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Volume 10, Number 45a -- November 1, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... JA Air Center

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.

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

SPORT PILOT EXTRAVAGANZA
Unlike a lot of "first-year" events, the just-concluded Sebring (Fla.) U.S. Sport Aviation Expo was well-focused, well-organized and well-run. That it wasn't well-attended is our loss. Not that it was empty, either: All the exhibitor spaces were pre-sold, and a number of industry heavies (Randy Schlitter, Tom Peghiny, John and Martha King, and Tom Poberezny among them) were there. The public that did attend had a feast of information and hardware before them. The attendees were the beginnings of Sport Pilot's core constituency, and the curious. Much, much More...

...LAID-BACK AND FUN, TOO...
The open feeling of the show lent a relaxed feeling, as the people attendees really wanted to see were available. No one had an excuse for going home with unanswered questions. No one had to go home without a good look at, or even a ride in, representative aircraft. Walking from one end of the show to the other took ten minutes, not an hour and a half, and the hordes of friendly volunteers were always willing to offer rides in their golf carts, too. Engineers and top techs in the field were there. Sensenich's Steve Boser had the company's new ground-adjustable composite prop; Phil Lockwood, Eric Tucker and gang were there from Rotax; the HKS gurus had the questions covered. More...

...SO, WHAT IS THIS EVENT?
As Tom Poberezny said, "This event was not targeted to be a 'mass' event -- it's an expo." The feeling many attendees got was of being invited into the inside of the industry, sort of like attending an industry convention, where the public is invited. Think of it maybe as small aircraft's NBAA Convention, with the added bonus of not having to wear a suit. "It's a great first step," the EAA president said, "developing a new segment -- LSA -- here it is dramatically focused." More...

THE PILOT INSURANCE CHALLENGE
If you are a pilot currently applying for a life insurance policy with anyone other than the Pilot Insurance Center (PIC), stop what you're doing!  You might be overpaying for your insurance or waiting on a rate hike after you get through the underwriting process.  Contact PIC to be assured of a great rate from an agent who knows aviation and won't send your rate into a flat spin after underwriting.  You have nothing to lose, and it might be the most profitable five minutes of your day.  Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 and get an instant quote, or visit PIC's website at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/avflash.

THE LONG WAY AROUND VFR ON TOP
When AVweb reader Steve Biddle asked an innocent question about flying VFR above a cloud layer, he initiated a long and tangled quest through the annals of the FAA, the confusion of the GA masses, and the arcana of the U.S. airspace system. Today, almost two months after Biddle's query was chosen as a Question Of The Week, we have an official, certifiable, FAA answer ... that is, if you consider an answer from an FAA staffer who signs his e-mails as "Member, Loyal Order of the Flackosaurus Aeronauticus" to be official in the official sense. FAA Flight Standards spokesman Les Dorr, who braved the cloudy corridors of the FAA to get us this response, says: "Sorry for the delay [this arrived about four weeks after our initial request]. Here 'tiz ... The main question was, 'Can a VFR-only pilot legally fly over a cloud layer in VFR conditions, then descend and land, all maintaining VFR visibility and cloud-separation requirements?' The answer is yes. VFR-over-the-top is not addressed in 14 CFR Part 91, so only the basic VFR weather requirements of Section 91.155 [Basic VFR weather minimums] apply." More...

...AND NOT FOR THOSE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH FUZZINESS...
When AVweb's Question Of The Week on Sept. 1 polled readers about flying VFR above a cloud layer, we heard from almost 1,400 of you, well above our average response, and received written comments from more. The QOTW described a flight in which a pilot took off VFR and landed VFR but flew en route above a solid layer that hid the ground, and asked if it was legal or not. Fifty-four percent of respondents said it was legal, but if an emergency had forced the pilot to descend into the clouds, it would have become illegal. Another 35 percent said it was a legal flight even if the pilot had to descend into the clouds, as long as the pilot declared an emergency first. Only 11 percent said the whole idea was not only dumb, but busted regs. Our first response from the FAA said that the 11 percent were correct -- that the flight would be illegal -- because if the engine quit the pilot would be stuck without a VFR option. More...

...AND MAYBE NOT FOR THE CAREFUL
What if that VFR pilot does end up descending into the clouds? An oft-cited 1954 study found that non-instrument-rated pilots then had a hard time controlling the airplane when faced with a loss of visual cues. In experiments conducted in real Beechcraft Bonanzas, 19 out of 20 pilots entered a graveyard spiral within three minutes after losing visual contact. The 20th avoided the graveyard spiral only because he was occupied in yanking the airplane into a "whip stall." The FARs for large and turbine-powered aircraft do specify that over-the-top operations under VFR are allowed "only if the airplane is equipped with the instruments and equipment required for IFR operations." In Canada, the procedure is OK for non-instrument-rated private pilots only if they have completed a "VFR Over The Top" rating that requires 15 hours of dual instrument training. More...

ADAM, CIRRUS, DIAMOND, LANCAIR, LIBERTY ...
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AN AIRPORT, A GOLF COURSE AND $13.3 MILLION
The leaders of Ocean City, Md., will square off face-to-face with FAA officials who want them to sell the local golf course or pay the agency $13.3 million. As AVweb told you last spring , the FAA provided funding to buy the land, on which the golf course was later developed, for future airport expansion. In Ocean City's latest long-term planning document for the airport, no expansion is envisioned and the FAA wants the course (several holes of which are a wedge shot from the nearest runway) removed from any entanglement with airport funds. The issue now comes down to money, and a meeting between the city and FAA is tentatively scheduled for later this month. More...

DAYCARE SHELVED (BRIEFLY) FOR AIRPORT RADAR
Well, when it comes to a choice between a radar for the airport and a new day-care center, there's just no contest for the people of Vail, Colo. They'll take the radar (although that doesn't mean they won't get the day care, too). Civic officials are considering diverting $1.5 million already budgeted for the day-care center to pay the local share of a $6 million radar that should prevent thousands of well-heeled tourists from missing all or part of their vacations due to weather. And since construction on the center wasn't scheduled to start until after ski season, city officials figure they can juggle the budget and still break ground for the kids' facilities next spring. It appears some miscommunication between the city and the FAA caused the financial flap. More...

IT'S NOT TOO EARLY TO DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING WITH MARV GOLDEN
Marv Golden Pilot Shop is the pilot's choice in all things aviation. From aircraft manuals to flight jackets and bags to watches, you'll find it all at Marv Golden's. And Marv has the Lowrance Airmap 2000C in stock! Bargains, all your pilot needs, and the best in gifts are at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/avflash.

HIGH-FLYING CREWS FACE COSMIC CANCER
Add cosmic radiation to the confirmed list of threats to the health of long-haul flight crews, although we don't know where it ranks along with deep vein thrombosis, boredom or the food. A British study has confirmed what pilots and flight attendants (and other studies) have been saying for decades. Spending too much time in the rarified air up there can be hazardous to your health. The study of 411 British Airways pilots showed increased rates of melanoma, colon and brain cancers attributable to cosmic rays. There's also a risk to the unborn children of pregnant crew members. More...

"FREAK WEATHER" TO BLAME FOR AIRCRAFT BREAKUP?
Australian Transportation Safety Board officials have no idea why a TasAir Aero Commander apparently broke into several pieces during a routine flight last February in Tasmania. But the owner of the plane suspects a "freak weather thing" caused the outboard sections of both wings and the tailplane to separate from the rest of the aircraft about 40 miles north of Hobart. A weather alert predicting occasional severe turbulence had been issued. Only the pilot, 21-year-old Heather Cochrane, was on board. TasAir owner George Ashwood said the cause of the accident may never be known. More...

DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE MONITOR YET? GET ONE BEFORE WINTER!
Low levels of carbon monoxide can be extremely hazardous in aircraft because the effects of CO and hypoxia are cumulative. A small CO leak may be an early warning sign of an impending life-threatening problem, such as cracks and holes in the exhaust system. Don't take chances with yourself and your passengers! With its digital readout that displays CO concentrations as low as 10 parts per million, the CO Experts Model 2004 from Aeromedix.com is by far the most sensitive carbon monoxide detector you can buy for less than $100. Don't procrastinate; order yours today by calling (800) 362-7123, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

PILOTS OF MISSILE-STRUCK PLANE HONORED
The prestigious Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in Britain has given one of its highest honors to the crew of a DHL Airbus A300 who landed the plane (stuck in the trim position for climbout) apparently using only the thrust from the engines to control pitch, attitude and direction. The pilots, Capt. Eric Genotte, First Officer Steeve Michielson and Flight Engineer Mario Rofail, were presented the Hugh Gordon-Burge Award, which is for outstanding airmanship in saving an aircraft. As AVweb showed you earlier this year, the Airbus made a spectacular -- and safe -- landing in Baghdad about 25 minutes after being hit by a missile while taking off. More...

POLITICKING BALLOONISTS ARRESTED
If you're looking for votes, the most densely populated area of the country is a good place to start. But it didn't have a happy ending for a pair of balloonists who ended up dropping in, perhaps unexpectedly, on New Yorkers enjoying the relative peace of Central Park last Friday. The balloon, emblazoned with the words "Kerry" and "Edwards" in huge letters on the side, landed beside a baseball field about 3 p.m. WABC News said it was told by Kerry officials that the balloon was not part of the campaign. More...

AOPA LEGAL SERVICES PLAN IS MONEY WELL SPENT
The AOPA Legal Services Plan, one of the top services that AOPA offers exclusively to its members, has the highest participation ever. The plan does much more than offer legal help in the event of an FAA enforcement action. Under the plan, members can receive reviews for aircraft rental, leaseback, hangar, and tiedown agreements and obtain legal advice on aircraft purchases or sales. The cost is only $26 for private and student pilots. To learn more, call AOPA at (800) USA-AOPA (872-2672) or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopa/legal/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
GAMA third quarter results showed recovery continuing...
Cold War-era nuclear bomber for sale on Ebay...
Vomit Comet hosted last lost lunch...
British Airways unintentionally pushes Bush...
Leg amputee back as Air Force pilot...
Space Junk rained over New Jersey...
Last 757 rolled off the line. 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...

NO-COST SHIPPING UPGRADE FOR USED AVIONICS FROM BENNETT
Bennett Avionics is offering (to AVweb subscribers only) this special offer: When placing an order, just mention the AVweb Holiday Shopping Special, and they will send your used avionics by 2nd Day Air for the price of Ground. (U.S. only, please.) As always, the quality products, helpful information, and professional service are standard. Go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/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...

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.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
The Pilot's Lounge #80: The ILS -- That Last 400 Feet
How fast should you fly an ILS? When should you switch from the "stabilized" approach and configure for landing? Instrument pilots may think they learned the answers back in IFR training, but AVweb's Rick Durden thinks you probably should change your procedures before you fly that ILS right into the dirt. More...

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

Reader mail this week about pilot fatigue, TSA Chief comments, corporate tax evasion and much more. More...

AIRCRAFT PARTNERSHIPS NOW ON ASO!
Have an aircraft share you need to sell?  Advertise it on ASO!  For a limited time, Brief Ads (text only) are complimentary, and Comprehensive Ads (photos & specs) are subject only to a one-time $40 set-up charge.  Take advantage of this special offer today!  For more information, please call (888) 992-9276 and tell them you saw this AVflash mention or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aso/partner/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
While flying IFR between Indianapolis, IN and Columbia, MO my wife and I encountered some mild turbulence at 6000. She's a nervous flier, so I decided it would be a good idea to find some smoother air.

Cessna N12345: Center, Cessna 12345 would like to climb to 8 for smoother air.

Center: 345, climb approved.

(After reaching 8000...)

Cessna N12345: 345 level 8.

Center: 345 it looks like you've picked up 10kts.

Mooney N23456: Center, Mooney 456 would like to pick up 10kts too!

Center: Mooney 456, climb approved. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!
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WHICH SIX-PLACE RETRACTABLE HAS THE BEST SAFETY RECORD?
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"THE PROPS ARRIVED TODAY. THANKS FOR ADDING THE N-NUMBERS!
You have a high quality product, and I appreciate your courteous and efficient service," says one very satisfied CarProp owner. You too can order this unique item for your car to show your love of aviation! Don't be shy; show your special talent with a CarProp on the front of your vehicle!  Just two screws to mount, and you're on your way to having fun. Order as holiday gifts and for yourself, online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/carprop/avflash.
FARs CAN CHANGE ON ANY GOVERNMENT WORKING DAY
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THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T YOU?
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SPONSOR NEWS
BONANZA PILOTS! ARE YOU AWARE THAT THERE IS A BOOK JUST FOR YOU?!
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HUNDREDS REQUEST COPIES OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 MUSIC CD
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NO GLASS COCKPITS HERE!  HIGH-ADVENTURE FLYING IN UTAH'S RED ROCK COUNTRY
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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 the AVweb newsteam:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#newsteam
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