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Volume 19, Number 5a
January 28, 2013
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AVflash! Making Ends Meetback to top 

Hawker Beechcraft Friday announced progress in its plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, possibly completing the transition before March. The company's creditors have approved its proposed reorganization plan and banks have committed to underwrite $600 million in funds that will serve as exit financing. The company is headed to court on Jan. 31 and expects to seek approval for the exit from bankruptcy at that time. Hawker Beechcraft would then seek to focus on core productions like the King Air and T-6. Certain details could still derail the process. More...

Moller International Thursday announced a potential deal with Athena Technologies to "establish co-production" for its vertical takeoff and landing aircraft "in the US and the People's Republic of China," but questions remain. According to Moller, the deal will see the companies "jointly produce numerous models" of Moller's Skycar designs "by 2014" and is backed by an initial $80 million as part of a planned $480 million investment. The deal must now be approved by both parties, according to the news release. Moller's Skycar has been in development for decades. Athena may be just as interesting. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
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Aviation Safetyback to top 

Airshow and Red Bull Air Races pilot Kirby Chambliss is a little banged up and his Zivko Edge 540 is a mess after a crash landing in a ravine in El Salvador last week. Chambliss and fellow pilot Skip Stewart were rehearsing for the Ilopango Air Show near San Salvador Jan. 24 when the aircraft's engine failed during a the low and slow high alpha maneuver. With neither altitude nor speed to work with, Chambliss put the plane down the best he could in a ravine off the end of the runway. More...

A Florida pilot has uploaded a YouTube video detailing how he was hit by a bullet while flying with his girlfriend over Jacksonville on New Year's Eve. Graham Hill was apparently grazed by what may have been celebratory gunfire as he flew a rented Cessna 172 over the city to view the midnight fireworks display. "I heard a loud pop," he said. He didn't immediately realize he'd been hit. After checking to make sure his girlfriend was OK, he said he scanned the cockpit for anything that had been shattered and just as he noticed the hole in the pilot side window he felt blood running down his neck. More...

Searchers in Antarctica say the crash of a Canadian Twin Otter was "not survivable" and the operation is now a recovery mission and it will be October before that can happen. Three Canadians, including aircraft commander Bob Heath, his copilot Mike Denton, 25, and an unidentified third person were aboard the aircraft, which hit the side of a mountain in the Queen Alexandria range. The aircraft was owned and operated by Kenn Borek Air, of Calgary, which is world-renowned for its work at both poles using specially equipped Twin Otters and DC-3s. Weather has improved in the area, which was hit with 100-mph winds for two days after the Twin Otter's ELT was triggered on Wednesday. A helicopter reached the site on Sunday but crew members were unable to reach the front of the aircraft, which was embedded in the snow. They did, however, recover the cockpit voice recorder. More...

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787 Investigationback to top 

The head of the NTSB suggested the investigation into the cause of fires aboard two Boeing 787 airliners this month will be a protracted affair. Deborah Hersman said there is evidence the APU battery aboard a Japan Airlines Dreamliner short circuited and had indications of a thermal runaway but what really got the board's attention is that the protections in place to handle that scenario didn't work. "The investigation will include an evaluation of how a fault that resulted in a battery fire could have defeated the safeguards in place to guard against that," said Hersman. "As we learn more in this investigation, we will make recommendations for needed improvements to prevent a recurrence." It's not up to the NTSB to decide when the 787 will fly again. That's up to the FAA, which did not issue any statements on the latest NTSB news release. Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia, who spoke with AVweb earlier this week in a podcast interview, told Reuters the statements made by Hersman are not encouraging. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Student pilot Brendan Mattingley, 27, and his Piper PA-18 Super Cub disappeared near Anchorage last October, inspiring a weeks-long search, and now the NTSB has released evidence that the pilot may have been drunk and lied about his personal history. One witness, a bouncer who escorted Mattingley from a bar, described the pilot as "very intoxicated" less than two hours before he went missing. A cab driver who delivered Mattingley first to a motel and then to Soldotna Airport may have been the last to see Mattingley. He told the NTSB that Mattingley appeared to be drunk and stated that he would sleep in his airplane. Investigators were unable to find Mattingley's logbook, but found that he was convicted of a DWI charge in June of 2002, which he did not report to the FAA. Other factors complicated the search. More...

The German Aerospace Center's Institute of Space Systems is researching a "SpaceLiner" that hopes to, by 2050, send 50 passengers from Europe to Australia in 90 minutes, flying at 24 Mach, project coordinator Martin Sippel told TechNewsDaily. The design is expected to evolve but currently includes a rocket booster that would separate from the passenger-carrying vehicle, which would cruise at an altitude of about 50 miles. According to Sippel, the concept would share similarities with the Space Shuttle because it relies on proven rocket technology and would see the vehicle glide back to earth for landing. He expects that technological advances could lure private investors to the project within the next decade. There are, of course, very large hurdles to overcome. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

Last week's Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida had record attendance, according to the organizers, but anemic sales suggest tire-kickers outnumber buyers in the thousands. The market forces to change this still aren't in evidence. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli speculates on why. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Never doubt that aviation and politics are joined at the hip, and the bigger the aircraft program, the more likely it will go political. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli notes that the Senate Aviation Subcommittee, if it asks the right questions and finds the right witnesses, may actually shed more light than heat on the 787 battery issues. On the other hand, when's the last time that happened? Read more and join the conversation. More...

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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: Mogas Options

I note the article in the Jan. 24 issue of AVweb, "Fuel Projects Move Forward, But Slowly," and I appreciate the reference to mogas in the article; however, I would like to clarify and expand a couple of points.

[continued after the jump ...]

Todd L. Petersen

Click here to read the rest of our "Letter of the Week" and other letters from our readers.


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 Audio — Are You Listening?back to top 

The European Aviation Safety Agency came under fire in 2011 for a proposed rule that would have required all resident pilots to have EASA licenses. The rule takes effect in April of 2014, but, thanks to the work of advocacy groups, key elements have changed to make it much easier for those with N-registered aircraft and those currently flying on FAA certificates. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Emmanuel Davidson of AOPA France about the changes. More...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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AVweb Video: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

"Pardo's push" of March 10, 1967 was preceded by a similar event. In 1952, fighter ace Robbie Risner pushed fellow flyer Joe Logan 60 miles. The two men were flying F-86 Sabre jets and successfully cleared hostile territory, but Logan bailed out over water, was tangled in his canopy lines, and drowned. Risner was deemed a hero, but by Pardo's account, pilots were not encouraged to partake in similar activities. More...

U.S. Sport Aviation Expoback to top 

AVweb was at opening day of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo show in Sebring on Thursday and filed this video report. More...

The competition in the iPad remote ADS-B and AHRS market is getting white-hot, and now comes Levil Technology with a new device called the iLevil. AVweb took a took at it at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo show in Sebring. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Michigan Aviation at Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) in Pontiac, Michigan.

AVweb reader John Keller sang their praises on his nomination form:

We arrived in the CE-525 when it was 7 °F with light snow. Two line personnel [were] there to greet us with rental auto planeside. A little paperwork for the car, and a crew car [arrived] for the pilot, complete with directions to hotel and dinner. [The] airplane went into their warm hangar in a short while. Outstanding service from all personnel — especially fueling, hangaring, and getting ready to depart on a cold and snowy morning. We will be using this excellent FBO for several more trips in the future months.

Way to go, Michigan Aviation!

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 


Due to firefighting activity, our small airport became a heli-base, and we had a temporary FAA tower. I briefed a recently soloed student who had never been out of the area or to a towered airport on procedures. Of course, one point was quickly forgotten and/or possibly overlooked.

Cessna 123:
"Scott Valley Tower, 123 requesting back taxi to runway 16 run-up area."

"123, you are cleared as requested."

As he was doing his run-up ...

"Cessna 123, hold short for landing traffic and read back 'hold short' instructions."

Cessna 123:
[Of course he didn't read back.]

"123, hold short — landing traffic."

Cessna 123:
[Again, no reply.]

"123, acknowledge and read back 'hold short' instructions."

Cessna 123:
[Still no reply.]

"Cessna 123, do you read Scott Valley Tower?"

Cessna 123:
"Yes, sir, and I'm holding for you to read back instructions!"

Kevin Martin
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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