The Internet's Aviation Magazine & News Service

Now Over 130,000 Subscribers
Volume 10, Number 53a -- December 27, 2004

Email this AVflash to a friend

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.

FAA LOOKS AT CUTBACK TARGETS...
The political games should begin soon on how the FAA will redeploy resources to meet a looming controller crisis. AVweb has obtained a list of 48 airports that could see reduced service or even off-peak tower closures as the agency tries to put staff where it says it needs it and save money on airports that now have 24-hour controller services but see little or no traffic during certain time periods. "Having too many controllers on duty during off-peak times makes little sense," says the FAA's executive summary of its new ATC staffing plan. "We're also reducing our hours of operation at our facilities where there is low or no activity, especially during the midnight-to-5 a.m. shift." In the past, when there's been talk of service cuts, politics sometimes appeared to be at least part of the equation in the final decision on where the axe would fall. More...

...FSS STAFF EYED FOR TOWER, EN ROUTE JOBS...
Meanwhile, it's possible the FAA will have a surplus of a different kind of air traffic professional in 10 months and that might help it fill some of the current openings. The agency will soon decide whether to privatize flight service stations and it's generally believed that regardless of who ends up running the FSS system, there will be numerous closures and curtailments. Kate Breen, president of the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists, said in a news release that up to 2,000 FSS positions could be eliminated in the move. The FAA says some of those employees might be invited to bid on tower or en route control jobs. More...

...AS GERMANY STARTS ATC PRIVATIZATION
And in Germany, the government is considering turning almost three-quarters of its air traffic control system over to the private sector in a bid to raise money and make the system more flexible and competitive. Faz.net reported Friday that the government has approved a bill that would see 74.9 percent of the Deutsche Flugsiche-rung (DFS) privatized by 2006. Retaining 25.1 percent would give the government what it calls a "blocking minority," allowing it to retain enough clout to ensure national interests are protected. More...

ADAM, CIRRUS, DIAMOND, LANCAIR, LIBERTY ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines.  Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine.  Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck.  Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. For further details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/avflash.

LYCOMING GETS TOUGH ON EXCHANGES...
If Santa left a factory-rebuilt Lycoming under the tree (hey, it could happen) don't assume it's free. Company brass have decided there is no Santa clause and what used to be free, isn't anymore. In fact, it's been about a year since Lycoming began strictly enforcing its exchange core policy, which can result in chargebacks for damaged or worn-out crankcases and crankshafts. If the timed-out engine you send back for exchange has any of a number of faults that Lycoming considers unacceptable, you could be facing a bill for thousands of dollars -- and you likely won't see the bill until weeks or even months after your new engine is flying. What's more, some of the conditions that cause Lycoming to reject a crank or case are perfectly acceptable to the FAA. More...

...OLD POLICY, NEW ATTITUDE...
The policy itself is nothing new. Lycoming has always reserved the right to charge back for exchange parts it considered unserviceable. What's new is the company's suddenly vigorous enforcement of the policy. In the past it was common for the company to look the other way when even an obviously flawed case or crank was sent back for exchange. Lycoming spokeswoman Karla Sexton told AVweb's sister publication Aviation Consumer the company just couldn't go on absorbing the revenue "leakage" from bad exchange parts. "It's important for us to get the best possible value for our shareholders," said Sexton. "The world has gotten to be more competitive." (Something some fear Lycoming may become even more familiar with as customers react to the policy shift.) More...

...REBUILD SHOPS BENEFIT
Depending on the engine and the defect, the chargeback can add 25 percent or more to the cost of the engine replacement. On four-cylinder engines, a rejected crankshaft will result in a $3,500 chargeback and an unserviceable crankcase will set you back $3,000. On the sixes, a bad crank is worth $4,500 and a faulty case $4,000. Eight-cylinder cranks and cases each cost $12,500. Not surprisingly, perhaps, enforcement of the policy is predicted to change the dynamics of the engine business. 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.

DE-ICING OPINIONS VARY
The Colorado crash of a Challenger bizjet that killed two pilots and the son of NBC executive Dick Ebersol a month ago has reignited the debate on when and if aircraft should be de-iced. The Rocky Mountain News polled a range of experts on the topic and got a range of opinions. And while the decision to de-ice is always the pilot's, some have some pretty direct guidance on how that decision should go. The newspaper's research found that major airlines serving the area de-ice as a matter of course if it's snowing, something endorsed by the Flight Safety Foundation. But both the National Business Aviation Association and the FAA give much more leeway to the pilot. More...

THOUSANDS STRANDED ON CHRISTMAS
Well, maybe they'll have a happier New Year. Tens of thousands of Comair and US Airways passengers spent a miserable Christmas thanks to foul-ups that may take until Tuesday to clear up. Comair cancelled all 1,100 of its flights on Christmas Day after the computer that manages flight assignments simply threw in the towel after fighting two days of weather delays and cancellations. "There was a cumulative effect with the cancelled flights and trying to get crew assigned that caused the system to be overwhelmed," said Comair spokesman Nick Miller. "It just stopped operating." About 30,000 passengers in 118 cities were affected. Many US Airways passengers encountered another problem altogether: They got where they were going -- but without their luggage. More...

DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING AT THE MARV GOLDEN PILOT SHOP
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.

MONITORING WILDERNESS FROM THE AIR
Scientists are using cutting-edge technology to help preserve the last true wildernesses in Africa, and aviation is playing a leading role. Dr. Mike Fay, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, has spent the last six months crisscrossing Africa by Cessna in a project called Megaflyover Africa. His mission is to examine places relatively untouched by humans (no roads, lights, or railways). In his semi-regular dispatches to a Web site set up by National Geographic, Fay finds hope for the wilderness by spotting wildlife he didn't expect to see. He also sees trouble coming as some countries begin to exploit their oil wealth. The practical side of intentionally operating an aircraft where there are no services for it is a common theme through the journey. More...

FLIGHT ATTENDANT ACCUSED OF DISABLING AIRPLANE EQUIPMENT
Everybody feels like skipping work once in a while but a Pinnacle Airlines flight attendant is being charged with trying to do something about it. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that 23-year-old Stephen R. Hirtzinger was charged Thursday with causing a plane to become inoperable. The airline became suspicious after two dozen flights, 13 of which Hirtzinger was the sole flight attendant on, were cancelled or delayed because of tampering with fire extinguishers, oxygen equipment and other safety-related equipment. According to court papers quoted by the newspaper, the airline set up a sting operation with the help of a local maintenance shop. More...

DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT — DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled a traveling medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale from Aeromedix for $333. Order by calling (888) 362-7123 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

AIRLINES WANT AIRCRAFT COSTS KEPT SECRET
What do airliners really cost? That's nobody else's business, say U.S. airlines fighting to keep that information secret. The financial details of commercial aircraft transactions are recorded by the Department of Transportation but for the past 10 years, at the request of the airlines, they've been kept confidential. Now, the government (spurred by the financial industry) is considering releasing all that information and the airlines are trying to block it. "We do not want our competitors to have this information, nor do they want us to have theirs," United Parcel Service spokesman David Bolger told Bloomberg News. But financial experts claim the secrecy is hurting the industry more than disclosure would. More...

CORROSION PROBLEMS HIT DIAMOND DIESELS
Diamond Aircraft's Austrian division will soon issue a Service Bulletin concerning possible cylinder-head corrosion problems on its Thielert diesel-powered DA40 aircraft. In a news release issued by Thielert, the company says the problem has affected "only a few" DA40s and none of the Cessna 172s or Piper PA-28s retrofitted with the diesels. The corrosion problem in the DA40s is electrochemical and traced to the cooling system, according to Thielert's release. Earlier this year, Diamond announced it was delaying introduction of its Thielert-powered DA42 TwinStar and speeding up development of a Lycoming-powered version. Among the reasons for the delay was the lack of a Thielert service network in North America, something the engine maker is now addressing. More...

ATTENTION, AIRCRAFT RENTERS:
Did you know most FBOs don't cover renters' liability?  You can held be held liable for injuries, property damage, and damage to the rented aircraft.  Without a renter's policy of your own, even a minor accident could cost you thousands.  Don't fly unprotected. Policies as low as $95 a year.  Visit the AOPA Insurance Agency to apply and get insured today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopa/ins/avflash.



IT'S NOT TOO LATE to Visit AVweb's
Holiday Shopping Page

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

RETIRED UNITED PILOTS MAY TASTE A YOUNGER REALITY
For some of United's longest-serving now-retired pilots, the new math imposed as United tries to claw its way out of bankruptcy could translate next year to a loss of nearly one-quarter of their expected retirement income -- in some cases, more than $100,000 per year. United Air Lines' four pension plans are under-funded by $8.3 billion, according to The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. (PBGC), an insurer that expects to cover only $6.4 billion of that deficit and would leave the rest to be absorbed by 123,000 current and former United employees through benefits not received. If United's plans move forward, some retired pilots previously receiving pension payments on the order of $12,000 per month may see future checks arrive with one fewer zero (but closer to $3,300 per month). More...

ON THE FLY...
U-turn gone wrong closed Richmond runways...
Hawker Horizon got provisional type certification...
IMAX movie features F-15 combat exercise. 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...

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.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
The Pilot's Lounge #82: Integrity, Responsibility And The Lack Thereof
In a time of increasing challenges to general aviation, it is more vital than ever that pilots and lovers of flight stick together when threatened with yet one more airport closure or restriction. AVweb's Rick Durden recently dealt with pilots who didn't even support saving the very airport where they live. More...

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

Reader mail this week about airport security and photo ID; and lots of controversy about the controller retirement age. More...

SUBSCRIBE TO FLIGHT EXPLORER AVWEB EDITION 4.02 FOR $9.95 A MONTH!
The latest edition of this real-time flight tracking display of all IFR aircraft in-flight includes enhanced tracking of individual flights, surface overlays, terrain and elevation maps, and full-screen mode for a larger picture on your PC.  To subscribe at the AVweb member rate of just $9.95 a month, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/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...

GET INTO TODAY'S MOST INNOVATIVE AIRCRAFT
Start your subscription to Kitplanes magazine now.  Kitplanes is where the pieces come together and dreams take flight.  Order the world's #1 homebuilt aviation magazine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/kitplanes/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
An oldie, but a goodie...

A fighter pilot called for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running, "a bit peaked." A controller responded and the lore follows...

ATC: Roger. You're number two behind a B-52. They've had to shut down an engine.

Fighter Pilot: Ah, yes...

(pause)

...the dreaded seven-engine approach. 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  
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.
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.
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.
THE GIFT OF SAFETY IS 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 'til December 31, 2004. Find the right CO Guardian model for you at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/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.
GIVE GLEIM PILOT KITS, AND ALL YOU'LL HAVE TO ADD IS THE BOW
Gleim Publications is the most trusted name in training. Save for yourself (or as a gift) 10% on the Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial, and Instrument/Commercial Complete Pilot Kits. Plus, save 20% off Gleim's Online Ground School! Great deals on great training at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gleim/avflash.
ARMCHAIR FLYING DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!
Out There ... Flying! has released the first in a series of DVDs on flying in the Western States, Utah's Red Rock Country, Volume 1 — capturing the spirit and freedom of backcountry flying. Host and pilot Jim Clark takes you into some of the most rugged and remote airstrips in the U.S. for some high-adrenaline footage. Excellent entertainment and an introduction to this exceptional flying arena. GIFT-GIVING SPECIAL: Purchase one DVD and the second is at a 50% discount. Order today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/outthere/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED APPROACH:
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. ... It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states Fred Scott. "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book, you will establish your own personal standard operating practices for IFR, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. For more information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.
_____________________________________
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.

Fly it till each part stops moving.

AVflash is now available in optional easier-to-read graphic format, which includes some photos and illustrations. If you prefer, you can continue to receive AVflash in text-only format. Simply follow these instructions and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.


Want to subscribe or unsubscribe? Review/update your AVweb Account? Forgot your password? No problem! Simply go to our friendly Member Services menu.


AVweb | Free Sign Up | Advertise | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Aviation Consumer | IFR Magazine | Aviation Safety
Light Plane Maintenance | IFR Refresher | KITPLANES


Copyright 2004, Aviation Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
--BoUnDaRyCavflashM328D122604T82--