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Volume 14, Number 7a
February 11, 2008
Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Daily
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Top Newsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

As the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) continues to declare “staffing emergencies” at the nation’s busiest air traffic facilities, the FAA’s man in charge of training and hiring controllers told AVweb in an exclusive interview last week that the skies are not as dark as NATCA would have the public believe.


A New Zealand newspaper reporter claims he was able to board both legs of a return trip from Christchurch to Napier with a six-inch knife and a toy gun in his carry-on baggage a day after a bizarre hijacking attempt in which two pilots and a passenger were allegedly injured by a knife-wielding Somali woman. Jonathan Marshall, of the Sunday News, said no one paid any attention to him or his bag on either flight, mostly because New Zealand does not require security checks of passengers on domestic flights on aircraft with less than 90 seats. By ironic coincidence, he was seated next to a police Armed Offenders Squad member (New Zealand for SWAT team) on the return leg and the officer studied a radio manual “while I sat drinking tea and concealing my gun and knife," he reported. More...

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Quotes reprinted with permission. Aviation Consumer, August 2007.
New Tech in the Airback to top 

Reaction Engines of Oxford, United Kingdom, says its A2 design could carry 300 passengers at close to 4,000 miles per hour, flying from Belgium to Australia in about five hours ... 25 years from now. "Our work shows it is possible, technically. Now it's up to the world to decide if it wants it," Reaction's head, Alan Bond, told CanadianContent.net. The 470-foot long Mach 5 aircraft would stretch more than twice the length of the Airbus A380 and have a range of more than 12,400 miles cruising within the earth's atmosphere. Passengers could expect to pay less than $7,000 for the honor of riding the windowless beast, according to Reaction. And that cost is not tied to the cost of fossil fuels, as the A2's engines will burn liquid hydrogen, the cost of which Reaction hopes will decline in coming years. Reaction says the aircraft would escape earshot at .9 Mach before lighting it up over the North Pole and heading over the Pacific at Mach More...

New Zealand company Falcompositehas flown a prototype of a two-place aerobatic kit plane that it’s projecting will fly 180 knots on 180 hp and stall at 50 knots. The Furio will come with retractable or fixed tricycle gear and the sleek-looking prototype, which first flew on Sunday, will be unveiled at Auckland’s Ardmore Aerodrome on Wednesday. Although there are several kits that match the performance specs of the Furio, the company claims that the aircraft is easier to build than others on the market. More...

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Balloon Rally Crash Pilot Sentencedback to top 

He flew his aircraft into power lines before it crashed into the Wisconsin River, killing his passenger as her family watched in August of 2004 -- now he's going to jail. Mark Strub was sentenced to six months in jail for his role as pilot, but much of that time may be spent in community service and work release. Kimberly Reed, 39, was killed during the crash at a Children's Miracle Network Balloon Rally. Strub was faulted for flying too low and operating his aircraft in a careless manner. Beyond jail and public service, Strub has been ordered by the court to pay for and participate in mediation counseling that would bring the surviving family members together with him, if they agree to it. Strub has also been ordered to write a letter of apology More...

JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 496 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
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Weighty Responsibilities at the FAAback to top 

Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both Democrats representing New Jersey, announced Thursday they would block President Bush's nomination of Robert Sturgell from reaching the Senate floor for a vote, according to The Associated Press. The two Senators based their stand on flight delays originating in East Coast airspace and Sturgell's actions as acting administrator to alleviate those delays. The government has announced limits for arrivals and departures at New York-area airports and is working on airspace redesigns that often prove unpopular with communities worried their neighborhoods will be negatively impacted by increased noise from rerouted aircraft. "It's time for President Bush to nominate an administrator who solves transportation problems, rather than creating more of them," Lautenberg told the AP. More...

The total cost of a NextGen system empowering pilots with satellite-based air traffic control information is expected by the FAA to cost up to $22 billion, but that figure may be very conservative. At least one analyst, Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin L. Scovel III, forecasts that software development alone will push costs over $50 billion. Scovel aired his opinions during a House hearing on the FAA's 2009 proposed budget, and qualified them by saying that costs "remain uncertain." House Aviation Subcommittee members requested the FAA to review its figures and respond to Scovel's estimate. The FAA's current funding will expire Feb. 29, and the Bush administration's budget proposal for 2009 would offer a $688 million investment in NextGen technology. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

AVweb learned over the weekend that the navigation database in some Bendix/King KLN94 GPS units might be incomplete. A flight instructor from California told us that his home airport, Palo Alto (PAO), did not appear on several KLN94 units installed in various aircraft on the field. The instructor said he called Bendix/King customer support and was told that there was an error in formatting the data for the cycle that expires on Feb. 13. The problem is supposed to correct itself on Wednesday, when the next data cycle takes effect. But pilots flying with these units early this week should check their database prior to launch to ensure that their destination and any alternates are available. Bendix/King customer support for the KLN94 was unavailable to confirm the report on Sunday. More...

A Florida pilot is hoping to fly a Learjet around the world on biodiesel in the next year. Douglas Rodante and his group Green Flight flew a Czech-built L-29 to about 16,000 feet in Nevada last October on biodiesel and is hoping the FAA will let him take the same aircraft on an eight-stop trip across the U.S. later this year. He’ll need the frequent fuel stops because the L-29 was purposely built with short range to discourage defections. It was also designed to run on a variety of fuels, including home heating oil, which made it a preferred choice for the first flights. By the end of the year or early next he hopes to attempt the Learjet circumnavigation and there are some technical challenges awaiting. More...

Regional Express (Rex) is predicting pilot shortage crises in Australia ...
Four Corners Regional Airport threatened by renovation expenses ...
60 million passengers may come through new Qatari airport in 2010. More...

ReliefBand Explorer Motion Sickness Relief Device Is Back!!!
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Readers' Voicesback to top 

AVMAIL: FEB. 11, 2008
Reader mail this week about user fees, fuel, Buckeyes and more. More...

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a report on interior shops. If you recently had an interior redone, the editors would like to hear from you, whether the experience was good or bad. To take part in the online survey, click here.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here. More...

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New on AVwebback to top 

AVweb's Kevin Garrison doesn't ever fly for hire except for his airline. Well, there's this little bit of instructing he does ... More...

If you hear this hangar story, don't roll your eyes. It's true. The pilot was forced to do a touch-and-go at O'Hare in a Cherokee. More...

Cessna Owners & Pilots — Gain Knowledge, Have Fun
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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Recounting one of the most impressive feats in recent aviation history, AVweb video editor Glenn Pew recalls the circumstances of the DHL A300 shot by a surface-to-air missile over Baghdad. The crew successfully landed the aircraft without the ability to manipulate any control surfaces. (Note: The aircraft shown in simulation is a Boeing 777, not an Airbus A300.) (Click through to watch.) More...

Imagine you could wave a magic wand and instantly add a few thousand new controllers, a fully operational national ADS-B system, and plenty of extra user fees. The air traffic control system will still be seriously broken. At least, that's the opinion of Michael Nolan, a professor of aviation technology and director of Purdue's air traffic control program — and author of the book Fundamentals of Air Traffic Control. Michael tells AVweb's Mike Blakeney that ATC is never going to catch up with the ever-increasing demand for capacity until one more thing happens. Michael's secret ingredient to complete his next generation ATC recipe is revealed in this AVweb audio feature ... . More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the FBO at North Las Vegas Airport (VGT) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

AVweb's own Mike Busch has nominated these folks before, pointing out that "the same customer service people have been working there for as long as I can remember (zero turnover), so they really know what they're doing." In addition, Mike tells us, "The facility is very nice, and the avgas prices are always extremely competitive (particularly at the self-serve island close to the GA terminal). There's a regular shuttle service that runs between the GA terminal and the hotels on the Strip."

So why is Mike so eager to have us make VGT's FBO our "FBO of the Week"? Well, there's this:

About my only complaint is that there's a restaurant up on the second floor of the terminal building with a lovely view of the airport, but they seem to have a hard time keeping it open. It has changed hands a number of times and keeps going out of business, which is a bummer. Maybe if VGT [is] the "FBO of the Week," it'll get so much new business that they can keep the restaurant open!

One can only hope! Congrats to the folks at VGT for running such a tight operation. (Mike, bring us back a hamburger.)

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!


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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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...

More AVweb for Your Inboxback to top 

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...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Managing Editor
Meredith Saini

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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