AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 51a

December 15, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: Phenom Certs, Miramar Safety Concerns back to top 
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FAA Certifies Phenom 100

Three days after getting the official nod from Brazilian aviation authorities, the FAA has certified Embraer's Phenom 100 entry-level jet. The paperwork was signed Friday and the first of the $3.6 million jets will be in customer hands within days. "We are thrilled to announce that the Phenom 100 is certified by the FAA, as planned, confirming all of the exceptional performance characteristics previously approved by ANAC [the FAA's Brazilian counterpart]," said Luís Carlos Affonso, Embraer Executive Vice President, Executive Jets. "U.S. certification validates the jet's design and its suitability for one of the most important business aviation markets."

Embraer has already laid the groundwork for the aircraft as they are delivered. A network of service centers has been established throughout the U.S. and in other countries. The first aircraft will come from Brazil but a new assembly plant in Melbourne, Fla. is under construction and will be used to complete the Phenom 100 and its larger stablemate, the Phenom 300.

F/A-18 Crash Renews Miramar Closure Call

Despite assurances from Marine Corps brass and politicians, there have been the virtually inevitable calls for the closure of Miramar Marine Corps Air Station following last week's crash of an F/A-18D in a residential area south of the base. A mother, grandmother and two young children were killed in one of the houses hit by the falling fighter. "The Marines are decent people, and it seems un-American to gripe about them during wartime," area resident Sally Marks told the San Diego Union Tribune "But having hundreds of helicopters and jets in the middle of an urban area is a recipe for discord and disaster," she said. According to the newspaper, some residents believe the base should be relocated to a less populated area, likely inland in the desert, but in some ways that would defeat the purpose Miramar was serving in the tragedy that unfolded last Monday.

Lt. Dan Neubauer had just taken off from the USS Abraham Lincoln on a training flight when the right engine on the aircraft failed. Routine training on carriers is often done near coastal bases so aircraft can be diverted there in case of problems and Neubauer was heading for Miramar on one engine when the other one quit. Marine officials say Neubauer did everything by the book by ejecting at 2,200 feet, two miles short of the runway, in an aircraft that was doomed. The investigation now shifts to what could possibly have caused the double flameout and could include a look at a fuel-system problem that occurred on the carrier three days before the crash. The ship was forced to dump thousands of gallons of jet fuel after a leak on a fuel filter gasket. Whatever the cause, the Marines are vowing to get to the bottom of it. "I pledge an absolutely thorough investigation so the cause is identified and never happens again," Col. Christopher O'Connor, Miramar's commanding officer, told 300 residents packing a school gymnasium on Thursday night. The meeting was also attended by state, federal and civic politicians.

Related Content:
Our own Glenn Pew considers the implications when accidents hit close to home on the AVweb Insider blog.

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Fighting the Gloom back to top 

Good Opportunities In Aviation? It's A Tough Sell

With Boeing, Textron, Cessna, Cirrus, Piper and Mooney either cutting back workers, hours, or operations, it's hard to see beyond the recession to a time when skilled aviation personnel will be sorely needed, but advocates say that day is coming ... maybe sooner than you think. The trick is that the predicted drought isn't the result of an economic boom or bust, but has to do with a generational shift. "The aerospace and defense industry does not have nearly enough skilled workers, especially engineers, to replace the ones approaching retirement," according to an ABC, San Francisco, report. U.S. News Friday expanded that argument to include pilots, stating in its "Best Careers" section that the outlook for employment of aircraft pilots and flight engineers is expected to grow 13 percent through 2016, and keep pace with the average growth for occupations on the whole. The foundation of that article hinges on information provided by a publication by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that appears to have been collected prior to 2006 but, pilot retirements have long been expected by many industry analysts to be one driving force for a shift in supply and demand. Meanwhile, a recent article published by the Hartford Courant states that at least one flight school in the northeast "has seen an increase in demand for its services, particularly flying lessons" currently and in spite of the economic downturn. However, with that increase has come a shift. "There's been an increase in students over 50," the article states. No one should expect those new pilots to be seeking careers in the cockpit, so theoretically those future jobs created through airline restructuring, the expansion of regional services, the economics of smaller aircraft and air-taxi travel and the expansion of global shipping are all expected to contribute to demand. But there are some oddities in the numbers.

According to FAA statistics quoted by the Courant, there has been a 27 percent increase in student pilot starts over the past five years. It should be noted that for whatever reason, that increase has been limited to the Eastern United States. Nationwide, the number of pilots fell three percent over the same period suggesting a trend that would not be matched by any expansion of the aviation industry.

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The Changing Face of Flying back to top 

NY Class B Requires GA Reservations

At JFK, Newark and LaGuardia, general aviation pilots should as of December 9, 2008, eAt JFK, Newark and LaGuardia, general aviation pilots should as of December 9, 2008, expect to be required to reserve a slot if they plan to come or go during certain parts of the day -- that's much like similar requirements at National and O'Hare, but with at least one new twist. First, the reservation requirement for the New York/New Jersey airports spreads the requirement to both arriving and departing IFR and VFR traffic. (Slot reservations at National and O'Hare are required for IFR flights, only.) Second, when AVweb filed this report on December 12, reservation requirements at both Newark and JFK were listed online by the FAA as "suspended until further advised," ... but that is likely a reflection of a separate slot auction proposal that has been put on hold by a court of appeals. That proposal, according to AOPA, would not affect general aviation operations. AOPA's written objections to the new rules have resulted in assurances that the FAA will work with pilots, to the extent that's possible, to accommodate their operations. Failing that, pilots who need a waiver can direct their concerns by phone to the Air Traffic Control System Command Center's airport reservation office, at 703-904-4452. Operators determined to work within the system can try to take advantage of electronic reservations. For the ones currently in effect, there are parameters.

Most reservations may be obtained up to 72 hours in advance and will be available hourly, rather than half-hourly. There is no guarantee that the FAA will accept more than one or two reservations per hour, but ATC may decide special circumstances justify an additional flight. Click through for the complete details regarding the new final rule for EWR and JFK (PDF) and the new final rule for LGA (PDF).

Canadian 406 ELT Rule Confirmed

Canada will be closed to most U.S. light aircraft within about two years after Transport Canada affirmed its decision to make 406-MHz emergency locator transmitters mandatory on everything but gliders, balloons, ultralights and a handful of special-use aircraft. The requirement extends to all foreign-registered aircraft and includes those used for flights that begin and end in the U.S. but overfly Canadian territory, like the busy routes between the northern Midwest and eastern states, according to an e-mail sent to Canadian Owners and Pilots Association members by President Kevin Psutka last week. "We are at the end of a long battle to bring common sense to this issue," Psutka wrote. "Common sense has not prevailed." Psutka attended a meeting with stakeholders on the issue last week. Transport Canada, and the Canadian military, which handles most search and rescue operations in Canada, see the switch as necessary because search and rescue satellites will stop monitoring 121.5 MHz, the frequency used by most existing ELTs, as of Feb. 1, 2009. Of course, Psutka's main focus has been on the expense and inconvenience (not to mention logistical challenge) of equipping thousands of Canadian GA aircraft with the $1,000 (plus installation) devices. COPA believes better technology is available but being ignored in the rule. But he said the rule will also affect thousands of U.S.-based aircraft owners who plan to fly to Canada. The FAA is not planning to mandate 406-MHz ELTs and it's doubtful many American owners will voluntarily equip just so they can take a flying vacation in Canada.

Psutka said at least 63,000 foreign-registered light aircraft, 90 percent of them American-registered, touched down in Canada between May of 2007 and May of 2008. Figures for the number of overflights were not available. The new rule is set to take effect on Feb. 1, 2009, but a political crisis involving the current federal government makes implementation on that date unlikely. Transport Canada is planning on phasing in the requirement to allow manufacturers and maintenance facilities time to cope with the onslaught of installations. As the phase-in is now proposed, affected aircraft, including foreign-registered aircraft, will have to be equipped with an approved 406-MHz ELT on Feb. 1, 2011, or during the last annual inspection before that date or it will be illegal for them to fly in Canadian airspace.

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From Earth to the Stars and Back Again back to top 

40th Anniversary Of Apollo 8 Celebrated

photos by Robert Kirchner
Click for more photos

The San Diego Air and Space Museum honored Frank Borman, James Lovell Jr. and William Anders for the milestones they achieved as the first humans to travel to the moon and back in a capsule the size of a Volkswagen front seat. It was a historic evening that allowed a sold-out crowd of guests to mingle with numerous astronauts and NASA dignitaries; see students receive awards from the Ford Motor Co. for their Green Energy Ideas; hear the Apollo mission's technical background from Glynn Lunney, NASA Flight Director; listen to Borman's, Lovell's and Anders' recollections woven with humorous anecdotes; and share their unique perspective on Earth and its place in the universe.

Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon, was on hand to explain the importance of the Apollo program and the pivotal role the Apollo 8 trio played. "Frank, Jim and Bill, thank you. I salute you." Apollo 8 was an important prelude to actually landing on the Moon. It achieved many firsts, including the first manned launch from NASA's new Moonport, first manned mission to leave the earth's gravitational field and reenter the earth's atmosphere at tremendous speeds, first pictures taken by humans of the Earth from deep space, and first live TV coverage of the lunar surface. A Christmas Eve reading from the book of Genesis from Apollo 8 was heard by an estimated 2 billion people. The evening concluded with recognition of the three wives, all of whom have been married to their high-school sweethearts for over 50 years. Other astronauts in attendance besides Armstrong were Gene Cernan, Buzz Aldrin, and Alan Bean.

Click here to view photos.

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'Tis the Season for Helping Others back to top 

Dash For Cash Sets Record

CarolAnn Garratt and Carol Foy went around the world in a Mooney, shattered a speed record in doing so and have raised more than $145,000 to fight a fatal disease. Not a bad week's work. The pilots returned to Orlando, Fla., last Thursday morning, eight days and change after leaving on a westward circumnavigation that took them through just eight fuel and rest stops. In doing so, they more than doubled the average speed of the standing record for their aircraft's weight class (final calculations are still being done). But Garratt told AVweb in a podcast interview that the most important effect of the Dash for Cash is to raise awareness and money for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease for the famous baseball player who died from it.

Garratt said she and Foy intended to complete the flight in seven days but opted for an extra night's rest en route to ensure they stayed sharp at the controls. Along the way, they took two-hour shifts flying while the non-flying pilot rested or handled navigation and communications duties. Despite the long legs, Garratt said there was little time to be bored. "We were busy almost all the time," she said. The aircraft performed flawlessly and other than some laptop computer problems there were no other technical glitches. The pilots did have to go in search of avgas in Africa after they discovered one of their intended fuel stops didn't have any.

Related Content:
Podcast interview with Garratt

A Small Airport Christmas Story: Toys For Tots Gives Big

Saturday, December 13th, a four hour event organized at a little airport in Southern California brought together local fire bomber crews, private pilots, Marines and local residents and resulted in a seven-ton Marine truck full of toys destined for those children less fortunate. The Toys For Tots drive is an annual Marine Corps event in the area and was organized this year at Ramona Airport northeast of San Diego by airport manager Bo Donovan. In issuing his invitation, Donovan had requested that pilots spread the word at schools, churches, and with "everyone you see, everywhere you go." Near the end of the invitation Donovan finished with a flourish of local pride with, "Let's show this community just how BIG our hearts are at Ramona Airport." To add to the attraction Donovan requested that one local pilot bring his Stinson and another to park his Mustang out on the ramp. The vehicles, he said, would be matched with Marine Corps hardware and flanked by Marines in their Dress Blues. Adding to the good cheer, volunteers would manage a cookout on the ramp. That was the call, and this past Saturday, the community answered. At Ramona, the Marines' truck was so overstuffed with new toys that one of the men in blue had to find another ride home. According to one local pilot, "I think this day is what I'll remember about Christmas this year ... and what I'll always love about this airport. I can't imagine it gets better than this!" But, in fact, it does get better.

After the event, Donovan wrote in an e-mail, "There are even more toys in the back of my car I'll deliver Monday." And all were collected on an uncommon day of IFR weather at a single-runway airport in Southern California. Organizations contributing to the event included CalFire, the aviation fire protection wing based at the airport, whose members "passed the hat and went on a shopping spree at Kmart to fill their van with toys." An entire box of toys was filled by pilots at another local airport and flown in on Friday. And, according to Donovan, "one family gave up their Christmas," pooled their money "and gave it all to us." Lastly, one man "came with a small set of airplanes from the 99 Cent store, because it was all he could give ... but he gave," said Donovan. The story is like many others across the nation this season, but for those of you who'd like to bring a story like this home to your local airport, you may want to start with a look at Donovan's invitation:

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New on AVweb back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Wrestling with Responsibility in the Face of the F/A-18 Crash

Last week's F/A-18 crash hit close to home for video editor Glenn Pew, in more ways than one. Glenn lives physically close to the site of the accident, but he spent hours poring over still photos and watching television coverage to put together a video report for AVweb. Now, on the AVweb Insider blog, he wrestles with the notion of responsibility when our tax dollars contribute to tragedy.

Read more.

AVweb's Video Gift Ideas 2008

Looking for a gift for yourself or your pilot friends? AVweb can help! Video editor Glenn Pew has put together our most useful product overviews for you to peruse and get ideas.

Find it here.

If you see something you like in one of these videos, visit our sponsors and get your shopping done online.

Stay informed; stay entertained.

Happy holidays from your team at AVweb.

Video of the Week: STOL Maule Bush Plane Maneuvers

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

Last week, we treated you to high-powered, low-footprint maneuvers centered around an aircraft carrier. This week, we're at the opposite end of the spectrum, watching as a bush plane (a Maule M4-220C) goes through its paces in the wide open spaces of the Lone Star State.

Thanks to AVweb reader Roger for sending us the link!

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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."

Aeromedix Holiday Specials
Aeromedix offers great holiday presents for pilots, presents that make them safe. Aeromedix holiday specials include: a complimentary Tuf Cloth with purchase of Doug Ritter knives; a complimentary carrying case with a complete Portable Oxygen System; and 20% off any Retract-a-Bit tool (while supplies last). Go online to Aeromedix for these and many more products and specials.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Around the World in Eight Days

File Size 6.0 MB / Running Time 6:34

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

A couple of weeks ago, we talked to Carol Ann Garratt as she and fellow pilot Carol Foy were about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. AVweb's Russ Niles caught up with Garratt over the weekend to talk about the successful conclusion of their Dash for Cash to raise funds for ALS research.

Click here to listen. (6.0 MB, 6:34)

Exclusive Video: F/A-18 Crash Near San Diego

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

An F/A-18 Hornet crashed about 9,000 feet shy of Runway 06L at MCAS Miramar, in a residential neighborhood near San Diego, California, Monday December 8, 2008 at approximately 11:59 a.m. local time. This initial report was published by Glenn Pew the day of the crash with the information available at that time.

Read more about the crash here.

This video includes images from Google Maps and Google Earth.

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

Exclusive Video: Avidyne Entegra Integrated Flight Deck (Release 9)

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

Avidyne has upgraded its Entegra Flight Deck. Join us as we have a look, courtesy of Paul Bertorelli and Glenn Pew.

For more on the new Entegra, click here.

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.

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Pecos Air Center (KPEQ, Pecos, TX)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Pecos Air Center at KPEQ in Pecos, Texas.

AVweb reader Jeffrey B. Chipetine called the FBO "a terrific stop on the way home to New York from California":

[I] called in on Unicom (45 miles out from 13.5K) as dark was falling fast. Was answered immediately and was told they'd be open when we arrived. Was offered a handshake, help with bags, tie-down assistance, and a courtesy car before I could say "thank you." ... These folks know how to make weary travelers feel welcome and wanted. Add me to the list of Pecos Air Center fans.

Didn't realize we were keeping the list, Jeffrey, but we've pinned it to the virtual AVweb bulletin board and added your name!

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!

Great Holiday Gift
Clear Left, I'll Have the Chicken: An Airline Captain Looks at Life, by Kevin Garrison. What people are saying: "I have spent years and billions of dollars getting into space, only to find that Kevin already is" — NASA spokesperson. "I think he was trying to be funny" — Mark Twain.

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

AVmail: December 15, 2008

Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week

Arctic Rescue

I am glad both men are alive after their ditching when they lost both engines. However,I have to ask the following questions about their decision-making/preparation for this flight:

  • no PLB attached to their persons?
  • no survival vest on their persons?
  • no sat phone on their persons?

I can't believe these two did not have these survival tools. The PLB alone would have made this a short inconveinence and not the life-theatening situation it became.

Prepare like your life depends on it, because it does.

Herman Bloomberg

Big Three Bailout

I was angered while reading your December 11 AVweb article "Automaker Bailout Package Targets Flight Departments; NBAA Reacts." I went to the NBAA web site to give Ed Bolen a piece of my mind, but as I read what he actually sent I realized that it was your words not his that were inflammatory. Your editorializing "that the aviation sector shouldn't be made to suffer for the errors of a few auto executives" is wrong on so many levels.

That choice of words perpetuates the misperception that the auto industry crisis is self-made. The auto industry is in crisis because during an already weak market Wall Street excesses became exposed. With few questions asked, billions of dollars have already been thrown at the financial industry. If any of that money were flowing to credit-worthy consumers as intended, the auto industry would not be in such immediate trouble.

There are credit-worthy people who like our products and are secure enough in their careers to make vehicle purchases but can't get financing. Many aspects of the aviation industry have benefited substantially from the auto industry. Don't be so cavalier about pushing us in front of the bus.

Gary Read

AVweb Replies:

The phrase referring to the "errors" of the auto industry execs was meant to refer only to their decision to fly in corporate jets to Washington to ask for the bailout, which was widely perceived as what led to the provisions from Congress demanding that the flight departments be abolished. It wasn't meant to refer to their business practices overall.

Russ Niles

Australia from the Air

Good to see some publicity for air safaris in Australia. We love to see North Americans enjoying our scenery and freedom to fly. You have missed one company, though — Toronto, Canada-based Air Safaris International, that I have been involved with on a voluntary basis. They have been successfully running Australian safaris from Brisbane for a number of years.

Rob Hughes

Your story about the movie Australia mentions an aviation tourism company, but there is another company doing the same thing that should also be mentioned. When CASA established Draconian security measures that prompted long-time operator, Mal Shipton, to shut down GOANNA, another company kept operating and dealt with CASA to assist pilots flying in Australia. Clare McEwan operates a self-fly operation called Air Safaris International in Australia at AirSafarisInt.com. We flew with him in 2007 on a three-week tour. He worked hard to help us get the credentials that CASA required of all pilots. Your story should have mentioned his company as well.

John Gaitskill

Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.

Got a Moment? Make Your Voice Heard with Aviation Consumer's Maintenance Survey

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.)

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.

Find an Unusual Gift for Any Pilot and All Aviation Enthusiasts
Build A Plane announces its annual fund-raising eBay auction. For sale: lunch with New Piper CEO James Bass, Patty Wagstaff's flight suit, a B-25 bomber ride, Eclipse 500 jet stick time, a Honeywell AV8OR MFD, a 1949 A35 Beechcraft Bonanza, and so much more. Items start as low as a few dollars. All sales will benefit the Build A Plane program. Complete information at BuildAPlane.org.
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"

Going from Virginia to Houston, Texas, I was diverting north of Memphis, Tennessee to get around a big storm front which was moving across the country. I planned a fuel stop at Jackson, Tennessee (MKL) and was on the back side of the front with just light rain ahead of me. As always, I tried to call with a DTN screen in front of me for the big picture. This occurred on the phone during a weather briefing with FSS:

"N12345, IFR flight plan: MKL, PBF, direct HOU. (West, then southwest.)"

"O.K. Lots of weather. Big storms ahead of you."

"Well, I'm looking at the DTN screen, and the radar shows those storms to be behind me with just light rain and then improving weather."

"Hmmm — you're right; storms behind you."

I was thinking, "Oh, boy, just what I need — a dyslexic weather briefer."

The rest of the trip went well ... .

Ed Hendee
Houston, Texas

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More AVweb for Your Inbox back 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/.

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

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.