AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 47a

November 22, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Aviation Apps from the Sporty's Pilot Shop App Store
Looking for the Best Aviation Apps for Your iPad?
Sporty's App Store is the place to find apps for pilots that really work — for iPhone, iPad and Android. Whether it's the ultimate pre-flight planning app, video training apps or an E6B flight computer app, Sporty's has the best.

New ones are added weekly, so watch Sportys.com/apps for the latest!
AVflash! TSA at Center of Security Brouhaha back to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Risk Management and Practical Solutions 
Conference || December 6, 2010 || Dubai, UAE || Register Now

Security Measures Here To Stay

TSA Administrator John Pistole said Sunday there are no plans to change controversial security procedures at airports despite a growing backlash against the more detailed patdowns now being administered to some passengers. Pistole said he's heard the complaints but about 2 percent of travelers can expect to be touched where their mom and dad likely told them never to let strangers touch. "I want to be as sensitive as I can to those folks. I'm very attuned given all the concerns that have been raised," Pistole told CNN's State of the Union. "No, we're not changing the policies." President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton also said they felt the passengers', uh, pain, but they stopped short of overruling the TSA. Clinton said she'd avoid getting groped if she could. Meanwhile the Business Travel Coalition, a group representing the road warriors who rack up the most miles on airlines, is calling for a stop to so-called "opt-out" protests loosely planned for the Thanksgiving travel rush, but that doesn't mean it's giving the TSA a pass.

In an op-ed piece released Saturday, the BTC says the protest plans have called attention to the issue but it would be "irresponsible" to actually proceed with disrupting security at airports. "To advertise it in advance to the terrorists is reckless," the BTC said. The group said the use of potentially harmful X-ray machines and aggressive patdowns without prior consultation is symptomatic of the arrogance of an agency deaf to the concerns of the people who must endure its sometimes questionable practices. BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell called for a review of security policy in light of the public backlash.

Related Content:

Pilots To Be Exempted From TSA Scan, Pat-Down

Friday, the TSA announced that airline pilots will see immediate modifications to their airport checkpoint screenings, but it appears it will be next year before they can bypass scanners, or full-body pat-downs. The near-term changes have not been revealed in detail, but apply to pilots traveling in uniform or on airline business, according to the Associated Press. In the new year, pilots will pass through security following a standard process (yet to be determined) likely to be based on a computer check of their airline-issued ID cards. "This one seemed to jump out as a common-sense issue," TSA head John Pistole said. "Why don't we trust pilots who are literally in charge of the aircraft?" Pilots have been wondering the same thing. But not everyone is happy.

Cabin crew represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants are so far "extremely disappointed" to have been bypassed in the initial agreement. Crew unions will be fighting to win modified procedures for their members, too. For pilots, some details (including any associated costs) have yet to be ironed out. The TSA is insisting that the standards for pilots be national, and airlines and pilots still need to agree on which systems and standards they will use. Costs associated with the program are expected to fall to computer and Internet-related charges. Pilot unions are already pushing for government funding or employer support to cover the program's costs.

Researchers: TSA Misleads Public on Scanner Safety

As the Transportation Security Administration's deployment of backscatter X-ray machines at airports draws increasing public resistance, four University of California researchers say the ionizing radiation used in these devices pose serious health concerns. In early April of 2010, the researchers—all medical and biology specialists— wrote the White House's science and technology assistant, John Holdren, expressing "urgent" concerns about the safety of so-called Advanced Imaging Technology. TSA has claimed that the scanners expose passengers to less than the equivalent of a chest X-ray, but the researchers say this claim is misleading because of the way backscatter X-rays work.

In a detailed paper submitted to the White House, the researchers identified a number of red flags associated with the use of this technology. Specifically, even though the backscatter machines operate at low beam powers, the majority of their radiation is directed at the skin and underlying tissue, not the entire body. The report says because the X-ray energy is not absorbed by the entire body, the skin dosage may be dangerously high in localized areas, exposure that's very different than a chest X-ray. Furthermore, they say no independent data exists on the safety of routine use of backscatter machines. The TSA appears to have accepted data from the manufacturers, without benefit of conducting independent risk assessment buttressed by peer-reviewed data.

The researchers' report indentified several categories of at-risk passengers, including people over 65, women who may be sensitive to mutagenesis provoking radiation, a breast cancer risk and immunocompromised individuals. The scientists urged the administration to assemble an independent panel to evaluate the scanner risk, but thus far, this hasn't been done, although TSA did engage Johns Hopkins University of Applied Physics Laboratory to perform an engineering assessment. The university claimed the radiation exposure is within safe limits published by the American National Standards Institute. Similarly, it posted a statement from the American College of Radiology claiming that the backscatter machines represent less radiation risk than the flight itself. Neither of those reports addresses the researchers' point about concentration of radiation on the skin.At least two airline unions aren't buying TSA's assurances. The U.S. Airline Pilots Association and the Allied Pilots Association are advising their members to avoid the scanners.

Related Content:

EDM 830 from JP Instruments || Technology That Works
JP Instruments Cash Rebate Offer:
Don't Leave the Ground Without Us!

JPI, the EDM & Fuel Flow leader, is running an incredible rebate offer, directly for AVweb readers. Outfitting your aircraft with our EDM monitor is like having a flight engineer aboard every flight. Back on earth, download your in-flight data with our no-cost EZTrends software to spot any future problems. From the classic EDM 700 to the bright-LCD EDM 830, nothing compares to the accuracy and quick response of JPI Systems. Click here for more info.
Smile — And Swipe Your Credit Card? back to top 

FAA Proposes Photos For Your Certificate At A Cost

The FAA proposed a rule Thursday that would put your picture on your pilot certificate and (for most pilots) will remove the current requirement to also carry another photo ID; it extends to students and it will cost you something. The agency has the authority to charge a maximum fee of $22 for renewals and proposes to charge that entire fee to add photos to existing certificates. The cost of issuing, upgrading or adding ratings had previously been absorbed by the FAA. The FAA says the new fee will not cover the cost of adding photos to existing certificates and the agency proposes to adjust the fee periodically based on the Consumer Price Index. The FAA also expects designees, used to accepting and verifying photo-certificate applications, to also charge a separate and uncapped fee. Pilots would need to renew their photo certificates every eight years. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (PDF) explains that the proposal is a response to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. The proposed timeframe for compliance varies depending on your ratings and activities as a pilot.

The FAA plans to transition pilots to photo certificates with a combined approach. Once the rule goes into effect all new certificate applicants will be paying for the new photo-certificate. The FAA's fees for issuing a first airman certificate (not a renewal, replacement or upgrade) could cost up to $50 and "the FAA would decide whether additional rulemaking is necessary." Current pilots would be transitioned either by a "triggering event," which includes pilot/FAA interactions like picking up a new rating or flight instructor certificate. Beyond that, ATPs would have three years to obtain a photo certificate; commercial pilots would have four years; and private, recreational and sport pilots would have five years. The measure is an extension of the requirement of pilots to obtain plastic certificates. Comments on the NPRM will be accepted for 90 days from the pending date of publication in the Federal Register.

Pilots Require a Different Approach
When It Comes to Buying Life Insurance

Just because you fly, don't overpay for life insurance. Get the information you need to find the right policy for your family's protection at the Pilot Insurance Center.

Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 or visit PICLife.com.
Mooney Reels, Regroups as Year Winds Down back to top 

Mooney Shrinks To Skeleton Crew, Seeks Investor Support

Mooney Aviation Company began a company-wide "draw down" Friday that will see its staff cut from 53 positions to "less than 10" by Jan. 1; the company says it is not shutting down and its aircraft will be supported. AVweb spoke with Mooney's Susan Harrison Friday, who confirmed the details. The layoffs will be staggered through December. Beginning in 2011, Mooney will be staffed by a skeleton crew that will maintain the company's facilities, its type and production certificates, and parts inventory, and provide technical support to owners. The bottom line appears to be this: Come January, the phone at Mooney may sometimes go unanswered, but, for now, that does not mean the company has closed shop. Mooney has been involved in negotiations with potential investors for 18 months and says those efforts will continue.

Mooney designs have been market-tested for more than 60 years and claims among its achievements the first single-engine aircraft certified for flight into known icing and the first single-engine production aircraft to achieve 200 mph on 200 hp. In 2008, Mooney had 500 employees but lost 200 by November and reductions in personnel have continued. As recently as April, Mooney reported it had sold all inventory aircraft and was watching the market for cues that would allow the company to restart production. Friday, the company posted an announcement to its website describing the conditions described above. Find it here.

JA Air Center || When It Comes to Avionics, Go with a Name You Can Trust
JA Air Center — When It Comes to Garmin Avionics,
Go with a Name You Can Trust!

Since 1965, pilots have trusted the avionics experts at JA Air Center. Whether you're looking for ship-in repair, custom installation, or a mail order purchase, no one knows avionics better than JA Air Center.

Call (800) 323-5966 or click here.

BUY, SELL, or TRADE your avionics
and GPS equipment at JA Air Center
Aviation Safety back to top 

Report: Fatal India Crash Pilot Had "Sleep Inertia"

Snoring was picked up by the cockpit voice recorders of an Air India Express 737-800 not long before it ran off the runway at Mangalore Airport in May, killing 158 of 164 aboard, according to a Court of Inquiry probe. The flight's captain had more than 10,200 hours and reportedly slept for much of the roughly three hour flight out of Dubai. He reportedly awoke shortly before attempting to land in heavy rain. Investigators found the captain was likely disoriented due to "sleep inertia" and flew the approach right through warnings from his 3,600 hour copilot "to abort" and "go around." The aircraft touched down roughly 1,500 meters down the 2,400-meter table-top runway at Mangalore and the co-pilot said "we don't have runway left." Investigators believe that had emergency braking been applied, the crew could have stopped the aircraft on the wet runway before sliding off the steep terrain at the runway's end, but concluded the crew attempted to return to the air. The aircraft slid down a steep embankment and exploded in the jungle below.

India's Civil Aviation Minister received the report on Tuesday and told reporters he would study it before taking any action. The civil aviation ministry has asked the Airports Authority of India to extend the runway by another 1,000 feet as a separate issue. Experts are in agreement that the crash had nothing to do with the length of the runway. Work and rest rules, however, are a concern. In June 2008, an Air India plane flew 200 miles past its destination while both pilots slept. Evidence has not yet been provided to support or dispel concerns that the pilot's schedule lacked ample opportunity for sleep prior to the flight.

Liver Transplant Succeeds After Crash

It's not often that one of the potential victims of a plane crash is already lying in a hospital bed when the aircraft goes down but there's a relatively happy ending to this strange story from England. A Cessna Citation carrying the pilot, one other person and a liver destined for the man in hospital clipped an airport antenna in dense fog while landing at Birmingham Airport last Friday afternoon. The plane slid to a stop on the infield and the occupants were injured, the pilot seriously. The liver, however, was unscathed.

So, while the whole-person casualties were looked after, a policeman scooped up the liver and put it on his motorcycle for the trip to the hospital, where it was pronounced healthy. About four hours later it was doing what livers do inside the patient, who was in stable condition at last report. The drama closed the airport for hours and disrupted the travel plans of about 6,000 people.

Aviation Asset Management in the Middle East Conference (AAMME) || December 6, 
2010 || Dubai, UAE || Register Now
2nd Annual Aviation Asset Management in the Middle East to Be Chaired by Dr. Donald H. Bunker of Donald H. Bunker & Associates
The Second Annual Aviation Asset Management in the Middle East Summit in Dubai will explore the latest developments in aviation asset management in the region, as well as the future of asset management services in this marketplace. It will provide the platform for high-level debate and exchange of ideas and information, as well as extensive networking opportunities for aviation executives from the Middle East and the rest of the world. Click here for more information.
News Briefs back to top 

Pilots Locked Out Of Cockpit

Cockpit security was especially tight for a Delta Airlines flight that was supposed to leave LAX Sunday morning. Not even the pilots could get in. There are conflicting reports about exactly what happened with Flight 124 to Atlanta, continuing to Brussels. Early reports based on phone calls from passengers to news agencies suggested a crew member was locked behind the bulletproof door. Later reports only mentioned that the crew that was supposed to take the 767-300 to Atlanta was locked out for four hours while mechanics worked on it.

Delta later confirmed the incident but didn't elaborate on what went wrong with the door. The aircraft had been towed to the gate from a "remote location", according to Delta spokeswoman Kristin Bauer. "It was then discovered that the cockpit door was locked," Bauer told KTLA. "A maintenance worker was brought in to unlock the door."

Prince To The Rescue

A prince came to the rescue of a Welsh man last week but it was all in a day's work for Flt. Lt. Wales. The rookie RAF helicopter pilot, more popularly known as Prince William, was at the controls as he and three other crew flew a challenging search and rescue mission on Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. A hiker suffered a heart attack and William and his crew scrambled in poor weather over rough terrain. The hiker, Greg Watkins, was hoisted from the mountain in a sling while the prince hovered in appalling weather. "How he managed to get the helicopter so close defies belief," Watkins said from his hospital bed as he recovered from heart surgery. "The fog was so thick at times, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. The rain was lashing down and it was howling a gale."

Watkins said having a future king in charge of his destiny made the experience that much more amazing but the British government was a little more restrained in its announcement. "Flight Lieutenant Wales was called out, as part of a four-man RAF search and rescue crew, to assist a man suffering from chest pains on Snowdon," said the news release. "The man was subsequently flown to a local hospital for treatment."

Diamond Aircraft
Find Out Why Leading Flight Training Schools Fly Diamond!
Diamond offers the only complete modern fleet of technically-advanced training aircraft, along with model-specific flight training devices and a safety record that is second to none. With bonus depreciation incentives, now is the time to find out why leading flight training schools around the globe fly Diamond Aircraft.
Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Guest Blog — Airport Protests Are the Wrong Approach

Passengers have a right to be upset about new security measures at airports but the Business Travel Coalition says disrupting security procedures with protests is the wrong approach. The AVweb Insider welcomes guest blogger Kevin Mitchell, who urges passengers to stay calm and organized instead of becoming frantic and angry.

Read more and join the conversation.

AVweb Insider Blog: The Sheer Boredom of Navigating with GPS

In his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli takes a break from running around airport concourses screeching about TSA to enjoy a quieter pastime: Flying his Cub on a long cross-country at 500 feet. He and his student had a GPS along, but flying the magenta line proves far less interesting that flying one penciled on a map.

Read more and join the conversation.

Mike Busch || CEO & Found of Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management || 2008 
National Aviation Maintenance Tech of the Year
Finally! Professional Maintenance Management
For Your Piston Aircraft ... Like Bizjets Get.
Don't You Deserve the Best?

Mike Busch and his team of world-class maintenance professionals provide the kind of professional maintenance management for hundreds of owner-flown piston singles and twins that used to be available only for corporate jets. No stress, no hassle, no wasting your time — and you'll save money to boot! Learn how they do it.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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.

Bonus Depreciation Stories and Resources on AVweb.com
Fantastic Pricing and Tax Incentives make 2010 an ideal time to buy or upgrade an aircraft. We've compiled special offers on new or used planes, avionics, engines and more on the resource page. The pricing, rebates or incentives are available to everyone. Consult your tax advisor regarding the potential bonus depreciation benefits, and check our resources page for stories, podcasts, and videos related to bonus depreciation.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

ADS-B in Alaska: FAA's Folly?

File Size 12.2 MB / Running Time 13:20

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Capstone's safety success in Alaska is often touted in discussions of ADS-B, but Alaskan pilot Jim Gibertoni says this is misleading at best. IFR magazine's Jeff Van West found out why he thinks the system will be useless for GA over much of Alaska.

Click here to listen. (12.2 MB, 13:20)

Video: Learning to Fly with Flyvie & Jeppesen

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

Jeppesen and Flyvie may revolutionize the way student pilots learn to fly (and the way flight instructors approach flight training) by making actual flight lessons recordable, portable, and reviewable on the ground at the flight school, at home, and almost anywhere. Learn more at Flyvie.com.

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.

Kitplanes Magazine || Order Now
Do You Love to Fly?
Every issue of Kitplanes is crammed with the facts, figures, and stats you need to build and maintain your dream aircraft. Join the revolution in GA!

Order now.
Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Space Coast Aviation (KCOI, Merritt Island, FL)

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

AVweb reader Eve Cascella calls Space Coast Aviation at Merritt Island Airport (KCOI) in Merritt Island, Florida "the kind of FBO that I want to return to":

A friend and I recently flew my Cessna 172 to KCOI the day after their air show had ended and two days before the shuttle Discovery was scheduled to launch, so it was a busy time. I had an issue with one of my cockpit instruments, and the Space Coast maintenance department bent over backwards to get my problem fixed in a day. Ron and Don were friendly, courteous, and professional, and I was able to relax because I had confidence that they would take care of my plane. Vashti, who worked the front desk, made us feel welcome, and she was very helpful with car rentals and restaurant suggestions. Thank you, Space Coast Aviation!

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!

Traditional Tactics Need a Fresh Approach
Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Isn't it time to initiate a digital marketing program with AVweb that will deliver traffic and orders directly to your web site? Discover several new and highly successful marketing options to use in lieu of static print or banner campaigns. Click now for details.
Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Sunday, November 28, 2010. (That's a couple of days later than our usual Friday deadline, because of the Thanksgiving holiday.)

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

Overheard at Page Field Airport (FMY):

FMY Approach:
"Grumman 1 Romeo X-ray, how many souls on board?"

Grumman 1RX:
"Two S-O-Bs."

Tony G.
via e-mail

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
Mariano Rosales

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.