AVwebFlash - Volume 15, Number 4a

January 26, 2009

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Aviation and Washington, Part I back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Obama Team On ADIZ Regulations

AOPA has suggested that the Obama administration's hold on new and pending regulations "could affect implementation" of the rule that would otherwise make permanent the Washington, D.C., ADIZ. The rule has not been specifically extracted by the new administration from the collection of regulations not yet published, but as a part of them it will be reviewed by the new administration. AOPA has pledged to apply the full measure of its influence to the process in an effort to stop the ADIZ from becoming a permanent fixture in America's airspace. At this time, it appears that before any changes are considered, the administration would first have to determine that the ADIZ should be subject to review. In that case, it would ask the FAA to reopen the comment period. Otherwise, the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone would become a permanent special flight rules area, beginning Feb. 17, 2009.

AOPA's pledge to combat creation of permanent restrictions for general aviation pilots flying aircraft over government buildings is just one of many battles on the organization's roster. AOPA is also determined to represent the interests of pilots and operators who may be adversely affected by the TSA's Large Aircraft Security Program, though that program is not covered by the Obama administration's freeze on regulations not yet published.

Cessna Caravan
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Emergency Locator Change Just Around the Corner back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

February 406 MHz ELT Conversion May Put Focus On 121.5

Feb. 1, 2009, marks the end of satellites' ability to notice your 121.5 MHz-specific emergency locator beacon (ELT), but -- in the U.S. -- changing your equipment to the satellite-monitored 406 MHz is optional. After January, voluntary use of 121.5 MHz equipment, only, means that those operators accept they will be depending on ground stations listening on 121.5 and pilots of overflying aircraft -- that means you -- to find them. Search and rescue will still use whatever methods are available to help them find you, and in the case of your 121.5 MHz ELT, that may provide some measure of comfort. But the truly safety-conscious may now consider adding the layer of 406 MHz technology either through an ELT upgrade or the many personal locator beacons now available. As for Canada and Mexico: Canada has not yet required that aircraft flying in its airspace be equipped with 406 MHz ELTs. The country is planning a two-year conversion period and has yet to set rules for the transition, according to AOPA. Flying to the Bahamas will not require 406 MHz equipment, but that may change after January of 2011. Mexico will allow U.S. aircraft using 121.5 MHz ELTs to fly within the country until the end of June 2009, unless they reach a mandatory ELT battery replacement date first. The Cospas-Sarsat System has been and will continue monitoring signals transmitted on 406 MHz.

The 5-watt digital signal transmitted by 406 MHz equipment is stronger and more accurate than 121.5 and must be registered to a specific owner. Registration means that rescuers, once alerted by a 406 MHz signal, can call the owner first, before launching a search just to find an aircraft that is simply being transported on a truck, for example. For more information, see Sarsat.

Fly with Bose Aviation Headset X®
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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Aviation Safety Watch back to top 

Remos LSA Crashes At Expo

A Remos light sport aircraft which may have been associated to the company's display at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Fla. crashed on takeoff at Sebring Airport early Sunday, killing the passenger and sending the pilot to hospital with undisclosed injuries. According to the Tampa Tribune, the aircraft attempted to take off about 7:45 a.m. and crashed on the airport's south ramp. Airport spokesman Mike Willingham told the Tribune that another aircraft was to take off in formation with the crash airplane. The identities of the people involved were not released but authorities did say they weren't local.

The Tribune reported that the Remos booth was closed for the day, the last of the show. More than 170 exhibitors were on hand. "The attendance has been good; the vendors are doing brisk business," Willingham told the newspaper. "Unfortunately accidents happen. Our hearts and prayers go to the family."

Civilian Pilots Sue For Hazard Pay

Flying supplies to U.S. diplomats in Baghdad and Kabul's war zones, Vision Airlines collected $21 million in federally subsidized hazard pay for pilots and a class action suit now claims it's money the pilots never saw. According to the suit, federal hazard pay was standardized at $2,500 for every arrival and departure at airports in Baghdad and Kabul, or $5,000 per round trip. Specific to operations at Baghdad International, the flight crew was required to follow special procedures that included "blackout procedures which require all exterior an interior aircraft lighting (except for cockpit instruments) to be turned off." Aircraft arriving and departing the airport were required "to fly in a spiral directly above the airport in order to stay within the areas most heavily fortified by the United States military." The suit states that the "high degree of skill and judgment" did not necessarily prevent attack, noting the DHL Airbus that made a miraculous landing without hydraulics after being struck by a missile. (AVweb's video coverage is here.) It alleges that beginning in August of 2005, the airline stopped paying the money to flight crew making the trips, and according to one pilot quoted by CourtHouseNews.com, the airline also began firing personnel who were aware of or had received hazard pay.

The suit alleges that "despite its legal and moral obligations, Vision chose to keep this money for itself," and "retained that hazard pay for its own benefit." Hazard pay is required to be paid by the government to contractors, which the contractor must then pass down to its employees "without taking a cut of those funds," according to the suit.

Related Content:
Read the PDF.

3 Airplanes ... 3 Levels ... 1 Edition ... Ice
New for 2009, Cirrus Aircraft shakes the lineup with a new way to spec out your new Cirrus. SR20, SR22, and Turbo models are now available in three well-equipped trim levels - "S," "GS," and "GTS"; Known Ice Protection is ready to go on SR22 and Turbo models; or choose an all-new premium interior and exterior upgrade package dubbed "X-Edition." Visit CirrusAircraft.com for details.
Aviation and Washington, Part II back to top 

LaHood Confirmed As DOT Secretary

Former Rep. Ray Lahood, R-Ill., was confirmed Thursday by the Senate as Department of Transportation Secretary for the Obama administration. LaHood may soon oversee a wealth of public money expected to fall under his hand in support of the new president's not-yet-finalized stimulus plan, which makes LaHood the target of numerous aviation advocacy groups. The 63-year-old LaHood called his appointment to the position "the capstone" of his public service career ... though there's no indication he was making reference to implementation of ADS-B in the lower 48. The Air Transportation Association of America, which supports the use of user fees, called LaHood an "even-handed, thoughtful" deliberator. LaHood's past experience may predispose him to a position against user fees. He has served as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which "has adamantly opposed user fees," according to AOPA. AOPA is among many aviation groups that have together written the president to make the case for a part of the economic stimulus plan to be applied directly toward modernization of the country's national airspace system -- specifically, air traffic control and the implementation of ADS-B.

The Air Transport Association, the National Business Aviation Association, the National Air Transport Association, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, along with AOPA and several other groups, are working together to lobby the Obama administration for a stimulus aid package. The groups specifically identified a plan through which $4 billion could be used to advance the development of NextGen technologies ahead of predicted schedules. See more, here.

Life Insurance Premiums Continue to Decrease in 2008!
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Desktop Flight Sim Laid Off? back to top 

Microsoft Flight Simulator On The Chopping Block?

With the announcement of 1400 layoffs, Microsoft seems to be closing its game studios and the future of Microsoft Flight Simulator appears at best uncertain, according to two publications devoted to computer gaming, Gamasutra and Venture Beat. Gamasutra, which spoke with developments sources, printed that "multiple reports" indicate that "the entire Flight Simulator team has been axed." However, Microsoft's official offering on the subject is the statement that "all we're announcing at this time is what we are committed to flying games." According to Microsoft, Flight Simulator X, the game's most recent incarnation, "is the culmination of nearly 25 years" of the franchise, and "the most significant addition to date." The question for many is how committed the company might be to its flight games line if they do in fact lay off the teams that develop the games. While other flight simulator programs exist, Microsoft's Flight Simulator programs have been in circulation since the early 1980s and have developed a very large and dedicated fan base, as well as a loyal following of pilots who sometimes use the program to help them stay sharp. Many future pilots, too, have shot complex ILS approaches on their home computers before ever joining the ranks of airborne pilots. And, if the game's maker does close the storefront for Flight Simulator, there may be many entrepreneurial computer programmers waiting in the wings who may soon see new opportunities.

Blogs set up on the Internet for flight simulator enthusiasts generally responded with a bit of mourning, but are well aware that even without the creative entity that gave it life, the game still works just fine. Some suggest that with any luck the development stoppage will be temporary and will simply allow for advances in hardware to facilitate more comprehensive enjoyment (via faster processors and video cards) of the games they currently own. Stay tuned ... .

Dr. Blue Says, "Be Smart — Carry a PLB!"
Flying, hiking, camping, riding your ATV or bike — accidents happen that can become a life-threatening situation. Be prepared with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). It's as easy as pushing a button. PLBs from Aeromedix.com include the ACR MicroFix 406 MHz for pilots when you're enjoying activities in unpopulated areas. Click now to visit Aeromedix.com for complete details.
Honors and Accolades back to top 

Living Legends Gala Honors Ford, Branson

photos by Robert Kirchner
Click for more photos

Hundreds of aviators, celebrities and industry leaders attended the 6th Annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards banquet last Thursday. It was a star-studded tribute held at the Beverly Hilton to recognize and honor individuals who have made significant contributions in aviation. The overwhelming sentiment expressed by the award winners and presenters was the joy of sharing their love of flying and the commitment to spark the passion for aviation in others, such as One Six Right pilot Si Robin, who gave airplane rides to 250 students in Santa Monica who got an A on their report cards. Harrison Ford, recipient of the Legends Aviation Legacy Award, told the crowd that "aviation is an earned reward," and said that as chairman of EAA's Young Eagles, he encourages kids to "study and focus." Sir Richard Branson, winner of the Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award, updated the crowd on his plans to make the experience of space travel more accessible with Virgin Galactic.

The gala event is produced as a fundraiser in conjunction with Airport Journals by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded by Bill Marcy at KiddieHawk.org. Their special Bee Gee Racer "trainer" allows kids 5 to 11 years old to take their first flight lesson in simulators with motion and realistic flight controls. The new "trainers" will be Viper Jets (as featured on the March cover of Kitplanes).

Click here to view photos.

1549's Sullenberger Becomes Honorary Policeman And Seaplane Society Member

The national media covered Chesley Sullenberger's public appearance as the guest of honor at a homecoming celebration held Saturday in the small California town where he and his family live, but may not have mentioned the interesting accolades he won from one aviation organization. The Seaplane Pilots Association is presenting Sullenberger with an honorary lifetime membership in the association. The group is also offering him "a complimentary seaplane rating course" at Jack Brown's Seaplane Base in Winter Haven, Fla. Back in his hometown, Sullenberger was named an honorary police officer and presented with the key to the city. Some 3,000 people gathered to see him proclaim on behalf of his crew: "We were simply doing the job we were trained to do." He also thanked the crowd for its "incredible outpouring of support." Also over the weekend, investigators made an initial assessment of the left engine that briefly powered Sullenberger's most famous flight and was recovered from the Hudson River on Friday afternoon.

According to the NTSB, the engine showed "evidence of soft body impact damage," but failed to supply visual evidence of "organic material" (read: birds) following its unscheduled powerwashing in the Hudson River on Jan. 15. The left engine, previously attached to the US Airways Airbus A320, was dented on both the spinner and intake lip. Plus, five booster inlet vanes were damaged and eight outlet guide vanes were missing. Both engines will now be shipped to Cincinnati where investigators will oversee a complete teardown and use "advanced technology" to detect the existence of the aforementioned organic material.

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

AVmail: January 26, 2009

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: Flight 1549

I am not here to belittle [Captain Sullenberger's] landing, but I am here to mention that we are professionals. I have alway said I was the captain to save my bottom and if I did that everyone else would be taken care of, and that is what he did. He took off and climbed to 3,200 feet, lost both engines, saw he could not make it to Teterboro, did not want to crash into a populated area, and saw that the Hudson was the best place to land. The media tries to make everyone out to be a hero. He was just a damn good professional. He needs the paycheck he gets, and he should get at least 160 Christmas cards for years to come.

Louis Klemp

AVweb Replies:

Throughout the media frenzy, Capt. Sullenberger has said exactly what you are saying, that he was just doing his job. Can.t argue with the Christmas cards ... .

Russ Niles

Dick Rutan asks, "How many rafts?" (AVmail, Jan. 19) Well, on a non-ETOPS bird, none.

Brooks Wolfe

In addition to Dick Rutan's comments about how many rafts were on the US Air in the Hudson River, how many passengers were not wearing life vests or carrying seat cushions? Does anyone listen to pre-takeoff emergency briefings that include the loction of each passenger's life vest?

Dick Capp

I suspect, since rescue was so imminent, the passengers elected to stay on the wing vs. climbing into the rafts. I understand the only problem was one of the slides (also a raft) turned upside-down and they couldn't right it. They quit trying when the ferries arrived.

Roland McDonald

What the L?

Your article on Cessna's name change for the former Columbia models (Cessna's Corvalis and Cirrus' TURBO, Jan. 17) states, "Cessna's 190- and 235-knot Corvalis models have taken their new name in tribute to an Oregon town not far from the company's Bend, Ore., manufacturing facility." If that is the case, it would seem that they have faulty spellcheckers in Wichita. There are two Ls in Corvallis, Oregon, which is about 100 miles from Bend and on the other side of the Cascade mountains.

Frank Weissig

AVweb Replies:

Cessna knows the spelling varies, and we pointed that out in the story.

Russ Niles

Diamond "News"

Russ Niles's interview with Diamond's Peter Maurer (Training a Bright Spot at Diamond, Jan. 14) ignored the elephant in the room — the Thielert insolvency that has grounded large numbers of the DA-42 fleet. It's hard to understand how a discussion of Diamond's current condition and future prospects could blather on about training fleets, the current GA market, and the like but ignore that 800-pound fact, which is unique to Diamond. It's also hard to believe that there will be a long line of people waiting to buy Diamond aircraft until they fix this mess.

Don Davidson

AVweb Replies:

Frankly, Don, we were running so many stories about Thielert at one time, we used to joke when we didn't have one. Nothing much has changed with the Thielert/Diamond story since we spoke with Maurer in depth last November, and that's why we didn't talk about it.

Russ Niles

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

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.

Jeppesen Offers New & Innovative VFR+GPS Charts for North America
These charts offer a fresh perspective on what a VFR chart should be, with better color and contrast, coverage areas based on where you fly, and intuitive symbols. Space Shuttle radar data accurately depicts terrain. Jeppesen's VFR+GPS Charts are easier to use in the cockpit or at the kitchen table, and they're designed specifically to help you get more from your GPS. Click here to learn more.
New on AVweb back to top 

Exclusive Video from U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009: LSA Engine Overview

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

New to the world of LSA? One of the things you'll discover is that your engine choice makes a big difference, in terms of both weight and performance. For an overview of the three top choices in the light sport segment, Marc Cook, Editor-in-Chief of Kitplanes magazine, visits Rotax, Jabiru, and Continental on the grounds of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida.

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.

Have Bomber, Will Travel

File Size 7.8 MB / Running Time 8:32

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

For years, the Collings Foundation has been barnstorming the country, offering hands-on tours and flights in World War II aircraft. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli recently talked to Jim Harley of the Collings Foundation about what it's like to tour and fly these amazing aircraft.

Click here to listen. (7.8 MB, 8:32)

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 FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: West Plains Municipal Airport (KUNO, West Plains, Missouri)

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to the center at West Plains Municipal Airport (KUNO) in West Plains, Missouri.

AVweb reader Jim Vick recommended the FBO after several top-notch visits to the facility:

[E]ach experience is the same, with terrific hospitality and service. A phone call in advance will get a courtesy car waiting (even after hours), and, if needed, after-hours assistance with fueling. A great place to stop for fuel or a few days of stay.

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!

Hill Aircraft Parts Department Announces January as Customer Appreciation Month
All Internet orders placed in January are eligible for an additional 10% discount off the total price. $500 maximum discount. (Excludes freight, taxes, and cores if applicable.) To be eligible for this discount, simply enter code Special 0109 in the "comments" section on the Internet order form. Click here to save now!
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"

Near Boca Raton, Florida, I heard an unknown airplane call, its transmission totally garbled.

Boca Raton Tower:
"Aircraft calling Boca Raton: Unreadable!"

Unknown Airplane:
[Again, totally garbled.]

Boca Raton Tower:
"Aircraft calling Boca Raton: Suggest trying another radio. You sound like Charlie Brown's teacher."

Don Tripp
Tequesta, Florida

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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?

Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.

Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

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.