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Volume 11, Number 17a April 25, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... JA Air Center

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Aviation 
Safety

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

D.C. LOOKS AT PRIVATIZATION...
The House Aviation Subcommittee last Wednesday held a hearing on the commercialization of air traffic services, saying the FAA is now in crisis and at a "crossroads." The FAA has failed to meet schedules and deploy new technology despite billions of dollars in spending, the committee said. At least 30 other countries have switched from government services to private providers. The committee heard testimony from representatives of Nav Canada and a German air-traffic agency, but noted that in terms of operational scale and airspace complexity it is difficult to compare the U.S. National Airspace System and foreign systems. More...

...AS NATCA RESPONDS
U.S. air traffic controllers handle more than 64 million takeoffs and landings each year, and Cleveland controllers alone handle more operations annually than Canada's entire privatized system ... according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). NATCA President John Carr last week spoke out against privatization. "We have the world's safest, largest and most complex system. Why in the world would we ever dream of changing it?" Carr said. "Risking the public's safety by putting air traffic control up for sale should never be an option." The fiscal crunch at the FAA is also raising more fears of user fees. More...

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FREE WX UNDER THREAT...
The National Weather Service (NWS) would be restricted from offering any products to the public that are or could be provided by the commercial weather industry, under legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate recently by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). The "National Weather Services Duties Act of 2005" would "modernize the description of the National Weather Service's roles within the national weather enterprise," Santorum said, and essentially it would yank the popular NWS Web site off the Internet. The bill already has attracted opposition among those who value NWS products. More...

...AS PROVIDERS SEEK PAYMENT FOR SERVICE
The effort seems to be driven by the NWS's recently revamped Web site, which makes weather data more easily available. AccuWeather, a private weather provider based in Pennsylvania, has been critical of the NWS and supportive of the bill to change it. AccuWeather spokesman Barry Myers told the Post the bill would improve public safety by making the weather service devote its efforts to hurricanes, tsunamis and other dangers, rather than duplicating products already available from the private sector. But NWS spokesman Ed Johnson said it doesn't work that way. More...

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FIRE SEASON'S FATAL START...
Three crew members died last Wednesday when a Lockheed P-3B firefighting air tanker crashed immediately following a fire-retardant training drop in Lassen National Forest near Chico, Calif. Killed were Brian Bruns, 45, of Minden, Nev.; Paul Cockrell, 52, of Fresno; and chief pilot Thomas Joseph Lynch, 41, of Redding. "They were extremely good pilots," said Terry Unsworth, CEO of Aero Union Corporation of Chico, which owned and operated the aircraft. "This is a very tragic incident." The accident flight was the seventh flight of the day for that aircraft. The purpose of the flights was to conduct qualification checks for pilots who were scheduled to conduct firefighting operations during the upcoming fire season. More...

...AMID DWINDLING RESOURCES
The air tanker that crashed was one of 10 aircraft the National Interagency Fire Center approved last Monday to return to the firefighting fleet, saying it would monitor them closely for signs of fatigue. The 10 included seven of Aero Union's P-3 Orions. Two fatal crashes in 2002 led to the grounding of large air tankers that year. The NTSB noted in a press release on Thursday that it had issued five recommendations last year to the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior and the FAA as a result of several accidents involving structural failure of firefighting aircraft, while noting that it is unknown at this time if the Chico accident is related to structural failure. 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.

AT GERMAN GA SHOW, DIAMOND REVEALS MOVE TO CHINA
Over the weekend, Germany hosted its 15th Aero Friedrichshafen International General Aviation Trade Fair, a biennial show that is Europe's premier GA event, with 543 exhibitors from 28 countries in nine exhibit halls. AOPA's Thomas A. Horne was there, and reported that Diamond Aircraft CEO Christian Dries revealed that the Austrian company already is building a new facility in China where it expects to eventually do all of its manufacturing. The factory will be big enough to employ 1,700 workers and build 600 aircraft a year. Dries also said Diamond is building a special-edition Twin Star for law-enforcement and sports-coverage operations. More...

AS EUROPE SHOWS INTEREST IN LSA
The new Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) category in the U.S. has attracted a lot of attention in Germany, where many aviators would like to see similar rules adopted. "The chances aren't so bad," said Reiner Hls, of the German Aero Club, with what sounds to us like at least a hint of optimism. To promote the idea, EAA sent Mary Jones, editor of EAA Sport Pilot, and Dan Johnson, LSA marketing consultant, over to Aero Friedrichshafen to talk about the rules and also to look at potential new European LSA candidates. "There's much interest in LSA here in Europe and in the sport pilot rules," Jones said. "People are very interested in all aspects of the rule and how it might affect European flying." More...

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THE NEW MOONEY MARKETING MATH
For those of you who fell asleep in math class, Mooney is offering a refresher course, and under their calculations, Mooney (surprise) comes out consistently on top. In a recent press release, Mooney introduced The Value Factor, an "industry standard," which is determined by multiplying the airplane's best-power true airspeed by its best-power range (in nautical miles) and dividing that total by its suggested list price. Under this formula, Mooney's Bravo and Ovation2 GX models outscored selected Lancair, Cirrus, New Piper and Cessna types. "There are, of course, a lot of factors which contribute to an airplane's overall value," said David Copeland, Mooney's vice president of sales and marketing. More...

MORE MONEY FOR MORE STARS
While many air traffic controllers are still working with 1970s-era screens that are inferior to what you get today on a giveaway cellphone, the government has come up with another $57 million to continue deployment of the delay-plagued color-display Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS. That's enough for 14 FAA systems, plus nine more for the Department of Defense. The FAA originally budgeted $940 million to upgrade 172 sites, and last year cut that down to 47 sites at a cost of $1.46 billion. Thirty-one FAA and 21 DoD sites are currently controlling air traffic with STARS. More...

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MIDWESTERN AIR TAXI TO FLY WITH CIRRUS
While the coming very light jets have been widely touted as the tool for a new point-to-point on-demand transportation system, Bismarck, N.D., is making plans to move forward on that model with airplanes that are available now -- the Cirrus SR22-GTS. City and state officials have been studying the plan for three years, and now are ready to award a contract to a private company that will run the local airline, called Point2Point Airways. The business plan calls for the company to start with five planes or fewer, and grow to 15 within two years, according to The Associated Press. The airline already has received more than $2 million in federal and state money. More...

ON THE FLY....
A Fla. skydiver died after colliding with the airplane he jumped from...
Man who shot at a powered chute will be jailed during flight festival...
A new AMOC allows T-34's 60 hours...
Jeppesen will remake charts to clarify departure procedures for TEB...
LAX workers are losing their handy RV lot, after problems arose...
U.S. Aerobatic Team needs money to get to Spain to compete...
Citation owners are invited to Wichita, May 2-4, hosted by Cessna. 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...

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READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: April 25, 2005
Reader mail this week about privatizing FSS, firefighting planes, Meigs Field and much more. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Motor Head #6: Who Will Make Your Next Engine?
The "big two" engine manufacturers are no longer the only game in town for small piston engines. Aftermarket "clones" are here, and the new LSA market will further stir the pot. AVweb's Marc Cook reports from Sun 'n Fun.

More...

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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...

ATTENTION, PIPER OWNERS & PILOTS
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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS  
LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 — NOW CERTIFIED TO FL250
The Columbia 400's twin turbochargers can now be put to full effect with the aircraft's recent certification to 25,000 feet.  With the added altitude to play with, the Columbia 400 gives pilots even more flexibility than before.  Set the throttle to 80% power and cruise at 235 knots — that's faster than any other piston-powered aircraft in production today. Or ease the power back and increase range to standard-setting levels.  A company official recently flew an unmodified Columbia 400 non-stop from Bend, Oregon to Fort Worth, Texas (a distance of more than 1,300 nm) while averaging 200 kts.  Find out what a Columbia 400 can do for you. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lancair/avflash
NONIN FLIGHTSTAT MARKED DOWN TO $367.35 AT AEROMEDIX
The Nonin FlightStat is the world's smallest and lowest-cost precision instrument for measuring oxygen saturation in the bloodstream. Think of it as a "hypoxia meter" that warns you when you're becoming hypoxic and measures precisely how much supplemental oxygen you need to avoid impairment to your pilot skills.  Aeromedix also carries Nonin's full line of prescription-only pulse oximeters for medical use.  Aeromedix is one of Nonin's largest distributors, and nobody beats their pulse-ox prices. Order by calling (888) 362-7123 or by going online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
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CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO GUARDIAN
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SPONSOR NEWS
MODERNIZING YOUR KT76 DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!
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COMING UP IN THE MAY ISSUE OF LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE
Porting and polishing is an old hot rodder's trick to coax a little more power out of an engine. A handful of shops apply this technique to aircraft engines, and it has become somewhat controversial. Does it really work? Yes — but there are downsides, too. Read about both sides of the argument in the May issue of Light Plane Maintenance. Order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lpm/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

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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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