Number 37a — September 12, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PRICES PAST PEAK?
The bad news is, you've likely seen the price of avgas zipping upward
in the last two weeks, but the good news is, that upward trend seems
to have topped out, and by the end of last week many prices were
starting to backslide a bit. Paulo Santos, who has been tracking GA
fuel costs for eight years at AirNav.com, told AVweb last week that
although prices now are the highest he's seen, "At a few FBOs we are
now seeing some softening." He cited several examples of FBOs charging
$4.50 and up for 100LL midweek that were down to $3.99 by Friday,
while some highs still topped $6.00. Overall, of 1,617 FBOs reporting,
prices per gallon were up an average of 39.4 cents over two weeks,
Santos said. Prices went up $1 or more at 64 FBOs, and the largest
increase was $1.69. More...
IT COULD BE WORSE
"U.S. pilots don't appreciate how good life is to them," CFI Juergen
Boettcher wrote to AVweb last week. "In Germany we are
presently paying more than $9 per gallon of avgas. Most of that is
taxes, of course." Another way to look at the price hike is as just
one factor in overall operating costs. "If you are currently paying $4
for a gallon of avgas 100LL, and your price leaps [by 50 percent] to
$6, your overall expense will increase only by plus-or-minus 11
percent, approximately," Jeremy Cox, an aircraft mechanic, wrote
recently on GlobalAir.com. If that's cold comfort, advice on
fuel-saving methods abounds. Pilots can fly slower, carry less weight,
keep the airframe clean and waxed, and try to keep routes as direct
and efficient as possible. There are more creative solutions afoot.
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AIRBORNE AID WORKERS THWARTED...
Many who are trying to offer help to the devastated Gulf region are
still grounded. Dr. Aziz Kamali, a family practitioner in Stockton,
Calif., mobilized a volunteer group of 20 nurses willing to donate 7
to 10 days of vacation time to help out. Angel Flight America is ready
and willing to fly them there, but having gone through "proper
channels" as of Friday, Kamali still couldn't get the OK to leave. The
Louisiana governor's office has told him, "'We don't know where to put
you and how to use you,'" Kamali told The Stockton Record. They said they'll get back to
him. Dave Pechan, an Angel Flight pilot, told the Record that he was
grounded for a week, ready and willing, but unable to get approval to
AROUND KATRINA'S BUREAUCRACY...
Despite beauracratic obstacles, hundreds of volunteer pilots and their
GA aircraft are contributing to the relief effort. Civil Air Patrol pilots who live in Mississippi
fly all day and return at night to homes damaged by the storm. "These
people have drawn on some inner strength to get the job done," says
Maj. Owen Younger, who is overseeing operations in Jacksonville, Miss.
CAP cadets are helping out on the ground, checking on victims and
handing out thousands of pounds of basic supplies. Even the vintage
aircraft of the Commemorative Air Force are helping. A CAF R4D (a
Navy version of the DC-3) based in Lancaster, Texas, has been
delivering freight from Austin to Hammond, La. Most of the crew flying
the 60-plus-year-old airplane are age 70 and over. More...
FAA WORKS TO HANDLE TRAFFIC IN GULF REGION
The FAA said on Friday that all airports
in the region are operating, with the exception of New Orleans
Lakefront Airport, which was still under water. Louis Armstrong New
Orleans International Airport (MSY) and Stennis International Airport
in Bay St. Louis, Miss., are open only to relief efforts, and several
other fields are restricted to daytime and/or VFR only. Over the Labor
Day weekend, MSY was one of the nation's top five busiest airports,
with 3,300 flights per day, four times the usual traffic. The disaster
is also having an impact on aviation events scheduled for the area.
NBAA has moved its annual meeting from New Orleans to Orlando. And a
Stearman event has been cancelled. More...
FINE FOR MEIGS COMES DUE
The FAA last year fined the city of Chicago $33,000 for its
destruction of Meigs Field, and now it is time to pay up. On Aug. 31,
the FAA notified the city that the fine is due in 15 days, unless a
hearing is requested. The FAA is also investigating whether the city
improperly used $1.5 million in federal funds to demolish the
lakefront airport, The Chicago Tribune reported last week. That money
was derived from grants and airline passenger taxes and was supposed
to be used for repairs at O'Hare Airport. The FAA could order the city
to repay the money or impose penalties of up to $4.5 million, the
Tribune said. More...
ADIZ FOR NEW YORK -- UN EVENTS
Pilots flying in the New York City area this month will be affected by
multiple flight restrictions during events
surrounding the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, starting
tomorrow and extending through Sept. 28. The restrictions will include
two TFRs, a Flight Restricted Zone with a special set of restrictions,
and an outer ring designated as the New York Area Defense
Identification Zone, with its own set of restrictions. The
restrictions will affect traffic to at least 16 airports. For more
details, check NOTAMs. Also, AOPA has posted a plain-language interpretation. And since NOTAMs change, be sure
to check again before flying into the area. More...
JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN GPSMAP 396 SOURCE, IS
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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
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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
TO SILENCE NOISY AIRLINERS
An engineer working with the "Silent Aircraft Initiative" said in Dublin Friday
that advanced airliner designs using a blended-wing body could be
flying within 20 years, and would create less noise than background
traffic levels. Speaking at the British Association for the
Advancement of Science's annual festival, aerospace engineer Tom
Reynolds, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said
researchers are also experimenting with ways to make current aircraft
quieter (which may one day help keep more airports open). Flight tests
will start next year to try out a new, steeper landing approach that
would limit the amount of time planes spend at low altitudes. "It's
really a win-win from an operational point of view because you get
less noise and less fuel burn at low altitude," Reynolds said.
NTSB REPORT COULD MEAN NEW RULES
A new NTSB study of weather-related GA aviation accidents, which
AVweb told you about last week, could potentially lead to costly and
complex regulation, AOPA has warned. "The NTSB study itself helps
highlight the need for ongoing pilot training, but some of its
conclusions raise serious concerns," said AOPA President Phil Boyer in
a news release on Friday. "If the FAA were to implement any of the
recommendations, pilots could be faced with burdensome new
requirements that might not significantly improve safety." Several of
the study's nine recommendations, such as giving flight instructors
access to pilots' records, are of concern, AOPA said.
A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR
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:
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NOW INCLUDES FLIGHT-PLAN SERVICE
WSI Corp.'s Pilotbrief Pro product line of weather information
services for the cockpit now offers integrated FAA flight plan submission capability, the company
announced last week. Using a WSI system, pilots will now be able to
plot a flight route, evaluate the impact of weather on their flight
and, with one click, file their flight plan for approval with the FAA.
The upgrade is available free to all current Pilotbrief Pro and Pro
Online customers. "With the addition of flight plan submission, pilots
can quickly turn a route briefing into a filed flight plan -- a great
convenience and time saver," said Arlo Gambell, WSI director of
aviation services. Pilots using the system can combine route
information from their briefing with stored profile information to
more easily generate the form, WSI said. More...
LAUNCH SET FOR NEW MEXICO'S SPACEPORT
of Connecticut, will be the first company to launch a rocket from New
Mexico's Southwest Regional Spaceport, in March 2006. "This launch
will be a brilliant signal flare that will let the nation and the
world know New Mexico's spaceport is open for business," New Mexico
Gov. Bill Richardson announced last week. (We'll keep our eyes to the
Mojave skies for unexpected developments.) UP Aerospace will launch
its SpaceLoft rocket on a suborbital flight carrying seven
experimental and commercial payloads for a variety of scholastic and
business groups. After traveling into space, the rocket and its
payloads will land in the downrange area of the Spaceport.
ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS NEWS FROM
A new STC has been approved to McCauley
Propeller Systems for installation of a new three-bladed
propeller. Replace your old threaded propellers with the new
Blackmac propeller. The Blackmac provides operators with
an average weight savings of 10 pounds, longer TBOs, and fewer ADs
than other propellers available today. The Blackmac also comes
with a standard three-year warranty. For more information and an
authorized service center near you, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mccauley/avflash.
GREEK TRAGEDY'S LANGUAGE BARRIER
English was the only language shared by the German captain and Cypriot
co-pilot of the Helios 737 that crashed Aug. 14 near Athens, and they
had trouble understanding each other as they tried to interpret a
confusing series of alarms in the cockpit during climbout, The International Herald Tribune reported last
week. Citing unnamed sources close to the investigation, the Tribune
also reported that a maintenance crew that worked on the aircraft the
night before the flight left a pressurization controller rotary knob
out of place, and the crew didn't notice it during preflight checks.
Also, Boeing sent a notice to airlines saying it will revise its
manuals to stress to crews what the various alarms mean and how to
respond to them, the Tribune said. More...
NATCA says FAA is dragging out contract talks...
FAA testing new
wind shear-detection technology at Las Vegas...
Feds say American
Airlines failed to investigate a fuel leak...
Chelton to provide
glass cockpits for Bell Helicopter 407...
The Flight 93 Memorial
Project has chosen a design for a memorial...
wrapped a flight-test phase for its SJ30 light jet. More...
WINGX FOR THE POCKET PC, VERSION 1.7
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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 email@example.com. You're a part
of our team ... often, the best part. More...
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
September 12, 2005
Reader mail this week about user New
York controllers, New Jersey FSS, your GPS and more.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
From The CFI #9: Mentor, Mentor,
Who Has The Mentor?
Some pilots like to tell horror stories of
times they got themselves out of trouble with their great stick
skills. But the older pilots sitting thoughtfully to the side,
chuckling at the boasting, are the ones you might want to seek out and
hear their experiences. AVweb's Linda Pendleton has thoughts about
mentors in this month's column.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly Business
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DA40 DIAMOND STAR A FLEET FAVORITE
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
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Falling on deaf ears...
Airline: New York Center, Bizmumble 123, inbound from
across the pond. How are you today?
Center: Well ... I'm working on a holiday.
Airline (indignantly): You're barkin' up the wrong tree,
|Sponsor News and
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the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
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|DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE MONITOR YET? GET READY
Low levels of carbon monoxide can be extremely
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BUSCH'S SAVVY SEMINAR IS COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU!|
the next 12 months, aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch will
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH
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|WHICH SIX-PLACE RETRACTABLE HAS THE BEST SAFETY
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MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO
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|HAVE A 24-VOLT AIRPLANE AND NEED 12
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|IFR MAGAZINE'S OCTOBER ISSUE
"Circling with Precision" the math is
less scary than unlit towers at night; "What Makes the Bumps"
flying smarter in turbulent air; "Don't Kiss the King Air" the
pilot who prevents the aluminum rainfall; "Victor Airways No More"
congestion relief via GPS; "Learning a Navigator" some
focused study pays off; plus, ATC tools that don't work in the rain,
precision approaches that aren't precise, GPS approaches that no one
can fly, and clearances the pilot can't readback. Order your
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