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Volume 14, Number 10a
March 3, 2008
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.
Terrorism Watch I: Protecting the Schoolsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The Transportation Security Administration says Sen. Chuck Schumer is wrong about claims that thousands of foreign nationals are getting flight training without the required documentation and background checks. "Each and every foreign national that applies for flight training at any FAA-certified school anywhere in the world is checked by TSA prior to beginning that training," TSA spokesman Jon Allen told The Associated Press. 
Schumer told reporters that there are 8,000 foreign nationals illegally taking flying lessons in the U.S. That’s the same number used in an ABC News investigation that reached the same conclusion as Schumer but in a less colorful manner. 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.
Boeing & EADS in Stiff Competitionback to top 

Anyone who thought the drawn-out battle to choose the new generation Air Force tanker aircraft ended with the Pentagon’s decision Friday to go with the Northrop-Grumman/EADS consortium likely has another think coming. "This won't be pretty," Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., told The Seattle Times Saturday. "There will be a firestorm of criticism on Capitol Hill,” Dicks, whose Seattle-area district depends heavily on Boeing for its economic well-being, warned. Although the loss of the $40 billion deal is not expected to result in any job losses at Boeing, the contract would have created up to 8,000 additional jobs and kept the 767 assembly line going well beyond 2012 when the last commercial 767 is finished. It’s an election year in which the economy is in trouble and protectionist sentiments have been expressed by both Democratic presidential nomination contenders. Not only that, the leading Republican contender is remembered as the politician that killed the original contract awarded to Boeing in 2003, so it would seem the tanker issue will have pretty long legs. More...

Not everyone associated with the EADS/Northrop-Grumman victory in the Air Force tanker contract is celebrating. The union representing workers at EADS Toulouse factories claims the deal will cost French jobs because of the consortium’s commitment to build an assembly plant for the tankers in Mobile, Ala. In 2006, EADS agreed to build a plant in China to win contracts there and the CFDT union claims that’s chipping away at the French workforce. British unions are hailing the contract saying it will secure thousands of jobs in plants that build major structures like wings. And, of course, Mobile couldn’t be happier about the decision. More...

Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clear audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the seventh consecutive year in Professional Pilot's 2007 Headset Preference Survey. Also rated "Best ANR Headset: The Aviation Consumer Product of the Year" by Aviation Consumer. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Aircraft Taxes & Youback to top 

Last week, the Colorado House of Representatives passed by a vote of 65-0 House Bill 1261, which exempts sales tax on new or used aircraft purchased out of state, following the state's loss of Adam Aircraft. Adam's recent end of operations cut 500 jobs and it is hoped the bill will encourage other manufacturers and distributors to do business. The existing law "makes it difficult, if not impossible, for aircraft manufacturers to locate in this state," the bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, told the Denver Business Journal. Buescher, who formerly ran an aircraft maintenance company, said the current system encourages sellers to move their aircraft out of state prior to official sale to avoid sales and use taxes. More...

For the Fun of Flying! Kindle Your Passion for Flying with the Cirrus SR Sport
Whether you're a new pilot looking for that perfect first plane or a pilot who craves the thrill of fun flying, the SRS is right for you! This light sport aircraft is an extension of the Cirrus product line for those who want the best and are interested in a plane for sporty, recreational, or entry-level missions. The SRS makes flying easier and more affordable than ever. Click here for more.
Terrorism Watch II: Protecting the Skiesback to top 

Military experts are warning that unmanned aerial drones could be very easily assembled and used by terrorists to conduct aerial attacks ... but, for pilots, the warning's wording may be more disturbing. "Sooner or later we're going to see a Cessna programmed to fly into a building," Rear Admiral Chris Parry told The Associated Press. The Rear Admiral went on to describe such potential attacks as "cheap" and "about as difficult to detect as a blackbird." The idea is not new. In 2003 six Hamas militants were killed in an explosion while working with a remote-controlled aircraft intended for use in an attack. Rear Admiral Parry is not counting on future outcomes to always end similarly. In 2006 an informant told the FBI he was aware of a plot to fit a model aircraft with explosives. The military warns that use of such inexpensive, simple means of delivery may continue to prove seductive to potential terrorists and even drug traffickers. More...

Sensenich Does It Again!
The industry's fixed pitch prop leader for more than 75 years has just introduced an amazing line of composite propellers for even more light sport and homebuilt aircraft. Proven on 5,000 airboats over the last eight years, as well as Rotax- and Jabiru-powered planes, the new lightweight, precision, composite props are now available for Continental- and Lycoming-powered planes. For more information, call (717) 569-0435 or click here.
News Briefsback to top 

The B-2 Spirit "Stealth Bomber" that crashed Saturday, Feb., 23, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was on fire prior to the crash, according to a report cited by the Air Force Times. The fire, which was reported shortly after takeoff, was followed by an uncommanded and uncontrollable roll to the right. The aircraft crashed between the ramp and taxiway at approximately 10:45 a.m. local time, and not before both pilots had safely ejected. One of the pilots suffered spinal compression and as of Thursday remained in the hospital. The crashed aircraft, the Spirit of Kansas, a part of the 509th Bomber Wing, had more than 5,000 flight hours. The remaining fleet is not "grounded" but under a "safety pause," according to the Air Force -- the aircraft could be called to service if tasked with a mission. During the safety pause, six B-52s have arrived "to replace" the remaining three B-2s in Guam. More...

Two experimental aircraft collided on the ground Saturday, at non-towered Arthur Dunn Airpark in Titusville, Fla., killing at least three. At about 8:30 a.m., one of the aircraft (a Velocity XL RG) landed, was attempting to land or was performing a low pass when it struck the other aircraft (an RV-8) as it taxied. Two occupants aboard the experimental Van's RV were killed. After the impact, the four-seat Velocity canard cartwheeled for roughly 300 feet before coming to rest, inverted. Witnesses came to the aid of that aircraft's two occupants, who suffered severe burns and were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. One of those occupants had also passed by the time of this writing. Both had suffered life-threatening injuries. More...

Piper Owners & Pilots — Gain Knowledge, Have Fun
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Piper Flyers — the Piper Flyer Association (PFA), 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 PFA is located in the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, 35 nm NW of Oshkosh. For more information, visit PiperFlyer.org.
News Briefsback to top 

As we reported last week, Ian Wilkinson, a senior Cathay Pacific captain, was fired three weeks after he did a high-speed, low-level pass over a Seattle-area airport in a new Boeing 777 he was delivering from the factory. It wasn’t the stunt that got him fired, it was the fact that he didn’t have permission to perform the fly-by, something the airline occasionally allows for airshows. But a story in Sunday’s Asian World News, reprinted by The Earth Times, raises the question of just how much authority Wilkinson needed, since the chairman of the airline, Christopher Pratt, was in a cockpit jumpseat for the whole performance. The airline confirmed that fact but said Pratt, who runs one of the biggest airlines in Asia, couldn’t be expected to know that the stunt wasn’t “authorized." "The chairman is not an aviator and he was fully aware that the captain was in full command of the flight," an unidentified spokeswoman said. "There was no request or suggestion from anyone in Cathay Pacific for the fly-by to take place. The decision was entirely that of the captain in command." More...

FAA, airlines not monitoring parts supply closely enough says OIG...
Plastic pilot certificates mandated for March 31, 2010...
Comment deadline on ADS-B is today. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

What Are the Advantages of Working with an Aviation Insurance Broker?
An aviation broker gives you a choice of coverage and pricing options offered by numerous insurance companies. Today's policies offer more enhancements and features, including coverage for handheld avionics, automatic increase in insured value, trip interruption, and more. The AOPA Insurance Agency can help you select the features that best meet your unique insurance needs. Call for a complimentary quote at (800) 622-2672, or go online.
New on AVwebback to top 

If the FSS briefer suggests you don't fly VFR, is it illegal to go? Just how unsafe is it if you do? AVweb's Thomas P. Turner has a system for figuring it out. More...

This month, AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you online courses, Sport-Pilot training, flight bags and much more. More...

Be sure to visit our new blog, AVweb Insider, for personal insights and commentary on the aviation industry from our staff of writers and editors. Today, Aviation Group director Paul Bertorelli wonders aloud if bio-fuels are really going to save G.A. as we know it. 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!
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Air Flyte, Inc. at KBAF in Westfield, Massachusetts.

We've heard of some pretty nifty things FBOs do to make their visitors feel at home, but AVweb reader Bob Cipolli painted a unique and inviting picture of this "new FBO located in the brand-new terminal building at Barnes/Westfield." Bob writes:

They have lineman ready to park you as soon as you taxi in and roll out an actual red carpet for every plane on their ramp. They even have cookies for my dog when she comes with me to the airport. First class organization all the way.

Red carpet? Dog cookies?? We have to agree, Bob — that's the very definition of "first class all the way"!

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!


So You Think You Are a Safe Pilot!
Aviation Safety magazine will keep your decision-making skills sharp with interesting and information-packed articles. You may find lots you didn't know! Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

If your "bucket list" includes an international trip over water to an exotic destination in your own airplane, then you need to hear this AVweb podcast. The very popular Cayman Caravan was just recently revived by Caribbean Flying Adventures as the "Cayman Islands Fly-In." They just completed their first trip, involving 16 planes ranging from a Cessna 172 to a Diamond TwinStar, and AVweb's Mike Blakeney spoke with Jim Parker, President and Chief Pilot, to see how it went. More...

Maybe we have a soft spot for videos that make us a little nervous, but today's "Video of the Week" selection (courtesy of AVweb reader Peter Snoeckx made us sit up and take notice. There's a happy ending, but this Swiss Air pilot has clearly had better days. In his defense, if you turn up the volume, you can hear the wind howling, and he did, after all, end up on the centerline. (Click through to watch.) More...

Dassault has introduced a jet that changes the playing field for business jet manufacturers, operators and pilots. That jet is the $40 million Falcon 7X. In this exclusive video, AVweb video editor Glenn Pew takes us inside the Falcon 7X. (Click through to watch.) More...

Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Flight Explorer Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Overheard at Santa Barbara, California. (I wasn't paying attention at the beginning of this call, so I don't know the type of aircraft.)

"Santa Barbara Clearance, N***** at FBO, requesting clearance to —"


"Oh, hell."

Clearance (deadpan and without hesitation):
"I can't send you there ... ."

Jo Duffy
via e-mail


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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