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Volume 11, Number 5b -- February 3, 2005

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

LOCKHEED MARTIN WINS FSS CONTRACT...
All of the existing FSS positions in the FAA will be eliminated and Lockheed Martin will hire its own staff. The FAA announced Tuesday the company won the government's largest-ever competitive outsourcing competition with a bid that will cut the number of FSS offices by two-thirds (from 58 to 20) by 2007, intends to save taxpayers $2.2 billion over 10 years, and at the same time pledges to offer virtually on-demand availability of flight information for pilots. Lockheed Martin beat four other applicants, including a partnership between the existing FSS organization (members of the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists, NAATS) and the Harris Corp. More...

...ANSWERS WHEN PILOTS NEED THEM, SAYS AOPA...
According to AOPA, pilots win because of performance standards written into the deal. In a statement, AOPA President Phil Boyer said pilots can soon look forward to phone calls being answered by a live briefer within 20 seconds, radio calls answered within five seconds and the requested information supplied within 15 seconds. Urgent PIREPs would be entered into the system within 15 seconds and routine reports updated within 30 seconds. Flight plans will take no more than three minutes to file. There's no provision for user fees in the contract. More...

...OF USER FEES AND DIRE WARNINGS
NAATS President Kate Breen told AVweb she believes aircraft groups have been sold a bill of goods, particularly on the issue of user fees. She said that once Lockheed Martin takes over, she believes it will be constantly looking for extra money to cover costs not foreseen in the contract and the FAA won't have the funds. "They're going to need fees to compensate for that," she said. Breen also doubts the hoped-for service improvements can be achieved with such drastic cuts to the operation. But she also has more dire predictions for the system if Lockheed Martin's effort fails. More...

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SECOND CHALLENGER CRASHES ON TAKEOFF IN COLD WEATHER
While it's far too early to draw any conclusions, there are some stark similarities between the crash of a Bombardier Challenger CL-600 bizjet at Teterboro Airport on Wednesday and an aircraft from the same family in Colorado in November. Witnesses say the plane in New Jersey failed to lift off before skidding off the end of the runway, crossing an expressway and running into a warehouse. Amazingly, no one was (immediately) killed, but up to 14 people, including an occupant of a car (in critical condition at the time of this writing) hit by the plane and an employee in the warehouse, were hurt. Initial reports said there were 12 people on the plane, which was on its way to Chicago. Three people died in the Colorado crash, and airframe icing is being investigated as the reason that that Challenger didn't get off the ground. That event prompted safety recommendations. More...

LIGHTSPEED ATTENDS HELI-EXPO IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA
LightSPEED Aviation will show their entire line of headsets and introduce a whole new category of headset communication to helicopter pilots called "in-the-ear."  The new LightFlight weighs less than an ounce, has no ear cups, and has no headband!  Like all LightSPEED headsets, the LightFlight also offers the cell phone and music option.  Stop by Booth #1528 to try one or to see the entire LightSPEED line of ANR headsets — the best-selling ANR headsets in the world. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash

AN A319 AND A 3,300-FOOT STRIP...
It's a time-honored homily that aircraft accidents are usually the result of a series of small errors compounding toward catastrophe. Fortunately, in this case, an experienced Air Canada crew was able to figure out that it was landing at the wrong airport before the A319 was set down on a runway not much wider than its landing gear and about 300 feet shorter than its minimum stopping distance. As AVweb reported in 2003, the Airbus in question was on its way to Kelowna International Airport in British Columbia in August of 2003 when the pilot lined up on the 3,300-by-75-foot runway at Vernon Regional Airport instead. According to the just-released Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB) report on the incident, the plane, with 100 people aboard, was configured for landing and about 30 to 40 seconds from touchdown when the pilot called a go-around. More...

...PILOT PICKS WRONG AIRPORT...
According to the TSB, the string of errors began before Flight 183 left Toronto on its daily nonstop flight to Kelowna, a city of about 100,000 people 200 miles east of Vancouver. An Air Canada dispatcher, aware of a major forest fire burning near Kelowna, called Kelowna Tower to ask if the airport was even open. He was told it was, but that the ILS/DME approach wasn't authorized and that VFR conditions prevailed. As the plane neared its destination, the crew was told by air traffic control that the NDB approach was also unavailable. However, neither the dispatcher nor the crew was told the reason the navaids were unauthorized. They were working perfectly, but the published missed approach for both infringed on the restricted airspace around the fire. More...

...HOW IT HAPPENED
As the plane descended from the north, its navigation gear picked up the signals from the ILS systems and gave the first officer, the non-flying pilot, a constant readout of the distance from Kelowna. So, when the pilot mistook the Vernon strip for Kelowna, he turned the plane 90 degrees to the right of the Kelowna runway heading and started an 1800-feet-per-minute descent to the wrong airport. The plane's navigation equipment was clearly showing the flight to be 30 miles from the right airport. However, the first officer had been distracted by a radio call from terminal staff in Kelowna concerning the flight's gate assignment and it wasn't until the plane was well-settled on final for Runway 23 in Vernon that the first officer noticed the discrepancies on the panel and suggested a go-around. Just as they were tucking the gear up, the TCAS blared a warning about conflicting traffic in the pattern at Vernon. More...

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ADAM OFFERS REPORT ON JET
Adam Aircraft says it's making progress in development of its A700 AdamJet. A company news release says they're getting down to the nitty-gritty of testing the various components of the airframe and they've also completed construction of a "wing-mounted belly pod" for extra fuel storage. The pressurization and environmental control test system has also been set up. The Williams FJ33-4A-15 engines that power the proof-of-concept model that's been flying around the country for 18 months have been performing well and are now certified. The jet is based largely on the design of Adam's push/pull piston twin, the A500. According to the company, certification of the jet is somewhat reliant on certification of the piston twin -- which was predicted for last December. More...

DRUNK DRIVERS MORE LIKELY TO CRASH AIRPLANES
Surprise, surprise. Pilots who have drunk-driving convictions are more prone to aircraft accidents, but a new study has quantified the link. If you have a DWI, you are 43 percent more likely to be involved in an air crash, according to a study of 300,000 pilot records by Johns Hopkins researchers. "If the crash risk for pilots with a DWI history could be reduced to the same level as their counterparts without a DWI history, then approximately 25 fewer aviation crashes would happen each year," Dr. Guohua Li told News-Medical.net. That would seem to validate the FAA requirement, instituted in 1990, that pilots report all DWIs within 60 days of conviction. Or does it? More...

LIKE BOTOX OR FLU SHOTS, A LITTLE BIT OF A BAD THING CAN DO SOME GOOD
This is the case with Vortex Generators that create controlled turbulence to help your wing fly better. The "Backcountry Report" in the current issue of Pilot Getaways talks about different vortex generators, their value, and if they're good for you. Maybe you'll start taxiing off at Taxiway Alpha soon. Only Pilot Getaways magazine combines the best in-depth travel info with technical content on the aircraft and systems that get you there. Subscribe to Pilot Getaways today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.

AVIATION ON TV, FILM
The Discovery Wings network may have morphed into The Military Channel but there are still plenty of aviation-related programs to watch, even if it does mean a little more wear and tear on the remote. The Outdoor Channel is taking up some of the slack with a new series, set to debut in July, called "Wings to Adventure." Described in a network release as "an action-packed, in-depth look at airplanes, destinations and the fascinating people behind the world of aviation," the series will be sponsored by Cirrus Design. The series will be shown in high definition. For those who like their airplanes on the big screen (and happen to be in Miami on Feb. 12) a film devoted to women aviators will be screened at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival. More...

NOISE SIMULATOR FOR THE LOCALS
Simulators aren't just for those who fly airplanes; they're also for those who have to listen to them. The city of Egan, adjacent to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, is preparing its citizens for the October 2005 opening of a new runway at MSP by holding a series of open houses in which the simulated sounds of aircraft taking off from the new runway are played for the audience. The soundtrack includes newer, less-noisy Stage 3 aircraft and their much-louder ancestors. "It's designed to provide a new level of understanding and put it concretely in their minds what may happen in October," said Melissa Scovronski, the noise-program relations specialist for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. More...

SCOPED OUT NEW AVIONICS & FOUND THEM WAY ABOVE YOUR BUDGET?
By shopping for used avionics, you can afford those improvements and needed safety features for your airplane. Bennett Avionics is your used avionics specialist, with years of serving customers with quality products and professional service. Don't spend more on avionics than you have to; go to the Bennett Avionics experts at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.

CALM, COLLECTED PILOTS ACCUSED OF BEING DRUNK
Well, so much for the image of the unflappable, cool-under-fire, steely-nerved pilot. Chances are, others will just think you're drunk. That's what happened to the crew of a British Airways flight from Lyon, France, to Manchester, England, on Jan. 16. The pilots got a warning light when they lowered the gear on the RJ100, so the plane went around. It made another pass to allow tower controllers to check that the gear was down. The plane subsequently landed safely and the light was discovered to be faulty. But one of the passengers thought the pilots' demeanor didn't match the gravity of the situation and suggested they must have been drinking. Authorities took that threat seriously. More...

ON THE FLY...
FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive on Gippsland GA8 aircraft...
FAA will allow candidates in local elections to hire private aircraft...
A flying B-29 and LB-30 (B-24) will be at AirVenture, 2005. 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!
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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
Say Again? #46: When Things Go Wrong
To get your IFR clearance at a non-towered field, you could call Flight Service or the local Center RCO, but you know you're gonna get a delay waiting for some arrival to cancel IFR. Just launch VFR and pick up your IFR clearance in the air, right? AVweb's Don Brown knows it isn't always that easy -- or safe -- for pilots and for controllers. 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...

TRACK ALL IN-FLIGHT IFR AIRCRAFT IN REAL TIME!
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AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Anonymously honest? This week, AVweb wants to know if you've ever partaken of alcohol before taking a flight. PLUS: Results of last week's question on sticks and yokes, lefties and righties, tigers and bears ... More...

SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION SAFETY AND SAVE BIG!
You spent thousands to earn your license. Safeguard it for just pennies a day. Aviation Safety helps pilots stay ready for the realities of today's demanding flight environment with instructive articles to keep decision-making skills sharp. Subscribe now and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/new/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Welcome to another installment of "Picture of the Week," where we run the most eye-catching aviation photos sent in by our readers. If there was a theme to be found in this week's contest entries, it was "spinning props" — several submitters wanted to show us they'd mastered the F-stop on their cameras and sent some nifty in-flight and take-off shots. We chose one of those as our winner — Dan Megna's photo of Steve Dari in his Pitts. More...

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GAMI CUSTOMERS RAVE ABOUT A SMOOTHER RIDE AND SAVING FUEL
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AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING
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BECOMING A PILOT IS HUMANKIND'S WILDEST DREAM FULFILLED
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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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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