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Volume 19, Number 14a
April 1, 2013
What He Didn't Know About His Life
Insurance Cost His Family $500,000

Pilots should take special care when comparing life insurance. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots with insurance planning. Get the right coverage. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit
Ten-Year Anniversary of Meigs Field Debacleback to top 

One of the most astonishing chapters in U.S. aviation history unfolded ten years ago when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley ordered a secretive raid on Meigs Field, sending heavy equipment in under cover of darkness to carve massive Xs across the runway. At the time, Daley claimed the move was necessary to protect the city "from terrorism" but he soon admitted that it was the first stage of fulfillment of a long-held dream to turn Northerly Island, the man-made strip of land that housed Meigs, into an ambitious waterfront park. Ironically, the only development of any significance has been the repurposing of the terminal building into a nature center to anchor some walking trails and a 30-acre patch of ground seeded to natural prairie grasses. LiveNation also built a temporary stage to host concerts but the park is a far cry from the urban Shangri La envisioned by Daley. Meanwhile, a few stalwarts continue the fight to "save Meigs" although there's no realistic expectation that aircraft will ever return, which, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, happened with the advance knowledge of senior officials of the Department of Transportation. More...

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Friends of the Earth Suit Dismissedback to top 

A U.S. District Court Wednesday dismissed a suit brought by Friends of the Earth that aimed to push the EPA to decide whether emissions from general aviation aircraft are a threat to public health, but did not dismiss the possibility of further policymaking. The ruling found that the Environmental Protection Agency does have discretion to make an endangerment finding regarding leaded avgas emissions. But it also ruled that the EPA cannot be forced to make an accelerated finding. AOPA said it hopes the ruling will allow general aviation to transition away from leaded fuels based on a schedule "driven by facts and policy, hopefully not by more lawsuits." The EPA is not scheduled to make a decision before 2015. More...

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Going Proback to top 

A Canadian group is trying to get formal recognition for pilots as professionals in the same league as doctors, lawyers and engineers. Tom Machum, president of the College of Professional Pilots of Canada, told AVweb that if successful, the College would set and enforce standards for commercial pilots and provide needed input into regulations and laws that govern aviation in the same way that the governing bodies of other professions operate. "We're hoping that we can transform piloting from its current status which is really kind of recognized as more of a trade into the true realm of being a professional," Machum said. He said the overall goal is to enhance safety by providing the framework for pilots to excel at their jobs. If successful, it would be the first professional pilot designation in the world. More...

The College of Professional Pilots of Canada has more than 1,000 members in its push to have piloting recognized as a true profession like medicine, law, and engineering. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with College President Tom Bachum about the rationale for the movement. More...

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The award-winning hit TV series The Aviators is back for an all-new third season showcasing everything from the F-22 and DC-3 to LSA and balloons. We take you dogfighting in the Nevada desert, flying with the USAF Thunderbirds, and look on as Mötley Crue frontman Vince Neil learns to fly. Join our 10 million weekly US viewers and countless more worldwide.

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New Aircraftback to top 

The four-seat, 1000-nm, 200-knot, (predicted) all-composite Pipistrel Panthera rolled onto the grass at Pipistrel's Slovenia facility and successfully ran behind its 210-hp Lycoming for the first time Thursday. The aircraft is highly anticipated by supporters and critics anxious to see if it will live up to performance predictions and also come to market at a competitive cost. A Pipistrel representative told AVweb Friday that the aircraft's airshow schedule has not yet been set for 2013, but the company aims to land the aircraft on U.S. soil as soon as possible. For now, you'll have to be satisfied with video of the sleek aircraft's trailing-link landing gear absorbing the Slovenian turf (backed by an AC/DC soundtrack). More...

Thursday, Eclipse Aerospace earned an amended production certificate from the FAA, "authorizing the final assembly, test, and certification of the new production Eclipse 550" jet, the company announced. Earlier this month, Eclipse powered up the first truly new aircraft to roll out of its Albuquerque factory in nearly five years. The amended production certificate grants the company approval of its quality system, allowing it to produce, flight test and grant airworthiness certificates to the aircraft it builds. New production Eclipse 550 twin-engine jets should begin reaching customers before year-end. More...

The Solar Impulse team Thursday announced plans for a multi-stop flight of its solar-powered aircraft, HB-SIA, departing the San Francisco area's Moffett Field in early May and concluding the trip in early July at New York's JFK. Planned stops include Sky Harbor Airport, Ariz.; Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas; and Washington, D.C. One stop prior to D.C. has yet to be announced. Organizers hope the U.S. flight will be the last before the team embarks on a "zero-fuel round-the-world flight in 2015" with a new larger airplane. Structural failure during testing is among the team's previous setbacks. More...

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Texas Steps into the Breach with Tower Closuresback to top 

Texas will take over funding of air traffic control towers at 13 airports that will lose them to the federal government's sequester cuts. The state's department of transportation made the decision on Thursday but it won't become official until the Texas Transportation Commission ratifies it. The commission is meeting in an emergency session next week to consider the move. That seems like a formality, however. "Safety is the primary reason we felt a need to take immediate action for the air travelers and business aircraft that use these airports," Texas Transportation Commissioner Fred Underwood said in a news release. More...

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Aviation Safetyback to top 

Authorities have found the body of a pilot who fell out of a Zenith 601 aircraft at about 2,500 feet over East Brainerd, Tenn., just east of Chattanooga on Friday. The man was not identified but the latest reports suggest he was an experienced pilot who had recently purchased the aircraft and was being trained to fly it by another pilot. "At some point during their flight, the canopy on the aircraft malfunctioned and, as a result, one of the pilots was ejected," Bradley Gault, a spokesman for the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, told local media. More...

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


Letter of the Week: Jet Pilots Want To Live, Too

Regarding the tower closures: This is to the instructor who is worried about the effect of the tower closings and his students mixing with jet and turbine traffic.

I have flown jets into and out of non-towered airports for years. Except for a few that are single-pilot certified, jets are crewed by two very proficient pilots who go extra diligent when in the ATA. We make position reports to let everyone flying in the area know where we are. We do not go blasting into an airport, as you suggest.

As long as you teach your students to remain alert, make the necessary position reports, and not cut in front of speedier traffic, they will survive with or without towers, and so will we.

Glenn Taylor

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...

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.
New on AVweb.comback to top 

At the Aircraft Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, we saw major new products — but if you want ADS-B for every purpose, the market has it. The biggest challenge is keeping all the products sorted out. Read more and join the conversation. More...

BrainteasersNew Jersey's favorite son, Frank Sinatra, taught us, "Anyone who asks for the meaning of 'class' hasn't got any." You'll display true class by identifying it, plus a few other illusive concepts, in this quiz. (Includes results of last month's "Brainteasers" survey!)

Take the quiz. More...

Video from the Aircraft Electronics Association Showback to top 

Demand for ADS-B products continues to trickle upward, and everyone who is anyone in the avionics business is developing or already selling ADS-B gadgets. Aspen rolled out its first products at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Las Vegas, with an eye toward a range of solutions that rely on the company's innovative Connected Panel system, an in-cockpit wireless network that links up with tablet computers. In this video from the show, Aspen's George Pariza gives AVweb a tour of the new products. More...

Although they're not the centerpiece of Garmin's booth at the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Las Vegas this week, Garmin has made quite a ripple with its announcement of seven new avionics products for the experimental and light sport markets. In this video, Garmin's Jim Alpiser explains why the company is so bullish on the experimental segment and why Garmin carved out a segregated engineering team to develop uncertified avionics, with more products on the way. More...

As avonics manufacturerers are spinning out new ADS-B products by the week, they're also creating some new sub-niches. One of those is for a simple, compact Mode-C transponder since some kind of transponder will be needed once the ADS-B mandate is in place. Sandia Aerospace recently added just such a product to its well-respected line of avionics fans, integration boxes, and encoders. At the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Las Vegas, Sandia's Dennis Smith gave AVweb a video tour of the company's new STX 165 compact transponder. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Air Care Aviation at Wilson Industrial Air Center (W03) in Wilson, North Carolina.

AVweb reader Ron Horton had a great experience there, as did several attending a recent event:

Flew into W03 (Wilson, NC) along with two other planes to give rides to a local church through the NC Baptist Men's Aviation wing. Gave rides to 90 passengers on a beautiful Saturday. Guilford Mooring was running things at the FBO and was most gracious to accomodate our three airplanes and a host of first-time fliers ranging in age from 2 to 82. He kept everyone fueled, shared the facilities, and welcomed the kids playing on the grass between the FBO and the fence next to the ramp. His hospitality left a very favorable impression on lots of locals who had never been to an airport before. Based on conversations, there might be a few new pilots from that group to add to the GA roster someday!

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 


In the hangar all day listening to our radio, I heard several pilots ask our tower if they were closing. This was the best exchange:

"Are you guys done for?"

"Who do you mean — me or the tower?"


"I'm done at noon, but the tower is going to be around for a long time."

Scott Peterson
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.