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Volume 18, Number 45a
November 5, 2012
Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
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AVflash! Consolidating Approachesback to top 
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In a cost-cutting move, the FAA will soon announce a program to cancel approaches at some airports after several years of intense activity to provide procedures to airports that had been inaccessible in instrument weather. Sources told AVweb last week that a formal announcement of the program will come from the FAA in a few weeks. The FAA says it incurs flight check and obstacle survey costs for hundreds of approaches that are used very little, if at all. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
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Aviation Safetyback to top 

The NTSB is sending investigators to Atlanta to probe the cause of the Saturday crash of a police helicopter that killed two officers. Pilot Richard J. Halford, 48, and tactical officer Shawn A. Smiley, 40, were taking part in the search for a missing nine-year-old boy when, according to witness reports, the helicopter descended onto power lines and crashed on a normally busy street that was free of cars at the time. The boy was found a short time later and the crash knocked out power in the immediate area. More...

A replica Wright B Flyer built in Dayton, Ohio, crashed for unknown reasons on July 30, 2011, killing both volunteer pilots, and the NTSB's October 30 Factual Report doesn't determine a cause but does note deficiencies with a weld. According to the NTSB, the aircraft's left propeller shaft tube exhibited a separation at its aft weld. Contact points in that area exhibited evidence of rotational rubbing. The aircraft was equipped with a modern engine and avionics, and video recovered from onboard recorders showed circumstantial evidence that could lead some to an early conclusion not yet officially supported by the NTSB. More...

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Top Technologyback to top 

A research coalition organized by NASA and including Army and academic researchers is embarking on a three-year project that aims to make inertial navigation systems "at least 1,000 times more sensitive than current gyroscopes." The work will focus on new optical gyroscope technology, investigating how the use of optical dispersion (how different wavelengths travel through materials at different speeds) can be used to increase sensitivity and more precisely measure movement. The research is expected to lead to more precise navigation capabilities even when no landmarks or GPS signals are available. More...

Calling it a "historic milestone for the aviation and sustainable energy industries," Canada's National Research Council has conducted what it says is the world's first civilian flight using 100 percent biofuel. Perhaps as a measure of confidence in the fuel, made from oilseeds grown in Saskatchewan, NRC Chief Pilot Tim Leslie conducted the Oct. 29 flight in NRC's Falcon 20 over the nation's capital of Ottawa, Ontario. "We have been working hard with our partners for many months, and it is most rewarding to see it all come together," Leslie said. "It is truly inspiring to take this step towards an eco-friendly future!" NRC is a government agency and it worked with private enterprises, including Agrisoma Bioscience Inc., which is now making commercial quantities of biofuel based on the seed of the cold-, heat- and drought-tolerant Carinata, or Ethiopian Mustard plant. The plant, which is related to canola, thrives on marginal farmland not suited to agricultural crops. More...

Bendix/King by Honeywell || Loud and 
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Proof We Listen to Pilots
The Bendix/King KMA 30's music and phone Bluetooth® capability provides unsurpassed audio flexibility throughout your airplane. Connect one or two devices simultaneously, enjoy a six-place hi-fi stereo intercom with flexible soft-muting converse on the ground or in the cabin with a wireless mobile phone link. It integrates seamlessly with other Bendix/King products and is a "slide-in" replacement for select older audio panels. Learn more at
Boeing's Dreamliner in Realityback to top 

The first revenue flight for a Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down at O'Hare International Airport at 9:37 a.m. CST Sunday, about 10 minutes ahead of schedule but not a moment too soon for executives at United Airlines. "We've been waiting a long time for this," said CEO Jeff Smisek. He would have waited longer had United not bought out Continental Airlines last year. The aircraft that flew Flight 1116 was part of Continental's order and originated at its Houston hub, packed mostly with journalists and VIPs. Continental and United each ordered 25 Dreamliners but Continental was first. Only some of the 219 passengers were fare-paying customers and virtually all of them were "first flight" enthusiasts who wanted to be aboard the historic flight. More...

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Baumgartner Lands on Your TV or Mobile Deviceback to top 

A documentary, Space Dive, will air beginning this weekend (Nov. 4), detailing Felix Baumgartner's journey to a successful world-record freefall jump with the corporate support of Red Bull and the mentoring of previous record-holder Col. Joe Kittinger. The one hour thirty minute program pulls highlights from Baumgartner's years of training and includes previously unreleased footage from cameras mounted on his suit as he passed the speed of sound. It also details Baumgartner's claustrophobic reaction to his pressure suit and complications that could have caused the team to abort. Check BBC and National Geographic channels for local programming times (announced times listed after the jump). More...

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Reader Mailback to top 


Letter of the Week: Plenty of Advice For Pelton

Regarding your "Question of the Week": I am a longtime, active EAA member, a technical counselor, a flight advisor, and a member of Chapter 691 (The Green Chile Chapter) here in New Mexico. I have flown my homebuilt to Oshkosh several times.

I have been hearing a fair amount of negative feedback from EAA members about EAA losing its way. I also sensed a mood change this year at AirVenture that wasn't good. Many feel that EAA has forgotten its roots.

I also sensed a mood at the show this year that's hard to express, but it seemed as though folks who flew their own homebuilt aircraft to the show were sort of taken for granted. There seemed to be a reduced level of enthusiasm from homebuilders. Some got the message that EAA did not really care about "little guys."

I have to admit, though, that the mood in the ultralight area was much more positive. I see that EAA recently took the step of reinvigorating the Homebuilders Aircraft Council; maybe this is a step in the right direction. The resigning of Hightower could also be a step in the right direction if a suitable person replaces him. Moving Jeff Skiles to a VP position seems positive to me. I also think the Hints for Homebuilders is an excellent educational program.

I have a few suggestions:

[Click through to read the read of Will Fox's ideas for reinvigorating EAA.]

Will Fox

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


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We Ask, You Answerback to top 

BrainteasersBest-laid plans can evaporate in the twinkling of a failed fuel pump. Contemplating a dead prop on the nose is no time to kick yourself for going past TBO. Time to act and ace this quiz!

Take the quiz. 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...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

If you were hoping for an exciting aviation movie going into the holiday season, this ain't it — although it's got a riveting crash sequence the kids will love. Otherwise, it's a dark character study into the downward spiral of alcoholism and addiction. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli reports that anyone who's had experience with addiction may have trouble watching this film. If you go, don't forget the Prozac. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Paul Bertorelli chimes in with two reflections on this year's NBAA Convention on the AVweb Insider blog: At NBAA, Cessna showed off a new mockup of — something. But for the second time this year, they've shown something at a show and declined to let news organizations photograph it. Does this make any sense? We don't think so. Meanwhile, Hawker Beechcraft announced that its new direction will emphasize turboprops and pistons, but jets appear not to be on the agenda. Understandably, current HBC jet owners are finding that not their liking. This is gonna be one giant fence to mend. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Connell Flying Service at Decorah Municipal Airport (KDEH) in Decorah, Iowa.

AVweb reader John Hanson discovered the FBO after an unscheduled stopover:

My wife and I had a change of itinerary caused by the Hurricane Sandy weather system and ended up in Decorah for the night. The FBO [owner], Mike Connell, offered us a free tie-down and courtesy car for the night. After a wonderful overnight at a great historic Decorah hotel, the Winnishiek, we returned the next morning to depart. It had been cold overnight, and mostly due to my poor starting technique, I ran the old battery down trying to get the 182 started. Mike heard the problem and came out with jumper cables without our even having to ask. He got us started and on our way quickly. He had a smile on his face the whole time and wouldn't take a penny for his efforts. Truly an FBO from the old school! Not only will I recommend DEH to everyone I know; my wife and I will certainly return for a weekender sometime!

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 


In the late 1950s, our aero club was transitioning from Tiger Moths without radio to "cabin class" with the addition of a Tri-Pacer and a C-172A, where the flights were made without headsets using the overhead speaker.

It came that an MK-5 Auster we had been restoring was due for test flying, and our chief flying instructor decided he must make the flight. The Auster duly taxied to the far edge of our all-over field, where it sat for five minutes before returning to the tarmac. The CFI climbed out and stated that he could hardly hear the speaker, and please do not waste his time until it was fixed.

Nothing was really said; we just pointed to the earphones hanging behind his head.

Jim Hammond
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

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.

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