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Volume 15, Number 1a
January 5, 2009
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.
Top News: New Year, New AOPA Chiefback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

On Dec. 31, 2008, Phil Boyer stepped down as AOPA's third president and handed the reins of the general aviation advocacy group to incoming president, Craig Fuller, who spoke of the challenges and opportunities he sees ahead. Fuller has already met with the Obama administration's transition team and written the incoming president to express AOPA's eagerness to work with the president-elect toward the goals of modernizing air traffic control, seeking long-term financing of the aviation infrastructure, addressing environmental issues and managing aviation security. "Aviation is an integral part of this country's infrastructure, and economy," Fuller wrote to Obama, "and I can assure you that AOPA is ready to work with you on the pressing issues facing the aviation industry." Fuller steps into his office committed to AOPA's support of passenger ticket taxes and general aviation fuel excise taxes in the place of a proposed user-fee system as a source of funding for the FAA. 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.
Bright Spots in a Cloudy Economyback to top 

Cirrus Design Corp. begins production Monday after a month-long winter hibernation prompted by slow sales. The company's awakening means 500 furloughed employees will gradually be recalled and that means suppliers will soon be stirring in their dens as well. The ramp-up is not expected to be light-switch quick, but rather will take some time. Cirrus is capable of producing 16 aircraft per week, but the company has its sights set at half of that to reflect current market conditions. Cirrus suppliers were hit hard by the company's work stoppage, but some have used the downturn to diversify. Cirrus plans to recall each of 165 workers to its Grand Forks facility, and about 265 of 335 to its Duluth facility by the end of the week. The company provided insurance benefits for its workers throughout its month-long shutdown and "offered supplemental pay to complement unemployment," according to the Duluth News Tribune. More...

Twenty years in development, the new geared turbofan engine from Pratt & Whitney is currently nearing the completion of tests and the company sees big things in its future. The engine is designed to cut fuel burn by 12 percent, compared to the most modern engines currently available, and should be scalable. "We see the geared turbofan concept playing out for the whole future family of engines," Pratt & Whitney President Steve Finger recently told Reuters. Pratt hopes that after 2013 the engines will find a broad range of applications, beginning with upcoming regional jet aircraft from Bombardier and Mitsubishi and scaling up to produce more than 95,000 pounds of thrust. "Whatever happens" said Finger, "we don't believe anyone can bring anything that can compare with a geared turbofan for a long time." 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 (KARR) 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.
Facts and Figuresback to top 

The NTSB has released its preliminary report on the Piper Turbo Saratoga crash on approach to Akron-Canton airport Dec. 19, 2008, that killed Michael Connell, Republican media consultant and chief IT consultant for Karl Rove. The crash ignited the minds of conspiracy theorists aware that Connell had been subpoenaed for expert testimony regarding alleged electronic voter fraud in 2004, and amid one report by a CBS affiliate that Connell had been warned his plane might be sabotaged. The NTSB's early findings are subject to change and may contain errors but state that "no anomalies were noted with the flight control system that would have precluded normal operation." The report notes that damage to the propeller is consistent with a power-on impact and the landing gear was extended. The NTSB found that the instrument-rated Connell had received radar vectors that provided an intercept to the ILS approach for Runway 23, about two miles from the outer marker. The report states that, as the plane was inbound from the outer marker, "ATC advised [the aircraft] that it was left of course." After that, things -- including already poor weather conditions -- got progressively worse. More...

Currently sitting on more than five years worth of unfilled orders, both Airbus and Boeing may hope that backlog could carry them through even a moderately prolonged economic slump, but orders on paper don't always become flying aircraft and at least one analyst sees much less certainty than the order books suggest. The Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia believes the possibility exists that as much as 70 percent of more than 7400 total orders held by Boeing and Airbus will become order deferrals instead of aircraft. A global economic crisis coupled with erratic fuel prices throws a big wrench into the engine of just about every kind of air travel and as airlines around the world struggle to direct their fleets toward profitability the most expedient solution for some may be a rollback of expansion plans. More...

Cessna Caravan
Introducing the perfect union of brains and brawn. With more than 10 million fleet hours under its heavy-lifting wings, the Cessna Caravan now has brains to match. The standard Garmin G1000® glass cockpit combined with the WAAS-certified GFC700 automated flight control system integrates all primary flight, engine and sensor data to provide intuitive, at-a-glance situational awareness and precise flight guidance and control. For complete information, go online.
News Briefsback to top 

Last year, at least 24 people died in crashes of U.S.-operated non-profit medical service and aid flights, a sharp increase in that only 16 were killed during the previous eight years. This year's carnage is stirring calls for more regulation, according to an article published Friday by USA Today, but those figures may paint a slanted picture. More than two-thirds of those killed in 2008 died in one plane crash, when 15 aid workers and two pilots were lost when their aircraft crashed in the Congo. A total of seven people, including three medical patients, were killed in three flights in the U.S. over the course of three months. According to USA Today, each of those flights was arranged through the Angel Flight network and the news agency found one NTSB member who, in voicing his own opinion, "said the government should consider increasing standards on such flights." Although there's no indication any new regulations or laws are on the way, some fear any move in that direction could constrict operations that currently offer more than 20,000 safe charity flights per year. More...

AirTran Airways has apologized to nine people (including three children, ages 7, 4, and 2, and two women) who were directed to stay off of their flight before departure Thursday afternoon from Reagan National bound for Orlando, after they were overheard discussing where on the aircraft would be the safest place to sit. That conversation apparently led to security concerns among other passengers who may have been influenced by the group's apparent South Asian descent and traditionally Muslim appearance -- the men wore beards and the women wore headscarves. An AirTran spokesman defended the company's handling of the incident, which included deplaning all 104 passengers for re-screening, taking a second look at their luggage and conducting a security sweep of the aircraft, before departing without the aforementioned nine. The decision to expel the group was ultimately made by the flight's captain, who was aware that passenger complaints had reached two federal air marshals aboard the flight, and that those two individuals had in turn reported the situation to airport police. As one of those ejected from a flight he initially paid for, Abdur Razack Aziz told the Washington Post, "Nothing came out of it. It was paranoid people. It was very sad." 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. Learn more and order.

Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
News Briefsback to top 

Click for more photos
It outlasted the Second World War and survived 40 years on the bottom of the Pacific but a heavy snowfall has felled the last remaining Handley Page Hampden bomber. Volunteers at the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, British Columbia, are appealing for help to put the little-known but historically significant aircraft back together again after snow broke the left wing off the twin-engine bomber. Like many small museums, the facility has to store some of its collection outside and that's not normally a problem in the usually temperate coastal area of B.C. But this year the area has been slammed with half a dozen snowstorms and, while museum volunteers did their best to clear the snow, an especially big dump on Dec. 26 was too much for the Hampden. More...

Weather service for some Garmin handhelds reported down ...
Rail power lines cut by plane crash still not fixed ...
Myanmar training pilots ...
Officials tussle over nationality of baby born on plane. More...

What Are the Advantages of Working with an Aviation Insurance Broker?
An aviation broker gives you a choice of coverage and pricing options offered by numerous insurance companies. Today's policies offer more enhancements and features, including coverage for handheld avionics, automatic increase in insured value, trip interruption, and more. The AOPA Insurance Agency can help you select the features that best meet your unique insurance needs. Call for a complimentary quote at (800) 622-2672, or go online.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 


Letter of the Week: Flying and Alcohol

I want to compliment you for creating a forum to discuss alcohol (AVweb Insider Blog: Patty Wagstaff, Booze and Flying). I am writing because I am so impressed with the intelligent self-examination this discussion has elicited in the comments posted. It is another reason I admire the flying community so much. One of the posts used a phrase I like very much: "examine our relationship with alcohol." It seems strangely appropriate to think of this in the context of a "relationship." I have never seen such an open and honest discussion of alcohol and personal performance among my colleagues in medicine. As a surgeon, I would love to see my colleagues have a heartfelt discussion like this. Lost opportunity is hard to quantify, but you have managed to bring its relationship to alcohol into an open discussion.

Thank you again.


John Dietz

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


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...

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. Call Melanie Mulazzi at +44 (20) 7981-2504, or click here to contact her via e-mail.

Details online.
New on AVwebback to top 

The Pacific Northwest has been uncharacteristically buried in snow this winter, and a particularly heavy snowfall on Dec. 26 severely damaged the last remaining Hampden bomber at the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, British Columbia. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with museum volunteer Jack Meadows about why it's important to get this one-of-a-kind aircraft back on display. More...

Your corner service station is offering 2001 prices; why isn't your FBO? Actually, a few are, and Paul Bertorelli explains why in the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog. 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 

Did someone say "backcountry flying"? It doesn't get more majestic than this video AVweb reader Alan Loehr pointed out to us recently. Sit back and enjoy several of Arizona and Utah's most breath-taking sites, seen through the canopy of a Piper Cherokee 140 and edited together into a couple of minutes by YouTube user webdaddy. (Click through to watch.) More...

By now, you've seen and heard a lot about Garmin's new GPSMap 696 GPS device. In this video, Jeb Burnside, Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Safety magazine, walks you through four key safety features of the 696. (Click through to watch.) More...

IFR magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Van West spent time in the Tower at Kennedy airport to see what it takes to run the operation during the evening push and why it takes two years for a controller to reach full qualification at one of the busiest airports in the Northeast. More...

Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule
AeroExpo Europe - Prague (May 22-24, 2009) will showcase everything from ultralights to helicopters to business aircraft in the heart of Europe, marketing to the European and emerging Eastern European and Russian markets. AeroExpo Europe - London (June 12-14, 2009) includes aircraft from light aircraft, pistons, and turboprops through to VLJs (very light jets) and all parts and services for these general aviation aircraft. Go online for exhibitor and attendee details.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to an FBO that's taken the honor once before, back in 2007.

AVweb reader Daniel Stegeman recommended Blue Bell, Pennsylvania's Montgomery County Aviation this time around:

[This] is not a fancy FBO. However, every day of the week — rain, sun, wind — you will be greeted with a smile as soon as you land. They will be at your plane asking how they can help and what you need. I fly in and out of KLOM often ... and every arrival is the same: first class service without exception. From mechanical issues to fuel or directions, [these guys are] always helpful. ... It's not uncommon to have good service at many FBOs, but ... Montgomery County Aviation should be your "FBO of the Week" because they do it right all the time.

Duly noted, Daniel! We couldn't agree more, and that's why MCA gets a second nod from AVweb as this week's leader of the pack.

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!


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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...

The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

I was with an instrument student in a P210 preparing to depart IFR from Leesburg, Virginia. The remote radio frequency wasn't operating, so instead we set up the frequency for the Ground Control Outlet and clicked the microphone to activate the autodial telephone patch to Dulles Approach for our clearance.

Dulles Approach (on radio via Ground Control Outlet):
"You have reached the Dulles air traffic control approach facility. No one is availahle at this time to answer your call. Please leave your name and number, and someone will call back as soon as possible."

What, they don't have caller ID?

Richard S. Kaplan
Uniontown, Pennsylvania


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.

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