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Volume 11, Number 33a August 15, 2005

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

MYSTERIOUS BOEING 737 CRASH IN GREECE KILLS 121
A Boeing 737 flown by Helios Airways, a Cyprus airline, crashed into a mountainside north of Athens yesterday after the pilot reported problems with cabin air systems. There were no survivors. According to early reports, the jet departed from Cyprus at 9 a.m. and lost contact with controllers at 10:30 a.m. Two Greek F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the aircraft, and one of the F-16 pilots reported abeam the airliner at 34,000 feet that he could not see the captain in the cockpit and the co-pilot appeared to be slumped in his seat, according to Reuters. The Associated Press reported that Greek government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said on a subsequent flyby, the F-16 pilots, "saw two people apparently trying to take control of the Boeing 737. It was unclear whether they were passengers or pilots." 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.

NATCA DECRIES MALFUNCTIONING EQUIPMENT...
Two recent near-collisions on runways, one at Boston's Logan Airport and one at New York's John F. Kennedy, show that the FAA's automated warning system is flawed, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) said last week. The system, known as Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS), is unreliable during heavy precipitation, NATCA said. "This results in controllers not having this safety alerting system to help them when they need it the most -- during bad weather and periods of low visibility," said Doug Fralick, NATCA's safety and technology director. During the JFK incident, the system had been suppressed because the rain caused it to give off multiple false alarms. More...

...AS CRITICS QUESTION, FAA DEFENDS...
The NTSB has also raised questions about whether the AMASS system is an effective tool for preventing runway incursions. Alerts may occur as little as 8 to 11 seconds before a potential collision, the NTSB said. In at least one incident, at Los Angeles International in August 2004, there are "strong indications" that AMASS didn't alert the controller until it was too late to take corrective action, the NTSB said. The NTSB also says a system is needed that would warn pilots directly of potential conflicts, rather than alerting controllers. FAA spokesman Jim Peters told The Boston Globe the AMASS system was never designed to work in all conditions and its creators warned about ''false targets" in rain. More...

...AND FAA COUNTS CONTROLLERS' SHORTCOMINGS
Meanwhile, the stress between controllers and the FAA is evident at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) on Long Island, where the FAA recently counted errors occurring at six times the average rate, The New York Times reported on Saturday. NATCA says that's because the FAA has cut back on staffing, but the FAA says it's because it has increased supervision at the center and now errors are being caught that were previously unreported. With new oversight at the TRACON, controllers are now spending four and a half hours per shift at their screens, up from 3 hours and 39 minutes, and overtime expenses are down by $50,000 a week, the Times said. More...

POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2;
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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.

"COMMERCIALIZED" AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL BAD FOR GA, AOPA SAYS...
A recent report (PDF file) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) previously reported by AVweb said safety remains intact when governments shift their air traffic control duties to the private sector. But that may not be telling the whole story, AOPA said last week. The report evaluated the "commercialized" ATC systems in Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, but limited its safety study to data on direct measures such as loss of separation, AOPA said. "GAO did not consider indirect safety impacts, such as pilots declining to use services because of the extraordinary costs charged by some of these systems," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. More...

...USER FEES NO PANACEA
The GAO report also found that despite implementation of user fees, air traffic systems still face budget problems if the industry suffers an economic downturn. The commercialized systems need to have fallback strategies such as a reserve fund, a cost-cutting plan, or some alternative to user fees, the GAO said. Also, some systems have increased or plan to increase the costs of service to small or remote locations. And while all of the air traffic systems claimed greater efficiency over their government-operated predecessors, the GAO couldn't document the claims, AOPA said. More...

JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN GPSMAP 396 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, one of Garmin's largest dealers, is accepting orders for the new color GPSMap 396 with terrain, XM Weather, and music on a first-come, first-served basis. Demand is extremely high on the new Garmin GPSMap 396, so get your order in today! 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, they 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.

BLUE ANGEL NO. 1, "BUTCH" VORIS, DIES
Retired Navy Capt. Roy "Butch" Voris, the founder and original flight leader of the Blue Angels precision flying team, died last Tuesday at his home in Monterey, Calif. He was 86. Voris was a flying ace in World War II and shot down eight Japanese fighters. After the war, he was asked to organize a flight team to showcase naval aviation, and on June 15, 1946, he led the Blue Angels and their Grumman F-6F Hellcats in their first public performance, at Jacksonville, Fla. Voris survived a midair collision during a Blue Angels show at Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1952, in which one pilot was killed. Voris brought his plane in despite lack of control and a severed tail. More...

PRESIDENTIAL HELIS CONFLICT WITH AIRLINER
An American Airlines MD-80 had to make a go-around at Chicago's O'Hare Airport last Wednesday afternoon after two helicopters departing with President Bush's party -- but not carrying the president -- strayed into its approach path, the local CBS-2 news reported on Thursday. The two helicopters, carrying press and staffers, were heading north near the runway centerline as the airliner was landing to the south, CBS-2 said. The airline pilot aborted the landing and climbed out to the left. The two helicopters also made left turns. Marine One, the helicopter carrying Mr. Bush, was not involved in the incident. More...

A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR CELL PHONES
Version 6 of WxServer just hit the 'Net, and it's chock full of new features.  A simpler, more powerful menu structure makes WxServer easier to use than ever before.  NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are now zoomable. And the new WxServer takes maximum advantage of whatever screen size your phone has available.  Put NexRad maps centered on every US airport, satellite pictures centered on more than 95% of airports worldwide, METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation weather that's ready when you need it — on the tarmac, in the run-up area, or at unattended grass strips.  SPECIAL: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rate at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

CONGRESSMEN PUSH FAA TO EVALUATE MU-2
The FAA has agreed to evaluate the safety of the Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 twin turboprop, after several members of Congress from Colorado asked for the airplane to be grounded. Two MU-2s have crashed in Colorado in the last year, killing three people. The FAA will not ground the aircraft, but will examine its record and check operational procedures and pilot training, The Washington Times reported on Thursday. Further, the FAA "won't hesitate to do that [ground the fleet] if we have the data to support it," FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette told the Times. Mitsubishi disputes claims that the aircraft is unsafe, the Times said. More...

AIRPORT, PUBLIC GOOD, AND EMINENT DOMAIN
Building a new general-aviation airport doesn't fall into the same category as building a freeway or other public project, according to a recent editorial in The Roanoke (Va.) Times. A proposed airport in Franklin County would require taking land from 18 private owners by eminent domain. "Who, exactly, would use an airport limited to private planes and corporate jets?" the newspaper asks. "A handful of rich and powerful people and air enthusiasts." Claims that the community and local economy would benefit are "vague ... uncertain ... dubious," the editorial says. The landowners have formed a coalition to fight the project, which would require 330 acres. More...

LONGER DAYS AND WARMER WEATHER MEAN IT'S TIME TO GO FLYING!
If you do the bulk of your flying in the summer months, this is an excellent time to upgrade your aircraft's panel. Take advantage of Bennett Avionics' quality used avionics and professional service. You can have the equipment you need in time for all your summer trips, with Bennett Avionics. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.

L-19 RECOVERED FROM LAKE AFTER 47 YEARS
A Cessna L-19 Bird Dog was recovered on Saturday from the bottom of a Minnesota lake, where it had rested beneath 40 feet of water since 1958. The recovery team used a large winch mounted on a pontoon boat to hoist the airplane, then towed it to shore. Divers also found a flight log, parachutes and headphones. The wreck was discovered by accident in July 2004, when fishermen in search of walleye scanned the area with an underwater camera. The Army airplane crashed after the pilot, Capt. Richard P. Carey, reported he was low on fuel and then apparently hit some seagulls and crashed into the lake. Carey was killed and his body was recovered two weeks later, but the aircraft was never found. More...

BEYOND FLYING CARS, TO PERSONAL AIR TRANSPORTATION
The folks at NASA would like to clarify that their $250,000 Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Centennial Challenge is seeking out practical ideas for improving personal, on-demand air transportation, and the common concept of a vehicle that transforms from airplane to car is not necessarily the answer to that challenge. "The goal of the PAV Centennial Challenge is to develop affordable, efficient and safe PAVs that are able to quietly land at very small airports that are close-in to small communities, saving time spent on ground transportation and making flying more accessible to people across America," the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation says at its Web site, which has many more details about the challenge. More...

ASA'S 2006 TEST BOOKS, SOFTWARE & DVDs FOR FAA EXAM PREP NOW AVAILABLE
ASA's Test Preps for pilots and Fast-Track Test Guides for AMTs include all FAA Knowledge Exam questions. Prepware combines all the information in the Test Prep and Fast-Track Test Guide Series in computer-based training. Virtual Test Prep lets students study from their TVs or computer DVD players. For complete details about these products, visit ASA's web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.

IN-COCKPIT VIDEO: BIRD STRIKE
An AVweb reader recently passed along in-cockpit video of a Canada Air Force CT-155 Hawk before, as, and after its in-flight ingestion of a bird. The aircraft's heads up display is visible, the bird is visible, as is the last image caught on camera -- a farmer's field. Synopsis of the May 14, 2004 accident is available, here. The accident aircraft carried a crew of two. One student and one instructor pilot. One pilot survived the experience with minor injuries, the other was seriously injured. View the video, from AVweb's NewsWire. More...

ON THE FLY...
2001 Cessna 182T, N999KS, stolen in Ariz., reward offered...
A maintenance crew was moving FedEx jet that crossed Logan runway...
TSA named Joseph Terrell security director at Pittsburgh Airport...
Bullet that struck a sheriff's helicopter hit a control pedal...
Thousands still stranded at Heathrow after a labor dispute....
Comments to FAA on changes to D.C. airspace available online...
Aircraft grounded at Culver Academies, Indiana, after two die in crash. 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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part. More...

ASO — A BETTER WAY TO SELL YOUR AIRCRAFT SHARE
Finding aircraft share buyers can be hard — FBO bulletin board flyers are too limited, and ads in national publications are too broad. Now there's a better way, with ASO's Partnership Ads. List your share on ASO, the most trusted place for aircraft sales, and interested buyers will have the ability to search geographically to easily find your partnership listing. For a limited time, select Partnership Ads are complimentary. Call (888) 992-9276 or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aso/partner/avflash today and get your share in front of potential buyers tomorrow.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Motor Head #8: Return from Oshkosh -- Engines in the Headlines
Oshkosh was a good destination for the engine lover last month. New airframes sometimes inspire new powerplants, and even the big boys had some R&D news, as AVweb's Marc Cook explains in this month's Motor Head column.

More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: August 15, 2005
Reader mail this week about security and ATC privatization around the world, the miracle in Toronto and much more. 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...

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.

SHORT FINAL...
All things considered, this might not be so far off...

After a long flight, I was draining the sumps in an FBO's men's room where the urinals were crowded closely together.

A wide bodied pilot pulled up behind me, surveyed the scene, and asked,

"What is this, taxi into position and hold?"

More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE MONITOR YET?
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NEW AVIATION DIRECTORY FROM AvBUYER.COM
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STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!
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CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO GUARDIAN
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FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE SPEECHLESS — THEN THEY CAN'T STOP TALKING
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SPONSOR NEWS
AVIATION CONSUMER'S SEPTEMBER ISSUE REPORTS ON GARMIN'S GPSMAP 396
Garmin has managed to stuff both XM Weather Datalink and entertainment channels into a full-color portable GPS. At $2,495 (discounted), the GPSMap 396 is hardly cheap, but the capabilities are impressive. Also covered in this Aviation Consumer issue: "Thielert Diesels" — Germany's sophisticated and economical GA engine; "Chelton AP-3C Autopilot" — a real competitor; "Trick CylinderSL: Is Porting & Polishing For You?" — worth considering; "Oshkosh Report: The Jets Actually Fly" — they were all there and flying; and the "Used Aircraft Guide" highlights the Beechcraft Duchess. For your personal subscription, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avcons/avflash.
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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. 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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
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.

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