AVwebBiz - Volume 11, Number 17

May 1, 2013

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Aviation Safety back to top 
 

Russian Airliner Evades Missiles

Russia has ordered its airlines to avoid Syrian airspace after a charter airliner with 159 passengers and eight crew aboard escaped a possible missile attack Monday. Russia Today quoted Interfax as saying the the Nordwind Airlines A320, on a flight from an Egyptian resort to Kazan in Tatarstan, was over the mountains of Syria when the crew spotted the launch of two ground-to-air missiles and took evasive action. The missiles reportedly exploded "very close" to the airliner at about 30,000 feet, but it was not damaged. The crew then asked ATC for a higher altitude and continued the trip at 33,000.

Russian officials have stopped short of calling the incident a targeted attack on the airliner but they have now banned civilian overflights of the war-torn country. Prior to the incident the government recommended airlines steer clear of Syrian airspace and most were doing so. On Tuesday the recommendation became an order. Russia is also making diplomatic inquiries to determined the exact nature of the incident and has stressed that it has no evidence to characterize it as an intentional attempt to bring the aircraft down.

747 Crash Caught On Dash Cam

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An American-owned Boeing 747-400 operated by National Air Cargo crashed on takeoff from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan Monday killing all seven people aboard. Dash cam video (right) shows the aircraft climbing before it apparently pitches up and stalls. The pilot appears to have initiated a recovery but runs out of altitude and the aircraft pancakes in a huge fireball. Various theories on the cause of the crash have been advanced but so far the only one backed up with evidence is that weather might have played a role.

Thunderstorms and major wind shear were recorded in the area about the time of the crash and skies look stormy in the video. Another theory gaining traction is that the cargo might have shifted. The aircraft was reportedly carrying five army trucks.

 
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Aviation and the World of Sound on Your iPad
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Download Sennheiser's new magazine app for the iPad at no cost and dive right into a new and interactive way to experience the world of sound. In the aviation issue, the high art of aerobatics features alongside the high art of plane building from scrap heaps. Watch Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe take his first flying lessons and learn how veteran pilots pass the torch in schools. Also listen to our new "Live Your Dream" theme song by Joe.e.

In May, BlueStage is all about the sonic experience on wings. Download, swipe, and enjoy! Learn more.
 
Rolling Back One Corner of the Sequester Cuts back to top 
 

FAA Furlough Bill Fixed, Waiting For Signature

The bill that would give the FAA the ability to shift money from its airport improvement budget to suspend furloughs of its employees still has not been signed into law because of a spelling error. A missing "S" in the bill rushed through both houses to end a week of delays and political turmoil surrounding the furloughs prevented President Obama from signing it. The Senate passed an amended bill Tuesday and it was to have passed the House by late in the day. The president was expected to sign it by the end of the day but that had not been confirmed by our deadline. The original bill was so rushed that parts of it were handwritten. Meanwhile, the pundits are speculating that air transportation will take a back seat to surface projects under Obama's pick for a Transportation Secretary.

As we reported Monday, Obama nominated Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx to replace the outgoing Ray LaHood, who announced he was stepping down in January. Airlines are hopeful that Foxx will maintain a full appreciation for air transport since he presided over the construction of a third runway at Charlotte-Douglas Airport in Charlotte. But Joshua Schank of the Eno Center for Transportation thinks he's focused on roads and rail. "Even though he may have had some experience dealing with an airport, his choice represents an emphasis on metropolitan areas," Schank said. "I would imagine that aviation would be a secondary consideration for him."

 
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To the Stars — Again back to top 
 

SpaceShipTwo Makes Powered Flight

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The first powered flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo propelled the passenger spacecraft faster than the speed of sound in a milestone test flight over the high desert of southern California Monday morning. "The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt, our single most important flight test to date," said Virgin Galactic Founder Sir Richard Branson, who was in Mojave for the flight. "For the first time, we were able to prove the key components of the system, fully integrated and in flight." The autonomous flight of the spacecraft lasted about 10 minutes and ended with the vehicle gliding to a landing at Mojave.

The spacecraft was lifted to 47,000 feet by WhiteKnightTwo before being dropped from the mother ship. Scaled Composites test pilots Mark Stucky and Mike Alsbury then fired the rocket engine for 16 seconds and the spacecraft streaked to 55,000 feet, reaching Mach 1.2. Flying WhiteKnightTwo was Virgin Galactic Chief Pilot Dave Mackay, and Scaled Composites' copilot Clint Nichols and flight engineer Brian Maisler. "The rocket motor ignition went as planned, with the expected burn duration, good engine performance and solid vehicle handling qualities throughout," said Virgin Galactic President & CEO George Whitesides. "The successful outcome of this test marks a pivotal point for our program. We will now embark on a handful of similar powered flight tests, and then make our first test flight to space."

 
AEA Pilots Guide || Aircraft Electronics Association
Pilot's Guide to Avionics Now Available
The 2012-13 edition of the Aircraft Electronics Association's Pilot's Guide to Avionics is now available. To request a complimentary copy, visit AEAPilotsGuide.net.

This special 10th anniversary edition is a consumer's directory containing buyer's guides, educational articles and timely information about the avionics industry, its products and its people. The publication helps pilots make better buying decisions and locate more than 1,300 AEA member companies, including government-certified repair stations around the world.
 
Plan Your Stops in Indiana back to top 
 

Indiana Slashes Aviation Taxes

While other governments, including the current administration, are increasingly viewing aviation as a cash cow, the State of Indiana has slashed aviation-related taxes that will save some aircraft operators thousands of dollars a year. The legislature in Indianapolis has cut fuel taxes from 60 cents a gallon (based on current prices) to a 10-cent-a-gallon excise tax. Taxes on parts used in repairs and maintenance have also been eliminated. AOPA says the outcome came after a lobbying effort it supported involving the local aviation community. The group showed Indiana lawmakers how Maine had significantly improved its aviation industry by amending its aviation tax structure a few years ago.

The savings will be considerable for both itinerant and transient traffic in Indiana. For instance, the owner of a Baron will save more than $100 on a single fill-up under the new tax structure. Busy flight schools could save as much as $40,000 per airplane every year. The reductions put Indiana back in a competitive position with neighboring states that have lower aviation-related taxes. "Indiana had to respond, as other states have seized on their neighbors' tax structures to gain competitive advantages for their aviation businesses," AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds told AOPA Online. "Excellent Indiana repair shops have been unable to compete by attracting out-of-state aircraft for services, and have seen the troubling trend of based aircraft leaving the state to save money."

 
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with Bluetooth
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New Sovereign Takes to the Air back to top 
 

Production Sovereign Flies

Cessna has flown the production version of its updated Sovereign mid-sized business jet and, as expected, everything went well. The two and a half hour flight tested all the systems, including the new G5000 avionics suite that includes autothrottles. "The aircraft handling characteristics and performance were exceptional, just as we had anticipated after flying more than 1,300 hours in three test flight articles. The Garmin G5000 avionics system provides a sense of control and situational awareness that any pilot will appreciate," said Matt Freund, Cessna production flight test pilot.

The new Sovereign has winglets to boost climb and short-field performance. Range is also up about 150 nm to about 3,000 nm. It will climb directly to 45,000 feet and top speed is 458 knots. First deliveries are planned for later this year.

 
'How to Fly Airplanes: Basic Aircraft Control' 
by Robert Reser || Available at AVwebBooks.com
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Reports from CAFE, Aero back to top 
 

Video: Pipistrel at CAFE 2013

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

At the 7th annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California, Tine Tomazic of Pipistrel summarized the new and emerging projects the company is working on to promote hybrid and electric flight.

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AVweb Insider Blog: Aero -- Why It's Such a Player

The Aero show in Friedrichshafen, Germany is attracting ever more North American participation. There's a reason for that. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explains -- and offers observations on the Pipistrel Panthera and new regulatory reforms.

Read more and join the conversation.

 
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Who's Where back to top 
 

Blackwood Retiring from Superior

Bill Blackwood

Bill Blackwood is retiring as Superior Air Parts' director of operations. He's worked in aviation for 42 years and joined Superior in 2006.


Minkoff to JFI Jets

Bill Minkoff

Bill Minkoff is the new VP of global management and sales. He was most recently a regional sales director for Hawker Beechcraft.


Sanchez Joins Cutter Aviation

Genaro Sanchez

Genaro Sanchez has been appointed director of marketing and communications for Cutter Aviation.


Spears at American Eurocopter

Mike Spears

Mike Spears is the new senior director for Lakota production and retrofit at Eurocopter's Columbus, Miss. facility. He was formerly general manager of the Sikorsky Aircraft production facility in Troy, Ala.


Who's Where? You Tell Us

Get a promotion or a new job? Your colleagues want to know about it, and AVwebBiz can get the word out. Drop us a line about the staff appointment, with a nice recent photo, and we'll do our best to include it in our new section, "Who's Where." The items will be permanently archived on AVweb for future reference, too.

 
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 
 

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 255,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

AVwebBiz is a weekly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the world's premier independent aviation news resource.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Publisher
Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Webmaster
Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Contributors
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? Your advertising can reach over 225,000 loyal AVwebFlash, AVwebBiz, and AVweb home page readers every week. Over 80% of our readers are active pilots and aircraft owners. That's why our advertisers grow with us, year after year. For ad rates and scheduling, click here or contact Tom Bliss, via e-mail or via telephone [(480) 525-7481].

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