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Volume 19, Number 12a
March 18, 2013
Pilot Insurance Center
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Indiana Crashback to top 

Four people were killed, including two on the ground, when a Beech Premier 1 crashed into three houses in South Bend, Indiana Sunday evening. Reports say the pilot of the aircraft reported mechanical problems before the plane, which was on a flight from Tulsa to South Bend, clipped one house, plowed through a second and came to rest inside a third house. A small boy in one of the houses apparently escaped with a scratch on his head. Two others in the plane and another person on the ground were taken to hospital. The injured reportedly did not have life-threatening injuries. More...

Bose® A20™ Aviation Headset
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Revisiting the Idea of a Pilot Shortageback to top 

A young upwardly mobile first officer for a major airline says the math doesn't support the notion of a pilot shortage anytime soon. Brant Harrison naturally has a vested interest in the pilots ahead of him on the seniority list moving on and when he heard about studies like one from Boeing suggesting the looming need for 460,000 pilots over the next 20 years he was encouraged. But when Harrison couldn't see any real-world evidence of that shortage he decided to put his college minor in math and business to work and see where all these jobs were supposed to be coming from. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Harrison said the airline-by-airline analysis he's recently released doesn't envision any significant change in the job market until at least the end of this decade. "There are so many pilots for a limited amount of jobs," he said. More...

Brant Harrison kept hearing about a pilot shortage, but he couldn't see any evidence of it — so the young first officer decided to crunch the numbers himself. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles about his airline-by-airline analysis and why it means there are plenty of pilots to go around. More... || Intelligent Apps for 
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Changing Face of the Associationsback to top 

Current AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller announced in February that he would resign as soon as a suitable replacement could be found and AOPA chairman Bill Trimble has now described the kind of individual the association is seeking. In an open letter to AOPA members, Trimble said the candidate "must be a passionate outgoing aviator who believes in the critical value GA brings to our country and citizens." That individual must also be experienced in business and "able to articulate and fight for our cause" in the Capitol and nationwide. Trimble notes that the post-9/11 political landscape means AOPA must work with more agencies and defend against more regulatory threats. He noted the rising cost of flying for AOPA members and factors that negatively impact AOPA revenues. More...

There's been more movement in EAA's executive suite. Chad Jensen, EAA's Homebuilder Community Manager, was released from the post on Friday. Jensen confirmed his sacking in an email to AVweb and also on the Van's Air Force forum. He declined comment on Sunday. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said Jensen's dismissal was a "personnel situation" that he could not discuss but he added that EAA is talking with him about another role within the organization. "We're hoping to keep him involved somehow," Knapinski said. More...

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Looking Forward, Looking Backback to top 

Laser chemist and researcher Jayan Thomas of the University of Central Florida is working to create eyewear that could use gold to prevent pilots from being temporarily blinded or injured by laser light shot into the cockpit from the ground. Thomas is working in collaboration with other researchers at the Carnegie Mellon Institute in the field of nanotechnology. The team is working to develop a method of impregnating lenses with tiny nano clusters of gold that block out high-intensity laser light while allowing normal visible light to pass through. Last year, the FAA documented more than 3,400 laser incidents that involved aircraft. More...

Famed aircraft authority Jane's All the World's Aircraft says there's convincing evidence that Gustav Whitehead, not the Wright brothers, was the first to achieve powered controlled flight, but critics may be unmoved. In the foreword of the 100th edition of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, Jane's editor Paul Jackson cites the work of Australian aviation historian John Brown. Brown's evidence includes a 1901 article describing Whitehead's sustained flight in a controlled powered aircraft flown from a field in Connecticut, ahead of the Wrights' 1903 flight. Unfortunately, although one picture of a Whitehead flight was reportedly taken, observers who require any direct visual evidence will be disappointed. And Whitehead is not without his detractors. More...

Sennheiser S1 Headset
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News Briefsback to top 

Canada's Transportation Safety Board is considering whether to investigate why the crew of an Air Canada flight ignored two orders from air traffic control to abort a landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport last week. On March 11, controllers spotted a ground radar return showing an object near the threshold of the runway the flight from Edmonton was about to land on. They twice ordered the go-around but according to the Toronto Star the flight landed anyway without incident. The Star quoted a Transport Canada preliminary report as saying the crew told controllers they thought the go-around order was for "someone else." TSB spokesman Chris Krepski said, "We're assessing that information to determine whether we'll pursue a full investigation." Meanwhile, there will be another investigation on how a driverless van was able to run amok at the airport to start the whole thing. More...

Police in the Canadian province of Quebec said late Sunday they had arrested three men and had another cornered in connection with the helicopter escape of two of the men from a prison in Saint-Jerome, about 25 miles northwest of Montreal. Police are releasing few details but witness accounts gathered by various media sources suggest two of the men commandeered a helicopter at gunpoint and forced the pilot to hover over the prison yard. "At that point, two of the inmates came out and appeared to attach themselves to cables that were attached to the helicopter," CTV News reporter Derek Conlon reported. "The helicopter then took off with these two men suspended underneath and it flew away, much to the surprise and astonishment of everyone in the area." More...

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Tomorrow's GA Communityback to top 

Eight high-school students will win a free trip to the Glasair build center in Arlington, Wash., this June, in a new educational competition announced this week by GAMA and Build-A-Plane. The students will participate in Glasair's "Two Weeks to Taxi" program, building two Sportsman airplanes and learning about science, technology, engineering and math. "This competition will give students the opportunity to explore general aviation," said Pete Bunce, GAMA president. "We need to expose young people to the exciting and rewarding careers that await them in the aerospace industry and ensure they have the tools to succeed." High schools who wish to enter the competition should call Katrina Bradshaw of Build-A-Plane at 804-843-3321 immediately, as space in the competition is limited. More...

Seventy-year-old Vietnam veteran and CFII Rafael Sierra has created a short summer camp program in Thermal, Calif., that provides select high school students with ground school, one hour of flight training, and a student pilot certificate -- all free. Sierra's Coachella Valley Youth Aviation Education Program selects students on the basis of their essay submissions and their desire to become commercial pilots. He runs the program on financial donations and contributions from like-minded friends and local businesses. Sierra told AVweb, Friday, that last year 57 students "graduated" from the program, and this June 22-29 he will guide another group. Sierra says his model is simple and can be copied successfully across the country. More...

Light Plane Maintenance || Practical 
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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wonders if the joy and romance of flight have a lot less to do with why we all fly than the ever-futile attempt to beat back the inevitable downward slide of skills. Like everyone else, he likes to be thought of as a good stick. And like everyone else, proving that consistently is another matter. Read more and join the conversation. More...

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

AVMAIL: MARCH 18, 2013

Letter of the Week: Question from a Midair Veteran

I have read your interesting article on mid-air collisions, but I cannot agree totally with it. I am the lucky survivor of an actual mid-air, where my Twin Comanche at 150 kts cut off the fin of a Cessna C172RG at 125 kts, losing most of my left wing tip in the crash. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but it still puzzles me how such an event may have occurred.

In perfectly clear weather, I was on my toes knowing that traffic at the same altitude (2,000 feet) was heavy and having been warned by ATC of traffic on the opposite heading. Unfortumately, I had just passed another aircraft on opposite heading and thought that was it. Despite what I believed to be an accurate scan, we only saw each other at a distance of about 1,000 feet. I dove sharply to the right, but the other guy also dove without turning, so I pulled up hoping to avoid him. Well, I didn't make it.

My question is: In case you really are close, is it better to dive, to keep him in sight, or to pull up?

Giulio Valdonio

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...

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

Eclipse is touring the country with its Total Eclipse, a factory re-do of the original EA500. But the airplane is a good stand-in for new production airplanes, which will be called Eclipse 550s. AVweb recently took a flight demo in a Total Eclipse and prepared this video report. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to HOVA Flight Services at Gilbert Airport (KGIF) in Winter Haven, Florida.

AVweb reader Christopher Leonard told us how impressed he was with the facilities at staff at HOVA:

This is the best FBO I have been to in a long time. The staff is genuinely friendly, and there is a true GA focus here. The restaurant inside the FBO building is excellent and creates a sense of community. The airport is active in flight training and promoting GA. The facilities are beautiful, and fuel prices for such an outstanding new facility are very reasonable. Getting in and out of the airport is a breeze. I would highly recommend this FBO and airport to anyone!

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 


My first flying job was as a flight instructor at Hanger One at Millard Airport (MLE) in Nebraska. One evening in 1989, while working with an instrument student in a Cessna 150, I overheard another instructor, Karl Lindholm, familiarizing his student with tower communications at Epply Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska. With calm winds and no other traffic in the area, the tower was allowing them to perform touch-and-goes on different runways. I then overheard the following:

"Cessna 12345, you are cleared for the option on all runways."

"Roger. So are we cleared to run amok?"

"Affirmative. 12345 is cleared to run amok. Advise when you are ready to return to Millard."

Gerald Sheehy
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.