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Volume 11, Number 18a May 2, 2005

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

THE FUTURE OF FAA FUNDING...
You never get a bill for it, and there's no entry for it on your books or your tax form, but that doesn't mean access to the National Airspace System is free. And just how (perhaps more important, who's) to pay for the increasingly expensive system was the subject of invitation-only meetings between FAA officials and aviation industry representatives last Monday and Tuesday. Nothing was resolved, but FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb aviation is changing and the FAA must adapt its method of doing business to meet forecast increases in traffic -- while revenues decrease. "To suggest that the status quo remain in place is appallingly naive," Martin said in an exclusive interview with AVweb. "It just doesn't add up." The FAA maintains that a number of divergent factors have precipitated the current funding situation. More...

...WHO WILL PAY...
And it now appears the initial softening-up period on the potential for user fees is over. The term was, until recently, banished from the FAA lexicon, but the volatile verbiage is now clearly on the table. "Some groups have some very strong views when terms like 'user fees' are used," Martin acknowledged. At the same time, he insists they are not a foregone conclusion. "I don't think there's any predetermined direction to go in this," he added. But he did say the intention is to dissolve the Trust Fund at the end of the current budget-allocation period in 2007, and that the new system that replaces it will need more revenue. "There is no revenue [now] for the FAA that matches up with what it costs," he said. And, as he predicted, the U-word provoked a voluble response. More...

...FEES CAN BE COSTLY TOO...
While some of the attendees, Boyer included, came away with the impression that user fees are the favored option, the National Business Aviation Association's position is that the current system of fuel taxes is perhaps the most fair. "There's no simpler and more accurate way to distinguish between heavy and light users of the system than to measure the amount of fuel burned," President Ed Bolen said. He also noted that the introduction of user fees would require establishment of another bureaucracy to administer, bill and collect the money. He claimed it cost some user-fee-based agencies in Europe up to $125 to process each transaction. And while opinions varied on revenue creation, there was virtual unanimity on the need for the FAA to get control of spending. More...

...CRISIS, WHAT CRISIS?
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) weighed in with a 52-page analysis of not only the FAA's funding situation but a comparison with the way other countries fund and manage their aviation systems. NATCA's broad conclusion is that aviation affects virtually all facets of modern life and should therefore be a shared burden. The report, authored by NATCA Executive Vice President Ruth Marlin, acknowledges that direct consumers of aviation activities (i.e., passengers and cargo customers) should pay a significant portion of the FAA's costs but "they should not be required to fund the entire cost as there is a portion of the costs that is clearly in the public interest and therefore appropriately funded by the general treasury." The FAA's Martin said it's a simplistic argument considering the other pressures facing the government. More...

JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN SOURCE, IS LOOKING
TO PURCHASE USED GPS UNITS, AVIONICS, AND AIRCRAFT

Current inventory levels allow JA to offer top dollar for used GPS, avionics, and aircraft.  Call (800) 323-5966 for your current value with no purchase required. JA Air Center, Garmin's largest avionics dealer, stocks all the new Garmin aviation GPS units including the GPSMap 296 (new low price of $1,495), iQue 3600A PDA/GPS, GPSMap 196, GPSMap 96C, and GPSMap 96.  We also stock Garmin accessories; software; and outdoor, mobile, and marine GPS units.  JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales.  Also, we offer FBO services and fuel at Dekalb Taylor Municipal Airport (KDKB) in Dekalb, IL.  Please call (800) 323-5966 and mention this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ja/avflash.

HOUSE SET TO DISCUSS GA AT DCA...
The political momentum behind a bid to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to charter and GA traffic appears to be unstoppable and the biggest question now seems to be when, not if, those operations will be allowed to resume. And since Washington will almost certainly remain under an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) for the foreseeable future, just how the security apparatus that tries (with varying degrees of success) to control access to the ADIZ will cope with the influx of non-scheduled flights is also a big question mark. For now, however, the focus is on cracking the political barriers. More...

...ALPHABETS IN THE WINGS
As with every legislative bid to reopen DCA to GA the alphabet groups, including AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), are following the progress in minute detail. AOPA's legislative affairs staff met with the politicians involved to let them know about GA security measures that have already been implemented, such as Airport Watch and the guidelines established jointly between the industry and the Transportation Security Administration. NBAA President Ed Bolen said the initiatives are long overdue. More...

PAYING TOO MUCH FOR LIFE INSURANCE?
If you are a pilot who currently has or is applying for a life insurance policy with anyone other than the Pilot Insurance Center (PIC), STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING! You are probably overpaying for your insurance or awaiting a higher premium once you are approved. PIC assures you the best policy at the best price from an agent who knows aviation and won't send your rate into a flat spin after underwriting. You have nothing to lose, and it might be the most profitable five minutes of your day. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 and get an instant quote, or visit PIC at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/avflash.

TURBOPROP SALES REBOUND
A major improvement in turboprop sales helped GA manufacturers record another strong quarter in the first three months of 2005. Turboprop sales jumped 67.6 percent over the same period last year with a total of 57 sales compared to 34 in Q1 2004, according to stats released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) last week. Gains in other sectors were more modest but all were on the plus side of the ledger and that bodes well for the continued recovery of the industry, said GAMA President Pete Bunce. "Strong industry billings speak for the overall health of the general aviation industry," Bunce said. More...

SOLAR UAV FLIES FOR 24 HOURS
Earth Day was celebrated in silence on California's high desert as an electric car company marked an aviation milestone. AC Propulsion's SoLong unmanned aerial vehicle (it looks like a big model glider) landed at 12:45 a.m. on April 22, having spent a little longer than 24 hours aloft flying on battery and solar power alone, the longest such flight of its type to date. "During the flight the SoLong had made no noise, consumed no fossil fuels, emitted no pollution and contributed nothing to global warming," according to a report in EV World. 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.

WHAT ABOUT ETHANOL?
The high price of avgas has a Brazilian plane-maker turning to alcohol. Neiva, a subsidiary of Embraer, delivered the world's first production model ethanol-powered crop duster in March and has plans to build 70 more this year. For 30 years, Brazil has been developing ethanol-fueled vehicles to reduce dependence on oil imports and at least a third of all cars produced there can run on alcohol. There are about 400 aircraft adapted to run on ethanol but the EMB 202 Ipanema is the first certified production aircraft. It's powered by a Lycoming IO-540. More...

HAZARDOUS INSTRUMENTS KEEP PILOTS FROM PLANES
At least 12 aircraft owners at Chino Airport in California have been unable to get to their airplanes for more than a month because of their neighbor's hobby of collecting luminescent dialed instruments. San Bernardino County officials say there are enough old airplane instruments painted with radium-226 inside two hangars occupied by Preservation Aviation Inc. to create a radiation hazard. Since March 10, authorities have barred access to neighboring hangars. Airport manager James Jenkins told the Daily Bulletin that the neighboring aircraft are not contaminated but the area around them is off-limits. More...

TAKE THE "SEARCH" OUT OF "SEARCH & RESCUE"
WITH A 406 MHz PLB FROM AEROMEDIX

A 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) should be an essential part of your safety gear.  PLBs greatly reduce the time it takes rescuers to reach an individual in distress and provide the very best chance of being rescued in an emergency. A PLB with integrated GPS transmits precise coordinates to within 100 meters and reduces SAR notification time to as little as five minutes! Aeromedix.com has great deals on FastFindPlus and ACR 406 I/O PLBs, with prices starting at $599.  Order by calling (888) 362-7123 or by going online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

LAKE ON AUCTION BLOCK AT AIRVENTURE
Everything needed to start your own amphibious airplane company will go on the auction block at EAA AirVenture on July 27. Starting at 4:30 p.m. in the Vette Theatre, on the AirVenture grounds next to the museum, Higgenbotham Auctioneers International will sell the type certificate, STCs, tooling, fixtures, engineering data and inventory for the Lake Amphibian series of aircraft. And although they aren't strictly part of the package, the staff members who know how to make the company make airplanes have indicated they'd like to join the new owner "to ensure that they be able to operate immediately as a fully functional aircraft manufacturer," according to a Higgenbotham news release. More...

CIRRUS LEVERAGES MOVE AMIDST GROWING PAINS
Growth can be a pain and the market's thirst for Cirrus airplanes may force the company to shift some of its production from Duluth to Grand Forks, N.D. Cirrus wants to build an additional 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space to increase production from 12 planes a day to 16. But problems with contaminated soils (and leasing issues on the proposed site) in Duluth could make the company look west, according to a story in the Duluth News Tribune. Cirrus spokesman Bill King said the company hopes to move into its new digs by the end of the year. "The truth is we need that space now," he said. More...

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

DELTA PILOT HURT BY LASER
A second Delta Air Lines pilot has suffered eye injuries resulting from a laser being pointed at his aircraft. The unidentified first officer on a 737 was taken for medical treatment after reportedly being hit with the laser while the plane was on approach to Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport last Tuesday. The plane landed safely. FBI spokeswoman Lori Bailey said the pilot was lased when the plane was six miles out at about 9,000 feet. Details of the pilot's condition were not available. As AVweb told you in March, another Delta pilot told Congress of the effects of a laser attack on his airplane last September. More...

ON THE FLY...
Fugitive flight student was arrested in England...
Lancair Columbia 400 is Robb Report's Best of the Best...
Weight and balance device being snubbed...
Seatbelt air bags approved for Mooneys. 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...

McCAULEY IS "THINKING FORWARD" FOR THEIR USERS!
McCauley Propeller Systems, the world's largest full-line propeller manufacturer, has launched its "Thinking Forward" campaign.  This customer-focused campaign brings operators the option of upgrading their aircraft to achieve maximum efficiency and performance.  McCauley propellers are installed on more than 250,000 aircraft worldwide.  McCauley is the only propeller and piston engine governor manufacturer with a worldwide network of authorized service centers.  Think Forward for your aircraft with McCauley.  See the McCauley professionals at the Alaska Airmen's Show May 14-15, at Booths 190-191.  For more product information and an authorized service center near you, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mccauley/avflash.

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: May 2, 2005
Reader mail this week about firefighting tankers, ATC privatization, the value of various aircraft and much more. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
As the Beacon Turns #89: Send In the Drones
Who needs two pilots in an airline cockpit when one will do? For that matter, who needs one when a flight-sim-trained teenager can do it from the ground? Heck, get one of those brains in a dish and you don't even need the teen! AVweb's Michael Maya Charles ponders the future of airline cockpits in this month's As The Beacon Turns column. More...

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.

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...

IF YOU LOVE THE CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF FLYING THE GAUGES
Don't miss this opportunity to subscribe to IFR magazine. Each issue briefs you on what you need to know to fine-tune your technique, sweet-talk the system, and bust-proof your ticket. Order now and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrmag/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
While flying into Cheyenne one spring day the tower anounced to pattern traffic...

Tower: Piper 1234 be aware of a flock of birds off of runway 12.

Piper 1234: Tower, we have birds in sight off our right wing.

Tower: Piper 1234 can you deternime what kind of birds they are? ...Geese?

Cessna 567: Tower we have a flock of cranes off of our left wing.

Tower: Cessna 567, can you tell what kind of cranes?

(pause)

Piper 1234: They appear to be ... unlit cranes.

Unidentified:... Had that one coming.More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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AVIDYNE'S CMAX™ APPROACH CHARTS TAKE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
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SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE INFORMATION
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives you a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in-flight over the U.S. and Canada. Whether you're tracking a friend or want to learn more about the system in action, Flight Explorer has the information you want for just $9.95 a month. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
PHOTON'S WHITE FREEDOM MICRO NOW 2X BRIGHTER!
Photon, the first name in LED micro-lights, has a new product for your flying, hunting, and outdoor needs.  The white Freedom Micro, already one of the brightest micro-lights available, is now a full 2X brighter, making it hands-down the brightest single-LED keychain light in production! Order yours today and save!  SPECIAL: $10 off any Photon order of $75 or more at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.
PURCHASE A WORLD-RENOWNED CHASE-DURER CHRONOGRAPH WATCH & RECEIVE A GIFT
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AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING
AirSport Avionics is the only manufacturer of Altitude Alerters that work by listening to everything your transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Mode A (squawk code) and Mode C (altitude). A double benefit! AirSport Alerters are completely portable and don't require permanent installation. SPECIAL: $100 discount on all models, with complimentary ground shipping. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport/avflash.
"EVOLUTION AT THE SCOPES: AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL IS CHANGING"
The May issue of Flying magazine reports on how the ATC system — and its employees — are changing to make ATC a very attractive career. Plus: "What to Do When the Engine Quits"; "Flying Four-by-Fours: Fixed-Gear Four-Seat Review"; "Weather Traps"; "The Gippsland Aeronautics GA-8 Airvan"; and much more — with money-saving subscription prices at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
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INSTRUCTOR PILOTS AND STUDENTS WANTED
VTS Inc.'s multimedia systems training software for the Seminole, Warrior, and Skyhawk is loaded with video presentations, sound, 3D animations, interactive system schematics, and simulations — all combined to create a virtual resource that far 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.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER?
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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.
_____________________________________
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.

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