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Volume 16, Number 47a
November 22, 2010
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AVflash! TSA at Center of Security Brouhahaback to top 
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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.

Related Content:


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. More...

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. More...

Related Content:

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Smile — And Swipe Your Credit Card?back to top 

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) 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. More...

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

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Mooney Reels, Regroups as Year Winds Downback to top 

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. More...

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Aviation Safetyback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

Aviation Asset Management in the Middle 
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News Briefsback to top 

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. More...

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." More...

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Opinion & Commentaryback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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

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 What have you heard? More...

Bonus Depreciation Stories and Resources 
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 Learnback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


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!


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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversaryback to top 

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 

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 Flightback to top 


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 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
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.