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Volume 18, Number 36a
September 3, 2012
Pilot Workshops || Three Things You Should 
Never Say to ATC || Click Here to Find Out
Three Things You Should Never Say to ATC
Listen as two ATC pros share tips on better communication with ATC. Avoid these common mistakes and make your interactions more efficient and accurate. This is a sample from Pilot Workshops' Tip of the Week. Click here for this quick tip.
AVflash! Rising Cost of Flying in New Zealandback to top 

New Zealand aviation groups are lining up in opposition to major increases in fees for obtaining and maintaining a pilot's license. The one-time "issuance fee" for a pilot's license is going up from $55 to $230 but it's the new "medical service application fee" that is raising the collective blood pressure of the pilot population. Starting in November, pilots will have to pay a flat $313 any time their medical fitness is assessed by the Civil Aviation Administration. For commercial pilots past 40 that's every six months for single-pilot operations. It's not just the pilot fees that are going up, though. The CAA charge-out rate for audit operations will go from $135 an hour to $208 an hour in November and will be $284 an hour by the end of 2014. In all, more than 150 fees are being increased. More...

Is There Anything More Important than Protecting Your Family?
Be certain you have the right life insurance coverage. 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
The Airplanes of Tomorrowback to top 

A team of researchers at the University of Miami has received $100,000 in NASA funding to further develop their ninja-star-looking bi-directional flying wing jet, which rotates 90 degrees in flight to achieve supersonic speeds with virtually no ground-observable sonic boom. The aircraft design is symmetrical along its longitudinal axis and its lateral axis, but one is longer than the other. It has two cockpits, each at one end of one axis, separated by 90 degrees. In flight at subsonic speed, the aircraft uses its longer axis as its wings, with its tips folded up into winglets. The aircraft transitions to supersonic flight by folding down the wingtips and using aerodynamic forces to rotate 90 degrees around centrally mounted twin turbofans. Once rotated, the shorter axis, an airfoil optimized for supersonic flight, serves as the wing. More...

The idea behind MakerPlane is to create an "open source aviation project" that allows people to build their own aircraft using personal Computer Numerical Control (CNC) mills and 3D printers. In that way, MakerPlane hopes to create an environment where people can produce aircraft largely "built on a computer controlled mill at home." The man behind the idea, John Nicol, based in Canada, is seeking to reduce the financial means and physical capabilities required by an individual seeking to build an aircraft. Aside from creating a new largely digital workflow for builders, MakerPlane would also seek to cultivate multi-media builder assistance products and physical builder assistance sites. Nicol has unveiled MakerPlane's first design, "Version 1.0," from Israel-based aeronautical engineer, Jeffrey Meyer. The design conforms to LSA weight and speed requirements. V 1.0 also aims to be a modular design and MakerPlane intends to offer plans, free. 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.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

A member of the Hoppers civilian jet demonstration team was killed Saturday when his L-39 Albatros went down at an airshow in Davenport, Iowa. The pilot, Glenn Smith, of Frisco, Texas, was part of a three-ship formation when his aircraft went down in a field near the airport. The crash was visible to the crowd and resulted in a large fireball. The show resumed Sunday "out of respect for our fallen aviator," according to a note posted on Quad City Air Show website. More...

It's now been confirmed that celebrated author and longtime flying enthusiast Richard Bach was seriously injured when his SeaRey amphib clipped power lines and went down short of a runway on San Juan Island northwest of Seattle on Friday. His son James told The Associated Press his father's condition is improving. He has a broken shoulder and head injuries. Bach, whose short novel about a seagull's love of flight was considered a metaphor for Bach's own passion for the air, was a massive best seller and after Jonathan Livingston Seagull he penned dozens of books, many of which had an aviation theme. The 76-year-old Bach, who was interviewed by AVweb's Mary Grady in 2011, is an accomplished pilot who also started a blog that often mentions aviation. More...

Sennheiser S1 Headset || No-Risk Trial
Your Personal S1 Experience
With its revolutionary adaptive digital noise cancelation and customizable comfort features such as headband contact pressure adjustment, the S1 Digital is truly a headset that can be personalized for every user and every environment. We want you to experience this level of customization for yourself. For a limited time only, try an S1 Digital without risk for 30 days, share your experience with us, and get rewarded. Learn more.
News Briefsback to top 

A new turbine-powered personal flying wing jetpack may be coming from San Diego-based Troy Hartman, an X Games skysurfing gold medalist and aerial stuntman who is actively testing his developing design. Hartman has not yet flown the complete rig but is testing its key components (see video). The ultimate solid wing design may be similar to that created by current only living Jetman, Yves Rossy. Rossy has successfully flown several noteworthy flights strapped to his own turbine-powered wing, including aerobatics (video), and a run in the Grand Canyon (video). Hartman updated his YouTube page Aug. 26 with footage of some of his most recent flight tests that included using the future wing's two-UAV turbine engines, without the wing, to power him aloft under canopy. More...

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) will honor the legacy of the first man to walk on the moon by renaming one of its most prestigious awards as The Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy, to be awarded this September. Formerly The Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy, the award has been presented during the Reno Air Races, and sometimes by Armstrong himself, as part of the concurrently held National Aviation Heritage Invitational. It recognizes "the most authentic example of a vintage aircraft restored to airworthy condition." This year, and moving forward, it will carry Armstrong's name. Head of Rolls-Royce North America, James M. Guyette, said Rolls-Royce has been a proud sponsor of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational since 1998. He added, "I can think of no finer way" to memorialize Armstrong than to rename the trophy "in his honor, as a lasting tribute to his legacy." More...

Faro Headsets || $189
Faro G2 Now Available to General Aviation
Proven, reliable reputation in commercial operations for over ten years. Three-year replacement warranty. MP3/cell input. Amazing noise reduction. Engineered in the USA. Choose from black, army green, sky blue, and gray.

Only $189 — limited-time offer.
Click here to see what pilots think of Faro aviation headsets.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: Pilot Currency

Regarding the "Question of the Week": I belong to the "I-get-an-IPC-every-six-months-whether-I-need-it-or-not" club. I always do ("need it," that is). I'm discovering that even with the every-six-month constraint, I find the need to really "exercise" a skill which is difficult to put into words — for lack of a better term, I'll call it "problem solving," — and it's virtually impossible to do this alone.

The rote procedure of establishing oneself on a final approach course, keeping things centered and landing is a skill which, admittedly, needs regular polishing. The "higher level" skill is the ability to deal with the curve ball, the distraction. I'm absolutely convinced that the bulk of morbidity out there, practiced by pilots who have the training to know better, is the result of misdirected attention to unseen traffic, GPS knob fiddling when a simple twist of the VOR OBS would do, or just generally missing the forest for the trees.

One of the rewards of IFR flight is the smooth handling of these challenges. It's one of the hardest skills to practice, too. I like to rotate through a couple of instructors at IPC time, just to make the experience a little less predictable. I think that helps shake the rust off the problem-solving machine.

Anthony Nasr

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...

WingX Pro 7 on the iPad || Hilton 
WingX Pro7 for iPad & iPhone — Now with Track Up!!!
The new WingX Pro7 for iPad and iPhone adds Synthetic Vision with AHRS pitch and bank (optional). Wow! WingX Pro7's Moving Map also includes Terrain-Enhanced VFR Sectionals and IFR Low/High En Route charts, ADS-B NEXRAD and In-Flight Weather, TFRs, SUAs, and a lot more. All moving map views can be displayed full-screen or side-by-side. Also included: Animated weather images, DUATS, A/FD, AOPA Directory, Route Planning, FARs, E6B, and more. Synthetic Vision requires an annual $99 subscription. Click here for more information.
We Ask, You Answerback to top 

Brainteasers"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these:" Back to School! (With apologies to John Greenleaf Whittier's "Maud Muller," 1854). Break's over, kids; time to review what you might've forgotten over the summer. This quiz will count toward your final grade.

Take the quiz. More...

That was the question we posed last month. Is it nobler in the minds of pilots to fly on multiple engines or forsake one throttle and -- by opposing the multi-engine fetish -- declare, "One sound power source is good enough for me!" Here now are the results of our single v. multi-engine poll. More...

Lightspeed Trade-Up Program || A Better 
Headset ... One Click Away
Lightspeed Aviation Trade-Up Program
Your old less-than-perfect headset has trade-in value on our new Zulu.2 or Sierra headsets. Just visit us online at, click on our Trade-Up Program, and discover how easy it is to own the headset most pilots prefer. Quiet and clarity never felt so comfortable. You get an incredible headset at a great price from a company that is totally committed to aviation. Headsets for aviation is our only passion.

Click here to learn more and to find a dealer near you.
New on AVweb.comback to top 

Cost is a big reason that many owners have reduced their flying hours. But so is lack of time. No surprise there, either, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. You probably don't know anyone who's working fewer hours than they did a decade ago, and neither do we. Modern life puts so many demands on the 24-hour day that flying gets bumped to the bottom of the to-do list. Plus, some additional thoughts on the passing of Neil Armstrong. Read more and join the conversation. More...

It's an ambition for many pilots in the U.K., and Flyer magazine publisher Ian Seager invited some of them along for the ride on his trip to AirVenture Oshkosh. Seager flew his Cessna 182 and talked to AVweb's Paul Bertorelli at the show in late July. 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.

Subscribe now.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's newest "FBO of the Week" is Gill Aviation at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (KDWH) in Houston, Texas.

AVweb reader J.C. Hyde visit there recently and experienced their first-rate service first hand:

Flew into Houston last week. I had arranged for a rental car to be available upon our arrival. What I hadn't planned for was the lost of my primary vacuum pump. When we arrived, [the] rental car was ready; when I asked about fixing the vacuum, the FBO instantly put me into contact with Rite-Way Aviation, whose owner, John Davis, met me at the aircraft. We hadn't even finished unloading before he was hooking the aircraft up to his tug, ready to tow it to their maintenance facility. [He got it] fixed that day and ready for departure. Between Gill Aviation and Rite-Way Aviation, a two-day planned stop did not end up in a long downtime waiting for repairs. And even the cookies were great!

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!


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 Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


In view of all the recent hurricane news coverage, I recalled a pertinent exchange from the the Port Columbus, Ohio (CMH) tower. I worked at the "Lane Gate" vehicle check point for several years, regularly monitoring the tower frequency to get a "play by play" description of what was going on around me. I overheard the following exchange the day after the remnants of hurricane Ike came through, causing a lot of downed trees and subsequent power outages. A recently landed ERJ was taxiing to the ramp and called the tower:

"CMH Tower, American Eagle 1234. I hear you guys got a lot of wind yesterday. How much did you get?"

"American Eagle 1234, Tower. The highest gust I saw was 68mph, and then the wind thingee blew away."

(78mph gusts were reported by the news media.)

Edwin Esson
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.