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Volume 11, Number 19a May 9, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM)

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Aviation 
Safety

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

USER-FEE AFTERMATH: OTHER OPTIONS EXPLORED...
Following last week's hearing on the state of the Aviation Trust Fund, members of the House Aviation Subcommittee didn't seem very convinced that user fees would be the answer to the FAA's funding woes. "Switching to a user-fee system raises more questions than answers," according to ranking committee member Jerry Costello (D-Ill.). Other financing alternatives discussed at the hearing included increasing the current aviation taxes, fixing the annual contribution from the General Fund, and providing the FAA with borrowing authority. Ken Mead, inspector general for the Transportation Department, testified, "The Congress and the aviation community need assurances that [the] FAA is doing all it can to control costs before decisions can be made about the adequacy of current funding levels and whether or not additional revenue is needed." More...

...AS REASON PREVAILS
Meanwhile, the Reason Public Policy Institute, a libertarian think tank that has proven influential in some D.C. circles in recent years, released a report last week on the issue of funding the nation's air traffic control system. The institute has long been a supporter of user fees, but now has backed down somewhat on the argument as it pertains to GA. The new report recommends that piston-powered GA aircraft pay only the aviation fuel tax, and no user fees at all. "We think [the report] still misses the point," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "GA shouldn't be charged for a system we don't need and for the most part don't use." More...

THE BOSE AVIATION HEADSET X DELIVERS AN UNMATCHED COMBINATION
of comfortable fit, noise reduction, and clearer audio to your aircraft. Professional Pilot says, "Bose is Pro Pilot's (2004) Headset Preference Survey winner for the fourth straight year." Hear for yourself with our 30-day risk-free test flight. New: Low monthly payments. See all the Bose models online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bose/avflash.

NEW PIPER AND WORKERS NEGOTIATING...
New Piper Aircraft has been working to get back up to full production after last year's hurricanes, and now about 720 workers are saying it's time for a new contract. Picketing started about two weeks ago and has continued sporadically since. Negotiations were held last week, and some workers were hopeful that a tentative agreement would be reached by the weekend, but it didn't happen. "We've made some progress on contract language," union spokesman Bob Wood told tcpalm.com. The two sides will resume talks on May 26. New Piper had no comment. "We decided from the beginning that we would not negotiate this in the media," spokesman Mark Miller told tcpalm.com. More...

...AS COMPANY RECOVERY CONTINUES
The New Piper employees voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in October 2003, after New Piper cut wages by 6 percent. They've been waiting for a contract ever since. "The [union] doesn't seem to appreciate what we're really up against," Piper President Chuck Suma said in a statement. "This isn't about being stingy with company money ... This is about working to make Piper a company that will survive." New Piper delivered 37 aircraft in the first quarter of 2005, with billings of about $21 million, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. That was down from 53 aircraft shipped in the same period a year earlier. But there may be very natural reasons for that. 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.

PASSENGER TAKES OVER FOR DYING PILOT...
Luck and some long-dormant flying skills helped two passengers aboard a twin-engine (formerly Rockwell) "Jetprop Commander" (a 695A per the FAA's registration database) survive a crash landing after the pilot became incapacitated shortly after takeoff from North Las Vegas Airport on Thursday morning. Gerry Garapich had a few lessons in a glider 20 years ago, but when his friend Doug Reichardt lost consciousness at the controls, he was able to turn off the autopilot and guide the airplane back to the airport for a relatively safe landing. He hit the dirt short of the runway, with the gear still up. But that might compare favorably to a gear-up runway landing with sparks and fire. More...

...ANOTHER PILOT IS SHOT, BUT PLANE LANDS SAFELY
In a strange twist on that story, another passenger had to take over in a small airplane last week, but under very different circumstances. Pilot Mike Spicer, 55, and his friend Arnie Knoettgen were flying Spicer's Cessna 150 to help police track down a fleeing suspect in Clay County, Kan. They spotted the suspect hiding in a field, and began to circle his location, when they heard a crack. A bullet punctured the passenger-side window and grazed Spicer's forehead. He was losing lots of blood and having trouble seeing, so Knoettgen took over the controls while Spicer stanched the bleeding, and the two worked together to bring the 150 down to a safe landing. More...

PILOTS, SAVE UP TO 70% ON YOUR LIFE INSURANCE!
If you have or need life insurance, compare and save at the Pilot Insurance Center. You will receive the best policy at the best price. Don't overpay for life insurance just because you are a pilot. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with premium rates that are not available through other agents. A+ RATED CARRIERS – NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS – Fast and Easy Application Process. For a complimentary quote, call 1-800-380-8376 or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife.

ADS-B NOW AVAILABLE FOR EAST-COAST PILOTS
ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) has been under development for a decade or so, and its deployment in Alaska has been credited with helping to improve the safety statistics there. Now the FAA has announced that it's available on the East Coast, in a developmental state, between New Jersey and Florida. The system provides equipped aircraft with traffic advisories even in areas that are out of radar range, and also brings terrain information and real-time weather to the GA cockpit equipped with a multifunction display. It allows both controllers and pilots to see equipped traffic during ground movements, reducing the chance of collisions, and helps pilots to find their way even on strange airports. The system can also display current airspace restrictions. Access to the information is free. More...

SNOOZING WHILE CRUISING OK IN EUROPE
Professional pilots in Europe have been told that it's OK to take a nap while flying, as long as they remain at their post, strapped into their seat at the controls (if only we could get away with that). The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) last week issued new guidelines saying that a quick cockpit snooze up to 45 minutes long is allowed, the UK Mirror reported on Saturday. The "controlled rest" is OK only in the cruising phase, where pilot tasks are less demanding, the JAA said. There's nothing new about pilots napping -- one pilot told the Mirror he once woke up to find all three pilots in the cockpit had nodded off at once. The new policy requires that a member of the cabin crew schedule a wake-up call. A spokesman for the British pilots union, BALPA, said naps aren't the solution to pilot fatigue. More...

JOIN NAA AND CELEBRATE AVIATION'S PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
What a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization — marking their 100th anniversary in 2005! NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast. You will receive two magazine subscriptions — Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero — and access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call NAA at (703) 527-0226 to become a member of the NAA family, or sign up online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/naa/avflash.

LAX AIRSPACE CHANGES PROPOSED
The Class B airspace around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is some very high-traffic, complex airspace, and a new proposed rule aims to make it easier to use and reduce the potential for midair collisions. The plan proposes to expand the eastern boundary to ensure containment of instrument approaches, improve the containment of jet aircraft within the airspace, and simplify VFR navigation, while shrinking the overall size of the Class B by about 100 square miles. The FAA has already aired the plan in local public meetings, and won the support of AOPA. The FAA is open to additional comments through May 23. More...

EMBRAER'S VLJ CONTENDER
There's been talk for a while now that more of the mainstream aircraft manufacturers might follow Cessna's lead and jump into the very light jet (VLJ) market. Embraer, of Brazil, confirmed those rumors last week, with an official announcement that it plans to introduce a new VLJ with six to eight seats, and a new light jet that will carry eight or nine. The investment in the new jets will total $235 million, the company said. The jets will be "best-in-class," according to Embraer, featuring "premium comfort, outstanding performance and low operating cost." Both jets will be designed for single-pilot operation. Better start saving now, though -- prices start at $2.75 million. More...

CARING ABOUT YOU FIRST PUTS CS&A ABOVE OTHER INSURANCE BROKERS
With long-standing relationships with aviation insurance underwriters, CS&A ensures their customers receive superior service at competitive rates. CS&A will personally find the right insurance package for you and your aircraft's specific needs. Request a complimentary, no-obligation quote by calling (800) 761-2557 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

AIRPORT SECURITY: STARTING OVER, $4.5 BILLION LATER
The U.S. government has found that many of the security protocols that have been put in place since 9/11 are ineffective, unreliable and too costly, The New York Times reported yesterday in a front-page story. For example, audits have shown that replacing private airport screeners with TSA workers didn't improve security. Millions spent on screening equipment also has had dubious results. The TSA bought 1,344 machines at $1 million each to search for explosives in checked bags, but they set off false alarms for up to 30 percent of all luggage, the Times said. The frequent alarms mean more screeners must be hired, and when it gets busy, sometimes the checks are bypassed, workers have said. More...

NEW REPORT EXAMINES SAFETY, TRAINING ISSUES FOR ADVANCED AIRCRAFT
Technically advanced aircraft (TAA) are defined by the FAA as having at least a moving-map display, an IFR-approved GPS navigator and an autopilot. The advent of this technology has raised issues about training, which AOPA's Air Safety Foundation (ASF) addresses in a new report, released last week. The report suggests how training should change to reflect the demands of flying TAA, and also takes a preliminary look at assessing the safety record for these aircraft. The report examines the challenges for pilots transitioning to TAA and flight schools starting students out on the new systems; handling characteristics; and TAA hardware and software, including terrain, traffic, weather and engine-monitoring equipment. Recent research might suggest a tiered learning approach. More...

"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE!"
"My airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs." "General Aviation Modifications' (GAMI) injectors pay for themselves with the fuel savings. A big bonus is how much smoother the engine runs." "Customer service is just that — SERVICE!" These are what GAMI customers have to say about GAMIjectors. Find out how GAMIjectors pay for themselves and save fuel when installed in your aircraft. Go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Metroliner crash killed 15 in Australia on Saturday...
Air Midwest publicly apologized on Friday for crash of a Beech 1900...
Cause of Learjet crash that killed Payne Stewart now in court...
Northwest Airlines has ordered 68 Boeing 787 Dreamliners...
Javelin Jet prototype has FJ33-4-15M engines with inverted systems...
The laser Visual Warning System for D.C. ADIZ goes online May 21. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 news-savvy pilots might want to know about? If it caught your eye, it would likely interest someone else. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. ... With our thanks. More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: May 9, 2005
Reader mail this week about ATC user fees, radioactive instruments, FAA waste and much more. More...

ASA BRINGS YOU A LIFETIME OF HANDS-FREE COMMUNICATIONS
ASA's new portable push-to-talk switch works with any general aviation headset, intercom, and radio. It features a low-profile ergonomic button, superior contact switch, heavy-duty gold-plated plugs and jack, durable shield-coiled cord, hook and loop mounting strap, molded strain relief, and a lifetime warranty. Eliminate the distraction of picking up the microphone, keep your focus on flying the aircraft, and modernize your interior with the sleek functional design. For complete details about this new product, visit ASA's web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Pelican's Perch #20: Ground All Bonanzas?
There have been several crashes of Beech T-34 aircraft caused by wing-spar failures during the last few years. The raging controversy over the T-34 structural issues and the FAA's heavy-handed approach may well affect all aircraft. AVweb's John Deakin has updated this eerily prescient six-year-old column.

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COLUMNS
CEO of the Cockpit #44: Raise The Nina!
For modern airline pilots like AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit -- who spend all day in an FMS-guided autopilot-flown aviation wonder -- the appeal of flying old, low and slow during their days off (or in retirement) is understandable. But why would someone spend millions to rescue something that would be cheaper to build from scratch? 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...

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.

SHORT FINAL...
Overheard on approach to MCO...

TWR: Traffic 12 o'clock, 2 miles, an Airbus.

Airliner: Traffic in sight.

(pause)

And he'll be happy to know his rudder is intact. More...

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
E-OX: A HIGH-QUALITY PORTABLE OXYGEN IN NEW 2-, 3-, & 4-PLACE SYSTEMS!
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AIRCRAFT PARTNERSHIPS NOW ON ASO!
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PRICELESS PEACE-OF-MIND FOR JUST $9.95 A MONTH!
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YOU WORKED HARD FOR THAT IFR TICKET; NOW PROTECT IT!
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FLYING MAGAZINE'S JUNE ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS "THE NEW PIPER MIRAGE:
Still a Glamorous Shape." New Piper's model PA-46 turns 21 this year and is as good a pressurized piston single-engine concept as ever. This issue's articles also include: "The IFR Safety Conundrum" — why isn't the record as good as expected?"; "Boeing vs. Airbus" — they fight it out with business jets, too; "Cockpit Entertainment Has Arrived"; and much more. Order your Flying subscription online for exceptional savings at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO GUARDIAN
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SPONSOR NEWS
ATTENTION, PIPER OWNERS & PILOTS
The new Piper Flyer Association (PFA) 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 Piper aircraft. Join the Piper Flyer Association (PFA) today as they build the ultimate Piper association. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pfa/avflash.
THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T YOU?
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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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