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Volume 11, Number 2b -- January 13, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ...
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

LASERS: NORAD'S GOT A "GOOD" ONE ...
First, recall that shining a laser at an airplane is a felony under the Patriot Act (as New Jersey resident David Banach is finding out the hard way). Now, enter NORAD's "Visual Warning System" (VWS). As pilots all over the country report being temporarily blinded, as the TSA issues warnings that terrorists might be using lasers to blind pilots to bring down airliners and as the FAA and FBI begin a concerted effort to find and prosecute lasing suspects, NORAD is planning to shine lasers into your cockpit if you bust the ADIZ around Washington, D.C. And in what must be the media-relations challenge of the year, Mike Kucharek, chief of media relations for NORAD, is trying to help us tell the difference between good lasers (NORAD's) and bad lasers (everyone else's?). More...

... WHY IT WOULD BE IN YOUR COCKPIT ...
Kucharek stressed that the lasers being used in the VWS will not damage the eyes or anything else. He told AVweb the lasers (the good ones) are less powerful than the laser pointers (the bad ones) suspected of causing widely reported mischief over the past few weeks. But he also said the "visually conspicuous lights" are designed to get a pilot's attention. They are "... distinct from other light signals currently used by FAA Air Traffic Control, [and] are designed to provide a clear warning to pilots who enter the ADIZ without authorization and cannot be contacted on VHF voice radio by Air Traffic Control," he said. "Only aircraft that are unauthorized or unidentified and unresponsive would be visually warned." More...

... AND THE FAA'S NEW RULES ABOUT LASERS
Starting Jan. 19, pilots must immediately report any laser sightings to air traffic controllers, who then would advise all pilots in the area and contact law-enforcement officials, according to a new FAA Advisory Circular released yesterday. A warning will also be broadcast on the ATIS if the event happens in the airport vicinity. Pilots who encounter a laser should avoid direct eye contact and shield their eyes to the extent possible, the AC (wisely) advises. Pilots are also asked to file a written report of the encounter after landing. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta announced the new measures at a press conference in Oklahoma City yesterday. "We will do everything we can to make sure each case is aggressively prosecuted." More...

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HOW TO INITIATE SPORT PILOTS ...
A national tour to promote light-sport aviation is in the works, with support from EAA and the sport flying community, marketing consultant Dan Johnson told AVweb on Tuesday. "We're going forward with four locations, then we'll evaluate and regroup, then plan four more, all in 2005," Johnson said. The events, tentatively referred to as "Chapter Tours," will feature forums and seminars by senior EAA staffers, as well as a promotional aspect organized by Johnson. "This would be a weekend event at a local airport, hoping to draw about 350 to 500 people, mainly pilots," Johnson said. Ten to 15 different sport aircraft will be available for introductory flights, at fees from about $29 to $49 each. Admission to the events will be free. More...

... BRINGING PLANES TO THE PEOPLE ...
"We want to bring the airplanes right to the people, so they can look and see and touch and feel," Johnson said. "We're missing a lot of the pilot community, not to mention the general public, when we ask the people to come to us." The schedule and locations for the events are in the works now, and should be available soon. Vendors will have displays and kiosks on site, and vendor fees will help pay for the tour. Johnson also is working to involve the National Association of Flight Instructors in the project, so they could offer symposia to help familiarize flight instructors with the new aircraft and flight rules. More...

... AND CONVERTING THE ULTRALIGHT MASSES
Another ambitious effort underway to swell the ranks of Sport Pilots is the SP/LSA Blitz, a project of Aero Sports Connection (ASC). ASC is planning weeklong, one-stop camp-out events, where ultralight pilots and instructors can fly in, earn their FAA certificates, and get their aircraft transformed into N-numbered FAA aircraft, all in one stop. The first ASC SP/LSA Blitz is scheduled for South Lakeland Airport, April 5-12, the week before Sun 'n Fun. The ASC says daily classes and group study sessions will be held, and Designated Airworthiness Representatives and Designated Pilot Examiners will be on site. More...

ADD CELL/SATELLITE PHONE INTERFACE TO YOUR LIGHTSPEED HEADSET!
Factory conversions are now available for all active models of LightSPEED's XL and QFR series for only USD$75. (No sales tax; return shipping included within the U.S.) Model upgrades come with a 2.5mm patch cord that connects to most phones. Check LightSPEED's online chart for phones they've tested. The Active model upgrades also include an additional patch cord for a personal audio device input. Call LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 and mention this AVflash, or print out the online order/instruction form to send in your headset for a speedy turnaround at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/cell/avflash.

TSUNAMI RELIEF PILOT: WHAT IT'S LIKE ...
"It's a fever-pitch, adrenaline-rush kind of effort," for pilots working in the tsunami relief zone, Dennis Fulton, vice-president of operations for the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), told AVweb yesterday. The MAF and its sister organization, MAF-Europe, have three aircraft working in Indonesia -- a Caravan, a Cessna 206, and a turbine Beaver amphibian. These small aircraft are vital to breaking the "aid bottleneck" and getting supplies out to the people. "There's a terrible, terrible need. But it's not just an anything-goes operation. We are strict about staying within our safety standards and operating procedures," Fulton said. More...

... CROSSING GREAT DISTANCES ...
It took some time to get the aircraft into position. "Indonesia is a big country. We flew the Caravan from its base, where there was no tsunami damage, to Medan, in Sumatra, which was about 3,000 miles. So it's like flying from New York to L.A," Fulton said. The 206 also had to fly about 1,500 miles. The Caravan now is based at Medan, which was undamaged by the earthquake and tsunami. "It's a big city, and it has an international airport," Fulton said. Those pilots are able to get fuel at the airport and sleep in a hotel. The 206 is based at Meulaboh, on the coast south of Banda Aceh, near the epicenter of the disaster. The small airport there was damaged in the quake. "But we were able to land both the Caravan and the 206 on the undamaged portions of the runway," Fulton said. The 206 pilots are living "out in the elements." More...

... MEETING DESPERATE NEEDS
Once the airplanes reached Meulaboh, a helicopter there scouted out the area and found portions of roadway where the airplanes could land. "There's a road along the coast, but probably 90 percent of the bridges are out. So, since the roads aren't usable, that means we can use the road for runways," Fulton said. There are no lights, so they can fly only in daylight. The pilots set to work, flying supplies and medical workers up and down the coast and evacuating the injured. "We found people who'd had nothing to eat or drink for five days," Fulton said. The Beaver is just now getting established at Meulaboh. They have to be careful about where they can use it because the coastal waters are full of debris. More...

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PASO ROBLES SAYS NO TO SPORT PILOTS?
The Paso Robles (Calif.) Municipal Airport has banned ultralight operations, and has proposed new operating rules that would single out ultralight flyers for scrutiny, Denis Porter, president of the Paso Robles Ultralight Association, told AVweb on Tuesday. The airport said last month that ultralight operations were in violation of its operating permits and safety standards, and complex regulations and compliance issues would have to be sorted out before a suitable operating area could be designated. Porter said his group filed a formal complaint with the FAA last month, alleging that ultralight pilots are being unfairly discriminated against. The impact of that philosophy on Sport Pilots (many are expected to be crossover ultralight pilots still flying the same equipment) is yet unknown -- as is the philosophy's popularity. More...

FAA SLAMS FLAGRANT FEES AT SANTA MONICA
Meanwhile, the Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport has been unfairly discriminating against business aircraft, the FAA said last week. (The FAA didn't feel that way when, just to the south, about 100 smaller aircraft were kicked out of their hangars altogether at Palomar to make space for business aircraft facilities ... apples and oranges, perhaps.) An FAA report blasted the landing-fee structure at the airport, after bizav advocates complained that it was unfair and unreasonable. The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) said the fees, which were implemented in 2003, were discriminatory and unlawful. The landing fee of $340 for a Gulfstream IV is the highest anywhere in the nation, the FAA said. Further, the fees are earmarked for pavement upkeep (the pavement is pretty nice), but the fees generate nearly twice as much income as the airport actually spends to maintain the pavement. More...

CFIS, TUESDAY IS YOUR TSA DEADLINE
All certified flight instructors and flight school staff must complete TSA security-awareness training by Tuesday, Jan. 18. The deadline applies to all CFIs, whether or not they intend to train foreign students, Robert Albracht, director of GA ops for the TSA, told AVweb yesterday. Luckily, compliance is fairly simple. The TSA program is available online, and takes about a half-hour to complete. At the end, the instructor can print out a certificate and retain it as a record of completion. AOPA's Air Safety Foundation is also offering the training as part of its Flight Instructor Refresher Courses. For more information on the TSA's "alien rule," click through here. See also AVweb's previous coverage. More...

COAST-TO-COAST IN COMFORT WITH OREGON AERO
Skip Aldous, member of the world-renowned Lima Lima Flight Team, put Oregon Aero aviation upgrades to the test when he had to make a 14-hour, six-leg flight from Florida to Spokane, Washington. "I flew my T-34 from one corner of the country to the other and arrived pain-free and ready to perform because of my Oregon Aero Complete Aviation Helmet Upgrade and portable seat cushion," said Skip. "At no time did my helmet start to hurt my head or did my rear go numb. I know I couldn't have done it without Oregon Aero." You can enjoy painless flying, too. View Oregon Aero's large selection of seat cushion systems and headset and helmet upgrades at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

FAA FIRES CONTROLLERS AT NEW YORK TRACON
The FAA might be looking to hire thousands of new air traffic controllers, but that's not stopping the agency from firing 15 air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) because of discrepancies in their medical records. One controller already has been told he will be fired, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) said the FAA told them 14 others will be notified soon, Newsday reported Monday. "The allegations are that some controllers who have made a worker's compensation claim for leave with pay after a stressful event are not reporting the claim on their ... medical forms," the FAA said in a statement to Newsday. NATCA said the disability claims are well-documented, and the discrepancies the FAA found in medical forms are just a technicality. More...

INAUGURATION SPAWNS TFRS, "GOOD" LASERS, AND ADS-B
The presidential inauguration on Jan. 20 is the first since 9/11, and the level of security for that day is unprecedented -- but there may be more lasting changes, too. The general rule for general aviation is, stay away from D.C. -- far, far away -- from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. on the 20th. Next Thursday, GA aircraft are banned for roughly 23 miles around the city. This too shall pass, but other proposed security measures in the works aren't intended to be temporary. Aside from NORAD's "Visual Warning System," ADS-B may be coming to D.C. According to the FAA's own briefing on the inauguration (made publicly available online this week, then removed ... but we kept a copy) "the TSA has requested $20.8 million to outfit approximately 2800 registered general aviation aircraft permanently based within the DCA Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)" with new transponder-based identification systems. More...

UPDATE: C-130 CRASH IMAGES
A number of readers were unable to view the images associated with thedestruction of a C-130 that touched down at night on a runway that was (unbeknownst to the crew) undergoing a facelift. So we've stripped out the images and made them available online, for the benefit of those readers who can't view them in their native format. More...

AVIDYNE'S CMAX™ APPROACH CHARTS TAKE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
CMax™ Approach Charts, which can be displayed on Avidyne's FlightMax EX500 or Entegra/EX5000 MFDs, provide geo-referenced approach charts and airport diagrams. CMax™ reduces the amount of paper in your cockpit and allows you to access critical chart data more quickly and easily. CMax™ overlays your flight plan and aircraft position for optimum orientation. CMax™ even shows runway incursion hot spots and improves taxiway awareness, reducing the need for "progressives" at unfamiliar airports. With CMax™, you'll know exactly where you are on the approach or on the field. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

ON THE FLY ...
LifeLine Pilots seeking new volunteers in the Midwest...
Cessna signed on as major sponsor for EAA youth and history programs...
Cirrus Design opened a new sales center in Moscow...
America West pilots must face Fla. charges for drunkenness...
Two men in a C-182 died Monday in a CAP training exercise in Louisiana. 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 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.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB

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WHAT'S NEW
What's New -- Products and Services for January
This month, AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you flying DVDs, oil filter magnets, alternate air systems and much more.

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TRAINING
The Cessna, the Sky ... and the Cartoonist: Chapters Ten, Eleven and Twelve
'Round and 'round we go -- doing "circuits" (as they say Down Under) -- and where it stops is hopefully on the runway. Sometimes. Unless you go-around. How's a new (old) pilot supposed to know what to do? Our student pilot and cartoonist from New Zealand continues his tale of learning to fly.

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...

LOOK, UP IN THE AIR! IT'S A PLANE! IT'S A FLYING DOG!
It's Woody, staff member of Pilot Getaways magazine who has traveled from coast to coast helping the publisher and editor bring subscribers the best fly-in destinations.  Woody has logged over 1,600 hours and has something to say about the places he's visited, from the Southwest to the Northeast, small grass strips in Canada, remote Mexican beaches, and places in between. If you love dogs or just need a smile, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/woody/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants your input on our "Picture of the Week" contest. PLUS: Results of last week's question on tsunami aid. More...

MODERNIZING YOUR TRANSPONDER DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!
Narco Avionics is proud to announce the introduction of the AT165/K Transponder, a digital plug-and-play replacement for the old mechanical KT76A/KT78A. The all-digital AT165/K is competitively priced with the current crop of mechanical transponders. Also available is the AT165, a plug-and-play replacement for the Narco AT50, AT50A, AT150, or AT155. COMING SOON: The plug-and-play replacement for the King KT76/KT78. WINTER SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information on these innovative Narco Avionics products, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Welcome to another edition of AVweb's "Picture of the Week," where we print the best of your amateur aviation photos. Ken Hemmerling of British Columbia takes us on a journey into the past this week, with a photo of WWI German ace Werner Voss and his Fokker. For digging this one out of the archives, we've declared Ken our weekly winner and are sending him an official AVweb baseball cap. More...

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SPONSOR NEWS
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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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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