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Volume 10, Number 43b -- October 21, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Scheyden Eyewear

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

OFFICIAL REPORT: PILOTS FAILED TO DETECT FUEL LEAK...
The pilots of an Air Transat Airbus A330 that glided to a landing in the Azores in August 2001 responded incorrectly to a fuel leak over the Atlantic Ocean, according to the official report on the incident, released Monday. The pilots, reacting to what they thought was a fuel imbalance, fed fuel into the leak, and soon succeeded in inadvertently pumping all their fuel overboard, far from land. The report said the pilots acted from memory rather than utilizing a checklist, so they never saw a "Caution" note in the Fuel Imbalance checklist that might have caused them to consider that the real problem was not an imbalance but a fuel leak. More...

...BUT THEY SAVED THE AIRPLANE...
However, the report also found that there was not a "clear, unambiguous indication or warning that a critical fuel leak existed," and the pilots had never experienced such a situation during operations or training. The investigators also said that Capt. Robert Piché's skill in conducting the subsequent engines-out dead-stick landing saved the lives of the 306 passengers and crew on board. The glide began at about 18,000 feet, lasted 19 minutes, and traversed 65 nm. Air Transat CEO Allen Graham said, "Since the occurrence we have reviewed our training programs and enhanced our processes, in terms of both maintenance and flight operations. ... This event is unique in our history." More...

...LAWYER SAYS: NEGLIGENCE; UNION SAYS: COMPETENCE
Lawyer Glenn Grenier, of the Toronto law firm Goodman and Carr, has filed a $30 million class-action lawsuit against Air Transat, Rolls-Royce and Airbus on behalf of 193 of the passengers. "Up to the point in time when the engines flamed out, the pilots were in error and they were negligent in the operation of the aircraft," he said after the report was released, The Canadian Press reported on Tuesday. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing the pilots, saw things differently: "The report ... underscores the competence and professionalism exhibited by the two pilots in overcoming a host of misinformation and safely landing the aircraft and safeguarding the passengers under exceptional circumstances," ALPA said in a news release. More...

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FAA IGNORES GA
The FAA recently posted its revised "Flight Plan," an effort to direct its goals and priorities for the next year, and asked for input. It got a substantial critique from the folks at AOPA, who said the plan doesn't pay enough attention to general aviation. AOPA said the FAA needs to focus on improving GA airports and adding more instrument approaches. The FAA should stand up for GA when security agencies restrict airspace access, AOPA said. The FAA also could do a better job of providing advance notice of airspace restrictions. "I realize this may require reform of the system used to disseminate critical information, the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) system," AOPA President Phil Boyer said. More...

...AS AOPA EXPO OPENS ... AND AVWEB IS THERE
AOPA's annual three-day convention and trade show opens today in Long Beach, Calif. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will address the first general session via live video from D.C., and astronaut Mike Melvill is today's live luncheon speaker. Tomorrow, Adm. David Stone, head of the Transportation Security Administration, will talk about GA security, and Saturday features an open forum with AOPA leaders. The Long Beach Convention Center hosts 500 exhibitors and a series of educational forums, and 70 aircraft are on static display at Long Beach Airport. AVweb staffers are already on site, so watch for their live coverage in Monday's AVflash and NewsWire. More...

LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU’RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT
Whether you're looking for that "envy of many pilots" single (such as a Bonanza) or a workhorse turboprop, or multi-mission jet, Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft Sales does it all — and has done so for over 65 years — boasting a professional sales/marketing team engaged in new and pre-owned aircraft with more than 100 years of sales, support, and consulting expertise — Turnkey assistance from acquisition, financing, or sales consulting to award-winning service and avionics centers, and a VIP program for every customer at their extensive network of 36 FBOs — Always looking to purchase quality turboprop, mid-size, and large turbine aircraft.  One call to (800) 259-1940, or one click to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/phas/avflash.

FAA SETTLES "REVERSE-DISCRIMINATION" LAWSUIT
The FAA has settled a lawsuit in which a white male worker at the agency's William J. Hughes Technical Center, in Atlantic City, N.J., alleged that he was repeatedly passed over for promotion during his 28-year career while the positions he applied for were given to less-qualified minority and female applicants. Michael Ryan will be given a promotion with back pay, and the FAA has agreed to review its hiring and promotion policies, according to Hanan Isaacs, Ryan's lawyer. FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb yesterday, "With the assistance of the court, we reached a settlement we believe is fair to both parties and upholds the FAA's ongoing commitment to ensure a workplace free of unlawful discrimination in any form." Meanwhile, an administrative judge ruled last week that at least three FAA managers manipulated personnel records in order to artificially meet diversity goals, and violated federal civil-rights laws. More...

BRS SEEKS NEW CEO
During 12 1/2 years with Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), CEO Mark Thomas led the company's evolution from a strapped-for-cash operation that lost money on every transaction to a fast-growing, profitable industry player with a product that at last count had saved 176 lives. Last week, Thomas announced that he's ready to move on. "It's a very amicable breakup," he told AVweb on Tuesday. "It's been one heck of a run. It's been fun. ... But it's just the right time for me." Robert Nelson, chairman of the board, has been named interim CEO while the company searches for Thomas's replacement. "I'm working with the company on a transition plan, and BRS is poised and ready to grow," Thomas said. More...

ADD CELL/SATELLITE PHONE INTERFACE TO YOUR LIGHTSPEED HEADSET!
Factory conversions are now available for all active models of LightSPEED's XL and QFR series for only USD$75. (No sales tax; return shipping included within the U.S.) Model upgrades come with a 2.5mm patch cord that connects to most phones. Check LightSPEED's online chart for phones they've tested. The Active model upgrades also include an additional patch cord for a personal audio device input. Call LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 and mention this AVflash, or print out the online order/instruction form to send in your headset for a speedy turnaround at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/cell/avflash.

CESSNA'S CITATION CJ3 FAA-CERTIFIED
The FAA presented Cessna with full Type Certification for the Model 525B Citation CJ3 in Wichita last Friday. The newly certified Citation completed 150 hours of function and reliability testing on Oct. 9. Cessna plans to deliver the first Citation CJ3 later this year. The CJ3 has a longer cabin than the CJ2, new Williams International FJ44-3A engines and a fully integrated Collins avionics system. The jet is certified for single-pilot operation and has a maximum cruise speed of 417 knots at 33,000 feet, according to Cessna. Service ceiling is 45,000 feet and the maximum gross takeoff weight is 13,870 pounds. More...

NBAA SAYS BIZAV PAYS ITS WAY
Somebody must be getting a free ride, because the business-aviation folks have now declared they too -- like their big brothers, the airlines -- pay more than their fair share of the cost of the national airspace system. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) hired an economics firm to study the issue, and found that bizav paid $188 million in federal excise taxes in 2001, which was $4 million more than its share of aviation costs for that year (the latest year they could get data). "This study refutes recent suggestions that the general and business aviation community does not pay its fair share of the costs of operating the nation's air traffic control system," said NBAA CEO Ed Bolen. More...

LONG FLIGHTS FEEL SHORTER WITH A COMFORTABLE SEAT
Sitting in an airplane is more comfortable with the Oregon Aero™ Portable Universal SoftSeat™ Cushion System. The pain is gone, no matter how long you sit. The cushion design shifts your hips and pelvis into the proper, pain-free position and works with any existing seat. Visco-elastic foam "reads" body temperature and pressure to prevent the burning sensation of ischemia or "hot spots." The portable cushions can be used in private and commercial aircraft, cars, boats — even wheelchairs. You'll have a perfect fit every time. Fly pain-free with Oregon Aero! For more information on Oregon Aero's Portable Universal SoftSeat™, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/soft/avflash.

BRAZIL SAYS IT WILL SHOOT DOWN SUSPECTED DRUG PLANES
Starting this week, the government of Brazil joins Colombia in empowering its air force to shoot down suspected drug planes. The policy is meant to staunch a growing commerce in cocaine using airstrips hidden in the vast Amazon forest. The Aviation Crime Prevention Institute (ACPI), based in Ormond Beach, Fla., warned last week that the policy could increase aircraft thefts, because drug smugglers will seek to replace any lost aircraft. So far this year, nine single-engine Cessnas have been reported stolen, four of those in Baja, Mexico, the ACPI said. Authorities in Brazil said they have careful procedures in place to ensure that no innocent flyers are shot down. Planning a trip? More...

LIBERTY AEROSPACE STEPS BACK FROM THE EDGE, VIA KUWAIT?
Liberty Aerospace, of Melbourne, Fla., announced yesterday that Kuwait Finance House - Bahrain has signed an agreement to acquire 75 percent of the stock of Liberty's parent company, through a combination of stock purchases from stockholders and a working capital investment. Liberty's management and staff will remain unchanged. Liberty manufactures the FAA-certified two-seat Liberty XL2 aircraft. KFH Bahrain is a multibillion-dollar company and is also an investor in Millennium Aircraft Leasing, which owns and leases commercial airliners. "We have known for some time that we have an outstanding two-seat aircraft, but we now have both the financial capability to properly support it, and the flexibility to develop the world's best light aircraft brand," said Liberty's co-founder and president, Anthony Tiarks, in a news release. More...

E-OX — TOP-QUALITY PORTABLE OXYGEN SYSTEM FROM AEROMEDIX.COM
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COMMUTER JET CRASHES IN MISSOURI; NTSB UPDATES PINNACLE DETAILS
A twin-engine turboprop carrying two crew members and 13 passengers crashed Tuesday night in Kirksville, Mo. The British Aerospace Jetstream 32, operating as American Connection Flight 5966, hit trees while making a visual approach to the Kirksville Regional Airport at about 7:45 p.m. local time, crashed, and burned on impact. The aircraft's wings apparently were broken off by contact with the trees, NBC News reported last night. The flight originated in St. Louis. Yesterday, NTSB investigators reported two survivors. Both of the airplane's data recorders were also found. The FAA said the crew was last heard from several minutes before the crash, and gave no indication of trouble. Also yesterday, the NTSB released additional details from its investigation into the Pinnacle Airlines crash that killed two crewmen last Thursday. More...

ON THE FLY...
NTSB dedicated a training academy to accident victims...
Loose change at airport security gates totaled $321,329.48...
EAA's Young Eagles to participate in "Make A Difference Day"...
Congress told DHS to report on progress in restoring GA access...
FAA form for Light-Sport Designated Pilot Examiner now online...
O'Hare to restrict unscheduled arrivals starting Nov. 1...
A TV in Oregon transmitted a distress signal on 121.5. More...

PROTECT & SHINE YOUR AIRCRAFT WITH A NAME YOU KNOW & TRUST — AEROSHELL
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.

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...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
________
TRAINING
The Cessna, The Sky ... and the Cartoonist: Chapters Four and Five
John Ewing continues flight training with chapters on climbs, descents, and turns. But things are never easy when going "back to school" in the retired years of life, and our writer/cartoonist is flummoxed by more technical vocabulary and high-g-force turns. But he's looking forward to the time he can move into the right seat of the plane where the "real" pilots sit.

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WHAT'S NEW
What's New -- Products and Services
This month AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you aircraft airbags, amphibious GlaStars, large flat panel displays, lightweight headsets and much more.

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...

MODERNIZING YOUR TRANSPONDER DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!
Narco Avionics is proud to announce the introduction of the AT165/K Transponder, a digital plug-and-play replacement for the old mechanical KT76A. The all-digital AT165/K is competitively priced with the current crop of mechanical transponders. Also available is the AT165, a plug-and-play replacement for the Narco AT50, AT50A, AT150, or AT155. COMING SOON: the plug-and-play replacement for the Cessna RT-359A. FALL SPECIAL: purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information on these innovative Narco Avionics products, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Pilots. Controllers. Safety. This week, AVweb asks: Given an above-average pilot or an above-average controller, who do you think is more important to safey? PLUS: Results of last week's question on aviation conventions. More...

WSI IN-FLIGHT WEATHER NOW COMPATIBLE WITH GARMIN 530/430
Put the power of continuously updated weather right in your cockpit with the most trusted brand in FAA-certified aviation weather, WSI — voted the #1 aviation weather service by professional pilots six years in a row! For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wsi/avflash.

HEADING TO THE AOPA EXPO?
Check out WSI's complimentary AOPA Expo web site for the latest weather conditions and forecasts, at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wsi/aopa/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
"Picture of the Week" celebrates another first today! As we were reviewing the top ten finalists, we discovered that our #1 and #2 selections were from two people with the same last name — and the same address! How could we pass up the opportunity to name our first double winner? Congratulations go to the Pullanos of Mays Landing, New Jersey — matching hats are on the way! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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"MID-TEENS PHYSIOLOGY" — NO! THAT'S NOT TEENAGER PHYSIOLOGY!
It's one of the articles in the November issue of Aviation Safety, addressing flight levels and minimizing the effects on your body! Other Aviation Safety articles include: "Insurer's Wish List" — if the insurers wrote the rules; "Redundant Singles" — tips on making it so; "Straight Ahead" — measuring good IFR platforms; "When Feathers Fly" — tips on minimizing bird strike risks; "Ice Box" — sometimes a box you can't escape; plus regular features and more. Don't delay; order your Aviation Safety specially-priced subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/avflash.
DIAMOND AIRCRAFT OFFERS PERFORMANCE, COMFORT, VALUE, UTILITY, & SAFETY
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IF YOU LOVE THE CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF FLYING THE GAUGES
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FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL IS A MUST-READ!
Three years before Lindbergh's flight to Paris, the U.S. Army joined the race to be the first to fly around the world.  Countries that tried had failed, and pilots had died.  Could the United States capture aviation's greatest prize? This award-winning hardcover book by Spencer Lane tells it all in great detail.  SPECIAL:  Autographed copies for AVweb orders only (and complimentary U.S. shipping!) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/firstworldflight/avflash.
HAVEN'T ORDERED YOUR FLYING SUBSCRIPTION? LOOK WHAT YOU'RE MISSING!
In the November issue of Flying magazine: Mac McClellan takes a look at Cessna's new CJ3 to report a few nice surprises; Richard Collins gives his insights in "Flight Visibility"; and a DC-9 pilot gets hold of some unusual aviation memorabilia you'll have to see; some answers to the new Sport Pilot Rule; plus all the columnists and writers you have come to respect. Order your Flying subscription with special savings at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
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TO EVERY PILOT THAT WANTS TO FLY WITH AGGRESSIVE CONFIDENCE AND
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in one book.  Whether you're ordering a microjet, preparing for a corporate pilot interview, or heading to airline ground school, The Turbine Pilot's Flight Manual (2nd edition) is for you.  Greg Brown's easy-reading text covers all major jet and turboprop systems, plus high-altitude weather, high-speed aerodynamics, crew coordination, V-speeds, checklists, and more.  The included CD-ROM contains over 60 animations, diagrams, and photos illustrating the inner workings of jet and turboprops.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/paperjet/avflash.
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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

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