Number 40b — October 6, 2005|
this AVflash to a friend
viewing this AVflash? View it online.
To ensure that you continue to receive this newsletter, please add
firstname.lastname@example.org to your address
||This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by
... LightSPEED Aviation
WATCH IT NOW: LIGHTSPEED'S MACH 1 HEADSET VIDEO IS
The Mach 1 in-the-ear (ITE) headset offers up
to 40dB of passive hearing protection and a clean-sheet design that is
loaded with features and style. The magnesium alloy headset weighs in
at around one ounce and is equipped with a feather-weight gooseneck
boom and noise-canceling electret mic. Specially designed ear plugs
comfortably block noise before it has an opportunity to enter the ear
canal, and miniature high-fidelity speakers inside the plug deliver
crisp, clear voice and stereo music. The streamlined magnesium alloy
control box secures with a belt-clip and provides cell/satellite phone
and music interface, stereo/mono options, and volume control. The
first units begin shipping next week. To check availability and place
an order for LightSPEED's new Mach 1 headset, visit a
LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 today. Watch the video
The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
TAKES AIM AT AIRLINES, BANKRUPTCY, PENSIONS...
Bankrupt airlines may just be delaying the inevitable by walking away
from their pricey pension plans, according to a report released last
month by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report
(PDF file) says that even without the pension-contribution burden
($10.4 billion over the next four years) the so-called legacy carriers
may remain financially challenged unless they get their costs under
control. "... These airlines will have trouble meeting their various
financial obligations, regardless of whether they terminate their
pension plans," the report reads. Even without the pensions, the
average legacy carrier will continue to lose money (and pile up debt),
according to the GAO. More...
IN THE EQUATION...
Now, there's no news in the GAO's finding that legacy carriers have
higher costs than the budget airlines, and the GAO says it's in
cutting costs where the so-called big airlines will find their
salvation. In broad terms, the unit cost per available seat mile of
the budget carriers is 7.3 cents and the legacy carriers are paying 10
cents. With a 27-percent cost advantage, the budget lines can easily
undercut their competition. Matching fares with the likes of Southwest
and JetBlue is a recipe for losing money and the big airlines are
expected to lose up to $9 billion this year. More...
NUMBERS PLAY JUST A SMALL PART
Just what role do pensions play in the overall financial health of the
major airlines? Although the numbers are huge (airline contributions
will total about $10.4 billion over the next four years, assuming
they're made), the actual effect on the bottom line is minimal and
only accounts for 15 percent of the cost spread between the budgets
and the majors. However, the impact of default on employees,
especially pilots, can be enormous, or it may be negligible, depending
on time and circumstance. Pilots take a beating on two fronts.
PLANES, A NEW ERA FOR AIR RACING...
Will racing do for rockets in the 21st century what it did for
aviation in the early part of the 20th century? That's the hope of the
forward-thinking folks that brought you the Ansari X Prize. X Prize
founder Peter Diamandis, along with car-racing executive Granger
Whitelaw, have formed the Rocket Racing League, in which
rocket-powered planes will square off against each other in
head-to-head competition. Diamandis said that while the race series
will be tremendous spectator sport, it will also help advance private
exploration of space. He called the races "a critical commercial step
in opening up the space frontier." More...
EVOLUTION OF X PRIZE...
Rocket is being hailed as the prototype for the race aircraft and
it will be put through its paces at the Countdown to the X Prize Cup
in Las Cruces, N.M., Oct. 9. The EZ Rocket has been flying for three
years and uses a tiny alcohol-fueled rocket motor that can be started
and stopped in flight. "Crucial for rocket racing is the ability to
turn off and relight the engines," said Col. Rock Searfoss, a former
astronaut who will fly the EZ Rocket on Sunday. "I will do multiple
shutoffs and relights in Las Cruces to demonstrate where we're
headed." The racers will reach speeds of 200 to 300 mph (the
piston-powered unlimiteds and most of the sport class aircraft beat
that at the Reno Air Races) and Diamandis is promising a spectacle.
As with any other professional sport these days, success depends on
sponsorship and media deals. Whitelaw said there's a major TV network
interested and a soft drink company is talking with the organizers.
Hats, T-shirts and video games are also on the radar. There are even
plans for a reality TV series on the selection and training of rocket
racing pilots. Even the FAA seems enthusiastic about the idea. "The
Rocket Racing League takes the public awareness of rockets to a whole
new level," said spokeswoman Patricia Smith. She said the agency is
ready "to enable this business through an efficient and responsive
regulatory approach." More...
FRAUD -- REPORT: NO SHOTS FIRED AT HELI'S...
Remember the rage you felt when you heard last month from major news
outlets that people were taking shots at rescue helicopters over New
Orleans. A Knight Ridder investigation has revealed no evidence
whatsoever that any helicopter came under fire during the relief
effort. In one news conference, a Coast Guard spokeswoman told
reporters that the choppers came under fire every time they landed at
a hospital. Trouble is, none of the Coast Guard pilots seem to
remember taking fire. Now, it's not that there wasn't gunfire. Rescue
workers on the ground regularly heard shots. But directed at aircraft?
The Knight Ridder reporters couldn't find anyone who would confirm
those reports, which often led to the grounding of aircraft
desperately needed for rescue work. More...
PILOT" USES AVIATION IN LIE?
Police in Miami have charged a man who posed as a pilot working night
and day to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. The man allegedly set up
a bogus Internet donation site that fraudulently solicited donations
to buy fuel for rescue aircraft that did not exist. Internet postings
by the man claimed he was transporting to safety critically ill
children, "Seven months old and smiling the whole way, as if she
knew," according to the Miami Herald, and that he had tipped his wings
at Air Force One while flying by. The warrant for his arrest stated he
spoke by phone with a potential donor claiming he was in the cockpit
of an aircraft about to take off. During that call, he was interrupted
by "what appeared to be sounds from air traffic control" and told the
donor it would be his last flight if more money didn't arrive,
according to The Associated Press. Prosecutors say he made no such
flights and police say the nine-day scam netted about $40,000 over a
two-day peak. More...
COMPARE HEADSETS, RADIOS, AND GPSs
BUY AT THE BEST PRICES:
Only at Sporty's! Sporty's
Pilot Shop offers the finest selection of headsets, radios, and
GPSs from the brands you want: Bose, David Clark, LightSPEED, Telex,
Icom, Garmin, and more. You can compare all models side-by-side
with our exclusive shopping tools: The Radio Buyer's Guide; the GPS
Buyer's Guide; and the Headset Wizard. When you're ready to buy, you
can order with confidence all products are in stock and backed
by Sporty's Best Price Guarantee. Order by calling
800-SPORTYS, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/sportys/avflash.
CONFIRMS NEW PHANTOM SINGLE
Cessna has now officially announced what AVweb told you last week -- that it's
planning a "brand new, next generation" single-engine aircraft.
However, the company claims it doesn't know what such a plane might
look like. Spokesman Dick Ziegler told The Wichita Eagle that dealers
were briefed on the project last week at their annual meeting and were
asked for input on its design. "We are committed to maintaining
leadership in the single-engine piston field," Ziegler said. Cessna's
grip on that distinction is tenuous as Cirrus Design continues to
increase sales of its composite and glass SR series, which may have
prompted a comment from Cessna CEO Jack Pelton last month nicknaming
the new plane the "Cirrus Killer." More...
APPROVED FIX FOR NEAR VISION
The FAA More...
WHOLE LOT WAS ON FIRE" -- PILOT LANDS, ALIVE
An Australian crop-duster said he was only trying to save his own skin
when he landed his burning aircraft, by memory, on a dirt strip near
Deniliquin, New South Wales, last week. "I was just interested in
getting out," Fred Clipperton told a hospital spokeswoman in
Deniliquin. "I just flew her down. I switched her off and got out."
But apparently Clipperton is as gifted at understatement as he is at
flying. According to witnesses, the only part of the plane not on fire
when it landed was the tail and it didn't last much longer.
SYNTHETIC VISION COVERS PART 23
Your next commuter flight might be helped to its destination by
synthetic vision. Chelton Flight Systems has received FAA
certification of a new Approved Model List STC that covers all large
Part 23 aircraft, including commuter aircraft, for its synthetic
vision system. Among the planes that can now be equipped with the
"highway-in-the-sky" system are Beech 1900s, King Air 350s, Twin
Otters and a host of other jet and turboprop passenger aircraft. The
system combines a terrain database with satellite navigation and
electronic instrumentation into an Electronic Flight Information
System that gives the pilot a virtual view of the world outside. And
now NASA is studying the use of similar technology on big airliners.
TRAGEDY COMPOUNDED BY SAFETY MEASURE
Flight attendants trying to save a Cypriot airliner with an
unconscious crew on board were locked out of the cockpit -- by the
plane -- until it was too late to do anything, according to the Greek
assessment of a computer simulation of the flight. More than 100
people died when the Helios Airways Boeing 737 crashed near Athens
Aug. 14. The plane had some kind of pressurization problem shortly
after takeoff from Cyprus on its way to Athens and the flight crew
lapsed into unconsciousness. The plane continued on its programmed
route to a holding pattern off the coast of Greece and flew in circles
for two hours. Meanwhile, at least two flight attendants had stayed
awake using portable oxygen bottles but they couldn't get through the
locked, terrorist-proof cockpit door. It was only when one engine
failed from fuel starvation that the computer-controlled systems
aboard the plane unlocked the door. "Whoever was conscious in the
cockpit had only a few minutes to save the plane," Greek Chief
Investigator Akrivos Tsolakis told reporters. More...
POINTER BILL TABLED
It could soon be against the law to point a laser at an airplane.
Well, to be clear, it was always against one law or another
(interference with a flight crew being the most common one cited) but
the rash of laser incidents last year has prompted a Florida
congressman to craft a specific bill outlawing the practice. Under Rep. Ric Keller's
(R-Fla.) bill, which passed the House Judiciary Committee last week,
anyone who "knowingly aims a laser pointer at an aircraft" could face
up to five years in jail. More...
AEROMEDIX INTRODUCES A NEW MINI LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE
The Pocket CO carbon monoxide detector is the
smallest, most sensitive CO detector on the market. It fits in
the palm of your hand and weighs less than one ounce. The unit
will display CO levels as low as one part per million (1ppm) and has
alarm and visual features when levels exceed 25ppm. The
CO Experts 2004 and the Pocket CO low-level CO detectors
are available exclusively from Aeromedix.com. Low levels
of carbon monoxide can be extremely hazardous in aircraft, because the
effects of CO and hypoxia are cumulative. A small CO leak may be an
early warning sign of an impending life-threatening problem. Don't
take chances! Order today by calling (888) 362-7123, or
go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
TWISTED AIRBUS NOSEGEAR PICTURES-R-US
Monday, AVweb posted images that showed what happened to key
parts of the Airbus A320 that landed last month at LAX with its
nosegear twisted 90-degrees from center. Our link may have taken some
early readers to images showing the aftermath of an earlier
twisted-nosegear-landing incident, which also involved a JetBlue
Airbus ... one that landed at JFK in 2002. To relieve confusion and
enlighten inquiring minds, AVweb now has both sets of photos
available for your consideration. More...
RedBull's low-level aerobatic Air Race spectacle is live and online,
NASA offering online ground de-icing course...
Citation made off-airport emergency landing in Alaska, everyone
Eugene, Ore., dedicated new $16 million runway...
Force wants more room to train F-16 pilots in South
TwinStars delivered to Chinese flight school.
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...
AVIATION TECHNOLOGY GPS SWEEPSTAKES!|
Register to win a
Garmin® 296 GPS from P2 Aviation Technology. Learn more
about P2 products including TimeTrac, Audio Advisory, and
SkyBuddy. P2 products make your flying experience more convenient,
safer, and more cost-effective, leaving you more time for what you
love flying! Purchase a SkyBuddy Heading and
Altitude Reminder before December 31, 2005 for $285
mention this AVweb ad to save $60 off the regular price of
$345. Purchase a TimeTrac before December 31 and receive airport
database updates ($100 value) for one year at no additional
cost. Register to win the Garmin 296 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/p2inc/avflash.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Quiz #99 -- Step Up To
Congratulations, Mrs. Hollow, it's twins. Twice the power at four
times the expense lures the single-minded pilot into the multi-engine
PIC seat with a multitude of multi-faceted questions. So grab a
fistful of throttles and answer away.
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/
ADVANCED GARMIN GNS 530/430 COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING|
VFlite GNS 530/430 Advanced Training Series, now FAA
FITS-accepted, uses the award-winning VFlite training process
to teach challenging tasks on the GNS 530 & 430. Developed with input
from Garmin, FAA, and top CFIIs, the program builds confidence on a
wide variety of complicated IFR procedures. The solution for both
initial and recurrent training for only $99, it's available
on PC- and Mac-compatible CD-ROM. Learn more at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vflite/avflash.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to give you a quick eye test. Remember, you're
on the honor system. PLUS: Results of last week's Question on the
future of aviation in the U.S.A. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Welcome to another edition of AVweb's "Picture of the Week"! The
number of reader-submitted photos has dropped back to usual levels for
this time of year, but the variety and quality of pics remain high.
Did all our readers get together and collectively decide to submit
only their best photos? And if so, why didn't they invite us to the
party? We've been so good to everyone, giving away an exclusive AVweb
baseball cap to each week's number-one winner! Sigh. If we can't get
invited to reader parties, there's only one way to console ourselves:
Time to look through our latest batch of airplane pictures!
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
|ATTENTION, CESSNA OWNERS AND PILOTS|
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.
|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the
PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives 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 need for
just $9.95 a month. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
|LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE MAGAZINE SAVES OWNERS BIG
With your subscription to Light Plane
Maintenance, you will join thousands of savvy general aviation
owners who are saving big by doing it themselves! Each monthly issue
brings tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform
yourself, legally and easily. Order for big savings from the regular
rates at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lpm/avflash.
|FLYING'S OCTOBER COVER OF SPACESHIPONE INTRODUCES
Plus: "How to Manage the Stress of
Flying"; "Learning IFR Series" the fourth installment; a review
of Garmin's 396, best handheld GPS; and all the regular columns you've
come to expect from Flying magazine. Order your
subscription online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
YOU WITHOUT A PLANE? LOST YOUR MEDICAL? BUT STILL LOVE TO
You need to join PilotShareTheRide.com. This
unique site is offered at no cost to pilots and those who just love to
fly. You can share a ride and the costs, if you like! The site
is supported by advertisers just like AVweb so there are
no costs for membership. Check out PilotShareTheRide.com at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/share/avflash.
|HAVE A 24-VOLT AIRPLANE AND NEED 12
Problem solved with Trans-Plata's Cockpit
Voltage Converter. And for $69.95, it's affordable, too! AVweb
Special: No charge for U.S. domestic shipping! For more
information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/transplata/avflash.
MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO
CO Guardian has carbon monoxide detector
models from portable units to panel-mount units. Each unit's
solid-state sensors and temperature sensors (EMI-shielded to prevent
radio interference) are built in the USA and FAA-certified. Go online
to find the CO Guardian model right for your aircraft at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/avflash.
|ZD PUBLISHING INTRODUCES TWO NEW PILOT FRIENDLY
ZD Publishing is proud to introduce their latest
pilot-friendly manuals, GPS Operations on the Garmin
G1000 and The Garmin GPSMap 396. The G1000
manual covers all navigation options such as flight plans; DME arcs;
procedure turns; holding; OBS mode; RAIM prediction; measuring
distances; vertical navigation; user waypoints; GPS, VOR, and ILS
approaches; and page descriptions. The GPSMap 396 includes all
aviation functions such as routes, approaches, user waypoints, OBS
mode, vertical navigation, measuring distances, terrain, and MX
weather. It describes all the main pages and menu tabs. For more
information (and to order), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zdpub/avflash.
|PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the
book. ... It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read,"
states Fred Scott. "If one book could help you make the leap from a
bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is
probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the
help of this book, you will establish your own personal standard
operating practices for IFR, including incorporation of checklists,
flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method
of aircraft control. For more information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.
We Welcome Your
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 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a comment or question? Send
it to mailto:email@example.com.
Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
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:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.
Want to subscribe or unsubscribe? Review/update your AVweb Account?
Forgot your password? No problem! Simply go to our friendly Member