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Volume 10, Number 50a -- December 6, 2004

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

THE FINAL FRONTIER IN LIFE INSURANCE
Do any of us have 6-8 weeks to go through life insurance underwriting with an agent who doesn't know the difference between a Weedhopper and a 747?  With something as important as your family's security, the Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) says, "No!"  An agent's lack of aviation knowledge can be your worst enemy in life insurance underwriting.  After you were promised the moon, that great promised rate all of a sudden disappears.  Don't accept an aviation exclusion or accelerated rate when you can save 30-60% at PIC with their Preferred Rates for Pilots.  There are NO aviation exclusions on the policies, and they underwrite through A+ rated (or better) companies, so you'll have peace of mind.  Call PIC today at (800) 380-8376 and get an instant quote by phone, or visit PIC at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/avflash.

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

A TURBINE FOR CHRISTMAS?
Earlier this year, a Pennsylvania company called Affordable Turbine Power attracted some attention when they turned up at air shows with a turbine-powered RV-4 and said they would soon be selling their little engines to the experimental market. The company now has changed its name to Innodyn, and is also flying a turbine-powered RV-6. President Chuck Nearhoof told AVweb on Friday they are on track to start production of the turbines next month, with first deliveries in February. Each of the four models weighs less than 188 pounds and delivers a range of maximum power from 165 to 255 hp, at costs ranging from $26,500 to $34,500. Nearhoof says they have a "substantial number" of orders to fill. More...

...WITH PATENTED FUEL TECHNOLOGY...
Nearhoof said the fuel system uses a patented technology called "pulse width modulation" to control fuel flow to the engine. The system not only reduces operating and purchase costs, but also simplifies the use of the turbine. "This is light years beyond FADEC," Nearhoof said. The engine spins at 61,000 rpm and the computer that controls the fuel flow can make three decisions for each rotation. "It gives new meaning to the term 'full authority,'" Nearhoof said. The company is now working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on a test regime to determine the efficiency of the system, and Innodyn is not talking about fuel flow till those results are in. At Sun 'n' Fun, in April, the company was reporting 13.3 gallons per hour in the RV-4. More...

...AND FIREWALL-FORWARD SUPPORT
The engine by itself is of very little value without firewall-forward support, Nearhoof said. Innodyn had been working with Rivers Aeronautical, of Greenville, S.C., to develop firewall-forward kits, but announced last month that it will provide that support in-house instead. "Innodyn believes that they can supply the kits to the consumer at a more affordable price and Rivers Aero supports them in their endeavor," Rivers says at its Web site, and Nearhoof confirmed that. He said Innodyn is trying to meet a price target of $6,000 to $7,000 for the kits, though it will vary depending on the airframe. That doesn't include a prop. Nearhoof said kits and support will be in place by the time deliveries start. 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.

FOR FLIGHT SERVICE STATIONS, FUTURE IS NOW
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was at a Flight Service Station in Mississippi last week, to talk with the staff about the current bidding process that could change federal employees to contract workers. "It's going to be a challenging time," Blakey told the Greenwood (Miss.) Commonwealth. "We don't know whether it is something that ultimately will be staffed by federal specialists or something that would be staffed by specialists in the area but under private contract. That decision will be made in a couple of months," Blakey said. Bidders for the contract include the agency's own employees in partnership with Harris Corp., Computer Sciences Corp., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. The FAA wants the bidder to cut costs by at least 22 percent from the current $502 million annual tab. More...

...BUT "LOWEST BIDDER" PROSPECT WORRIES STAFF
The union representing the FSS staff, the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), is opposed to the bidding process. "Flight Service Controller duties will be sold to the lowest bidder with no system announced as of yet to monitor safety and security," says the NAATS Web site. NAATS has also disputed the FAA's contention that each contact with a pilot costs $25. "Flight service cost an average of $12 per contact until you factor in the cost of all the technical and administrative support costs. These support personnel are not included in any privatization or job elimination study," says NAATS. AOPA has taken the position that aviation weather services are critical to public safety and should be provided by the government without fees. More...

JA AIR CENTER — YOUR GARMIN SOURCE — HOT HOLIDAY GPSs IN STOCK!
The hottest holiday Garmin gifts are at JA Air!  All the new aviation GPS units — including the GPSMap 296 Color with Terrain, GPSMAP 196, GPSMap 96C, and GPSMAP 96. Also, JA Air stocks non-aviation Garmin GPS like the StreetPilot 2620, Quest, GPS V Deluxe, eTrex Legend C, GPSMap 60CS, GPSMap 76C, and the IQUE 3600 PDA/GPS. 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.

REPORT: "POLISHED FROST" IS NOT A SAFE CONCEPT
The FAA needs to change its rules to encourage pilots to totally clean frost from their aircraft's wings before takeoff, rather than just smooth it out to remove the bumps, according to a safety recommendation from Britain's Department for Transport. The recommendation was prompted by the investigation into the crash of a U.S.-owned and operated Bombardier CL-600 that crashed in the U.K. in 2002, under circumstances similar to last week's crash of a CL-600 in Colorado that killed three people. FAR Part 91.527 says pilots must remove frost from the wings and other aerodynamic surfaces "unless that frost has been polished to make it smooth." The British report says it's not clear exactly how pilots should "polish" the frost, and that the rule may give the pilots the impression that some amount of frost is acceptable. More...

O'HARE DEVELOPMENT FUNDS USED TO DESTROY MEIGS
Friday, Chicago officials sent off a 43-page legal brief in response to the FAA's concern that the city diverted $1.5 million from O'Hare's federal airport development funds to pay for the destruction of Meigs field. The FAA has already ordered the city to pay a $33,000 fine for insufficient notice (not telling anyone at the FAA 30 days ahead of time that the city intended to close Meigs field). As it turns out, the city's brief defends both actions. The text says that the city did give notice of closure and also that the city did spend the O'Hare money, plus another $1.3 million, to destroy the field, according to a report in yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times. But in an epic twist of lay-logic, the brief contends it's legal to use "development funds" to destroy an airport. (... Bless the lawyers, every one.) More...

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.

NEXT FRONTIER FOR GA -- CHINA
China's economy is the fastest-growing in the world, second only to the U.S. in overall production, and it seems to be ready for GA. Organizers of the 4th Annual GA Forum in China, set for March 2005, say that "yesterday's potential has turned into today's reality," and now is the time to enter the market. Diamond Aircraft is already making inroads there, and CEO Christian Dries says he expects the growing Chinese aviation market to "potentially become a very significant portion of our future business." Diamond announced last week that it now has Chinese certification for its DA40 four-seater, and will begin deliveries there this month. The DA20-C1 two-seater received its Chinese certification in July. More...

CESSNA 340 EXPLODES ON RAMP
A Cessna 340 that exploded on the ramp at Lafayette (La.) Regional Airport last week apparently had a slow fuel leak in its left wing tank, investigators say. The pilot of the airplane had reported fumes in the cockpit on its last flight, about three weeks ago. It sat on the ramp until a mechanic went to check it out last Tuesday morning, and when he turned on the master switch, the explosion occurred. No flames or fire were reported. The mechanic suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital and released. The explosion rattled windows and knocked pictures off walls at nearby businesses, but nobody was hurt (we're not real clear on how the mechanic managed that, either), and traffic at the airport was not affected. The twin-engine airplane was destroyed. More...

DON'T BLINDLY RENEW YOUR AIRCRAFT'S INSURANCE WITHOUT SHOPPING
Check CS&A Aviation Insurance for complete insurance packages with the best products and prices in the industry.  Receive a no-cost quote online from one of CS&A's top aviation specialists at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

NEW SYSTEM WOULD HELP PILOTS AVOID GROUND OBSTACLES
Lights are fine for marking towers, except when they're not working, and those big orange balls help in spotting power lines, except when visibility is poor. To help prevent collisions, the FAA in Fort Worth, Texas, is testing a radar system that would continually scan the area around power lines or antennae for nearby aircraft, and trigger a strobe light to warn pilots (as opposed to just having a strobe running all the time on every tower), The Dallas Morning News reported last week. The Obstacle Collision Avoidance System could also broadcast a warning over the aircraft's radio. Two recent accidents highlighted the dangers of low-level obstacles -- a Gulfstream jet in Houston that hit a light pole on approach, and an Army helicopter that hit the support cables of an unlit tower in Texas. More...

FINNISH AIRLINE PILOT GETS PRISON TERM FOR DRINKING
A Finnish 757 pilot who was apprehended by police in August during his preflight and failed a breath test for alcohol was sentenced on Thursday by a U.K. court to six months in prison. A blood test had shown his alcohol level was twice the limit allowed for air traffic in the U.K. The pilot, Heikki Tallila, 51, admitted to being drunk in the cockpit of the chartered airplane, which he was scheduled to fly from Manchester to Turkey, with 225 passengers on board. He was employed by Finnair, but was suspended after his arrest and later resigned. He was the first pilot to be sentenced under a new law, introduced in Britain in March, that gives the police authority to administer breath tests to flight crew members who are suspected of trying to fly under the influence of alcohol. 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.

GARMIN CERTIFIES TAWS FOR GNS 530 AND GPS 500
Garmin announced Thursday that it has received FAA certification to add Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) capability to its GNS 530 and GPS 500 units. The system can provide pilots with graphical and audible alerts of potential terrain and obstacle conflicts along the flight path, Garmin said. "TAWS technology represents a significant advance in flight safety and its widespread adoption could dramatically reduce the number of terrain-related accidents -- one of the leading causes of fatalities in aviation," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing. New TAWS-certified units start at $20,500, and upgrades for current owners cost $8,000, Garmin said. The addition of TAWS enables the GNS 530 and GPS 500 to graphically display the surrounding terrain and obstacles in bright yellow and red, relative to the aircraft's current altitude, Garmin said. More...

ON THE FLY...
A politically inspired Convair CV-340 ditched near Miami (there's a picture)...
The da Vinci Project completed helium balloon for spacecraft launch...
BRS hired Larry E. Williams as president and chief operating officer...
Checklist for infant and child safety for GA pilots now free online...
Hurricane-damaged airports in Florida got another $4.5 million...
New IMAX film, "Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag," debuts Saturday...
"Fighter Jets" airs on National Geographic Channel December 15...
In Va., a departing C-414 crashed, stopping just shy of the fuel farm...
AOPA's 2005 Karant Awards for GA journalism now accepting entries. More...

ASA'S AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY & COMPLETE
ASA's 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.

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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COLUMNS
From the CFI #4: Some Advice on Movin' On Up!
If you're thinking about moving up to a faster, more complex airplane (or if you're wondering how piston-pounding pilots are going to transition to those very light jets), AVweb's Linda D. Pendleton has some advice: Brush up on the basics. More...

FLIGHTMAX EX500 — COMPLIMENTARY RELEASE 2.0 SOFTWARE UPGRADE THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2004
Avidyne is accepting orders for a complimentary 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.

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

Reader mail this week about Presidential TFRs in Canada, the Age 60 rule, doctored photos 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...

NO-COST RESOURCES FOR STUDENT PILOTS!
Whether you're already a student pilot or thinking about learning to fly, you qualify for a complimentary 6-month subscription to AOPA Flight Training magazine and a complimentary 6-month AOPA membership! AOPA Flight Training includes in-depth articles and timely tips that help you become a skilled pilot. Plus, you'll have 24/7 members-only access to AOPA.org and FlightTraining.AOPA.org. Prepare for lessons, organize flight plans, and sharpen your flying skills with interactive online safety courses and seminars. FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS: Receive a complimentary subscription to AOPA Flight Training when you enroll your prospective and current primary students for this offer! Enroll at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopaftm/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
Submitted to our "shouldn't you have better things to do" file...

Tower: L39 N###, Did you guys get that contract with the post office?

L39: Say again, Tower.

Tower: L39, We heard that the mail was going to be in the Czech.

(pause)

L39: ... Slow day, huh.

Tower: (laughing) Sorry. 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  
GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY — VISIT AVWEB'S HOLIDAY SHOPPING PAGE
Featuring great products and services from AVweb's sponsors at fantastic prices that have to be seen to be believed!
http://www.avweb.com/shopping
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.
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.
DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE MONITOR YET?  GET ONE FOR 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.  Don't take chances!  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 today by calling (800) 362-7123, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!
Do you have friends or family flying in tonight?  A business colleague coming in for a meeting?  Will your partner get the airplane back before you need to take off?  Find out where in the U.S. and Canadian airspace they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer.  AVweb subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at a special price of $9.95 a month at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
SUBSCRIBE TO IFR MAGAZINE NOW AND SAVE
IFR is the magazine for the accomplished pilot. Each issue is loaded with insightful articles to help you get the most from the system, your aircraft, and your know-how. Order today for guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe! If you fly the gauges, add IFR Magazine to your ground support team now. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrmag/avflash.
RECEIVE A GIFT WITH A GIFT FROM CHASE-DURER
Give a Chase-Durer fine chronograph watch to both the men and women on your shopping list and purchase a black pilot jacket (a $149 value) for only $50 — a $99 savings — while supplies last. You can give the jacket as an additional gift or keep it for yourself.  Chase-Durer watches are world-renowned timepieces combining good looks with precision.  Chase-Durer watches will be the most appreciated gift you give this year.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur/avflash.
ASK FOR THEM FOR CHRISTMAS — IF YOU CAN WAIT!
Listen and learn with the new audio CD version of Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook on 30 professionally-recorded audio CDs. Now you will learn more easily, retain more information, prepare more quickly for your flight review and private pilot knowledge exam, and make use of those otherwise-wasted commute hours. Retention can increase by 70% with auditory learning. As one listener (David Lau of Watertown, WI) said, "The longer I listened, the more I realized how much I had forgotten or just haven't thought about for years ... . These CDs are great fun to listen to."  http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/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.
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.
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.
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.
SPONSOR NEWS
COMPLETELEARNING™ AUTOPILOT SOFTWARE ADDRESSES VOID IN EDUCATION
As of October 1, 2004, the FAA is requiring students be examined on understanding and utilization of autopilot systems in order to earn an instrument rating. Pilots can now gain access to ElectronicFlight Solutions performance training software in order to effectively understand the autopilot. The FAA Wings-accepted ElectronicFlight CompleteLearning™ Autopilot module covers operation of the Bendix/King KAP 140, KFC 225, and S-TEC 55/55X/550 (including Altitude Selector/Alerter). For complete information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/efs/avflash.
NO GLASS COCKPITS HERE! HIGH-ADVENTURE FLYING IN RED ROCK COUNTRY
"I watch every video that comes out and buy every aviation magazine. I've never been so entertained and captivated," says Steve Durtschi, President of the Utah Back Country Pilots Association. Out There ... Flying! has just released Utah's Red Rock Country, Volume 1. Experience firsthand the romance and freedom of flying the wide-open spaces of the American West. Join pilot/host Jim Clark as he flies into some of the most rugged and remote landing strips in the "lower 48." Get a pilot's point of view as Jim shows how to safely land at deep canyon airstrips ringed by 1,000' cliffs. Order your copy today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/outthere/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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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