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GAO Worried About Controller Shortage
The FAA says it needs to train 11,700 new air traffic controllers in the next eight years to cover retirements and budget-related staff cuts but the Washington Times reports the General Accounting Offices is worried the agency's training arm won't be able to do it. For the past several years, the FAA has been trying to devise programs to speed up the training of controllers. The result is that it now takes 2.68 years to certify a controller compared to 1.9 years in 2009. Read More
Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) || New Lower 
Rates || (800) 380-8376
Protect Your Family with New, Lower Term Life Insurance Rates from Pilot Insurance Center
Premium rates starting at less than $18/month for a 10-year, level-term, $250,000 policy on a 45-year-old private instrument-rated pilot. To see how much you can save, call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or start your quote online at
Modern Flight Systems Redefining Good Pilots
After two recent high-profile crashes (UPS and Asiana Airlines Flight 214), both involving fatalities, media reports have questioned the role of automation in the cockpit and in the opinion of former Northwest Captain and current Embry Riddle educator Jack Panosian, those concerns may not be unfounded. Panosian told AVweb Thursday that his observation is that stick and rudder skills may be falling down the list of important assets required by professional pilots -- but that's not entirely bad. Modern jets, he says, generally are not hand-flown aircraft and some have been designed from the outset to be flown for nearly the entire flight on automation. Read More
Podcast: Avionics -- Good Pilots Not Required?
The definition of what it means to be a good pilot may be changing. AVweb speaks with former Northwest captain and Embry-Riddle educator Jack Panosian to explore the question of what's more important in keeping passengers alive: stick and rudder skills or systems management. Read More
Sennheiser Welcomes S1 NoiseGard to the S1 
Join Us in Welcoming the S1 Family and Win an iPad Mini™
The launch of our new S1 NoiseGard with state-of-the art analog noise cancelation technology marks the completion of the S1 Family. Try out the S1 NoiseGard or our groundbreaking S1 Digital with digital adaptive noise reduction, adjustable headband tension, and Bluetooth technology and give yourself a chance to win a new iPad Mini™. Learn more.
Piper Completes Flights On New 93 Octane Automotive
Piper Aircraft has announced the successful completion of a 2100-mile round-trip flight in a Piper Archer flying with 93 octane unleaded automobile gasoline provided by Airworthy AutoGas LLC. The company says the flight was conducted as a demonstration and test of Airworthy's specially formulated auto gas. It is a continuation of previous joint testing that saw Piper conduct other flight test regimes with the fuel at its Vero Beach headquarters. For the latest flights, Airworthy provided fuel at predetermined stops along the Archer's route. The Archer flew with a standard Lycoming 0-360, which is approved for 93 octane unleaded fuel. Read More
SpaceShipTwo Oscillates In 2nd Test Flight
Virgin Galactic tested its SpaceShipTwo, space-tourist-carrying vehicle Thursday over the Mojave Desert, exceeding Mach 1 and achieving an altitude of nearly 70,000 feet while demonstrating less than rock-solid stability. The vehicle was dropped at 46,000 feet and climbed under rocket power for 20 seconds, reaching 69,000 feet and 1.43 Mach (nearly 1,100 mph) with two pilots, Mark Stucky and Clint Nichols, aboard. According to the company the six-passenger vehicle reached its "highest altitude and greatest speed to date." Video posted on YouTube by Virgin Galactic displayed the suborbital vehicle oscillating in roll (verbally noted by a test pilot in the video) during portions of the flight. (Video after the jump.) Read More
Pipistrel Offers Flex Wing
Thursday, Pipistrel announced its new Sinus Flex model, an aircraft that the company says offers its pilot "three aircraft in one" with the use of interchangeable wing tips. The company says the "Flex wingtips" can be swapped out in "about five minutes." The outer five-foot portion of each wing can be replaced with either a shorter or longer structural wing extension. Effectively, the company's "Flex" offering is a standard Sinus model with the addition of interchangeable wing tips. The shorter tips turn the model into the short-winged, faster-cruising and easier-to-store Virus model. The bolt-on long-wing tip extensions convert the plane into the company's Sinus motorglider. Read More
'The Aviators' || Season 4 This 
The Aviators Returns for a Fourth Season
Tune in this fall to the all-new fourth season of the award-winning hit TV show The Aviators, the biggest aviation show on the planet. Airliners, bombers, ultralights, gliders, floatplanes, helicopters, and even blimps — absolutely everything for pilots and enthusiasts alike. New episodes start September 2013. Catch up on the first three seasons now on PBS, iTunes, Amazon, and Hulu. Click here to watch The Aviators ... RIGHT NOW!
Bombardier Sells Flexjet Fractional Business
Bombardier has sold its Flexjet fractional business to U.S. private equity firm Directional Aviation Capital in a deal that could reap the Canadian bizjet maker up to $5.2 billion in orders. Bombardier sold Flexjet, which currently operates 79 mostly high-end aircraft, for $185 million. But the deal comes with a firm order for 85 aircraft worth $1.8 billion and options for 160 more to bring the total potential to $5.2 billion. Read More
ADS-B || New Solutions from Aspen 
Aspen Avionics Introduces ADS-B Solutions
Designed to work with what you already have in your panel, Aspen's affordable NextGen ADS-B solutions provide an easy, cost-effective path to increased situational awareness and meeting the FAA's NextGen mandate. Try our simple ADS-B solution finder to get started, at
Cadet Glider Lands On Roof
A teenaged member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets was taken to hospital with minor injuries Sunday after his Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider ended up on the roof of a convenience store about a half mile short of the runway at Langley Regional Airport in the Vancouver suburb. It's not clear if the unidentified pilot, who would be at least 16 but no older than 18, intended to land on the roof but it turned out better than many thought it might. Read More
UAV Hunting License Applications Mount
The Colorado town that will vote in October on a controversial ordinance to issue hunting licenses to shoot down unmanned aircraft over the town has been flooded with applications already and prompted the town to put a whimsical spin on the plan. More than 1,000 people have sent Deer Trail Town Clerk Kim Oldfield $25 for the license, which, if legalized in a referendum by the 380 registered voters in the town of 600, would give them the right to bring down a UAV over the town. Read More
Garmin GTR 200
The New $1,199 Comm from Garmin Has Pilots Talking
An all-in-one comm radio and stereo intercom solution for experimental and light sport aircraft owners, the new Garmin GTR 200 is generating plenty of buzz. Standing just 1.35" tall, this space-saving radio combines a 10-watt transmitter with innovative features like 3-D audio, advanced auto-squelch, stereo music input, best-in-class standby frequency monitoring, optional remote "flip-flop" frequency entry, on-screen frequency identification, and much more. Learn more at
Video: Redbird's Redhawk Diesel -- A Detailed Look
At AirVenture, the really cool airplane wasn't from an airplane manufacturer but from Redbird, the guys who build motion simulators. They showed off a nicely refurb'd Cessna 172 with a diesel engine from Continental, and they invited us to come fly it at their San Marcos, Texas Skyport. So we did. In this video, we offer a detailed analysis of the Redhawk, along with a closer look at the airplane's performance and cost figures. Read More
Brainteasers Quiz #187: The Future Is Here ... And There

As the FAA updates its written knowledge exams, bringing them into the light of the 21st Century, perhaps ADF and VOR questions will go the way of gas-operated landing lights. Embrace this age of aviation enlightenment by acing this quiz.

Take the quiz.

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AVweb's Newstips Address

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something the flying world might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via e-mail here. (Or send them direct to Newstips at

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Meet the AVweb Team

AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

Tom Bliss

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Scott Simmons

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Avionics Editor
Larry Anglisano

Kevin Lane-Cummings
Paul Berge

Ad Coordinator
Karen Lund

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Airline Travel as GA's Savior
I know, it's the ultimate futile fantasy. But as airlines continue to cut back on routes, overbook, shorten seat pitch and charge for everything from a decent seat to a bottle of water, maybe some people will say damn the cost and take a Mooney or a Cessna instead. Read More
AVweb's Aircraft Cylinder Survey: Give Us Your Views
With a massive AD against ECI cylinders in the offing, we would like to know reader experiences not just with ECI cylinders, but other brands as well. If you've got five minutes to spare, you can tell us about your satisfaction--or lack thereof--with aircraft cylinders you've been flying behind. Read More
41st Annual Copperstate Fly-In || Keeping the 
Dream of Flight Alive || October 24-26, 2013
Video: Electronics International Unveils New Multi-Purpose Instrument
While old airframes may keep soldiering on, the instruments and radios in the panels usually don't. At AirVenture this year, Electronics International rolled out a new instrument designed to replace older instruments, including tachometers, engines instruments, and other indicators. In this video, EI's Tyler Speed gives us a quick product tour of the new CGR-30P. Read More
Video: PS Engineering's PAR200 Multi-Function Audio System
There's a need for affordable audio system upgrades for basic aircraft. PS Engineering attempts to answer the call with the PAR200 -- a three-in-one system that combines an advanced audio panel, a stereo intercom, and a remote comm radio. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano takes a look at the unit during it's introduction at AirVenture 2013 at Oshkosh. Read More