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Volume 19, Number 7a
February 11, 2013
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AVflash! Man and Machineback to top 

In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the FAA has released an updated list of public agencies that have applied for permission from the FAA to operate unmanned aerial systems (UAS). There are now at least 81 agencies that want to fly drones. Most are universities or other research-oriented institutions, and law-enforcement agencies make up the next largest group. Under current FAA rules, drones of all sizes can only be legally operated for non-hobby use through special authorization by the FAA. The list does not indicate which applications have been approved or rejected. The agency was mandated by Congress last year to start allowing more general use of small drones but the FAA said earlier this year it needs more time to figure out how to do that safely. Meanwhile, at least nine states are considering legislation to restrict drone use, one city has banned them entirely for at least two years, and industry groups, from the film industry to agriculture, are stamping their feet with impatience. Trying to reconcile the various factors and factions is the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, and Vice President Gretchen West told AVweb in a podcast interview that education is key to smoothing the process. More...

Unmanned aerial systems are getting a lot of attention, and public perception is often far from reality about the remotely piloted aircraft. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Gretchen West, VP of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) about the issues, the opportunities, and the uphill battle to explain the technology to governments, the aviation community, and the public.

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Nemo: Aviation's Snow Dayback to top 

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut by Friday each declared a state of emergency due to the winter storm "Nemo" that reportedly led to the cancelation of more than 4,000 flights in the Northeast by afternoon Friday. New rules that punish airlines with fines for leaving passengers waiting too long in closed aircraft mean that many airlines now act preemptively. United Airlines canceled at least 900 flights ahead of the storm. Delta cancelled at least 740 flights and JetBlue, which operates mainly out of JFK and Boston's Logan Airport, canceled nearly 650 flights, even while New York's airports remained open Friday. More...

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Probable Cause in Dreamliner Fireback to top 

The NTSB says a short circuit in one of eight cells in the APU battery of a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 led to the fire in the aircraft at Boston Logan Airport Jan. 7. At a news conference on Thursday, NTSB Chairman Debra Hersman said evidence from the flight data recorder and damage to the battery itself indicates the battery and not the aircraft systems were at fault. "That cell showed multiple signs of short circuiting, leading to a thermal runaway condition, which then cascaded to other cells," said an NTSB news release. "Charred battery components indicated that the temperature inside the battery case exceeded 500 degrees Fahrenheit." That was a factor. While the finding shines most of the spotlight on battery manufacturer Yuasa, the NTSB does not leave the FAA and Boeing off the hook. More...

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Making Airbus Feel at Home in Dubaiback to top 

Dubai International Airport has fully opened the first-ever concourse designated for use by A380 aircraft. The concourse, airport officials say, is the first "purpose-built" facility for the big plane. Called Concourse A, the terminal has 20 gates and is designed to accommodate the passenger mix as much as the aircraft itself. The 528,000-square-meter facility is part of a $7.8 billion upgrade of Dubai International, which its operators says will become the world's busiest airport by 2015. More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

With new production getting underway soon in Poland, Eclipse is finally pulling together the variables to make an airplane that ought to sell. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli explains why the time may be right for a global personal jet. 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: Depreciated Income

Regarding the reaction to the White House's comments on depreciation: I believe the comment from the administration is about accelerated depreciation and not straight-line depreciation.

While GAMA and others cry foul, one of the largest owners of jets, NetJets' Warren Buffett, complains he's not paying enough tax — yet his company will participate to lower their tax liability with accelerated depreciation, thus his tax rate is lowered.

Being in the high-tax-rate group but not high enough to afford the fat cat travel modes, I pay for their benefits because of their lobbyists.

Additionally, many of their products are not built in the U.S. and really benefit Canada or Brazil, so why should the U.S. general taxpayer subsidize corporate fat cats like Buffett of Jeff Imelt at GE? Let them join the regular tax-paying public and enjoy the jocularity of the TSA while traveling.

I believe in flat taxes so there are no politics in collections. We all pay and make our decision on sound personal economic terms, not political DC intrigue.

If Buffett believes he's not paying enough taxes, the U.S. Treasury does accept donations. Why not drop a check off on them? In my youth, we had a saying: "Put up or shut up."

Accelerated depreciation to keep the fat cats flying cheaper is a non-starter for me and for most of the flying public.

Patrick Scott

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 

A video released Feb. 8, 2013, by Jetman Yves Rossy suggests the skydiving innovator may be on the verge of marketing an unpowered version of his strapped-on wing and opening a school to teach people how to fly it. Rossy has piloted another version of the wing with four micro-turbines attached to its underside delivering power. He has flown that version across the English Channel and a section of the Grand Canyon. Rossy describes the unpowered version by saying it can achieve a "glide angle" of 4.5. English is not Rossy's first language and a glide angle of 4.5 would translate to a glide ratio of roughly 13:1 -- substantially better than a Cessna 172. It's possible that Rossy's use of the term instead indicates the wing's glide ratio. Rossy says he's flown his gliding wing in excess of 150 mph, he has demonstrated aerobatics while flying it and believes there is much more potential for his unique brand of flight. Rossy is meticulous in his flight preparations, studying terrain, angles of flight and walking portions of the route when able. It is not yet known if his apparently proposed school will train the same pre-flight planning. More...

More owners and pilots would probably invest in ground power units for starting and running avionics in the hangar if the things were just more flexible. One that is comes from Audio Authority, which, besides being a GPU, also doubles as a battery tender. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano gives us the lowdown on this versatile unit. More...

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Monadnock Aviation at Dillant-Hopkins Airport (KEEN) in Keene, New Hampshire.

AVweb reader Russel Jennings had high praise for Monadnock:

Courteous staff, excellent information, friendly environment, relaxing place with excellent catering. Employees will interact with you in conversation. If needed, the FBO's mechanic will come check out your aircraft if you are having issues. I can personally say I've been to FBOs where you walk in and it's all about them collecting money, very unfriendly — "get in and get out" kind of places. But Monadnock is friendly and takes its customers into consideration. Definitely recommend this FBO to anybody looking for an excellent place to fly into.

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!


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

Our latest winning photo comes from Ashrith Balakumar of Pittsburgh, PA. Click here for the rest of this week's submissions. More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Navy basic training:

A normally outstanding student was having a bad day. Keying the intercom by mistake, he said, "Sorry, sir, I am all #$@*^! up."

An immediate reply came back: "Station using profanity, please identify yourself!"

The instructor instantaneously answered, "He may be #$@*^! up, but not that #$@*^! up!"

Charles Thom
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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