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Volume 18, Number 26a
June 25, 2012
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AVflash! NTSB Rules on Jack Roush Crashback to top 
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NASCAR team owner and AirVenture regular Jack Roush says he accepts the findings of the NTSB report (PDF) released Friday that blamed him for the crash of his Hawker Beechcraft 390 business jet at AirVenture 2010. But Roush also told The Sporting News the NTSB could have taken into account the circumstances that led to him stalling the aircraft and crashing it on the infield by Runway 18R during the show on July 27, 2010. "It was a very sad day in my life when I crashed that airplane," Roush was quoted as saying. "I'm glad to have closure now. … I accept the findings. There are some omissions. I wish they had been more complete in the description of the things that were happening in the congested airspace that I was presented there in Oshkosh. They didn't do that, so that's a moot point." The NTSB found that Roush didn't properly execute the go-around he initiated when he thought his aircraft was in conflict with a Piper Cub that had just been cleared to take off on the same runway that he was approaching. The board lists the probable cause as "the pilot's decision not to advance the engines to takeoff power during the go-around, as stipulated by the airplane flight manual, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall at a low altitude." As we reported on the day of the accident and in the accompanying ATC recording, Roush queried controllers about the potential conflict with the Cub. More...

It's all there in black and white. Roush simply stalled the airplane near the ground, the result of a botched go-around. Before you remind yourself that you'd never do that, just remember that the intensity and distractions of AirVenture flight operations can throw anyone off their game. Paul Bertorelli meditates on the importance of circumstances in the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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Crossing the Finish Lineback to top 

The solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse landed safely at Ouarzazate International Airport, Kingdom of Morocco, after flying 17 hours and twenty minutes over 683 km, and not without challenges. Pilot Andre Borschberg told local journalists it was "one of the most difficult flights we've done." The area presents pilots with frequent thunderstorms, strong winds and thermal activity. The team's flight planners used sophisticated modeling programs supported with information from local meteorologists to optimize the fragile aircraft's route. But Borschberg himself still found challenges in working with the information. More...

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There's a "Roxanne" Quip in Here Somewhere ...back to top 

The FAA is planning to omit the requirement for steady red marker lights on some types of towers and antennae to reduce the toll on migratory birds. Radio World reports that a federal study (PDF) has shown that eliminating the red lights or making them flash, while maintaining the bright white flashing lights on towers, will reduce the number of "avian fatalities" without increasing aviation fatalities. "The results showed that flashing the steady-burning lights was acceptable for small towers (151 to 350 feet in height) and that they could be omitted on taller towers (over 351 feet) so long as the remaining brighter, flashing lights were operational," the study says. More...

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Braving the Weatherback to top 

An untimely fire combined with the collision of a cold front and some warm southern air united to create air travel mayhem along the east coast of North America on Friday. As some relatively typical summer weather organized itself into lines of thunderstorms the building that houses the equipment that helps the FAA cope with these eventualities caught fire. About 1,600 people at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at Atlantic City Airport were evacuated when the fire started around noon. The equipment most affected by the fire institutes ground holds at airports across the country when weather is limiting access to airports in other parts of the country. FAA staff did their best the old-fashioned way, with telephone calls to airlines and other forms of notification, but JetBlue COO Rob Maruster took to Twitter to tweet the bad news to his followers. "It will not be a pretty evening," he said. More...

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From the "Things You Don't See Every Day" Fileback to top 

A team at the University of Maryland is currently undergoing flight tests of their improved Gamera II human-powered helicopter targeting a challenge established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society. The team's goal is 60 seconds of sustained flight achieving (if only momentarily) an altitude of 10 feet. They've already achieved 35 seconds. The Gamera project is a study in extreme engineering -- if any single component is not about to break, it's too heavy. Working toward that goal, a new "micro-truss" structural design has slashed the weight of Gamera II by 39 percent, compared to its predecessor, Gamera I. The new design is about 105 feet from tip to tip and weighs in at about 75 pounds without its 135-pound powerplant/pilot. AVweb spoke with team advisor Dr. Inderjit Chopra about the project, who offered more details. Click here to listen. More...

To a pilot just about any airplane is "art" but an Anchorage artist is expressing that feeling in a, uh, pivotal way. Paolo Pivi's How I Roll is a 1977 Piper Seneca mounted between steel posts from the wingtips in the Doris C. Freedman Plaza just off Fifth Avenue in New York's Central Park. The aircraft rotates slowly on its motorized mounts and will be tumbling there until Aug. 26. The work, according to NYC-Arts, is an example of her "recontextualization of familiar subjects, objects and places." It's sponsored by New York's Public Art Fund. The Seneca is no scrap yard relic. It looks like it could fly off its stand and, according to the FAA registry, it appears it could. More...

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Dramatic Landing Videoback to top 

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 767-300 carrying 193 passengers was damaged during a hard landing at Tokyo Narita airport, Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The ANA jet touched down on Runway 16R. Airport weather reports show winds at 230 and 16 knots gusting to 29 at that time, suggesting a potential crosswind component of more than 27 knots. However that may have affected the pilots and aircraft, security camera footage shows the airliner came down first on the right main, then on the nosewheel alone, before porpoising into a second impact that appears to impart visible flex on the airliner's forward fuselage. No injuries were reported, but an early post-flight inspection clearly showed buckling and creases in the fuselage skin forward of the wing root. Japan's transportation safety board is investigating. Click the image at right for video. More...

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

AVMAIL: JUNE 25, 2012

Letter of the Week: Test Jitters

Regarding the FAA's written test revisions, I am a student pilot, and I first and foremost put aviation safety to at the top of the list of my training priorities. I believe the written test is fine. I do have concerns about the oral and practical test standards that are not adhered to by the FAA examiners.

They are the ones who sign the final papers to allow the certification to be issued. They make the decision as to a pilot's ability to fly safely and responsibly. I feel that once again the government is laying fault some place else other than where it belongs, with itself.

The student pilot has a great deal of money and time invested into his or her training. If a student takes a practical test and is passed, then he or she must feel that they are ready for the task.

I have not taken my practical test yet but will in two or three weeks. If I fail a task, I will expect to fail the test, but we will see. Perhaps you will be interested in the result. If I feel that I failed a portion of the test but yet passed the test, it will be interesting, and the point will be made.

I will say that a good pilot is always learning and should improve with every hour as pilot in command. I have not heard the statement about a private pilot's license, but I have heard a statement from a sport pilot instructor that a sport pilot license is a license to learn.

Name Withheld

Click here 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...

If you're operating a light sport aircraft -- either a legacy or late-model new airplane, our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to know what it costs. Click on this link to take the survey and leave comments. We're interested in all kinds of light sports, but we especially want to know what costs are like when the airplanes are in partnerships. More...

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AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 


The July issue of our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, features a blow-by-blow comparison of some of the best folding bikes for pilots we could find. See them in action in these five video reviews by Consumer's Jeff Van West.


Since its launch in 1985, the Cessna Caravan and later the Grand Caravan have been strong sellers for Cessna. In this video, AVweb takes a flight demo in the latest model, complete with G1000 and GFC700 autopilot. 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 


Summer is here, local air shows are in full swing, and AVweb readers are logging some serious flying time. At least, that's the way it looks from the number of great FBOs we've heard about in the last seven days. It was tough choosing one nomination, but our latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Laredo Aero Center at Laredo International Airport (KLRD) in (you guessed it) Laredo, Texas.

Jimmy Harrison brought Aero Center to our attention with his praise:

The people who operate Aero Center are absolutely fabulous. This includes the line handlers, the refuelers and the ops desk personnel. I have stopped here several times and am always delighted with their excellent service and can-do attitude.

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!


What Have You Missed on AVwebcom?back to top 

The company presented three post-bankrupcty plans this week, none of which are likely to be slam dunks. It didn't mention selling the assets or merging with another player such as Cessna or Gulfstream. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli sorts through the possibilities. Whatever follows, HBC will have a fierce competitive environment against the well-established players. Read more and join the conversation. More...

A team at the University of Maryland hopes to fly their 105-foot, 76-pound human-powered helicopter for at least 60 seconds and up to an altitude of 10 feet. Glenn Pew speaks with Dr. Inderjit Chopra about the project's advances and, if it's successful, what's next. More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


On a Young Eagles flight recently, the 8-year-old girl sitting in the right seat asked me what why I had a switch for "rotting bacon." Confused, I asked her to point to it. Then I said, "Oh, that's for the rotating beacon!"

I'm going to use that term from now on.

Rich Oleszczuk
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.