AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 41a

October 6, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Discover the Thrill of a Family Getaway
Discover that the best family vacation photos aren't taken through the window of a minivan. In a brand-new Cessna Stationair, every single weekend becomes your chance for a family getaway. Without ever hearing the dreaded words "Are we there yet?" Call 1 (800) 4-CESSNA. Or visit CessnaYouAreHere.com.
Top News: Another Chance to Speak Out on ADS-B back to top 

ADS-B Comment Period Reopened

The FAA's proposed performance requirements and mandates for ADS-B (the likely future of air navigation) equipment aboard aircraft first closed March 2, 2008, but has now been reopened for 30 days to allow the public to comment on certain recommendations. The Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) has made 36 recommendations and divided them into two main categories -- those to be resolved before the rule is adopted and those that may be set aside for future action. Your comments are welcome before Nov. 3. The vast majority of comments regarding required equipment were critical that proposed rules would not replace requirements for transponders. AOPA has stated that the FAA underestimated the financial impact of requiring operators to retain both their transponders and add ADS-B equipment. The ARC now suggests that the FAA pursue an implementation strategy that ultimately removes the requirement for transponders from low-altitude domestic operators. View the complete ARC report here. And go here to learn how to add your comments.

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.
More Discoveries at Fossett Crash Site back to top 

Fossett Crash Site Update

Officials in California working to recover the wreckage of Steve Fossett's aircraft, discovered Wednesday last week on a mountainside near Mammoth Lakes, Calif. (altitude, roughly 9,700 feet above sea level), succeeded this weekend in completing most of the task, but may have to postpone their most thorough efforts due to weather. Thursday, a bone fragment was found and removed from the site. Officials had said the search Friday would include 50 people and five dogs. That search recovered three more bone fragments. All remains have been handed over to the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensics to determine if they belong to the body of Fossett. Fossett disappeared Sept. 3, 2007, after departing from a private strip in Nevada, in a blue and white Super Decathalon. Initial reports suggest the aircraft crashed and the wreckage slid up the mountainside for about 100 feet with the engine continuing an additional 300 feet. The first evidence of the crash was discovered by a hiker, last Monday, Sept. 29, roughly one-quarter mile from the crash site.

The hiker found a tattered sweatshirt, about $1,000 in cash and Fossett's pilot's certificate in the densely wooded, mountainous forest near Mammoth Lakes. The hiker reported his findings, Tuesday, when he says he remembered who Fossett was. The area of wreckage has been described as a "clear area" near Minaret Lake Trail, steeply sloped; the engine was found 300 feet from the next major area of debris.

Smart Safety ... Leave Anxiety Out of Your Flight Plan
As a Cirrus owner, you join a lifestyle that takes safety very seriously. Whether flying for pleasure or business, you always fly smart and safe. Cirrus Perspective by Garmin is designed to help by giving you more time and information to make better decisions, reduce workload, and improve your overall flying experience. Cirrus Perspective adds more ability to experience the Cirrus lifestyle fully and leave anxiety out of your flight plan. For complete features, go online.
Coming Soon to a Phone Near You — The Weather back to top 

Avidyne Offers Text Messaging And Datalink Weather

Avidyne's MLX770 two-way datalink transceiver will by year-end allow general aviation pilots to send and receive SMS text messages directly to mobile phones directly through their cockpits' Avidyne Entegra EX500/EX5000-series multifunction displays. The service will come at a cost of somewhere between $1 and $2 per message as a result of their use of Iridium Satellite bandwidth, and outgoing messages will be limited to 32 characters entered via the control knob. While recent reports of a fatal train collision in California note that one of the conductors involved in the accident sent a text message less than half a minute before impact, Avidyne hopes that pilots "will use discretion and good judgment" when sending or acknowledging messages. The messages are always displayed as low-priority cyan and so are programmed to be outshined by yellow traffic or red terrain alerts. The system also provides the two-way datalink to Iridium satellites and so can provide weather data beyond the range of XM or Sirius networks.

Pricing for the MLX770 two-way datalink transceiver and antenna starts at about $12,000, boxed. You'll then have to pay for installation plus a $70-$120 per month service fee (based on 10 hours of monthly flight time).

WSI Offers Cellphone Weather

WSI announced Sunday the release of Pilotbrief Mobile, which offers users the company's aviation weather and hazard products via mobile devices like the Blackberry, Treo, and iPhone. They system does not require installation of a software application on your device and is compatible with common "smartphone" internet browsers, but it does cost about $10 per month. The company says the service offers subscribers "a rich graphical" user interface and access to "the majority of graphical and textual products" offered by WSI's Pilotbrief Online. It also offers a "snapshot" homepage to display decoded METAR and local NOWrad(R) for a user-defined area. "Wherever you are, you can get the aviation-quality weather you rely on," says WSI director of product management, Paul Hathaway.

Life Insurance Premiums Continue to Decrease in 2008!
According to a Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education report, 3/4 of Americans think life insurance is too expensive. Term and permanent life insurance rates are generally half from a decade ago, partly due to life expectancy increases. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with proper insurance planning at the most affordable rates available. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
This Uncertain Economy back to top 

Boeing Deliveries Fall Amid Machinist Strike

The world's number-two commercial aircraft manufacturer delivered 84 planes in the third quarter, 23 percent fewer aircraft than the same period in 2007 ... when the company was not enduring a machinists strike and its country was not experiencing serious financial concern. Boeing has not produced aircraft since Sept. 6, when 27,000 machinists walked off the job seeking a stronger health, pension and compensation plan. The company has seen record demand as airlines seek modern and more fuel-efficient aircraft and its deliveries equate to profits. At this time, Boeing has an order backlog for nearly 3,700 aircraft, which would keep the machinists busy for another seven years if they slightly improved on their recent 40 aircraft per month output. Running with substantial cash reserves and not overburdened by debt, Boeing's current condition is not yet compounded by any credit crisis, real or perceived, but its customers (and perhaps its employees) may not feel they enjoy the same luxuries.

Boeing can help insulate certain buyers through its own financing, but the fragility of the airline industry compounded by a global economic slowdown could lead to order cancellations. According to Boeing, that hasn't happened, yet, but the company acknowledges the importance of maintaining low costs and high operating efficiency amid worldwide economic uncertainty and internal unrest.

Diamond D-Jet Wins SwiftJet Order

SwiftJet, a new Canadian on-demand airline offering service "anywhere and anytime to destinations around the world," has purchased five Diamond D-JET aircraft with options for 10 more. The complete order (options included) would make SwiftJet Canada's largest D-JET operator and its first charter customer. SwiftJet hopes to "re-define chartered travel and turn it into a hassle-free low cost, private class option." Diamond expects to achieve certification of its D-JET in 2009 with aircraft deliveries to begin that year. SwiftJet hopes to offer Canadian businesspeople the option of air travel and time savings where previously ground travel was the only realistic option. In the U.S., emerging air taxi service DayJet had hoped to accomplish much the same, hoping to use the Eclipse 500 to offer a compelling alternative to the hub-and-spoke system offered by larger carriers. DayJet began with 12 aircraft operating from five cities in Florida and ended late last month with a cessation of service blamed in part on the inability to arrange financing during the current credit crunch. Other operators, including SATSair and ImagineAir, hope to step up to fill DayJet's void and may be leaving lessons for neighbors and peers to the north.

JA Air Center Moving to Chicagolands Aurora Municipal Airport (KARR)
Opening December 1st, the four-building campus will feature a 20,000-sq.-ft. arrival/departure canopy, 90,000 sq. ft. of hangar space, 60,000 sq. ft. of offices, and a separate VIP arrival terminal. The FBO will feature an impressive list of amenities and Conoco Phillips aviation products. Rental space for corporate flight departments will be available. For more information, go online. (PDF)
News Briefs back to top 

The Pilot Shortage ... In Australia

Reports of a pilot shortage in Australia suggest similarity to concerns about the U.S. economy in that it may get worse before it gets better. Down under, aviation experts point to a lack of experienced instructors available to teach new pilots interested in entering the profession. The head of the aviation academy at the University of South Australia, Stephen Phillips, says CASA's own figures (which are not yet publicly available) show that the pool of advanced instructors shrank by roughly 10 percent during the last fiscal year. Going forward, Phillips expects a stagnation in the number of instructors while he sees a need for 7300 new pilots by 2026. Phillips hopes to see scholarships subsidies and increased salaries rise to match the need. While big airlines face the test of high fuel prices and have slowed their recruitment, that lull is not expected to last and some say the current situation has only brought about a shift in demand toward smaller operators.

Stop by AOPA's NBAA Booth and Save 35% on Membership
Stop by AOPA's NBAA booth (#1815) and join at a 35% discount — a $48 savings for combined AOPA membership and AOPA Legal Services Plan (LSP) for ATP pilots. Already a member? Stop by, take the AOPA survey, and enter to win an Amazon Kindle, the revolutionary wireless reading device. For information on AOPA's benefits, visit online.
More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 

AVwebBiz: Daily NBAA Coverage Direct to Your Inbox

Interested in the National Business Aviation Association's Annual Convention & Trade Show, going on right now in Orlando, Florida? We are — our newsteam is there covering every major development at the show, and if you receive our sister newsletter, AVwebBiz, you're getting the lowdown on every development, from Honeywell's market predictions to Harrison Ford's latest partnership with Cessna to a grab bag of exciting new product roll-outs.

If you're not subscribed to AVwebBiz, you fix that with a quick visit to the AVweb Profile Center (http://www.avweb.com/profile/). Just click on "Update E-Mail Subscriptions" and tick the box beside AVwebBiz, and you'll get our daily coverage of NBAA for the rest of the week and our weekly round-up of business aviation news every Wednesday morning thereafter.

Dr. Blue Says, "Be Smart — Carry a PLB!"
Flying, hiking, camping, riding your ATV or bike — accidents happen that can become a life-threatening situation. Be prepared with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It's as easy as pushing a button. PLBs from Aeromedix.com include the ACR MicroFix 406 MHz for pilots when you're enjoying activities in unpopulated areas. Click now to visit Aeromedix.com for complete details.
New on AVweb back to top 

CEO of the Cockpit #87: Fly the Biggies by Starting with the Smallies

AVweb's "CEO of the Cockpit" loves his RC Cub, but it's a different beast entirely from what he usually is in charge of.

Click here for the full story.

The quiet home I expected to find when I returned from my last trip was not as serene as I might have hoped. My nephew Kermit was there and was going to stay for at least a few days while his parents vacationed in Vegas.

The first indication I had that he was in the building was the wreckage of my radio-controlled model airplane in the entryway of our house as I came in and dropped my suitcase and "brain bag" (flight kit).

His presence was also announced by my lovely, long-suffering wife, who was on her way out the door to celebrate my homecoming by playing tennis for a few hours with her friends.

"Oh, by the way," she said, "Kermit is here. Go easy on him -- he just accidentally broke your toy airplane."

She never did respect my dedication to all things aeronautical. Sure, the RC model in question was a styrofoam Cub, powered by a small, electric engine, but it was still an aircraft and deserved all the respect and awe that such a machine should engender.

Not a toy! I yelled out to her as she climbed into the Camry.

"You bought it at a toy store!" she shouted in reply.

Kermit Realizes That It Isn't Easy Being Green

"I thought it would be easy to fly," said Kermit. He was slouched all over my black, fake-leather La-Z-Boy recliner in the den. "I mean, how hard could an electric, toy airplane be? I guess I should have asked your permission, but you were on a trip."

Don't worry about it, Kermit. I don't usually have my cell phone turned on when I fly and you probably did me a favor. With my model-airplane flying skills, it was only a matter of time before I totaled the damn thing myself.

"I know what you mean," said my nephew. "I thought that a little, electric, flying model like that was pretty cool and would be easy to fly, not to mention the fact that it was a totally 'green' aircraft and all. Did you buy an electric one to minimize your carbon footprint?"

Naw; I fly 767s and rip big carbon trails in the stratosphere every day. I bought an electric model because those little gas engines scare the crap out of me and they are really noisy. My friend Rick, a big RC enthusiast who has been trying to teach me how to fly this model, told me that if I ever want to move up to the heavy models, I'd eventually have to transition to gas. I thought I'd stick with electric power plants.

The CEO Fears .049s

I think my dread of Cox engines goes all the way back to my youth. I always bugged my dad to buy me gas model airplanes and, when he did, I was always afraid of the engines. He tried to help me over my wimpiness and helped me start the engine when I started out flying control-line airplanes ...

"You mean those ones that make you spin in a circle?"

Yep. Those are the ones. Even when my dad and I managed to get the airplane started and in the air, I usually got so dizzy I tipped over and crashed the thing before it ran out of gas. Flying control-line model airplanes for me was like a very noisy game of dizzy-bat. I always ended up falling down and my models never fared well.

Also, that fuel smelled weird; and if it got on your hands and the weather was the least bit cool, your fingers would freeze. Then, your now numb fingers would slip on the prop, resulting in the thing whanging you when you tried to start the engine for the next flight.

Jets Are OK, Though ...

"I don't understand," Kermit said as he climbed out of the recliner and helped me pick up the pieces of my model Cub. "You are scared of little .049 engines, but jet engines, big radial engines, and even rocket engines don't bother you in the least."

Fears aren't based on logic, Kermit. I am terrified of those flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, but have enjoyed many an afternoon watching wingless simians at the local zoo.

I think you fear what has bitten you. Oily .049 propellers have definitely bitten me, so I still am a little afraid of them. Pilots who have had a bad experience in a crosswind landing tense up even during the mildest of conditions, and philandering pilots deserve what they get if the phone rings because that flight attendant from last week is calling him at home.

Jet engines are things I've always loved to be around. I love their sound, their smell, the charred feeling you get if you follow too closely behind them in a golf cart. I like all of it. Same thing applies for big, radial engines.

Size Matters only to Pilots

"I've flown with you in the Champ and in the 172," Kermit said. "I thought flying a model airplane would be easier because it was smaller and cheaper. Is flying big airliners the same kind of leap? I guess I'm asking if an experienced 172 pilot could safely fly a 767. Are they the same thing or are they as different as a champ and a RC model?

Kermit sat back down because he has known his favorite uncle long enough to know when a long-winded rant was coming on. I stepped out but soon returned after grabbing a diet drink out of my office fridge and I began my soliloquy.

Nephew, it is an unwritten, but nevertheless valid, law of aviation that every pilot thinks that every other pilot's airplane is a piece of cake to fly. Guys who fly the big iron with me and have flown little else in their lives assume that the pilot flying the Cirrus on final in front of us has it really easy. Gals who fly the 172 or Champ with me assume that all ATPs do is watch the autopilot fly all day.

Believe it or not, my friends in the model-airplane club look down their nose at both groups of pilots. Nothing to them is more complex in aviation than flying a radio-controlled model aircraft. After all, you aren't sitting in the thing and aren't really oriented to flying it, as you probably learned today when you turned the wrong way and crashed.

All three groups of fliers are as right as they are wrong.

I have flown GA flights that would drive a big-jet pilot totally nuts. Fixed-card ADF approaches and holding, underpowered climbs through weather that my GA ride couldn't climb above or have the speed to go around, passengers sitting right behind you, spitting their comments directly into your ear. All of these things make "little airplane" flying much harder than navigating your average fan-jet transport.

On the other hand, GA jocks don't have 300 litigious and angry people riding behind them. They don't get the constant scrutiny airline pilots enjoy from the Fuzz and, in terms of stress and fear, I'd stack up my last Cat IIIb in a turbulent snowstorm up against any crosswind landing they have ever done in their GA spam cans.

Model airplane people? Well, nobody much cares if they crash except them. Many of them are actual pilots of both the airline and the GA world, and as you have learned, it takes a lot of skill to pilot even the simplest RC bird.

Systems -- Feel -- Nerds!

Big airplanes are all about systems knowledge and operation but require just as much feel as your average Skyhawk to fly properly. It is true that big-airplane pilots fly on autopilot a lot. You would too if you had it available and had a nine-hour leg in front of you. Airliners are very sensitive in pitch, especially at altitude. GA pilots would have a lot of trouble with that.

Light GA airplanes are getting to be more and more about systems but they still lack the resources that an airline pilot takes for granted. When I fly the 767, all I need to do to get an answer to a question is to ask my copilot or datalink my query to hundreds of company experts. GA pilots have resources but they tend to have to be more self-sufficient. Airline pilots would probably overestimate what their GA airplane could do and that would get them in trouble. They would also tend to flare 60 feet in the air, which can cause a 172 to land really hard.

Model airplane guys sometimes put dolls into their models. They spend hour after hour in their basements, totally ignoring the cable television and their families, both available above their heads, and concentrate instead of getting that cowling detail just right. Let's face it: Model airplane people, including this one, are more than a little nerdy at times.

Kermit Sees His Mistake

"So," said Kermit as he looked over the wreckage of my styrofoam flying dream, "I should probably get some lessons from a good model airplane pilot before I try this again."

Yes, I said. The good thing about this crash, aside from nobody getting hurt, is that this will not appear on your future-pilot permanent record. The bad news is that you will have to buy me a new model airplane.

In the airline world, we call this "accountability." In our little world, we call this $129. At the five bucks an hour I pay you to cut our lawn, I see a lot of lawn mower piloting in your future.

Want to read more from AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit? Check out the rest of his columns.

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AVweb Insider Blog: There Are Affordable Airplanes — The Katana Is One

In the latest installment of the AVweb Insider blog, Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli explains why Diamond's little Katana is one of the unsung bright spots of general aviation and wonders why it doesn't get more attention. With a spotlight in the "Used Aircraft Guide" in this month's Aviation Consumer, maybe Paul can raise the profile just a little.

Read more.

Dual Antenna Traffic Systems Simply Perform Better
Avidyne's dual-antenna TAS600 Systems detect other aircraft sooner and more accurately, avoiding the shadowing effects inherent with single-antenna systems. TAS600 actively interrogate other aircraft, providing timely alerts and precise locations of conflicting traffic. Starting at just $9,990, the dual-antenna TAS600 provides full-time protection and higher performance. When it comes to safety, you want to see the whole picture. Click here for more information.
VOTW back to top 

Video of the Week: King Air Emergency Landing

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

We were honestly surprised that we haven't shared this one as our "Video of the Week" before! Thanks to AVweb reader Mark for reminding us of this inspiring video, wherein CNN's Miles O'Brien provides the play-by-play on a simply amazing King Air emergency landing:

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

Attention, Turboprop Operators! Reserve October 28-30 on Your Calendars
Turboprop Expo 2008, October 28-30 in Scottsdale, AZ, will offer specialized programs including seminar tracks for airframe and turboprop engine topics as well as operational and ownership information. Dr. David Strahle will present his informative and acclaimed seminar: Understanding Nexrad Imagery. Enjoy the relaxing surroundings of a classic resort and network with industry leaders at Turboprop Expo 2008. For more information and to register, visit online.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Northern Sky Aviation (KCOE, Coeur d'Alene, ID)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

Not all great "FBO of the Week" recommendations start with a mechanical problem, but sometimes it's just such a problem that makes an AVweb reader realize how important good support can be when something goes awry during a trip. Case in point: Jim Dunn recently found himself repeating a maintenance misadventure that had befallen one of his buddies and decided to handle it the same way, by seeking help from the staff of Northern Sky Air Center at KCOE in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

I was hundreds of miles away when a Bonanza owner told me how Jay lent him a mag to get his sick Bonanza home. My experience has been the same. Jay Burdeaux and all the staff at Northern Sky Air Center always treat me like I'm a long-lost friend. They have great prices, experienced staff, and will greet you with a smile that extends from Idaho to Louisiana.

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Jay and the staff of Northern Sky.

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!

AVweb Bookstore Features Downloadable Jeppesen Training Manuals
AVweb Bookstore offers Jeppesen (and other) maintenance and pilot training manuals in e-book and book format, letting customers choose how to receive content. E-book advantages including complete search ability, no-cost and instant delivery, and storing hundreds of volumes on a laptop or mobile device. Attention, international customers — no import taxes or fees! For a complete list, call (800) 780-4115 or go online.

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

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed. IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your IFR flying and decision-making skills. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

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

A few years ago I flew a T-34 into Orlando Executive. Our flight leader called tower 15 miles out:

Flight Leader:
"... flight of 19 warbirds for the initial, overhead for landing."

"All civilian aircraft stay out of the area 'til further instructed."

Confusion reigned.

Peter Horvat
New Milford, New Jersey

Names Behind the News back 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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

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