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Volume 18, Number 27a
July 2, 2012
Pilots Require a Different Approach
When It Comes to Buying Life Insurance

Just because you fly, don't overpay for life insurance. Get the information you need to find the right policy for your family's protection at the Pilot Insurance Center.

Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit
AVflash! Reacting to the ARC Fuel Reportback to top 

In a letter to members of the Malibu-Mirage Owners and Pilots Association, the group's president, Jonathan Sisk said this week that the FAA's just-made-public 100LL replacement plan deserves a critical eye. Although he says it represents progress, he believes it's too narrowly focused on just one path. "I also recommend that Clean 100 members not buy into the notion that the ARC recommended-process is the exclusive means to arrive at the best solution. That is absolutely unknown by anyone," Sisk said in his letter. Clean 100 Octane Coalition is the owner group that formed two years ago when the 100LL replacement issue got pushed to the front burner. Sisk was a member of the original Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee that formed in early 2011. The summary of the report is here (PDF). The full report is here (large PDF) and the appendices are here (PDF). More...

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
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FAA Looks into LSA Certificationback to top 

An FAA assessment of SLSA manufacturers has found that "the majority" of manufacturers evaluated failed to prove compliance with the category's standards, and that could affect the certification status of some aircraft. The FAA announced its findings Thursday, stating that "aircraft within the existing fleets" of manufacturers not able to issue a valid Statement of Compliance "may no longer be eligible to retain their airworthiness certification as SLSA." Those aircraft may be eligible for ELSA certification, the FAA said. But the FAA also noted that a specific range of aircraft (not insignificant in number) may find even less favor from the current regulatory structure. The FAA "has determined that its original policy of reliance on manufacturers' Statements of Compliance" ... "should be reconsidered." And this scrutiny might be just the beginning. But precisely how the FAA notice will effect the existing fleet, and when, may require more clarification. More...

The FAA says most Light Sport aircraft manufacturers have issues with record-keeping, and it's warning of greater oversight of the new aircraft category. Dan Johnson of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about what that might mean. More...

When the FAA agreed to let the light sport industry self-regulate, it reserved the right to step in if it found the industry was falling short. Now it's doing exactly that. But it's more paper chasing than anything to do with real safety. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says whether the agency's efforts prove benign or damaging depends on how much it tangles itself up in the LSA manufacturing biz. Read more and join the conversation. 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!

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Protecting Pilotsback to top 

Senator James Inhofe, who gained personal experience with FAA enforcement tactics and rules in 2010, is celebrating the passage by the Senate of his Pilots' Bill of Rights. In October 2010, Inhofe landed on a closed runway in Texas that had vehicles and people on it. He received a remedial training order from the FAA. Difficulties he said he experienced while attempting to gather information about the incident led him in 2011 to introduce a bill to protect pilots from "agency overreach." He explained the rationale for the action in a podcast last year. The bill includes protections for pilots who become the subject of FAA enforcement proceedings and also requires the FAA to take actions regarding NOTAMs and the agency's medical certification process. 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.
Robot Pilots and Spaceshipsback to top 

A team at the University of Texas at Austin claims to have hacked into and taken control of a non-military drone using less than $1,000 in parts, highlighting concerns over domestic drone use. Drones operated by the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies are already flying over the U.S.. Smaller groups like Universities and branches of law enforcement have sought approval from the FAA to operate unmanned aerial vehicles of their own. The FAA is working on regulations for such operations and the researchers' claim suggests that unencrypted GPS signals could put drone hijacking within the reach of anyone with $1,000 and the requisite intellectual resources. Recent history suggests that vulnerability may not be limited to domestic drones. More...

Virgin Galactic's passenger-carrying suborbital space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo successfully passed aerodynamic and powerplant tests on June 26, near Mojave, California. The vehicle performed its first successful glide since integration of its rocket motor systems. WhiteKnightTwo carried it to 51,000 feet over where it was released under the control of Scaled pilots Pete Siebold and Mike Alsbury. A chase plane carried Mike Melvill who piloted the first private flight to space in SpaceShipOne. A second test fired the RM2 rocket system for a 55-second burn. According to Virgin Galactic, "all objectives were completed." Virgin Galactic plans to collect customers and VIPs for a special briefing, next month, and powered flight not too long thereafter. More...

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Eye on the Airplane Economyback to top 

Airbus is expected to announce plans next week for a $600 million A320 assembly plant in Mobile, AL. Numerous news outlets are citing anonymous sources in scooping the company on the announcement, which will bring with it 2,500 construction jobs and at least 500 direct factory jobs. The first A320 is reportedly scheduled to roll out in 2017 and at the rate of about one a week after that. It's a consolation prize of sorts for Mobile, which would have been the epicenter of Airbus's ultimately failed bid for a $35 billion contract to replace the U.S. Air Force's historic fleet of in-flight refueling aircraft. Still, at the book price of about $90 million for an A320, the production tempo suggests it will take about eight years to create the same kind of value as the tanker deal and there's no sign that Airbus is planning to replace its bread-and-butter aircraft beyond that. While there is certainly cause for celebration in the Southeast, at the opposite corner of the country Boeing, which recently opened a 787 plant in Charlotte, NC, did not extend Southern hospitality to its arch-rival. More...

After years of butting heads and trading court cases on the topic of restricting flight operations at Santa Monica Airport, local officials and the FAA may have found a way to agree. Santa Monica is going to pay flight schools to go elsewhere for touch and goes and pattern work and the FAA thinks that's likely an idea that can fly. "While we have not reviewed the specifics of Santa Monica's proposal, generally an airport operator does not need the FAA's approval to establish a voluntary program that is offered to all flight schools at the airport," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the Santa Monica Daily Press. Qualifying flight schools will get $150 per flight to cover the costs of heading to another airport for that kind of training. That has, however, caught the attention of the likely recipients of the increased training traffic and at least one airport may be able to deny those flights. More...

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Aviation Safetyback to top 

Accidents at opposite ends of the world and opposite ends of the air show performance spectrum had a common and deadly result on Saturday. In England, the last flying de Havilland DH53 Hummingbird, essentially a 1923 ultralight aircraft, crashed at the Military Pageant Airshow at Old Warden Aerodrome near Biggleswade Beds. Former RAF pilot and current British Airways 777 pilot Trevor Roche died at the scene after the wooden aircraft crashed in front of about 600 spectators. The rest of the show was cancelled. The aircraft was owned by the Shuttleworth collection and was the last intact example of its type. Only 12 were built. Meanwhile, in South Africa, the pilot of an L-39 Albatros was killed at the Klerksdorp Air Show. More...

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New on AVweb.comback to top 

BrainteasersInside a big sky, little mistakes are easily masked before ATC calls a foul. But on the ground, the margin for error shrinks, and one slip across a hold-short line could ruin your day. Save that day by acing this quiz.

Take the quiz. More...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
in Aviation
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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.

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What Have You Missed on AVwebcom?back to top 

Changes to the FAA knowledge test are in the wind, but on the AVweb Insider blog, contributing editor Mary Grady explains why we need a discussion that goes beyond the simple issue of whether or not to make the questions public. Read more and join the conversation. More...

IFR || The Magazine for the Accomplished 
Pilot || Subscribe Now
In the Soup?
Whether you fly in the system daily or just IPC check rides, IFR magazine helps you be the best instrument pilot you can be.

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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.


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...

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

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...

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!


The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Flying my 172 near McGuire Air Force Base on Sunday, VFR with flight following from McGuire Approach. Two Air Force DC-10 tankers were practicing approaches as I flew by, and I offered to climb to stay out of their way. The controller asked me to climb and maintain 2,500 feet.

"TAC 1, turn left, heading 330. Intercept the ILS 24, maintain 2,000' until established. Traffic is a 172 above you at 2,500'. Caution: wake turbulence."

(Silence on the frequency. Did I hear right?)

TAC 1:
"Ahhh, Approach -- say again the traffic?"

Approach (a new voice) :
"TAC 1, disregard wake turbulence warning. Cleared for the approach."

Me in my 172:
"McGuire, 4RP. Why did you cancel the other guy's wake turbulence warning? You just made my day!"

"Sorry about that, but I had to. I'm the only one here who can talk right now we're all laughing so hard!"

Rabbi Don Weber
Morganville, NJ


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...