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Volume 13, Number 53a
December 31, 2007
 
Trade-A-Plane, Aviation's Original Search Engine, Is Celebrating 70 Years
Back in 1937, Trade-A-Plane was the original (and only) place to look for parts to repair an airplane. It's still the best, with everything that keeps you flying — thousands of planes, products, and services. Call (800) 337-5263 or subscribe online.

In print or online, start your search with the world's largest aviation resource.
 
Governments and Aviationback to top 
 

FAA BLUNTS NASA SAFETY DATA
The FAA moved on Friday to cast doubt on the accuracy of aviation safety data that will be released by NASA today. NASA will release results of four years of telephone surveys with pilots taking part in the National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS). The report is expected to suggest that close calls in the air and on the ground happen more frequently than the FAA has reported. But in a news conference with members of the mainstream media on Friday, Peggy Gilligan, the FAA’s deputy associate administrator for aviation safety, said the NASA report is based on anecdotal evidence, not the "hard data" the FAA collects. "We collect hard data, while the NASA study is based on pilot perception," Gilligan said. "They may give the best answer to their knowledge, but it might not be the way the FAA collects data." More...

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT LOBS SHOT AT ENGINE MANUFACTURERS
In a 269-page report released last month (28.5 MB PDF), the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) took a thinly veiled stab at reciprocating engine manufacturers, alleging that industry-wide "poor communication, complacency, lack of knowledge, distraction, lack of teamwork, fatigue, lack of resources, pressure, lack of assertiveness, stress, lack of awareness, and accepted norms" contributed to 20 engine-failure-related aircraft accidents reported to the ATSB between January 2000 and December 2005. The report, titled "Aircraft Reciprocating-Engine Failure: An Analysis of Failure in a Complex Engineered System," states that 1,270 reciprocating multi-engine aircraft flew a total of about 220,000 hours during the study period. The events detailed in the report "are dominated by combustion chamber component melting, plain bearing breakup or movement, and the initiation and growth of fatigue cracking in components that are designed to have a life not limited by fatigue." More...

 
Inspiring Daydreams Daily, BoeingStore.com
The one-stop shop for the aviation enthusiast, BoeingStore.com has everything you're looking for: Apparel, travel gear, aviation posters, photographs, models, books, toys, novelties, and more. Now just a click away, take your passion to a higher altitude at BoeingStore.com.
 
New Developments from Cirrus, APAMEback to top 
 

CIRRUS SECURES JET PLANT SPACE
Cirrus Design on Thursday secured a long-sought-after lease of the former Northwest Airlines hangar at Duluth International Airport (DLH), where Cirrus is based. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Cirrus plans to use the 189,000-square-foot building to design and build "the-jet." Under the terms of the 25-year proposed lease with the city, Cirrus agrees to create 200 full-time jobs over the next seven years, the News Tribune article stated. The Duluth Economic Development Authority plans to finalize the lease at its next public meeting on Jan. 3, but Cirrus has reportedly already started moving into the building. More...

APAME ANNOUNCES ELECTRIC FLIGHT
The first flight of the appropriately named Electra electric-powered open-cockpit aircraft took place Sunday, Dec. 23, at 11:50 a.m. local time at the Aspres sur Buech airfield, Hautes Alpes. The braced-shoulder-wing taildragger flew a closed circuit for 48 minutes powered by lithium polymer batteries, traveling the equivalent of a little more than 31 miles. (A quick look at the aircraft suggests the airframe itself was chosen more for expedience than for its high-performance characteristics). Piloted by test engineer Christian Vandamme, the flight was achieved in cooperation with APAME, the French association for the promotion of electrically motorized aircraft that created it. More...

 
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Quotes reprinted with permission. Aviation Consumer, August 2007.
 
Some Pilots Lead Exciting Lives ...back to top 
 

KIWI HELICOPTER PILOT HONORED
A New Zealand helicopter pilot who single-handedly put out a wildfire while flying with night-vision goggles in winds gusting to 40 knots has been awarded the Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) Outstanding Airman Award. According to the Southland Times, well-known pilot Richard "Hannibal" Hayes received the honor last week from FAI Chairman Pierre Portman for some pretty tricky flying near Queenstown, N.Z., in November of 2005. More than 100 residents were evacuated as a fire advanced toward their homes and Hayes was the only pilot available with a night-vision rating. More...

MALIBU LOSES PROP, LANDING SUCCESSFUL
With no prop, no forward visibility and three people in his charge(one of them, his daughter), 7,400-hour pilot Barry Cox landed a 1988 Piper Malibu at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport Thursday after suffering catastrophic engine failure just minutes into his flight. Offering up a late nomination for understatement of the year, "It was exciting," Cox told the Aspen Times. The incident unfolded around 10 a.m., about ten minutes into the flight and only 147 hours after the Malibu's Continental had been remanufactured. Cox had piloted the Malibu out of Aspen-Pitkin to 16,000 feet and about eight miles north of the airport. It was then and there that oil suddenly turned the windshield an opaque brown, a sight that was followed by a loud sound that likely signified the propeller's departure from the aircraft. Cox radioed the Aspen tower to inform them of his situation and impending return before offering calming words to his frightened daughter, "I was just saying, 'We're OK, we can glide from here and make it.'" More...

 
JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 496 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
Call (800) 323-5966 for current value, with no purchase required. JA Air Center is your source for Garmin GPS and Avionics, including the popular GPSMap 496 with XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, Taxiway Database, and built-in StreetPilot Auto GPS.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
 
Aviation Safetyback to top 
 

AOPA OFFERS SECURITY COURSE
Targeting aircraft owners, renter pilots, flying clubs, flight schools and FBOs, AOPA has teamed with the TSA to create an online interactive course to help ensure the safety and security of aircraft and airports. The course acts as an extension of AOPA's Airport Watch program and "will meet TSA's Recurrent Security Awareness Training requirement for flight and ground instructors, flight school employees and FBOs who have direct contact with flight students." More...

STUDY SHOWS DECLINE IN PILOT ERROR FOR AIRLINES
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that while the overall rate of airline mishaps between 1983 and 2002 remained stable, the number of those attributed to pilot error decreased 40 percent. Weather-related pilot mistakes dropped by 76 percent, those attributed to mishandling wind or surface conditions dropped by 78 percent, mishaps attributed to poor crew communication declined 68 percent, and mishaps during takeoff declined 70 percent. Overall, mishaps during the study's survey period were increasingly attributed to ground crews and "congestion" on airport taxiways. The largest increase in mishaps was found in handling aircraft near the gate -- when the aircraft was being pushed back or standing still, mishaps more than doubled. More...

 
How Would You Like a Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums?
The Return of Premium Term product through the Pilot Insurance Center features a level death benefit term plan with fully guaranteed level premiums for the first 15, 20, or 30 years and is also guaranteed to pay back all of your premiums at the end of the policy. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with the life insurance protection they need. For a personalized quote, call PIC today at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit PIC online.
 
Flames and Fisticuffsback to top 
 

WILD AND WOOLLY INCIDENT INJURES RAF CADET
The Royal Air Force maintains its pilot corps is the epitome of crack professionalism after a pilot trainee was seriously burned at a graduation party when someone set fire to the sheep costume he was wearing. According to metro.co.uk, the 26-year-old man was celebrating his new wings with other freshly minted pilots at a "family-oriented" event when a 23-year-old man, who is not a member of the RAF, set him alight, causing burns to 14 percent of his body. No, we don’t know what RAF pilot graduation tradition involves a sheep costume (but we may be willing to be enlightened). The happy news is the young pilot is expected to make a full recovery and return to his unit shortly. Meanwhile, the RAF is saying this sort of thing hardly ever happens. More...

FIGHT BETWEEN PILOT, MECHANIC HALTS FLIGHTS
Up to 500 passengers were stranded on American Samoa, some for more than a week, after a pilot reportedly flattened a mechanic and the airline they were contracted to, South Pacific Express, suspended flights. According to the e-Travel Blackboard an altercation between the two on Dec. 21 ended with the mechanic laid out. The pilot, a first officer, was immediately fired. The mechanic and the airline’s chief pilot were "recalled" by the owner of the aircraft, Freedom Air, which forced the airline to suspend service. That left 500 holiday visitors to the tropical island without a way home. More...

ON THE FLY...
Man injured and wife who died in plane crash lost daughter in 2006…Comair pilot’s medical bills top $1 million…Warbird restoration Gerry Beck named to Hall of Fame. More...

 
Emergency Essentials Aviator Survival Vest Kit by Doug Ritter
Get a top-of-the-line aviator survival vest developed by Doug Ritter and available exclusively at Aeromedix.com.
Holiday Special: Receive $100 off this survival vest that includes an ACR MicroFix PLB and essential items to ensure you are rescued alive in an emergency. Visit Aeromedix.com to purchase this customized pilot survival vest.
 
New on AVwebback to top 
 

Columns | Features | What's New | Calendar | Brainteasers

THE PILOT'S LOUNGE #121:
THE BIG SILENCE AFTER TAKEOFF

When you're ready for takeoff, do you "brief" it like an airline pilot does? If you don't and the engine stops during climbout, your odds aren't good. More...

AVMAIL: DEC. 31, 2007
Reader mail this week about the future of GA, airspace relief, and your selections for the top aviation story of 2007. More...

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. What have you heard? More...

 
Attention, Cessna Owners and Pilots!
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Cessna Flyers — the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA), since 2004 providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical questions, an informative monthly magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual gathering, seminars, member discounts, and more for only $40 yearly. The CFA is located in the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, 35 nm NW of Oshkosh. For more info, visit CessnaFlyer.org.
 
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: 1ST CLASS AIR (KSPI, SPRINGFIELD, IL)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to 1st Class Air at KSPI in Springfield, Illinois.

With storms criss-crossing the U.S. for the last few weeks, many of our most glowing recommendations have come from pilots who found themselves trapped in less-than-ideal conditions far from home. AVweb reader Scott Bartley was in just such a position, stopping at Springfield because of bad weather a little further north. When weather put the kibosh on his flight, the team at 1st Class air checked in Scott's crew car and got him a rental, and when he need to get back to the plane a day early (just after Thanksgiving!), 1st Class had it ready for the air. "Everything went smoothly despite my ever-changing plans," writes Scott. "This FBO will remain on my list of planned stops for all trips north."

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!

More...

 
Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for used aircraft on ASO, you get the most complete picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings with detailed specs and photos or use ASO's advanced search tools to quickly find your next aircraft. Best of all, know that every ad is current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for your next aircraft, it's ready for you — on ASO. Visit ASO.com today!
 
AVweb Media: Watch, Listen, Learn & Laughback to top 
 

AVWEB'S MONDAY PODCAST:
AVIATION SAFETY ASKS, "DOES CESSNA'S CARAVAN HAVE AN ICE PROBLEM?"

No more than any other airplane, according to Suburban Air Freight's Geoffrey Gallup. Aviation Safety magazine's Jeb Burnside interviewed Gallup to learn more about recent attention directed at the Caravan. The January issue of Aviation Safety features an in-depth article on how Cessna, the industry, and the FAA worked together to better understand how to fly the airplane in winter weather. More...

VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
HOW TO MARSHAL JETS (AND BENEFIT CANCER RESEARCH AT THE SAME TIME)

Ring in 2008 with a musical melody and a little fun on the runway, courtesy of Chesapeake Sport Pilot's Helen Woods. (Experienced CFIs, take note of that link — they're hiring!) In case you're wondering whether these musical antics are appropriate, we should point out that the, er "stylings" shown herein were part of a charity fundraising drive to benefit Cancer Research UK. (Click through to watch.) More...

 
Artful Flying Is No Ordinary "How-To" Text!
Artful Flying, the award-winning book by AVweb's former As the Beacon Turns columnist Michael Maya Charles, will show you how to turn your hours and hours of cockpit moments into a lifetime of art. Order online today and receive complimentary ground shipping.
 
More AVweb for Your Inboxback 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/. More...

 
Aviation Consumer — The Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell You the Truth about the gear you buy and the planes you fly. Aviation Consumer is packed with in-depth and uncompromising ratings of equipment, avionics, accessories, mods, services, aircraft, and much more. Order online and receive unlimited access to Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
 
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 
 

SHORT FINAL
Overheard in IFR 
Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Returning to Princeton, New Jersey in a Seminole, I was proudly clipping along at 140 knots and can only assume that my deep voice and professional-sounding tone led to us appearing to be more than we were:

Me:
"New York approach, Seminole Two Two Eight, 5000."

Approach:
"Seminole Two Two Eight, Morristown altimeter 30.08. Proceed direct Solberg, maintain 5000. Were you given any speed restrictions? If so, you can resume normal speed."

Me:
"Direct Solberg, 5000, Two Two Eight. And we're a Seminole. This is normal speed."

Karl Siil
Princeton, New Jersey

More...

 
Names Behind the Newsback 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.

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