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Volume 10, Number 48b -- November 25, 2004

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

At LightSPEED, every day is a day to be thankful for the opportunity to model a spirit of servanthood to our customers, our employees, our vendors, and our community.  We're thankful for the chance to improve and pursue excellence in the products we provide.  Thankful for our relationships, in which we strive to respond with grace, generosity, compassion, and kindness exceeding expectations.  This Thanksgiving, we just want to appreciate God's abundant blessing and wish that for each of you.

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

PILOT VISION REGS ATTACKED AT INQUEST OVERSEAS
Families of seven passengers who died in a 2003 plane crash in New Zealand have attacked lax vision standards for commercial pilots during an inquest hearing in Christchurch. Under questioning by the family members' lawyers, Dr. Dougal Watson, the principal medical officer for the Civil Aviation Authority, confirmed that the CAA allows pilots to self-prescribe corrective lenses for near-vision problems by buying off-the-shelf reading glasses from the local drugstore. The pilot of the accident airplane, Michael Bannerman, had been diagnosed with near-vision problems and, after picking up a pair of glasses, passed a flight test. More...

...AS ANOTHER AIRLINE PILOT COLLAPSES ON THE JOB
For the second time in a couple of weeks an airline pilot has collapsed at the controls. Australia's 7News reported this week that the pilot of a Garuda (Indonesia) Airlines Boeing 737 suffered a heart attack just after takeoff from Pontianak, on Borneo island. The first officer assumed control and landed the plane safely but the pilot died while en route to the hospital from the airport. The pilot had reportedly told other crew members that he wasn't feeling well prior to the flight. The Indonesian incident comes 10 days after a co-pilot suffered a seizure on flight from Washington to Los Angeles. More...

THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST WINNERS
"They blow my RayBans out of the water!" says private pilot Jason Downs. A pair of Scheydens will be given away every other week to a lucky AVweb subscriber, with a retail value up to $395! The unique flip-up design has become the #1 choice of pilots who demand quality and function. Scheydens are handmade of Titanium (Ti) frames with quality lenses. A Rosewood case and plush micro-fiber cleaning cloth are standard equipment. For information and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.

BRITS STOP AL QAEDA ATTACKS?
British authorities have thwarted 9/11-style attacks in that country, according to a television report. Quoting unnamed government sources, ITV reported that al Qaeda was planning to ram airliners into three downtown London skyscrapers and Heathrow Airport but British Intelligence got wind of the plans and was able to stop them. The buildings targeted were at Canary Wharf, a prominent London landmark. The report surfaced as the British government prepares to introduce nationwide security measures to combat terrorism. More...

...BUT WHY HIJACK WHEN YOU CAN BUY?...
Of course, if hijacking an airliner is getting a little risky for terrorists, there's no shortage of used big iron on the market, some of it possibly selling at bargain prices. A South African auction house is selling off a couple of (very) used airliners today. However, Aucor, the auction company, believes (which is different than guarantees) the DC-9 and Boeing 727-100 will go to airlines or charter services. They are apparently airworthy and were repossessed from local companies. More...

...AS CROP-DUSTER OWNERS ARE PUT ON GUARD
Meanwhile, an old threat is gaining new attention in the U.S. as federal authorities urge crop-duster owners and pilots to keep an eye out for anything strange. A crop duster was reported stolen in Mexico on Nov. 1, provoking a TSA advisory. Robert Jordan, the FBI's top agent in Oregon, confirmed to the Associated Press that al Qaeda may be taking a fresh look at the use of crop dusters to spread biological or chemical agents in the U.S. And that puts those who fly and maintain the aircraft on the front line of defense ... and on the front lines of federal scrutiny. (Expect visits from the FBI.) More...

A SUBSCRIPTION TO WEATHERTAP.COM IS A PERFECT PILOT GIFT
WeatherTAP.com, the fastest weather on the web, will make the perfect gift for any pilot.  Complete aviation weather, real-time radar, storm tracks, custom locations, and much more for just $73.95 per year, or $6.95 per month.  To subscribe, call (800) 337-5263 and mention this AVflash.  Be sure to mention if it's a gift, and WeatherTAP.com will send a gift card notifying the recipient.  Or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

THE HOLIDAY ATC CRISIS
And in what has become a holiday tradition of sorts, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association brass have more dire predictions about the system's inability to cope with what could be shaping up as a record season for air travel. President John Carr said in a news release that controllers are dropping faster than needles from a tree (OK, we're paraphrasing) and unless the FAA starts hiring, congestion and delays will prevail at many airports. "It's time for the FAA to stop talking about plans and take action," Carr said. He did note that Congress recently passed an appropriations bill containing $9.5 million to hire more controllers but said much more needs to be done. More...

SAFETY INITIATIVE TARGETS "PUSHY PASSENGERS"
In Alaska, where safety records are relatively atrocious, the FAA has launched an ad campaign aimed at encouraging passengers to inspire safety-conscious operators. Radio ads urge passengers to not pressure pilots into overloading planes. Other campaigns recommend that passengers fly with carriers who are registered with the "Medallion Foundation. The Circle of Safety program began by contacting school districts (kids from rural areas routinely fly to basketball tournaments and the like) and urging them to set strict safety standards. 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.

FEE PROPOSAL RILES AOPA
As AVweb told you last week, the Government Accountability Office (yes, that's the new name) has recommended that the FAA start charging administration fees for the private contractors who perform about 90 percent of the pilot and aircraft certification functions of the agency. The GAO, in a report on the FAA's management oversight of these functions, suggests the extra fees could fund a more comprehensive and effective system of oversight. AOPA has chimed in. More...

O'HARE DELAYS REDUCED (EXCEPT YESTERDAY)
If you went to, from or through O'Hare in the past month, chances are your flight was on time or a lot closer to it -- excepting yesterday when storms pushed delays into the several hours long category. FAA officials told reporters Tuesday that between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15 (when new rules capped flights at 87 an hour) there were almost 300 fewer daily flight delays than in the same period last year and the average length of delays was cut from 42 minutes to 16 minutes during peak times. But FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro also said that unusually benign weather during the period probably had the biggest impact on the on-time improvements and air traffic controllers said the first big winter storm will be the acid test. More...

NEW AIRCRAFT HOLIDAY SPECIAL! FRACTIONAL AIRCRAFT OWNERSHIP
OurPLANE, the #1 world leader, offers brand-new Cessna, Cirrus, and Raytheon aircraft at a fraction of the cost of sole aircraft ownership. No hassles, no responsibilities, and brand-new aircraft — including the glass-cockpit Cirrus SR22 G2 and G-1000 Cessna 182T. Purchase your holiday present for as little as $41,900! Save $2,000 until December 24, 2004 with $0 down, $0 principal, and prime-rate financing for qualified buyers at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ourplane/avflash.

MOONEY BORN AGAIN ... AND AGAIN
It's the little airplane company that seems to refuse to die. For the third time this century (the new one), new owners and new management at Mooney are vowing to revive the legendary name and restore it to prominence. In fact, it's like Mooney is starting all over again. That's just fine with Gretchen Jahn, who is the latest to fill the CEO's chair. Jahn comes to Mooney as the former president of the Colorado-based Knotridge group, which specializes in the evaluation and management of start-up companies. "The main thing is to be consistent, to make promises that we can keep ... and to show evidence of our stability and ability to compete in the market," she told the San Antonio Business Journal. (She probably meant consistent from now forward ...) More...

OUT IN A PUFF OF SMOKE
Sometimes the dearly departed simply won't leave. And when you're trying to scatter their ashes from an airplane, that can be an embarrassing, not to mention messy, problem with a much less romantic and symbolic outcome than planned. "The poor departed one generally ends up inside a vacuum cleaner rather than the clean air round an airplane," said Jim McTaggart, a British pilot who's invented a couple of devices to tidy up the process, but not necessarily make it more gentle. More...

FLYING RENTED OR BORROWED AIRCRAFT?
There's only one thing worse than paying to repair an aircraft — knowing you might not have had to. Avemco Insurance Company offers one of the most comprehensive Renter's Insurance policies in the country.  For as low as $95 covering basic liability — or $155 providing basic liability and $1,000 worth of Aircraft Damage Liability — there is no reason not to have this coverage. Avemco's policy includes loss of use, Civil Air Patrol coverage, and more.  Liability coverage up to $1,000,000 and Aircraft Damage Liability coverage to $150,000 are available.  To bind coverage today, contact Avemco by calling (888) 241-7891 and mentioning this AVflash, or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Defense aeronautical publications no longer public...
Arkansas airports scrambling to build hangars...
Air Force tanker contract reopened...
Happy Thanksgiving. Suggest you digest to today's 'Pumpkin Bombing' article. 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...

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER
— and more! WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone and any nationwide wireless carrier to give you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information and satellite images. WxServer includes airport frequency listings and fuel availability, as well as quick-dial FBO links, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates!  Order for yourself or as a gift at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #12: Tire TLC
Tires are the Rodney Dangerfields of aviation: They get no respect. Proper tire care isn't rocket science, and can pay hefty dividends in economy and safety. AVweb's Mike Busch tells you what you need to know.

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SKYWRITINGS
Zen And The Art Of Pumpkin Bombing
Today is Thanksgiving, and in honor of the second harvest festival of the season, AVweb presents a first-hand account of an event that happened after the last such festival, when some bored Midwesterners decided to "properly dispose" of extra pumpkins. If you won't tell the FAA, we won't.

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...

BUYING OR SELLING AN AIRCRAFT?
AvBuyer.com offers the complete solution when buying and selling aircraft, listing business aircraft from around the world along with the most complete listing of piston airplanes in Europe. Try AvBuyer.com today and experience fast, effective aircraft sourcing — or sign up for the complimentary latest aircraft e-mail alert. For more information, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, we want you to read below the giant "E" and tell us — how good is your vision? PLUS: Responses to last week's question on the new Sport Pilot/LSA Rule. More...

FLIGHTMAX EX500 — NO-CHARGE RELEASE 2.0 SOFTWARE UPGRADE — THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2004
Avidyne is accepting orders for a no-charge software upgrade for EX500 owners. The new Release 2.0 software adds major highways to the terrain base map, provides interface capability for XM Datalink (with XMD-076) for MultiLink™, TIS Traffic (with GTX 330), and enhanced "Nearest Airport" selection. Order yours today. For complete details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
As publisher Tim Cole carves up the turkey today, we at AVweb are reminded to be thankful for our readers — particularly those of you with cameras. You never fail to bring a smile to our face and remind us why we love flying. Since the beginning of the year, you've submitted 2,139 pictures to our "POTW" contest — just under 200 of which have been run here on the site, but 576 of which are in our "desktop wallpaper file."

This week's winning photo — from Kent Wien of New Hampshire — may surprise some of our readers, as it is a digitally-modified (PhotoShopped) image. For the record, we do accept PhotoShopped images for the "POTW" contest, but we would appreciate it if you let us know that the image has been altered in the "comments" section of your submission. And Kent — your spiffy new AVweb baseball cap is on the way! It's 100% real, with no digital enhancements whatsoever. 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  
NOT SURE WHAT TO GIVE A PILOT? WANT SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF?
The perfect gift is a holiday gift certificate from Oregon Aero. Oregon Aero has everything for pilots — from aircraft interior upgrades to flight bags to products that make flying (and even walking!) more comfortable. Go online to view all Oregon Aero's quality products. Then order a gift certificate, or print out a page and leave a "hint" for someone!  http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM VORs AND NDBs TO FULL GPS AUTOMATION
The ElectronicFlight CompleteLearning™ Avionics Software Library is a PC-based, multimedia-rich interactive program designed to make the learning experience enjoyable as well as effective. For complete information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/efs/avflash.
WHAT DO LOWERING CHOLESTEROL & CARBS, STAYING HYDRATED, EYE CARE,
human factors and pilot error, a healthy heart, Lindbergh, and a backseat flyer all have in common? They are all products and books available at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/safegoods/avflash.
GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY WITH A CO GUARDIAN CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
CO Guardian has models of CO detectors that range from portable units to panel-mount units with solid-state sensors and temperature sensors. SPECIAL: The Aero 152A model is CO Guardian's portable CO detector.  Save $30 till December 31, 2004.  Find the right CO Guardian model for you at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/avflash.
FLYING CARPET: THE SOUL OF AN AIRPLANE
You've enjoyed Greg Brown's stories in Flight Training and AOPA Pilot.  Now read the book!  Join Greg in the cockpit of his Flying Carpet for the struggles, triumphs, and crazy adventures of a pilot as he matures from fledgling to seasoned aviator.  Not only will pilots love this book, but after reading it, your friends and family will finally understand why you fly.  AVweb EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Order your autographed copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/paperjet/avflash.
GIVE OR GET A NEW LEATHER FLIGHT BAG FROM PILOTMALL & SHOW YOUR STYLE!
PilotMall.com's real leather flight bags are second to none — and there's a backpack model! HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Complimentary U.S. Domestic shipping through December at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall/avflash.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER?
Do you ever wonder why you lack confidence?  Take a look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for Flight Instructors.  Gordon takes lessons from 50 years of flying and tells how to be more capable and confident in your own flying and how to teach more effectively.  This is not a question-and-answer book, but a guide to what you actually do and think when you are in the cockpit, and it tells you how to root out bad habits and techniques.  Complimentary holiday gift-wrapping.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/avflash.
A UNIQUE  GIFT FOR PILOTS & PROFESSIONALS — THE PILOT LOGBOOK & JOURNAL
Crafted to recall the early flight journals kept by pilots like Capt. Elrey Jeppesen, this sturdy modern version combines the necessary requirements for logging time with space for writing stories, keeping detailed notes, or recording your aircraft's operating characteristics. SPECIAL: Save $12 when you purchase two at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flywrite/avflash.
THE PERFECT GIFT FOR ALL PILOTS ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST!
Comm1 training lets pilots experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics, practicing from the safety and privacy of their desktops. Comm1 is offering a complimentary multimedia headset with every order received by December 31, 2004 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
POWER FLOW'S 200HP MOONEY SYSTEM IS FAA-APPROVED & READY FOR DELIVERY
Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System has been approved for 200hp Mooneys. SPECIAL: Deposits placed before the end of 2004 receive a significant "pre-production pricing discount" of $540.00. Delivery slots are on a first-come, first-saved basis. To learn more about introductory pricing and the system's benefits for your M20 E, F, or J, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
SPENCER LANE'S FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL
Three years before Lindbergh's flight to Paris, the U.S. Army joined the race to be the first to fly around the world.  This award-winning hardcover book tells this great adventure in detail.  SPECIAL: Autographed copies and complimentary U.S. shipping at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/firstworldflight/avflash.
HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FROM CREWCAR & CONSUMER GUIDES
Don't go blindly into a dealership when purchasing a vehicle; look to CrewCar.  CrewCar is a car-buying service providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value nationwide.  The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards.  For more information, visit CrewCar at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
DISCOVER WHY HOMEBUILTS ARE THE HOTTEST SEGMENT IN GENERAL AVIATION
Subscribe to Kitplanes magazine and catch the building excitement.  Each issue is packed with flight reviews; building, buying, and flying guidance; and much more.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/kitplanes/avflash.
KNOWLEDGE ENHANCER, TEACHING TOOL, & TRAINING AID — 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.
WHEN YOU NEED A TOOL, YOU USUALLY NEED IT BADLY
Rather than just buying a bunch of wrenches, drivers, and other tools, it makes more sense to approach tool-buying with a strategy in mind. And usually, buying the best pays dividends later. Look for advice in the December issue of Light Plane Maintenance. Order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lpm/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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

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