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Volume 14, Number 52a
December 22, 2008
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.

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Top News: User Fees and the Obama Eraback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood, currently a member of the House Appropriations Committee, was nominated Friday to serve as Secretary of Transportation and aviation's alphabet groups are chiming in. AOPA president-elect Craig Fuller had positive remarks regarding President-elect Barack Obama's decision. "The Appropriations Committee has adamantly opposed aviation user fees," said Fuller, who said that LaHood's experience there "should be helpful to general aviation" when Lahood's input reaches the White House. The Air Transportation Association of America, which as early as 2006 called for aviation user fees to bolster the FAA's budget, said in a statement that Congressman LaHood has earned a reputation as an "even-handed, thoughtful" deliberator. The ATA says it is looking forward to working with LaHood on "revitalization of the aviation infrastructure," with an eye toward "prudent and equitable action on the reauthorization of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund." The ATA intends to work with LaHood to "best utilize the airlines' potential" to generate economic growth. As for LaHood, "I understand what good infrastructure and transportation means to local communities," he said. 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.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

The NTSB sent a Go Team to Denver, Sunday, to investigate the fiery crash during takeoff of a Boeing 737-500 operated by Continental as flight 1404 out of Denver International (DIA) for Houston Saturday evening that left at least 38 injured, two critically. At approximately 6:20 p.m. local time, the aircraft appeared to veer hard left some 2,000 feet down the 12,000-foot Runway 34-Right. A Twitter post described the crash and aftermath within minutes of the event (language warning).Evidence on the ground did not immediately suggest the aircraft successfully left the ground for any appreciable time or distance though witnesses aboard the aircraft seemed to think it may have made at least a hop before touching down again, at which time the right wing and engine appeared to "explode" and quickly caught fire. The airliner came to a stop on fire in a ditch, missing parts of its landing gear and its left engine. The accident temporarily closed three of the airport's runways as rescuers collected 112 passengers and crew that escaped the buckled fuselage, fought the fierce fire on the aircraft's right side and dealt with aircraft debris that was reportedly scattered on the runway. By Sunday, five of six runways were operational and delays were not expected to be more than about 40 minutes. Weather at the airport at the time of the crash was cold, but not snowy when the aircraft crashed. Wind was west, northwest at 24 gusting to 32. Surfaces at the airport were reportedly dry. More...

The NTSB has initiated an investigation involving a Boeing 777 that experienced an uncommanded engine power rollback late this fall and its potential ties to a dual engine rollback that led to the crash landing of a British Airways 777 shy of the runway at Heathrow last winter. The Air Accidents Investigation Board investigating that Jan. 17 nonfatal crash of a Boeing 777-236ER out of Beijing that crashed short of the runway at Heathrow released an interim report last September that detailed two likely causal scenarios. Both involved ice accretion in the fuel system. The Nov. 26, 2008, incident that has now won attention from the NTSB involves a similar Boeing 777 running similar Rolls-Royce Trent 895 engines, this time carrying 232 passengers out of Shanghai for Atlanta. The recent event began at 39,000 feet in the vicinity of Great Falls, Mont., on a 777-200ER operated by Delta as Flight 18. The Delta crew met the uncommanded rollback of the number-two engine with a procedural descent to 31,000 feet after which the engine recovered and behaved normally. The aircraft continued on its intended route and landed without incident. Investigative teams of both events are sharing personnel from both the AAIB and the NTSB to determine if the incidents share common issues. More...

The FAA Thursday invited comments on a proposal for a new airworthiness directive to correct flap failures on Bombardier Challenger CL-600-2B19 twin jet commuter aircraft, after the agency received a report that a previous AD was "not effective." According to the FAA, flap failures on the aircraft have been reported over several years with the flaps sticking in various positions. The failures have resulted in flight diversions, higher fuel consumption and longer landing-distance requirements for affected aircraft. The proposed AD would revise the airplane flight manual to incorporate operational procedures and corrective maintenance actions, including a pressure test of the flexible drive-shaft and low temperature torque test of the flap actuator. The FAA estimates the cost of the proposed AD to be $1,440 per some 680 aircraft working in the U.S. The requirements are expected to eventually encompass about 1,000 Bombardier CRJ models worldwide. 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.

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.
Tomorrow's Airspace Todayback to top 

Thursday, Garmin announced that it received FAA TSO authorization for the GTX 330 and GTX 33 transponders, and says it now provides an industry first for general aviation ADS-B Out capability. The specific TSO-C166a authorization applies minimum standards for 1090 MHz ADS-B and TIS-B equipment. In English, that means the transponders can provide precise aircraft location information to both air traffic control and other ADS-B equipped aircraft operating in the vicinity. So, these units introduce to general and business aviation a product designed to comply with the FAA's "NextGen" ATC system requirements. The faster update rate of 1090 MHz "extended squitter" (ES) capability allows the transponders to provide more accurate information for "surveillance" of the aircraft while in operation allowing for improved collision avoidance. "Garmin will offer the ES technology as a retrofit upgrade option for GTX 330 and GTX 33's already in the field" and as an option on newly purchased units. The company did not provide pricing information in its news release. The GTX 330 is a solid-state, Mode S transponder with TIS data link functionality capable of displaying traffic information on the Garmin GNS 430W/530W series. It currently sells for roughly $3,500. More...

The FAA's intent to reduce costs and better utilize information technology would remove meteorologists from all 20 air route traffic control centers and has prompted weather service workers union president Dan Sobien to tell the Miami Herald, "If we let this happen, people will die." Sobien said a plan to be delivered to Congress on Tuesday would move 84 employees to two central forecasting locations – one in Kansas City, and one backup in College Park, Md. That would force controllers dealing with emergencies to consult with weather experts halfway across the country, instead of one sitting right next to them, according to Sobien. Controllers, who have worked side-by-side with weather experts since 1978, agree that the idea may cause unwelcome complications. The consolidation plan would begin with a test phase. If it is both accepted and implemented by the FAA, it could save the agency roughly $4 million, annually, and make the U.S. system more resemble Canada's model. 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.
Eye on the Economyback to top 

Jet and avgas fuel prices have dropped significantly from a peak hit this summer, but that particular savings has not been passed on to passengers as ticket prices reflect new challenges for airlines faced with global economic frugality. In short, the airlines have traded a fuel crisis for an economic one and are still not making money. Fuel surcharges are on the decline, as is business and premium travel, combining with fare revenue that has fallen more than 13 percent in November. Cutting capacity by 10 percent has barely helped increase revenue per seat mile by less than half of one percent domestically, showing the smallest year-over-year improvement in more than a year. The changes have played out so violently and so rapidly -- fuel prices in 2008 surged more than 40 percent -- that airlines have ground to make up and airfare fuel surcharges have not yet followed fuel prices down. Presently, the Air Transport Association forecasts a nearly 20-percent drop in air travelers over the three-week Christmas/New Year season, and looking ahead on a more global scale ICAO predicts that average passenger load factors will dip through 2009 before rebounding in 2010 to 2007 levels. That is expected to translate into operating losses for ICAO airlines for 2008 with profitability expected to return in 2009, increasing in 2010. But some carriers locked in to fuel contracts may suffer. More...

Honda Aircraft hopes to have multiple conforming HondaJets in the air this summer for use in FAA certification testing, still aiming for first customer deliveries by late 2010. The company's research and development facility was completed at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., earlier this month and plans to build its production facility while working with the FAA toward certification. Honda facilities at the airport will eventually capture 400,000 square feet as the result of a $100 million Honda investment that should produce about 500 full-time positions (each averaging $75,000/year) when production begins. A local community college is being tapped to establish training programs for future Honda facility staff. The presence of Honda at the airport is hoped to encourage area business expansion and has already resulted in at least one company move to the area. A recent count listed more than 50 companies doing business near Piedmont Triad, injecting the local economy with $1 billion annually and supporting 4,000 employees. Local officials are hoping those numbers are on the rise. More...

When Is the Last Time You Reviewed Your Estate Plan?
Estate tax reform is a hot button issue in Washington. The federal estate tax may change significantly. What can you do to move ahead on your estate plan? Review your existing plan now — especially if you haven't done so within the past year. Pilot Insurance Center's combination of insurance expertise and aviation underwriting can help provide the most competitive products for your estate-planning needs. To schedule an estate-planning review, call PIC at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
The State of Cirrusback to top 

Cirrus Design co-founder Alan Klapmeier said Thursday that Chief Operating Officer Brent Wouters has been promoted and will take over from him as Chief Executive Officer of the company effective Feb. 1. Klapmeier said he will continue as chairman of the board of directors and his brother and company co-founder Dale will continue as vice chair. In an interview with AVweb, Klapmeier said the move reflects the reality of the current organizational structure at Cirrus. In fact, as chairman of the board, he said he retains overall responsibility for the company but he will not play as big a role in the day-to-day operations of the company. "This is just the reasonable thing to do. It's not really that big of a change," he said. Klapmeier said the company remains focused on developing and manufacturing the Vision jet and on keeping costs in check during the current downturn. Klapmeier said he also intends to try and change the perception of general aviation in the public and mainstream media, a perception that's taken a beating in recent weeks with the controversy over auto executives' use of business jets. Klapmeier said his goal is to change that perception from one that revolves around luxury and perks to one that expresses general aviation's value in enhancing productivity and saving time. He acknowledged that changing the perception will be difficult. "But does that mean you don't try?" he said. More...

When word got out last week that Alan Klapmeier was passing on the post of CEO of Cirrus Design to President and Chief Operating Officer Brent Wouters, it ignited speculation on the background of the decision. Wouters told AVweb's Russ Niles that it's business as usual at the Duluth planemaker. 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.
News Briefsback to top 

If you've ever wondered just what kind of weather a weather radar site can withstand, the National Weather Service has an answer. It's something less than 140 mph. The fiberglass dome that encases the radar gear at Virginia Peak looks something like a squashed ping pong ball after winds howling through the Sierras hit the site on Dec. 19. The NWS has a contingency plan for such failures and will be looking at alternative methods of gathering the raw data it needs to keep us from encountering that kind of weather. More...

NASA Wednesday announced it is seeking information from educational institutions, science museums and the like, which may be able to afford and are interested in acquiring for display a retired Space Shuttle Orbiter. The cost to detoxify the fuel systems on each of three Space Shuttles currently in NASA's fleet (the Atlantis, Endeavour, and Discovery) will be passed on to the purchaser, along with the costs of preparation for final display and a ferry flight delivery to any U.S. destination that has an accessible 8,000-10,000 foot runway. Currently that lands the cost of one used Space Shuttle at about $42 million of which about six million will go toward delivery. (NASA's Web site lists the cost of the Space Shuttle Endeavour at $1.7 billion.) The agency expects to have officially retired the Shuttles from service by September 2010 and wants to have them out of their hands "no later than May 31, 2012." A Shuttle first went into orbit April 12, 1981. Prior to delivery, each retired Shuttle will have been neutered, arriving to its new owner lacking the liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen main engines located at the rear of each Shuttle. But organizations may be able to acquire those separately (for anywhere from about $400,000 to $800,000 each), and perhaps as early as mid-2009. At least six non-flight-worthy unassembled or partially assembled but complete main engine packages would be brought together by NASA for "display engine 'kits.'" At this time, NASA is just "interested in identifying whether potential recipient organizations are capable of bearing the full cost" involved in making the vehicles safe for public placement. And the agency does have at least one preferred recipient in the National Air and Space Museum. The remaining two flown Orbiters would be placed in storage at the John F. Kennedy Space Center until final placement decisions are made. NASA does list important considerations for other aspiring recipients. More...

Is Your Certificate at Risk?
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150%. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a variety of situations where you might need legal support. Plus, the Plan gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by the Plan and an annual review of key aviation documents. Call (800) USA-AOPA, or go online to enroll.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

Oh, the commentary (both serious and otherwise) we could offer with this week's "Video of the Week"! But, in the end, what could we add that isn't already said beautifully by the title of this clip — "Plane Hits Cow (With Slow Motion)"? Thanks to AVweb reader Mike Whaley for sending us the link. And let us assure you no cows were harmed in the presentation of this video — according to Florida Today, the star of this video escaped the encounter "apparently uninjured." (Click through to watch.) More...

For some TwinStar owners, the Diamond/Thielert front has been a little too quiet this fall. But Diamond now has solutions for beached DA42 owners, or soon will have, and AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli explains how Diamond is stepping for owners in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. (And yes, he even admits that he may have been a little harsh on the Big Three in an earlier blog post.) More...

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. 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. (Click through a link to the videos.) 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...

Hill Aircraft, Your #1 Source for Online Cessna Parts
Everything for your Cessna Single/Multi-Engine Aircraft and Caravan — airframe, engine, aftermarket items, and accessories. Hill Aircraft's staff has 50+ years of combined Aircraft Parts Experience. Personalized attention ensures all orders are to your complete satisfaction on pricing and delivery. Go online to CessnaParts.com for complete information.

The fastest and easiest way to order parts online. Se habla español.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Galaxy Air Services at Lone Star Executive Airport (CXO) in Conroe, Texas.

AVweb reader David Hertz described a nightmare lay-over in Conroe that was made a little easier by the dream team at Galaxy:

We were on our way east, heading towards New York when terrible weather saw us landing at Lone Star Executive in Conroe, Texas. Little did we know how fortunate this choice would be. ... Held in by a two-day ice and snow storm — the Houston natives kept telling us "it never does this in Texas" — we enjoyed terrific hospitality and use of a courtesy car ... . Two days later, the weather cleared and [when] we had said our thank yous and goodbyes , we went to launch, and the starter in the airplane failed. Five minutes after hearing our story (and certainly surprised to see us again), the mechanics at Galaxy were tearing into the airplane to get us on the way. ... [One UPS delivery and another night in Conroe later,] we launch, but Houston approach said our radios were unintelligible. Turning around was the last thing we wanted to do, but Galaxy put us onto their avionics neighbor, Avionics Unlimited. ... The crew car having been given to another crew and unavailable, David and Nancy directed their son to "give them Grandma's car" (a beautiful Lincoln Calais). So we spent one last night in Texas, while styling along in a luxury ride. These fine people went far out of their way for complete strangers. We couldn't have felt more welcome or accommodated. Every effort was to ensure our comfort during this unintended stopover. Giving us Granny's car to drive was just completely over the top. Being native New Yorkers, we were very impressed by "hospitality Texas-style" as shown us by David and Nancy of Galaxy Air Services. In our eyes, they earned "FBO of the Week" and did so many times over.

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!


Jeppesen Avionics Knowledge Library — Garmin G1000 IFR Training
The Jeppesen Garmin G1000 — IFR Procedures training is an advanced, extensive computer-based training program developed with Garmin teaching skills to master the operation of and confidently fly the G1000 in IFR conditions. Learn how to: Pull up and fly instrument procedures; load and activate approaches including RNAV and GPS; perform new WAAS-enabled approaches; and perform course reversals, fly holding patterns, and execute missed approaches. Call Jeppesen at (303) 328-4274, or visit online for more information.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Have you installed a Power Flow Exhaust on your airplane? Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer magazine, is conducting a survey on Power Flow exhausts and would like to learn about your experiences with their products.

Send a note to aviation_safety@hotmail.com to share your experiences. We're particularly interested in your opinions on the exhaust system's price and performance, its ease of installation, before and after performance measurements, fuel flow, whether you'd purchase the system again and any other comments you'd care to share. Please include information on your airplane (make/model/year) and its engine (e.g., Lycoming O-360).

(The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.)


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...

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 Flightback to top 

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

Over Southern California, United 202 requested direct to Winslow, Arizona from Southern California. Instead, Center gave him this:

"United 202, I've cleared direct St. Louis."

United 202:
"Direct St. Louis. Thanks."

United 18 (foreseeing good fortune):
"Center, United 18. Request direct — uh — er — anywhere."

"United 18, expect further clearance in 40 miles to direct Ah Anywhere."

Harry W. Lerch
via e-mail


Economic Challenges Call for Proven Advertising Results — AVweb Delivers Results
Since 1995, AVweb has been the most comprehensive no-cost aviation site online. Advertisers reach over 255,000 pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation professionals via a unique and effective combination of newsletter text messages and web site banner ads. Links send readers directly to advertisers' web sites for instant information. Click now for details on AVweb's cost-effective programs.
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.

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.