NewsWire Complete Issue

August 28, 2005
By The AVweb Editorial Staff

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


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

Scary Little Airplanes, Or Not...

Repeat As Needed: Not A Threat, Not A Threat, Not A Threat

While airspace restrictions over the nation's capital are in the spotlight lately, the showdown over aviation security vs. the right to fly -- and the right to run an on-airport business -- continues to play out at local airfields around the country. Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the top prosecutor for Minnesota, U.S. Atty. Thomas B. Heffelfinger, said security at local airfields was too lax and a terrorist with a small airplane could fly it into the Metrodome, killing 3,000 people. Heffelfinger said the gates at Flying Cloud Airport are often open and anyone can enter unchallenged. Tim Anderson, of the state Airport Commission, however, said that security measures are in place. "There is a limit to how much can be done," he told the Star Tribune. "If you locked your gates, you just locked your business out." It's not practical for flight schools and maintenance shops to lock out their customers, he said, and the cost to guard the gates would be prohibitive.

...AOPA Responds To Concerns...

The Minnesota report caught the ears of the folks at AOPA headquarters in Maryland, and Phil Boyer, AOPA president, promptly sent off a letter to Heffelfinger. "We respectfully believe that your quotes, if reported accurately, reflect significant misunderstanding about aviation security, and, in fact, are not consistent with the views and policies of the U.S. agencies responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the nation's general aviation airports," Boyer said. Boyer noted that a report last year by the federal Government Accountability Office concluded that "the small size, lack of fuel capacity, and minimal destructive power of most general aviation aircraft make them unattractive to terrorists." AOPA tried to speak directly with Heffelfinger about the issues, but had not succeeded as of late last week.

...And Conflicts Continue

Coastal flying can be fun ... or a misdemeanor. The FAA already has revoked the pilot's certificate, and now the county is charging the pilot of a Cessna 152 who allegedly buzzed a crowded beach in Santa Cruz, Calif., last May with reckless flying. The pilot was observed flying as low as 20 feet off the ground (observations may vary) and sent terrified beachgoers diving to the sand. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in county jail. Arraignment is set for Sept. 23. Meanwhile, last Wednesday night, the pilot of a Piper PA-24 Comanche violated the 30-nm restricted airspace above President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. It appears the Piper's pilot may face lighter sentencing. The aircraft was escorted to the ground by fighter jets. The pilot was questioned and released without charges. "I think maybe he just goofed," said Al Tribble, an FBI spokesman in Houston. He still faces FAA penalties, though.


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

European Countries To Blacklist Airlines...

Heavy Iron, Light On Safety

Britain has published a "blacklist" of airlines banned from landing at its airports due to safety concerns, and France's Civil Aviation Authority now says it will publish its own list online this week. Concerns over airline safety have intensified after 330 people died in four crashes this month. Under the system now in place in Europe, each country conducts its own aircraft inspections, and other countries may not be informed about safety issues. The European Commission has said it will publish a similar list within the next six months, which will apply to all 25 countries in the European Union. Many authorities agree that a continent-wide list is long overdue. "We must start talking about the 'black sheep' of the profession," French Transportation Minister Dominique Perben told Le Monde last week. Perben is also advocating a quality "blue label" for airline companies that perform well, which could be established later this year. The public release of blacklists has been controversial. Aviation analyst Sepp Moser told Swissinfo the practice might do little to enhance safety. "Once [an airline's] name has been on the list they will be destroyed and there will be no incentive to improve the situation," said Moser. "The incentive will be to close down the airline and restart it under a new name, probably without rectifying the problem."

...FAA Inspectors Stretched Thin...

A shortage of FAA safety inspectors in the U.S. is also raising concerns about airline safety. A recent report by the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General concluded that the FAA needs to strengthen its oversight and monitoring of its inspectors and assess whether it can safely go ahead with the planned cuts of 233 safety inspectors. "We are down to the nub," Linda Goodrich, regional vice president for flight standards with the FAA inspectors union, told the Detroit Free Press last week. "We can't possibly provide the oversight we're required to do." The mechanics strike at Northwest Airlines is also raising questions about whether the FAA has enough staff to oversee the replacement workers. FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory told the Hartford Courant inspectors are working around the clock at Northwest's 10 largest repair centers. "We're maintaining close oversight on all aspects of the operation, including the training of those replacement workers and [their] performance," she said.

...And More Questions In Greek Crash Investigation

The co-pilot's diary has been found in the wreckage of the Helios Boeing 737-300 that crashed in Greece two weeks ago, and it's expected to document problems with the aircraft and the airline. "[My father] once told me that if any of it ever got out the company would close," the co-pilot's son, Yiannis Charalambous, said at his father's funeral last week, when the diary was still missing. The ongoing investigation has also determined that four people were in the cockpit when the airplane crashed, contradicting earlier reports that only the co-pilot and a male flight steward, who was trying to control the aircraft, were found there. Recent reports said the co-pilot and another unidentified male were in the cockpit, along with two female flight attendants. All 121 on board died in the crash, which has been blamed on a loss of pressurization in the cabin.


Through August 31, 2005, Bose will offer a complimentary AeroShell® Flight Jacket™ cleaning kit (a $99 value) when customers purchase a new Bose® Aviation Headset X. For all the details, go to

Eclipse Fleet Now Five, Airbus Adopts Friction Stir?

Eclipse Aviation launched its fifth and final conforming flight-test aircraft, N506EA, last Wednesday in Albuquerque. The jet will be used for function and reliability testing under accelerated usage conditions. "We now have all five of our FAA-conforming flight-test aircraft in various stages of flight testing and will be building flight hours at an unprecedented rate over the coming months," said Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn in a news release last week. The flight-test fleet has accumulated nearly 300 flight hours, while demonstrating a maximum speed of 285 knots, stall speed of 67 knots and service ceiling of 41,000 feet, the company said. N506EA will be on static display at AOPA Expo in Tampa, Fla., from Nov. 3 to 5 and at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in New Orleans from Nov. 15 to 17. Also last week, Speednews reported that Airbus will become the first big-airplane manufacturer to adopt friction stir welding production. Eclipse was an early adopter of the technique, which welds aluminum without melting it and replaces the use of rivets. Airbus plans to use friction stir welding on its A340s, and on a larger scale in the assembly of the A350, Speednews said.

Canada's Snowbirds Grounded

A Snowbirds CT-114 Tutor jet crashed in a field in Thunder Bay, Ontario, last Wednesday afternoon, after the pilot ejected. Pilot Andrew MacKay was practicing a routine maneuver prior to an air show when something went wrong. According to early reports, the engine flamed out while the jet was inverted, MacKay ejected, and the jet crashed. MacKay was treated for injuries and has been released from the hospital. The team has been grounded, but may be flying again by this weekend, when it is scheduled to perform at the Canadian International Airshow in Toronto. The accident has reignited debate in Canada over whether the team costs too much money and if the 30-year-old Tutor jets are getting too old to be safe. Last December, Snowbird Capt. Miles Selby died when his CT-114 Tutor jet crashed in a field near Mossbank, Saskatchewan, after a midair collision with a teammate's jet. The second pilot ejected safely. The team was grounded briefly but when investigators found no evidence of mechanical failure, they were back in the air.

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

Plans Move Forward For New Mexico Spaceport

New Mexico's new Spaceport Authority met for the first time last Wednesday to start making plans for a new commercial spaceport in the state. "Now we move into implementation," Spaceport Authority Chairman Rick Homans told after the meeting. A site of 27 square miles, about 45 miles north of Las Cruces, has already been designated as the Southwest Regional Spaceport. The Authority will begin work on an environmental impact assessment within the next month, Homans said, and hopes to have an FAA license to operate as a spaceport by the end of next year. Homans said the Spaceport Authority plans to work with private companies that "want to get in on the ground floor of this industry and become financial partners with the state in building and operating the spaceport." Michael Kelly, vice president of the X Prize Foundation, told the first meeting of the Spaceport Authority was "a milestone transition, from the decade-long efforts of the Spaceport Commission to an official, established spaceport program having the full commitment of the state." The New Mexico site has great potential for hosting commercial space tourism activities, Kelly said.

Progress Reported On LSA Maintenance Issues

FAA officials met with representatives from the sport-pilot industry last week at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh, Wis., to discuss maintenance issues for light sport aircraft (LSA). Progress was made in the ongoing effort to make it easier for schools to train repairmen. "The repairman and maintenance courses are among the final pieces remaining to complete the basic [LSA] infrastructure," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. The group agreed to use experts from the ultralight industry as instructors, and the FAA said it will allow class sizes of up to 25 students, which will make the courses more affordable. Among those at Oshkosh for two days of discussions were officials from FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the FAA Sport Pilot Office in Oklahoma City.

"During this meeting, EAA and industry officials emphasized to FAA the vital importance of effective and practical regulations for light-sport aircraft maintenance," said Lawrence. "Using safety and practicality as our cooperative goals, we made great progress to revise the previous policy that was first unveiled earlier this year." Currently, light-sport aircraft can be maintained and inspected by an FAA-certificated airframe-and-powerplant (A&P) mechanic or authorized repair station. However, the FAA rule also provides for individuals to earn a light-sport repairman/maintenance rating to do the maintenance and annual condition inspection for any light-sport aircraft, as well as other condition inspections. Lawrence expects a revised procedure to be available from FAA by the end of the year.

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

Banner-Towing Aircraft Meet Trouble On Both Coasts

With sunshine and beach traffic, it's high season for banner towing, but pilots have had a run of trouble this summer. Last week, pilot Blake Prosser, 24, lost power in his 1953 Piper Pa-18-105 and ditched into the ocean off Myrtle Beach. He escaped from the airplane and was quickly rescued, and the airplane was towed to shore. Earlier this month, a banner tower in the same region made a precautionary landing on a golf course after an oil light came on, and in May, two pilots died in a crash while practicing banner pick-up maneuvers. At Long Beach Airport, in California, a banner-towing company was banned from operation after two incidents in one weekend. One airplane lost its banner above a residential neighborhood; the banner hit power lines, triggering a power loss. Another airplane ditched off Rancho Palos Verdes. Nobody was hurt in either incident.

Flying Ranks As Most Dangerous Profession

Only loggers are as likely as pilots to get killed on the job, according to a report released last Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Both professions had a fatality rate of 92.4 per 100,000 workers for 2004, the BLS said, ranking above fisheries workers (86.4 per 100,000), and structural iron and steel workers (47 per 100,000). A total of 109 pilots died on the job. Of those, 22 were flight crew for airlines and 87 were commercial pilots. The numbers were down slightly from the 2003 data, when 114 pilots died on the job.


AeroShell Flight Jacket products are specifically designed for general aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning cloths. To order the best in shine and protection for your aircraft, go online to

On The Fly...

The FAA will hold a job fair Wednesday in Albuquerque to recruit new air traffic controllers...

Symphony Aircraft Industries, of Quebec, announced last week a cash infusion of $3.3 million to fuel company growth. The company builds the certified two-place Symphony 160...

Air Expo '05 set for this weekend, Sept. 3 and 4, at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland; the Blue Angels headline the show...

A new, not-yet-released report on the Concorde reportedly says safety oversight was inadequate in the years leading up to the fatal crash in Paris in 2000 and reiterates that in seven of the incidents "the fuel tanks were pierced with one or more holes" when tires failed…

A 1968 Cessna 172K, N79008, was stolen July 14 from New Braunfels, Texas; it was the sixth aircraft reported stolen this year. Contact the Aviation Crime Prevention Institute with information at 800-969-5473 or

ATC tapes released last week show confusion among controllers and pilots during a near-collision at Kennedy International Airport last month. An Israir passenger jet crossed a runway while taxiing, and an Airborne Express DC-8 that was taking off managed to lift off early to miss it...

The FAA last week said child-safety seats will not be required aboard airliners; the NTSB expressed dismay...

A government decision to spend $1 million on office space for airport staff in Saskatchewan met with opposition, but officials said that was the most cost-effective option.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Narco Avionics proudly announces the availability of their all-new Value Series plug-and-play line of Digital Transponders. The Value Series is designed for the cost-conscious owner. Narco's Value Series line of plug-and-play transponders includes the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through AT155), the AT165/KA/VS (a replacement for the KT76A/78A), and the AT165/K/VS (a replacement for the KT76/78). Coming Soon: Narco's AT165/C and AT165/C/VS, plug-and-play replacements for the ARC (Cessna) RT359A/RT459A. SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information, go to

New Articles and Features on AVweb

CEO of the Cockpit #48: If This Is Coffee, Bring Me Tea -- If This Is Tea, Bring Me Coffee
GA pilots know what it's like to try and survive on vending-machine food. But when you make it to the majors, you can count on first-class meals in flight and in the hotels. Well, maybe if you were a pilot in the 1960s ...

Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:

AVmail: August 29, 2005
Reader mail this week about flying with a broken wing, better vision with shaded contact lenses and more.

The Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual convention, seminars, and more. For less than a tank of fuel ($39 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. The CFA is now located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, WI — just 35 miles NW of Oshkosh. Join at

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

Pilot-inspired, German-engineered, and internationally renowned — that's the difference in Extra Aircraft's EA-300 and EA-500. All it takes is one flight in the EA-300, and you'll discover why so many world-champion aerobatic pilots choose Extra. Extra's certified, Rolls Royce-powered, 6-seat turboprop EA-500 is in a class all by itself. The only new technology cabin class airplane, the EA-500 averages 220 kts, gets 11 mpg, and costs less than $200/hr to operate. Find out more about both aircraft at

Short Final...

Courtesy of our sister magazine, IFR:

Returning home from the West Coast a few years ago, we landed in Flint Mich. The Midwest had weeks of rain and overcast skies that summer and I got this on departure...

"Bonanza Five Four Seven Zero Victor, when vou get on top would you look out to the southeast and tell me if you see a big bright light?"

-- Don Sanderson, Bear Creek, Pennsylvania

Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

In a joint promotion, Avidyne and Ryan International will give customers rebates from $500 to $2,000 when they purchase an Avidyne FlightMax EX500 Multi-Function Display (MFD) with Ryan's 9900BX Traffic Alerting System (TAS). There are four combinations of these fantastic avionics savings. This promotion ends October 31, 2005. For more information (and to order), go to
In addition to favorable rates, NAA cardholders will receive benefits including a discounted rate for NAA membership and aviation products. You may also qualify for no-cost accidental death and dismemberment coverage and aircraft damage reimbursement. NAA, the first national aviation association, receives a contribution from BankOne with every purchase made on the NAA Platinum Visa® Card. Those contributions help NAA preserve the heritage of aviation by supporting the presentation of prestigious awards and the certification of national aviation records. For more information — and for the 2004 Collier Winner — go to
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or car?  AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff.  Dr. Blue has assembled a traveling medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad.  It would cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale from Aeromedix for $333.  Order by calling (888) 362-7123, or go online at
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
You worked hard for your IFR ticket. Now protect it! IFR Refresher is the monthly that polishes your proficiency, challenges your knowledge, briefs you on changing regs, and keeps your decision-making skills sharp. Order today and you'll enjoy guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe!
Problem solved with Trans-Plata's Cockpit Voltage Converter. And for $69.95, it's affordable, too! For more information and to order, go to
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 laced with humor, and you'll be quickly captivated by the British narrator's voice. No more commuter blues; enjoy yourself and feel righteously up-to-date. For all Rod Machado's books, tapes, and CDs, order online at
Receive a complimentary Communications Reference Card with the purchase of any Comm1 Radio Simulator. Fly confidently by training with Comm1 Radio Simulators — unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Available in VFR, IFR, and Clearances on Request versions, Comm1 Radio Simulators let you experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics. Practice talking to ATC from the safety and privacy of your desktop. Order now for this special gift from Comm 1 at
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of FAA-certified tuned exhaust systems, have introduced a new "short stack" exhaust pipe for Piper PA-28 and Grumman AA5 series aircraft. The new STC'd short stack looks better while still providing up to 23 more available horsepower. For more information on this and the right tuned exhaust system for your aircraft, go online to
The August issue of Flying magazine also reports on "Metal Fatigue: Invisible Predator"; "The Lure of the Bush Pilot Mystique"; a "Learning IFR" series; and all the columnists you've come to respect and rely on. Order your personal Flying magazine subscription at special prices online at
There's more to flying than safely getting the plane from point A to point B, and more than shooting the perfect ADF approach or crosswind landing. There are deeper levels of engagement. Artful Flying shows how to fully experience those levels by opening doors to a whole new dimension of discovery — a richly rewarding world that will make you fly more safely and with more satisfaction. To see what celebrities are saying (and to order your copy), go to
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.

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to Have a comment or question? Send it to

Today's issue written by News Writer Mary Grady:
AVweb's editorial team:

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team:

Freedom, independence, responsibility.

AVflash is now available in optional easier-to-read graphic format, which includes some photos and illustrations. If you prefer, you can continue to receive AVflash in text-only format. Simply follow these instructions and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.