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Volume 10, Number 44a -- October 25, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)

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

TSA'S REAR ADMIRAL STONE, MEET GA'S MAJOR CONCERNS...
Chief of the Transportation Security Administration, Rear Adm. David Stone, spoke to a full house at AOPA Expo 2004 in Long Beach Friday morning in what was a sometimes optimism-inspiring, sometimes contentious interaction with some of the people most directly affected by his agency's actions -- us, the pilots. Appearing as both the gentleman and politician (insofar as that is possible) Stone was in the end sent on his way by a standing ovation. The act seemed either a reflection of patriotism, respect for a good man in a difficult job ... or people so anxious to leave they simply got up while politely applauding. (Put money on A or B.) The reaction was at least warranted by Stone's steady and careful response to a barrage of post-speech questions, which are perhaps best paraphrased by, "Why are you doing this to us, what did we ever do to anyone?" Generally, Stone met that tone with the message that his charge is the safety of our country, his intent is to fulfill that task, and his determination is to seek cooperation and partnership with affected parties. Stone's conviction was that those relationships will be the ones to ensure that our freedoms are not compromised -- neither our safety. Much More...

...TSA LISTENS, WE'LL SEE HOW WELL IT HEARS...
Stone's speech seemed to imply that the range, scope and motivation (the overall safety of our nation) driving the TSA has sent it trolling a broad-reaching ocean with giant nets not yet made dolphin-safe ... and a lot of the playful friendly little guys have so far been mistakenly snatched up. Translation: The agency has first set out to address the immediate (if not three years old) threat and having done so, it now intends to divert some attention to little things like Boy Scouts denied access to control towers, pilots denied access to FSS and FSDO offices, and the inability of pilots, controllers, or FSS personnel to accurately decipher TFRs. It seems too that the TSA may even soon devote some attention to how background checks for a sailplane rating applicant should perhaps differ from those associated with an applicant seeking a type rating or instruction in a B-747 simulator. More...

...AOPA EXPO 2004 -- WHAT A SHOW
AOPA Expo wrapped up in Long Beach, Calif., Saturday night, having hosted more than 11,000 visitors, 73 aircraft on static display, 535 exhibitors and 75 seminars. Among some of the news announced at the show: Garmin International said its Garmin GNS 480 is now WAAS certified to fly the FAA's new GPS-based approaches that provide precise lateral and vertical approach guidance -- similar to Instrument Landing System operations -- without the need for ground-based navaids of any kind. Cessna announced it will include airbags as standard equipment on its 2005 single-engine models. Epic Aircraft said it will produce a new six-place carbon-fiber twinjet. Why not? Everybody else is ... Only Epic did manage to turn out its turbine single, on which the jet is based, within a year of announcing the aircraft. More...

POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR AIRCRAFT?
Liberty Aerospace is 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.

TSA AMENDS ALIEN FLIGHT-TRAINING RULE
When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released its Interim Final Rule on alien flight training last month, it included a 30-day comment period. Last week, the 30 days were up, and the TSA considered some of the more than 300 comments, as well as industry input from a stakeholders' meeting and other channels, and made some tweaks to the rule. The TSA clarified its definitions of terms, provided an exemption from some record-keeping requirements, and extended the compliance deadline for some applicants. Those changes "are a start but just that and only that," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "While some of our recommended changes have now been implemented, let there be no question: Significant issues still exist, and additional amendments to the original rule must be made." More...

...ALLOWING LOGBOOKS INSTEAD OF FILES...
One change that aims to ease the record-keeping burden will allow instructors (that's right, the near-minimum-wage-earning future of aviation) to use logbook entries to document that they have checked a student's citizenship ... not that they've been even trained to spot a phony driver's license, let alone a green card or visa. The rule originally required instructors to maintain records, with copies of proof of citizenship for each student, for five years. Now the instructor must note in the student's logbook "I certify that [student] has presented to me a [document] establishing that [he or she] is a U.S. citizen or national ..." The same entry must be made in the instructor's logbook or record. Between the pay, the liability and the demonstrated stability of the industry, we're sure the next generation of instructors can't wait to get started. The TSA's changes also limit the "citizenship validation" requirement to individuals receiving training for a new certificate or rating. Good luck with that new glider rating. (Sailplanes: the next great threat to our nation.) More...

...AND A DELAY FOR CERTIFICATED PILOTS
The TSA also is putting a 60-day hold, till Dec. 19, on applying the new rules to aliens who currently hold an airman's certificate, either from the FAA or a recognized foreign authority. However, this exemption does not apply to aliens without an airman's certificate, who must comply as of Oct. 20. Also weighing in on the changes was the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), which said it "welcomed" the TSA's effort. "The TSA is at least willing to have a dialogue with industry and has responded favorably to reason and logic," said NATA spokesman Stan Mackiewicz. "While this IFR [Interim Final Rule] was not the TSA's best rulemaking effort, the agency has made significant efforts to work with its industry partners to address those issues that were of significant concern." More...

FROM PORTABLE TO PANEL-MOUNT — JA AIR CENTER IS THE PLACE TO BUY GARMIN
If you're thinking of purchasing Garmin GPSMap 296, 96C, or 96 or installing a GNS-530 avionics package, now is the time to contact JA Air Center.  Established in 1965, JA Air Center prides themselves on being Garmin's largest aviation dealer.  With exceptional customer service and the finest Garmin Avionics installations, JA Air Center is the place to purchase your next Garmin product.  Extensive inventory of all Garmin units and accessories.  Contact JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 and mention this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ja/avflash.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: LSA STANDARDS
When the FAA's Light-Sport Aircraft rules were announced at Oshkosh in August, it was clear that a long road to implementation lay ahead. Last week, a milestone on that road was reached, when ASTM International published the first edition of consensus standards for light-sport aircraft. The publication includes guidelines for the design, manufacture, maintenance and quality of aircraft that will be used in the light-sport aircraft category. The standards cover not only fixed-wing airplanes but also powered parachutes, gyroplanes and balloons, as well as airframe emergency parachutes and engines. More...

GARMIN READY FOR SATELLITE DATA
Satellite data made further inroads into GA cockpits last week, when Garmin introduced the GDL 69, a remote sensor that receives broadcast weather data from XM Satellite Radio and delivers the data to Garmin's avionics systems. The GDL 69 brings reliable, near-real-time weather information to the Garmin cockpit, Garmin said on Thursday. "The GDL 69 ... offers a broad array of weather services and a high level of detail graphically depicted on the displays of our most popular systems," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing, in a news release. More...

CARING ABOUT YOU FIRST PUTS CS&A ABOVE OTHER AVIATION INSURANCE BROKERS
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ACROSS THE COUNTRY ON A POWERED CHUTE
Nobody seems more excited about the Sport Pilot era than the powered-parachute community, and in their latest eruption of enthusiasm, the PowerChute Education Foundation (PCEF) has announced plans for a coast-to-coast trip for next spring. The 3,000-mile, 53-leg excursion aims to educate the public about sport flying and raise money for charity. Pilot Baron Tayler will make the trip in about eight weeks, including multiple stopovers and media events. Local parachute pilots are invited to fly along The PCEF Web site will post daily photos and videos during the trip. The itinerary includes a launch in San Diego, Calif., and ends in South Carolina. More...

BONUS DEPRECIATION TAX BREAK EXTENDED FOR GA
President Bush signed a tax law last week that will extend the "bonus depreciation" breaks that have been credited with boosting aircraft sales by as much as 30 percent. The law extends the "placed-in-service" date for business aircraft to qualify for bonus deprecation until Dec. 31, 2005. The break provides a real buyer incentive, said Ron Swanda, interim president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. "Without a doubt, this will stimulate jobs growth in our industry," he said. The tax break, which allows buyers of new business aircraft to deduct 50 percent of the plane's cost in the first year, up from 30 percent, had been set to expire at the end of 2004. More...

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER
— and now much more! WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone and any nationwide wireless carrier. WxServer gives you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information such as the NEXRAD, METAR, TAF, and satellite images. WxServer includes airport frequency listings, fuel availability, and quick-dial links to FBOs, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates, and CFIs can sign up for the WxServer Referral Program at no charge! 10-Day No-Cost Trial. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

MURPHY GETS A BREAK -- SORT OF
We're not sure if Murphy's Law applies here or not ... something went wrong, but not as wrong as it might have. On the one hand, pilot Denis Murphy, 49, of Florida, has ditched twice in just over a year. On the other hand, he survived both times with only minor injuries. Last Thursday, charter pilot Murphy was flying alone from the Bahamas to Florida in a twin-engine Piper Navajo Chieftain when he reported engine problems and ditched about 11 miles off Fort Lauderdale. Murphy donned a life jacket and was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. In February 2003, Murphy was flying alone from Havana to Miami when he ditched a twin Cessna 402B, and was rescued 20 minutes later by a passing fishing boat. There's more to the story. More...

MOONEY AIRCRAFT NAMES NEW CEO
Mooney has had a somewhat bumpy run the last few years (wow, that was hard to say with straight face) with changes in ownership, court battles and stalled production. But this year the reorganized Mooney Airplane Company has been rehiring workers, showing at new venues (the company made its first-ever appearances at NBAA and Reno earlier this month), and on Thursday, named a new CEO, Gretchen Jahn. "Gretchen has an extensive and impressive background in building and managing successful businesses," said Tom Gray, Mooney's managing director, in a news release. Jahn has been an active pilot for 20 years. More...

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.

JP INSTRUMENTS, VISION MICROSYSTEMS ANNOUNCE MERGER
Vision Microsystems, a manufacturer of engine-monitoring systems for experimental and certified GA aircraft, will merge with JP Instruments, the two companies announced last week. Vision, headquartered in Bellingham, Wash., will continue as a division of JPI, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif. The founder and president of Vision, Lance Turk, will retain responsibility for Vision's product line. "We contribute our expertise and respect in the experimental aircraft, and JPI contributes a very strong production capability," said Turk. More...

CONTROLLER SHORTAGE? PATCO ASKS COURT TO INTERVENE IN ATC HIRING
Remember PATCO, the air traffic controllers union of the 1980s, whose members were fired en masse after a strike? The union, though long quiet, has not gone away, and last Friday went to court to try to get jobs back for some of its members. Four plaintiffs, along with the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), filed a complaint in a federal court in Tennessee, asking that the FAA be stopped from hiring any new air traffic controllers until the FAA can show that it is not discriminating against former PATCO members who apply for openings. PATCO says that a ban on hiring the former controllers was lifted in 1993, but the FAA has avoided hiring them and has instead hired less-qualified applicants. More...

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ON THE FLY...
A Learjet crashed near San Diego yesterday...
Ten died in Beech 200 crash in Virginia last night...
An engine fell off a 747 cargo plane in flight last week...
First flight for Quest's 10-place single-engine utility airplane...
X Prize Foundation selling tickets to trophy award event in St. Louis...
Wolf Aviation Fund seeks grant proposals for projects promoting GA...
Paul MacCready to speak at Lindbergh Symposium in Fla., Nov. 13...
DOT named three new members to FAA Management Advisory Council...
NTSB wants better safety briefings for charter ops over water. 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...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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ATIS
Gems in the GPS Attic
If you fly short hops in your GPS-equipped airmobile, you may not have had time to ponder what else your GPS can do besides "Direct-to" and short flight plans. Next time you have an hour or two in cruise, try out these unexpected bonuses in your box.

More...

LOOK, UP IN THE AIR! IT'S A PLANE! IT'S A FLYING DOG!
It's Woody, staff member of Pilot Getaways magazine who has traveled from coast to coast helping the publisher and editor bring subscribers the best fly-in destinations. Woody has logged over 1,600 hours and has something to say about the places he's visited, from the Southwest to the Northeast, small grass strips in Canada, remote Mexican beaches, and places in between. If you love dogs or just need a smile, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/woody/avflash.

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...

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

Reader mail this week about the crashes of the Bushmaster and Pinnacle airliner, the first homebuilt in Canada, pilots vs. controllers and more. More...

TRACK ALL IN-FLIGHT IFR AIRCRAFT IN REAL TIME!
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SHORT FINAL...
Eager Flyer...

A student pilot was on a cross country solo flight to Santa Barbara. Eager to fly "heavy metal" he contacts approach at 5,500 feet for flight following...

N12345: ...approach, Cessna 12345 checking in at flight level 550.

Approach (after a long pause): Roger, Cessna 12345 ... you can contact NASA at 368.2 for further advisories! More...

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IN CASE OF FIRE, AN EVAC-U8 ESCAPE HOOD FROM AEROMEDIX CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
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PHOTON 3 MICRO-LIGHT ON SALE DURING OCTOBER
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SPONSOR NEWS
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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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