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CITES RANGE OF SAFETY ISSUES IN UAV INVESTIGATION
has completed its first investigation into an accident involving an
unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and on Tuesday, the board issued 22 safety
recommendations and expressed concern about operating these vehicles in
the National Airspace System. NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said the high
number of recommendations reflects "a wide range of safety issues
involving the civilian use of unmanned aircraft." On April 26, a
turboprop-powered Predator B operated on a surveillance mission by U.S.
Customs and Border Protection crashed in a sparsely populated
residential area near Nogales, Ariz. No one on the ground was injured,
but the remotely piloted 66-foot-wingspan aircraft was substantially
damaged. The board found that the pilot, who was not proficient in the
performance of emergency procedures, inadvertently shut off the fuel
while dealing with a console "lock-up" problem, causing a total loss of
engine power. The NTSB cited several areas of particular concern
including: the design and certification of the unmanned aircraft system,
pilot qualification and training, the integration of UAVs into the air
traffic management system, and the lack of audio records of UAV
operations-related communications. More...
Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your
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SUES FAA OVER SPORT-JET CRASH
When the Sport-Jet prototype crashed
during a test flight in 2006, it wasn't due to any flaw with the
aircraft or a mistake by the crew, says Excel-Jet in a
suit filed against the FAA. It was because air traffic controllers
cleared the jet to take off behind a large commercial aircraft (a
deHavilland Dash 8) in violation of mandatory separation requirements.
The company on Wednesday said it filed the suit in an effort to prove
that its airplane and pilot were not at fault. On June 22, 2006, the
Sport-Jet rolled aggressively to the left immediately after liftoff and
crashed. The company has long contended that wake turbulence was the
cause, but the NTSB report, completed in April, found "it is most
likely that the wake vortices were neither strong enough nor close
enough to the Sport-Jet to cause the violent roll to the left." The NTSB
cited "a loss of control for an undetermined reason" as the probable
cause of the accident. Excel-Jet now says it has no option but to
initiate legal action against the FAA in an effort to prove that there
was no fault with the aircraft or pilot. More...
PLANS EPIC PLANT IN INDIA
Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya
says he intends to build Epic's line of turboprops and light jets in
India to serve the Asian and Middle Eastern market. Mallya bought a 50
percent stake in Bend, Ore.-based Epic earlier this year and says he
wants to bring the operation, or at least part of it, home. Once
the certification process of Dynasty, Victory and Elite is done in the
US, I want to manufacture them in India. The manufacturing base in India
will largely target Middle-East and Asia besides the domestic
market, he told The Economic Times More...
Aircraft Spruce Is a Proud
Gold Sponsor of the Copperstate Regional EAA Fly-In
Come join Aircraft Spruce
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booth numbers 53 & 70 October 25-28 from 8am-5pm
Thursday-Saturday and 8am-3pm on Sunday. Take advantage of some of your
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FRIENDS AND FAMILY FACE LIKELY LOSS
Sir Richard Branson said
this week that he knows his friend, adventurer Steve Fossett, probably
will not be found alive. "I think the chances are that he's no longer
with us," Branson told Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show on Monday. "I
think everybody involved has pretty well given up hope, sadly." Fossett
was last seen on September 3 when he took off from a private airstrip in
Nevada for a short flight in a Super Decathlon. Branson said Fossett's
wife, Peggy, plans to return to Nevada soon for "one final search," but
her husband's loss is beginning to sink in. Lauer's interview with
Branson is posted online. Continuing efforts by the Civil Air
Patrol and privately funded searchers have failed to turn up any sign of
Fossett or the airplane he was flying. New analysis of radar traces
earlier this month pointed to a 100-square-mile area southeast of the
Hilton ranch that Fossett took off from, but ground searchers found
A380 TO FLY NEXT WEEK WITH SINGAPORE AIRLINES
On the heels of
Boeing's announcement that its latest design, the 787 Dreamliner, will
be delayed six months, Singapore Airlines (SA) is expected to fly its
first Airbus A380 next week for the very first time. The carrier has
gone the luxury route and outfitted its double-decker Airbus with
sleeping cabins that can be converted flying offices. Those flying
economy class on the jet will at least enjoy their own 10.5 inch screen.
SA's configuration has room for 471 passengers instead of seating for
the 800 or more passengers the aircraft is capable of confining.
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FIRED FIGHTING AVIOPHOBIA
A pilot previously made famous for
stripping to his underwear to protest airport security rules has now
been fired from MyTravel Airways after allowing a soccer player to fly
as a passenger in the flight deck jump seat. Captain Pablo Mason has a
(relatively) popular following in the U.K. for his efforts to cure
hundreds of passengers of their fear of flying. Mason acknowledged that
he may have broken a rule by using the jumpseat, but did not admit to
being aware of the rule. He told the Times Online, "I don't accept that
I compromised safety, prejudiced the good name of MyTravel or neglected
my duty." Mason added, "Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the
obedience of fools." More...
TURNS AWAY FROM AMERICAN GRAY
India is turning away American
pilots over age 60, in spite of a need for qualified pilots. The country
is currently seeing an aviation boom (civil aviation, there, is enjoying
a 37 percent growth rate) and a pilot crunch, but that doesn't mean they
want to fill the ranks with American pilots over the age of 60. The
country has made a regulatory decision to stop issuing certificates to
American pilots over the age of 60 -- Indian pilots may fly to age 65.
India expects 350 million air travelers by 2020 (the number was closer
to 75 in 2006) and has the fastest growing number of air passengers in
the world. More...
If You're Looking For Aviation Insurance, Give
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CARRIER SEEKS GOVT. SUBSIDIES FOR TRAINING
Regional Express airline is warning that a pilot shortage will within 12
months become a crisis and is calling on the Australian government to
come to the rescue with cash for training. The airline estimates the
country will need 900 new pilots per year for the next two years, and
says ATPs are being produced in Australia at a rate of less than 400 per
year. As a result, those new pilots that fly first for regional carriers
are being swept up by national carriers at a rate that exceeds supply
leaving both regional and national carriers wanting. More...
REACTS TO FAA ACTION AGAINST JET CHARTER COMPANY
The FAA's recent action to suspend operations at AMI Jet Charter
was "driven more by arrogance and a failure to understand how Part 135
is different from Part 121" than by any concerns about safety, according
to James Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association
(NATA). Coyne, in a letter to NATA members dated October 15, said he was
"extremely angered" by the FAA's "shocking" action. AMI operates about
10 percent of the top-of-the-line Gulfstream, Falcon and other large
corporate jets in the U.S. charter market, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tag Aviation owns 49 percent of
the company, and it is the issue of ownership, or "operational control"
-- and who is responsible for the safe operation of the airplanes --
that is the basis for the FAA's action. AMI filed an appeal last week
with the NTSB, arguing that no "emergency" situation exists to justify
the FAA's action, and provided a declaration countering many of the
FAA's claims against the carrier. AMI's appeal and their response to the
FAA's charges are posted at the NATA Web site. AMI CEO Chuck McLeran said he hopes
to work with the FAA to resolve the issues. "We are confident that we
can demonstrate AMIJC's outstanding safety record to the FAA and our
continued commitment to full compliance with all applicable regulations
and procedures," he said in a statement. More...
Diamond DA40 A Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation,
European-American Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena
Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State
University have all selected the G1000-equipped Diamond DA40
value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet
Go online for information on all Diamond
KEEPS PILOT IN JAIL PENDING FAA ACTION
For pilots who have
experienced waiting for things to happen on an FAA timescale, the
thought of waiting behind bars for the FAA to act could be daunting. One
pilot in Virginia faces that situation, as a judge says he's not willing
to let him out until the FAA revokes his pilot certficate. The FAA says
it can't do that until it completes its investigation, and how long that
will take, nobody can say. Pilot Ronald Davis Jr., 50, of Naples, Fla.,
is in this fix because he's charged with flying under the influence,
which is a felony in Virginia. Davis was giving $10 helicopter rides to
the public at the Suffolk Peanut Fest last Sunday when passengers
complained that he was flying erratically. Police said Davis failed a
field sobriety test and registered a blood-alcohol concentration of
0.116 on a preliminary breath test, the Virginian-Pilot reported. More...
HAVE A WINNER! AVWEB'S RED BULL VIDEO RANKS FIRST
Among all the sports videos on the Internet -- from
CBS, ESPN, and more, about football, and car racing, and scandal -- it
was AVweb's behind-the-scenes coverage of the San Diego Red Bull
Air Race that ranked number one in a worldwide online poll. The web site
WeShow lets viewers around the world choose their favorite videos from
more than 200 channels. Once a month, the ranks are posted, then the
competition starts over. AVweb videographer Glenn Pew combined
dramatic aerial shots, hangar talk with the pilots, knowledgeable
narration, and deft editing to beat out the competition.
WingX 2.5 for Your Motorola Q, Blackjack, or
Pocket PC New!
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support, and you can file and close flight plans from your phone.
has Animated NEXRAD; satellite; lightning prediction
graphics; color-coded METARs and TAFs; approach charts; advanced weight
and balance; route planning; searchable FARs; endorsements; E6B; runway
layouts; SmartTaxi; and a comprehensive A/FD with auto-dial.
Click here to download your demo version
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Bennett Avionics: Used Avionics Guidance You
Used avionics is Bennett Avionics
' only business! Bennett
has served general aviation worldwide with reliable and
quality used avionics for over 30 years. Bennett Avionics
help you meet your avionics needs, improve the capability of your
aircraft, and maintain your budget. Call Bennett Avionics
go online for a complete list of
THAT DIESEL AIRPLANE WORKING OUT FOR YOU?
magazine, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a research project on
diesel aircraft engines. If you're flying one, we would like to know
what your impressions of it are. Has the performance been what you
expected? How about the economy? We would also like to know about
service history. For a questionnaire, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The editorial staff will get right back to you. More...
OF THE WEEK: COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT, NOW BROUGHT TO YOU BY ...
With Cirrus and Cessna both bidding on the assets of
Columbia Manufacturing, the race is on! Whom do you predict will win the
bankruptcy sweepstakes and get to put their name above Columbia's on the
company letterhead? Make your predictions here! Plus: Should
passengers be allowed to use cell phones on commercial flights?
AVweb readers had a strong opinion on last week's Question.
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OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
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." "POTW" submissions
tapered off a bit this week, with only 65 new photos finding their way
to our submission box but with a backlog of fantastic photos from
the last three weeks that we're still trying to sneak into our home page
slideshow, there's no shortage of oohs or
Our top spot goes to a slightly unusual photo this
week. Most winners make us happy when we look at them but this
one just made us happy it wasn't us in the cockpit! Wally Dilling of Hagerstown, Indiana
didn't offer many comments, but he did explain that "brakes don't work
so well on wet grass." An official AVweb cap will probably be
cold comfort, Wally but we're sending you one anyway.
OF THE WEEK: AVIATION FACILITIES, INC. (AFI) (KFUL, FULLERTON,
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Aviation Facilities, Inc. (AFI) at
KFUL in Fullerton, California a family-run FBO that celebrated
anniversary at KFUL last week.
AVweb reader Ray
Stratton gave us a little history:
Starting with a
C-150 and using the airport motel lobby as an office, [AFI] ... has
grown to a fleet of eleven aircraft and over seven instructors. Still
owned and operated by the same family, it has accomplished over 250,000
hours of flight instruction.
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!
Understanding Your Airplane's Mechanics Could
Save Your Bank Account
Light Plane Maintenance
is the monthly magazine for
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THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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.
AVwebFlash team is:
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
Navigate. Communicate. More...