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Volume 19, Number 9a
February 25, 2013 || Intelligent Apps for 
Flying IFR? ForeFlight Mobile Pro Is for You
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Aircraft Updatesback to top 

Australia has joined the list of countries that is mulling over its order of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in light of the grounding of the U.S. fleet of 51 Lightning IIs on Friday according to Reuters. In fact, grounding the aircraft after a turbine crack was found in an F-35 engine was U.S. Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, the Pentagon's F-35 program chief's last act before he left for a major air show in Melbourne to promote the fighter. The crack was found in the third stage of a Pratt & Whitney-produced F135 engine powering an A-model variant, which is designed for use by the Air Force. Currently, 34 of the jets are in use at training bases in Florida and Arizona. The rest are involved in test programs. A subset of the fleet (those flown by the Marines) had just been cleared to fly on Feb. 13 after being grounded for nearly one month for another problem. More...

Bombardier has pushed back the first delivery date for its composite Lear 85 business jet to the middle of 2014, citing issues with the technology. Bombardier launched the program in 2007 and is building most of the components in Mexico. Final assembly and completion will be in Wichita. It will compete in the mid-to-super-midsize market with a range of 2,600 nautical miles and seating for up to eight passengers. The delay was announced on the same day Bombardier announced a major drop in fourth-quarter profits and the bad news drove the Canadian company's shares down 7 percent. There was, however, some good news for Bombardier last week on the CSeries airliner program. More...

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Crash Reportback to top 

NTSB member Robert Sumwalt Thursday said that a Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I aborted its landing at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, Ga., Wednesday night, before crashing nearby killing five of seven aboard. The flight originated at John Tune Airport, Tenn., and was carrying staff from a specialized medical clinic, the NTSB said. At about 8:30 p.m. local time, the jet's left wing was severed upon impact with a 60-foot concrete pole located roughly one quarter mile from the end of the airport's 5,500-foot runway. Fuel leaked and ignited. Sumwalt described the composite jet's wreckage as "severely fragmented," adding that identifiable features of the plane were "almost completely destroyed by fire." Weather was clear with light winds at the time of the crash. First reports said that at least one of the survivors was a pilot. More...

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Light Sport Outlookback to top 

Previously developed quality assurance requirements covering the manufacture, documentation, and records retention programs for light sport aircraft have been merged into a new standard approved by ASTM International, the organization said Friday. The standard, released as ASTM F2972, is meant to ensure that LSA aircraft are manufactured "consistent with the design that was originally tested to show compliance to the standard," according to ASTM. It will be used to guide manufacturers seeking flight certificates, permits or "similar documentation" from civil aviation authorities. More...

LISA Airplanes, which showed off its $350,000 amphibious Akoya LSA in July at AirVenture Oshkosh 2012, then faced financial difficulties by August, has now said it will accept a $20 million takeover bid from Chinese investors. The Bureau of Commerce in Leshan City, China, says investors from the Heima Mining Company offered $20 million for a 75-percent stake in the French light airplane manufacturer. The transaction would see the Mining company, which trades in phosphate rock, appoint its own representative as LISA's new chairman. More...

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Budgets and Bombastback to top 

The FAA may close more than 100 air traffic control towers and eliminate the graveyard shift in another 60 if sequestration goes ahead on March 1. It is also considering cutting maintenance and upkeep of air traffic control equipment, cutting staff in certification and inspection roles and furloughing most employees for one or two days per pay period, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in a letter to 47,000 FAA employees Friday. The effect will be decreased capacity and major disruptions to flight schedules, certification programs and a myriad other things that require FAA sign-off. "We are aware that these service reductions will adversely affect commercial, corporate and general aviation operators," LaHood said. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association said the disruptions might be worse than the FAA is predicting and is concerned the tower closures may lead to the closure of some of the airports themselves. Some analysts have dismissed the proposals as political scare tactics in advance of a week of political wrangling over sequestration. More...

That's Paul Bertorelli's radical idea to gain a little relief from hysterical rantings about the impacts of the looming budget sequestration. That's another way of asking why so many special interests believe everyone else should take service and budget cuts, but not them. This promises to be a spirited discussion. Join the fun on the AVweb Insider blog. More...

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Alaska's Aviation Frontierback to top 

The first airplane flight in Alaska took place 100 years ago, 10 years after the Wright brothers' first flight, but once the airplane arrived, it played a major role in the history of the state. Today, Alaskans fly 30 times as much as other U.S. citizens, and aviation is crucial to the local economy. To celebrate the centenary, the Anchorage Museum has assembled an exhibit, "Arctic Flight," that examines how aviation changed the way of life in Alaska. A restored 1928 Stearman C2B biplane, borrowed from the Alaska Aviation Museum, anchors the exhibit, which also features artifacts on loan from the National Air and Space Museum. More...

It was 10 years after the Wright brothers' first flight before the first airplane arrived in Alaska, but aviation soon transformed the way of life in the state and today remains essential to the economy. A new exhibit at the Anchorage Museum explores the those 100 years of history. AVweb's Mary Grady talked with Julie Decker, chief curator of the museum, for more details.

This podcast is brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

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Meanwhile, on YouTube ...back to top 

An Air India pilot's (perhaps final) act of desperation has hit almost 200,000 views on YouTube but the profanity-filled lament (warning: multiple f-bombs) about his lack of flying time may be counterproductive to his stated goal. Air India has been on the ropes because of high fuel costs, intense competition and a legacy of labor strife. Officials of the airline have confirmed the unidentified first officer is one of theirs and that they're trying to figure out what to do with him after he uploaded Air India Rap, a no-holds-barred musical missive that attacks airline management, the pilots union and even takes a swipe at demographically challenged flight attendants. "He works for us, yes," airline spokesman G.P Rao told AFP. "We are looking into the issue. The management will decide how to go about it." More...

International Association of Flight 
Training Professionals (IAFTP)
Share-a-Training-Practice Promotion Extended through March
The latest winners in our monthly promotion have been announced, and Mike Franz received the US$100 top award. For more information about all of our winners, click here.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: The Moving Experience

Regarding your article on motion in simulators: Bravo to you folks for publicizing a dirty little secret. Your question "How important is motion?" is the right one to ask. As you pointed out, what we really care about is transfer of training.

The topic of motion in simulators has been debated since the 1950s, with the results consistently stacking up as you depict them in the article. The problem is that the facts contradict "common sense." The conventional wisdom is that the more the simulator is like the airplane the "better" it is. All airplanes have motion, so all simulators should have motion. That logic also leads us to believe the earth is flat.

I have been a human factors engineer in aviation for 40 years and seen many situations where multi-million dollar decisions regarding simulators were made on this topic. The decisions consistently disregard the studies because the study did not support the preconceived notion.

The current study is on a long list of similar studies (some done recently by the FAA) that come to roughly the same conclusions. We refuse to believe the results, make decisions based on beliefs rather than facts, and so fund more studies hoping the results will be different.

Thanks for bringing this topic to the daylight and treating it properly.

Dino Piccione

Click here to read the rest of this week's letters.


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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Clarke County Airport (23M) in Quitman, Mississippi.

AVweb reader Dee Ann Ediger clued us in to the airport's excellent FBO:

We were making our way westward toward questionable weather and keeping in contact with Flight Service while watching the visibility ahead and scouting out landing prospects. We had been landing at two-hour intervals to check weather from the ground, and Clarke County fit our time, course, runway length, and fuel availability, so we dropped in. The inside of the FBO was immaculate, and the freshly painted facilities were just about the cleanest I have ever seen at a small airport. The refrigerator was stocked with microwave sandwiches, drinks, and snacks with an honor pay system so we didn't have to dig into our crackers-and-cheese emergency rations. The excellent service and availability of mogas in addition to the very low priced avgas makes this a very likely stop for us on future trips. We even had our picture taken with our airplane to add to the wall of infamy "documenting those who stop in."

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!


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

Everett, Washington's Historic Flight Foundation recently flew home its newly-restored DC-3 from Sealand Aviation in Campbell River, British Columbia. The museum's founder, John Sessions, talks about the aircraft's rich history and its future at the Foundation. More...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Overflying KLAL en route to KBOW, we overheard a conversation between KLAL tower and a flight of two military pilots flying training approaches. As they declared "going missed," the tower issued missed approach clearances and then asked, "So you are Navy?"

One pilot responded (with obvious pride), "He is Navy, but I am United States Marine Corps."

My co-pilot, who is a retired Navy Commander, couldn't resist entering the conversation and keyed the mike, stating, "If you check that Globe and Anchor, you'll find it says Department of the Navy."

Without a second of hesistation, the military pilot came back with, "Yeah — but it's the men's department."

Nothing else needed to be said, and the tower controller was very quiet for several seconds — laughing, I assume.

Gerry McCarley
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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