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Volume 18, Number 49a
December 3, 2012
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AVflash! The Future in the Spotlightback to top 

A Washington Post report says that just as the FAA is under pressure to integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System, the Air Force's drone safety record has taken a tumble. The Post says there have been at least seven Reaper and Predator crashes at or near civilian airports overseas in the last two years and while they're haven't been any casualties there have been some close calls. For instance a Predator drone carrying a Hellfire missile missed the airport in Djibouti City in eastern Africa by almost three miles in May of 2011 and crashed in a residential area. The weapon did not detonate and there were no injuries. More...

In Austria, a Diamond Aircraft DA42 twin has been flown with digital fly-by-wire systems to demonstrate active electronic control that the company hopes will one day be widely applied in light aircraft, changing how people fly. In the test aircraft, most functions are manipulated by the digital system, including both the flight and engine controls. The system can control basic flight safety by limiting flight parameters like pitch, bank and airspeed, but can also react to environmental disturbances like turbulence. Researchers and Diamond hope it will evolve to eventually provide automated takeoff and landing, and Diamond imagines similar systems could ultimately reduce the skill level required by the pilot, making flying more accessible to more people. More...

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
Bose® A20® Aviation Headset
The Best We've Ever Made
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly. Today, we continue to set the standard with the Bose A20 Aviation Headset. The headset provides acclaimed noise reduction, with a comfortable fit and the clear audio you expect from Bose. It also features Bluetooth® connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and priority switching. Learn more.
Aviation Lawback to top 

A French appellate court has overturned involuntary manslaughter convictions issued in 2010 by a French trial court against Continental and one of its mechanics for their role in the July 2000 crash of Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde, that killed 113 people. The trial court had found that a metal strip, which had fallen off of a Continental DC-10 prior to the Concorde's takeoff run, was later struck by one of the Concorde's tires. The tire burst and threw fragments into a wing tank, causing a fuel leak and fire that brought the airplane down. The appellate court ruled that mistakes made by Continental or its employees did not make them guilty of criminal wrongdoing. More...

A U.S. airframe and powerplant mechanic has been accused of trying to broker a deal that would deliver seven jetliners out of China to Iran. Federal court papers state that 52-year-old mechanic Diocenyr Ribamar Barbosa-Santos planned to secure aircraft at $19.5 million each from a Chinese source, with intent to sell them to Iran Air for a profit. The Iranian airline has suffered due to sanctions by the United States that some say challenge the carrier's safe operation. The U.S. has offered to help the airline complete repairs outside of Iran, an offer Iran has so far declined. Barbosa-Santos allegedly met with an undercover federal agent in February after government officials received a tip that he was working on a deal with China and Iran, but so far the rest of the details are few. 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.
Embracing Cockpit Techback to top 

In July, Airbus announced it was the first manufacturer to provide its Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) performance-calculating applications for pilots on iPad and Qantas has now become the launch customer. iPad FlySmart with Airbus EFB allows Airbus pilots to access Airbus operational manuals and compute aircraft performance via iPad. Rollout with Qantas pilots will follow over the next few months as the airline adopts the computer tablet to reduce in-cockpit paperwork and facilitate access to information. Soon after, Airbus expects more pilots worldwide to begin using the app. More...

Bendix/King by Honeywell || Loud and 
New! Bendix/King KMA 30 Audio Panel
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
News Briefsback to top 

Digital photo and video tinkerers continue to find new ways to create art with pixels and a San Diego film and photography professor challenged himself with a unique representation of short final at San Diego's Lindbergh Field. Cy Kuckenbaker compressed five hours of arrivals at the airport on Black Friday into a 26-second clip that turns the routine traffic into waves of aircraft visually stacked on each other. Watch it all the way to the end for a nice touch. More...

For most of us, simply waking up on our 100th birthday might be enough for the day but Thomas Guy Reynolds, of Martinsburg, W. Va., had a tradition to uphold when he hit the centennial mark on Friday. He's taken his Evektor SportStar for a few loops around the patch on his birthday for the past few years and he hopes this flight wasn't his last. "I hope to fly on my 101st birthday," Reynolds told the Martinsburg Journal. More...

Click Here for the Best Insurance Quote || 
Our Agents Are Pilots!
Our Agents Are Pilots!
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New on AVweb.comback to top 

BrainteasersWhat is the dumbest thing you've encountered in aviation?

Take the quiz. More...

Resident blogger Paul Bertorelli admits that he's such an unimaginative laggard — not to mention cheap — that he struggled for days to decide what would be in his hangar when the Powerball numbers hit. Read his surprise answer on the AVweb Insider blog. Read more and join the conversation. More...

DFC90 Upgrade || Save $3,000
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Aspen PFD and a DFC90 Digital Autopilot

Avidyne's attitude-based DFC90 Digital Autopilot flies your aircraft smoother and with more authority. Upgrading to Aspen's Evolution Pro and the DFC90 will modernize your panel and enhance your flying experience. See what other DFC90 owners are raving about at

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What You Missed in AVwebFlash Friday Featuresback to top 


What compelled 45 women from Anchorage to Chesterfield, N.H., to trek to Vernon, Texas, a tiny north-Texas town where there are more trucks than cars? All had heard about a unique program called Girls in Flight Training (GIFT) Academy that provides free ground and flight instruction for women in all stages of flight training. The second annual event was held Nov. 3-10 at the Wilbarger County Airport.

According to Patti Shannon, the promise of free flight training was certainly a big draw, but she and many others were in pursuit of something that can't be logged.

"I needed a serious boost of confidence," said Shannon, who soloed at GIFT and plans to finish her Private Pilot's Certificate by yearend. "Flying is something I've always dreamed of doing. I just needed an environment where everything seemed possible. Being among such a supportive, encouraging group of women was truly priceless."

Click here to read the full article.


Flying Eyes Pilot Sunglasses || 
Headset-Friendly Sunglasses
Introducing: Headset-Friendly Sunglasses
Flying is better when your noise-canceling headsets perform at their best — and when you don't have an aching head from uncomfortable sunglasses. So we bring you a completely unique pair of sunglasses designed by a pilot specifically for this purpose: to be the best, most comfortable sunglasses to wear with a headset. Flying Eyes: Watch the video review and take advantage of our special introductory price.
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...

Bad Elf GPS
Introducing Bad Elf GPS Pro!
Bad Elf introduces the GPS Pro, the most feature-rich Bluetooth GPS for aviation. This new, made-for-iPad GPS delivers high performance and reliable operation with Bluetooth connectivity.

Travel all day with 16 hours of battery! Share your GPS with up to five iPads! Datalog your trip, map it, tag it, and share it! Stop guessing about your GPS status with the big LCD display! Click here for more information.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" can be found at Guntersville Municipal Airport (8A1) in Guntersville, Alabama. Reader Alberto Silva shared all the details of his unscheduled stop in a compelling testimonial. Click through to read what he had to say.

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

The Collings Foundation's Derek "Otter" Ward sometimes serves as co-pilot aboard the organization's WWII B-17 Boeing Flying Fortress bomber Nine-O-Nine. He describes some of the aircraft's ground and flight characteristics. 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.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Several years ago, while passing through Caracas air space, I heard this on the radio:

Piper 1234:
"Caracas Control, Piper 1234 inbound for full stop."

"Piper 1234, turn right five degrees to intercept the ILS."

Piper 1234:
"Caracas, five degrees is too little a turn for me."

"Piper 1234, can you make a 90-degree turn?"

Piper 1234:
"Affirmative. I can do 90 degrees."

"Roger. Piper 1234, make a 95-degree turn to the right, then make a 90-degree turn to the left to intercept the ILS."

Tom McEntire
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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.