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Volume 11, Number 6b -- February 10, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation

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. LightSPEED's 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. Orders are being taken now for shipping in December. Retail price is $429 USD. For more information and to place an order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/L1/avflash.

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

CONCERN OVER NEW FAA BUDGET...
The Bush administration on Monday released its $13.8 billion FAA budget proposal for the next fiscal year, down 1.27 percent from last year. Cuts affecting general aviation include $600 million lost by the Airport Improvement Program. "The small GA airports that can afford it the least would be hurt the most," said AOPA's Andy Cebula. The FAA's research and development budget would be cut 13 percent, which could affect ongoing work to find a replacement for leaded aviation gasoline and develop associated engine technology. The facilities budget would be cut 3 percent, giving the FAA less to work with to maintain and modernize its equipment. "This isn't the final word on the budget, but a start," said Cebula. More...

...CONFUSION OVER ATC HIRING NUMBERS...
The budget plan drew a swift response from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), which was looking for proof that the FAA will deliver on its promises. The FAA said in December it will hire 1,249 air traffic controllers in fiscal year 2006 -- but the budget proposal showed a request to fund only 595 new hires. "Woefully inadequate doesn't even begin to describe this latest bait and switch," said NATCA President John Carr. FAA spokesman William Shumann told AVweb the FAA is not backing off from its commitment. The 595 new hires in the budget are in addition to the current workforce. More...

...BUT FUTURE GETS FUNDED
While funding to maintain the current aviation system is scarce, the system of the future is getting strong support. The proposed budget triples funding for the Joint Planning and Development Office, whose mandate is to transform the nation's air transportation system to meet the needs of the year 2025. The Transportation Department says the next-generation air transportation system will allow travelers to choose how, where and when they want to travel while making their experience as safe, secure and hassle-free as possible. The budget also requests $2.4 billion to improve and modernize the National Airspace System. More...

LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU'RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT
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MEETING CALLED ON BIZAV SAFETY...
FAA officials have asked leaders from the bizav community to attend a meeting on Feb. 18 in Washington, D.C., to address safety issues. A recent rash of GA accidents involving charter flights and bizjets has raised questions in the mainstream media about the safety of the sector, but the FAA has said this meeting is not in response to that but is part of a continuing review of the industry as a whole. The purpose of the meeting is to exchange ideas, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told USA Today. "If there are safety programs or best practices that some of the operators are using that they can share with the rest of the community, then we'd like to make that available to everybody," she said. Expected at the meeting are representatives from NBAA, the National Air Transportation Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the NTSB, and others. More...

...AND A MEETING OVER TETERBORO ACCESS
Another meeting is also in the works -- NBAA says it has requested a meeting with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to discuss the concerns of state officials who have called for reductions in flights at Teterboro Airport (TEB). Last Tuesday morning, a Challenger CL-600 aborted its takeoff roll on Runway 6 at TEB, crossed a road and hit a warehouse, injuring 20. Another CL-600 ran off the opposite end of the same runway after an aborted takeoff in December 2003. NBAA said it wants to work with the Port Authority to define options that enhance safety without diminishing capacity at TEB. More...

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BEYOND THE X PRIZE...
How will space tourists be assured of safety, without strict federal rules that could stifle the industry's growth? Consensus industry standards are the answer, according to Michael S. Kelly, chairman of the FAA's Reusable Launch Vehicles Working Group. Kelly testified yesterday afternoon before the U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee. The hearing addressed the status and future of the U.S. commercial space transportation industry and the role of the FAA in providing safety oversight. The standards, which Kelly compared to voluntary Underwriters Laboratory approval for electronic devices, will assure the public that their spaceflight provider is safe. More...

...WITH ACCEPTANCE OF RISK...
Although voluntary standards are likely to prove safer than government regulation, Kelly said, it's inevitable that there will be accidents and fatalities. "I do not share the view of many in industry that the first fatal accident will spell the end of personal spaceflight. Such a thing has never happened in all of history ... It is contrary to human nature." However, when it comes to regulation, even the smallest of stumbles could add years of delay in the development of the emerging industry, Kelly warned. At last count, Virgin Galactic had 14,000 reservations, he said. The FAA has already licensed four commercial launch facilities, in California, Florida, Virginia and Alaska, and several more are in the works. More...

...AS NEW ORGANIZATION FORMS TO PROMOTE SPACE BIZ
Meanwhile, a group of space entrepreneurs announced on Tuesday they are organizing a new Personal Spaceflight Federation to promote growth and safety in their new industry. The federation will work with the FAA as it develops industry standards for passenger safety and crew training. "In 2004, there were only 15 worldwide commercial space launches," said Gregg Maryniak of the X Prize Foundation, one of the organizers. "Personal spaceflight promises a much larger market and will provide the demand that the industry needs to grow and economize." Initial members of the group include Burt Rutan, Scaled Composites; John Carmack, Armadillo Aerospace; Elon Musk, SpaceX; and Alex Tai, Virgin Galactic. 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, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

AIR FORCE FACES CONTROLLER COMPETITION
With the FAA set to start hiring hundreds of air traffic controllers this year, the question arises, where will all those new hires come from? Part of the answer is, from the ranks of the U.S. military -- which has some Air Force officials already starting to fret. "We're certainly looking at it," Sgt. Donald Ball of the Air Force Flight Standards Agency at Andrews Air Force Base (Md.) told Stars & Stripes. "We're concerned, but it's kind of hard to speculate." The FAA lures the military controllers with higher salaries, generally from about $70,000 to $120,000. Ball said the service retains 53 percent of its first-term airmen as controllers, but by the 10-year mark, 75 percent are gone. More...

NBAA OFFERS GUIDELINES FOR VLJ PILOT TRAINING
The manufacturers of very light jets (VLJs) are taking a hard look at the unique risks that exist for their (future) products ... and it's a very long list. The National Business Aviation Association has compiled the list as part of its recommended training guidelines for VLJ pilots. Many of the anticipated risks occur because the jets will be operating on high-altitude airways and at high-traffic airports, where they will be mixing it up with much bigger jets. The VLJs will face jet-blast encounters on the ground, wake turbulence in the pattern and en route, weather hazards and aerodynamic challenges unique to high altitudes, and the stresses of single-pilot operation in a complex environment. The training aims to minimize those risks, and NBAA urges VLJ pilots to fly with an ATP-rated "mentor pilot" until they are proficient in all flight regimes. More...

HEADSET CAUSING HEADACHE?
Even the best aviation headset can be a pain to wear, especially on longer flights. But you can fly pain-free with an Oregon Aero™ Complete Civilian Headset Upgrade Kit. The upgrade kit includes a SoftTop™ Headset Cushion, SoftSeal™ EarCushions, SoftSkin™ Ear Seal Covers, HushKit™ Passive Ear Cup Noise Attenuation Kit, and MicMuff™ Microphone Cover. These five components make the pain go away and significantly reduce noise — Oregon Aero promises. And you can easily install the upgrade kit yourself on any headset! Find out how Oregon Aero can make headsets painless, safer, and quieter at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/headsetkit/avflash.

FATAL CIRRUS CRASH, CHUTE DEPLOYMENT QUESTIONED
On Sunday night, the pilot of a Cirrus SR-22 en route from Reno, Nev., to Oakland, Calif., at about 16,000 feet, told controllers at Oakland Center his wings were icing up and he was going down. The wreckage, the parachute and the pilot's body were found early Monday in a remote area of the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. Local officials said the chute had been deployed with the airplane in a 350-mph dive and tore the airplane in half, a notion rejected by Cirrus. Bill King, a Cirrus spokesman, told the Duluth News Tribune that it would be impossible for the parachute to do that. More...

NEW GADGET ROUNDUP
There's no end of innovation in the world, and here are a few interesting gadgets for aviators that we've run across lately. The Flightcell unit, made in New Zealand, allows pilots to use a cellphone or satphone through their headset, while remaining connected to the radios -- perfectly legal down under, but in the U.S., cellphones aloft are still (technically, at least) a no-no. The TeleType WorldNavigator brings GPS and Victor airway navigation to a Pocket PC. And for desktop flyers, Horizon Simulation adds photographic scenery to your Microsoft Flight Simulator, so you can practice that VFR cross-country flight across a "picture perfect" landscape. The photographic add-ons are available for San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as England, Wales, and Paris. FYI: AVweb offers a "What's New" feature, once each month showcasing some of the items we run across. More...

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NO MEDICAL, NO CERTIFICATE -- STILL SUPPORTED
Survivors of a crash of a Cessna 180 skydiving plane in Pennsylvania last October say they don't fault the pilot ... even though he was flying with a revoked medical for a heart condition, clipped trees on takeoff from his own 1,515-foot grass strip (its condition is listed as poor in the NTSB's report), and was at the controls for the subsequent fatal crash. Emil Kindelberger, 81, was denied a medical on May 27, 2003, after being diagnosed with coronary artery disease requiring a bypass. He apparently continued to fly skydiving customers and they remain supportive of him. More...

AVIATION CONSUMER WANTS YOUR OPINION
There's still time to participate in the engine-shop survey being conducted by Aviation Consumer, AVweb's sister publication. If you haven't already responded, they'd like to hear from you about your recent experiences with engine overhauls or factory remans. You don't have to be a subscriber; simply log on to AviationConsumer.com and tell them what you think. More...

CORRECTION: CHALLENGER ACCIDENT
In the last issue of AVweb we got our Challenger accidents mixed up. A previous incident in which the pilot reported he couldn't rotate the airplane on takeoff happened at Teterboro in December 2003, not in Colorado last November as we stated. More...

AIRCRAFT PARTNERSHIPS NOW ON ASO!
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ON THE FLY...
NAA's 2004 Collier Trophy goes to SpaceshipOne...
Peter Bunce is new president of GAMA...
747 pilot arrested in England after he failed an alcohol breath test...
British politicos want compulsory random breath tests for pilots...
Vandals smashed 15 runway lights at Arlington (Wash.) Airport. 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...

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...

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.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
__________
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 a handheld nav/com, a pilot's PDA with GPS, an oil filter wrench and much more.

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TRAINING
The Cessna, The Sky ... and the Cartoonist: Chapters Thirteen, Fourteen and Fifteen
The dreaded crosswind takeoffs and landings -- new students learn to dread them, while old-timers seem to seek them out. But they weren't the most challenging aspect of the day for our cartoonist/pilot: What do you think you get when you mix a stiff breeze with a light plane and a fence? More...

SEE CLEARLY METHOD IMPROVES & STRENGTHENS VISION NATURALLY
The See Clearly Method does this without the risk or expense of laser surgery.  Developed by award-winning optometrists and research scientists, the See Clearly Method is based on the same principles and techniques used by thousands of pilots in WWII.  As one pilot states, "I never thought it was possible to actually improve your vision, but it worked. I tell other pilots that this is an effective way to improve your vision, naturally."  Call (800) 881-7934 for a no-cost informational video, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/seeclear/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to hear your predictions for the future of FSS once Lockheed Martin takes over the flight service stations. PLUS: Results of last week's question on alcohol, flying, and the eight-hour window. More...

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
AVweb hopes you all enjoyed the Super Bowl — or whatever it was you were doing this week instead of submitting photos to our weekly "Picture of the Week" contest! Sigh. We guess it was inevitable we'd eventually have a "normal" week again — one with only a couple dozen submissions to choose from. But guess what? Even though the quantity of submissions lagged a bit this week, the quality was at an all-time high. We had 11 top-notch contenders for this week's first-prize baseball cap, but when all was said and done, we had to give the cap to the pic that made us say, "What the—?" More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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FLYING MAGAZINE REVIEWS THE "BEST BUYS IN USED AIRPLANES"
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SPONSOR NEWS
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ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HARDWARE!
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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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