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Volume 17, Number 50b
December 15, 2011
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Charts and Dollarsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement
Abu Dhabi Air Expo || 6-8 March 2012 || 
The Middle East's 1st GA Expo

The FAA's AeroNav charting division told vendors this week that it proposes to charge end users of digital charting producers about $150 a year to close a $5 million shortfall in its budget due to declining paper chart sales. The new fee, if adopted, would presumably more than double the cost of some popular iPad and Droid applications such as ForeFlight and WingX. Plus, vendors selling through Apple's application channels would face additional charges. "To me, it's pretty clear that these prices are a non-starter. I know pilots aren't going to pay $150 for these products without screaming about it," one vendor told us.

Related Content:


For reasons we find mystifying, the FAA steadfastly refuses to answer questions about budget and revenue plans for its AeroNav charting division. It's supposed to sort this out with vendors in a closed meeting this week, which the public and press are barred from attending. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli runs downs the issues and options. Read more and join the conversation. More...

Kannad INTEGRA 406 MHz GPS ELT || 
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The new INTEGRA 406 GPS ELT is a major step forward in the development of ELT technology and aircraft safety equipment. The INTEGRA is the only ELT in the world which operates on the international 406 MHz satellite search and rescue system and includes an internal GPS and 406 MHz antenna, plus an internal battery. The INTEGRA offers the international flying community a number of major benefits over the standard ELT models available on the market today. Receive reduced pricing now through December 31, 2011. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit
Wonder Gadgets: Separating the Good from the Badback to top 

Federal officials Wednesday confirmed earlier reports that signals from a nationwide broadband system proposed by LightSquared will significantly disrupt existing GPS service. In separate statements, the National Coordination Office for Spaced-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT), the Department of Defense and the Department of Transportation essentially said that under current circumstances, GPS cannot coexist with LightSquared's planned 40,000-tower network of high-speed wireless broadband transmitters. "LightSquared signals caused harmful interference to the majority of … general purpose GPS receivers," said Anthony Russo, director of PNT. The comments were based on recent test results that also showed the signals could affect TAWS. Cellphones are not affected significantly, according to the tests. LightSquared said it rejects the findings about the GPS receivers but is willing to work with the FAA on TAWS. The GPS interference, LightSquared claims, is the GPS industry's fault, which, regardless of the veracity of the claim, may be a moot point. More...

American Airlines is the first U.S. airline to be officially approved by the FAA to use iPads as an electronic flight bag in all phases of flight, the FAA said this week. The airline received the approval on Dec. 1. The FAA said only two iPads are allowed to be operated in the cockpit at any one time, according to The New York Times. "This involves a significantly different scenario for potential interference than unlimited passenger use, which could involve dozens or even hundreds of devices at the same time," the FAA told the Times. American and Alaska Airlines previously have been using the tablets in the cockpit on an evaluation-only basis. More...

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Inside the Beleaguered Fighter Jet Programback to top 

A 55-page report this weekend made public a laundry list of flaws currently dragging on the F-35 fighter program and is complicated by a production plan called "Concurrency" that allows Lockheed Martin to churn out the jets while testing continues. Structural cracks, electrical gremlins and a "classified" problem are among those mentioned in the report. The program, already projected to cost one trillion dollars over the next 50 years, could now face another billion dollars in fixes. And aging fighters waiting to be replaced by the F-35 may have to hold the line years longer than originally expected. More... || We're All New!
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Law and Accountabilityback to top 

A District Court Judge has ordered the United States to pay $4.4 million to the family of a pilot killed in a 2005 plane crash after finding that a controller (currently serving as a front line manager) "breached his duty of care." Judge Edwin G. Torres found that controller Harvey Pake failed to provide accurate, complete weather information pertinent to pilot Michael Zinn's route of flight. He also failed to provide navigational assistance when asked, according to the court. The NTSB's full narrative suggests it may not be that simple. Zinn was flying a Cessna P337H, IFR, out of Boca Raton for Myrtle Beach in the afternoon. Pake told him he was heading toward heavy precipitation and Zinn announced a heading change. Pake became involved with another aircraft as Zinn flew into a Level 5 storm. Zinn was heard on frequency by controllers and other pilots screaming for help for two minutes before his radio went silent. More...

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Tomorrow's Pilots Get a High-Tech Early Startback to top 

A new program offered by Build A Plane and Fly To Learn aims to help kids learn about science, technology, engineering, and math by building and flying virtual aircraft using X-Plane flight simulator software. "Not every school can or wants to build a real airplane," said Lyn Freeman, founder of Build A Plane, "but now everybody can build an airplane virtually, thanks to our new partnership with Fly To Learn." Fly To Learn has developed a curriculum that uses X-Plane to teach kids the basics of aviation and help them design and fly their own simulated aircraft. The groups plan to develop a nationwide competition with a "virtual fly-off." More...

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Remembering Lynn Helmsback to top 

J. Lynn Helms, who served as FAA administrator from 1981 to 1984, died on Dec. 11, at his home in Westport, Conn., at age 86. Helms may be best remembered for his role during the 1981 strike by air traffic controllers. According to the Washington Post, Helms advised Reagan administration officials that air traffic safety would not be affected if more than 11,000 union controllers were fired. Helms kept ATC running with non-union workers, managers, members of the military, and new hires. Helms also served as a test pilot in the Navy, and was president of Piper Aircraft in the 1970s. More...

AVbuys || AVweb Stories About Great Deals 
in Aviation
Fly More for Less
Visit the AVbuys page for discounts, rebates, incentives, bargains, special offers, bonus depreciation, or tax benefits to help stretch your budget. We're helping you to locate and view current offers instantly, with a direct link to sponsors' web sites for details.

Click for the resource page.
What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Weekback to top 

Hawker Beechcraft is looking for a break from the holders of a $182 million revolving line of credit as it grapples with the rough economy. According to Bloomberg, the Wichita planemaker, jointly owned by Goldman Sachs and Onex Corp., is close to violating the terms of the loan agreement in which its cash flow must grow. Hawker Beech has been hard hit by the collapse of the light jet market. Although the lenders could theoretically call the loan if the cash flow issue isn't resolved, financial experts quoted by Bloomberg say that doesn't make any sense. More...


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."


'Brave, Splendid Fools' by Capt. William 
Bacheler || Available at
A Great Read!
Available from AVweb Bookstore.
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The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

To cover its expenses, the FAA's AeroNav proposes to charge at least $150 per user for its digital databases, more than doubling the cost of apps like ForeFlight and WingX and probably eliminating free viewing of charts on services like DUATs and other no-charge sites. Is the FAA right to raise prices for digital charts?

Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers for their opinion on Randy Babbitt's resignation as FAA Administrator; click through to see how they answered. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 255,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to What have you heard? More...

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.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learnback to top 

This is an unusual story. The jet you're looking at is an F-106 Delta Dart. A storied interceptor in its day, it was built to exceed an Air Force requirement for 1.9 mach and continuous flight at 57,000 feet. It did both. And in December 1959, it set a speed record, of 1,525 mph, or about 2.3 mach, while flying at 40,000 feet. Its pilot at the time, Major Joseph Rogers, claimed the record might not be accurate. He was still accelerating, he said, at the time. But this particular jet is famous for a different reason. More...

Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Advanced Wings at Wings Field Airport (KLOM) in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

AVweb reader Jeff Kircher told us about Advanced and called their team "the most helpful people I have come across."

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!


Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 
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.

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