NewsWire Complete Issue
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Another Effort To Open DCA To GA
Legislation that would re-open Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to GA aircraft was introduced yesterday in the U.S. House, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) told
AVweb last night. It's not the first bill to make that attempt. But this bill was introduced by the leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and "That's key," according
to NBAA spokesman Dan Hubbard. Congressmen Don Young (R-Alaska), Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) all signed on to the bill. These sponsors add considerable
clout to "a growing chorus of support" for re-opening DCA, NBAA said. "The resistance of the administration to opening general aviation here while small planes fly everywhere else has now met the
two-fisted response of two bills demanding reopening now," Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), one of the bill's cosponsors, told the Associated Press. A similar bill is pending in the Senate. "This
proposal recognizes that effective security policies can be developed that strike a balance with economic realities and individual freedoms. That has been NBAA's message all along," NBAA President
said yesterday in a news release. The bill would require the airport to re-open within 180 days. The Department of Homeland Security would first have to develop a plan to ensure security. The bill is
Props Seen As Occupying Valuable Space
A new threat to GA airports is appearing more and more frequently, and it's a twist on the old familiar story of residents moving in, deciding they don't like the airport noise and turning the field
into a subdivision. Instead, those same residents seem to be realizing that a GA airport can be a cash cow for their communities -- but not if it's infested with little personal aircraft and weekend
flyers. The big bucks come with fuel-guzzling jets and corporate expense accounts. For flight schools, small FBOs and private pilots trying to find hangar space, the result is the same. They're being
Among the latest to feel the squeeze is Gibbs Air Service, a venerable FBO at Montgomery Field, a municipal
airport in San Diego. The FBO is operated by Buzz Gibbs, whose father started the airfield back in 1937 (the field was later acquired by the city); it provides hangar space, a flight school, fuel and
other services to hundreds of small-aircraft owners. Gibbs's lease expires on May 31 and the city says it won't be renewed. Officials so far haven't revealed their plans for the FBO's 24-acre parcel,
other than to say they want to explore the options to maximize its income potential for the city (currently suffering a budget deficit), The Union-Tribune reported last week. Local pilots fear the city wants to drive them out with high
prices, so they can cater to business jets instead. Over 500 small airplanes now live at the field. Pilots pay about $150 per month for a tie-down or $300 for a hangar. The airport's future will be
discussed at a city council hearing on April 13. AOPA has contacted San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy to say that
Gibbs ran one of the most respected flight schools in the area. If the city is going to take over, AOPA said, it is imperative that they continue to offer flight training.
That's not to say that cities aren't still threatening to shut down airports, if they think there's profit in it. In Rialto, Calif., on the far western edge of the Los Angeles metro region, a new
highway bypass is spiking property values, and the city is looking for ways for close its GA airport and redevelop the land. The FAA is crying foul, saying it has given the city almost $15 million to
develop the airport and Rialto has no right to close it. The city says that the airport is no longer needed and the operations there can be moved to an airport in nearby San Bernardino, so they are
not really closing the airport, just moving it (fun with semantics, 101). The FAA's not buying that argument. "If you move something, by definition you have to close it," FAA spokesman Donn Walker
told The San Bernardino Sun. "That may not occur without our approval." The city has "shown a blatant
disregard for state and federal law," AOPA says. "The city claims that it cannot afford to operate the airport,
yet it has repeatedly rejected proposals for aviation businesses."
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.
Visit LightSPEED at Sun 'n Fun Booths #C-011, D-052-053
So Close, And (Maybe Not) So Far
When the new Sport Pilot rules were announced last summer at Oshkosh, many saw Sun 'n Fun as the next crucial waypoint in the implementation of the rule. With that annual Florida event less than a
week away (April 12-18), the sport aviation world is gearing up to make it count. The FAA-industry consortium that is developing consensus standards for light sport aircraft (LSA) is close to being
ready to give the green light to manufacturers, AOPA said Monday -- but AOPA warns that LSA timelines have
been painfully slow in the past, so "keep your fingers crossed." Meanwhile, the FAA has said it will start training its first light sport aircraft designated airworthiness representatives this month,
with a class on April 27 and 28.
While the technical committees work on getting the aircraft OK'd to fly, gaggles of marketing types are working equally hard to make sure the public is ready to buy them when they do. EAA has announced a partnership with Sportsplanes.com to promote
sport flying. Josh Foss, president of Sportsplanes.com, is working to establish a nationwide network of Sport Aircraft Regional Centers where flight training and aircraft sales will be available. EAA
also is supporting the Sport Pilot Tour to bring sport aircraft to local airports where the curious can get an
intro flight. The tour begins with stops in Marysville, Calif., June 3-4; St. Louis, Mo., June 10-11; and Franklin, Pa.,
June 17-18. The traveling show will also be featured at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh starting July 25.
One route to building the Sport Pilot numbers is to convert pilots who now fly ultralights. EAA said Tuesday it has developed an inexpensive new kit to help with that transition. The all-inclusive kit
sells for under $20 and helps guide an owner through converting an ultralight aircraft to the experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) category. The kit includes a 15-page guidebook, all the FAA
forms, required standard instrument/control labels and placards, a fireproof dataplate and an "experimental" category sticker. "EAA makes the transition process from ultralight to experimental
light-sport aircraft simple with this kit," said Charlie Becker, EAA aviation services director. It costs $12.99 for EAA members and $19.99 for non-EAA members, plus shipping. To order, call
800-564-6322. Pilots won't get off that cheap, though ... there are still flight-training and examiner fees to pay and inspections to be completed. To get all of that done is proving a challenge. Aero
Sports Connection is modifying its "SP/LSA Blitz" project to work within the limits of the current
infrastructure, such as a lack of designated airworthiness representatives.
SUN 'N FUN SHOW-STOPPERS FROM OREGON AERO
Oregon Aero can make your visit to the 30th Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
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guaranteed. Treat your seat, too with painless Oregon Aero Seat Cushion Systems for most types of production aircraft and homebuilts. Flying is quieter and pain-free with an
Oregon Aero Custom Headset Upgrade. Sample and purchase these show-stoppers at Oregon Aero's booth in Building A or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
Visit Oregon Aero at Sun 'n Fun Booths #A-040-042
An FAA official was handcuffed and detained when she disembarked in Kansas City after an altercation during a Southwest Airlines flight on March 26, The Kansas City Star reported on Saturday. A flight standards manager for the Central Region, she had argued
with a flight attendant, according to the Star. The flight attendant told police that the official had confronted him about how he was handling a disturbance in the back of the airplane. He told the
official to sit down and let him handle it, and the official allegedly became verbally combative and shoved him. Police and investigators from the Transportation Security Administration met the
airplane when it landed, and the official was handcuffed after she objected to being detained. The official was questioned and released, and no charges were filed in the incident. An FAA spokesman
told the Star that interference with flight-crew operations violates federal aviation law and is subject to a civil fine of up to $10,000.
The skies above the U.S.-Mexican border near Tucson have been busier than usual this week. Thirty pilots and their aircraft have joined a band of about 1,000 volunteers -- some, including President
Bush, call them vigilantes -- who will spend the month of April working to deter illegal immigrants from Mexico. Leaders of the group, which calls itself The Minuteman Project, say they will not confront the migrants and/or smugglers, but will track them and report their activities to the U.S. Border Patrol. Leaders of the
project have said they are worried about terrorists arriving through the leaky border, but Mexican President Vincente Fox said there is no evidence to support that fear. The American Civil Liberties
Union of Arizona and other human-rights advocates are monitoring the patrols.
AVEMCO ANNOUNCES HIGH HULL AND MULTI-ENGINE COVERAGE OPTIONS FOR RENTERS
Responding to the needs of the renter
pilot community, Avemco has introduced two expanded coverage options for its non-owned aircraft policy. The first is the expansion of the maximum Aircraft Damage Liability (ADL) coverage
to $150,000. This new high limit recognizes the increasing hull values in the current rental fleet. The second is the availability of non-owned aircraft coverage for pilots who train in and rent
multi-engine aircraft. This coverage allows pilots to rent most multi-engine aircraft that are currently in the rental fleet without any additional underwriting. Purchase this
coverage today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.
Visit Avemco at Sun 'n Fun Booths #C-055-056
Plenty of pilots got their first introduction to controlling an airplane via remote-control models, and it seems that despite the advent of desktop flight simulators, the sport is still thriving. Now,
under a new federal agreement between the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, RC pilots will have
more places to fly from. The group has been granted free access to EPA Superfund sites around the country for use as model airfields. The first site likely to open under the program is in Altoona,
Pa., a 57-acre former landfill, flat and open and covered in grass. "It's a perfect place to fly airplanes," EPA official Romuald A. Roman told The Washington Post. Some environmentalists have raised concerns about the safety of the contaminated
Superfund sites, but the EPA insists they are safe, according to the Post.
The Westerly (R.I.) State Airport recently got a federal grant that will rebuild a runway and remove trees that obscure pilots' visibility -- but it's too late for two pilots who died in a midair on
that runway in November 2003. The NTSB last week released its final report on that crash, in which a Piper
Archer landed on the runway as a Cessna 180 was taking off. Both pilots in the Cessna died, but the pilot of the Piper and his two passengers were OK. The safety board found that the probable cause
for the crash was the Piper pilot's decision to land even though he saw the Cessna on the runway. Other factors were the departing Cessna pilot's inattentive radio communications, and the obscured
visibility of the traffic pattern from the air and ground by trees located at the departure end of the runway.
When the pilot of a small twin lost an engine over Idaho while far from an airfield in bad weather late last month, he was lucky that two Air Force pilots were nearby on a training mission. Lt. Col.
Evan Roelofs, in an F-15C, and Capt. Marco Parzych, in an F-16, from Mountain Home Air Force Base, got a call from Salt Lake Center asking them to help the civilian pilot find a hole in the clouds to
descend through. Roelofs found the twin and circled nearby, until he found a opening for descent. Parzych then flew alongside in his F-16 until the twin landed safely at Boise International Airport.
"The pilot informed me that he would like to follow my aircraft to the Boise airport and also let me know that he did not have many hours of experience," Parzych told the Air Combat Command News Service. "However, he seemed very calm throughout the approach."
AVweb will be on the field in Lakeland all next week to bring you all the latest on new technology, new airplanes, and all the excitement from Sun 'n Fun, the first big show of the season.
Monday's edition will feature a show preview, then watch for special editions in your inbox Wednesday and Friday with all the fresh news and photos straight from the site. The next Monday we'll wrap
it all up for you, then return to our regular schedule.
SAVE 5% ON YOUR FUEL EXPENSES!
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Program has helped answer that challenge with the AOPA 5% FBO Rebate program. AOPA members can save up to $250 annually on qualified purchases at over 4,700 FBOs when they use the
AOPA FBO Rebate Credit Card. Plus, the card also offers an unlimited 5% discount on most purchases from Sporty's Pilot Shop. Take advantage of the savings today. Call (866)
438-6262 to apply, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopa/fuel/avflash.
Ballistic Recovery Systems announced Monday it plans to acquire Free Flight
Enterprises. Both companies manufacture safety parachutes for aircraft...
The FAA proposed an Airworthiness Directive to deal with rough-running
TCM engines found on some Cessna twins and Aero Commanders...
Tall airline pax could be at worse risk for deep-vein thrombosis...
Cessna's Citation CJ2+ took its first flight on Saturday, from Mid-Continent Airport in
Wichita, Kan. The jet flew for just over two hours, while the pilots tested basic stability, flap and landing-gear extension and retraction, controllability, trim actuation, engine operating
characteristics and basic autopilot operation...
Airbus 380 missed "first of April" target for first flight, may fly later this month...
EAA unveiled a new Young Eagles Web
The U.S. House Committee on Government Reform will hold a hearing tomorrow to consider the economic and security impact of restoring general aviation flights into Ronald Reagan Washington
National Airport (DCA), NBAA says.
Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to
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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
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High-Time or Low-Time Engine?
When looking to purchase a used airplane, prospective owners are often confused about whether to get a plane with a "new" (overhauled) engine -- and pay a high purchase price -- or get one with a
run-out engine and do the overhaul to a quality level they can control. Brian Jacobson analyzes both possibilities.
This month AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you a weekend private pilot ground school, altitude pre-select on an autopilot,
pulse-demand oxygen for two and more.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs 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/
DA40 DIAMOND STAR A FLEET FAVORITE
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
University CAPT, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, and Utah Valley State College all have selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and
safety, the DA40 is the fleet favorite. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
Last week, AVweb asked if you use your cell phone
while acting as Pilot in Command.
Answers were scattered across the board, with the
largest segment of respondents (27%) admitting to using
their phones on the ground but never while the plane is
in motion. Another 16% said they make and receive
calls frequently when acting as PIC but only legally,
on the ground.
Another significant chunk of you (20%) admitted to
answering or making calls a handful of times while
9% of respondents don't hesitate to use their cell
phone in the cockpit if it the call is related to the
flight, and a full 5% of you 'fessed up to using the
phone regularly in the cockpit for non-flight-related
The remaining 23% told us they'd never used their
cell phones while in flight as a PIC.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
Sun 'n Fun is upon us, and this week AVweb wants to
know how much money we skyhounds are spending on
fly-ins. Not counting the price of admission,
travel (avgas, etc.), and accommodations (food and
how much do you spend at these events?
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to
This address is
only for suggested QOTW questions, and not for QOTW answers or
this form to send QOTW comments to our AVmail Editor.
Submit a Photo |
Current POTW Winner |
Past POTW Winners
Sun 'n Fun kicks off in just a few days, and our Official
AVweb Toothbrushes are packed. As usual, we'll be
taking tons of photos to bring back home and show our
friends and families and since we've got 'em, we'll
probably post a few on the AVweb site, too. That means
there will be no "Picture of the Week" contest next week.
Instead, we'll roll over any new entries we receive into the
next week's contest. (That means there'll be a fierce
competition in two weeks which, in turn, means lots of
great pictures to share with you.)
For now, we've got a great batch to tide you over
starting with Bob Stetser's show-stopping helicopter pic.
As the submitter of this week's top photo, Bob will soon
receive a brand-new 2005 AVweb baseball cap in the
mail. For a shot at one of these handsome caps,
submit your photo here.
Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of
readers who submit photos.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
Copyright © Bob Stetser
Used with permission
"The sky appeared to be on fire with amazing colors,"
writes Bob Stetser of
Palo Cedro, California.
here to view a large version of this image
AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our
POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up. Click on the links below to view
copyright © Don Parsons
Used with permission
"Folding the Wings"
Don Parsons of St.
(a grand old "POTW" town for those who are
keeping track) caught this landing of a Douglas AD-5
Skyraider at Creve Coeur, Missouri. This gorgeous
bird, Don tells us, belongs to Eric Downing.
Copyright © John B. Hayes
Used with permission
"Now and Then"
John Hayes of Tucson,
this great shot while watching a heritage
flight at the Davis Monthan Air Show.
An A-10, an F-16, and two P-51s
where else but an air show would you
see this kind of display? No wonder
we're itching for summer to begin ... .
A little something to hold you over until
week's Sun 'n Fun Fly-In galleries get started ... .
with permission of Ryan Stanley
"Early Morning C-130"
Ryan Stanley sends us
this beauty of a photo
from an undisclosed location in Iraq. The shot
was taken in early 2005 using a Pentax Optio S4
"with the built-in night photo setting," writes Ryan.
(Yes, we actually do like to hear about your
with permission of David Thomas
"WWII Basic Flight Training"
of San Fernando, California
submitted this photo of his father basking in the
glow of his first solo flight. The photo was taken
early days of World War II and is one of many that
David's father passed down to him. Hopefully we'll
see more of them at some point in the future ... .
Used with permission
of Gavin Conroy
Flying us out this week is another great air show photo,
this one of a Corsair and 2 Kittyhawks at New Zealand's
Classic Fighters show in Blenheim. (Man, that must be
a great air show, considering how many top-notch "POTW"
entries have come from this year's event alone!)
Oh, yeah the photo is from Gavin
Conroy of Blenheim.
(Sorry, Gavin; got carried away.)
To enter next week's contest,
A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the
source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest.
If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed
authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain,
send us an e-mail.
|Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
ASA MEETS THE NEEDS OF SPORT PILOTS
ASA and Sport Pilot expert Paul Hamilton have introduced a new line of
products dedicated to the Sport Pilot, the "Freedom to Fly" series. The Sport Pilot airman certification provides a simple path to a pilot certificate and to a variety of aircraft that people
can own and/or operate inexpensively. Learn about all your flying options and what is right for you with the Sport Pilot DVD. Gain FAA certification with the Sport Pilot Test Prep
book or Prepware. Learn whether to fly with the Weather to Fly DVD. Meet the pilot record-keeping requirements with the Sport Pilot Logbook. For complete details about this new
series of Sport Pilot products, visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.
Visit ASA at Sun 'n Fun Booth #B-059-061
GAMI CUSTOMERS RAVE ABOUT A SMOOTHER RIDE AND SAVING FUEL
"The first ground runs were with the original injectors,
then we installed the GAMIs. I didn't need the EDM 700 to tell me I had spent my money wisely. The motor is notably smoother and more responsive, with mixture totally controllable." "I put my GAMIs in
my 470 and love them. I run LOP; couldn't before. My airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs!" Check out GAMIs for your airplane at Sun 'n Fun, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.
Visit GAMI at Sun 'n Fun Booth #A-065-066
|TRACK ALL IN-FLIGHT IFR AIRCRAFT IN REAL TIME!|
Is your friend's Beech airborne?
Need a list of all flights bound for your airport? Curious about how many aircraft are cruising above FL400? The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer gives you a real-time picture of all IFR
aircraft in-flight over the U.S. This informative service is yours for just $9.95 a month. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
|FED UP WITH BIG BILLS FOR ROUTINE MAINTENANCE?|
Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance and join
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|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.
|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.
|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
Visit Rod Machado at Sun 'n Fun Booths #B-084-085
|INSTRUCTOR PILOTS AND STUDENTS WANTED|
VTS Inc.'s multimedia systems training software for the
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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.
|THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T YOU?|
Then you went through the manual and
came away frustrated and confused. Stop laboring to understand those manufacturers' manuals! For less than $40 (plus shipping and handling) you can better understand and operate most of the modern GPS
units on the market with ZD Publishing's Pilot Friendly GPS Manuals. GPS operation is fun and rewarding when you understand how to get the desired results. These manuals will help
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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.
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