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User fees will likely form the foundation of a bipartisan budget deal aimed at avoiding another government shutdown and that has at least one aviation group calling its members to action. House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and his Senate counterpart Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) are negotiating a spending plan that would avoid the political gridlock that led to the 17-day shutdown in October. Read More
No One Knows Your Factory Engine Better than the Factory That Built It in the First Place
Only Lycoming can rebuild your engine to factory-new specifications that come with a zero-time log book, a two-year factory warranty, and increases to your airplane's value. There is no comparison. Visit your local distributor or call Lycoming at 1 (800) 258-3279 and ask how you can save up to $5,000 on a rebuilt engine. Learn more at
The Navy said Thursday that it successfully launched the XFC folding-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS, or drone) from a torpedo tube on the USS Providence, while the submarine was submerged. The all-electric, fuel-cell-powered aircraft has an X-wing configuration in flight that folds for storage and launch. The UAS was delivered from the submarine to the water’s surface using a canister system first developed for Tomahawk missiles. Once at the surface, the canister appeared “as a spar buoy,” which floats upright in the water. It then launched vertically from the canister and flew a mission that lasted several hours while delivering a live video feed back to the sub. Read More
Textron is aiming for first flight of the Scorpion jet on Tuesday at Cessna’s facility in Wichita, with a follow-up flight Thursday if all goes well, and weather permitting, reported Friday. The jet sports a two-seat tandem cockpit and turns twin turbofan engines. It supports six hard points capable of holding anything from drop tanks to Hellfire missiles. For surveillance and reconnaissance missions, the design offers more than 80 cubic feed of internal space for electronic warfare and intelligence components. Textron hopes to eventually demonstrate that the aircraft can be operated for roughly $3,000 per hour and that it will prove to be a viable alternative for a wide range of missions and operators. The first flight is expected to last 90 minutes. Read More
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About half of U.S. households would not be able to make ends meet if a spouse died. Protect your family with low-cost term life insurance from Pilot Insurance Center. To see how much you can save with new, lower rates, call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or start your quote online at
Bangladesh Biman Airlines announced it would on Dec. 7 pull from service what it believes is the last McDonnell Douglas DC-10 to still carry passengers as part of routine commercial service, but enthusiasts may still get one more chance to fly in it. The big jet is still in operation with cargo carriers (FedEx included) but fans interested in flying on a passenger version of the airplane will get a chance to fly with Biman in February 2014. The airline says it plans to make seats available on the jet for a final flight from Bangladesh to England. And as Biman CEO Kevin Steele told CNN, “We want these tickets to go to genuine aviation enthusiasts.” According to Steele, if interest encourages it, some scenic flights may then be flown from Birmingham, England, to answer additional demand. Read More
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For decades, AirVenture Oshkosh officials have said that airspace considerations have prevented the appearance of military jet teams at the annual show but something has apparently changed. EAA says the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will "potentially" make their debut at the 2014 edition of AirVenture and EAA says the team is planning to do its full show. Read More
December marks the first month that a first batch of students will make their way through National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker’s latest project, Every Kid Can Fly, for local at-risk children. The Salinas, Calif., program is associated with Hartnell College and the NASA laboratories based there. It aims to inspire children who have found their way to Rancho Cielo — an organization established by a local judge to provide troubled young people a place to regain their footing and learn a trade that could become a job. As for Tucker’s involvement, he and his son Eric will lead seven of the children through an aviation program. And “if they stay drug- and violence-free and if they keep up their grades, we will not fail them — period,” Tucker told Tucker says that means he will stay with them until they solo. Read More
'The Aviators' || Season 4 On 
The Aviators Is Back with an All-New Fourth Season
The all-new fourth season of the award-winning hit TV show The Aviators, the biggest aviation show on the planet, is now available! Airliners, bombers, ultralights, gliders, floatplanes, helicopters, and even blimps -- absolutely everything for pilots and enthusiasts alike. New episodes can be seen on PBS or online at iTunes, Amazon, and Hulu. Click here to watch The Aviators ... RIGHT NOW on iTunes!
While it seems a lot of billionaires are apparently pining for just one Gulfstream G650, an Egyptian family took delivery of two of the now-$65 million bizjets last week. Nasef Awiris and his father Onsi got their aircraft three days apart at the early order price of $59 million. Read More
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Knowledge Test and Checkride Oral Exam
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The FAA is updating question banks more often than ever before; our stuff features complimentary lifetime updates and more detailed and illustrated explanations to really help you be confident and learn the material well. For PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and more. Try a demo at, and also check out our award-winning Safelog electronic pilot logbook.
If you do your own airplane maintenance, that work will include checking spark plugs. Tempest says checks should include resistance measurements and they've developed a little gadget to do that. Read More
Larry Wheelock writes: "Regarding Shell's announcement that it has created an unleaded 100-octane aviation fuel: Once in production, and without knowing the ingredients, this should actually be lower in cost than 100LL for several reasons ... ." Click through to read the rest of this letter and other mail from AVweb readers. Read More
Garmin Gifts on Every Pilot's List || D2 Pilot 
Watch & VIRB Elite Action Camera
Garmin Gifts on Every Pilot's List
The Garmin D2 pilot watch and VIRB action camera are here just in time for the holidays. The D2 features a built-in airport database with our signature "Direct-to" and "Nearest" functions, moving map, zulu time/UTC reference, internal compass with HSI, adjustable baro altimeter, and lots more. It can even wirelessly control the VIRB action camera, so you can start/stop recording and take still shots right from your wrist. Click here to choose your perfect gift.
While on a local flight close to my base airport (KLWB), a landing Gulfstream contacted the tower. The controller in the cab gave the Gulfstream clearance to land, along with a warning that buzzards were circling near the approach end of the runway. "O.K.," replied the Gulfsteam. "We've got the BB gun loaded." -- Kyle Jones, 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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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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C'mon, this drone delivery idea will never work. Which is precisely while they may go forward with it anyway. Read More
ASA Holiday Gift Guide || Find Gifts for Your 
Favorite Student, Pilot, or AMT
AVweb visits Hawker Pacific in Shaghai. Read More
Composite props may be the latest shiny object to make airplanes go, but most of them have wood cores, and the basic wooden prop is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took a tour of Sensenich's prop factory in Plant City, Florida to see how these products are made. Read More
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