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Volume 11, Number 5a -- January 31, 2005

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

PAYING TOO MUCH FOR LIFE INSURANCE?
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

GA ON THE UPSWING...
Cessna Aircraft Co. shipped 654 single-engine piston aircraft and 64 Caravans in 2004, the company said on Thursday. Cessna also delivered 179 Citation jets and took orders for 330 more. "This has been a solid year for Cessna," said CEO Jack Pelton. In 2004, the company introduced the G1000 glass cockpit in its Skyhawk, Skylane and Stationair lines; flew the PW615F engine destined for the Citation Mustang on a CitationJet test bed; and expanded its Cessna Pilot Center network to a total of 286 sites. Cessna also delivered the 150,000th Cessna single-engine piston aircraft since it started production in 1927. Cessna plans to hire 600 new workers in 2005. More...

...AS LANCAIR, ATG, READY TO GROW
Cessna is not the only airplane manufacturer with plans to grow in 2005. Lancair said last week it will hire 130 new workers at its Bend (Ore.) Municipal Airport facility between now and mid-summer. The company already has over 400 employees, and has been ramping up its production rate over the past year. Backlog of its Columbia 350 and 400 certified aircraft has continued to grow, the company said, and it plans to deliver 190 aircraft this year. Building expansion is also underway. Aviation Technology Group also announced last week it will add about a dozen jobs as it expands at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colo., where it is working on the Javelin Executive Jet. More...

REDUCE COCKPIT NOISE WITH THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BOSE® AVIATION HEADSET X
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MORE AIRPLANES NEED MORE AIRSPACE...
With all those airplanes in the works, plus thousands of light jets destined for the airways, and an apparent economic upswing driving ever more traffic into the skies, long-term predictions say air traffic will triple over the next 20 years. Since the amount of airspace will remain the same and new runways are slow and scarce, NASA and the FAA are working on advanced technologies that will squeeze more efficiency out of the existing system. Last week, NASA successfully tested new software that it says will help prevent bottlenecks and alleviate the need for holding patterns by tweaking departure times of aircraft by just a few minutes. The Multi-center Traffic Management Advisor (McTMA) analyzes radar data, flight plans, weather information and input from controllers to forecast air traffic congestion. More...

...WHILE TOTAL TRANSFORMATION IS IN THE WORKS
Tinkering with the current system is fine, but in the end, nothing less than a complete transformation will do the job -- so says the Joint Planning & Development Office, a federal agency that has taken on the task of designing the Next Generation Airspace System (NGATS) for the year 2025. The plan, released to Congress last month, outlines an ambitious vision for "transforming" airport infrastructure, security systems, air traffic operations, data distribution, safety, noise and pollution mitigation, and weather forecasts. NGATS also takes on the integration of emerging technologies such as remotely operated vehicles, spacecraft and air taxis into the airspace system of the future. More...

FROM PORTABLE TO PANEL-MOUNT — JA AIR CENTER IS THE PLACE TO BUY GARMIN
JA Air Center is the place to purchase your next Garmin GPS product. With an extensive inventory of all Garmin units and accessories, JA Air Center is Garmin's largest aviation dealer. JA Air Center provides exceptional customer service and the finest Garmin Avionics installations. Contact JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 and mention this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ja/avflash.

NTSB REPORTS ON FATAL MILITARY/CIVILIAN MIDAIR...
The pilots of an Air Force training jet saw the crop-duster seconds before the two airplanes collided 5,000 feet above rural Oklahoma about 11 a.m. on Jan. 18, the NTSB said in its preliminary report, posted Thursday. The two pilots in the Cessna T-37B jet ejected safely. The pilot of the Air Tractor AT-502B, Dierk Nash, 39, of Arkansas, was killed. FAA spokesman John Clabes told the local KFDX News that Nash had a clean flight record and was not in violation of any rule as far as investigators can tell. More...

...WITH DETAILS FROM SURVIVING PILOTS
The T-37 pilots had completed a training session and were on their way back to Sheppard Air Force Base, in Texas. They contacted USAF Radar Approach Control and were told they had radar contact. They descended to 5,000 feet and leveled off at 200 knots, the NTSB said. After leveling off from the descent, the T-37 instructor took control and briefly scanned the student's altimeter on the left side of the panel, according to standard practice. As he was turning back to the right, he told the NTSB he saw a "high visibility yellow airplane." The student pilot said that as the instructor took control, he scanned outside the airplane to the left, and started to look back to the right when he saw the yellow Air Tractor heading toward the right side of the T-37. 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.

FSS OUTSOURCING CHOICE DUE THIS WEEK
Workers at 58 Flight Service Stations in the continental U.S. should find out this week who will run their operation in the future. The FAA will choose from five contenders who bid on the outsourcing contract. "No matter who wins, there will be changes," AOPA said last week, in a news release. "Many automated flight service stations may be consolidated, for example. And walk-in briefings will likely become a thing of the past." AOPA has been supportive of the change, however, saying the current system is too costly, and the new system will increase efficiency without imposing user fees. The FAA wants the winner to cut costs by at least 22 percent from the current $502 million (depending on how you count it) annual tab. The National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), the union representing FSS workers, has opposed the process, saying figures are misrepresented and the move amounts to selling off the system to the lowest bidder, with inadequate provisions to ensure safety and security. More...

NTSB WANTS STRICTER OVERSIGHT OF PILOT FAILURES
The FAA should find a new way to deal with pilots of air carrier and charter operations who consistently fail flight proficiency checks, and ensure that records of those failures are taken into account during hiring decisions, the NTSB said Friday in a Safety Recommendation Letter. The recommendation was prompted by the safety board's investigation of a ditching of a Cessna 402C in the Atlantic in July 2003, in which two people died. The pilot failed to adequately manage the aircraft after the right engine failed, the NTSB said, and didn't provide a safety briefing to the passengers before ditching. FAA records showed that between 1993 and 1998, the pilot had failed nine flight checks. More...

CARING ABOUT YOU FIRST PUTS CS&A ABOVE OTHER INSURANCE BROKERS
With long-standing relationships with aviation insurance underwriters, CS&A ensures their customers receive superior service at competitive rates. CS&A will personally find the right insurance package for you and your aircraft's specific needs. Request a complimentary, no-obligation quote by calling (800) 761-2557 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

LOCKHEED TO PUT FOREIGN PARTS IN NEW "MARINE ONE"
A international consortium of companies led by Lockheed Martin beat out Sikorsky Aircraft in a competition to build a fleet of 23 "Marine One" presidential helicopters, the Department of Defense announced on Friday. The contract is worth $6 billion. The new helicopter, called the US101, is a variant of a medium-lift three-engine helicopter designed in Italy. It will carry more weight and fly faster than the current fleet, and has a significantly improved range. Lockheed says it will expand its site in Oswego, N.Y., and build new helicopter assembly facilities for Bell Helicopter in Texas. Staff recruiting is underway. Sikorsky, based in Connecticut, had built the presidential helicopters for 50 years. More...

NASA RESEARCH BALLOON MAKES RECORD-BREAKING FLIGHT
A huge, unmanned NASA balloon carrying two tons of scientific gear floated near the edge of space for nearly 42 days and made three orbits around the South Pole, breaking flight records for duration and distance, NASA said on Friday. The balloon landed Thursday, 410 miles from its launch site at the McMurdo research station in Antarctica. The huge helium-filled balloon, constructed of a thin polyethylene envelope 0.0008 inches thick and 450 feet in diameter, had ascended to 125,000 feet. NASA hopes to eventually extend flights up to 100 days using the Ultra-Long Duration Balloon system, which uses a "superpressure pumpkin balloon" that was developed at the National Scientific Balloon Facility in Texas. More...

BENEFIT AVIATION & YOURSELF WITH THE NAA PLATINUM VISA® CARD
In addition to favorable rates, NAA Cardholders will receive benefits including a discounted rate for NAA membership and aviation products. You may also qualify for no-cost accidental death and dismemberment coverage and aircraft damage reimbursement. NAA, the first national aviation association, receives a contribution from BankOne with every purchase made with the NAA Platinum Visa® Card. Contributions help NAA preserve the heritage of aviation by supporting the presentation of prestigious awards and certification of national aviation records.  For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/naa/visa/avflash.

SOAR LIKE A BIRD, WITH A BIRD'S HELP
If you think you've tried everything there is to try in aviation, think again. Sunrise Paragliding in Nepal has teamed with the Himalayan Hawk Conservancy to present what it calls "Parahawking" -- flying a paraglider in tandem with a trained hawk who will scout out the thermals for you. The flights launch from Pokhara, in a broad valley surrounded by Himalayan mountains, about 100 miles west of Kathmandu. The two Phariah Kite chicks, Shadoko and Sappana, were rescued from a local farmer. Adam Hill and Rajesh Bomjam, owners of Sunrise Paragliding, learned the traditional methods of the ancient sport of falconry to train the birds. Newbies can try the intro experience for $160; that includes getting to know the birds and taking a flight with an instructor and a hawk. More...

STANFORD UNIV. SEEKS PILOTS FOR AGING STUDY
With the age-60 rule back in play, how would you like to contribute to scientific research, while getting free simulator time, earning a few extra bucks and attaining that goal of attending Stanford U. (sort of)? The Palo Alto, Calif., school is studying age-related changes in aviator performance. Volunteers must be 50 to 67 years old, have a current and active pilot certificate and a current FAA medical certificate, and must have logged between 300 and 15,000 hours. Volunteers will fly a Frasca 141 simulator. After an initial training period, they are asked to come back for four annual visits, so their performance over time can be evaluated. For more details and contact info, go to the study's Web site. More...

ONE-STOP SHOPPING FOR ALL YOUR AIRCRAFT PAINT & INTERIOR NEEDS!
Is your aircraft what is commonly referred to as a "50-yard airplane" — it looks good from 50 yards away, but when anyone gets closer they realize it needs some major help? Combine your annual, new paint, and an interior at the Devine Airport Group. Quality work and excellent service, all at one location in Devine, Texas. See the Devine Attention to Details at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/devine/avflash.

WANTED: A FEW GOOD ENGINE SHOPS
Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting an exhaustive survey of aircraft-owner experience with engine overhaul shops and sources. If you'd like to participate, just click here. You don't have to be a subscriber to participate. Replies will be kept confidential. More...

ON THE FLY...
D.C. airspace shuts down during State of the Union Wednesday...
GlobalFlyer launch postponed -- again -- maybe Feb. 8 at the soonest...
BRS parachute systems now available for Velocity XL-5 kitplanes...
Boeing's 7E7 Dreamliner is designated the 787. 60 sold to China...
X-ray movies reveal how flies fly...
"Poop ice" fallen from an airliner wrecked a car in England. 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...

RESOLVE TO BECOME MAINTENANCE-SAVVY IN 2005!
Aircraft owners who have attended Mike Busch's Savvy Owner Seminar have called it "invaluable," "fantastic," and "the best money I ever spent on aircraft ownership." Mike's seminar will teach you how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving thousands of dollars on maintenance costs. Space is still available in Mike's seminars in the following locations: Santa Maria, CA (February 12-13); Las Vegas, NV (March 6-7); Indianapolis, IN (May 14-15); Dallas, TX (May 21-22); Frederick, MD (October 22-23); and Long Beach, CA (December 10-11). For seminar details and to reserve your spot, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.

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

Reader mail this week about security awareness training and young pilots, and lots of fighting about where to put those cockpit controls. Plus a few travelogues from North Dakota. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
From the CFI #5: How to Pass Any Checkride ... The First Time!
Pilots are usually successful in the rest of their non-aviation life, so it can come as a shock to hear that not everyone passes a checkride on the first try. It's especially a shock when you don't pass! AVweb's Linda Pendleton, who served as an FAA designated examiner, has suggestions for getting your certificate in one go. 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...

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.

SHORT FINAL...
The new math.

Airline ABC: Miami center, Airline ABC, any ride reports up ahead? We're getting continuous light to moderate here at two-eight-oh.

Center: Airline ABC, Miami center, no ride reports for that area, but I've got three-zero-zero available. That's a brand new flight level ... so there shouldn't be any potholes in the road yet. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS  
HOLIDAY SPECIAL ON DOUG RITTER'S SURVIVAL GEAR FROM AEROMEDIX.COM
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AIRCRAFT PARTNERSHIPS NOW ON ASO!
Have an aircraft share you need to sell? Advertise it on ASO! For a limited time, Brief Ads (text only) are complimentary, and Comprehensive Ads (photos & specs) are subject only to a one-time $40 set-up charge. Take advantage of this special offer today! For more information, please call (888) 992-9276 and tell them you saw this AVflash mention, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aso/partner/avflash.
ASA GETS "FIT" — THE FAA HAS RECOGNIZED ASA'S
IP Trainer and Instrument Refresher: An IPC Simulator as FAA/Industry Training Standard (FITS) products, finding them more convenient and accessible, less expensive, and more relevant to today's pilots. These are the only desktop flight simulators to achieve this FAA endorsement. IP Trainer is for the not-yet-instrument-rated pilot, covering every facet of instrument flight training. The Instrument Flying textbook is included to complete an integrated flight and ground training program. Instrument Refresher: An IPC Simulator is for the instrument-rated pilot who wants to practice maneuvers required for instrument currency, could use some occasional dual instruction, and wants the ability to refine skills before taking an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC). Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.
SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE INFORMATION
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives you a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in-flight over the U.S. and Canada. Whether you're tracking a friend or want to learn more about the system in action, Flight Explorer has the information you want for just $9.95 a month. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
FED UP WITH BIG BILL FOR ROUTINE AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE?
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PURCHASE A WORLD-RENOWNED CHASE-DURER CHRONOGRAPH WATCH & RECEIVE A GIFT
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SPONSOR NEWS
POWER FLOW STC INCREASES CESSNA 172N GROSS WEIGHT CAPACITY
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of the Power Flow Tuned Exhaust, has received an FAA STC that increases the gross weight of C172Ns equipped with 0-320 engines. The only requirement is installing a cowl cooling lip and limiting flap travel to 30°. With the additional 100 pounds, owners can take on 15 more gallons of fuel, an extra passenger, or additional baggage. For full details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
LET'S HOPE YOU NEVER HAVE TO USE A CO GUARDIAN CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
But if you do, you'll be glad you put a CO Guardian CO detector in your aircraft. Find the right CO Guardian model for your flying needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/avflash.
SKYHAWK, SEMINOLE, & WARRIOR MULTIMEDIA SYSTEMS TRAINING
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.
FLYING MAGAZINE REVIEWS THE "BEST BUYS IN USED AIRPLANES"
in the February issue. Also in this issue: "Flying in Australia's Outback"; "Business Flying: Jet Cards" — prepaid jet cards; "How to Avoid Deadly Distraction When Flying IFR"; and all the Flying Opinion and News you've come to rely on. Order your specially-priced subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/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

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.

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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