This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED AviationAUX
AUDIO ON LIGHTSPEED HEADSETS
The ability to use your aviation
headset like a standard stereo headphone seemed an obvious benefit to
us. Although some pilots do not immediately see the benefit of this
feature, many find it indispensable. As PDAs become more prevalent in
the cockpit, the ability for these devices to give audible warning and
advise will increase the value of this headset feature. As noted in
prior AVflashes, LightSPEED is the first headset company to offer
this integrated feature. This Auxiliary Audio Interface is standard on
the QFR XC2, 20XL2, 20 3G, and the 30 3G models. These headsets also
feature "Com Priority Muting," which automatically turns down the
Auxiliary Audio source should the headset detect input from the
intercom. Find the model right for your flying needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
Last week, we told you a $100 million provision for relief to GA,
previously written into the FAA's reauthorization bill, was gone, but
that Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta would like to triple
airspace capacity -- more airports, radar and runways (maybe we should
just stop closing airports). This week, the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association (NATCA) President John Carr says the budget
introduced by the White House includes a 16 percent funding cut for air
traffic control facilities and equipment. "The White House is saying two
entirely different and contradictory things," Carr said. "You cannot
modernize the system and add capacity by announcing there will be vastly
less money to pay for it." More...
SOME PROGRAMS PROSPER...
Certainly not all aviation-related programs are looking at cuts,
however. In fact, the budget provides for whopping increases in spending
on some technical development systems that are years or even decades
from completion. A good example is the NEXCOM system, which will eventually amalgamate all
aviation communications into a single, integrated digital service.
Funding jumps from $102 million this year to $172 million for 2005.
Likewise the En Route Automation Program (ERAM), which will get
$264 million in 2005, compared to $185 million this year. ERAM will
replace the 30-year-old system that now keeps tabs on high-altitude
traffic. Costs appear to have been reigned in on some notorious
budget-busters like the Wide
Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System
It also looks like there are changes coming to the way that controllers
get their weather information, as part of the FAA's drive to minimize
weather delays. In an internal memo obtained by AVweb, the
National Weather Service (NWS) will reorganize its Central Weather
Support Units (CWSU) system, which is the link between the latest
weather information and the air traffic controllers. The less-is-more
theme appears to be applied here, as well. In his assessment of the NWS
plan, John Kies, the FAA's manager of Air Traffic Tactical Operations,
notes there won't be any more money for the increased services so some
CWSUs will likely have to be cut. "The NWS has agreed, de facto, to
consolidation of the current configuration of the CWSUs," Kies wrote.
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VIRGINIA, THERE IS GA SECURITY...
It seems like lots of people talk about GA security but the state of
Virginia is actually doing something about it. The state legislature is
expected to pass $1.5 million in funding for a statewide audit of
security planning and procedures at each of the 59 airports it
certifies. Now, $1.5 million wouldn't cover the cost of a single baggage
scanner at a major airport, but Charles Mcfarlane, Virginia's director
of aviation, said the budget will go a long way toward implementing
basic security measures at GA airports. "What's not appropriate is doing
nothing," he said. Mcfarlane added that the measures must be kept in
context with the level of risk. "I don't think the primary threat is a
general aviation airport." More...
The Virginia plan (assuming the General Assembly includes the money in
its final budget) will be first to assess what, if any, security
measures are in place at each of the airports. Even the smallest
facilities will be checked. Macfarlane said each facility will be asked
to develop a security plan and document procedures. For many, the audit
will reveal the need to spend some money on equipment and facilities.
Macfarlane said proper fencing, identification systems, lighting and
cameras are the most likely items to be installed at smaller airports.
PILOTS ARMED, CONTROVERSY FULLY COCKED
After a yearlong battle to be included, cargo pilots can now apply to
carry guns on their flights. However, the expansion of the Federal
Flight Deck Officers (FFDO) program seems to have stirred up more
criticism than it has calmed. The TSA announced the move on Tuesday,
about a month after the president signed it into law as part of the FAA
Reauthorization package. "Expanding the FFDO program [to cargo pilots]
adds yet another layer of security ... to protect against those who
would do us harm," said Acting TSA Administrator David Stone. But pilots
groups and even pilots who have already been through the program
apparently fear the it has a better chance of ending their careers than
stopping a terrorist act. More...
LIABILITY PROTECTION PLANNED
A proposed law will also make volunteers who fly
cancer patients to treatments and sick children to medical appointments
fit the legal meaning of the term Good Samaritans. The House and Senate
Judiciary Committees are now reviewing the bill, proposed in 2002 by
Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Va.) to include volunteer pilots in the Volunteer
Protection Act of 1997, the so-called Good Samaritan Act that protects
volunteers from liability in their endeavors to help others. The Air Care Alliance
is now looking for help from other volunteer pilot groups to help push
the law into reality. More...
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR
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Southwest Airlines is beginning the seventh year of its Adopt-A-Pilot program, in which fifth-grade students
across the country get to follow the travels of one of 450 volunteer
pilots who take them along for the ride in a variety of ways. Some
communicate by e-mail or send postcards, giving clues and asking
students to figure out where the messages originate. Others take digital
pictures of a toy they take to various U.S. cities while some get their
passengers involved by asking them to write notes to class members.
Along the way, the kids learn about the math, science, writing and
geography skills involved in air travel that can be applied to other
areas of their lives. More...
CRASH CONFOUNDS NIGERIANS
Last Friday, witnesses claimed to have watched a plane, possibly a Beech
1900, fall into the ocean. But since none of the air carriers operating
in the area have reported any of their planes missing, air traffic
controllers didn't have anything on their scopes and searchers haven't
found any wreckage, a search has been called off. The National Air
Safety Initiative (NASI) had classified the crashing object as a UFO,
said NASI Executive Director Jerry Agbeyegbe. "Certainly an object was
sighted crashing into the ocean, we have termed it for now as a UFO,"
Agbeyegbe told Reuters. "The fact that no aircraft is missing even makes
it more demanding for government to resolve the mystery, certainly it
should be viewed from the angle of national security," NASI told the
Daily Times of Nigeria. More...
DIAMOND ENGINEERS REDESIGN DA40 PANEL TO OPTIMIZE FORM
AND FUNCTION Diamond's DA40 is the platform for the first
certified installation of Garmin's new integrated glass panel. The G1000
offers better situational awareness by rolling the functions of
conventional panel-mounted instruments into two 10-inch
sunlight-readable displays, including digital audio, a WAAS-capable IFR
GPS, VHF navigation with ILS and VHF communication, 8.33-kHz-channel
spacing, Mode S, solid-state attitude and heading, a digital air data
computer and optional weather and terrain data all hooked up to a
Bendix/King KAP two-axis autopilot. The jet-style, laser-etched
polycarbonate overlay adds the final high-tech touch. For more
information on the DA40, and Diamond Aircraft's other innovative
aircraft designs, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.
Maybe the Martians are upset that we've introduced ATVs to their planet
or maybe it's a slow news week. Regardless, there is no shortage of UFO
sightings around the world this week. It's all grist for the mill for
the biggest UFO convention of them all, coming up July 1 in Roswell,
N.M. Thousands of people watching the annual Snowdown Parade, in
Durango, Colo., saw and heard a low-flying aircraft of some sort buzz
the parade route twice. In Australia, a municipal worker caught what
looks like a flying saucer on his digital camera and three Canadians
told their local newspaper about seeing a bright hovering object near
Moncton, New Brunswick, last summer. More...
Duane Cole, one of the pioneers of modern aerobatic competition and the
air shows that give it an audience, has died at the age of 89. Cole died
of natural causes at his home in Burleson, Texas. Cole spent his whole
life in aerobatics and air shows and wrote nine books on the subject.
Wayne Handley, who legitimately wears the mantle of aerobatic legend
himself, said Cole was, "A giant. He had a very profound effect on the
aerobatic world," said handley. "He loved aerobatics saw their value and
preached the gospel of safety." More...
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Air ambulance wreckage was found on Hawaii, all three aboard dead...
Modern racer Wildfire will challenge warbirds at Reno...
U.S. companies invited to check out China...
Singapore Airlines launched record-breaking 18-hour nonstop from
Restorable warbirds for sale by Australian museum.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Say Again? #32: ATC 203 -- IFR En Route
Time to go back to school with AVweb's Don Brown. This time, he's
discussing the pitfalls of IFR en route planning, especially short hops
and requests for "direct-to." Get your charts handy and get ready to
Telex Airman 850
You've moved on to heavier iron, and now you want to ditch the clunky
old headset for one of those fancy, light-as-a-feather headsets you see
the pros wear in the movies. Too bad the cockpit is too loud for you to
hear anything. Enter the Telex Airman 850, a lightweight headset with
the benefits of the latest ANR technology yet requiring no batteries to
operate. Jeremy Jankowski puts the newest entry to the market to the
MINUTES NOT WEEKS OR DAYS
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
While the number of airports in the U.S. continues to shrink,
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta talks about tripling the airspace
capacity. Last week, we asked AVweb readers what they thought about the
GA closing crunch. An overwhelming 67% of respondents felt the FAA
should intervene to protect airports. The other 30% of QOTW respondents
thought the responsibility for these airports lay elsewhere with
local governments, residents, and individual pilots. Despite the
differences, almost everyone (except five readers) thought that someone
should take action to save our GA airports. This week, we'd like your
thoughts on the missing $100 million for GA businesses in the wake of
MAGAZINE'S SPRING REVIEW
Just like in every issue, Pilot
Getaways' Spring Issue leads you to some aviation-friendly
destinations around the country. A grass strip on Cape Cod, an
international airport in San Francisco, a WWII-themed hotel in Texas
even a gravel bush strip in the California mountains. Don't miss
out on the best information for flying with your airplane. Subscribe
today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Amazing shots keep pouring in from AVweb and AVflash readers! This week,
we had to overlook some truly amazing shots but John Fisher got
our attention and we think he'll get yours. There was stiff competition
for this week's AVweb baseball cap giveaway, so pat yourself on the
back, John! More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
FEBRUARY SPECIALS INCLUDE:
10% discount on their new Flight
Bag, and 10% discount on Gleim's Test Prep Software. That's right
software, not books. See these and AVflash-subscriber-only
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A GROUNDHOG DAY'S SPECIAL TO ALL PILOTS FROM SAFE
Yep, no matter what his shadow says, the groundhog at
Safe Goods is offering a complimentary copy of Eliminating Pilot
Error when you purchase Spirit and Creator: The Mysterious Man
Behind Lindbergh's Flight to Paris, a look into the design of the
Spirit of St. Louis, and 2012: Airborne Prophesy, a novel that
includes all the elements of a good read. For more information and to
order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/safegoods/avflash.
AVIATION'S MAINSTAY FLYING MAGAZINE AT SPECIAL
Flying's March issue covers: "The Best
Gulfstream Yet" the G550 flies faster and farther with the most
exotic cockpit electronics; A review of the Garmin CNX80; Reports from
Kitty Hawk; "Urban Bush Flying" minutes from Seattle;
"Incapacitated Pilots" how many are there?; plus all the columns
and pilot reports that make each issue of Flying a keeper. Order
your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
IFR REFRESHER MAGAZINE'S MARCH ISSUE
"The Performance Price" with the monetary
price comes recurrent training and proficiency to pro pilot standards;
"Getting Out in One Piece" some tips on helping you plan and
execute the departure you want; "Understanding the Clearance" a
review of ATC clearances with tips to help you sort them out before
accepting them; "A Good Guide to Bad Skies" reviewing the CCFP;
"Of Lions and Lambs" 00 refresh your knowledge of surface analysis
charts; and "Strike One, and You're Out" tower construction may
soon impact the approach minimums at our airports. Subscribe today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrref/avflash.
PILOTS WHO HAVE READ IFR: A STRUCTURED APPROACH BY
JOHN ECKALBAR HAVE COMMENTED:
"Perhaps the most useful
aviation training publication I have encountered in almost 40 years"
(Fredric Boswell); "The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. ...
It is certainly the best instrument flying book I have ever read" (Fred
Scott); "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a
skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it" (AOPA
Pilot, November 2003). With the help of this book, you will
establish your own personal standard operating practices for IFR,
including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and
the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. For more
information and to order online, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.
We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?
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