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Volume 10, Number 38a -- September 13, 2004

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

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

NATCA ATTACKS THE MESSENGER (AND THE MESSAGE)...
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has lashed out at an anonymous letter published by AVweb last Thursday in which a controller contends that a looming controller shortage is largely a myth and that many controllers take advantage of liberal working conditions enshrined in the union contract. NATCA initially declined AVweb's invitation to respond to *Jane Doe's* allegations, but President John Carr apparently had a change of heart. In his response letter, which appears in full in our expanded online coverage (multiple letters from other controllers who wrote in support of Ms. Doe's position are included at the end of today's AVmail), Carr categorically denies most of *Jane Doe's* allegations, doubts if she is really a working controller and doubts her mental health. More...

...AND THE FAA...
Carr takes a swipe at FAA spokesman Greg Martin's comments, which appeared in our edition last Thursday. Martin told AVweb that many of *Jane Doe's* allegations are well-known to the agency and that the agency is working to place more emphasis on performance and productivity. Carr criticizes Martin for commenting at all on anonymous allegations and says that if the agency knows such activity is going on then the people who have failed to act on it should be fired. Carr also criticizes CRU-X, a computerized productivity-monitoring system under development by the FAA, saying it won't work if implemented as planned. More...

...AND BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL
Carr is applauding a move by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and General Government to include $10 million for the hiring of new air traffic controllers. In a press release, Carr says the money is just a beginning to ensure adequate staffing in the future. "We will not rest until we have enough eyes watching our skies," he said. More...

PILOT INSURANCE CENTER — BIG SAVINGS, SIMPLE AND QUICK
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HOUSE AVIATION BILL PROPOSES GA SCREENING...
quickly filled the air after U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill into the House last week that would impose onerous security procedures on general aviation. The bill (H.R. 5035) would require the Department of Homeland Security to ensure the screening of all passengers and property on each flight of every passenger aircraft in the U.S. -- including general aviation aircraft of all types. It would also prohibit any non-airline aircraft from flying within 1,500 feet of any structure or building and prohibit non-airline aircraft from flying over any U.S. city with a population of 1 million or more. Land of the free, home of the brave. More...

...PROMPTING QUICK GA RESPONSE...
EAA and AOPA staff snagged members of the House Transportation and Aviation Committees last week to express their dismay, and AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb on Friday they got some assurances the legislation would meet staunch opposition. Dancy also said Weiner has agreed to meet with AOPA President Phil Boyer, but no time has yet been set. Both EAA and AOPA are asking their members, and all concerned aviators, to contact their congressional representatives and express opposition to this bill. AOPA staff are also talking to Senate staffers in an effort to head off the introduction of any companion legislation, Dancy said. More...

...AND STILL MORE WORK TO DO
While H.R. 5035 seems destined to die under the weight of its own excess, the fact that such a bill is even introduced in the U.S. House suggests that GA still has a long way to go. Three years after 9/11, a restrictive ADIZ has shut down a huge chunk of Washington, D.C., airspace. TFRs are frequent and hard to track. Overflight bans remain in place at stadiums. And as Rep. Weiner's legislation shows, not everyone is aware of the work that has been done to secure GA and to explain why small aircraft are not a threat. And general aviation businesses still have seen no financial reparations for losses due to the airspace shutdown, though $100 million was authorized for GA through legislation. More...

POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR AIRCRAFT?
Congratulations to Liberty Aerospace on becoming the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment.  PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series.  Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/fadec/avflash.

SPORT PILOT WRITTENS, INSTRUCTORS, EXAMINERS, DATES ... ISSUES
About three dozen representatives from the aviation industry met at the FAA's newly minted Light-Sport Aviation Branch in Oklahoma City last week and spent three days working on the details of the Sport Pilot regulations. On the agenda were defining the practical test standards for all Sport Pilot ratings; written tests for Sport Pilots and Sport Pilot instructors; Sport Pilot examiners; Light-Sport Aircraft operating limitations and airworthiness issues; Light-Sport Aircraft repairman courses; and requirements for Light-Sport Aircraft designated airworthiness representatives. The FAA expects the final operating limitations for Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft to be completed later this fall, in time for the initial training sessions for Sport Pilot designated pilot examiners, EAA said at its Sport Pilot Web site on Friday. More...

DESPITE AIRLINE CUTBACKS, PILOT TRAINEES WANTED
It seems counterintuitive that while Delta Air Lines is cutting 7,000 jobs and Alaska Air says 900 jobs will disappear, Delta's flight-school subsidiary is expanding and the airline is worried that a looming pilot shortage may cause flight cancellations -- but the juxtaposition shows to what degree the industry is in flux. Delta Connection Academy opens a new branch in Dayton, Ohio, this month, ready to train new pilots for regional jets, which are growing in number even as the "legacy" carriers like Delta struggle to avoid bankruptcy. Delta said last week it will expand its regional-jet fleet from 36 to 48 aircraft. Delta also faces disruption from a possible crew shortage, as pilots worried about the airline's future take advantage of a pension plan that allows them to retire early with big lump-sum payouts. More...

FOR AVIATION PROFESSIONALS WHO WORK WITH YOU ON YOUR AIRCRAFT INSURANCE,
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CIRRUS SALES SURPASS 2003
Cirrus Aircraft announced on Friday that sales orders so far in 2004 have already surpassed the total number of aircraft deliveries in 2003. Last year, Cirrus reported 469 aircraft deliveries, and last week, Cirrus said it has sold its 475th aircraft for 2004. "Recently we had an incredible week [43 aircraft sold] that pushed us past last year's delivery total," John M. Bingham, executive vice president of sales at Cirrus, said in a news release on Friday. Cirrus said it has 45 delivery spots left before the close of the year. The "bonus-depreciation" tax relief act now in effect allows buyers to write off accelerated depreciation on new aircraft bought before Dec. 31. More...

UNION PROTESTS FIRING OF WAYWARD NWA PILOTS
Two Northwest Airlines pilots have been fired for landing at the wrong airport in June, and their union is protesting the dismissal. "We believe the punishment is excessive," said Will Holman, spokesman for the Northwest Airlines Air Line Pilots Association. Since the incident, charts and navigational databases have been modified to clearly distinguish the airport and air base locations, he said. The NWA Airbus 319 was headed for Rapid City (S.D.) Regional Airport when it landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base instead, about 7 miles away. The two airports have similar runway layouts, and one approach path takes aircraft straight over Ellsworth on their way in to Rapid City. More...

MARV GOLDEN'S END-OF-SUMMER SIZZLIN' SPECIALS
Marv Golden, the pilot's choice in all things aviation, is offering the following specials through September 30th: Purchase any Vertex VXA-210 Transceiver and receive an aviation headset at no additional cost; or purchase any David Clark H10-13 or 20-10 Series headset and receive a complimentary Sony airline cabin headset. See these and many other bargains at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/avflash.

AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE COPES WITH HURRICANES
As Florida continues mopping up from two recent hurricanes -- and hopes to be spared a direct hit from Ivan -- money already is starting to arrive to help with the recovery. The FAA last week OK'd a grant of $404,700 for repairs at Melbourne International Airport, where damage from Hurricane Frances was estimated at about $5 million. Melbourne is also the site of the FAA's primary network operations and control center for airspace, which successfully made a transition to a backup site in Chantilly, Va., before Frances arrived. "The [control center] is essential to managing and monitoring FAA air traffic control operations nationwide," said Steve Dash, FAA telecommunications manager. The backup system worked smoothly, he said. More...

PLANES MEET F-16S IN KANSAS
Two small aircraft got an up-close encounter with fighter jets during President Bush's visit to Kansas City last week. On Monday morning, an airplane nipped into the edge of the TFR while en route from Pittsburg, Kan., to rural Roosterville Airport, and was intercepted by two F-16s. The jets determined the airplane was not a threat but followed it till it landed, FAA officials told the Kansas City Star. On Tuesday morning, an airplane penetrated the restricted airspace, and F-16s again followed it until it landed. There is nothing unusual anymore about such events -- "We have had to do this more than 1,600 times since 9/11," Maj. Douglas Martin, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), told the Star. More...

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.

WHEN CHUTES DON'T HELP
A Cirrus SR22 crashed into the Flambeau River in Northern Wisconsin on Friday, killing at least one of the two people on board, one of whom was an instructor with the University of North Dakota. Cirrus Design spokeswoman Kate Andrews told AVweb yesterday that the accident is under investigation by the NTSB, but had no further details. Local news media reported the airplane was trying to make an emergency landing. It was not clear if the aircraft was involved in a training exercise. More...

LSA INSURANCE RATES NOT THAT HIGH
Bob Mackey, of Falcon Insurance, says the premium estimate that was quoted in our Monday edition was not for a Light-Sport Aircraft but for a new Sport Pilot in an Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft. A new Sport Pilot -- as well as other pilots wishing to exercise the flight privileges of a Sport Pilot -- flying a Special or Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft would most likely be quoted premiums no higher than what they would be quoted for a Standard Category aircraft, Mackey said. More...

CLARIFICATION: AOPA-AUSTRALIA DOES NOT CONDONE AERIAL PROTEST
Andrew Kerans, vice president of AOPA Australia, wrote to us to clarify that his group is NOT condoning a no-radio no-transponder protest of Australia's new airspace rules. "We encourage all pilots to show that they are angry" about the policy, AOPA-Australia President Ron Bertram said in a news release on Thursday. However, "we don't support flying illegally." ...That's another group. More...

AVIDYNE'S NEW CMAX™ APPROACH CHARTS TAKE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
CMax™ Approach Charts, which can be displayed on Avidyne's FlightMax EX500 or Entegra/EX5000 MFDs, provide geo-referenced approach charts and airport diagrams.  CMax reduces the amount of paper in your cockpit and allows access to critical chart data more quickly and easily.  CMax overlays your flight plan and aircraft position for optimum orientation. CMax even shows runway incursion hot spots and improves taxiway awareness, reducing the need for "progressives" at unfamiliar airports.  With CMax, you'll know exactly where you are on the approach or on the field.  For more information, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Red Bull Air Race now has videos and games online...
Romanian X Prize contenders launched a rocket to 3,000 feet...
Oprah Winfrey taking ground school to prep for flying lessons...
San Diego Navy and Marine pilots completed training to fight fires...
FAA list of type-certified aircraft that meet LSA standards is online...
UND flight-training fleet to go all-glass for SATS...
New landing procedures aim to lessen noise at Portland Airport. More...

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 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...

SUBSCRIBE TO PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE & GET ISSUE AFTER ISSUE
of the latest in personal aircraft, comprehensive flight testing, and tips to improve your flying skills.  Save 80% off the newsstand price when you subscribe today by calling (800) 283-4330 or by going online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
Motor Head #2: Excerpts from the Oshkosh Notebook
AVweb's new engine columnist, Marc Cook, found fresh tech everywhere he looked at Oshkosh, and some of it for certified airplanes, even.

More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about cell phones in airliners, spin training, and VFR over-the-top, and a lot of comments on air traffic controller "Jane Doe's" letter. 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...

AOPA'S STEVE ELLS RATES MIKE BUSCH'S OWNER SEMINAR "INVALUABLE" ...
Steve Ells, AOPA Pilot's West Coast Editor and a career A&P/IA, recently attended Mike Busch's "Savvy Owner Seminar" in Seattle.  Here's what Steve had to say: "Mike Busch has a wealth of knowledge and can save you a ton of money on maintenance while keeping your airplane safe and ready for stress-free flying.  I found his seminar invaluable — and I'm an A&P!"  Mike will be giving just two more seminars this year: One in Albany, NY the weekend of October 2-3 and the other in Long Beach, CA on October 24-25 (immediately following AOPA Expo).  You'll need to register pronto to get in on either of these seminars, so visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
...Overheard one evening in August just west of ATL:

Tower: (To aircraft doing touch and goes alone in the pattern) ...You watching the fireworks just north of here?

Piper1234: Yup ... what's the holiday on August 18th that includes fireworks?

Tower: No clue.

Unidentified: Well, I know what it is. Ten year aniversary of my diviorce.
(pause)
...And now I know where the money has gone. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT — DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
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GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT AIRCRAFT FUEL BILLS BY 20 PERCENT!
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_____________________________________
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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#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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