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NavWorx says it’s working on solutions to the airworthiness issues it has with some of its ADS-B products and will have a fix as soon as the FAA deals with the airworthiness directive (AD) it has issued against those devices. Last month the FAA issued a proposed AD that would require the removal of Model ADS600-B part number (P/N) 200-0012 and 200-0013 and Model ADS600-EXP P/N 200-8013 transceivers in 800 aircraft. The comment period for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) expires Dec. 20 and that’s when NavWorx will implement one of its plans.

“Based on the final AD, the AD may be rescinded, or the AD may be modified to allow for just previously approved GPS sources,” NavWorx says in a statement on its website. “If the FAA does not allow the use of the internal GPS, then we will offer the ability to modify the products from the 200-0012 & 200-0013 part numbers to part numbers 200-0112 & 200-0113. The 200-0112 & 200-0113 part numbers are approved under the FAA Rebate program and are not the subject to the AD.” The company says the website is updated regularly with new developments and it’s urging those affected to look there first. “As I hope you understand, the past few weeks our phone system has been overwhelmed by volume and we can imagine the frustration this may cause. Be assured we are here and working tirelessly to take care of you, our customer,” the website says.

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Lieutenant General Jimmy Doolittle described Robert A. “Bob” Hoover as “the greatest stick and rudder man who ever lived.” He was also among the most loved, as evidenced by the memorial celebration held in Hoover’s honor. More than 1,500 people gathered at Van Nuys Airport on a perfect CAVU day to remember the legendary aviator, who died Oct. 25 at age 94. A Who's Who of aviation luminaries attended the event, which was emceed by aerobatic performer Sean D. Tucker and airshow announcer Danny Clisham. 

“Mr. Hoover, are you looking down on us?” Tucker opened. Then, mimicking Hoover’s voice, he answered his own question: “You bet your ass I am!” Tucker then turned serious, saying that Hoover had inspired and empowered so many people, and if everyone could be just a little bit like Bob Hoover, the world would be a better place. Tucker’s spirited behavior might have seemed odd for a memorial, but Clisham quickly explained: “Sometimes you don’t know how to handle these things, these celebrations, these memorials, these tributes. But as Sean just showed you, we’re going to do this in the spirit of joy—unmitigated joy—because that is exactly what Bob would want.” 

A short video by airshow pilot Ed Shipley highlighted Hoover’s career, then Clay Lacy, founder and CEO of Clay Lacy Aviation and holder of 29 world speed records, delivered a tribute to Hoover, his longtime friend. Rather than looking back, actor/pilot Harrison Ford spoke about what Hoover wanted to see in the future. Ford said he was sure that Hoover would want aviation to become more accessible to young people, and he hoped that new educational programs, including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), would make this possible. About a dozen close friends were called to the stage to share fond memories of Hoover, then Neil Armstrong’s son Mark gave an inspired recital of John Gillespie Magee Jr.’s famous poem, “High Flight.”  

Moments later, the large hangar doors slid open, and the crowd filed outside for military honors and flyovers, while listening to a performance by the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band. The March Air Reserve Base Honor Guard performed a flag ceremony, and the flag was presented to the Hoover family. Just as the Honor Guard finished a rifle salute, the flyovers began. Among the planes in the first formation were two F-16s from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and one CT-114 Tutor from the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. These were followed by two F-86 Sabres and an F-22 Raptor. Finally, four WWII fighters flew a missing man formation, with a bright yellow P-51 soaring upward. Aviation Audio Video did a nice job of capturing the flying tribute and below that is the full hangar presentation by Airboyd.

 

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Lockheed Martin has developed an unmanned aerial firefighting system that it expects to have ready for service in about five years. Full-sized unmanned Kaman K-MAX and Sikorsky helicopters (both can also be flown by pilots) were used in a demonstration that showed the system not only picking up water from a pond and dousing a fire but also identifying and picking up a person stranded by the fire. The K-MAX put out the fire and the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) S-76 took care of the rescue. Both of the helicopters were controlled by smaller drones. "Our goal is to support the integration of autonomy into aviation to improve the safety and capabilities for military and commercial missions,” said Mark Miller, vice president of engineering and technology for Sikorsky, which was recently acquired by Lockheed Martin.

In this scenario, an Indago quadrotor identified hot spots and sent the information to an operator, who directed the K-MAX to autonomously pick up the bucket of water and drop it on the areas identified by the drone. Meanwhile, a fixed-wing Desert Hawk 3.1 spotted the stranded person and triggered a collaborative effort between the K-MAX and the Sikorsky. The K-MAX was able to scan the area and direct the Sikorsky to a safe place to land. "When lives are at risk, advanced human-machine teams can complete dangerous missions without putting others in harm's way," said Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of unmanned systems.

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A Piper PA-31 on an air ambulance flight crashed and burned in a parking lot Friday night in Nevada, killing all four people on board. The aircraft had departed Elko Regional Airport with three crew members and a patient, bound for the University of Utah Medical Center, the Elko Daily Free Press reported. Firefighters responded about 7:30 p.m. and contained the fire, which did not affect adjacent businesses. No injuries on the ground were reported.

Witnesses told news outlets they heard explosions that shook nearby buildings and saw flames and smoke in the parking lot, which is used by a mining operation to transport workers. The fire damaged vehicles in the lot but no one is believed to have been on the ground at the time of the crash as it occurred between shifts, according to the Free Press report. The aircraft operator, American Medflight, issued a statement that it’s cooperating with the FAA and NTSB in investigating the crash. The Nevada-based company operates Piper Cheyennes with a primary base in Reno, according to its website.

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It would appear presidential TFRs over New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, will be a common feature over the next four years as President-elect Donald Trump and his family settle into their domestic routine. News reports over the weekend suggest that future First Lady Melania Trump will continue to live in the Trump Tower penthouse apartment the family currently shares. Trump intends to split his time between the White House and Trump Tower, at least until their 10-year-old son Barron finishes fourth grade in the prep school he attends. The FAA has a TFR in place that is supposed to expire on Jan. 20, 2017, inauguration day, but if Melania and Barron stay in New York, it’s likely to be extended. The New York TFR is only one nautical mile in radius and allows GA access to the popular Hudson River Corridor.

In Florida, a TFR has been put in place around Trump’s palatial Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach. It’s expected the Trumps will spend Thanksgiving there. The TFR is in effect from Tuesday until Thursday and covers a 3-nautical-mile radius under 3,000 feet and the only civilian exemption is for aircraft landing and taking off at Palm Beach International Airport. 

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A couple of years ago I was waiting as number one for takeoff at a towered airport.  

Tower: "Cessna 12345 cleared for takeoff runway 25."

Cessna 12345: "I'll just wait on that aircraft on short final."  

Airplane on final: "I appreciate that!"  

Tower: "I appreciate it too!"


Greg Fowler

 

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AVweb’s General Aviation Accident Bulletin is taken from the pages of our sister publication, Aviation Safety magazine and is published twice a month. All the reports listed here are preliminary and include only initial factual findings about crashes. You can learn more about the final probable cause in the NTSB’s web site at www.ntsb.gov. Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at www.aviationsafetymagazine.com.

August 6, 2016, Northampton, MA

Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow III

The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1145 Eastern time during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power. The flight instructor and pilot receiving instruction were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the flight instructor, during a simulated soft-field take-off, the airplane’s climb performance deteriorated noticeably. As the airplane reached approximately 150 feet above ground level, the engine started to lose power and he realized any increase in pitch resulted in an immediate decrease in airspeed. The flight instructor elected to make an emergency off-airport landing in a corn field near the end of the departure runway. During the landing sequence, the right wing and firewall were damaged.

August 7, 2016, Shelbyville, KY

Van’s RV-4 Experimental

At about 1709 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing while on final approach. The private pilot was seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot subsequently reported observing a deer while on final approach and elected to execute a low approach. When he added full power on the climbout, only partial power was available, but the airplane was still able to climb and fly a traffic pattern. After he reduced power on the final approach, the engine began “running bad” and “a little rough.” To arrest a sink, the pilot added full power and turned the carburetor heat off. The engine did not produce full power, and the airplane kept descending until it impacted terrain about 200 feet from the runway.

August 7, 2016, St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Diamond Aircraft DA20-C1

The airplane was destroyed at 1123 Atlantic time when it collided with terrain following a bounced landing and runway excursion. The student pilot and flight instructor were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The airplane had completed one touch-and-go landing and was cleared for a second one. Just prior to touchdown, the airplane “tilted” to its left, and the left wingtip appeared to strike the ground prior to the main landing gear. The airplane bounced four to five times before “banking hard” to its left, departing the landing surface and crashing into trees north of the runway. Examination revealed the tail section and engine compartment had separated from the cockpit and cabin structure. Control continuity was established from the cockpit to the flight control surfaces through cable breaks and cuts made by recovery personnel.

August 8, 2016, Iliamna, AK

de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver

At about 1651 Alaska time, the float-equipped airplane sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain during takeoff from a lake. Of the seven people on board, the commercial pilot and three passengers sustained serious injuries, and three passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated he back-taxied the airplane to the far end of the lake to use its full length for takeoff. During the takeoff run, the airplane did not become airborne before reaching the lake’s opposite shoreline. The floats subsequently collided with an area of rising terrain on the shoreline. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

August 8, 2016, McDonough, NY

Cessna 177 Cardinal

The airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees and terrain at about 1535 Eastern time while maneuvering. The private pilot and three passengers incurred minor injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Prior to the accident flight, the pilot filled the airplane’s fuel tanks, for a total fuel load of 50 gallons. The flight’s purpose was to allow the three passengers to view and photograph a local landmark from the air. After two passes, the passengers asked him to fly by the landmark again, but at a slower speed. The pilot fully deployed the flaps and, during the fly-by, the pilot noted the airplane was slow and had descended to near the tops of the trees. He added full power and fully retracted the flaps. The airplane did not appear to be climbing and in “a wink of an eye the nose dropped.” The pilot’s next recollection was that the airplane was on the ground. He and his passengers subsequently egressed the airplane before it was consumed by a post-impact fire.

August 12, 2016, Fredericksburg, VA

Beech Model 95-B55 (T42A) Baron

At 1222 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during an aborted landing attempt. The private pilot/owner, commercial pilot and four passengers aboard were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

Several witnesses stated the airplane appeared to be high above the threshold and fast. Surveillance video captured the airplane touching down briefly and bouncing several times. The airplane became airborne again near the last third of the runway. As it climbed, it drifted right of the runway centerline and began a gradual, climbing left turn to about 50 feet agl. The airplane appeared to level off, then began to descend before pitching up abruptly and rolling to the left as it descended into trees and terrain. Post-crash examination revealed the right propeller exhibited span-wise gouging and curling in an ‘S’ pattern. The left propeller’s blades were positioned to a flat pitch with little chord-wise damage and minimal curling.

August 13, 2016, Chugiak, AK

Champion 7ECA Citabria

The airplane was destroyed at about 1330 Alaska time following a loss of engine power and subsequent loss of control just after takeoff. The solo private pilot sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Earlier, the airplane performed a series of touch-and-go landings. Just after 1300, it did a full-stop landing, and it taxied to a local fuel vendor’s facility. A potential buyer/witness met the pilot about 1315 to look at the airplane. After the pilot and potential buyer parted ways, the pilot started the airplane and took off. As it neared the departure end of the runway, it turned steeply to the right (90 degrees), followed by a nose-and-right-wing-low descent. The airplane subsequently descended behind a large stand of trees and hangars, and out of view. Other witnesses reported hearing the engine “sputtering and popping,” and then it appeared to lose partial or all power. A helicopter pilot reported hearing a male voice transmit on the CTAF, “Oh [expletive],” immediately followed by the airplane appearing to stall and enter a nose-down attitude.

August 13, 2016, Des Moines, IA

Cirrus Design SR20

At about 1001 Central time, the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. The pilot deployed the Cirrus airframe parachute system (CAPS) and the airplane descended into powerlines and terrain. The airplane was subsequently destroyed by a post-impact fire. The pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries. An additional passenger was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After pre-flight inspection and run-up, a normal takeoff was performed. Engine instrumentation indicated normal readings. During initial climb, at about 500 feet agl, the pilot heard and felt a reduction in engine power. He told ATC he had engine trouble and was cleared to land. The pilot was unable to maintain altitude and deployed the CAPS. The airplane descended under canopy and contacted powerlines before coming to rest. A fire erupted from under the left wing; the pilot ordered his passengers to evacuate via the right cabin door.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

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Would a $5000 sales promotion make you think twice about exchanging your engine for a premium rebuilt RAM IO-550? If you are nearing TBO and a few weeks of airplane downtime will work out, it just might. For GA manufacturers and service providers of all kinds, sales promotions are the “call to action” that some companies never quite harness. In sales training, this is called “make an irresistible offer and ask for the order.”

While it's a good idea to consistently support your brand with lead-generating advertising, PR, e-blasts and trade shows, if you need to move inventory periodically, what then? Create the irresistible offer and let your advertising ask for the order. Notice all of the special deals available from our advertisers right now? These companies recognize that aircraft owners are consumers too—and pilots respond to special offers just like any other consumer cohort.

Would you be more likely to buy a new Husky from Aviat if it included a guided back-country fishing expedition worth $10,000? Would you trade in your old alternator to get $150 credit toward a PlanePower branded unit built only for GA use?

For the past month, a number of leading GA marketers who advertise consistently in AVweb are running old-fashioned sales promotion solo e-blasts and special offers in AVweb’s Flash or Biz. Their offers are designed to nudge stingy owner-pilots like me with time-limited incentives to buy new equipment—in the form of rebates, discounts and trade-ins.

Having just upgraded my P-210’s alternator (before the rebates, of course), PlanePower’s $150 rebate would have been about a 20 percent discount and the savings would have been enough to fill one of my 45-gallon wing tanks to the tabs with bargain 100LL. Interestingly, Lightspeed, a consistently agile marketer of premium ANR headsets, offers a “bounty” (western style) on Bose headsets—presumably not A20s. But their trade-in program might just switch owners permanently to their brand.

Electronics International is offering discounts up to $1000 on its entire multifunction engine monitoring product line, while Aspen is offering $1000 discounts on Evolution EFIS and ADS-B value packages. Avidyne has offered discounted in/out ADS-B deals when you buy a new IFD-540 system. RAM, which offers high-performance, premium Continental reman TSIO-520, GTSIO-520, IO-520 and TS/IO-550 engines, offers a model-by-model inventory reduction sale, with $2000 to $5000 off for operators who fly a Baron, Bonanza, 206, T-210, 340, 402, 421 or 310. A $5000 nudge would get my attention.

These are all effective short-term tactics—with long-range strategic implications. The idea is to get prospects to make a buy, add some value—and win them over for the long term. The quarter’s top-line sales improve, the brand penetrates deeper into the prospect universe and the inventory on hand shrinks.

What’s not to like?

Lower margins, of course. But these companies are not necessarily “buying” a customer as much as they are building long-term relationships. Most of these companies rely on distributors, with the exception of Avidyne, which sells direct. With dealers or distributors, the manufacturer and the reseller probably share in a little less margin. But with a smart sales promotion, the reseller’s phone rings more often and their website’s check out carts fill up faster. Could airframe manufacturers learn something from this? Absolutely.

Aircraft manufacturers try sales promos occasionally, but it’s hard to find one that is doing anything aggressive at present. Car companies get it and their offers are sometimes so convoluted that it’s difficult to tell whether buyers really save money or get extra value. But the car companies do sell millions of units every year and have deep data resources to tell them how to reach buyers with the right offer.

In GA, with about 1000 non-turbine airframes sold in 2015 (and about the same or less forecast for year’s end in 2016), some models sell in the dozens, not millions, so enhancing the value proposition takes some chess master promotional thinking. Most GA airframe advertising fails to drive sales effectively because there is almost never a call to action, which is the heart of sales promotion. Airframers could at least offer a webinar, a video, a weekend demo experience—anything other than a headline and a beauty shot of their product.

But not all airframers miss the mark. Here’s an example: Stu Horn, CEO of Aviat, has run ads that promote the Husky lifestyle very well. He has also toyed with the idea of offering a special guided back country trout fishing/hiking/camping trip for a group of Husky buyers. These buyers would get the experience of a lifetime, meet other owners and find out just what their airplanes will do in spectacular surroundings. Stu hasn’t decided whether he can pull this off—he’s worried he might be overwhelmed by owners and prospects who want in.

If you’re selling a G36 Bonanza or a Cessna TTX or a Mirage—why not offer something like that? An air safari to the islands of the Caribbean with like-minded owners, with discounted hotels, cars, fuel and pre-planned golf, sailing or related activities? Cirrus has tried to lure high-end buyers (think $20 million net-worth CEOs) with special events branded as the “Cirrus Life.” Can’t find any evidence that this tactic is working, but the idea is to put owners together in places where they can fly in, hang out, and network. Think pancake breakfast for the caviar set. Sales promotion works, no matter your product’s cost or your prospect’s net worth.

If you’re marketing in general aviation, test your irresistible offer, customize it as much as possible to fit your prospect, then ask for the order. Give prospects the extra value and the nudge they need to buy and you just might find that more of them do.

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Masimo is marketing its new MightySat wireless pulse oximeter/personal health monitor to both pilots and endurance athletes. The device has a rich feature set that measures far more than blood oxygen saturation and has a $399 ($299 scaled back) retail price. Aviation Consumer editor Larry Anglisano has been using the device for flying and athletic endurance training. Here's a summary of its major functions.

Picture of the Week
Picture of the Week

Take a beautiful setting, a beautiful airplane and a little magic light and you get a Picture of the Week winner. Mel Malkoff, of Kingston, Washington took this stunning shot of Bruce Hind in his SeaBee as he took off from Long Lake, Washington on his way to AOPA's Bremerton Fly-In. Great shot, Mel.

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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