The Internet's Aviation Magazine & News Service

Now Over 130,000 Subscribers
Volume 11, Number 13b March 31, 2005

Email this AVflash to a friend

This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Trade-A-Plane

IN PRINT AND ONLINE, TRADE-A-PLANE GIVES YOU THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Get 24 issues (two years) of Trade-A-Plane for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail) INCLUDING the web edition. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

Pick up your complimentary copy of TAP at Sun 'n Fun Booth #A-001-003

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

FSS CONTRACT: THE (LEGAL) BATTLE BEGINS…
They've tried just about everything else and now the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS) is taking a new tack to try and prevent the contracting out of flight service stations. NAATS claims the process constitutes age discrimination and filed suit today. The union is seeking a preliminary injunction to halt the contracting process (the winning bidder, Lockheed Martin, is already well into its pre-transition program) followed by a permanent injunction. NAATS director Mike Sheldon said the process could potentially leave almost 1,000 displaced workers without pensions, even though they are close to retirement age. "They will be without an annuity. They will be left with virtually nothing," he said. More...

...SAVINGS EFFICIENCY AND LOST PENSIONS...
Sheldon said that if the contract proceeds on schedule, the FAA will save tens of millions of dollars by avoiding paying pensions to the displaced workers. He said that of 963 workers who will be left without a pension, roughly two-thirds are within five years of qualifying. According to the press release, the NAATS suit alleges the contracting process "is timed to deny substantial federal retirement benefits" to FSS workers who are more than 40 years old. Sheldon said the timing of the contract with the major retirement bubble of FSS workers only a few years away "is quite a coincidence." More...

...AS LOCKHEED'S FSS TRANSITION CONTINUES
Meanwhile, the effort from within the FAA to derail the Lockheed bid remains in the hands of the FAA's Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA). The FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which now runs the FSS system, submitted a bid in conjunction with Harris Corp. In what may be an unprecedented move, the ATO filed a protest over the award of the contract to Lockheed Martin, citing irregularities and incomplete work in the assessment process. The ATO's attorney, Cyrus Phillips, told AVweb he expected a decision on the challenge before now and he's unsure when it will be issued. In the meantime, Lockheed continues to carry out its transition program and Phillips is concerned staffing problems are on the horizon. More...

LAST DAY FOR MARCH OFFER — COMPLIMENTARY UPS SHIPPING ON RECONDITIONED 25XLs
When new, these headsets listed for $599. Now you can purchase reconditioned 25XLs for $350 and receive complimentary UPS ground domestic shipping through March 31, 2005. These headsets come from pilots who have upgraded to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All have new seals, pads, and are upgraded to current factory specifications. Plus, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day money-back guarantee, one-year warranty, and LightSPEED's emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash today.

Visit LightSPEED at Sun 'n Fun Booths #C-011, D-052-053

YOUR COCKPIT AND YOUR CELLPHONE...
There's a whole world of information available to pilots via their cellphones and AOPA says it's time it became legal to place that call. Everything from weather to airport information is available by cell but the Federal Communications Commission still outlaws the use of the phones in light aircraft. The FCC is now considering changing the rules and AOPA says the sooner the better. "Cellphones and other wireless technologies are invaluable tools for obtaining updated weather and other information in flight," said AOPA spokesman Randy Kenagy. "And the risk of interference with aircraft avionics for the typical general aviation flight is very slight." More...

...AIRLINE CABINS, A DIFFERENT ANIMAL
It's a little different on airliners where interference could come from any of dozens of phones, BlackBerries or laptops in the back. But the technological hurdles are being overcome and it won't be long before wireless communication can be safely carried out on airliners. Well, at least the avionics will be safe. What about the safety of the cell yellers and their obnoxious ring tones as they discover they can pursue their favorite pastime in the air? It could be that the social implications of allowing cellphone use on airliners might be a tougher nut to crack than the technical ones, according to Beverly Wyse, a spokeswoman for Connexions, a Boeing company that has created a cellphone system for airliners. More...

LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU'RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT
Whether you're looking for that "envy of many pilots" single (such as a Bonanza) or a workhorse turboprop or multi-mission jet, Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft Sales does it all — and has done so for over 65 years — boasting a professional sales/marketing team engaged in new and pre-owned aircraft with more than 100 years of sales, support, and consulting expertise — Turnkey assistance from acquisition, financing, or sales consulting to award-winning service and avionics centers, and a VIP program for every customer at their extensive network of 36 FBOs — Always looking to purchase quality turboprop, mid-size, and large turbine aircraft. One call to (800) 259-1940, or one click to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/phas/avflash.

JUDGE UPHOLDS LYCOMING VERDICT
A Texas judge has signed a $96 million jury award against Lycoming stemming from the failure of about two dozen crankshafts in higher-powered six-cylinder engines. Judge Jerry Sandel awarded the full amount of the jury's recommended award to Navasota-based Interstate Southwest, which made the crankshaft castings for those engines. The seven-week trial ended in mid-February. As AVweb told you in February, the jury found Lycoming had fraudulently blamed Interstate for incorrectly heat-treating the crankshaft blanks. The failures resulted in the recall and repair of more than 1,800 engines. But the jury found that the crankshafts were under-designed and that a decision by Lycoming to add Vanadium to the alloy mix weakened the crankshafts. Lycoming is, of course, not accepting the ruling. More...

HOW BOOZE GOES WITH NIGHT FLYING AND BAD WEATHER
Night flying and bad weather seem to go with drinking and flying, a Johns Hopkins study has determined. Yes, badly. Researchers found that most crashes (52 percent) involving imbibing pilots (that's about one in 200 pilots, according to testing done by the airlines) occurred at night and that in 64 percent of the alcohol-related crashes, worsening weather was also a factor. "Pilots should never mix alcohol consumption with flying because it can impair their ability to think about key functions in operating a plane," said researcher Guohua Li, a medical epidemiologist. More...

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER
— and more! WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone and any nationwide wireless carrier to give you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information and satellite images. WxServer includes airport frequency listings and fuel availability, as well as quick-dial FBO links, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates! Order for yourself or as a gift at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

FAINTING PILOT FIGHTING FOR WINGS ... AND WINNING
(... So far.) An Air New Zealand pilot who is prone to fainting appears to be winning a legal battle to regain his flying privileges. A 52-year-old Boeing 767 captain has fainted three times since 1990, although it's not clear whether he was flying at the time. After the first two faints, his medical was renewed on the condition that he always fly with another qualified pilot. After a swoon in 2002, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) pulled his ticket. But a judge in Wellington last week reversed the decision. The pilot isn't polishing up his brass quite yet, however, since the CAA is likely to appeal. More...

HANG GLIDERS AND POWER LINES, WORKING TOGETHER
Those who use a tiny airport in Florida have found that the little guy sometimes wins and that not all mega-corporations are single-mindedly profit-driven. Operators of Quest Air Soaring Center in Groveland, Fla., were both surprised and appalled earlier this year when Progress Energy put up a 90-foot power pole less than 100 feet from one of Groveland Airport's runways. According to Quest Air's Lisa Kain, apparently a local politician told the company it needn't bother with public input regarding its new power line construction project. Kain said the new power line was technically legal because it followed FAA regulations but it didn't take into consideration the type of operations at Groveland, which is heavily used by hang gliders. "The landing area is anywhere that doesn't have an obstacle," Kain said. "Centerlines don't mean anything." Kain was ready to do battle but found Progress Energy surprisingly understanding and accommodating. More...

FAA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS ARE ON THE RISE!
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150% — all requiring legal counsel. That's why pilots are enrolling in the AOPA Legal Services Plan for affordable, dependable legal protection when they unwittingly violate FAA rules. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a variety of situations where you might need legal support. Plus, the plan gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by the plan, an annual review of key aviation documents, and one no-cost half-hour consultation with an AOPA Legal Services Plan panel attorney regarding aviation-related matters not otherwise covered. Affordable protection every time you fly, for as low as $26 annually. Enroll in AOPA's Legal Services Plan before you need it! Call (800) USA-AOPA (800-872-8672), or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopalegal/avflash.

SMALL COMPANY BEATS BOMBARDIER FOR HUGE CONTRACT
A consortium led by an obscure British Columbia company has beaten Bombardier for one of the juiciest contracts ever tendered by the Canadian government. And Bombardier isn't taking it very well. Allied Wings, led by Kelowna Flightcraft, of Kelowna, B.C. (about 200 miles east of Vancouver) was awarded a 22-year, $1.77 billion (CAD) contract to provide flight training for the Canadian Armed Forces. Bombardier previously held the contract. The actual training will take place at new facilities to be built in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. News leaked about the decision more than a week ago and Bombardier, which is based in Quebec, openly accused the federal government of rigging the bidding process to favor the Kelowna bid as a way of shoring up Western Canadian political support for the ruling Liberal Party. Not so, two senior federal cabinet ministers told AVweb Wednesday at a news conference in Kelowna. More...

FORCED TO LAND, JUST IN TIME
There are times when being forced to land by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) can be a good thing. In fact, it might even save a life. A 22-year-old California pilot got lost and strayed into Mexico last Tuesday after taking off from Glendale in a Cessna 152. By the time he got his bearings and crossed back into the U.S. near Nogales, the CBP was waiting for him -- and just in time. Local reports say there was less than half a gallon of gas in the 152's tanks. After some time spent getting to know the border officials, the unidentified pilot was released and flew back to Glendale. Because he was not arrested, the CBP was not allowed to release his name. More...

YOU CAN EAT SOUP THAT'S BEEN TO THE MOON
when you fly to Chalet Suzanne. This place is quite probably the finest "airport restaurant" around, and their signature Romaine soup has been aboard Apollo missions. After landing on their grass airstrip, you can not only enjoy high-end cuisine at the restaurant, but you can also stay in their nostalgic Swiss-chalet-style inn. Read about this and other great destinations around the country in Pilot Getaways magazine, the only magazine devoted to the best in-depth travel information. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Most airlines are cutting seats...
Flight training materials aimed at younger teens...
Maine pilots invited to security session...
Ugandan pilot arrested after crash kills two bystanders. 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...

CHICAGO BIZAV AIRPORT RFP
Chicago Palwaukee Municipal Airport, the region's premier business-aviation facility, is seeking industry proposals that require hangars (36,000 sq. ft. approx.) and adjacent offices and shops (14,000 sq. ft. approx.). The airport will consider a variety of business possibilities to complement the airport's predicted growth, including aircraft charter, maintenance, flight training, aircraft sales, or aviation manufacturing. Contact Airport Manager Dennis G. Rouleau, C.M., at (847) 537-2580 ext. 114 for complete proposal materials. An Executive Summary is available at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/rfp/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Say Again? #48: Vectoring for Fun
IFR pilots who spend time in non-radar areas are glad to get back in "radar contact" so they don't have to spend all that time on the full approach procedures. But then come the dreaded words, "... vectors for spacing ..." AVweb's Don Brown explains why ATC likes giving vectors and why it is better and safer for pilots, too. 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...

TWIN COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, LLC SEEKS COMPANY PRESIDENT
Twin Commander Aircraft, LLC is seeking a new, dynamic company leader to succeed the retiring president.  This CEO position reports to a corporate Executive Vice President and has full P&L responsibility for the company. In addition to leading a dedicated in-house engineering, parts, customer service, and support staff in Arlington, Washington, the President manages contractual relationships with a key group of 22 independent factory-authorized service centers worldwide.  The ideal candidate must have a senior-level management background in general aviation, experience with the Twin Commander Aircraft product line, and the ability and enthusiasm to take this legendary aircraft product line to new levels of performance and growth.  Contact:
   J. Stevens, HR Dept.
   Precision Aerospace Services, LLC

   Click here to send an e-mail
(E-mails only; no phone calls.)

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know when and where Pilots in Command use their cell phones. PLUS: Results of last week's question on the ATC shortage and its effects on flying. 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 hotspots 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.

Visit Avidyne at Sun 'n Fun Booths #D-043-044

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Quick! Grab a cold beverage and your best reading glasses, because this week our "POTW" submitters are battling it out in a game of chance! There were so many outstanding selections this week that we've chosen two photos for each of the top three slots. All are outstanding photos, worthy of "POTW" honors — so we're going to decide who appears in each slot with an old-fashioned coin toss. (We know it sounds crazy, but hey — it does mean more pictures than usual!) 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  
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.
EXPERIENCE FAST, EFFECTIVE AIRCRAFT SOURCING WITH AVBUYER.COM
AvBuyer.com offers the complete solution when buying and selling aircraft, listing business aircraft from around the world along with the most complete listing of piston airplanes in Europe. Try AvBuyer.com today and experience fast, effective aircraft sourcing — or sign up for the complimentary latest aircraft e-mail alert. For more information, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/avflash.
PRICELESS PEACE-OF-MIND FOR JUST $9.95 A MONTH!
Sign up now for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer, the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight over the U.S. and Canada. Simply enter the N-number to track a flight, be alerted to delays, and get updated ETAs. The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer costs just $9.95 a month. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
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.
ATTENTION, ALL PILOTS & WONDERFUL WORLD OF FLYING FANS!
Many of you have accumulated the entire Wonderful World of Flying video tape set. Now, the entire WWOF library has been re-released on DVD. All of your favorites: Barry Schiff, Bill Cox, Rod Machado, Jeff Ethel, and more are now available on DVDs. This 23-volume set sells for $300 (less than $14 a disc). But, if you currently own the complete set of 23 tapes, upgrade your library to DVDs for just $200 — a $100 savings! Return your set of tapes to receive this special "AVweb-ONLY" deal. The returned tapes will be donated to a high school or college, plus you pay no shipping charges! Exchange, donation, complimentary shipping — it's the perfect deal! To take advantage, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wwof/avflash.
COMMUNICATE, NAVIGATE & SAVE! FLY CONFIDENTLY BY TRAINING WITH COMM1
Radio Simulators — unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Comm1 also offers an interactive Navigation CD-ROM and a VOR/NDB Simulator to help understand and visualize every flight. And "Getting Around on the Ground" will help negotiate airports and runways. Order online and save $10 on the purchase of any combination of Comm1 CDs or Navigation products, or save $20 with a purchase of 3 CDs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
Visit Comm1 at Sun 'n Fun Booth #C-061
SPECIAL OFFER ON MUSIC CDs PAYING TRIBUTE TO 9/11 & SPACE HEROES
The 911/The Album and Space CDs are composer David Laurence's tribute to those special heroes and legends of both events.  The Space CD chronicles space history from monkeys to landing on the moon and space shuttle travel.  Receive a 10% discount when you order both albums at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wishingwell/avflash.
ORDER PHOTON'S FREEDOM MICRO-LIGHT & RECEIVE A HANDS-FREE CLIP AT NO COST
Or get a hands-free clip on its own for only $4.95. Great for night flying! NEW: The camouflage version of the Photon Micro-Light I, II, and III and the Photon Fusion are now available. To find the Photon Micro-Light for your flying, hunting, and outdoor needs, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
ATTENTION, CESSNA OWNERS AND PILOTS
The new Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national & regional events, an annual convention, seminars, and more.  For less than a tank of fuel ($39.00 for a one-year membership), you can access the needed information to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from owning and flying your Cessna aircraft.  Join the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) today as they build the ultimate Cessna association. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.
FEELING GUILTY? YOU SHOULD BE STUDYING & REVIEWING ...
You have every intention of doing so, right? You want to be up-to-date and impress the CFI on your review, but there's no time to study.  The solution is easy. Rod Machado's Complete Private Pilot Handbook on 30 professionally recorded audio CDs. Review while in the car or exercising. The text is comprehensive, clever, and rich, laced with humor, and you'll be quickly captivated by the British narrator's voice. No more commuter blues; you'll be enjoying yourself and soon feel righteously up-to-date.  Stop by Sun 'n Fun for all Rod Machado's books, tapes, and CDs or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
Visit Rod Machado at Sun 'n Fun Booths #B-084-085
GOING TO SUN 'N FUN?

Print out and pack AVweb's advertisers list! Stop by and tell our advertisers how much you appreciate their support of AVweb so that we can keep bringing you AVflash at no cost. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/snf/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 every part stops.

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 2005, Aviation Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
--BoUnDaRyCavflashM377D033105T18--