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Volume 14, Number 50a
December 8, 2008
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.

Purchase by December 31, 2008 and receive a complimentary pair of Bose in-ear headphones ($99.95 value). Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Top News: Pistons and Pollutionback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

In October, AVweb found that new standards set by the EPA and meant to "slash the amount of the toxic metal [lead] in the nation's air by 90 percent," may affect the pilots of small aircraft and now AOPA has reviewed the matter and taken action. Formal comments filed by AOPA in response to the EPA notice state that piston-powered aircraft account for roughly "one-tenth of 1 percent" of total emissions and within the transportation sector accounts for just 0.55 percent. AOPA is urging the EPA to consider both cost and safety issues that could arise from further regulation of a sector with such a small lead footprint, noting also that the industry employs over 1.3 million people and has a "direct and indirect effect" on the economy that "exceeds $150 billion annually." More...

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.
First Flightsback to top 

Eight engineering students of the Pulchowk Engineering Campus Institute of Engineering in Kathmandu formed Danfe Aircraft Fabrication Group and used 12,500 dollars worth of locally available materials (plus a Rotax) to build Nepal's first aircraft, dubbed Danfe. The two-seat aircraft -- Nepal's first aircraft -- has a maximum takeoff weight of 880 pounds and successfully flew Saturday at Pokhara city. Danfe most closely resembles an ultralight trike, is powered by a 65-hp Rotax 582 and was actually built last year based on two years of research and development as an academic project, but the aircraft only received permission to fly last week. Lacking local pilots, the group allowed a Russian pilot the honor of first flight. The ride reportedly lasted a little more than one minute and was witnessed by a crowd of onlookers that included the Minister of Science and Technology. After the flight, the minister declared that the government would cover research and design expenses, and would immediately create a fund for research and development in science and technology. More...

AgustaWestland is responsible for the basic airframe design, production and vehicle support and Lockheed Martin is handling systems integration for the VH-71 presidential helicopter replacement program that has now produced its second production aircraft. The first VH-71 began testing Nov. 24 and the new aircraft, which Nov. 29 flew for the first time, is due to arrive at Patuxent River later this month. The first phase of the program involves production of five production helicopters and four others to be used for testing. More...

When Is the Last Time You Reviewed Your Life Insurance?
Annual reviews of life insurance needs can help determine if you lack important coverages — or if you can save on existing policies. As a pilot, you are likely paying more for life insurance than you should be. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with insurance planning at the most affordable rates available. A+ Rated Carriers – No Aviation Exclusions – Quick and Easy Application Process. Call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
Shaping the Agenciesback to top 

Former pilot union president Duane Woerth is among the names said to be at the top of the list, but reports over the weekend suggested both Woerth and Robert T. Herbert are among those who might be selected to lead the FAA. While Woerth is a familiar name for many longtime aviators (Woerth was president of the Air Line Pilots Association from 1999-2007), the less familiar Herbert has worked as a longtime aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Herbert's aviation experience spans both military and civilian piloting and he has "advised Reid on transportation, defense and homeland security issues," according to the Washington Post. Reid has backed Herbert, sending a letter to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, the Post said, while Herbert has recently sought the audience of "aviation-related unions." Meanwhile, Woerth carries the clout of union experience and some insiders believe that positions him as the one best able to navigate the maze of contract issues and labor disputes that frequently complicate matters between the FAA, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS). More...

Pilots at American Airlines, Delta (the nation's two largest carriers), and Comair have opted out of the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) that allows them to self-report mistakes without disciplinary action, because it might not be working that way. Safety advocates believe the program has helped uncover and resolve potentially dangerous situations before they caused damage or loss of life. But according to The Associated Press, at American, the company has broken faith with the program's intent and has punished pilots who inadvertently allowed lapses in safety and then reported them through ASAP. So, the pilots, backed by the Allied Pilots Association, sought changes to the program's language to assure their protection. Union representative Kevin Cornwell told the AP that his members will not accept a system that "labels our pilots as reckless." Meanwhile, a representative from AMR (American's parent company) has said management prefers to leave the provisions programs as is, saying that NASA's safety reporting system, ASRS, already addresses the pilots' concerns. The short-term result is lack of participation in ASAP by the pilots and a heap of criticism for both the airlines and pilots from a slew of safety experts. More...

JA Air Center, Your Source for the New Garmin GPSMap 696
JA Air Center is YOUR source for Garmin equipment, including the new GPSMap 696 with Victor Airways, Jet Routes, XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, and Safe Taxi. JA Air purchases used GPS units, avionics, and aircraft.

JA Air Center is now open in Sugar Grove, IL, providing 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 

Fresh off a now-resolved machinists strike that cost the company an estimated $100 million per day, and a prediction of layoffs in 2009, Boeing has now hit an impasse with 700 of its engineers and is expected to announce further delays for its 787 Dreamliner. The company has announced a halt to its contract negotiations with its engineers at the Wichita Integrated Defense System plant, where the company produces 767 tankers and E-737 aircraft. Some 20,400 members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) have recently resolved contracts, including 20-percent wage increases over four years. But at the Wichita Integrated Defense System plant, where Boeing saw third-quarter profits of $845 million, up 4 percent from 2007, according to SPEEA, a different offer fell short. Fallout from the recent machinists strike is expected to result in an announcement of further delays to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program. First flight of the aircraft was previously delayed until 2009 and first deliveries aren't expected by industry analysts until 2010 at the earliest. That's already two years late and cancellations, or order deferrals, may be coming. More...

Untie Your Dreams at 235 Knots
Leave the runway at 1,400 vertical feet per minute. Climb to 25,000 feet. Cruise at 235 confident knots. Nothing releases a pilot's passion for flight like the Cessna 400, the world's fastest fixed-gear aircraft. It's more than speed that makes the Cessna 400 such a pleasure to fly. There's the sophisticated stylish cabin, glass cockpit, side-stick control, and the head-turning gorgeous looks. Looks like Cessna is in the fast business. Go online for all the details.
News Briefsback to top 

The Massachusetts Air National Guard (ANG) is hoping to file a proposal with the FAA next spring that would lower the floor of their training flights from 2800 to 500 feet over the hills of western Maine and is using 9/11 to counter public opposition. Brig. Gen. Leon Rice told residents that the terrorist attacks of September 2001 showed the military was ill-prepared to defend against a low-level air attack and the pilots stationed in Vermont and Massachusetts who'd respond to those attacks need training. The last time the ANG sought to expand low-level training in Maine the proposal was rejected. But that was 1992. The 3,600-square-mile Condor Military Operation Area (MOA) is used by F-16 and F-15 drivers flying for the ANG out of the 104th Fighter Wing in Westfield, Mass., and 158th Fighter Wing in Burlington, Vt. The Guard has extended the public comment period to allow residents who just recently became aware of the proposal to chime in. Critics are concerned about the potential of noise, safety and quality of life issues affected by low-level maneuvers and Governor John Baldacci has called for a full environmental impact study. Rice has said that the military ultimately doesn't need the permission of local authorities, but rather sought to include state officials in its deliberations. More...

Two instructors, two students killed in Florida midair ...
Bogus engineer facing long prison sentence ...
Brazilian paper blames American pilots for collision with airliner. More...

Business Executives! Mark Your Calendars for February 3 & 4, 2009 in London, England
Active Communications' Efficiency in Aviation forum will provide a unique platform for senior aviation executives to discover, consider and discuss innovative management, operational and technical strategies to achieve greater cost and fuel efficiency. AVweb is a media partner for this forum. As an AVweb subscriber, sign up by December 12, 2008 and receive a special 15% discount. Call Melanie Mulazzi at +44 (20) 7981-2504, or click here to contact her via e-mail.

Details online.
Reader Voicesback to top 


Letter of the Week

Perhaps selling off senior managment and keeping the jets would make more sense. The time of a senior executive that is effectively managing a company is very valuable. The vision shown by GM and Ford (Chrysler is privately held, kind of) would indicate that the transportation they used for the latest visit was just about right.

Richard Jenkins

Click through to read the rest of this week's letters. More...

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, wants your opinion on aircraft maintenance. If you'd like to participate, click here to complete a short, confidential survey.

(The results will be used in an upcoming Aviation Consumer article on managing your maintenance. For subscription information, click here.) 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...

Download No-Cost Runway Flash Cards Now!
Landing a plane is tough. Flying into unfamiliar runways makes it even tougher — and more dangerous. Ensure you and your crew's safety by downloading these no-cost flash cards today. Each of the 23 flash cards displays an airport sign or pavement marking as well as the required pilot action. Use them as quick reference before your departure or during your flight. Download the Runway Safety Flash Cards now.
New on AVwebback to top 

A reader recently wrote AVweb complaining that Eclipse hasn't refunded his EA400 deposit. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli wonders if aircraft buyers are paying any attention. More...

Landing on an aircraft carrier may be an experience (and a skill) few of us share, but thanks to this video from DailyMotion, we can learn a little about it without having to leave our computer chairs. Thanks to AVweb reader Pete Madden for sending us the link. (Click through to watch) 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.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

The aviation market is changing, and that affects everyone. Joshua Hebert of Magellan Jets explains how businesses, under increasing pressure from shareholders to scale back their flight departments, are turning to alternatives like jet membership programs. In this interview with AVweb's Russ Niles, he discusses what may soon become "the new normal" for corporate travel. More...

Avidyne has upgraded its Entegra Flight Deck. Join us as we have a look, courtesy of Paul Bertorelli and Glenn Pew. (Click through to watch.) More...

Why Not Get Rewarded for Your Purchases?
AOPA's WorldPoints™ Rewards credit card program features two points for every net retail dollar spent at thousands of FBOs, on select AOPA products and services, and at participating aviation retailers, including Sporty's, Pacific Coast Avionics, King Schools, Aircraft Spruce, and Gulf Coast Avionics. No limit on the number of points earned, and points can be redeemed online for cash, travel, event tickets, and more. For more information, call AOPA at 1 (800) 932-2775, or go online.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Don Davis Aviation at Henderson County Airport (KEHR) in Henderson, Kentucky.

AVweb reader George Samara recommended this week's winner, writing:

This airport team goes out of their way to please and accommodate a visiting pilot ... [everyone from] the girls on the desk, Christa and Sarah ... [to] the manager, Nancy, who stay[ed] late one evening to make sure my passenger got his rental car through the security gate to load equipment and to make sure we got off OK ... [to. the line personnel ... [who] help[ed] chock and tie down the plane. They volunteered to put the plane into a heated hanger when it iced up overnight and did not charge for it! This FBO makes you feel inportant and well taken care of, including a well-equipped flight-planning room with a personal computer to use!

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!


Avidyne Delivers Worldwide Datalink Graphical Weather and Two-Way Messaging
Avidyne's new MLX770 Iridium®-based two-way datalink transceiver brings strategic datalink weather services to Entegra- and EX500-equipped aircraft operating worldwide. The MLX770 allows pilots to more easily make go/no-go decisions on the ground and fly more strategically while en route. Additionally, the MLX770 provides convenient two-way SMS text messaging from an airborne MFD to any ground-based SMS-capable mobile phone or e-mail address, allowing pilots to communicate in-flight. Click here for more information.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

Missed the beginning of this exchange, but you'll get the point, I hope:

Airplane 345:
"We carry the University of XYZ men's basketball team."

"Ah, roger. I was just wondering about your call sign ... ."

"We don't like it any better than anyone else."

Center (laughing) :
"Do [your players] wear pink uniforms?"

"Don't go there, Center."

Center (resuming a serious tone) :


"Twinkles Three Forty Five, fly heading 230, descend and maintain 4,000."

Don Copley
via e-mail


Sensenich: Right on the Nose ... Again!
For more than 75 years, Sensenich has been the industry's fixed-pitch prop leader. No surprise Sensenich leads the way again with new composite propellers for light sport and homebuilt aircraft. Proven on 5,000 airboats over the last eight years, plus Rotax- and Jabiru-powered planes, the new lightweight, precision composite props are now available for Continental- and Lycoming-powered planes. Call (717) 569-0435, or click here to learn more.
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

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

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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