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The crew of the TransAsia Airways turboprop that crashed in Taiwan in 2015 failed to follow procedures for an engine malfunction and then stalled the aircraft, investigators found. The Taiwan Aviation Safety Council’s report, released Thursday, also confirmed previous reports that the captain of the ATR 72-600 shut down the working engine when the other failed just after departing the Taipei airport. Forty-three of the 58 people on board were killed when the ATR struck a bridge and crashed into the river below in February 2015.

The council’s report said an inconsistent electrical signal in the No. 2 engine’s autofeather unit likely caused an uncommanded feathering, which started the accident sequence. The captain then reduced power to the other engine. The aircraft’s stick shaker and pusher activated before the crash. If the crew had responded correctly to the engine failure and stabilized the aircraft, “the occurrence could have been prevented,” the report said. Investigators also reported they found inconsistencies and gaps in training procedures at the airline, including those for the captain. He had failed a simulator check and passed a second before his promotion to captain, but was found to need more emergency training, with “engine flame out at take off and single engine operations” specified in the report.

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The world’s most powerful rocket, designed for future manned spaceflight, had a successful startup test this week – the latest milestone for NASA’s Space Launch System. This final qualification ground test at an Orbital ATK site in Promontory, Utah, allows NASA to plan for a first unmanned test flight with its Orion spacecraft in 2018 in preparation for future missions to Mars. Tuesday’s two-minute test of the 154-foot QM-2 motor produced about 3.6 million pounds of thrust and a flame that blasted out of the motor at Mach 3, according to Orbital ATK. Before the test, the motor was cooled to 40 degrees Fahrenheit to test the propellant at lower temperatures. The rocket was first ground tested in 2015 at 90 degrees.

"Today's test is the pinnacle of years of hard work by the NASA team, Orbital ATK and commercial partners across the country," NASA said in announcing the test was a success. “SLS hardware is currently in production for every part of the rocket. NASA also is making progress every day on Orion and the ground systems to support a launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.” The entire assembly, when ready for flight, will include two five-segment, solid-fuel boosters and four main liquid engines to produce the required thrust to launch into space.

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The first trailer for Sully, the movie based on the ditching of US Air Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009, was released Thursday. It doesn’t take as long to watch as the 208 seconds it took Capt. Chesley Sullenberger and his FO Jeff Skiles to pull off the so-called Miracle on the Hudson but already there is “Oscar buzz.” To be fair, it’s been widely reported that Sullenberger, who was commanding the A320 on a morning flight from La Guardia to Charlotte, signed off on almost everything to do with the depiction of the cockpit action, the investigation and his much-more-than-15-minutes of resulting fame. The 123 seconds of film in the trailer suggests producer Clint Eastwood listened to Sullenberger and the dialogue and story ring true.

Since there’s no mystery about the cause, the result and the outcome of the Airbus’s encounter with a flock of Canada geese on that cold January morning, the film instead appears to be focused on the “untold story” of the investigation and the various things that coulda, shoulda, mighta been done differently. It’s hard to argue with the outcome, however, and most of the 155 people on board stepped aboard rescue boats with little more discomfort than wet feet. On Sept. 9 we can all see how Sullenberger, Hanks, Eastwood and Aaron Eckhart, who plays Skiles, portray the apparent blamefest that followed and the hero moniker that will stay with Sullenberger for the rest of his life.

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AVweb's search of aviation news found announcements from Duncan Aviation, EPS, Cessna Pilot Centers and Power Flow Systems. Duncan Aviation has partnered with ACSS to participate in the launch of the NXT-700 transponder and the development of the Approved Model List (AML) Supplemental Type Certificate. The NXT-700 is a Mode S transponder that satisfies the DO-260B mandate for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), and the AML STC will include more than a dozen legacy aircraft models. EPS has conducted their second successful propeller vibration survey with Hartzell Propeller Corporation as part of EPS’s Air Force Research Laboratory contract award under the Alternative energy Research & Development Broad Area Announcement.  

Cessna Pilot Centers’ use of the latest technology gives pilots convenient access to their online courses on an iPad even when they are offline. The CPC Companion app, a free download from the Apple App Store, allows pilots to download lessons from their courses to their iPad. Power Flow Systems has developed an enticement for members of the Beech Aero Club that represents considerable savings if enough owners sign on. If one to five members sign up for a tuned exhaust system before November 30, they will automatically see a $500 reduction in the normal $4,290 price.

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The Weekender’s looking forward to Fourth of July celebrations, with some three-day events found on SocialFlight and the weekend starting on Friday. See the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform at the 90th National Cherry Festival Air Show in Traverse City, Michigan. Three airshows will run through Monday, and the Cherry Festival will run until July 9.

Treeport EAA Chapter 1554 will host a camp-in/fly-in starting Friday in Spirit Lake, Idaho. Arrive to set up camp and start Saturday with breakfast at Treeport. The airport is a friendly private field with local lakes and mountains, offering scenic, family-friendly camping. 

The Clare Area Pilots Association in Michigan will host its annual fly-in breakfast on Sunday with a big menu of pancakes, eggs, ham, cheesy potatoes, applesauce, coffee and orange juice. Also, the Cops and Doughnuts bakery will pass out doughnuts while supplies last.

Also Sunday in Dubuque, Iowa, the 31st Annual Fireworks and Air Show Spectacular will honor those serving in the armed forces along with local firefighters, EMS personnel and law enforcement. The airshow performances will feature the U.S. Army Golden Knight Parachute Team, Aerostars Flight Team and more.

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As the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union settles in, we sought out a general aviation perspective from across the Atlantic from Thomas Borchert, editor of the German-language fliegermagazin and from Ian Seager, publisher of the U.K. Flyer magazine.

From Germany

The overwhelmingly major benefit of the EU for GA pilots has been a unified customs area and the Schengen accord, which basically does away with passport controls by the border police. These two things enable pilots to roam freely (after filing a flight plan, for most border crossings) between members of both EU and the Schengen accord. No customs or border police checks, no special airports of entry to be used. It is a major freedom when using aircraft in the small countries Europe is made up of. However, the U.K., while being in the EU, has never signed the Schengen accord, so no change is to be expected there: Border controls are mandatory when going into the U.K. now, and they will remain so, with an added layer of customs getting involved.

EASA—the European Aviation Safety Agency—is Europe’s version of the FAA. Kind of. That’s because unified European aviation isn’t really: EASA makes rules, the EU enacts them to be law in each EASA member state. However, the national aviation authorities (which still exist) and in addition (in Germany, for example) the aviation authorities of the federal states within a country all get a shot at interpreting EASA’s often not-too sharply defined rules. And boy, do they ever. All differently, of course. Imagine that this is the procedure not only in aviation and you get a feel for why one could indeed vote for exiting the EU.

There are several examples of non-EU members that are still EASA members and, as such, bound by EU aviation law. Switzerland and Norway are the biggest countries in this category. So it is not unthinkable that the U.K. (or what’s left of it) will leave the EU, but remain EU-bound with regards to aviation rules. However, since the British Civil Aviation Authority has a history of being unhappy with many of EASA’s moves, this seems unlikely to me.

Here is the key problem that might result for European GA aviators from the U.K. leaving EASA: EASA loses a voice of reason. The British CAA, especially under its current leadership, has had a tremendously positive influence on EASA in many respects. It is one of the key proponents of not regulating GA in the same way airlines are regulated, which used to be EASA strategy for years and has only recently changed.

Leaving the EU and/or EASA might become a big problem for the U.K. aviation industry – or what’s left of it. Airbus has major production facilities in the U.K. Garmin has its European warehouse there. Some of the major European online pilot stores are based in the U.K. Nobody knows how that will work out, but it is safe to assume the free exchange of goods will not remain so free. If a new aircraft gets EASA certification, it will no longer automatically be certified in the U.K. If a pilot has an EU certificate, he/she is no longer automatically allowed to fly U.K.-registered aircraft. All of these things can be worked out in bilateral agreements, but how that is easier and less fraught with problems than doing it through the EU is not quite clear to me.

EASA had a bad start in general aviation. They messed up maintenance and many other areas with totally overblown regulation. They are only now coming around, ever so slowly and nobody can be sure it will last. Given enough time, this transitional period will blow over and we will have solid European aviation regulation in a few years. Not waiting out that transitional period by leaving the EU and EASA will hurt all involved, in my opinion. --Thomas Borchert, fliegermagazin

From the U.K.

The short version, from my perspective at least, is that as a nation, we are completely bonkers. Many people seem to have made a mid-term protest vote rather than the huge decision that it was. 

Regarding EASA, this agency was originally run by a bunch of people who were more interested in process than outcome, and who thought that you could take commercial regulation and dilute it a bit for GA. The maintenance stuff was truly terrible. Then came a change of leadership and things are now much, much better. We have things like CS-STAN that's more liberal than many U.S. regs. Basically CS-STAN is EASA-speak for Certification Standards/Standard Changes and Repairs. It defines how stuff is done and in lots of cases refers people to the FAA's AC41.13 which is a short enough document and can be found here. In some cases, it seems to give our versions of A&Ps (licensed engineers in Euro-speak) the ability to sign off things that would in the U.S. require a Form 337 or perhaps the involvement of a DAR.

And when Part M light (the new maintenance regulation) comes in, it will make a huge difference. Part M is the maintenance regs and Part M Light is a better, simpler, more appropriate version. Eventually it will be down to the owner/operator to specify the maintenance regime. There will be something called the MIP or Minimum Inspection Program that is similar to the FAA's 100-hour inspection requirement. 

Some people prefer to hang on to the old “it's all sh%$” view because the truth is some of the old sh%$ is still there, but it is getting better and there's some really good stuff happening that requires some thought and effort. Now that Brexit is a reality, no one knows what will happen to that progress. --Ian Seager, Flyer magazine

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Sensenich is well-known for its complete line of wooden aircraft propellers. In this classic AVweb video, we learn how the company does it with a complete factory tour.

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Picture of the Week

Eric Brill of Kahului, HI brings a taste of the Pacific to our mobile devices today with an shot that'll make you rethink getting that seaplane rating. Click through to enjoy it and full-size and selection of other incredible reader-submitted photos.

Lightspeed Trade-Up Program || It Pays to Upgrade || Wireless Tango Now Eligible

Each week, we poll the savviest aviators on the World Wide Web (that's you) on a topic of interest to the flying community.

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Periodically, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership).

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What Everybody Ought to Know About the CGR-30P from Electronics International

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