View Online | View Extended Version | View Printer-Friendly Version (recommended for mobile devices)

Volume 18, Number 38a
September 17, 2012
Lycoming || Factory-Rebuilt: The 
Industry's Most Well-Thought-Out No-Brainer
Two Great Ways to Keep Your Engine Up to Speed
Do you have a new engine core that's never been rebuilt or overhauled? Save up to $5,000 on a rebuilt engine. Do you have an original Lycoming factory engine that last left the factory as a new, rebuilt or overhauled engine? Save up to $1,900 on a new, rebuilt or overhauled engine. For complete details, call (800) 258‑3279 to find an authorized Lycoming Distributor near you or visit
Finding Fault in 2009 Pacific Ditchingback to top 

The Australian captain of a Westwind jet that ditched off the coast of Norfolk Island in 2009 is challenging the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's conclusion that the flight crew's poor planning was the sole cause of the accident. Dominic James, who then worked for Pel-Air, told AVweb in an interview on Saturday that the ATSB's investigation will undergo its own probe before the Australian Senate in early October. Specifically, James said, the ATSB's investigation ignored numerous details that impinged on the information and guidance that he and First Officer Zoe Cupit had available for the flight on Nov. 18, 2009. The Westwind crew was on a medical evacuation mission from Apia, Samoa to Melbourne, a distance of about 2,800 miles, almost all of it over water at night. To make the distance, the flight had a planned fuel stop at Norfolk Island, a remote island 800 miles off the coast of eastern Australia. More...

Dom James, the pilot of that Westwind that ditched off Norfolk Island in 2009, is challenging the findings of the the ATSB's report on the accident. After reading the report, it's easy to see why, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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.
Accident Reportsback to top 

A dozen skydivers aboard a Beech 18 jumped for their lives as the aircraft suddenly rolled inverted and ultimately crashed in a residential area of Taylorville, Ill., on Aug. 10, killing the pilot. As we reported on the day of the crash, pilot Brandon Sparrow, 30, of Augusta, Ill., was unable to get the big twin under control and it crashed in the back yard of a home. There were no injuries on the ground or among the skydivers, who told the NTSB they heard the stall horn sound as they prepared to exit the aircraft at 11,000 feet. More...

Insurance adjusters were busy over the weekend at French Valley Airport in Murrieta, Calif., after a Piper Cherokee crashed into a row of parked aircraft Friday. The pilot of the Cherokee 180 was uninjured but the female passenger in a taxiing airplane that was struck suffered minor injuries in the accident. Up to eight parked aircraft were damaged and from the photos appearing in local newspapers at least some of them appear to be write-offs. "I got a phone call that said, 'You better start shopping for a new airplane because yours is in two pieces,'" Cessna 180 owner Roy Haggard told The Californian. More...

Pilot Insurance Center
Which Life Insurance Carrier Offers
the Best Premium Rates for Pilots?

You can find out with an easy online quote from the Pilot Insurance Center. Don't overpay — get complete coverage for your family or business with no aviation exclusions from the best A+ rated companies.

(800) 380-8376 or
Aviation Safetyback to top 

The NTSB has issued an urgent safety recommendation letter urging the FAA to "act immediately" to order the inspection of 47 new General Electric GEnx-2B engines in service on Boeing 747-8 aircraft because it's afraid of a potential multiple engine failure on the brand-new aircraft. The board issued the letter after an engine failure on a 747-8F during takeoff roll in Shanghai last week. Preliminary information suggests the cause is cracking similar to that found in two GEnx-1B engines used in Boeing 787 aircraft. The 2B model of the engine used in the 747-8 is a little longer but the suspect components are the same. In one of the cases involving the 787 model engine, a fan midshaft crack destroyed a 787 engine on its first ground run at Boeing's factory in Charleston, S.C. Another crack was found in a 787 engine that had only ever been test run. All the 787 engines have been inspected but those on 11 in-service 747 freighters and the remaining three on the Shanghai aircraft have not. More...

The FAA and local authorities were still searching Friday for Michael Sills, a 63-year-old pilot from central Florida, who detectives say may have departed Orlando-Apopka Airport, Tuesday, with suicidal intent. Prior to his disappearance, investigators say Sills had threatened to crash his aircraft, a Piper PA-28-181, into the home of his ex-girlfriend, or another building. Sills' car was found, Tuesday, parked at his home airport, but his Piper Archer was gone. Sill's ex-girlfriend told authorities the last text messages she'd received from Sills came on Tuesday and said, "In plane." And "Calling police is to [sic] late."  More... || Intelligent Apps for 
ForeFlight Mobile —
Now Supports ADS-B In-Flight Weather for iPad!

ForeFlight Mobile — the award-winning, multi-purpose app for pilots — now supports no-subscription-required ADS-B in-flight weather via Stratus. NEXRAD, METARs, TAFs, TFRs, AIRMETs/SIGMETS, PIREPS, and more streamed effortlessly to your iPad via ADS-B. Intelligent Apps for Pilots™ backed by Fanatical Pilot Support™. Visit to learn more.
Shaping Tomorrowback to top 

The FAA, responding to the concerns of the General Aviation Avgas Coalition, has announced formation of a new office that will be responsible for providing technical information and guidance related to developments in aviation fuels, including unleaded options. Per the FAA, its new Fuel Program Office will provide "technical expertise and strategic direction in the planning, management, and coordination of activities related to aviation fuels." The Coalition sees formation of the office as an "important step" in creating an "unleaded avgas transition program" that will be able to evaluate fuels and generate data that could form commercial fuel specifications and guide certification efforts. The FAA already has some steps in place. More...

The Air Force is creating a new research center led by a team of engineers from Johns Hopkins University to expedite development of a new generation of lightweight, durable materials for use in aircraft and powerplants. The Center of Excellence on Integrated Material Modeling (CEIMM) is supported by a $3 million U.S. Air Force award, to be distributed over three years. It will apply "novel computational and experimental methods to support the next generation of military aircraft." The initiative seeks to apply new techniques that will help shrink the timeline of product development, from proof of concept to implementation. 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.
Searching for Yesterdayback to top 

Italian researchers claim (with video) to have found wreckage off the Sardinian coast of a huge Messerschmitt-323 Gigant (Giant), of which some 200 examples were built -- none of which were thought to have survived the war. The Me-323 spanned 180 feet, was driven by six wing-mounted piston engines, weighed 45 tons, could carry 120 fully equipped men and was thought to exist in the modern world only through history books. The wreckage is submerged below 200 feet of seawater and divers have reported to the that "it is in good condition -- it is almost intact, with the six engines still all in line." Considering the aircraft's time on location and how this particular aircraft was lost, that report might surprise some people. The video allows you to form your own opinion. More...

'The Aviators' Season 3 || The Biggest 
Aviation Show on the Planet - Now on PBS, iTunes, and Hulu
The Biggest Aviation Show on the Planet ... Is Back!
The award-winning hit TV series The Aviators is back for an all-new third season showcasing everything from the F-22 and DC-3 to LSA and balloons. We take you dogfighting in the Nevada desert, flying with the USAF Thunderbirds, and look on as Mötley Cr e frontman Vince Neil learns to fly. Join our 10 million weekly US viewers and countless more worldwide.

Watch The Aviators on PBS, iTunes, Amazon, and Hulu.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

If so, Aviation Consumer would like to hear from you. For the magazine's next issue, the Used Aircraft Guide will focus on Diamond's popular four-place step-up airplane. We would like to hear about what it's like to fly the DA40 and how much it costs to operate and own -- including insurance. If you have any digital photos you'd like to share, send them along, too. Contact to comment. More...

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...

Freedom Cylinders || In Stock at ECi
Mid-Life (Cylinder) Crisis?!
You have options! Buy FREEDOM™ Remanufactured Cylinders or get a complete cylinder overhaul: like-new at half the price. In the most extensive overhaul in the industry, ECi® FREEDOM™ Cylinders are assembled with all-new parts, ready to bolt on to your engine. Nickel or steel barrels are available.

What Have You Missed on AVwebcom?back to top 

For his final years with the Air Force, Dick Taylor flew a Fairchild C-123, an aircraft whose parentage included both glider and jet versions. After retiring from the Air Force and then later from Ohio State, Dick began yet another career, consulting for aviation-accident cases. Click here to read the 17th and final chapter. More...

If manufacturers have a moral obligation to build in crashworthiness, are journalists equally obligated to opine when they fall short? In a mea culpa posted to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says the answer is yes. But you read the blog and tell us what you think. Read more and join the conversation. More...

In her latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, editor Mary Grady polishes off her crystal ball for a quick look into the future — and then packs it away to make room for the real thing. Read more and join the conversation. More...

GA8 Airvan from GippsAero
GippsAero, the Australian Utility Aircraft Manufacturer
We are the only company in Australia, and one of a handful in the world, with the capability to both design and manufacture commercial aircraft from first principles. Our most popular and versatile aircraft is the GA8 Airvan; wide ranging in its capabilities and versatile in its design, the GA8 has many advantages over other aircraft. Call GippsAero toll-free on (855) 247‑8269, e-mail us at, or visit to learn more.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


Lots of happy pilots in the skies this week. Nominations for an AVweb "FBO of the Week" ribbon soared over the last ten days or so, and picking a stand-out this week was tough. (We cheated and saved a couple of facilities for future installments.)

Amid stiff competition, Twin County Aviation Services at Twin County Airport (KHLX) in Hillsville, Virginia takes home this week's blue ribbon. AVweb reader John A. Jorgensen had that best of all possible experiences of Twin County -- a stopover so pleasant he'd go back just for fun:

Wonderful service and hospitality! I returned yesterday from delivering a DNR aircraft to Sanford, North Carolina for a FLIR installation/integration. On the way, I ran into the remains of Hurricane Isaac, which did not allow me to continue VFR. Scott Thomas, FBO manager, and his crew met me on the ramp, escorted me into their new facility, shared local weather wisdom, entertained me, provided a courtesy car, and simply made me feel welcome. Scott is a banjo player, and he invited me to their Tuesday evening session at the String Bean in Galax! It was a real treat. I stayed in a wonderful cabin along the New River Trail and had a great rest. Next time through, I am sure that I will not hesitate to stop, simply say "hi!" and to enjoy their Virginia hospitality. It provided a real and special treat.

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!


Light Plane Maintenance || Practical 
Maintenance Advice for Mechanics and Pilots
40 Top Maintenance Tips at No Cost to You!
Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance now and receive these time- & money-saving tips! Find out how much money you can save on annuals and overhauls!

Click here to subscribe.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


When an air traffic controller asked an aircraft to reduce speed even more than he already had:

Aircraft 1234:
"If I reduce any further, I'll fall out of the sky!"

"Roger. Report leaving altitudes on descent."

Ed LeSage
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...

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.
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

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].

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.