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Volume 18, Number 50a
December 10, 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
AVflash! FCC Speaks Out for Portable Electronicsback to top 

The head of the FCC has formally asked the FAA to allow greater use of tablet computers and e-readers in airline cabins, just as the latter agency is reviewing its rule on personal electronic devices for passenger use. In his letter to the FAA, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that "mobile devices are increasingly interwoven into our daily lives. ... [T]hey empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family and they enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness." 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
New Lease on Life for ILFC?back to top 

A Chinese consortium may be poised to take over what was the most important airliner leasing company in the world, but a leading analyst is wondering why. American International Group (AIG) says it is in talks with a group led by New China Trust Co. Ltd., New China Life Insurance Co. Ltd., P3 Investments Ltd. and China Aviation Industrial Fund to sell a 90-percent stake in International Lease Finance Corp., which leases aircraft to many of the world's airlines. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia said ILFC, which was the undisputed dominant figure in the leasing business until a few years ago, has not kept up with the times. More...

A Chinese consortium seems poised to take over a 90 percent stake in AIG's International Lease Finance Corp., one of the largest airliner leasing companies in the world. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke to Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia about that potential deal and what might be next for Hawker Beechcraft.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation. 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.
Eye on the Marketback to top 

Stratolaunch Systems, which plans to launch satellites from an enormous airplane high in the atmosphere, has parted with its rocket subcontractor SpaceX, but Stratolaunch says it's still hoping to fly the airplane in 2016. Stratolaunch has hired Orbital Sciences Corporation to come up with a new design by sometime in the spring of 2013. The launch system, funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, was announced a year ago to mark what Allen said was "the dawn of radical change in the space launch industry." The carbon-fiber aircraft, designed by Burt Rutan, will have a 385-foot wing joining two fuselages and a carrier mechanism in the middle. The rocket booster was to have been an adaptation of SpaceX's pad-launch rocket but that turned out to be too much of an engineering stretch. More...

A U.S. Bankruptcy court has approved Hawker Beechcraft's plan of reorganization to emerge from bankruptcy as a smaller stand-alone company without a jet line, carrying at least $525 million in new financing. The company plans to continue as Beechcraft Corp., unburdened of its Hawker 4000 and Premier jet lines. It will acquire its financing in the form of a term loan and a revolving line of credit, according to the Wichita Eagle. Some $400 million will be used to pay off credit acquired by the company when it entered bankruptcy. The rest will be used to fund the company's operations. The plan has the won the support of a majority of its debt holders. Creditors will conclude their voting process in January. The company has said its future plans could include up to four new offerings, but another court date is coming. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
Flying IFR? ForeFlight Mobile Pro Is for You
ForeFlight Mobile Pro for iPad is a must-have service for instrument-rated pilots flying in IMC. The instrument procedures organizer, the instrument procedure search, and the enhanced situational awareness provided by ForeFlight's best-in-class TrueTaxi and TruePlates geo-referenced airport diagrams and approach charts make each IFR flight a joy.

Visit to learn more and upgrade.
A Day That Still Lives in Infamyback to top 

An F-22 that had performed a flyover at a Pearl Harbor anniversary event, Friday, later scraped its tail on landing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, causing an estimated $1.8 million in damage to the jet. The landing followed a training exercise that followed the ceremony and was otherwise safe. No injuries were reported. The damage estimate accounts for little more than 1 percent of the fighter's $143 million per unit cost as estimated by the Air Force ... and even less of the jet's $412 million per unit cost as estimated by the Government Accountability Office. More...

An FM-2 Wildcat that rolled off the deck of a ship on Dec. 28, 1944, after suffering an engine failure during takeoff, was plucked from Waukegan Harbor on Lake Michigan in Illinois, Friday, reportedly thanks to a donation from 78-year-old pilot Charles Greenhill. The aircraft's pilot, William Edward Forbes, was rescued when the aircraft went into the water more than 60 years ago. He passed away in 2008 at the age of 85. Now, local enthusiasts hope to use the aircraft to encourage development of a museum at a former Naval Air Station museum in nearby Glenview, Ill. But before that, the aircraft will be headed to Greenhill's hangar in Kenosha, Wisc., if only temporarily. More...

Sennheiser S1 Headset - The Quiet 
Revolution || Now $995
Sennheiser S1 Digital Aviation Headset
Take advantage of our special holiday offer and save $100 instantly.
It is time to look beyond the ordinary and treat yourself to the most technologically advanced headset in the market. Offering revolutionary adaptive digital noise cancelation and customizable comfort features such as headband contact pressure adjustment, the S1 Digital redefines customization and comfort in the cockpit. Be bold, be different, and join Sennheiser in the pursuit of perfect sound! Learn more.
News Briefsback to top 

The NTSB says a misjudged high-speed, low-altitude pass led to the crash of a Piper Malibu that killed the pilot and two passengers last year in Monroe, Mich. (PDF) The board said pilot Rick Howell, 58, of nearby LaSalle tried to raise his flight instructor on the radio to alert him that he was doing a high-speed pass before aiming the big single at the runway on March 29, 2011. The NTSB counted 37 propeller gouges in the runway in its investigation. The gear and flaps were retracted. The aircraft stayed airborne long enough to crash into a neighboring soccer field, narrowly missing a children's playground and tennis complex, where a high school team was practicing. More...

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office is denying an Ottawa Citizen report that the country has cancelled an order for 65 F-35 fighters. However, the prime minister' office, while calling the Citizen report "inaccurate on a number of fronts," did say the government is going to update the country on the process of replacing the Royal Canadian Air Force's 30-year-old fleet of first-generation CF-18 fighters. Unnamed sources at both news organizations suggest that semantics aside, the original plan to buy F-35s and only F-35s is dead and there will soon be a competitive bidding process for the fighter contract. Besides the F-35, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault's Rafale, Saab's Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon are considered contenders for the deal, worth tens of billions of dollars. At stake for other participants in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter effort is the potential increased cost of their fighters if Canada does bow out. Escalating costs are behind Canada's softening position on the F-35. 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 Crue 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.
Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Resident blogger Paul Bertorelli has been reading books on the SEAL operation to take down Osama bin Laden and finds that they don't agree on why the helicopter inserting the teams crashed. Two books suggest it was settling with power, but one says it was a freak dual failure of the aircraft's electronic flight control system. We may never find out for sure, but for pilots, speculating is just what we do. Read more and join the conversation on the AVweb Insider blog. More...

2012 Production Eclipse Jets Available 
Eclipse Offers 2012 Production Aircraft for Sale Now
Eclipse Aerospace is excited to offer two 2012-model-year, factory-new Total Eclipse Jets available for delivery in December! These 2012 Total Eclipse Jets include the Avio IFMS avionics suite, two P&WC 610F zero-time engines, an extended two-year factory warranty, an anti-lock brake option, and much more. CLICK HERE for more information.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: Fly-By-Wire Concerns

Regarding the story about the fly-by-wire Diamond DA42: Although the developers of fly-by-wire systems have admirable goals, I am very concerned about the unintended consequences of such control systems. As a pilot, I would never relinquish control to a computer programmer. (I worked as computer programmer for seven years!)

It is simply not possible to think of every situation in order to program a computer control system to act appropriately all the time. Just think of the subtle nuances of glide control when aiming for a specific spot on a field when doing a forced landing. Then there are the effects of sensor failures as we have seen on some recent crashes.

With twin-engine aircraft, there is a place for some intelligence in the control system, such as control limitation to avoid loss of control when one engine is out, for example. However, within the allowed range of control movement, the pilot's inputs should be directly relayed to the control surfaces and not interpreted by a computer!

In any event, controlling the aircraft is one of the least demanding aspects of flying. It is getting increasingly challenging to maintain traffic separation in busy, uncontrolled air space.

Taken to its ultimate maturity, the goals of these fly-by-wire and auto take-off and land systems are basically the same as that of unpiloted vehicle developers: Build aircraft that can carry passengers with no pilot! I cringe at the thought of flying in a sky full of aircraft being controlled by computers and pilots with limited ability at the controls! If a person cannot be trained to fly the aircraft, they would also not have the ability to maintain situational awareness and navigate properly, or for that matter program a flight plan correctly.

The biggest challenge the developers of these systems need to solve first is how to do collision avoidance in a completely robust and safe way between UAVs and GA while not everybody in the sky has the same technology on board. Once they [have] solved that problem, I may be able to relax a little more about their efforts to automate the control of their aircraft.

Best Regards,

Dan Retief

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...

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

The iPad, and tablets in general, have gained wide acceptance among pilots. But if you find the iPad a tad too large for the cockpit, the new iPad Mini may address that complaint. It's 2/3 the size of the full iPad but otherwise has the same features and performance as an iPad 2. In this video, AVweb and Aviation Consumer wrung out the Mini for both cockpit and pre-flight use. Other than screen glare, we found it had few warts worth mentioning, and it just might become the perfect cockpit accessory. More...

IFR Refresher
Get to the Next Level!
IFR Refresher is the only magazine written for instrument pilots who care passionately about staying proficient.

Click here to subscribe — and receive a gift!
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to a location that, according to reader John Brier, has had a fresh infusion of inspiration recently — the city-run FBO at Robert LaFleur Airport (KWVL) in Waterville, Maine:

This airport was on the verge of being closed. The city of Waterville took over the operation and with a dedicated crew and turned it into a very pilot-friendly place. Fuel prices are some of the lowest in the [area].

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 


Heard at Orlando Executive:

"Ercoupe 1234, we have a blimp landing to the right of runway 7. Reduce speed."

"1234 reducing speed."

"1234, make a half-'S' turn to the left."

"1234 making a half-assed turn to the left."

Robert C. Abbaticchio
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.