AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 47b

November 22, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. Click here for further details.
 
News from the Northwest back to top 
 

Cirrus Won't Bid On Columbia Assets

With the bankrupt Columbia aircraft company due to go up for sale on November 27, Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier told AVweb on Tuesday that his company won't be making a bid after all. "We have done our due diligence, and we think there are a lot of problems that would have to be solved," he said. "They wouldn't be in bankruptcy, if that wasn't true." A buyer would have to take on those problems, plus all the warranty costs for the current fleet, he said. Taking on the Columbia product line would divert a lot of financial and engineering resources that could be better invested in developing The Jet, Klapmeier said. With Cirrus out of the running, that leaves Cessna as the most likely buyer, although other companies remain in play. But if Cessna does acquire the Columbia line, Klapmeier says he can live with that. "We are quite comfortable with our product offerings, and quite willing to compete," he said. He added that he sees plenty of growth potential in the GA market and expects there will be more than enough buyers to keep everyone busy. Other companies that have expressed an interest in acquiring Columbia are Versa Capital Management and Park Electrochemical Corp.

Three Survive Tacoma Midair

All three occupants of two Cessnas that brushed each other over Commencement Bay, off Tacoma, Wash., on Tuesday walked —and swam— away from the mishap. Cessna 182 pilot Bud Williams said he felt a thud that sent his charts and paperwork flying all over the cabin and looked out to see another aircraft in a circling descent to the ocean below. Williams said he quickly determined his aircraft was controllable. "I figured my plane was in flyable condition. Everything checked out," Williams, 63, told the Seattle Times. He followed the other aircraft and watched it ditch under control. He called 121.5 to give the coordinates of the ditching and then headed to a nearby airfield where he made an uneventful landing. His aircraft suffered damage to the right wheel pant, fuselage and a wingtip. Meanwhile the two unidentified occupants of the other aircraft, a son taking his mother for lunch at nearby Gig Harbor, clung briefly to the sinking Cessna before it sank in 200 feet of water. A family out for a cruise in their 46-foot boat saw the accident from three miles away and headed for the ditched airplane. "I put my throttles down as far as we could go and headed toward it. It probably took us 10 minutes to get there," boat owner John Farrell told the Times. "When we got there, the pilot was treading water with his mother in his arms." The boat’s passengers stripped the wet clothes off the pair and wrapped them in blankets. They were checked in to the hospital and released. Other pilots interviewed by the Times said Tuesday was unusually busy for small aircraft traffic because weather had improved from the previous few days. Lingering low clouds forced pilots to fly at low altitude, congesting the airspace further.

 
Zulu Time ... From Lightspeed
The new Zulu headset looks different because it is different. Made with magnesium, stainless steel, and four types of composite plastics, it's extremely durable and yet weighs just over 13 ounces. Rather than concentrating purely on cutting decibels, Lightspeed engineers looked at how pilots perceive noise at different frequencies. You get broader noise attenuation over the entire audible range. Zulu has more total noise cancellation than any headset on the market. Click here for a dealer near you.
 
The High Cost of Making Parts back to top 
 

Carburetor Line Sold

Precision Airmotive has reached a tentative deal with "a group including Tim Henderson, President of Aero Accessories, and others involved in the manufacture of the Tempest brand of general aviation products," to buy Precision’s line of MSA aircraft carburetors, according to a news release from Aero Accessories/Tempest issued Monday. The group says it plans to move the manufacturing facilities for the carbs to a facility in an undisclosed location in North Carolina. Precision announced earlier this month that it was suspending manufacture and distribution of the carbs and parts after it was unable to obtain product liability insurance. There’s no mention of the insurance issue in the Henderson Group’s release. Precision has been involved in several high-profile lawsuits concerning the carburetors and the company said it was unable to get insurance coverage, at any cost, necessary to continue supplying carbs. MSA carburetors are used in most normally aspirated Continental, Lycoming and Franklin engines. There is an inventory of carbs and parts available. The deal with the new group is expected to be finalized by the end of January.

Manufacturer Wins in Lawsuit Stemming from 1999 Crash

When a Beech Baron crashed into a New Jersey neighborhood in November 1999, killing the pilot and his wife and child, as well as one person on the ground, many lawsuits followed. This week, one of those suits was resolved in favor of S-Tec Corporation, based in Texas, manufacturer of the airplane's autopilot. The case was significant for general aviation, according to lawyer David Zeehandelaar, who led the defense team for S-Tec, because "the conventional wisdom is that it's tough for a manufacturer to win in a product liablity case." The NTSB had determined in July 2000 that the probable cause of the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. Factors in the accident, the NTSB said, were failure of the horizontal situation indicator for undetermined reasons and the pilot's use of inappropriate medication. Zeehandelaar told AVweb on Wednesday that although the NTSB report was not admitted in court, his firm argued that the HSI that failed was not part of the S-Tec autopilot system, and also that the autopilot wasn't being used at the time of the crash. "We had radar data that showed the final turn was made at a rate of 6 degrees per second, which is not standard rate, and would require pilot input," Zeehandelaar said. The trial lasted for eight weeks and included testimony from approximately 30 expert witnesses on topics including piloting, aerodynamics, engineering, meteorology, aeromedical issues, and more.

The plaintiffs in the case were the estates of the three persons on the plane and the owner of one of the destroyed buildings. The city of Newark and about 20 residents of the neighborhood who were affected by the crash sued the pilot's estate and were awarded $2 million in a settlement in 2001. S-Tec also announced this week that it has been acquired by U.K. aerospace firm Cobham PLC for $38 million. The transaction should be completed by the end of this year, subject to regulatory approval, S-Tec said.

 
IFR Pilots: Take Your Flight-Planning Skills to the Next Level
Introducing IFR Weather, Planning & Tactics — a new computer training program from PilotWorkshops.com. Join their experts as they plan and fly real IFR trips, using the latest online tools to interpret the weather and develop the safest flight plans. This program provides a structured approach that will have you better prepared to manage the complex and challenging environment of instrument flight. Click here to learn more.
 
Bringing Pilots Home Safe back to top 
 

Family Of Lost Pilot Seeks Help Online

When famed aviator Steve Fossett went missing in Nevada last September, the scale of the search was humbling to many pilots who wondered, if I disappear one day, will the whole world come looking? Thanks to the Internet, it's easier for even us regular folks to get the word out when a beloved pilot fails to come home. On Oct. 23, Ron Boychuk, 60, took off in his Cessna 172 from Springbank Airport near Calgary, Alberta, en route to Qualicum Beach, in British Columbia. He never arrived, and after extensive air and ground searches turned up nothing, his family launched a Web site in the hope that folks in the area will remember to keep a lookout. "If you or anyone you know has any information, no matter how small, we want to know, as any info that leads to the finding of Ron will result in a cash reward," the site reads. Boychuk's family has raised about $20,000, according to the Edmonton Sun. His three sons have joined with search and rescue teams and many volunteers to scour the area, but came up with nothing. "Because of the large area and the terrain, there is still sooo much more to search," it says at the site. "His sons will not give up until their father is found."

The site makes no mention of using the Mechanical Turk method that was employed in the search for Fossett, in which hundreds of volunteers worked online to search satellite images. But Fossett went missing over the desert. It seems unlikely the satellite method would help in searching the mostly forested Canada region.

A Rough Day at Work For Two Hijacked Pilots

If you think your flying job is stressful sometimes, consider the Monday morning that two Australian pilots had this week in Papua New Guinea. They were flying a chartered aircraft -- the reports don't specify what kind of airplane -- carrying $2 million in cash for a bank, with two security guards on board. The two guards, however, pointed their guns at the pilots and suggested they should change course. They landed at a neglected World War II-era airstrip on an offshore island near Port Moresby, the nation's capital, where the guards' three masked and armed accomplices were waiting. The pilots, however, apparently managed to signal air traffic controllers of their dilemma. Reports differ regarding what happened next -- it may be that the three masked men armed with shotguns stole a dinghy from island locals and headed for the coast, with the pilots on board, but were captured. But another version says the pilots were found by police, covered in mud and handcuffed to a tree. A gunfight ensued, the police killed one of the guards and recovered the money, but two of the bad guys escaped. "It is only a matter of time before the other two are captured," Police Commissioner Gari Baki told the Herald-Sun.

The U.S. State Department seems less confident of the PNG police. "Papua New Guinea, unlike the United States, does not have a tradition of strong local police authorities," notes the State Department Web site, while advising visitors that random or opportunistic crime is "common."

 
The 2008 Aircraft Spruce Pilot Shop Catalog Is Now Available
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty has published a new, full-color, 88-page pilot supply catalog which is available at no charge. Products in the new catalog include handheld GPS and nav/coms, JPI and Electronics International engine monitors and scanners, headsets, intercoms, flight bags, laminated checklists, folding bikes, oxygen systems, windsocks, survival gear, flight jackets, Scheden sunglasses, weather stations, Jeppesen and ASA flight training products, aviation software and simulators, charts, videos, books, and much more. Call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

Female Pilots Still Face Obstacles

It wasn't that long ago that female pilots here in the U.S. were an uncommon sight -- and unsettling, to some. Now in other parts of the world, women are just starting to find their way into the front seat, and not everyone is happy about it. In Qatar, the first Arab woman to fly a helicopter has been widely ridiculed and subjected to threatening phone calls after appearing in public wearing her pilot's uniform. "All phone calls had a similar message to convey," Munira Al Dosri told The Peninsula. "People were telling me they felt ashamed to see me without the abaya and veil (Qatari women's traditional attire). They told me they were ashamed of me being a Qatari woman." Qatar, a small country bordered by Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, is one of the richest countries in the world. Al Dosri works for Gulf Helicopter and plans to continue flying and earning more ratings.

"My family, especially my parents, are very understanding and supportive," she said. "Thanks to them, I am able to carry on with my profession and focus on what I'm doing."

Want to Fly With The Stars? Build-A-Plane eBay Site Can Help

If your holiday wish is to go flying with CNN reporter (and pilot) Miles O'Brien or to have aviation photographer Paul Bowen personally autograph a copy of his classic book "Air to Air" for you, then Build-A-Plane's eBay auction site is the place you're looking for. You can also bid to share a talkative lunch with aviation writer Bill Cox, fly a P-51 Mustang, or take an aerobatics course. Purchases at the site support Build-A-Plane's mission to help kids learn science, technology, engineering and math by building real airplanes. New items are being added to the auction all the time, says Build-A-Plane President Lyn Freeman. "The proceeds from this unique fundraiser, something totally new and different for aviation, will help us continue to help kids," he said.

Build-A-Plane has more than 70 projects in schools across the U.S.

 
Download No-Cost Runway Flash Cards Now!
Landing a plane is tough. Flying into unfamiliar runways makes it even tougher — and more dangerous. Ensure you and your crew's safety by downloading these no-cost flash cards today. Each of the 23 flash cards displays an airport sign or pavement marking as well as the required pilot action. Use them as a quick reference before your departure or during your flight. Download the Runway Safety Flash Cards now.
 
Nuisances Out of Control back to top 
 

Pilot Arrested For Alcohol, But Passes Test

After a TSA agent at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport said he smelled alcohol on the breath of a Midwest Airlines pilot last week, airport police arrested him. A breath test registered a blood alcohol level of .016, and the FAA limit for pilots is .04 and eight hours. The airline's own limit is .02 percent. Reports were unclear regarding how long since the pilot had indulged (if he had), but his lawyer said there's enough alcohol in mouthwash to register a .016 level. The pilot was detained by police for three hours, but wasn't charged with a crime. He was taken off flight duty until the airline completes its investigation. Some early reports of the incident noted that the pilot was carrying a gun, for which he was certified, and also mis-reported the alcohol level at 0.16.

The legal limit for driving in Minnesota is .08, more than four times as high as the pilot's test result. Midwest Airlines ranked No. 1 this week in a Zagat survey of customer satisfaction.

Pilot Complains About Airport Noise

Most pilots love the sound of engines in the morning -- and have little patience with airport neighbors who complain -- but in Vancouver, one airline pilot who chose to live close to the airport has had it with early-morning engine tests and middle-of-the-night jumbo-jet takeoffs. "Some areas of [the city] are absolutely blasted," Neil Filipek told Canada.com. "Most airports in the world do a better job addressing complaints than Vancouver." Filipek says the airport should build an engine run-up enclosure to shield neighbors from the noise, and do a better job of addressing complaints. "Other major airports do not allow 24-hour operations," he said. He says he got the brush off from the airport when he made suggestions for improvements. "Officials are used to doing whatever they want because the airport is on federal land," Filipek said. Airport officials told Canada.com they might consider building a noise shelter, and said they are already doing a "really good job" at addressing noise issues.

The airport had an average of 43 takeoffs and landings each night last year.

 
AFSS Is Up to Speed. And Gaining Altitude.
The new automated flight services system is here. Revolutionizing flight service operations. Reducing legacy sites. Bringing 15 upgraded sites and three hubs online. Retaining 1,200 specialists. Marrying local needs with national information sources. The result: ever-improving levels of performance. And a future of efficient, effective service that give general aviation pilots more flexibility than they've ever thought possible. To see for yourself, visit AFSS.com.
 
News in Brief back to top 
 

On the Fly ...

Two pilots were killed and a third seriously hurt when their helium balloon hit powerlines in Iowa last Friday. The basket separated and crashed 60 feet to the ground ...

Liberty Aerospace announced its first U.S. dealer, First Flight Aviation in Fort Smith, Ark ...

Feeling thankful today? The Air Care Alliance can help you find a way to use your flying skills to help people in need.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

 
Over 16,000 Happy GAMIjectors® Customers Can't Be Wrong!
GAMIjectors® have given these aircraft owners reduced peak cylinder head temperatures, reduced fuel consumption, and smoother engine operation. GAMIjectors® alter the fuel/air ratio in each cylinder so that each cylinder operates with a much more uniform fuel/air ratio than occurs with any other factory set of injectors. To speak to a GAMI engineer, call (888) FLY-GAMI, or go online for complete engineering details.
 
We Want to Hear Your Voice back to top 
 

Question of the Week: Pilot Job Satisfaction

This Week's Question | Previous Week's Answers

PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

Last week, spurred on by a group of pilots of legislators who are asking for a serious inquiry into the nature of UFOs, we put the question to AVweb readers:  Is it time to get serious about these airborne phenomenon, or are we dredging up an old issue that's long-since been resolved?

63% of those who took time to answer our poll question said that yes, we government agencies should be taking UFO reports seriously, as long as there's credible evidence to back up the reports.

For the complete breakdown of answers, click here.
(You may be asked to register and answer, if you haven't already participated in this poll.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

According to Time magazine, 49% of pilots are "very happy" with their jobs.

What about you?


Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"? Send your suggestions to .

NOTE:
This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments.
Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.

 
Collier Trophy Collectible Medallion Series 3 Now Available
NAA's Collier Trophy Centennial Medallion Series 3 is now available for gift-giving or for your own collection, along with Series 1 and 2. A commemorative card encases a heavy metal medallion showing the Collier Trophy on one side and an image of the F-22 Raptor on the reverse. Series 1 reverse shows SpaceShipOne, and Series 2 reverse shows the Eclipse 500. Visit NAA's merchandise section to view and order.
 
New on AVweb back to top 
 

The Savvy Aviator #51: A Mechanic's Liability

If your mechanic seems over-cautious and self-protective in his approach to maintaining your airplane, he has good reason.

Click here for the full story.

Microsoft Flight Simulator X for Pilots: Chapter 18 -- GPS Approaches -- Part 1

Microsoft Flight Simulator X is one of the most powerful PC simulators available, and practicing GPS approaches with FSX is a great way to prepare for (and decrease expense in) flight in a real plane.

Click here to read this chapter.

 
Get into the Cockpit!
Classic Cockpits is a series of high-quality DVDs that put you into the pilot's seat of some of the world's great airplanes. Be there for engine start, checklists, taxi, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, landing, and more. Titles currently available are: Flying the Legendary DC-3, Flying the PBY Catalina, and Flying the De Havilland Vampire. Order your DVD now online.
 
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Antrim County Airport (KACB at Bellaire, MI)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Antrim County Airport at KACB in Bellaire, Michigan.

AVweb reader Stan Prevost flies into KACB several times a year, and he tells us it's always a pleasant experience, accompanied by a warm welcome. Here's how Stan was greeted on a recent arrival:

As we disembarked the airplane, airport manager John Strehl met us at the airplane with two plastic bags, greeted us by name, and told us to help ourselves to tomatoes growing on vines they had planted around the terminal.

Fresh tomatoes! Can't top that!

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!

 
New Gift Ideas Have Been Added to AVweb's Holiday Marketplace
When purchasing gifts for family, friends, and flying buddies, go to AVweb's Holiday Marketplace. AVweb is the perfect place to find perfect gifts for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. And for yourself — forward the link to your family and friends as a hint as to what you want! It's easy online, with AVweb!
 
Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 
 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings.  The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week."  Want to see your photo on AVweb.com?  Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.

*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***

This week's top reader-submitted photos will be going live just as our U.S. readers are busy skipping breakfast so they can eat an extra-large helping of turkey and dressing and grandmother's house.  Yes, it's Thanksgiving here in the States, and in that spirit we have to say thanks to every single reader who's taken time to submit a photo over the past year (and earlier).  Many of you have been featured here (or in the slideshow on our home page), but many more haven't.  Rest assured that even if you haven't won a hat or been lavished praise here in "POTW," your photos have brought us many hours of joy, and we look forward to seeing more of them in the coming year.  (Here's where you send 'em in.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Tom Callahan

"Fat Albert" Is the Max

Tom Callahan of Pensacola, Florida knows his color wheel — and knows when to feature at a too-often-underappreciated subject, too.  "We love the Blue Angels," writes Tom, "but Fat Albert holds a special place in our hearts.  Like the character in the Bill Cosby cartoons, Fat Albert always save the day by doing the heavy lifting."

You said it, Tom.  And we'll say thanks by sending you one of those coveted AVweb hats you read about here from time to time.

 

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Used with permission of Felix Gadow

Saving Landing Fees

From the "No ... Really?" file, Felix Gadow of Eichenau, Bavaria (Germany) told us this tale:

In Germany, there are always landing fees to be paid. Why not land on top of your truck ... [while it's being] driven down the 9,000-feet long runway?  This could save you money — at least as long as they don’t charge a fortune for the truck to use the runway as an "Autobahn." ...  It took us 23 attempts to find out how to deal with the turbulence created by the truck. Now, it works pretty well. Although, we’ll never try again to do this little stunt with a 15 knots crosswind.

Yikes!  Just in case any of you were thinking of taking this "advice" seriously — DON'T.  This is one of those "trained professionals; do not attempt" deals, O.K.?

 

medium | large

copyright © Christopher Bazeley
Used with permission

Thirsty Bird

We were going to say something very kind about this photo from Chris Bazeley of Blockley, Gloucestershire (U.K.) — but then we started talking about fuel prices and tank sizes, and — well, it's not your fault, Chris.  (We still like the photo!)

 
Warning!  "Doctored" Photos Ahead!

The internet has changed quite a bit since we first started sharing reader-submitted photos here on AVweb — and long-time readers know that we've loosened up a bit when it comes to allowing digitally-manipulated images into our contest.  Still, we do like to distinguish between images submitted "as they were shot" and those that feature obvious manipulations — and we encourage our readers to tell us as much about their photos as they can when they're submitted.

That said, we've got a handful of digitally-altered photos we've been dying to share for a while, and the Thanksgiving holiday seems like a great time to show you a couple.

 

medium | large

Used with permission of Terese Barta

New Gleim Test Preps Released

Terese Barta of Stevens Point, Wisconsin tentatively wondered, "Do I need Gleim's permission?" — but we think the flattery and parody will be appreciated over there.  After all, if there really were a Private Pirate's license, would you risk the FAA Knowledge Test without a Gleim book?!

Arr!

 

medium | large

Used with permission of Paul Sisal

Mystery Formation

Paul Sisal of Chicago, Illinois flies us out with a composite built from two photos he snapped at the Chicago Air & Water Show in 1995.  The funny thing here is that all Paul did was superimpose the geese — maybe they were imitating the Fabulous Thunderbirds?

Or wait — maybe we're imitating them, what with all this "flying" we've starting doing ... !


More new photos are waiting for you on AVweb's home page, in our "POTW" slideshow.  Don't miss 'em!

Look all you want, but don't forget to send us your photos, too!  (Where do you think we get all these cool pictures?)

A quick note for submitters:  If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week!  That gives your photos a greater chance of seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too.  ;)

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.

 
More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 
 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.

 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.