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Volume 14, Number 25a
June 16, 2008
Cirrus Perspective™ by Garmin: A New Beginning for General Aviation
As a pilot, you sit in a cockpit and experience the world in ways others can only imagine. As leaders in technology and innovation, Cirrus and Garmin sat in the cockpit together and imagined how to redesign the flying experience. Together they have re-imagined the pilot-airplane interface, and as a result, revolutionized general aviation. See the result at CirrusDesign.com.
Hiring More So More Can Fail?back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

After spending roughly $78,000 on each one, the FAA's own projections predict that some 14 percent of new controller hires will elect to do something other than be air traffic controllers this year, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The washout rate more than doubles that of 2006 and is up substantially from the 9 percent who left in 2007. In response, the FAA says it is hiring more people than it needs to stay ahead of retirements and controller departures, but Patrick Forrey, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), says the controller staffing crisis is real ... and it's because of low wages. The Transportation Department Inspector General's (IG) recent report discussed in the House last Wednesday says that top pay for controllers has been cut from $143,984 to $106,200 while starting pay is down to $37,800 from $44,800. 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.
User Fee How-Toback to top 

AOPA recently announced that a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) titled Federal User Fees: A Design Guide is a "49-page instruction manual" that teaches Congress and federal agencies "when and how to charge for government 'services.'" While fees are not part of current FAA funding legislation pending before Congress, and the report does not target FAA funding, AOPA warns that there is no long-term protection against fees built into currently proposed FAA funding legislation. AOPA says the GAO's report shows increasing deficits based on current long-term funding solutions for the FAA. The GAO attempts to distinguish between taxes and user fees, but adds that the distinction is not always clear-cut and that when services benefit both users and the general public, both fees and general revenues should be used to supply those services. More...

Proponents suggest that raising fuel taxes on aviation fuel would raise nearly $1 billion for the government and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but opponents say the idea seems unlikely to succeed in its environmental goals. The tax makes no bones about reducing emissions by increasing costs associated with air travel, thereby discouraging it. And therein lies the problem; according to the proposal's opponents, travelers will still be burning fossil fuels to travel. Plus, because of an emissions trading scheme set to be implemented by the Australian government, a cap may be set on overall emissions, but reductions in emissions from one market segment will then be made available as increases from another segment. The end result, opponents of the tax argue could be a reduction in air travel along with a potential increase in overall emissions and a failure of the planned emissions trading scheme. More...

Fly With Bose® Aviation Headset X™
Enjoy an unmatched combination of full-spectrum noise reduction, clearer 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.
Fuel For Thoughtback to top 

Rising oil prices have India's recently booming aviation industry seeking governmental intervention through application of lower taxes to help stem losses that have been piling up since last year. Fuel accounts for roughly half the cost of operation for Indian carriers, according to some sources, and the steadily rising costs of air travel passed on to their passengers by the airlines has resulted in a slowdown of passenger growth. Going forward an overall loss of $2 billion plus is expected for the 2008-2009 timeframe and that is the amount being sought by a delegation seeking subsidies from the government on behalf of the airlines. The Indian airline industry lost more than $1 billion in the fiscal year 2007-2008. Last week, the Prime Minister refused to announce any immediate relief, but said the government would review the situation Monday (June 16) and hinted that fare structures should be addressed. The trickle down is likely to hit manufacturers as Indian carriers postpone planes for fleet acquisition. More...

A commercial aircraft at New Zealand's Paraparumu Airport suffered the loss of 26 gallons of fuel and theft is the suspected cause. The thief or thieves are suspected to have made off with about $200 worth of avgas. Fuel prices in the area had risen 20 percent in the past month, rounding the figure to a 100-percent year-over-year increase. The pilot became aware of the alleged theft during his preflight inspection when he noticed the aircraft's fuel caps were improperly secured and fuel was splattered on the ground. The theft has raised concerns on the airport over security with one pilot noting that the pre-flight should catch such aircraft tampering, that doesn't mean that it always will. The event is being investigated by local police who are already investigating a theft of 26 gallons from a tanker at a golf club ten days prior. More...

JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source
GPSMap 495 and 496 have AOPA Directory and terrain. 496 includes automotive directions and XM weather and music. Have an old GPS? Do not let it lose its value! Call (800) 323-5966 for the current value.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA), 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 

The FAA moved quickly on an NTSB recommendation and issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) late Thursday requiring inspection of Eclipse 500 throttle quadrants. Eclipse apparently moved quickly, too, and reports indicated all the aircraft were in compliance within a day of the AD's issuance. The AD was issued in response to an incident on June 5 when Eclipse N612KB experienced a throttle failure while on approach to Chicago Midway, resulting in maximum uncontrolled thrust from both Pratt and Whitney Canada PW601F turbofan engines. According to the AD, the pilot firewalled the throttles during a windshear encounter and pushed them past their limits. "...the pilot applied full throttle using enough force against the forward stops to exceed the design throttle position signal maximum range. The associated fault mode held the engine thrust settings at the last known throttle position, which was maximum," the AD says. More...

Cirrus Design has opened a sales center in Athens to provide sales and service of its products to the region. The facility's mission is to drive sales growth and showcase Cirrus aircraft to "inspire" and improve the Greek general aviation market, according to Robert Alchanatis, managing director of the new sales center. "We hope to make general aviation more accessible and affordable to Greek pilots," he said, commenting on the company's "innovative" ownership structures. Cirrus sales centers currently nest in North America, South America, Europe, China, South Africa, Australia and the Caribbean with foreign customers now accounting for more than 35 percent of Cirrus' sales. According to Cirrus, Greece offers an accelerating economy, great weather and multiple island destinations. More...

Lycoming® — The Engines of Choice
Lycoming® produces the most complete line of horizontally opposed, air-cooled four-, six-, and eight-cylinder certified aircraft engines available, with power ranging from 100 to 400 HP. For homebuilders, air race and aerobatic pilots, and others looking for non-certified engines with Lycoming dependability, Lycoming offers custom-built Thunderbolt Engines. Lycoming piston engines have a reputation for reaching or exceeding TBO. For more information, please visit Lycoming.com.
New Briefsback to top 

The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) has gone online. Now from the ASRS website, pilots can receive CALLBACK in their inbox by signing up online. The monthly safety bulletin includes excerpts from ASRS incident reports with supporting commentary as well as occasional research studies and aviation safety information. The ASRS website also offers an online database and Electronic Report Submission portal that accepted 45,000 reports from pilots, controllers, mechanics and flight attendants last year. More...

Airgyro of Spanish Fork, Utah, intends to focus on the fun and affordability of sport aviation and turn out some sport pilots in as few as 15 days. The company has alliances with Higher Class Aviation, which produces a two-seat tandem light sport aircraft and Australian Light Wing, which produces the Outback SP2000, but it also distributes the Sportcopter 2 gyrocopter. Pricing of aircraft sold by Airgyro starts at $65,000 "for a very well equipped machine," says the company. Airgyro's programs include financing options and insurance, plus fight training and "ongoing support." The company says it wants to bring aviation to a new generation that may have thought recreational flying was simply out of economic reach. More...

Between Wheels Up and Wheels Down, There Is One Important Word: How
As the team managing the FAA AFSS system, Lockheed Martin serves nearly 90,000 general aviation pilots every week. Providing timely, accurate information and helpful service 24/7. From weather forecasts to en route information, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, ensuring flight safety in the National Airspace System is all a question of how. And it is the how that makes all the difference. Click here for more.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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...

Avidyne Extends Interface Capability for Tactical WX Detection System
Avidyne's TWX670 Tactical Weather Detection System has a Compatibility Mode providing a second output format for display of monochromatic lightning strike and storm cell information on a number of existing lightning detection-compatible displays. The TWX670's normal RS-232 output protocol supports the TWX670's TWxCell™ and Color Strike modes on compatible displays, including Avidyne's EX500, EX5000 and MHD300. With Compatibility Mode, the TWX670 provides an alternate protocol compatible with other manufacturers' displays. Click here for more information.

Sign up to be an Avidyne Insider.
New on AVwebback to top 

Not every challenging airplane is actually a dog. AVweb's Rick Durden thinks some of the blame belongs to clueless pilots. More...

Our writer cleanses the soul about some of his flying misadventures. He obviously walked away from them, but not before learning some valuable lessons. More...

Forget user fees and high gas prices...if GA gets done in, it will be because of the utter stupidity of stuff we voluntarily put up with. And we seem to experience more of it every year. Read this week's AVweb Insider blog by Paul Bertorelli, who's off on a tear about small airport security. More...

The Five (5) Things No Pilot Should Take Off Without!
Dr. Blue discusses what he believes are the five essentials every pilot should have on board for a safe and fun flying summer. Click here to see what Dr. Blue carries in his airplane!
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to AAR's location at Will Rogers World Airport (KOKC) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

A couple of weeks ago, AVweb reader Mitch Hargrave found himself in the vicinity of Oklahoma City, checking the local weather reports:

I checked the weekend weather, and the chance for thundershowers was quite low for the OKC area. But, wouldn't you know it, three hours after arriving I could see storms brewing out to the west. As the evening wore on, they intensified and were moving toward Will Rogers, where our beloved N33V was sitting out on the ramp. Feeling not a little uneasy, I called AAR. I was told not to worry — 33V was [already] in the big hangar! That, my friends, is service. Needless to say, I slept soundly that night.

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!


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: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

The folks at EAA are always coming up with ways to keep AirVenture fresh, and this year is no exception. From rock concerts to rocket planes, this year's event promises plenty of entertainment value, and there will be lots of product and technology announcements, too. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with EAA's Media and Public Affairs Director Dick Knapinski about the summer's most exciting event. More...

Our latest "Video of the Week" is one that's actually been sent to us several times over the last few months, especially when high winds and difficult landings take the spotlight here on AVweb. And to be honest, we're a little surprised to discover that we haven't shared this one yet, so here goes — heavy winds bring an air show fly-over to a seeming standstill, much to the delight of the crowd below. (Click through to watch.) More...

The crash on takeoff of a 509th Air Wing, Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber, February 23 operating at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was caused by water in the aircraft's sensors, according to an Air Combat report issued Thursday. Specifically, moisture in three port transducer units "distorted data introduced by a B-2 Spirit's air data system" which led to flawed information entering the bomber's flight control computers. The aircraft was reacting to inaccurate airspeed and a "perceived" negative angle of attack. This resulted in an "uncommanded 30 degree nose-high pitch-up on takeoff," according to the Air Force. (Click through to watch our video crash report.) More...

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.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


This is an exchange that happened ... on a trip from Las Vegas (Henderson) to Oklahoma City (Sundance Air Park). We were level at 15,000 and just handed off from Las Vegas TRACON to LA Center. We had been at 15,000 for a few minutes and were definitely hungry to get to our final altitude of FL270. The busy airspace due to a NASCAR race complicated matters for everyone.

Starship XXXX (me):
"LA Center, good afternoon, Starship XXXX level at one five thousand, direct cowboy, looking for higher."

"Starship XXXX, LA Center. Maintain one five thousand MD-80 traffic in your six o'clock position in a very slow climb. I need to keep you at one five thousand until clear of traffic."

Starship XXXX:
"LA Center, Starship XXXX, maintain one five thousand.


"LA Center, Starship XXXX, no contact with traffic."

ZLA (without missing a beat):
"That's the idea."

Christopher Dean
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

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.)

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