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The Seattle Times has identified Philip Kibler, of Troy, N.Y., as the pilot of a Cessna
Grand Caravan that went down in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State Sunday, killing him and nine skydivers. Searchers have recovered all ten bodies after initially locating seven. The Times also
identifies seven of nine members of the Snohomish Skydive Club, all but one in their 20s, as Andy Smith, 20; Casey Craig, 30; Hollie Rasberry, 24; Michelle Barker, 22; Landon Atkin, 20; Cecil Elsner,
20; and Jeff Ross, 28, all of Washington State. Bill Kibler said his brother Phil, the pilot, was an accomplished microbiologist who changed careers to become a full-time pilot. "But we also knew his
desire to fly was a life-affirming event," said Bill Kibler. "Flying was Phil's thing." Kibler was described as a safety-conscious pilot. This was to be his last trip of the skydiving season before he
returned home to New York.
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The folks at Ballistic Recovery Systems have been hinting since this summer, when Cessna introduced its Skycatcher Light Sport Aircraft at
EAA AirVenture, that the new airplane would be equipped with a BRS parachute. This week, Cessna finally made it official. The BRS system will be offered as a factory-installed option not only for the
Skycatcher, but for all of Cessna's piston singles. "We've been working with Cessna since the beginning on their remarkable new design and we are pleased that they see the value in having leading-edge
safety features like the BRS system on board," said BRS CEO Larry Williams. The Skycatcher parachute will sit aft of the seats, similar to the current installations available for the Cessna Skyhawk
and Skylane models.
Under the new agreement, Cessna service stations across the world will begin offering BRS whole-airframe parachute system installations and service for the 172 Skyhawk and 182 Skylane later this
year. BRS will begin immediately developing an STC for the parachutes to be installed in the C-206.
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At Atlanta's Air Route Traffic Control Center, the busiest air traffic control facility in the country, officials have confirmed that various kinds of fungus and mold have been found growing in the
building. About half of the 300 staffers have complained of headaches and recurring sinus infections. A fungus called Scopulariopsis has been found in the control room, under the floor, and in
ductwork, and spores are being dispersed through the air. "The FAA is trying to minimize the damages and rush a cleanup," said Calvin Phillips, the facility's representative to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "We are deeply troubled to learn that we are basically
surrounded by this highly toxic fungus. For several years, we have been complaining of health issues and have long suspected that our sick building was to blame."
A contractor that had been cleaning air ducts at the center told all of its workers to leave the building. "We were never given any warning that the possibility of mold and fungus could be
present," said Richard Denney, of Peachtree Mechanical Inc. "We have not been notified of the ongoing issues at the FAA by anyone." FAA officials told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they have taken steps to control the fungus and are now working
on a long-term clean-up plan. "We would not put our employees' health at risk," regional FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told the newspaper. "It is an issue, but we think we've resolved it from an
A British group that certifies most of the organic produce that is sold in the U.K. may change its rules to deny an "organic" label to food that is flown into the country via air freight, FoodProductionDaily.com reported on Wednesday. The measure is meant to reduce
carbon emissions. However, a recent report from the International Trade Centre says if the ban were imposed, it would harm poor farmers in Africa, who produce most of the exports. The demand for
organic fruits and vegetables has been an economic boon to more than 20,000 farmers in Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Morocco. The ITC report points out that the proposed ban is meant to encourage
local production of food to avert carbon emissions during transport, but African farmers, who would be most harmed by the change, use hardly any fossil fuels.
A decision whether or not to recommend the ban on air freight is expected next week.
Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud Sponsor of the Great Georgia Air Show
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addition to breathtaking aerial performances, you'll enjoy arts, crafts, kids' zone, food, and beverages at family-friendly prices. Adult admission: $13.00; child: $5.00. Purchase your tickets at
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The FAA says 12 aircraft on their way to an antique aircraft fly-in in Hagerstown, Md., violated a temporary flight restriction (TFR)
and at least four were escorted out by F-16s. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told The Washington Post the lack of radios on some of the aircraft led to the interceptions. The Post said those attending
the fly-in witnessed an F-16 circling a single-engine plane. The TFR was put in place in its final form on Friday to make way for President Bush's attendance at a memorial service nearby. Brown said
it's up to pilots to ensure they know where they can fly. Brown said pilots checking NOTAMs would have known the TFR was there and been able to avoid it. It appears many pilots did check the NOTAMs
and decided to avoid the TFR by avoiding the fly-in. Organizers said only 20 aircraft showed up, compared to the 100 or so they were expecting.
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A simple new technique could help to identify and repair small, potentially dangerous cracks in high-performance aircraft wings made of composite materials, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, in Troy, N.Y., have reported. The scientists added a small amount of carbon nanotubes to the mix when
forming composite materials from epoxy resin and carbon fiber. The tubes can electronically detect even the tiniest cracks and then release materials that will repair the problem, with a 70-percent
recovery in strength. The process would improve the life span, integrity and safety of composites, the researchers said. "What's novel about this application is that we're using carbon nanotubes not
just to detect the crack, but also to heal the crack," said principal scientist Nikhil Koratkar. "We use the nanotubes to create localized heat, which melts the healing agent, and that's what cures
Koratkar said he envisions the new system for detecting cracks to eventually be integrated into the built-in computer system of a fighter jet or other composite aircraft. He also said there is some
evidence that the nanotube structures help to prevent cracks in the first place. He plans further studies. Philip Irving, an expert in damage tolerance at Cranfield University in the U.K., told New Scientist that heating could weaken a
composite. "The top surface of a wing may buckle," he warned.
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If part of what you enjoy about flying is the view out the window, prepare for that small pleasure to be infringed upon by the marketing mavens. A company called Ad-Air, based in London, is creating what it calls the "first global aerial advertising network," selling five-acre inflatable ads that lie across the landscape like giant
billboards, strategically placed beneath flight paths into major airports. "What an incredible marketing opportunity - all these passengers with nothing else to do, staring down at the ground below,"
Paul Jenkins, managing director of Ad-Air, told the International Herald-Tribune. Ad-Air said it has official okays
to set up the ads near more than a dozen major airports in the U.K., France, Asia, and several in the U.S., including Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles International.
Ad-Air has spent about $10 million to buy or lease sites below flight paths. The first site is to be unveiled later this month in Dubai.
Forget security and safety-of-flight concerns -- airline passengers in the U.K. are worried about their sanity if cellphones are allowed in the cabin in flight. "It would drive me absolutely mad if
the person next to me was using his phone," Gwyneth Dunwoody told the London
Telegraph. The newspaper has been spearheading a campaign to keep cellphones out of airline cabins. So far, over 3,000 people have signed an online petition to protest the proposal. In the U.S.,
the FAA has dropped any plans to consider allowing cellphone use aloft. But the European Aviation Safety Agency has given the OK to new in-flight mobile technology that allows devices to operate with
less power and avoid possible interference.
Britain's Civil Aviation Authority has identified up to 20 incidents of aircraft malfunction linked to the use of mobile phones, according to the Telegraph. Airlines planning to allow mobile use
include Ryanair, Tap Air Portugal and Air France, as well as Emirates, AirAsia and Kingfisher (India) airlines.
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Those of us who love to fly might be fascinated by a video of air show pilot Mike Goulian explaining what it takes to fly a Red Bull air race -- but it turns out that the wide-open masses of people
enjoy it, too. The interview, shot by AVweb videographer Glenn Pew in San Diego a few weeks ago, has risen to No. 3 in the WeShow sports-video rankings. Visitors to the site vote for their
favorite video-casts from thousands of choices all over the Internet, and to reach No. 3, Goulian had to compete with the likes of the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Knicks, the Tour de France doping
scandal, and a spectacular race-car crash. You can help move Goulian even higher in the rankings, by visiting the site and voting for
If AVweb's video reaches No. 1, we have nothing to gain -- just the satisfaction of knowing that more people are learning why we find aviation so interesting!
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 email@example.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
AFSS Is Up to Speed. And Gaining Altitude.
The new automated flight services system is here. Revolutionizing flight service operations. Reducing legacy sites. Bringing 15 upgraded sites and three hubs online. Retaining 1,200 specialists.
Marrying local needs with national information sources. The result: ever-improving levels of performance. And a future of efficient, effective service that give general aviation pilots more
flexibility than they've ever thought possible.
To see for yourself,
I do get lucky. I'm writing this from the press room in Atlanta, Ga., where I've just been along to the 60th annual National Business Aviation
Association (NBAA) exhibition -- and gotten to meet at least one of my U.S. colleagues in person. Meanwhile, over in Europe, it's been a mixed month for GA pilots ...
Crisis for British Private Pilots
Britain's AOPA. has produced a disturbing set of figures that show that 70 percent of U.K. Private pilots don't renew their licenses after five
years. Of the 2,500 licenses issued in 2000, only 750 were renewed in 2005. It is also clear that Instrument pilot ratings are down 50 percent, impacting both safety and commercial training. Martin
Robinson, chief executive officer of AOPA in the U.K. gathered the figures from the British Civil Aviation Authority. The alarming dropout rate has raised concern and AOPA's corporate members are
producing an information pack that explains how to reactivate the private certificate, aimed at attracting private pilots back into the fold. AOPA-U.K. believes that the fallout is due to both expense
and over-regulation, as well as the plethora of leisure pursuits that jostle with flying for people's pounds and time. As if this wasn't bad enough, another black cloud on the horizon comes from the
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is threatening to cancel grandfather rights held by long-term aviators who hold licenses from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rather than JAR-FCL
licenses. Apparently EASA is about to pull the plug on nationally-issued licenses, forcing all European pilots to apply for JAR tickets. The two overwhelming issues are the additional expense caused
by having to renew a JAR license every five years, currently GB£55 (around US$110) and the fact that pilots may have to be re-examined to retain their flying privileges.
Also in Britain, the CAA has issued a new student callsign, after a tragedy that saw an inexperienced student pilot killed after he lost control of his aircraft whilst carrying out an unfamiliar
maneuver trying to obey an ATC instruction. The crash was the culmination of an unfortunate series of events, so the Air Accident Investigation Bureau has recommended to the CAA that the Manual of Air
Traffic Service (MATS) Part 1 and the Radio Telephony Manual (CAP413) should be amended to "emphasize to controllers that pilots identifying themselves as students have limited ability, which must be
taken into account when issuing instructions." Pilots will be issued with a "suitable prefix for use in civil radio telephony to signify a student pilot, flying solo." The CAA has accepted both
recommendations and is in the process of adapting the manuals.
Next year's largest European GA show organizer has created a second, new, central-European venue in addition to its 2008 London event. I have to fess up here ... I'm helping them promote it. I say
this unashamedly as it's great to have anything that develops GA in Europe. (Reread the story above if you need convincing.) AeroExpo has announced a brand-new event taking place in Prague April
25-27, 2008, which builds on its experience of producing successful shows. The organizers have selected Prague because of its location: 70 percent of all European GA takes place within a 500-mile
radius of the capital. "We wanted to create a venue that would attract and benefit all the region's key players," said managing director John Brennan. "With business aviation burgeoning in the region
and light-sport aircraft becoming a reality, it was the logical next step"
The exhibition will be the only dedicated, GA exhibition in central Europe in 2008. Said Brennan, "It is also the city that most effectively provides the bridge between Western Europe and the emerging
countries to the east. Its location at the heart of Europe together with the facilities available means it will be an important venue for exhibitors to showcase their products and services to the
European GA market and, in particular, to the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and Russia." The show takes place at Pribram airfield, which offers brand-new, covered exhibition space with adjacent
apron, plenty of hard-static display areas and almost unlimited open-air ground suitable for general aviation aircraft. Facilities on the airfield include a small hotel, restaurant, bar, and a
conference centre. There is also an internet café and press center on site. The 4,700 ft. tarmac runway is sufficient for aircraft up to business-jet level and is supported by a well-maintained
grass runway of equal length. Exhibitors flying into Pribram can taxi their aircraft directly to the static display area. Flight demonstrations will be especially easy to accomplish at AeroExpo
The AeroExpo team already has a proven history of producing successful shows. June 13-15, 2008 will see around 15,000 visitors descend on Wycombe Air Park near London, U.K., for its third annual
event, which will be Europe's largest GA show in 2008.
Svetlana Kapanina is certainly flying the flag for GA. The Russian ace won the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Grand Prix held in Moscow at the MAKS 2007 show last
month. This win means she is the first woman to be an overall winner of an international FAI aerobatic competition. More than 600,000 people attended the airshow, where the competition took place.
Kapanina won the female category in the 2007 world championships, placed fourth overall and has consistently been the top female competitor in all world and European championships since 1995.
GPS Approval For Non-Precision Approaches ... Almost
Mike Mangold once again trounced his opponents to take the Budapest leg of the Red Bull Air Race World Series on Aug. 20. Mangold pipped Kirby
Chambliss to the post, flown over the famous river Danube in Hungary. Watched by a million spectators, Mangold ousted Brit Paul Bonhomme in the seventh race of the 10-set series. Mangold did
particularly well, as it seemed like he lost control of his high-speed Edge 540 and almost ditched at high speed.
Red Bull World Air Race spectators in Budapest were treated to a stunning display by Flying Bulls helicopter ace Rainer Wilke. Piloting a Bolkow
Bo-105, his show included gravity-defying rolls and loops. Wilke is a former military pilot and a regular on the Flying Bulls crew, a team which flies stunt and classic aircraft and which was the
inspiration behind the Red Bull racing series. Flying Bulls are based in the state-of-the-art, egg-shaped, glass Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport,
Austria, and run by Sigi Angerer, a close personal friend and former flying instructor to Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull's owner.,
Meanwhile, Britain's Steve Jones took his first Red Bull win at Porto, Portugal, beating Mike Mangold in a tight battle over the Douro River in front of 600,000 spectators. He posted a winning time of
one minute 10 seconds exactly. Paul Bonhomme took third by winning the consolation race against Peter Besenyei.
World Championships put Microlighting on the Map
August saw the World Microlight Championships in the Czech Republic. Won by the British team after a week of competitive flying,
the winners took four gold medals, two silvers and one bronze medal. Seventy-one competitors from 15 countries showed up to pit against each other in 11 events. The competition was held at Usti Nad
Orlici, a large glider airfield 100 miles southwest of Prague. Virtual 250-metre gates were dotted over the courses to measure track accuracy and predicted ground speed.
No Need to Feel the Speed in Spain
The Spanish government is examining a new helicopter-based radar system to nab miscreants speeding along the highways. The Direccion General de Trafico (DGT) says the radar system is accurate from an
altitude of 1000 feet and a distance of 1 km. The ministry intends to launch a fleet of helicopters to counteract speeding. The aircraft will be equipped with a Wescam MX15 infrared camera, enabling
them to zoom in on a vehicle's numberplate while an airborne radar system reads off the speed.
Last week, we managed to record a bumper crop of podcasts with the aviation industry's leading figures covering topics that ranged from inside the cockpit (synthetic vision) to new airplanes
(from Diamond and Cessna) to Lockheed Martin's embattled perspective on the newly-privatized AFSS system. In case you missed any, here's a complete recap of our exclusive audio coverge from the
Piper CEO Jim Bass introduces the Piper Matrix, a non-pressurized variant of the company's popular Mirage.
Tecnam's Lynne Birmingham says the LSA manufacturer is ready to move into making Part 23-certified aircraft, including a
retractable-gear trainer and a new light twin.
VistaNav's Jeff Simon knows there are a lot of synthetic vision products on the market competing for your cockpit spending; in this
interview, he shares a few of the reasons why VistaNav continues to be an industry leader in a tight market.
ADS-B is on the way, and the FAA wants you to upgrade your avionics
to an ADS-B-compatible package by 2020. That's a long way off, but
it's still going to cost money. Last week, we asked AVweb
readers how much they'd be willing to spend to equip their airplanes for
The plurality of responses fell into the $1,000 range
(accounting for 47% of those who answered), while only 9% fell at the
extremes of the sky's the limit and the government should pay
me to install it.
For the actual breakdown of responses,
(You may be asked to register and answer, if you haven't already
participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
We've probably asked this before, but it's come up again, and we're
wondering if you've changed your mind on it: This time, there's actually a
petition against allowing cell phone use on airliners. What do you think? Should their use be allowed on commercial flight?
Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to
NOTE: 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.
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AVweb reader Bob Spidell quot;didn't know a thing about local FBOs ... [and] picked one out of Pilot's Guide," but he was surprised at how well he'd picked when he arrived at
[T]he young lady who took my reservation had my rental car parked out front, running, with the air conditioner on as it was a hot day. ... Friendly staff, efficient and well-run outfit--a credit to
AVweb is actively seeking
out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You!
If you live near or in one of these states California, New Mexico, or 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),
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." Want to see your photo on AVweb.com?
Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
We're dancing a jig at "POTW" HQ this week, as reader
submissions have topped well over 100 for the third week in a row.
But, since we've got a lot of ground to cover, it has a to be a fast
Lee Hogan of Addison, Wisconsin
scores the winning field goal by combining two great tastes that go
great together at least during autumn in the U.S. Lee tells us
this was part of a 3-plane fly-over of T-34s from Lima Lima during the
halftime show at Marmion Academy's homecoming game. Now that's
what we call a show!
Lee, watch your mailbox for a well-earned AVweb cap winging its
way to you in the next couple of days!
Andrew Edgerton (of Arlington,
Virginia) thought it might be fun to photograph two tenants of
Maryland's Gortner Airport hangars together. The li'l fella is an
RC model that regularly flies the strip, and his brother is a 1946 Piper
Cub belonging to Andrew's father than "looks like it just rolled off the
assembly line in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania ... and flies even better."
Frakes of Mazomanie, Wisconsin (already on the list of
places we should learn how to officially pronounce before we
embarrass ourselves publicly one day) writes, "My son started
flying with me at five years old; now his son is beginning at 16
months and already seems to love flying."
We'll see you back here next week. In the meantime,
please remember to
A quick note for submitters: If you've got several
photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit
them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing
print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on
us, too. ;)
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,
send us an e-mail.
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AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.
The AVwebFlash team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
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.
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