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Volume 9, Number 37aSeptember 8, 2003

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GARMIN'S 196 GPS HAS THE MOST UTILITY AMONG AVIATION HANDHELDS! WAAS-capable, the Garmin 196 has advanced mapping and logbook capabilities offering more utility as a cross-platform navigator than any aviation portable on the market. On land the GPSMAP 196 can navigate along roads or waterways. For details on the 196 and other Garmin GPS models go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin

PILOTS TOO SLOW FOR NEXT-GEN PLANES?
A recent "General Aviation Technically Advanced Aircraft FAA-Industry Study" says, "The traditional GA training system has inadequate methods, [and] does not specifically include training to exploit the additional safety opportunities of new technologies" found in so-called Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA). According to the study team, made up of FAA, industry, insurance and safety group representatives, many pilots flying these Technically Advanced Aircraft could use some upgrading. The study focused on 11 accidents involving Cirrus 20 and 22 aircraft over the past three years. More...

..."AVAILABLE SAFETY" UNTAPPED...
Technically Advanced Aircraft are defined by the study as "aircraft in which the pilot interfaces with one or more computers in order to aviate, navigate, or communicate." That includes a moving-map GPS or a multifunction display (MFD) with terrain, weather and traffic depictions tied to an autopilot. Primary flight displays, which add flight instrument depictions to the MFD, were not included because they weren't in general use when the study was started. The study found that while all that wizardry provides increased "available safety" it doesn't do any good for someone who doesn't know how to use it. Specific training recommendations include scenario-based training focused on real-life life problems like deteriorating weather, communications foul-ups, etc. More...

...AND MAKING GOOD PLANES, MUCH BETTER
So, what about the often said (and written) opinion that TAAs lead to cockiness, complacency and poor judgment in the cockpit? The study recommends that TAA pilots be schooled on the limitations of the equipment ... and themselves. It further recommends that training be broken down into the "physical airplane" (basic stick-and-rudder skills), the "mental airplane" (the coordinated use of knobs, switches and screens) and risk assessment and management (decision-making). "TAA training should make it clear that TAA systems do not replace the entire IFR system and are not substitutes for good basic airmanship skills and good aviation judgment," it reads. And the FAA suggests the glass panels could be even better. (Click here for a copy of the report.) More...

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FUTURE FLIGHT
Working toward the "airplane in every garage" era, NASA and the FAA are making progress on the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) designed to make it easier for more people to fly from small airport to small airport directly without relying on the airline hub system. At least five North Carolina airports are being fitted with experimental gear (including IMC-busting synthetic vision systems for small aircraft) and every airport in the state is slated to get an Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) setup. ADS-B uses a combination of satellite signals and ground stations to relay ATC radar images and provide appropriately equipped aircraft access to a real-time picture of nearby traffic. More...

...AS NASA SEEKS AIRPLANE IN EVERY GARAGE
The long-predicted (and never achieved) dream of door-to-door personal flight remains realistic to some researchers. Mark Moore heads up NASA's experimental personal aircraft research program and he claims the dawn of the era of "personal aircraft vehicles" is not far away, with an initial demonstrator coming in three to five years. With the help of computerized controls and other technological aids, Moore told the Raleigh News and Observer that people will be able to zip from place to place in safety and comfort after five days of flight training in an aircraft that costs not much more than a luxury car. More...

TRADE-A-PLANE. EVERYTHING THAT KEEPS YOU FLYING AND A WHOLE LOT MORE! More planes. More products. More services. Trade-A-Plane is a must for anyone who flys! Order your subscription by calling 800 337-5263 and mention this AVflash, or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap

CONTRACT TOWERS SAFE, EFFICIENT SAYS OIG
Sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), which is in a pitched battle with the FAA over the proposed privatization of VFR control towers, recently asked the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to compare the performance of 71 FAA-staffed towers, 69 of which are potentially on the auction block, with the 189 VFR towers already in private hands. Inspector General Ken Mead produced what amounted to a glowing endorsement of the contract towers as cost-efficient, safe operations that cost taxpayers about $173 million a year less to run than if they were in government hands. Contract towers, according to the OIG, have fewer staff and pay them less but they also manage to make fewer mistakes than FAA-staffed facilities. More...

DIAMOND PICKS WILLIAMS POWER
Diamond has picked Williams International to power its single-engine entry in the burgeoning personal jet market. A lone Williams FJ33-4 will provide the ponies for the D-JET, which is lumped loosely in an ever-increasing field of twin-engine mini-jets dominated by the Eclipse 500, Adam 700, and Cessna Mustang, among others. Adam has also picked the FJ33 for its twinjet while Eclipse and Cessna have gone with Pratt and Whitney Canada's 600 series. The FJ33-4 pumps out 1,400 pounds of thrust flat-rated to 72 degrees F and is based on the larger FJ44, which is already in use. Diamond said the advanced development of the Williams engine fits with Diamond's "aggressive" timetable for the D-JET, which includes a first flight next year. More...

SEARCH NO MORE! AVIONICS WEST HAS GARMIN'S iQue 3600 PDA & PLBs Avionics West, the online avionics dealer you've come to trust, now carries the Garmin iQue 3600 color PDA with more features than any other PDA. And, Avionics West has the lowest price anywhere on the iQue 3600! Avionics West also carries 406Mhz Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) which should be a part of everyone's emergency/rescue equipment when camping, or traveling in a boat or aircraft. For more too-low-to-advertise prices on these items and LightSPEED quality headsets, the schedule for the CNX80 and GNS430/530 training classes call 805 934-9777, send an email to pricing@avionicswest.com or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avionics

RUNWAY FRACAS FRACTURES PARTNERSHIP
Which comes first, the expanded terminal or the runway? The issue vexing relations between Ft. Lauderdale and Broward County came to a head last week with the county ignoring an order by the city to stop working on new buildings at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. County lawyer Ed Dion said it will take a court order to change the county's mind and now the city is threatening legal action. This project, we remind you, is a partnership between the city and the county and it shows the divisive power of commercial interests, jet noise and public opinion. As part of the deal, the county originally agreed to build a new runway on the south side of the airport (away from Ft. Lauderdale). Nearby residents disapproved. More...

MILES OF RUNWAY IN MILE-HIGH CITY
If it seems like everything out west is big, consider Denver International Airport's new runway. Runway 16R/34L was christened by a United Air Lines Boeing 777 last Thursday likely using a fraction of the 16,000 feet of pavement to take off for Chicago. The $166 million runway is the longest commercial runway in North America and is 4,000 feet longer than any of the other five at DEN. More...

DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT: DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT! Do you carry a first aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Brent Blue, MD, says drugstore first aid kits are packed with mostly useless items. Dr. Blue has assembled is own traveling medical kit for dealing with on-the-road emergencies, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. Dr. Blue's complete first aid kit is now on sale at Aeromedix's site: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi

AIRBUS ON FINAL AT 3300-FOOT STRIP?
Canadian officials are wondering how an Air Canada Airbus A319 crew on a perfectly clear August day appeared to set up to land at a tiny municipal airport in British Columbia, instead of their real destination. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating the incident in which the A319, with its gear down and flaps partly extended, lined up for the 75-feet-wide by 3360-feet-long Runway 23 at Vernon Regional Airport. The crew, which descended as low as 780 feet over the city of Vernon, apparently realized its mistake and went looking for Kelowna International, about 30 miles away. The flight from Toronto carried 87 passengers and five crew. TSB spokesman Bill Yearwood told the National Post, "The pilots descended low enough that, for all intents and purposes, they appeared to be lost, and that's a concern." More...

"WEEKEND PILOT" TAKES FINAL FLIGHT
The inspiration for thousands of "weekend pilots" through his columns and books, aviation author Frank Kingston Smith died last Wednesday of Alzheimer's disease. He was 84. Smith wrote columns for AOPA pilot, Flying and Sport Aviation magazines and also penned the books "I'd Rather Be Flying," "Weekend Pilot" and "Flights of Fancy." He wrote a total of 16 books and more than 1,000 magazine articles and is credited with coining the term "weekend pilot." More...

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ON THE FLY...
FAA widening seatbelt NPRM to include other affected aircraft...
Brazen thieves made off with sensitive computers at Sydney International...
Lawsuit dismissed against FAA over fatal crash...
Brig. Gen. Dwight Wheless was elected to third term as CAP vice commander. More...

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Herman Simms, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.

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Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
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Reader mail this week about contract towers, a new airport in San Diego, FITS and more.

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COLUMNS
The Pilot's Lounge #65: One, Two, Three, Heave!
Tired of touch-and-goes in the pattern and begging friends to go for a $100 hamburger? Need a challenge to re-energize your flying? Even private pilots can tow gliders, although a commercial certificate will let you do it for money. AVweb's Rick Durden lays out what it takes to help those engine-less soaring birds.

SHORT FINAL...
Overheard en route out of Morristown, NJ (MMU) to Covington, KY (CVG)...

Departure Control: Continental ABC turn left heading 240 degrees and climb to 11,000.

[long pause]

Departure Control: Continental ABC, Simon says turn left heading 240 degrees and climb to 11,000.

Continental ABC: Roger, left turn 240 and up to 11,000, Continental ABC. More...

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SPONSOR NEWS

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AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2003: "Fly Army!", How a West Point alum assembled the largest collection of US Army aircraft and goes on tour; "Giant Killer", Airbus moves up; "One Way Ticket From Space", Inflatable reentry vehicles: reliable rescue craft or the next extreme sport?; and "To Spin or Not to Spin", pilots still argue; plus fantastic coverage of everything aviation and space. Order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/smithson

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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

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Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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