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Volume 10, Number 51b -- December 16, 2004

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

THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST WINNERS
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

GA SECURITY UNDER SCRUTINY...
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has not conducted a thorough assessment of the vulnerabilities of general aviation to determine how to better prepare against terrorist threats, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report, based on a yearlong study, found the TSA has made some progress in developing and implementing security guidelines, but just about every effort in training, communications and assessment seems to have fallen short. The FAA also took some flak in the report for failing to evaluate whether its continuing flight restrictions are worthwhile. More...

...CITING BRIGHT SPOT OF INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION...
One thing that the TSA seems to be doing right is building productive partnerships with the industry. AOPA's Airport Watch program, launched jointly with the TSA, was cited in the report, as well as programs of the National Business Aviation Association and the National Agricultural Aircraft Association. "This new GAO report confirms and adds validity to what AOPA and the GA industry have been saying ever since the Sept. 11 attacks," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, in a statement issued Tuesday. "General aviation airports are so many and so varied that a 'one-size-fits-all' security plan is just not feasible." More...

...BUT STILL FAR TO GO
During its study, the GAO visited 31 GA airports chosen for their variety of physical characteristics and types of operations. The report found that most of the airport managers interviewed had already established a number of security enhancements, using either airport revenue, or state or federal grant money. However, security advisories distributed by the TSA were too vague and were not consistently received, the study found. The GAO report concludes with five specific recommendations: The TSA should develop a risk-management plan that helps airports assess vulnerabilities, do a better job of communicating specific threat information, and more carefully monitor foreign nationals learning to fly in the United States. Also, the FAA should develop a plan to review and revalidate flight restrictions, and the TSA and FAA together need to review the process for issuing waivers to enter restricted airspace. More...

TRADE-A-PLANE, THE AVIATION MARKETPLACE — THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT
Send one print issue per month and full access to the Trade-A-Plane web site for just $14.95 for one year, or $24.95 for two years. To subscribe, call (800) 337-5263 and mention this AVflash. Be sure to mention if it's a gift and Trade-A-Plane will send a gift card notifying the recipient. Or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

ACCIDENT AFTERMATHS...
The FAA is seeking input from pilots as it continues its investigation into a fatal accident of a Beech T-34A airplane on Dec. 7 in Texas. Two men died after a wing separated, and the entire fleet of Beech A45 and T-34 aircraft was grounded last week. The FAA now has issued an Airworthiness Concern Sheet asking for assistance from industry type-club organizations, owners/operators, and manufacturers, as well as T-34 AMOC (alternate means of compliance) holders, "to help in the long-term airworthiness solution for the safety and continued airworthiness of these airplanes." The EAA Government Relations office is collecting the comments. More...

...SNOWBIRDS FLYING AGAIN
Canada's Snowbirds aerobatics team also was grounded last week, after a fatal midair in Saskatchewan, but they are already back in the air, after a preliminary investigation apparently found no evidence of mechanical failure. Some critics, however, are saying the Snowbirds should be grounded for good and their $10 million (Canadian) budget directed elsewhere, CBC News reported Tuesday. The aging CT-114 Tutor jets, which are older than the pilots who fly them, should be retired, they say. "It's a luxury," said former colonel Michel Drapeau, "and I think the time has come to question [it] and possibly do without." 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.

DECISION EXPECTED SOON ON NIGHT-LANDING RULE...
The FAA is close to a decision on whether it will change the definition of "night" to reflect that local conditions can differ from the times published in the American Air Almanac. The change could limit operations at some airports where terrain causes darkness significantly earlier than the Almanac indicates. When the FAA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) about the change in 2002, in response to a recommendation from the NTSB following a fatal crash in Aspen, Colo., the industry was almost entirely against it. FAA spokesman William Shumann told AVweb last week that the FAA will issue a final rule early next year. "We can't say what the rule will say about the definition of night," he said. More...

...BUT CHANGE WOULD TAKE TIME
Even if the FAA does adopt a change in the rules regarding night flying, the agency would still have to survey all applicable airports -- over 18,000 of them -- and then determine revised sunset/sunrise times for each, Shumann said. "That won't be soon." A rule-making committee that reviewed all the comments on the NPRM last year recommended withdrawal of the proposed change. "The team understands the NTSB's recommendation to create rulemaking that might preclude situations similar to the Aspen accident," the committee said. However, "the team does not consider the proposed change to be an appropriate solution to a very complex and often site-specific problem." More...

LIGHTSPEED AVIATION INTRODUCES NEW LINE OF HEADSETS
LightSPEED's new LightFlight L-1 ultra-lightweight aviation headset weighs in at only 0.5 ounces but is a heavyweight in features. Their in-the-ear technology attenuates 35-45dB of noise and features the same standard features as their premium headsets: High-fidelity stereo speakers, electret mic, cell/satellite phone and music input, carry case, and a 3-year warranty. Retail price is $429 USD. For more information and to place an order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/L1/avflash.

AMID LOSSES, BOMBARDIER CEO LEAVES
Bombardier CEO Paul Tellier resigned on Monday, as the company struggles to cope with lagging sales, job cuts, three recent jet crashes, and a falling stock price -- which hit a new low on the latest news. Tellier had been with the company less than two years and had another year to go on his contract. Apparently he had let it be known that he planned to leave when the contract was up, and the company decided not to wait. In a press release, he said, "I understand the board's concern that I would not be there for the long term to develop and execute strategies, and the need to reshape the management structure at this time." Business analysts said sharp differences on strategy with board chairman Laurent Beaudoin prompted the departure. Beaudoin will act as interim CEO. More...

NAVAJO NATION PARTNERS WITH UTILICRAFT AEROSPACE
The Navajo Nation will partner with Utilicraft Aerospace Industries to produce the FF-1080-300 twin-engine freight aircraft, Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. announced on Sunday. The arrangement will establish three aircraft sub-assembly plants on Navajo Nation lands that will create hundreds of jobs. The Navajo Nation has agreed to invest $34 million in the project to become a 25-percent equity partner in Utilicraft. "I feel very good, very confident about this," Shirley said. "This is an awesome opportunity and industry to bring to the Navajo Nation." The FF-1080, which has been in development for 13 years, is an all-aluminum, twin-engine, high-wing, fixed-landing-gear, non-pressurized, single-pilot-capable turboprop aircraft with short takeoff and landing capability, specifically designed as a utility air freight transport system. More...

UPGRADE YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING WITH AN OREGON AERO GIFT CERTIFICATE
Oregon Aero makes a variety of aviation upgrades that make flying painless, safer, and quieter. From SoftTop™ Headset Cushions and SoftSeal™ Ear Cushions for aviation headsets to Portable Universal SoftSeat™ cushions or custom-designed seat cushions, Oregon Aero makes flying more comfortable from top to bottom. For a perfect gift, order Oregon Aero gift certificates and get a complimentary catalog — so the people on your gift list can select exactly what they want! Go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

CONCORDE VS. CONTINENTAL
The official accident report on the fatal Concorde crash in July 2000 that doomed the big birds was finished two years ago -- but wait, now there is another official report. On Tuesday, the findings of an ongoing judicial investigation were made public, and the parties found responsible in this probe could face manslaughter charges. Both reports place the blame for the accident on a piece of metal that fell from a Continental DC-10. Continental CEO Gordon Bethune has been summoned to testify in London early next year. "We're confident that there's no basis for criminal action and we will defend any charges in the appropriate courts," said Continental spokesman Nick Britton. "We strongly disagree that anything Continental did was the cause of the Concorde accident." More...

AWOS ONLINE, WITH GRAPHICS
Real-time information from the AWOS (Automated Weather Observation System) at your local GA airport may be online soon, if a project from Stanwyck Avionics gains traction. The company has developed graphic display software linked to AWOS that updates automatically every 60 seconds over the Internet. The display is for informational purposes only, but Bill Stanwyck told AVweb on Tuesday that he is working with the FAA to see if it can be certified. The graphic shows the airport runways with the wind on a compass rose, displaying direction and speed as well as headwind and crosswind components. The page also lists wind and temperature data, as well as the current METAR and trend information. 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 for yourself (or as the perfect holiday gift), go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.



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Featuring products and services from AVweb's sponsors with special holiday offers!  http://www.avweb.com/shopping


PC-12 WITH "ENGINE PROBLEMS" GOES DOWN DOWNTOWN
Approximately 7,000 feet and seven miles out of South Bend (Indiana) Regional Airport a PC-12/45 reportedly lost power from its generally uber-reliable PT-6 powerplant and landed safely (excepting wing-to-power-line contact) on a busy store-lined road. The wing lost its battle (leaving an outboard section plus what the local fire marshal estimated at "400 gallons" of fuel on the road), but the occupants, aircraft and passersby escaped victorious ... provided victorious means physically unharmed. The quarter-mile stretch of road-turned-runway was actually Route 933 north of Douglas Road. Again, none among the two-man crew, three passengers, pedestrians or drivers was injured, leaving many enthusiastic witnesses. More...

CORRECTION: ECLIPSE EXPECTS MARCH 2006 CERTIFICATION
Eclipse Aviation says it expects FAA certification of its Eclipse 500 jet in March 2006. AVweb's report on Monday misstated the month. 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.

ON THE FLY...
13 whooping cranes followed an ultralight to winter home in Florida...
New methods for predicting clouds under development at Georgia Tech...
Ex-Cessna Pres. Charlie Johnson joined ATG, Javelin Jet developer...
Pilots can share rides and expenses at new Web site...
First flight for restored B-17 "Liberty Bell" in Florida last week. 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...

"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE"
"My airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs."  "General Aviation Modifications' (GAMI) injectors pay for themselves with the fuel savings.  A big bonus is how much smoother the engine runs."  "Customer service is just that — SERVICE!"  These are what GAMI customers have to say about GAMIjectors.  Go online to find out how to save fuel and time by buying injectors that pay for themselves at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
__________
WHAT'S NEW
WHAT'S NEW
This month AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you EFIS for helicopters, Web site creation software for aircraft builders, an air traffic controller simulator and much more.

________
TRAINING
The Cessna, The Sky ... and the Cartoonist: Chapters Eight and Nine
Some people say it's hard to spin a Cessna. Harder than some other planes, maybe, but our student pilot and illustrator John Ewing figures out a way to do it in his little C152. AVweb presents two more chapters from John's book in our series about learning to fly "down under." 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...

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT & ADVOCATE CONSULTING TEAM UP TO HELP CUSTOMERS
Diamond Aircraft and Advocate Consulting have teamed up to help customers maximize Bonus Depreciation benefits. Order by December 31, 2004 to qualify for up to a 76% 2005 tax deduction on a fully-equipped DA40 Diamond Star with Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know what you think about the use of biometrics in the fight against terror. A bill intended to fight terrorism is making its way through the halls of legislation and may soon introduce biometric parameters to pilot certificates. What about mechanics? PLUS: Final tallies for last week's question about the hours you logged in 2004. More...

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
It's all sunsets and horizons in the latest installment of "Picture of the Week." Even with an unprecedented three bonus pictures this time around, we had to leave some truly beautiful shots behind on the cutting-room floor. Once you see this week's winners, we think you'll forgive us. As always, our winner (Michael Montgomery of Kentucky) will be receiving an official AVweb baseball cap to show off at his local airport. Congratulations, Michael! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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FARs CAN CHANGE ON ANY GOVERNMENT WORKING DAY
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GIVE OR GET A NEW LEATHER FLIGHT BAG FROM PILOTMALL & SHOW YOUR STYLE!
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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.
THE GIFT OF SAFETY IS A CO GUARDIAN CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
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ASK FOR THEM FOR CHRISTMAS — IF YOU CAN WAIT!
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HIGH-ADVENTURE FLYING IN UTAH'S RED ROCK COUNTRY WITH OUT THERE ... FLYING!
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COMPLETELEARNING AUTOPILOT SOFTWARE ADDRESSES VOID IN EDUCATION
The FAA is now 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.
FLYING MAGAZINE IS FLYING THE NEW SKYLANE G1000 WITH GLASS COCKPIT
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HUNDREDS REQUEST COPIES OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 MUSIC CD
911/The Album was played for the USS Nimitz crew. They requested 100 copies. This CD is stored in the 9/11 Digital Archives, and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sent his praise to the composer, a retired commercial pilot.  The album begins with the possible thoughts of the al Qaeda hijackers on their way to the airport and ends with an instrumental composition for meditation.  Real jet engine spool-up sounds have been embedded in the song "Silver Wings," together with radio calls.  This tragic event will never be forgotten, and 911/The Album will hold it in memories for generations. All songs/events are illustrated in full color with words included in a 12-page booklet.  Order your copy now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wishingwell/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
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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