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Volume 18, Number 23a
June 4, 2012
Is Your Entire Life Savings Worth 10 Minutes of Your Time?
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AVflash! Chasing Storms—On Their Home Turfback to top 

click for video
click for photos
Kansas City, Mo., pilot Caleb Elliott broke what many pilots consider a cardinal rule and he said he hopes to continue doing it for the rest of the tornado season. He and fellow storm chaser Skip Talbot, along with videographer Phil Bates, spent three days at the end of May trying to get as close as they could to tornado-generating super cells in a Cessna 182 piloted by Elliott. "I definitely don't recommend that anyone do this," Elliott said in a podcast interview that will appear on AVweb on Monday. He said he's been chasing storms on the ground for almost 20 years and understands how they work, and that's how he and his passengers were able to get as close as a mile to monster cells capable of forming tornadoes without having their aircraft torn apart. Elliott says he hopes to do more flights to help broaden the knowledge of aerial encounters with big storms so pilots can learn how to survive inadvertent encounters with them. Although they never saw a tornado from the air, all the elements for their creation were present in the storms they probed. More...

Air traffic control thought so, but Kansas City pilot and storm chaser Caleb Elliott says light aircraft have an important role to play in studying storm behavior. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles. More...

Maybe not, but we sure see a lot less of them these days. But radar hasn't changed what's probably the nastiest risk in severe storms: hail. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli talks about the risks. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
Bose® A20® Aviation Headset
The Best We've Ever Made
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly. Today, we continue to set the standard with the Bose A20 Aviation Headset. The headset provides acclaimed noise reduction, with a comfortable fit and the clear audio you expect from Bose. It also features Bluetooth® connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more.
Aviation Safety Reportsback to top 

A Dana Air MD-83 carrying 153 passengers and crew crashed into a neighborhood on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, on Sunday afternoon. All aboard the aircraft were believed to have been killed and there are also an unknown number of casualties on the ground. The flight originated in the Nigerian city of Abuja. The aircraft first hit a furniture shop before plowing through residential buildings in the congested neighborhood. It was the second accident involving a Nigerian aircraft in as many days. More...

'The Aviators' || Weekly on PBS - Also on 
iTunes & Hulu
The Aviators: Watch Us on TV, on DVD and Online ... Now!
The award-winning hit television series airing across the US weekly on PBS (contact your local station), in Canada on Travel+Escape, and overseas on Discovery. The Aviators covers all-things aviation, as our pilot/hosts take you flying with the Blue Angels, on $100 hamburger runs, or exploring aircraft from warbirds to airliners. Seasons 1 and 2 now on iTunes and Hulu. Season 3 coming this fall ... and premiering at AirVenture 2012!

Click here to learn more.
The Cost of Flying Historyback to top 

The FAA is now taking comments prior to developing rules that would regulate your ability to fly in (or to fly) certain historic aircraft as a paying passenger, and the deadline to submit comments is nearing. Since the mid-1990s, the FAA has used its Living History Flight Experience (LHFE) policy to address the issue. That policy provides a channel for owner/operators of historic aircraft to conduct certain passenger flights for compensation. But the FAA says some proposed business models, like hands-on simulated aerial combat flights in vintage jet aircraft, fall outside the original scope and intent of LHFE policy. It is now evaluating its policy regarding those and other operations and is seeking public input. More...

Bendix/King by Honeywell
A New Day at Bendix/King by Honeywell
Bendix/King Avionics has established new business operations in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Soon, we'll have an all-new product line. We have renewed our brand — and our promise — to design, build and support the best-performing, most innovative and cost-effective avionics products available for general aviation. Visit us online by clicking here.
Life in the Age of Machinesback to top 

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say they're the first to create a wing-flapping micro air vehicle (MAV) that can land autonomously by perching like a bird. The researchers say that while it was the challenge of duplicating such a complicated and precise maneuver that drove them, such a robot could be pretty useful in confined spaces. The MAV has articulating wings with multiple control surfaces that have to work in concert to create the lift and control for the perch. "Of all maneuvers executed by flapping wing aircraft in a gliding phase, a perched landing is arguably the most challenging," said Aditya Paranjape, a postdoctoral scholar working on this project. More...

While the FAA has spent years trying to figure out how to accommodate unmanned aerial systems in the nation's airspace, if you want to perform a video stunt involving a remote-control helicopter and two Cessna 150s at one of the Philippines' commercial airports, all you have to do is ask. An outfit called Heligraphix has released a video showing what it says is the formation flight of one of the Cessnas with a particularly capable RC helicopter while the model was being controlled from the aircraft. They also claim it's the first time its been done. More...

Aviation Discount Center's Flying Season 
Sweepstakes Giveaway Begins in June!
Flying Season Sweepstakes Giveaway Begins in June!
Aviation Discount Center is giving away one of these four amazing prizes each week during the month of June:

Week 1: iFly 720 GPS Moving Map Display
Week 2: Bose A20 Aviation Headset
Week 3: Seattle Avionics Voyager SkyPad 3 EFB
Week 4: Apple iPad2 with Garmin Pilot

No purchase is required; it's simple to enter. Click here to enter and win!
Feets, Don't Fail Us Nowback to top 

The goal is to fly a human-powered aircraft over a 26-mile course that includes an oval and two figure-eight patterns in less than an hour; history says Larry McNay's team might do it and his aircraft could be ready in a few weeks. McNay was part of the Gossamer Albatross team that successfully flew a pedal-powered aircraft across the English Channel in June of 1979. He was 16 at the time. He is now a Lockheed Martin engineer with his sights set on winning the 26-mile Kremer International Marathon Competition to be held this July in the United Kingdom. His team's design, the Wind Rose, has a 60-foot wingspan and is made almost exclusively of advanced composites. But the marathon competition isn't the team's only goal. More...

Avidyne's EX600 Can Save You 20% on 
Jeppesen NavData & CMax Subscription
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Purchase an EX600 MFD with QuickPan™ from Avidyne, and Jeppesen will give you 20% off of annual subscriptions when bundling NavData with CMax Electronic Approach Charts and Airport Diagrams. This offer is good for EX600s purchased between May 8 and June 29. Click here for details.
BargainWatchback to top 

EBay seller "stevessupercoolstuff" says it's an "original SR-71 Blackbird vertical tail rudder," the "buy it now" price is $1,000,000 (you'd be responsible for shipping and handling), and he or she will accept PayPal. For the asking price, the seller's posting Friday offered one picture and a four-sentence description. Two of those sentences don't describe the item, but the seller is inviting queries via email. The picture shows a fin decorated with a Lockheed Skunkworks insignia and the numbers 17955, which, if authentic, links the part to a specific aircraft and its history. More...

A web-based platform will be rolled out this July to help diagnose and troubleshoot engine problems, and it will be available free of charge (and ad-free) at The system has been developed by Mike Busch, A&P/IA and CEO of Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management Inc. It works to graph and analyze piston engine data collected from "virtually all" existing engine monitors, according to Busch. The system is currently in beta testing by a select group of end users, and Busch says the final product aims to be intuitive to navigate, easy for novices to use, and capable of serious analysis work. There is a way to receive notification when the platform opens. More...

Lightspeed Trade-Up Program || A Better 
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New on AVweb.comback to top 

BrainteasersWeather, Class D, Class E — sheesh, someone's trying to take the fun out of summertime flight. Knowing the airspace and weather-minimum rules might not make flight fun, but it will help you ace this quiz. (Contains results of the survey for the best plane and destination for a fantasy vacation!)

Take the quiz. More...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
in Aviation
Fly More for Less
Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

Click for the resource page.
Reader Mailback to top 

AVMAIL: JUNE 4, 2012

Letter of the Week: Emergency Kit

Regarding your question about emergency equipment: The first plan of emergency preparedness takes place prior to lift-off. Check the weather, including winds aloft, general forecast, detailed forecast, long-range forecast, icing conditions and the list goes on.

File a flight plan. Use flight following. If mountain flying is encountered (which one should know beforehand) when planning a trip, go around. Gas and time are cheap compared to death. Stay away from those mountain peaks if at all possible, day or night. They're fun to look down on and fly next to but can kill you via mountain wave, winds, storms, up and down drafts, icing, etc.

Use common sense. Don't get get there-itis. Think SDPTC (Slow Down, Plan, Think, Calculate).

Do an honest weight-and-balance. By the way, none of the above adds weight to the aircraft.

Have cell phones charged, buy a tracking device or personal locator, have first aid supplies on board and prepared meals. Have cold weather gear, emergency signal devices and emergency supplies.

Be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Brief all crew on emergency protocol, who hits 911 on Spot, etc. Everyone should have a responsibility during an emergency and know it.

Remember to dial 911 on cell phone if going down and leave the line open. Don't worry about talking unless you have time -- and, lastly, stay calm!

Lt. James G. Feiler
Wyoming Civil Air Patrol

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters.


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 What have you heard? More...

IFR Refresher
Get to the Next Level!
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AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Diamond has diversified its market to the military, law enforcement and even media realms with the DA42 Multi-Purpose Platform. Diamond Airborne Sensing's Markus Fischer took AVweb through the product at Diamond's factory in Wiener Neustad, Austria. More...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" comes to us from reader Sherry Rossiter, who nominated AeroMark at Idaho Falls Regional Airport (KIDA) in Idaho. Sherry writes:

I visited AeroMark for the first time on May 18-19 to attend a regional aviation trade show they were hosting in their 30,000-square-foot hangar. The hospitality of the owners and staff was phenomenal. Visiting this premium, full-service FBO was truly an awesome experience, and AeroMark deserves recognition.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


En route over central Florida, we heard the following exchange between Jacksonville Center or Approach (can't remember which) and a Cessna approaching its destination:

Jax Center:
"1234AB, do you have information 'Hotel'?"

"Uh, nah, sir, we don't need it. Thanks, but we're stayin' with some friends down in New Smyrna."

Jax Center:
"1234AB, negative. Advise if you have ATIS information 'Hotel,' please."

1234AB (after a pause) :
"Uh, Jax Center, like I say, we don't need any hotel information. We've already got a place to stay down in New Smyrna."

Jax Center:
"4AB, I'm not giving you hotel information. I need you to advise that you have ATIS information 'Hotel' at [landing airport]."

[Several moments of silence.]

Jax Center:
"Cessna 1234AB, Jacksonville Center."

"4AB. Go ahead."

Jax Center:
"Did you copy the request for ATIS information 'Hotel'?"

"No, sir, I did not -- 'cause I don't need it. Like I already told you, we got a place to stay already down in New Smyrna!"

Jax Center:
"1234AB, go to 123.45, listen to the recording you will hear, and return to this frequency to advise you've heard what is on that frequency."

"4AB: 123.45 -- roger. So long, sir."

A frequeny change of our own prevented us from learning if 4AB ever did receive Hotel, but we trust their stay in New Smyrna was a pleasant one.

A. Tipps
via e-mail


Heard anything funny, unusual, or downright shocking on the radio lately? If you've been flying any length of time, you're sure to have eavesdropped on a few memorable exchanges. The ones that gave you a chuckle may do the same for your fellow AVweb readers. Share your radio funny with us, and, if we use it in a future "Short Final," we'll send you a sharp-looking AVweb hat to sport around your local airport. No joke. Click here to submit your original, true, and previously unpublished story. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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

The AVwebFlash team is:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Jeff Van West

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

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].

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.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your phone or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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