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Zaon Flight Systems, the maker of the popular PCAS portable traffic alerting system, has ceased operation according to Sporty's Pilot Shop and Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, two of the company's largest distributors. Both distributors told AVweb that Zaon "is out of business" and couldn't offer any suggestions for obtaining support for existing Zaon products. Read More
The FAA Thursday released its “UAS Roadmap” and Comprehensive Plan to integrate unmanned aerial systems, or UAS (also known as UAVs or drones) in the national airspace. The release addresses current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures that will allow operation of unmanned aerial vehicles in the nation’s airspace with emphasis on “extensive integration.” Six yet to be designated test sites will be required to maintain a written plan for using and retaining data. The FAA says it intends to establish regulations over the next five to 10 years, attempting to integrate with changes that will arrive as part of Next-Gen air traffic control. Congress had previously set an earlier deadline. Read More
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Pilot Matt Fandler, who escaped under canopy from an airborne, broken and burning Cessna 182 after a midair with a Cessna 185 prior to a planned formation skydive, has spoken with NBC News in an exclusive interview recorded for Dateline. All 11 participants and one of two aircraft survived the event. Fandler, who flew the 182, suffered the most extensive physical injuries but came down safely under his own emergency parachute. He received 25 stitches that attend to cuts on his body resulting from his airplane’s windshield shattering into the cockpit after the two aircraft made contact at roughly 12,000 feet. “I didn’t see anything...I just heard a bang and the windshield immediately shattered,” Fandler told NBC. Unbeknownst to the pilot, his aircraft had also lost a wing to the impact. As the aircraft rolled and nosed over Fandler soon learned he had no control and “thought it was in my best interest to not be in this aircraft.” Read More
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Economic conditions in Europe are creating a challenge for some prospective professional pilots as the costs of their training has not declined, but pilot pay in many cases has, according to Bloomberg News. In Germany, pilots paying their own way through training can spend nearly $100,000 on that process, Bloomberg said, while the unemployment rate for pilots in Germany has risen to twice the country’s average. The overall effect is that some pilots are paying the same (or higher) rates than their predecessors for training that will put them in a longer queue of applicants for a pool of lower paying jobs. Read More
The Chinese military has offered a glimpse of its new advance warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft. The KJ-500 is an adaptation of the Shanxi Y-9 cargo plane, a four-engine turboprop with a configuration similar to that of the C-130 Hercules. Read More
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The award-winning Aspen Evolution series of primary flight displays (PFDs) delivers exceptionally easy-to-use, advanced glass panels at the lowest price on the market for whatever you fly. Offer expires November 29, 2013. Visit Aspen Avionics for up to $2,000 total instant savings!
The annual Wolf Aviation Fund grant, provided to individuals and organizations doing great work in general aviation, has announced its final call for applications, accepted this year until Dec. 15. The grant award program has over the years offered financial support to a total of more than 350 programs that meet the fund’s criteria in seven program areas. Applicants may seek funding for plans in: development and alternative resources; communications, media, and community relations; general aviation technology, safety, and noise; improving public understanding and perception; and aviation and space education. Proposals often receive partial funding and that can work to their advantage, according to the fund's operators. Read More
Canada's Transportation Safety Board says Emirates Airlines elected to fly an A380 more than 5,000 miles across the Atlantic, southern Europe and the Mediterranean to Kuwait on three engines after the number four engine flamed out about an hour after takeoff from JFK. Read More
The Navy christened its first new-design aircraft carrier Nov. 8 but it will be at least two years before the USS Gerald R. Ford is delivered to the Navy. The ship, which is the first of a series of Ford Class carriers got the traditional wine bottle across the bow from the late president's daughter Susan Ford Bales as it got ready for its formal launch and a short trip to the fitting out berth in the Newport News shipyard. Read More
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With a cruise speed of around 270 knots and a price tag of nearly $5 million, the 2013 Pilatus PC-12NG isn't the fastest or the least expensive single-engine turboprop on the market. It is, however, arguably in a class of its own. That's because it has a cabin that can carry 1,200 lbs. of payload while carrying over 400 gallons of fuel, the ability to operate from unpaved runways, and a huge 53x52-inch cargo door. In this video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano takes a look at the airplane. Read More
Gary Jones writes: "Regarding the new flight training regulations: I flew for the airlines most of my life (retired now) have more than 23,000 hours and several type ratings. When an airline I worked for first got the Canadair CL-65 regional jet, the failure rate for upgrade was more than 70 percent. These were talented and experienced pilots, so why the high failure rate? As with most things, it boiled down to money. The airline wouldn't spend the money on sim training." ... Click through to read the rest of this letter and other mail from AVweb readers. Read More
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Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

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I was flying from EWR-DFW the week after the Texas-Oklahoma University football game (won by Texas this year). On the center frequency, an aircraft with the call sign "Oklahoma One" checked in, and after each conversation with center, they responded "Oklahoma One." Finally, someone keyed the mic and said, "No, Texas won." The silence was deafening! -- Mark Castellani, via e-mail Read More
Heard Anything Funny on the Radio?

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.

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

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How many skydivers does it take to film a mid-air collision? Just one with the right camera angle. Read More
U.S. Sport Aviation Expo || Sebring, FL || 
January 16-19, 2014
At an annual fly-in in Connecticut, pilots who design and build their own hot-air balloons gather to fly their aircraft, learn from each other, and try out new ideas. Read More
David Clark DC PRO-X