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02/05/16 03:50PM

02/02/16 12:54PM
2006 CESSNA T182T
Arlington TX
01/29/16 12:40PM
Dallas Texas
01/29/16 10:55AM
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Short Final

We were flying into Birmingham, Alabama at about 2:00am on a Sunday morning. The sky was clear with great visibility. Birmingham has an ILS to runway 6, and the final approach fix is MCDEN. After checking in with Birmingham Approach, we were told to fly "direct to MCDEN for the McVisual approach." -- John Young

Former Sikorsky President Killed In Crash

The former president of Sikorsky Aircraft was killed along with his passenger when his P-51D crashed near Maricopa, Arizona, on Friday. Jeffrey Pino, 61, was head of Sikorsky from 2006 to 2012.

Musk Moving On Electric Jet

Elon Musk says he's "close" to developing a "vertical takeoff and landing electric jet" as a practical alternative to conventional aircraft.

Suicide Bomber Likely Caused Daallo Explosion

A suicide bomber, possibly with explosives concealed in a laptop, is believed to have blown the hole in the side of a Daallo Airlines A321 last week.

Two Airplanes Collide Off Los Angeles; 3 Missing

Coast Guard boats and divers are searching the waters off Los Angeles this morning after two single-engine airplanes collided Friday afternoon.

FAA Seeks To Cut Airport Weather Observers

The FAA is looking at cutting its Contract Weather Observer staffing at 57 airports around the country, moving some duties to local ATC, according to an agency document and various media reports in recent weeks. Trained human weather observers contracted by the FAA supplement automated weather reports at towered airports, providing more discerning information including reports on weather-related hazards.

New This Week

AVweb's search of aviation news worldwide found announcements from Avidyne, Jeppesen, Beechcraft and the National Air Transportation Association. Avidyne Corporation announced that they are offering a new lower-priced IFD440 FMS/GPS/NAV/COM, starting at $12,399, including mounting tray and installation kit.

Collier Trophy Nominees Announced For 2015 Achievements

The National Aeronautic Association announced this week nine nominees for the 2015 Robert J. Collier Trophy, which recognizes projects and achievements in aviation and aerospace. The nominees include four aircraft ranging from the Icon A5 light-sport amphibious airplane to the C-5M Super Galaxy, the Air Force transport airplane built by Lockheed Martin. Airbus' A350 XWB airliner and the HondaJet also are on the list.

ModAero Event Aims For "NextGen" Pilots

The organizers of ModAero, a "next-generation aviation festival" set for March 16 to 19 near Houston, Texas, say they are offering a "fresh take" on the traditional aviation event, with the goal of attracting a younger demographic, especially pilots in the 16 to 39 "millennial" age range. "That's where all the growth is happening, and there's an opportunity to try something new and different, to engage people and get them involved in aviation," show organizer Brian Columbus told AVweb.

FAA Funding Bill With Privatized ATC Introduced In House

Two congressmen in favor of privatizing the FAA's Air Traffic Organization introduced their proposal Wednesday, just after receiving written opposition from others in the House and Senate. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., introduced the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act.

Captain: Hole Blown In Airbus Believed To Be Bomb Blast

The captain of the Airbus A321 that landed Tuesday with a hole blown out of its side believes a bomb exploded as the jet climbed out of Mogadishu, Somalia. Authorities haven't confirmed the source of the blast, and one passenger is believed to be dead from falling out of the hole.

The Weekender: Enjoying Winter Via Skiplane

The Weekender plans to make the most of February's chill by heading out to fly on the snow in search of hot meals as listed on SocialFlight. Skiplanes can head to Plymouth, Michigan, Saturday for a warm hangar, hot food and good company as EAA Chapter 113 hosts its Chili Fly-In.

Electric Aircraft: Battery Progress Is Coming, But Not Quickly

Better batteries for electric aircraft are in the works, but it may be five years before we see significant improvements in energy density, according to a leading battery researcher at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. Jeff Chamberlain, who heads the lab's Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Research Science told AVweb in an exclusive interview that over promising on battery capacity is a result of snake-oil salesmanship and over-enthusiastic entrepreneurs. But the fact is, lithium ion batteries remain a difficult and challenging chemisty to improve.

Sebring Plans Changes For 2017

The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, held in Sebring, Florida, every January since 2004, may be changing to a new date next year, organizers said on Monday. "Weather challenges in recent years have given us the opportunity to review and assess the best possible time to produce a successful 2017 event," airport director Mike Willingham said in a news release. This year's event started off strong on Jan. 20 and 21, with robust attendance, but over the next two days, winds gusting to 35 miles an hour kept most airplanes on the ground, and some exhibits were closed.

NTSB: Citation Jet Broke Up In Flight

A Cessna Citation 525 twin-engine jet broke up in flight while maneuvering near Cedar Fork, Utah, the NTSB says in a preliminary report now posted online. The pilot and passenger both were killed. The CJ3 took off from Salt Lake City International Airport about 9:50 in the morning on Jan. 18, headed for Tucson International Airport. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot called ATC to report a failure in the flight management system, and said he needed to fly straight ahead and climb while he tried to program the backup FMS.

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