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Short Final

AVweb News - Wed, 04/03/2013 - 17:04
I don't remember the exact date, but I overheard this conversation with ATC about 35 years ago. Those were the days when we had the old surplus DGs and transponders were not required near busy terminals. Weather was clear, but a cloud layer had formed over the airport and trapped some students on top.Lost Pilot:"Tower, this is Cessna 123, and I am lost."ATC:"Roger. Can you tell me your last known position?"Lost Pilot:"Yes. I was just west of Ft. Lauderdale, but I can longer see the ground."ATC:"Do you have a transponder?"Lost Pilot:"No."ATC:"O.K. Turn to a heading of 360."Lost Pilot:"I don't have that number!"ATC:"What does your heading indicator say?"Lost Pilot:"It says E."ATC:"O.K. Turn to N."Lost Pilot:"O.K."ATC:"Roger. Now turn to W."Lost Pilot:"O.K."ATC:"Roger. Radar-identified, and now we will steer you to a VFR airport so you can land."Lost Pilot:"Thank you!"Cal W. Taxvia e-mail
Categories: Aviation News

FBO of the Week: Baxley Municipal Airport (KBHC, Baxley, Georgia)

AVweb News - Wed, 04/03/2013 - 17:04
>>> AVWEB FUEL FINDERCURRENT PRICE FOR 100LL: $6.06 (no change from last week)CURRENT PRICE FOR JET A: $5.59 (down 1¢ from last week)Fuel prices provided weekly by AirNav, based on prices from the past 2 weeks. Changes are relative to last week's prices. /TEXT_ONLY-->AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Baxley Municipal Airport (KBHC) in Baxley, Georgia.AVweb reader Robert Inman recommends adding it to your Sun 'n Fun flight plan:This facility has been completely remodeled with an emphasis on pilot efficiency and comfort. The young manager, Tyler Beach, is as pround as can be as he gives you a tour, including two bedrooms for those who might get stranded there by weather — all at no charge. There are a brand-new ramp, self-service pumps (although Tyler helped pump the fuel, and the cheapest fuel in Georgia. This is a great place to stop on your visit to Sun 'n Fun!Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Categories: Aviation News

Garmin's Big Push into the Experimental/LSA Market

AVweb News - Wed, 04/03/2013 - 01:56
Although sales of avionics for certified aircraft have been in the doldrums, Garmin International seems to be bullish on the experimental and light sport markets, introducing this week no fewer than seven new products for that segment, all with sophisticated capability and eye-opening low prices. Garmin's flagship product, the G3X EFIS, will get a new low-cost and lighter ADAHRS system and a new engine indication product that will drop the price of the complete package to $4375. Sweetening the deal will be additional modules for the G3X, including an integrated autopilot with similar capabilities as the popular GFC 700 certified system, an angle-of-attack system for stall awareness and a hard-mount remote ADS-B receiver based on the GDL39 portable product.
Categories: Aviation News

AVweb Reader Survey Results: Mixed Support for Tower Closings

AVweb News - Tue, 04/02/2013 - 06:48
Although some pilots think closing towers at small general aviation airports may negatively impact flight safety and convenience, nearly half of them -- about 45 percent -- say they support the closings anyway and not even one in five believes the towers should remain open. And by overwhelming margins, AVweb readers told us that the FAA should be expected to trim its budget to reduce federal spending and that advocacy groups like AOPA shouldn't pressure the FAA to keep towers open at low-traffic airports where they simply aren't needed. These are some of the findings from AVweb's reader survey last week on the hot-button issue of closing control towers to meet budget requirements under congressional sequestration.
Categories: Aviation News

FAA Controllers At SNF

AVweb News - Tue, 04/02/2013 - 06:48
Although the tower at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Florida is on the FAA's list for closure (so is Wittman Regional's in Oshkosh) the facility will be manned as usual by FAA controllers through Sun 'n Fun. Under the sequestration closure plan, Lakeland is among 149 towers being closed due to sequestration cuts and was to be shuttered on April 7. But the big show starts April 9 and FAA controllers will be on the job the day before as traffic floods into the area. "Contrary to popular belief, the issues in Washington, D.C. will not deter the aviation community from coming together to share the thrills and excitement of the 39th Annual SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo," says a rather jubilant news release from SNF President John Leenhouts.
Categories: Aviation News

Tower Closing Criteria Detailed

AVweb News - Tue, 04/02/2013 - 01:47
If the tower at the local airport was supposed to be closed but wasn't it's because someone convinced the FAA that closing it would pose a threat to national security. At least 24 towers that would normally have been closed under the mathematical limits set by the agency before sequestration took effect (fewer than 150,000 movements and fewer than 10,000 airline operations annually) were spared the budget axe and Government Executive Magazine posted a list of four main criteria that interpret national security in a variety of ways.
Categories: Aviation News

Fake Airline Pilot Removed From Cockpit

AVweb News - Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:45
Frenchman Philippe Jernnard is being held on $1 million bond after being found in the cockpit jump seat of a US Airways flight at Philadelphia International Airport, Wednesday, posing as an Air France pilot. Jernnard was found by the flight's crew at some point during the boarding process. When questioned, he identified himself as a 747 pilot for Air France, according to CBS news. Jernnard held a valid ticket for the flight to West Palm Beach and was wearing a white shirt with an Air France logo and a jacket with epaulets. Jernnard reportedly became irritable when asked for identification and the crew called police to the gate.
Categories: Aviation News

FAA Tower Closures By The Numbers

AVweb News - Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:44
The FAA will close 149 federal contract towers beginning April 7, in response to sequestration's budget cuts, the agency announced Friday. The newly revised list is online here (PDF). The agency says closures will be phased in over a four-week period. At least 38 states are affected. Florida is one of the nation's most populous states and it also stands to hold the crown for most closures, served with 14 fewer towers unless changes are made before early May. The FAA says economic impact and threats to national security were considerations as they decided which towers to close. Some of the nation's most populous states hold top spots for the most closures, but one from that group will see very few.
Categories: Aviation News

Refurb of the Month: Kitchener Aero's 208 Re-Do

AVweb News - Mon, 04/01/2013 - 02:42
click for larger imagesFor every "after" photo of an aircraft refurb, there's a "before" photo to match, and this time, we're showing just such a pair from Kitchener Aero Avionics, a well-known shop in Canada.To be fair, the "before" panel isn't too shabby. With a Bendix/King HSI and a Garmin GNS530/430 pair in the stack, you could find your way around in the clouds without too much stress. But for a turboprop working airplane, the panel is somewhat dated.
Categories: Aviation News

Video: Bad Elf's New GPS Module

AVweb News - Sun, 03/31/2013 - 15:40
Although tablets like the iPad have decent on-board GPS receivers, they aren't necessarily the most robust in hanging onto a position fix. As a result, a number of companies make portable remote GPS units that Bluetooth position fixes into the tablet. In this AVweb video, Aviation Consumer's Larry Anglisano reviews a new product from Bad Elf called the GPS Pro. Besides basic GPS, it also includes datalogging.
Categories: Aviation News

Barefoot Bandit Gains Boeing Mentor

AVweb News - Sun, 03/31/2013 - 15:40
A 57-year-old Boeing project manager named Jonathan Standridge has decided to take a personal role in the rehabilitation of convicted airplane thief 21-year-old Colton Harris-Moore, aka the "Barefoot Bandit." Harris-Moore is serving a seven-year sentence for crimes related to the boats, cars and airplanes that he stole or took on joy rides. Pending charges may extend the term. Standridge told The Associated Press that his motivation in helping Harris-Moore stems from a second chance granted to him when he was young. Standridge says he believes that chance gave him a brighter future. "That is what I'm passing on to Colt," he said.
Categories: Aviation News

Beechcraft Files Lawsuit To Halt USAF Tucano Contract

AVweb News - Sun, 03/31/2013 - 07:38
Thursday, Beechcraft announced that it has filed suit in Federal Claims Court "to contest the U.S. Air Force's decision" to move forward with a $427 million contract awarded to Embraer/Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The Air Force has twice selected the Embraer/SNC Super Tucano over Beechcraft Corporation's AT-6 for its Light Air Support program, but Beechcraft's maneuverings have so far blocked performance of the contract. Beechcraft's new lawsuit aims to halt execution of the contract "while the Government Accountability Office (GAO) continues to review Beechcraft's protest."
Categories: Aviation News

Jensen Back At EAA

AVweb News - Sat, 03/30/2013 - 11:33
As we told you Monday the popular head of EAA's homebuilder section Chad Jensen was dismissed from that position but EAA was still hopeful of finding a place for him in the organization. That apparently happened and Jensen is now Homebuilt Technical Specialist through EAA's Member Services team. Read Jensen's post on the Van's Airforce Forum site here.
Categories: Aviation News

Question of the Week: Were the Wrights Right?

AVweb News - Sat, 03/30/2013 - 06:32
Jane's All The World's Aircraft has come out in favor of the notion that Gustav Whitehead first fulfilled the definition of powered, controlled flight a couple of years before the Wright Brothers. Were the Wrights better aviators, or did they just have a better photographer?Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers if the sequester cuts will affect their flying; click through to see the breakdown of their answers.
Categories: Aviation News

DFW Reopens Fire Center With Mock A380

AVweb News - Fri, 03/29/2013 - 15:29
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has reopened its aircraft rescue firefighting training and research facility and announced a partnership with Embry-Riddle after a yearlong expansion that includes a new burn pit and "the only" Airbus A380 training hull in the United States. The $29 million expansion was designed to enhance the facility's real-world training environment and improve its capabilities as a research center. Prior to the expansion, the facility trained more than 15,000 students from 24 countries. It will now integrate an Aviation Fire Science program developed by Embry-Riddle. DFW is also partnering with the FAA and ICAO for information sharing.
Categories: Aviation News

Whitehead "First Flight" Claims Stir Critical Backlash

AVweb News - Fri, 03/29/2013 - 08:27
Critics that include the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) and a senior curator for the Smithsonian Institution have refuted claims made this month and supported by Jane's All the World's Aircraft that Gustav Whitehead piloted a powered aircraft years before the Wright Brothers. The claim, which specifically stated that Whitehead first flew his original powered monoplane by at least 1901, was recently promoted by Australian aviation historian John Brown. Brown's evidence appeared to satisfy Jane's editor, Paul Jackson, who included it in the foreword of the 100th edition of Jane's All the World's Aircraft. NAHA calls the evidence "fanciful" and notes a letter written by the Smithsonian's Tom Crouch that states the persistent accounts of Whitehead's success have been previously discredited.
Categories: Aviation News

Orbis Flying Hospital Upgrades To MD10

AVweb News - Thu, 03/28/2013 - 14:23
The one-of-a-kind Orbis flying eye hospital will get an upgrade this year, transitioning from a DC-10 to an MD10 donated by FedEx. The flying hospital travels the world to deliver surgical eye care and training to people in poor countries, with a fully equipped surgical suite and staff on board the aircraft. "The new MD10 will have many new advantages," Orbis spokesman Christopher Bogusz told AVweb. The interior will be configured to handle new custom-made modules. "These innovative modules are essentially stand-alone units that can be upgraded, replaced, or easily taken off the aircraft to be modified," Bogusz said. Volunteer pilots from FedEx and United Airlines do the flying.
Categories: Aviation News

Paragliders Rally To Save Mountain

AVweb News - Thu, 03/28/2013 - 14:23
A mountaintop in Utah that's a popular launch site for paraglider and hang-glider pilots is being destroyed by a mining operation, and the fliers have launched a protest. "This is a jewel, this is a famous place," said Jonathan Jeffries, a paraglider, at a recent meeting where fliers gathered to plan a mountain-saving strategy. "People come from all over the world to fly here." The site, known as Point of the Mountain, just south of Salt Lake City, is owned by a mining company, and bulldozers are now infringing on the fliers' site. The fliers have launched a web site, an online petition, and a Facebook page in an effort to organize support and preserve the mountaintop for recreation.
Categories: Aviation News

New Bach Book Celebrates Flight

AVweb News - Wed, 03/27/2013 - 20:19
Author Richard Bach, known for his stories about flying and most famous for the classic Jonathan Livingston Seagull, this week published a new book about a cross-country flight in his seaplane, Travels with Puff, A Gentle Game of Life and Death. "Could be that non-flyers would be startled at the trip, but the book was written for flyers, and for me," Bach told AVweb in an email interview on Tuesday. The book, illustrated with photographs by fellow traveler Dan Nickens, describes how he learned to fly the SeaRey amphibian in Florida then flew it back to his home near Seattle. The story captures the adventure of facing new challenges, exploring new landscapes, and making new friends along the way.
Categories: Aviation News

NTSB: Jet Crashed On Go-Around

AVweb News - Wed, 03/27/2013 - 20:19
A Hawker Beechcraft Premier I jet that crashed into a house on Sunday had made two attempts to land, the NTSB said Monday afternoon. The airplane hit two houses before crashing into a third near South Bend [Ind.] Regional Airport. The owner of the aircraft, Wesley Caves, 58, of Tulsa, Okla., and his friend Steve Davis, 60, were in the cockpit when it crashed, and both were killed. Both men were certified pilots, and it was not clear which one was flying the airplane, the safety board said. Two passengers and a resident of one of the houses were injured but are expected to survive. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson told AVweb the jet was on an IFR flight plan and departed Tulsa for South Bend in VFR conditions.
Categories: Aviation News