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Volume 14, Number 12a
March 17, 2008
 
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.
 
Safety Watchback to top 
 

LANCAIR SAYS NEW HOMEBUILT RULES A THREAT
Lancair President Joe Bartels said this week new rules for homebuilts under consideration by the FAA could put his company out of business. "If the FAA succeeds in doing what they tell us they want to do, I think it would be very difficult for us to stay in business here in Central Oregon, or anywhere in the U.S.," Bartels told the Bend Weekly News. "While we are certainly in the business of developing and selling high performance aircraft, and staying in the forefront of aviation technology, a key aspect of our business is the ability to provide the customer with all of the parts necessary to build a plane. To now say that I can't provide a section of carbon fiber wing as part of a kit, would really affect the entire industry." As AVweb and our sister publication Kitplanes have reported extensively, the FAA is looking at tightening homebuilt rules, particularly with regard to the amount of “professional” help builders can use to complete their projects. More...

FAA PRESSURED ON FLIGHT SCHOOL PROBE
Two Florida congressmen are calling on the FAA to make its investigation of Lantana-based Kemper Aviation a priority. Last Thursday company owner Jeff Rozelle and three passengers died when the Cessna 172 they were in crashed. It was the third crash of a Kemper aircraft since October and there have been a total of eight deaths. "On its face, with all these accidents, common sense would tell you this company has some problems and something is wrong," Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, said. He and Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, have written the agency asking for urgent action on an already existing probe into the company, which suspended operations after Thursday’s crash. 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.
 
No Glass Ceiling in 21st Century Skies ...back to top 
 

WAI, EAA TEAM UP FOR WOMENVENTURE
The historic and continuing contributions of women to aviation will be front and center at EAA AirVenture this July. Women in Aviation International (WAI) announced at its annual conference in San Diego that WomenVenture will culminate in the largest gathering of female pilots ever assembled on Aeroshell Square, the centerpiece exhibit area of AirVenture. The gathering will follow a week of seminars, speakers, business and social events in Oshkosh. “This is a dynamic time for Women in Aviation, International, as we continue in our mission to spread the word about the passion, excitement and career opportunities aviation offers to more and more women,” WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said as the conference closed on Sunday. More...

DON'T ASK, DO TELL -- WHEN GENDER DOESN'T MATTER
Squadron Leader Sue Jones commanded all air movements out of Basra in southern Iraq last year for a six-month stint that began in June -- she also served earlier in her career with the Royal Air Force as a married man and father of two. "These are medical matters of personal privacy; we will not comment on individual cases," a Ministry of Defense spokesman told the Telegraph.co.uk. Now remarried to a man, Jones told the Telegraph, "Following a heart to heart with my then wife six years ago, I decided to personally fund a sex change." The Sea King helicopter pilot says she's received full support from her colleagues in the RAF, never suffering any abuse and being judged only on her ability to do the job. "I am a determined, focused professional individual," she said, "who simply wants to get on with my life and do the job I love." More...

 
Do You Fly Experimental, Homebuilt, or Ultralight Aircraft?
Finding life insurance to cover you while flying can be difficult. Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) can provide full coverage life insurance at the best rates available. No Aviation Exclusions — Great Savings — A+ Rated Insurance Companies. PIC knows what you are flying and will not let you overpay for life insurance just because you are a pilot. Apply for a policy in less than five minutes! Call 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

SOUTHWEST AIRLINES FAA OVERSIGHT BLOWBACK
Fallout from the recent Southwest Airlines maintenance oversight fiasco that led to the airline's temporary grounding of 40 aircraft has resurrected accusations that the FAA is getting too cozy with the airlines. The FAA is quick to point out that the aircraft it oversees help compose one of the safest aviation systems in the world. Critics contend that the airlines the FAA is meant to regulate are too often referred to by the agency as customers, indicating an inappropriate relationship maintained by the regulating agency. For Southwest, reports suggest that the FAA inspector assigned to the airline knew of but did not report the shortcomings that ultimately prompted the agency to levy a record $10.2 million fine against the airline, and later led the airline to ground scores of aircraft. It may be the contradictions inherent in that series of events that have now led congressional investigators to call on airline and FAA employees with knowledge of substandard oversight practices to contact them. But it's not that simple. Today, some airline maintenance is performed overseas without oversight of any full-time FAA certified mechanics. More...

HELICOPTER MAINTENANCE AND PILOT MANSLAUGHTER
A New Zealand jury deliberated for roughly 10 hours before finding former maintenance company owner John Horrell, 56, and senior engineer, Ronald Potts, 60, guilty of manslaughter for the death of a pilot in a helicopter crash. The pilot and father of nine, Philip Heney, was killed when a tail component failed while landing a Robinson R22 helicopter, near his home. A passenger survived the crash. The accident took place Aug. 26, 2005, the same day Heney retrieved the aircraft from Skytech Aviation, where it had undergone maintenance. A prosecutor claimed the defendants failed to ensure that a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer directly supervised the work and failed to ensure it was inspected twice by qualified engineers. Counsel for the defendants argued former shop owner Horrell could not be expected to determine if the supervision was sufficient and that the accident was not the result of intentional criminal action, but human error. More...

 
Discover the Thrill
You are here when you discover that the thrill of hanging 10 has nothing on hanging around Cloud 9. In a brand-new Cessna Skyhawk, you too will discover life in a brand-new way, whether you're learning to fly or fulfilling the lifelong dream of owning a new Cessna. Call 1 (316) 517-6056, or visit CessnaYouAreHere.com.
 
Research & Developmentback to top 
 

RADAR RESEARCH MAY HELP PILOTS AVOID BIRD STRIKES
Worldwide, bird strikes cost airlines about $1.2 billion per year in repairs and downtime, according to the UK Central Science Laboratory, but new radar software designed to distinguish between the radar returns of birds and insect swarms may improve upon that. Serge Zaugg of the Swiss Ornithological Institute worked with colleagues across France, the Netherlands and Germany to combine statistical analysis, data-mining and artificial intelligence to create a computer algorithm that correctly identifies birds in radar returns, with roughly 95-percent accuracy. The key to the system's utility in the air traffic control environment is its speed. The researchers argue that air traffic controllers do not have the luxury of dedicating the amount of time necessary to accurately identify and distinguish returns from birds or bugs -- a function their new program provides, automatically. Most bird strikes occur on lower-altitude flight paths and near airports and the researchers' program was "trained" by information collected from flocks of birds or insects flying over the Sahara desert, but researchers are optimistic that their work my be ultimately be of benefit to air traffic controllers. More...

ASTROPHYSICIST ADDRESSES AIRLINE BOARDING
Boarding an aircraft could be seven times more efficient, saving airlines and passengers time and so potentially improving the income potential and quality of life for both, according to astrophysicist Jason Steffen of the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics in Illinois. Challenging the current standard of loading passengers in blocks from the back of the aircraft forward, Steffen instead employed the Darwinian "Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm" to streamline things. Translation: He picked random boarding plans, ran them through a computer and kept the best attributes of each until he arrived at an optimum combination. His solution requires slightly more concentration and cooperation (and perhaps intelligence) from the boarding public. The winning plan has occupants lining up outside of the aircraft in order from window seat to aisle and skipping every other row. A 30-row aircraft would be boarded first by the passengers holding tickets for seats 30A, 28A, and 26A. Behind them in line would be those assigned to 29A, 27A and 25A. This would go on until all the window seats were filled. Then, the same system would fill in the middle rows and then the aisles. The real advantage of the system, according to Steffen, comes from spreading out individuals instead of concentrating them, and their baggage, together. Implementation of the system would not come without challenges. 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.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

AOPA SPENT $4.8 MILLION ON LOBBYING
AOPA spent almost $4.8 million—or a little more than $10 per member—buttonholing federal politicians and bureaucrats on a range of issues of interest to GA pilots in 2007. Groups are required to disclose the money they spend on lobbying in Washington and give a breakdown on the issues addressed by those efforts. Of course, most of that money has been used to bend the ears of those who can affect the outcome of future FAA funding. The FAA wants to introduce a user fee system, which AOPA and virtually all GA groups oppose. AOPA spent more than $1.4 million in the second half of the year on that issue alone. More...

SAINT EXUPERY MYSTERY SOLVED?
Has the final chapter been written in one of the great aviation mysteries? A former Luftwaffe pilot says he shot down Antoine de Saint Exupery as the French writer, considered by some to be the greatest aviation author, flew his P-38 off the coast of France in 1944. But Horst Rippert, now 88, who claimed 28 victories during the Second World War, says he never would have opened fire if he’d known his favorite author was at the controls. "If I had known it was Saint-Exupery, I would never have shot him down,” Rippert told the London Daily Telegraph. "He knew admirably how to describe the sky, the thoughts and feelings of pilots. His work inspired many of us to take up our vocation." More...

ON THE FLY ...
Aspen Avionics Evolution gets TSO ...
Aussie pilots say CASA sensationalized AD ...
Continental planning biofuel flight. 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.
 
Readers' Voicesback to top 
 

AVMAIL: MAR. 17, 2008
Reader mail this week about Southwest Airlines, sunken airplanes, the Distinguished Flying Cross and more. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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...

 
AOPA Aircraft Financing
Larry Jones of Bay City, Texas has used AOPA Aircraft Financing four times to purchase everything from a Cessna 152 to a Beechcraft Baron. "I do flight instruction and rentals, and when someone comes to me interested in purchasing a plane, I tell them to go through AOPA," Jones said. "The staff makes it really easy to go through the process, and they explain the paperwork and what it's for and how to do it. It's just so easy." Click here to learn more.
 
New on AVwebback to top 
 

A PILOT'S HISTORY: CHAP. 7 -- AIR RACES
Aviation got a big boost from ex-military pilots and aircraft after WWII, especially in air races, as Carl Moesly recounts in this history. More...

PROBABLE CAUSE #54: ONE-MINUTE BRIEFING
To get results from your weather briefing, you have to make a small investment of your time. More...

AVWEB INSIDER BLOG: ARE DIESELS REALLY MORE ECONOMICAL?
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 Consumer Editor-in-Chief Paul Bertorelli shares a few insights gleaned from the month he's spent shaking down diesel engines and comparing them to their avgas counterparts.

Read more. More...

 
Welcome to Jeppesen E-Charts
Jeppesen Electronic Charts — or e-charts — are here. They're compliant and replacing paper charts worldwide. E-charts will make your flying faster, safer, and better. Whether you display your electronic charts in the cockpit or print them out and use the paper, e-charts are easier to carry, easier to use, and easier to revise than traditional paper charts. You'll spend more time flying and less time preparing to fly. Learn more about the many benefits of switching to electronic charts by visiting Jeppesen online.
 
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: OUT OF THE BLUE AVIATION (KAWO, ARLINGTON, WA)

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Out of the Blue Aviation at KAWO in Arlington, Washington.

According to AVweb reader Jeanne Howe, Out of the Blue "has it all":

There is a comfortable lounge with great espresso, pilot supplies and top-notch instructors. Owner Cathy Mighell is enthusiastic about all she has developed. As a Cessna Pilot Training Center, the staff is knowledgeable and able to guide students and pilots to meet their needs. Everyone is friendly and excited about their seminars and events. I've enjoyed the North Sound Poker Run and look forward to their Mountain Flying seminar and beach BBQ getaway.

From Jeanne's description, it sounds like the FBO at Out of the Blue is a destination unto itself!

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...

 
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.
 
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 
 

NATIONAL TEST PILOT SCHOOL'S GREG LEWIS SHARES THE SECRET OF STAYING CURRENT IN MULTIPLE AIRCRAFT WITH IFR MAGAZINE
When you fly more than one model of aircraft, it can be a challenge to stay current in each one. This month, IFR magazine's Glenn Pew asked Greg Lewis, deputy director of the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, Calif., what he recommends. Greg is a 7,300-hour test pilot who routinely flies 13 different types of aircraft and has a few helpful tips for any pilot trying to keep his head in the right cockpit. More...

BAILING OUT: IFR REFRESHER TALKS WITH BALLISTIC RECOVERY SYSTEMS (BRS)
Based in South St. Paul, Minnesota, BRS produces the parachute systems installed as standard equipment on all Cirrus Design aircraft and available as an after-market installation on several other makes and models (including the Cessna 172 and 182 and various light sport aircraft). BRS claims to have saved more than 200 lives with the system. To get more insight into the decision-making process involved in deploying an aircraft parachute system, Meredith Saini caught up with Larry Williams, CEO of Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), and John Gilmore, BRS technical and sales representative. More...

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON "DRAG RACES" BUGATTI VEYRON
Given the U.K.-based auto show Top Gear's penchant for racing, one wonders how "Video of the Week" made it this far without running this showdown between a twin-engine jet (the Eurofighter Typhoon) and the made-for-speed Bugatti Veyron. This one puts a new spin on the classic battle between land and air speedsters and comes to us courtesy of AVweb reader Dave Gwinn. (Click through to watch.) More...

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: DASSAULT FALCON 7X FLY-BY-WIRE BUSINESS JET
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...

 
No Cute Cartoons, No Fancy Covers, IFR Magazine Brings You the Facts
IFR magazine has insightful facts to polish your proficiency, updates on changing regs, and articles that help keep your decision-making skills sharp in the demanding IFR environment. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
 
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"

We've heard different variations on this tale through the years, but here's one that can't be beat, if only for sheer enthusiasm:


I tried to pass on this little tale many years ago without success, and since I never saw a response, I will try one more time, just for my old Yankee mate, Ken Sunderland:

An Aussie grazier flew his antique Auster aircraft to Mascot airport, Sydney, some time back to enact some business at the offices of business acquaintances. Not being familiar with controlled airspace procedures (although making it safely to the airport), he required and requested guidance to the GA parking area. Much later, after the completion of his business and returning to the airport, he eventually taxied out to the major runway 16, again guided by ATC to take his place in the queue for take-off clearance.

When finally cleared to line up and subsequently cleared for take-off, his instructions were to call "123 airborne" (the departure frequency). Applying maximum power and concentrating on keeping his aircraft on the centerline on the roll, the tail rose, and soon after that, the aircraft became airborne — whereupon the pilot pressed his transmit button and called:

"1! 2! 3! ... Airborne!"

Geoff Litchfield
via e-mail

More...

 
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...

 
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

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.

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.

More...