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Volume 19, Number 4a
January 14, 2013
Is There Anything More Important than Protecting Your Family?
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AVflash! AirVenture Taking Shapeback to top 

EAA has reportedly confirmed that it's talking with "Jetman" Yves Rossy to perform at AirVenture 2013. AOPA Online reported that the talks, which will include Rossy's sponsor Breitling, are under way but the performance is far from a sure thing. "Our people have talked with him and his group. Nothing is confirmed," EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski wrote in a comment section of the AOPA blog. Among the considerations is FAA approval, which is likely to be a little more complicated than the nod the agency gave to Rossy's flight over the Grand Canyon last May. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
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Aviation Safetyback to top 

Autopilots and autothrottles commonly used on modern aircraft are useful tools but may have already led to degraded piloting skills, according to the FAA, which earlier this month released a safety alert to encourage manual flight operations. In a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) the FAA said flight operations data has identified "an increase in manual handling errors." And, says the FAA, continuous use of automated systems "could lead to degradation of the pilot's ability to quickly recover the aircraft from an undesired state." The FAA's SAFO encourages operators to "take an integrated approach by incorporating emphasis of manual flight operations into both line operations and training." The SAFO also offers guidance on operational policies. More...

A UK court has found former British flight instructor Ian King guilty of fraudulently obtaining a private pilot helicopter license in 2008 for a man who was killed along with his wife weeks later in the UK while flying a Gazelle. The court was advised that King, a former Army captain, had two prior Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) convictions. King pled not guilty to the charge of making a false representation with intent to deceive the CAA. The jury disagreed. The judge in the case told King his actions involved "a breach of trust" and "a disregard on your part for the safety requirements" imposed by the CAA, reported Thursday. King's sentencing is set for Feb. 4. The judge was not coy about what King should expect. More...

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Parts: It's What's Inside That Countsback to top 

Boeing has sourced multiple problems with its 787 Dreamliner to faulty circuit boards and Friday the FAA announced it is launching a review of the jet's electrical systems, including the outsourced manufacture and installation of components. Aside from incorporating new technologies, production of the 787 involves a much more outsourced process than its other jets. Boeing not only had outside companies produce parts, but those companies also played a role in the design of parts and systems. Boeing says that three of four incidents suffered by 787 aircraft have been traced to one batch of circuit boards produced by a subcontractor in Mexico. Boeing will now be working with the FAA on a review of the 787's entire electrical system. The FAA's announcement follows on the heels of highly publicized recent incidents involving the jet. More...

An agreement published in a Pentagon inspector general (IG) report to Congress last month discloses that Boeing has agreed to pay the Air Force $1 million to replace "defective" parts that in 2007 caused the in-flight breakup of an F-15 (AVweb video). The pilot in that event was able to eject and survived with injuries that included a dislocated shoulder and shattered bone in his arm. A joint investigation determined that Boeing-supplied longerons for the jet varied from 0.039 to 0.073 inches thick where the contract specification called for a thickness of 0.1 inch. While the IG report was critical of Boeing, the $1 million agreement is substantially less than the cost of the jet that was lost. More...

Japan Airlines says a mysterious series of fuel valve malfunctions will keep one of its Boeing 787s out of service indefinitely as engineers track the problem. According to Reuters, the aircraft dumped about 40 gallons of fuel on the ramp at Boston Logan Airport after a transfer valve linking the belly tank and a wing tank opened uncommanded. Fuel from the belly filled the wing, which then overflowed through a vent. The aircraft returned to Tokyo for further tests and while on the ramp in Japan a valve used to defuel the aircraft opened and spilled fuel on the ground. More...

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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
Cessna Keeping Busy with New Offeringsback to top 

The FAA has certified the upgraded Cessna Grand Caravan EX and deliveries are already under way. The core of the upgrade is a much more powerful (867 shaft horsepower) Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6A-140 engine in place of the 675-horsepower Pratt that powers the standard models. The effect on performance is substantial. Cessna was hoping for 20 percent better climb rate but it turned out to be 38 percent. The souped-up Caravan is expected to be especially popular for float operators and those who do a lot of high and hot operations. In recent years several companies have obtained STCs to replace the original Caravan engines with more powerful mills. Meanwhile, Cessna has also started production of a brand-new airplane, the M2 business jet. More...

Aerial Tribute || Every Cloud a Monument
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Using a high-performance sailplane, Ascension Scattering™ releases cremated remains into strong thermals over the Rocky Mountains. The ashes are carried heavenward, making them part of the sky. Your family is invited to personalize the release to create an individualized memorial event. Optional video of the release serves as a lasting memorial. Contact Aerial Tribute to book an eternal flight, either as an advanced arrangement for yourself or as an arrangement for a loved one. Click here for a video overview.
News Briefsback to top 

An Alabama man has been placed on probation for a year and may have to take anger management lessons after he admitted shooting at a neighbor's biplane as it was about to land on the neighbor's home strip last June. Jason Allen McCay, 36, of Hayden, Ala., admitted to investigators that he fired at the Stearman "to scare the people on board it." At his sentencing hearing last week, the unidentified judge questioned the sincerity of McCay's apology over the incident but nevertheless agreed with his lawyer that jail time wasn't necessary. It will be up to his probation officer whether he has to take anger management or cognitive therapy sessions to curb his impulsive behavior. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

In a guest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Ted Seastrom argues that student pilots expect more from their training than most are getting -- and that's what's keeping many students from getting their certificates. Read more and join the conversation. 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 Mailback to top 


Letter of the Week: A Different Angle

Regarding the item on angle of attack indicators: I'm all for improving flight safety, but in my opinion the AOA indicators that measure air pressure differential at locations other than on the upper wing camber are, while cleverly conceived, not much more than glorified stall-warning horns. They are not accurate enough to dependably help prevent stall/spin accidents.

This is because, aerodynamically, such an AOA is a very imprecise substitute for one that can sense or measure the solely important factor of boundary layer flowing over the wing, which is the only long-ago-proven, dependable way to detect a stalling wing. (If you have any doubts about this, watch any of the 1930s-era wind-tunnel research videos illustrating this fact.)

Further, I believe that relying on the average aircraft owner to self-calibrate one of these "differential" AOA units by a trial-and-error sequence of stalling the aircraft is too demanding and the best results too imprecise to depend on. I see a false sense of security, and I would neither install one nor rely on one.

Instead, let's get back to the drawing board using the best of today's technology in materials and electronics to develop a robust and marketable solution to this problem once and for all.

Dave Abate

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...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at Walnut Ridge Regional Airport (KARG) in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.

AVweb reader Harry Shannon recommended told us how the fuel prices caught his attention but the service brought him back to Walnut Ridge a second time:

Moving a Caravan amphib from Florida to Washington state, good fuel prices prompted a stop at Walnut Ridge. The service was great, leading to a planned stop on the return trip to Florida. As often happens, our plans lag a bit, and we found ourselves heading for Walnut Ridge arriving near midnight. A call ahead had arranged for an open FBO. [We were] personally met by the airport manager, who also transported us to local lodging, picked us up the next morning, and gave us an extra discount on fuel because it was our second stop.

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!


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

After rolling it out last spring, Rotax is now delivering its new fuel-injected, electronic engine, the 912 iS. Flight Design is now delivering a new variant called the CTLSi that features the new engine. The 912 iS builds on the basic 912 S, but in place of carburetors, it has dual-injector port-type common-rail fuel injection and electronic ignition, powered by a pair of alternators. AVweb recently flew a new CTLSi demo aircraft, and in this brief product video, we run through our findings. More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


This happened some years ago when I was wrenching as an A&P tech at the old TallMantz aviation hangar at John Wayne Orange County Airport in Southern California. The airport is a very busy airport with a tight mix of air carrier and recreational aircraft, causing occasional high stress moments for all. Radio traffic can be fun to listen to when it gets busy and tight.

An American 757 was on short final to 19R when sequencing got a little crossed up, and a light twin pulled out on the runway to begin its take-off roll. The female tower controller issued a go-around command, and assertive she was.

Tower (very clearly) :
"American XXX, go around, go around."

American XXX (clearly irritated) :
"We seem to run into this at this airport often. Do you realize this costs over 3,000 dollars every time it happens?"

Tower (without emotion or hesitation) :
"Roger, American XXX, that will be a 3,000-dollar go-around, sir."

American XXX:
"..." [silence]

A ramp up of turbofan power could be heard in the distance as the aircraft began to climb. I thought, "Wow, she's awesome!" with a chuckle.

Robert Reed
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.

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