this month, the NTSB determined that
whoever was flying the Cirrus SR20 -- Lidle, a
New York Yankees pitcher, or his instructor,
Tyler Stanger -- misjudged a 180-degree turn at
the north end of the airspace while trying to
avoid busting the Class B that borders it. They
both died when the plane hit an apartment
building, bounced off and caught fire on the
street below. A bystander was seriously injured.
The FAA imposed a temporary flight restriction
(TFR) banning VFR flights by non-amphibious
aircraft (there's a seaplane base on the river)
unless they're under direct control by ATC. The
NTSB says the FAA promised to make the ban
permanent but hasn't done so and that means that
charts can't be changed. The NTSB says the
only way to get out of the narrow strip of VFR
airspace is to make a 180 "or other abrupt
maneuver" or to ask for clearance in the Class B
south of LaGuardia. Although it doesn't come out
and say so, the tone of the letter implies that
sightseeing flights like Lidle's and Stanger's
shouldn't be allowed in that very busy airspace.
The crash has spawned a rash of lawsuits. Several
owners of apartments damaged by the crash are
suing Lidle's estate and Lidle's family is suing
Cirrus claiming, despite the NTSB findings, that
a control failure caused the crash.
Numerous previously IFR-certified GPS receivers might now be unapproved for flying many instrument procedures due to recent FAA
policy changes, according to AOPA. On Thursday, the association said the FAA's Advisory Circular 90-100A, issued
in March, indicates that only three GPS models -- the Garmin 400, 500 and G1000 series -- are now legal. Other models made by Garmin, including the new GNS 480 WAAS receiver, as well as receivers
manufactured by Chelton, Honeywell, Northstar, and Trimble are listed as "noncompliant," AOPA said. (Click here for a more comprehensive
compliance list.) AOPA said the the FAA has committed to work to resolve the pilot group's concerns over these policy changes. The action, as it now stands, means up to 26,000 GPS users no longer
comply with a 1996 FAA policy that allows GPS to be used in lieu of ADF or DME. "This doesn't make any sense. In most cases, this is not a safety of flight issue," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA senior
director of strategic planning. "Pilots affected will lose access to approaches and published routes unnecessarily." AOPA has brought the matter to the FAA's attention, telling the FAA that all IFR-certified systems should still be approved for use in lieu of ADF and
DME and for flying T routes and certain departure procedures where pilots manually enter the waypoints. Association staff met with the FAA and spoke with key officials late last week, and AOPA says it
will continue to press for a quick resolution.
Its now up to a judge to decide whether American pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino will face criminal charges in the
collision of their Embraer Legacy 600 bizjet with a GOL Airlines Boeing 737 last September. The
Associated Press says a Brazilian prosecutor has recommended charges of placing a vessel or aircraft in jeopardy against the pair, who were held in Brazil for two months after the crash and
released on the promise they would return to face any charges that were laid. The prosecutors recommendations will be sent to a judge who will decide if charges are warranted. The charges
related to the allegation that Lepore and Paladino should have noticed that the aircrafts transponder was not working. The pilots deny any wrongdoing in the collision, which led to the crash of
the airliner and the loss of all 154 on board. They say, and recordings seem to support, that they were at their assigned altitude and course at the time of the collision. Their lawyer Joel Weiss told
The Associated Press that charges are at the very least premature since the accident investigation isnt finished. "The prosecutor has prematurely reached a conclusion before the true experts,
the civil aeronautics investigators, have fully investigated this matter," Weiss said.
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EAA is predicting that the final
form of the FAAs reauthorization bill will be hammered out in contentious conference committee meetings this summer because the House is contemplating a package that differs fundamentally from
the direction the Senate appears to be leaning on the user-fee issue. Last week, the Senate Commerce Committee defeated, by a single vote (thanks to tie-breaker Ted Stevens, R-Alaska) an amendment
that would have scratched the $25-per-flight modernization surcharge that is proposed for turbine-powered aircraft. A floor vote is still pending on the full package. But EAA says the
House appears much more sympathetic to anti-user-fee sentiments and now is the time for members to be contacting their elected officials, in both arms of the government, to reinforce that opposition.
EAAs Doug Macnair says its not the $25 fee thats important, its the establishment of a billing and collection system to administer the fee that is critical to the debate.
It is clear to us that the implementation of any user fee system, regardless of who it targets, would set a dangerous precedent, said Macnair. The temptation by FAA and Congress to
increase the breadth of these fees in future budget cycles, casting an ever wider net to raise additional revenue, would be overwhelming. We cannot stand for that.
Three people died Saturday morning when their Columbia 350 (N2537A) crashed while landing at the Mountain Air Country Club, an
airport and golfing community in Burnsville, N.C., about 35 miles northeast of Asheville. Killed in the accident was Dr. Freddy Camuzzi and Dr. Charles "Chas" Freeble III and his wife Kathleen.
Witnesses said the four-seat airplane bounced hard on landing and subsequently hit six other aircraft. The Columbia and two other airplanes it struck were destroyed in a post-crash fire while two
others were damaged by heat and debris, according to reports. Ron Wright, vice president of administration for Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corp, told KTZV.COM, "Witnesses basically said it slammed
down really hard, bounced up about 10 feet...[and the pilot] ended up stalling it." Both doctors reportedly worked at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) General Hospital. Colleagues and friends told the St.
Petersburg Times that both men were experienced pilots -- Freeble was a flight instructor and Camuzzi had been flying for some 20 years.
The Air Line Pilots Association, which has
consistently supported the current mandatory
retirement age of 60, has changed its tune in
light of the federal government's clear intention
to boost the limit (with some conditions) to age
65. Members voted 80 percent to drop their
opposition to the age limit change so they can
have a seat at the table when the fine points of
implementing it are discussed. "ALPA pilots will
be fully engaged in shaping any rule change,"
ALPA President Capt. John Prater said in a news release. ALPA's position
is pretty much in synch with the proposal put
forth by the FAA except in one fundamental way.
ALPA wants the FAA to reject the International
Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) rule that
only one pilot over the age of 60 be allowed on
the flight deck until and unless there is
evidence to suggest it's not safe to have all
that grey hair up front. ALPA also wants
to ensure the rule can't be made retroactive so
pilots who have already retired can slip back
into the left seat (and their old places on the
seniority list). The seniority issue is unlikely
to be a concern because the FAA has already said
it won't make the rule retroactive, but Congress
is also in the mix with a bill pending on the
issue so anything could happen. Other ALPA
concerns include limiting liability that might
result from the rule change, opposing any move
toward stricter medical exams for older pilots
and making sure the change won't affect anyone's pension.
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GE Honda Aero, the joint venture created to build and sell the HF120 light jet engine, finished its first core test in late April and the second core test is planned for next month.
Assuming all goes according to plan, the first test of the full production model of the engine will happen in July. The company says the production model has various enhancements over the prototype,
which is installed in the HondaJet and has been flying for three years. Details of the enhancements were not released. In addition to the HondaJet, Spectrum Aeronautical is also planning to install
the engine on its Freedom light jet. The engine is rated at 2,050 pounds of takeoff thrust and weighs less than 400 pounds. GE Honda says one of the main selling points is the engines 5,000-hour
TBO, which does not require any interim hot section inspections. Honda developed the engine over a 20-year period and partnered for its production with GE in 2004. There are about 200 orders for the
According to The Associated Press, the
bidding war for Piper and its future PiperJet
factory took an incremental leap on Thursday when
the people who hold the purse strings in
Tallahassee, Fla., offered about $90 million in
incentives to draw the company there. Last week,
Vero Beach, Piper's current home, put $50 million
on the table. Columbia, S.C., and Albuquerque,
N.M., are also in the running but haven't
disclosed their offers yet. Tallahassee figures
Piper, with its 1,500 employees making an average
of $50,000 a year, would be worth about $500
million to the local economy. And at least part
of its offer looks more like a loan than a gift. For instance, the company would make lease
payments on facilities built at taxpayers'
expense to reduce the debt incurred by the city.
Piper would also pay property taxes, which would
also be used to pay off the debt. Tallahassee's
bid, along with the others, will be reviewed by a
consultant before going back to Piper for a decision.
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A bill tabled by
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, and Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., would put a moratorium on the consolidation of air traffic control facilities pending a review of the process by which the consolidations are
undertaken. The bill comes following a high-profile spat over folding the Palm Springs radar facility into the Southern California terminal radar approach control (TRACON) near San Diego. The National
Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) says its not opposed to facility consolidations "where they make sense," but the union claims the FAA is consolidating facilities based on economic
considerations alone and not consulting with other stakeholders. Meanwhile, the fracas over Palm Springs radar took a slight twist on Friday. Technical problems at the SoCal TRACON caused minor
traffic disruptions throughout Southern California but all was normal in Palm Springs, where the radar facility will keep operating until June 7, when the consolidation is to occur. The glitch at San
Diego did nothing to sway the FAA in its consolidation plans, however, and moving day is still planned as scheduled.
The FAA needs to constantly review its programs to prevent runway incursions, rather than react to periodic spikes in
their frequency, the Department of Transportations Office of Inspector General says in a report. The OIG reviewed the
frequency and severity of incursions at major hubs over the last eight years and discovered that when the numbers go up, the FAA takes action. However, in the absence of any upward trend, the agency
seems content with the status quo, even though potentially disastrous incursions continue to occur. Compared to five years ago, FAA has made significant progress in reducing runway incursion
incidents, the report says. However, the serious risks associated with runway incursions underscore the need for maintaining vigilant oversight and a proactive approach for preventing
severe incidents. The OIG says investigators of incursion incidents in which pilot error is to blame need to get into the pilots heads and find out how they made the wrong turn or missed
the controllers directions. The report says that information needs to be shared to help prevent those kinds of errors. Likewise with controllers, the report says, the FAA needs to be on top of
human-factors training issues that contribute to incursions. The report also says the FAA leadership has cut back on the resources it puts into runway safety programs now that it has met its targets
for reducing the number of incidents and recommends that all lines of business in the FAA include measures for reducing incursions as part of their annual plan.
The Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) union says a telephone line glitch that shut down the data link between
OHares radar and the control center on Thursday is a symptom of a flawed contract with a private contractor that isnt qualified to do the work. In a news release, PASS said the problem was traced to the incorrect configuration of telephone lines by
Harris Corp. as part of its contract to install the FAAs Federal Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) system. "At this point, FAA technicians are the only thing holding the FTI program
together. Something needs to be done soon because this issue is not going away and, as we've seen in Chicago, it is only getting worse," PASS spokesman Luke Drake said in the release. When the main
radar signal was lost, controllers switched to a backup, off-site radar. It took 90 minutes to fix the phone problem and about 100 flights were delayed. FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory stressed that
the radar itself continued to work, but the data couldnt be transmitted. A backup radar for OHare has been approved but is now going through the budget process.
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Authorities in Washington State appear to be at least testing the theory that the disappearance of a Cessna 177B in the mountains of
Washington was no accident. Although an aerial and ground search of the area where George Trupps plane dropped off radar near Yakima is continuing, the Yakima Herald Republic says the Civil Air Patrol also asked officials at area airports to look for the plane after some
details of Trupps flight and his past came to light. According to the Yakima Herald Republic, Trupp is a convicted sex offender whos awaiting trial on a charge of groping a woman and
its also been reported that he had his dog in the planewith a two-year supply of dog food. Theres been no ELT signal from the plane, which was rented from a business in Renton. There
has also been at least one reported sighting of an aircraft similar to Trupps about half way between where it was last seen on radar and Yakima. Some comments made by his son Jim Trupp to KOMO News may also be fuelling speculation on his fate. "Honestly, I hope he just got tired and found a clearing and put down and
maybe just decided not to come back," he said. "He should be fine and he's had a lot of survival training. He was in the Air Force."
British pilot adventurers Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill completed a 36,000-mile polar circumnavigation flight on
Thursday at the Bell Helicopter facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The pair started Polar Firstfrom Fort Worth Dec. 5, heading south to catch
Antarctica at its best before heading up the other side of the earth toward the North Pole and a late spring arrival there. They flew a Bell 407 helicopter. It was their second attempt at the record
after the first try ended in a crash in whiteout conditions in Antarctica in 2003. Both pilots were seriously injured in that crash but said they were determined to try again. Murray and Bodill have
both done east-west circumnavigations, Murray in a Robinson R44 helicopter in 2000 and Bodill in a weight-shift ultralight also in 2000. Murray, whos 65, didnt start flying until she was
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A South Hadley, Mass., man was slightly injured after the plane hed just prop started dragged him about 100 feet. Donald Bradley told authorities he was trying to stop it
from hitting nearby houses. The plane stopped shortly after shaking the pilot off
Venezuelan authorities found more than 1,100 pounds of cocaine aboard a Cessna (model unknown) aircraft that crashed there last week. The pilots died in the crash
The FAAs latest edition of the Instrument Procedures Handbook is now available as a free download
Warbirds in Review has been expanded at EAA AirVenture for the coming year. There will be a total of 19 presentations of the popular feature
A Palmair Boeing 737 was grounded Thursday after it flew through a swarm of bees. The plane continued for an hour on the flight from Bournemouth, England, to Faro, Portugal, before it
experienced engine trouble and the pilot returned to Bournemouth.
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tips via email to email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the
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Can proficiency at one maneuver indicate a pilot's skill in avoiding stalls, spins, partial panel, circle-to-land crashes, and engine-failure loss of control? AVweb Thomas Turner knows
one, and it may surprise you.
The important point here is that, especially in a left turn, a steep turn left unchecked will try to get steeper still.
After my student has demonstrated the maneuver PTS-style and notes the differing control forces, I then use the steep turn to show the tendency of a stable airplane to enter a destabilizing spiral
descent. To do this I have my student trim the airplane at or below published Va in a "clean" configuration (flaps and gear up). At a safe altitude (I try for at least 3000 feet AGL), I'll ask the
pilot to put the airplane in a roughly 35¢ª bank, then let go of the controls.
What does this tell us? In most airplanes, if the bank angle is allowed to get steep and the pilot does not apply the right amount of back pressure or opposite aileron, the aircraft will naturally and
quite rapidly descend in an ever-tightening circle with a dramatically fast increase in airspeed and vertical speed. If the maneuver is begun at altitude, the pilot may be able to recover, but if not
the airplane will develop a rate of descent in the thousands of feet per minute, and airspeed may quickly accelerate through the yellow arc to red line (Vne) and beyond. A steep turn is the genesis of
the "graveyard spiral" and, in turn, is implicated in most in-flight break-ups when a pilot gets disoriented by turbulence or an inadvertent cloud penetration.
What else can this teach? Altitude loss comes rapidly in a steep turn, especially to the left. Where do we have the greatest number of traffic pattern accidents? Base turning to final, almost always a
left-hand turn. What's considered one of the riskiest instrument maneuvers? A circling approach, which is by definition a low-altitude, close-in (read: tighter turns) traffic pattern in poor
visibility, in almost all cases turns to the left. Just a little distraction in the turn to final or a circle-to-land maneuver and that airplane can descend that last 500 feet into terrain in a
matter of seconds.
What did your primary flight instructor teach you about traffic pattern turns? "Keep the bank angle below about 20¨¬." Why? In part, so if you're distracted you won't inadvertently spiral
into the ground. I personally feel that many of the accidents we think of as "stall/spin" during the downwind-to-base or base-to-final turn may in fact be spirals that develop so quickly the pilot
can't recover in the altitude available.
Bank angle of course has an effect on stalling speed as well. The angle of attack of an airplane's wing is determined by a number of factors, including indicated airspeed, airplane weight and load
factors imposed by maneuvering. For a given set of conditions, the wing will consistently stall at the same indicated airspeed. It will stall at a higher indicated airspeed under g-loads imposed by
steeps turns. If altitude is kept constant, stall speed increases at the rate shown in the table at right.
Stalls in steep turns happen at a much higher indicated airspeed than the same stall in wings-level flight. For this reason they are called accelerated stalls. For example, an airplane that
stalls at 50 knots indicated in level flight and zero bank angle will stall at about 53 knots in a 30¢ª bank. Enter the realm of the steep turn, however, and that same airplane will stall at
about 61 knots in a 45¢ª bank, and 71 knots indicated airspeed in a 60¢ª bank. No wonder our instructors teach us to keep bank angles shallow in the traffic pattern!
The Airplane Flying Handbook advises that accelerated stalls should be practiced at no greater than approximately 45¢ª bank angle -- a steep turn. The Commercial PTS calls for 55¢ª
bank +/-5¢ª. Why 55¢ª? The FAA considers bank angles beyond 60¢ª to be "aerobatic" maneuvers, with additional aircraft certification requirements and things like required
parachutes. Setting the standard at 55¢ª permits the FAA to provide a +5¢ª tolerance and still not enter the realm of "aerobatic" flight.
The Airplane Flying Handbook also recommends that speed be no greater than the airplane's published design maneuvering speed (Va) or other speed recommended by the airplane manufacturer -- check the
Limitations section of the Pilots Operating Handbook.
Caution: Cross-controlling (bank one way, rudder the other) in an accelerated stall is a quick way to get into a spin, so accelerated stalls are best practiced
with an experienced instructor pilot who knows the characteristics of the airplane you're flying.
If you bank excessively in the pattern and you try to hold altitude, the stalling speed will increase dramatically. If you cross-control the airplane in a steep turn, you can snap over into a
spin with little warning. This is even more reinforcement of our instructor's admonition to keep the bank angle shallow in the traffic pattern or in a circling approach.
Instrument Scan And Proficiency
Steep turns are often practiced "under the hood" during initial instrument training, but they do not appear in the instrument PTS, nor is there any requirement to practice them at all.
Nonetheless I include steep turns early in my initial and recurrent training (told you I'd get back to "why") because I've found they are one of the best indicators of the quality of a pilot's
instrument scan. Throughout a steep turn the qualities of pitch, altitude and heading are all changing and it's up to the pilot to quickly detect deviations, decide what effect they will have, and
adjust the yoke and power to hold altitude while keeping the bank and airspeed constant. That sounds a lot like the credo of the instrument pilot: scan, interpret, and aircraft control.
I actually like to deviate a little from the PTS-style steep turn by leaving power set as it was during turn entry. This means airspeed will begin to decay during the steep turn, making the maneuver
even more dynamic and requiring the pilot pick up and act upon deviations even quicker to stay within the remaining PTS criteria. Practicing steep turns this way forces a pilot to scan the instruments
and make minute control corrections very rapidly if there's any hope of holding altitude and rolling out on assigned heading. If a pilot's scan is slow it'll show up right away in steep turns under
the hood; it tells me up front what my student will have to work on to pass an instrument proficiency check (IPC) and therefore helps me orient the rest of my course. I've also found a few
view-restricted steep turns are the quickest way to knock the rust off an out-of-practice instrument pilot's scan.
What about partial panel flight? We now know that getting into a steep turn makes all sorts of bad things possible. In instrument flight, in fact, all turns at greater than standard rate (about
20¨¬ bank angle at 120 knots, and just under 30¨¬ bank if you can fly around 180 knots) are by definition a "steep" turn. Avoid the pitfalls of steep turns by keeping your bank
angle shallow when flying by reference to instruments; if your attitude indicator has failed, follow your CFII's advice to hold all turns at about half-standard rate ... a very shallow bank
Steep Turns And Engine Failures?
Steep turns even teach us about the dreaded "engine failure on takeoff" scenario in single-engine airplanes. Aerodynamic theory demonstrates that it may be possible in a 45¨¬ bank to lose
power at as little as about 800 feet above ground level, turn around and line up for landing on the departure runway (albeit landing in the opposite direction). Knowing what you now know about steep
turns, however, you might decide that the risk is not worth it. A steep-banked turn, executed any way other than perfectly, can cause an incipient spiral that robs what little altitude you have in the
little time you have before impact. Pull back to resist the descent and stall speed increases up to 22 percent in that 45¨¬ banked turn. In most cases you simply can't win -- which is why
the FAA has dubbed this ill-advised maneuver "the impossible turn."
Let's review what we can learn from steep turns:
Keep bank angles shallow in the traffic pattern to avoid rapid altitude loss.
Keep bank angles shallow in circle-to-land maneuvers for the same reason.
Steep-turn angles of bank significantly increase stalling speed.
Out-of-coordination flight invites a nasty accelerated stall and a possible spin out of a steep turn.
The dynamics of steep turns tell us to keep all turns to half-standard rate if faced with partial-panel flight.
Attempting to return to the departure runway after a low-altitude engine failure on takeoff invites disaster because of the characteristics of steep turns.
Steep turns "under the hood" are one of the best indicators of the quality of a pilot's instrument scan, and provide some of the best practice for improving scanning technique.
So go up and practice steep turns. They may be the perfect proficiency maneuver.
Fly safe, and have fun!
Thomas Turner's Leading Edge columns are collected here.
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AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear how pilot Mark Bent
is helping to change the world. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with DayJet's Ed Iacobucci; Pogo Jet's Cameron Burr; 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; and Avfuel's Craig Sincock. In today's podcast, hear about Brad Whitsitt's crosswind training
simulator. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.
At the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In a few weeks ago, AVweb's Russ Niles got to left-seat in a DC-3, courtesy of Incredible
Adventures. Join us for what some would call the experience of a lifetime, as Dan Greider guides us (carefully) through the flight.
Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You!
If you live near or in one of these states California, Massachusetts, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oklahoma 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 of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. For complete details (and to
reserve your space),
AVweb is actively seeking
out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Merge the Real and Virtual Worlds, and Have Fun Learning
Using ASA's Microsoft® Flight Simulator as a Training Aid book, student pilots can enhance book-learning, review concepts and skills, and prepare for lessons. Certificated pilots
can use the book to complement real-world flying with hours in virtual skies. Flight Instructors will discover new ways to use Flight Simulator as a ground-teaching tool and in pre- and post-flight
Go online for complete
Move over, Jack Bauer! If you think you accomplish a lot in one day, check out this week's time-lapse map showing all of FedEx's flights inside the continental U.S. over a 25-hour period.
Suddenly Memphis is starting to look a lot like the center of the universe ... .
Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it,
there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."
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 Niles (bio) and Editor In Chief
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