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Volume 10, Number 37b -- September 9, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation

COMPLIMENTARY KING COMMUNICATION DVD WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY LIGHTSPEED HEADSET
Purchase any LightSPEED headset on King Schools' web site and receive a complimentary King Communications Course on DVD — a $49 value! LightSPEED headsets come packed with features, warranty, and an individual carry bag. Find more info at King Schools' web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/king/avflash.

The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

THE "REAL" STORY ON THE CONTROLLER SHORTAGE?
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is emphatically declining comment on an anonymous letter sent to AVweb from an air traffic controller, challenging the union's contention that air safety is being jeopardized by a staff shortage throughout the system. AVweb sent a copy of the detailed missive to NATCA but the union refused to comment ... sort of. We can't tell you why it chose not to comment because the normally forthcoming union officials we contacted insisted that all communications regarding the letter be considered "off the record." So, with the objections raised by the union and the defensible rationale it used in choosing not to comment observed, in all fairness, so too shall be the original letter. More...

...A LITANY OF WASTE AND DECEPTION...
In her letter, Jane alleges that ample staff members are available to handle the workload at her tower considering the number who are on breaks at any given time. She alleges that in an eight-hour shift most controllers will put in no more than four hours "on position." She also claims that management has virtually no authority over the unionized staff, some of whom ridicule and berate supervisors in front of co-workers. "FAA managers have bargained away a lot of their management rights and the union isn't about to give them back," Jane charges. More...

...FAA OFFERS GENERAL COMMENTS
FAA chief spokesman Greg Martin said the letter contained "troubling charges" but declined to comment on specific allegations. He did say many of the more general observations are well-known to the agency. He noted that in House testimony in June, the agency reported that air traffic controllers used more than 100 percent of their sick leave and the FAA has set a goal of reducing sick time by 8 percent (air purifiers, maybe). Martin said that's all part of the emphasis on productivity and performance that is in effect at the agency. "Our intent is to keep our system the safest in the world but also to invest taxpayers' money in the best ways possible," he said. Martin hinted there could be some fireworks ahead as the agency demands more productivity from employees. More...

THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST WINNERS
"The quality is superior to any pair of sunglasses I have ever had.  The lenses are so natural. And to flip them up — oh, Heaven!" Jake Garn, USN/USAF/Astronaut, Shuttle Discovery Mission STS 51D, and owner/pilot of a 1948 Navion.
A pair of Scheydens will be given away every other week to a lucky AVweb winner with a retail value up to $395!  The unique flip-up design has become the choice of pilots who demand quality and function.  Handmade titanium frames, quality lenses, a Rosewood case, plush micro-fiber bag and cloth are standard on all styles.  For information, and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.

INSURANCE FOR SPORT PILOTS IS HERE...
Since Sept. 1, it's been legal to fly as a Sport Pilot, but if you do, are you insured? "Don't assume that because you have coverage to fly as a Private Pilot, you'll be insured if you fly as a Sport Pilot," Bob Mackey, a vice president with Falcon Insurance Agency, in Oshkosh, Wis., told AVweb on Tuesday. "Check with your agent first." For example, if you let your medical expire, that might be OK with the FAA (with regard to Sport Pilots) but some insurers won't like it -- nor will they like the lack of Sport Pilot history. "There are going to be some adjustments to be made," Mackey said. "It's all still evolving." Mackey, whose company provides insurance for EAA members and others, said Falcon already has policies available for Sport Pilots, for fixed-wing Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), and for Sport Pilots who rent airplanes. Also, Avemco Insurance Company announced yesterday that it is ready to insure Sport Pilots in "Standard Certificated" and "Experimental Amateur-Built" aircraft that meet the definition of Light Sport Aircraft. More...

...BUT CAN YOU AFFORD IT?...
Gregory Sterling, general manager at AOPA Insurance Agency, told AVweb yesterday that most Sport Pilots will be able to obtain coverage on Light Sport Aircraft through his agency, as well. "Most underwriters have indicated that they will offer limits up to $1 million, limited to $100,000 per passenger on liability, and hull values commensurate with the current market value of the aircraft," he wrote in an e-mail. "As the underwriters have not yet seen many of these come through yet, we don't have much specific information on rates." Mackey, at Falcon, said he would hazard a guess that to insure a $50,000 Light Sport Aircraft would cost $2800 to $3400 a year, for hull coverage and liability, but there are many factors that could affect that bottom line -- such as the pilot's experience, the type of aircraft and the airport where it is based. More...

...AND CAN MANUFACTURERS AFFORD IT?
"Product liability is going to be a huge issue for Light Sport Aircraft manufacturers," Mathieu Heintz, president of Aircraft Manufacturing and Development (AMD), in Georgia, told AVweb yesterday. "We've been looking at it for a long time." Heintz said his company has worked out a deal to obtain product liability coverage by agreeing to assemble LSA aircraft to the same standards as FAA-certified aircraft (which seems somehow to miss the points). AMD plans to build Zenith Air's CH601 and CH701 models in the manufacturing plant where he now builds Alarus certified airplanes. "We will be selling only factory-finished Special-Light Sport Aircraft," he said. AMD has decided against selling owner-finished Experimental-LSA kits because of the potential liability issues, he said. More...

IN PRINT AND ONLINE, TRADE-A-PLANE GIVES YOU THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail) — including the web edition.  Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVflash, or by going online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

FAA SUPPORT WORKERS WIN ONE
The Federal Labor Relations Authority has ruled that the FAA must immediately bring systems specialist staffing to a minimum of 6,100 nationwide, upholding an arbitrator's decision in a labor grievance filed by Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS). PASS President Tom Brantley said the FAA agreed in 2000 that 6,100 workers were the minimum required to safely certify and maintain the air traffic control system, but numbers have not met that level for two years. There are "serious safety issues" in operating without enough systems staff, said Brantley. The FAA disagreed that staffing was inadequate. Don't worry, we're waiting on the anonymous letter... More...

AUSSIE PILOTS REBEL (REALLY) AGAINST AIRSPACE RULES
GA pilots in Australia are fed up with the way their airspace system is being run, and some of them are planning to demonstrate their viewpoint in a "National Day of Action" on Nov. 27 -- the day new airspace rules take effect. "A handful of union pilots in the airlines, flying less than 200 Australian aircraft, are intent on closing the skies to over 12,000 Australian aircraft owners -- this is unacceptable," said Ron Bertram, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia. A Web site, bindook.com, is credited with spreading the plan for the Day of Action, in which GA pilots would refuse to turn on their transponders or communicate with air traffic control while flying in airspace in which positive control is required. Yeeha. More...

ATTENTION, AIRCRAFT CLUB MEMBERS!  GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CLUB?
TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling service offers advanced features such as standby scheduling and notification of cancellations.  ScheduleMaster helps your club improve aircraft utilization and will make your members happy.  You can also add AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree and QuickBooks.  For a no-obligation online demonstration, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy/avflash.

A NEW ANGEL FOR COMMANDER?
After Tiger Aircraft pulled out of a deal to acquire Commander Aircraft Co. in July, things were looking pretty bleak for the bankrupt Bethany, Okla., company. But last week, Pilot General Aviation LLC offered to pay $2.8 million for an 80 percent share of the company, the Oklahoman reported on Saturday. The bankruptcy court has given Commander's parent company, Aviation General, until the end of the month to complete the deal. If the deal falls through, the court will order liquidation of the company on Oct. 1. The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it plans to restart production of the Commander 115 and turbocharged Commander 115TC, with deliveries scheduled for the first quarter of 2005, according to the Oklahoman. More...

WISCONSIN STUDENTS TO BUILD AN AIRPLANE
For some high-school seniors starting school in Madison, Wis., this month, learning about aviation will involve something more memorable than reading a book. Teacher Ben Senson has secured a $20,000 grant to start building a Challenger Iultralight and a Sonex. "The motivational part is working already," Senson told the Wisconsin State Journal. "Students are begging to find out what they should be taking so they can take this when they are seniors." Senson, 38, has never built an airplane before, but he did win an aviation-education award from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation this summer. More...

OREGON AERO ASKS "ARE YOU PREPARED TO SURVIVE?"
Oregon Aero has designed a Survival Tool Kit that should be on the checklist of every pilot. Oregon Aero's Survival Tool Kit weighs a mere 3 lbs. but packs in several tools with dozens of capabilities — from cutting to sawing, chiseling, fire-starting, signaling, and much, much more. The versatile carrier also can be worn as a tourniquet or a splint. Designed by Oregon Aero with pilots in mind, the Survival Tool Kit is also perfect for camping, boating, and hiking. Makes a great gift for the new pilot or aircraft owner. For details and ordering, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/kit/avflash.

SECOND SOUTH AFRICAN FREEDOM FLYER LOST
A South African microlight flyer, Martin Walker, 50, was killed in Belize on Aug. 27 while taking part in the round-the-world Freedom Flight tour. He had joined the trip this summer in San Francisco after one of the original flyers, Alan Honeyborne, died in a crash in China. Walker continued the flight with Ricky de Agrela, touring the Western states and stopping at Oshkosh during AirVenture before heading to Central America. Walker was reportedly one of the most experienced microlight pilots in South Africa. He was giving a ride to a passenger on the resort island of Ambergris Caye, off the coast of Belize, when the aircraft crashed on the runway. More...

FRANCES AFTERMATH: WORSE THAN IT SEEMED
As Florida begins to wring itself out from the sopping wet Hurricane Frances -- while keeping an anxious eye on Ivan, spinning away to the south -- aviators across the state are sorting through drenched hangars to see what remains. Despite the downgrading of the storm as it crept across the state, damage has been widespread. "I expected a lot less damage than we had," St. Lucie County Airport Director Paul Phillips told the Palm Beach Post. "I'm very shocked at the amount of damage we sustained." Katherine and Jack Russell of Palm Bay lost the three-quarter-scale Dornier Wal flying boat they were building. The airplane was 80 percent complete, and uninsured, Jack Russell told AVweb yesterday. More...

AEROSHELL KNOWS WHAT PILOTS WANT TO PROTECT & SHINE THEIR AIRCRAFT
AeroShell Flight Jacket products are specifically designed for general aviation aircraft.  The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning cloths.  To order the best in shine and protection, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
British air ambulance crew stripped for a fundraiser...
Florida couple circled the world in 90 days in a Beechcraft Baron...
John and Martha King flew around the world in a Falcon 10 in 13 days...
A suitcase fell 12,000 feet when a baggage door opened in flight...
Fighter Pilots Museum in Ariz. abandoned due to lack of funding...
Book argues that Sen. Wellstone King Air crash was foul play. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. More...

COMPLIMENTARY WEEK OF ADVERTISING ON ASO!
Selling your aircraft?  Advertise it on Aircraft Shopper Online (ASO) for four weeks and get an additional week compliments of ASO.  Your ad includes six photos, full specs, and a selling paragraph highlighting your bird's best features.  Take advantage of this limited-time offer today:  Call ASO at (888) 992-9276 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aso/avflash.

EDITOR WANTED
Belvoir's aviation division is looking for an editor to oversee one of its publications. The successful candidate will be an experienced pilot, preferably a CFII, with writing and page layout experience. Send a resume with cover letter by fax (941-929-1726) or via e-mail to aviationeditorial@comcast.net. More...

AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVFLASH
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb’s NO-COST twice monthly Business AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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BRAINTEASERS
Quiz #85 --Got Speed? Got 'Chute?
Airspeed control is essential to safe flight. Without it, a good parachute might be advisable. Let's see what you know about good airspeed and good parachute management. Cirrus pilots may wonder what the difference is.

More...

ATTENTION, PROSPECTIVE OR CURRENT STUDENT PILOTS!
Supplement your training with a NO-RISK, NO-COST six-month AOPA membership, including members-only access to both Flight Training and AOPA Online — compliments of AOPA! PLUS, you'll receive six issues of AOPA Flight Training magazine, full of articles to help develop and perfect your flying skills and prepare you for the checkride. FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS: Receive a COMPLIMENTARY subscription to AOPA Flight Training magazine by enrolling prospective and primary student pilots in the NO-COST six-month AOPA membership.  Enroll and sign up online today by visiting http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopaftm/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb asks the easiest (or most difficult?) question of all: Why do you fly? PLUS: Results of last week's hotly-debated VFR-on-top question, including an official word from the FAA! More...

IMPROVE AND STRENGTHEN YOUR VISION NATURALLY WITHOUT THE RISK OR EXPENSE OF LASER SURGERY
Developed by award-winning optometrists and research scientists, the See Clearly Method is based on the same principles and techniques used by thousands of pilots in WWII. As one pilot states, "I never thought it was possible to actually improve your vision, but it worked. I tell other pilots that this is an effective way to improve your vision, naturally." Call for a no-cost informational video(1-800-881-7934) or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/seeclear/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Normally, we like to vary up the "Picture of the Week." If the winning photo features an amphib, we'll look for something completely different next week — maybe a helicopter or jet, or an amazing landscape shot. This week, however, we're forced to throw tradition to the wind and run a "lightning picture" back-to-back with last week's winning photo. In light of the back-to-back assault of Hurricanes Charley and Frances, it just seemed appropriate. Don't blame us — blame this week's winning photographer, Tom Albers. You'll be able to spot him in his new AVweb baseball cap, which is winging its way to him right now ... . More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

SHOPPING DEALS  
ATTENTION, RENTER PILOTS!  DON'T BE MISLEAD BY COMPETITORS' ADVERTISING!
Analysis of actual claims indicates that the most common risk to the renter pilot is damage to the rented aircraft itself.  Because of this, optional Aircraft Damage Liability (ADL) coverage is recommended.  A $95 policy will not protect you for damage to the rented aircraft.  That's why AVEMCO developed the Aviator Series packages — so renters have appropriate coverage by simply selecting the package that best fits the flying they do.  Contact AVEMCO for competitive and comprehensive renter (non-owned) aircraft coverage that offers protection from the most common renters' claims.  Call (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.
THE NEW ASA AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY AND COMPLETE
The NEW ASA Aircraft Flight Log provides the operators of individual aircraft an easy-to-use method of keeping track of detailed items pertaining to the care and use of their airplanes.  Inspections, VOR/ELT checks, oil changes, and simple squawks are all easy to find without digging through a stack of maintenance logs.  Instantly know the disposition of the aircraft you are about to fly, simply by checking your ASA Aircraft Flight Log.  Available now for $9.95 from ASA at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.
LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN YOU'LL BE HOME
Sign up for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer.  It's the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight. Your family simply enters your N-number to track your flight, be alerted to delays, and get updated ETAs.  AVweb Edition Flight Explorer costs just $9.95 a month, a small price for such big peace of mind.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION SAFETY AND SAVE!
You spent thousands to earn your license.  Now you can safeguard it for just pennies a day when you subscribe to Aviation Safety.  And when you subscribe, you will receive Aviation Safety's "The Training Mindset" immediately.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/avflash.
KNOWLEDGE ENHANCER, TEACHING TOOL, & TRAINING AID — ALL IN ONE PACKAGE
VTS Inc.'s software is loaded with video presentations, sound, 3D animations, interactive system schematics, and simulations — all combined to create a virtual resource that far surpasses the pilot's aircraft information manual.  This learning tool comes to life with the click of your mouse.  For more information and ordering instructions, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vts/avflash.
FLYING MAGAZINE RECAPS AIRVENTURE, TAKES A LOOK AT THE CIRRUS SR22-G2,
shows what can happen to one young man when he's inspired by the Navy's Blue Angels, plus offers columns you've come to trust and respect — all in the upcoming October issue. Don't miss an issue of Flying magazine. Order online and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
LOOK TERRIFIC IN THE SUN, KEEP OUT THOSE HARMFUL RAYS, & SAVE MONEY!
PilotMall is offering Scheyden Palisades Sunglasses for $149.99; regular price is $395!  Wow!  Save now at PilotMall and look terrific with the sunglasses you've always wanted, or purchase as a gift, at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall/avflash.
THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T YOU?
Then you went through the manual and came away frustrated and confused. Stop laboring to understand those manufacturers' manuals! For less than $40 (plus shipping and handling), you can better understand and operate most of the modern GPS units on the market with ZD Publishing's Pilot Friendly GPS Manuals. GPS operation is fun and rewarding when you understand how to get the desired results. These manuals will help you through all operations. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zdpub/avflash.
CFIs – FIND THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN GREG BROWN'S CLASSIC BOOK
The Savvy Flight Instructor!  Sure, you passed the challenging CFI checkride, but what about all those "other" flight instructing questions, like how to recruit flight students, how to keep them flying, how to optimize your pass rate on checkrides, and how to get students to return for advanced ratings?  Find the answers in The Savvy Flight Instructor by Greg Brown, AOPA Flight Training magazine columnist and 2000 Flight Instructor of the Year.  AVweb exclusive: Purchase an autographed copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/paperjet/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
DIAMOND AIRCRAFT OFFERS PERFORMANCE, COMFORT, VALUE, UTILITY, & SAFETY
With Diamond Aircraft's models, you can choose from two- and four-seat aircraft, single or twin engine, and conventional or glass cockpits. Diamond's line-up includes the DA20-C1, DA40-180 Diamond Star (now being delivered with the G1000 glass cockpit), and Diamond's new twin engine aircraft, the DA42 Twin Star. Call (888) 359-3220 for more information or to find a distributor near you, or visit Diamond online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.
IFR PILOTS! GET WHAT YOU WANT WHEN YOU WANT IT!
The October issue of IFR magazine's article "Let's Be Perfectly Clear Here" explains how the IFR pilot can get what they want when they want it. The issue also explores: "LNAV/VNAV," don't be left behind just because you don't know the code; "Minimize Your Efforts," how to cut through IAP clutter and nail an impromptu instrument approach; "Cure the IPC Blues"; "File IFR in the L.A. Basin"; plus hurricane Charley aftermath, GA manufacturers' glass houses, and much more. Don't miss an issue. Order yours online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrmag/avflash.
GUARANTEED! NOT A WORD OFTEN USED IN CONNECTION WITH AN AVIATION PRODUCT
Power Flow Tuned Exhaust Systems guarantees your Cessna, Mooney, Piper, or Grumman aircraft will repay you by performing better than you ever expected!  For those who already have the Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System, order your STC'd exhaust shield!  For details and to place an order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
COMM1 ANNOUNCES VFLITE GARMIN GPSMAP 296 INTERACTIVE GUIDE
The VFlite Garmin GPSMap 296 Interactive Guide is an advanced, self-paced digital learning program that provides training on all operational aspects of the Garmin GPSMap 296.  With the Garmin GPSMap 296 Interactive Guide, you quickly get familiar with operations by leveraging a visual, hands-on approach.  It's the easy, proven way to get confident with all that Garmin's powerful new GPS has to offer.  Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
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We Welcome Your Feedback!

AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Mary Grady
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#name
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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