NewsWire Complete Issue

November 2, 2005
By The AVweb Editorial Staff

This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation

LightSPEED Aviation, based in Portland, Oregon, will be heading south to display their full line of aviation headsets — including the new Mach 1 in-the-ear headset — at this week's AOPA Expo in Tampa, Florida.  Attendees will have the opportunity to experience LightSPEED's innovative features, including cell phone/music interface, supreme comfort, and outstanding noise attenuation.  If you plan on attending this year's Expo, stop by booths #308 and #420 for a demonstration of the full LightSPEED line, including the all-new Mach 1.  For more information on LightSPEED headsets, visit

Introducing Avidyne TAS 600 with Ryan Active Surveillance

TSA Closes D.C.-Area Airport...

Potomac Airfield "Not In Compliance"

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Tuesday informed Potomac Airfield -- one of three small GA airports in the Washington area that operate under special post-9/11 security regulations -- that its security program has been suspended, effectively closing down operations. "The airport was told it is not in compliance with its approved security plan," TSA spokesman Darrin Kayser told AVweb yesterday. "We had told them they were not meeting certain criteria, and then did a spot check over the weekend, and found they are still not in compliance." Exactly what those measures are that were supposed to be followed, or what the transgressions were, the TSA will not discuss. "Planes utilizing this airfield, which is a part of the Maryland Three group [Potomac Airfield, College Park Airport, and Washington Executive/Hyde Field], fly in close proximity to many key assets and critical infrastructure in the DC metropolitan area," the TSA said on Tuesday, in a news release announcing the closure of the field.

In February 2005, the TSA assumed management of a program that allowed the three airports to continue operations under a rule that was created specifically for them, due to their location within the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), which extends to approximately a 15-mile radius from the Washington Monument. (The FRZ is separate and distinct from the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that extends at its widest point to 90 miles and is currently being considered in an FAA rulemaking.) The rule also grants access to pilots not based at the Maryland Three airports if they comply with the TSA-mandated security requirements and procedures. The TSA said it routinely monitors these airports to ensure compliance through regular inspections and communications with the airport security coordinator. Operations at College Park and Washington Executive/Hyde Field are not impacted by the suspension of the Potomac Airfield security plan.

...Airfield Owner Defiant...

David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac Airfield, told AVweb yesterday that he is working to get the situation rectified. He says the security procedures he has put into place at Potomac are not exactly those prescribed by the TSA plan, but in fact are enhanced. "It's like if they told you to use 25-watt light bulbs and instead I put in 100 watts," he said. "It's not what is in the plan, but it meets and exceeds what is in the plan." He also said that he's been caught in a Catch-22 because the TSA says the only approved procedures are the ones they sign off on, but then the agency won't sign off on any of his requests for revisions to enhance the procedures. Wartofsky added that he is working through the White House and Congress to try to get clarification of whether the TSA has the authority to dictate to him what is acceptable for what he says is a "private security plan" that he has implemented in addition to the plan required by the TSA. "There's no precedent for all this weirdness," Wartofsky said. Kayser, of the TSA office, said: "Security for the national capital region is a shared responsibility. We must take steps to work together."

...And 90 Airplanes Grounded

About 90 airplanes are on the ground at the airport and about 400 pilots have passed the necessary security procedures to operate there. A plan is in place to allow those airplanes to be flown off the field tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. (Hopefully, nobody had other plans.) Wartofsky said he is hopeful that a mutually agreeable solution to the problem can be reached soon and the airport will be back in operation. "The agency will continue to work with the Potomac Airfield staff on the issues surrounding the suspension," the TSA said in its news release. Pilots in need of more information from the TSA regarding Potomac Airfield, including aircraft relocation plans, should contact TSA program manager Dirk Ahle at (571) 227-1898. The toll-free hotline for GA pilots is (866) GA-SECUR.

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It's Show Time -- AOPA Expo Starts Today...

Light Sport Aircraft On Display

With two GA shows in Florida coming up back-to-back, we can only hope that the hurricane season is really over. So far, the weather is looking great for Tampa, where the three-day AOPA Expo opens today. U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta will open the show, as guest speaker for this morning's general session. Sixteen Light Sport Aircraft are on display at Peter O. Knight Airport, with demo flights available. The show also includes over 500 exhibitors, 75 technology seminars, and lots more airplanes. AVweb's Russ Niles is there, and will bring you all the news live from Florida in your next issue of AVflash, on Monday. Also on the agenda is a panel discussion on the future of GA with Dan Johnson of LSA Marketing, Alan Klapmeier of Cirrus Design, and Vern Raburn of Eclipse. If you plan to fly in to AOPA Expo, you can land at either Vandenberg, Tampa International, or Peter O. Knight. Be sure to check with AOPA to review the arrival procedures before you fly.

...Avidyne and Ryan Announce Merger...

Avidyne and Ryan International will today make a series of announcements including a merger agreement that translates to the coming addition of active traffic surveillance to Avidyne's product lines. The merger will transform Ryan's Ohio headquarters into Safety Systems Group, to be maintained by Avidyne. Paul Ryan, who invented the Stormscope weather system and collision avoidance systems in 1981 founded Ryan International, serving as it's CEO -- he now will serve the company as a consultant. "Our combined resources will accelerate the process of bringing innovative and affordable new products to the market," Ryan said through a press release. New product releases followed that announcement. Three products in the TAS600 series, range from $9,990 to $20,990 and offer active traffic detection from a 7 nm range to a 21 nm range. "When interfaced with Avidyne’s Entegra, EX500, EX5000, and MHD displays, TAS600s provide transponder squawk codes, as well as N-numbers of Mode S equipped aircraft (in US airspace), making it even easier to identify specific targets." Higher-end offerings available through the MHAS6000 series provide hazard avoidance packages with weather, active traffic alerting, terrain and situational awareness. Pricing on that line starts just under $17,000 and runs through $33,000.

...New BizJet To Be Revealed At NBAA Convention Next Week

NBAA's annual convention is coming up in Orlando next week, and a brand-new company will be there to unveil its plans for a brand-new bizjet. The Spectrum 33, a 10-seat, all-composite twin turbofan, is the latest contender to enter the growing small-jet market. The aircraft, about the size of a Cessna CJ2, will cruise at 415 knots, weigh 7,300 pounds and carry two Williams FJ33-4A engines. Renderings at the company's Web site show a cockpit with sidestick controls. The engines are mounted on the aft fuselage. FAA certification is projected for 2007 or 2008. The jet is under development by Spectrum Aeronautical, a new company based in Encinitas, Calif., under the leadership of Linden Blue. Blue is a former CEO of Beechcraft, who oversaw the Starship project there. A prototype aircraft is reportedly already in the works. More details are promised at next week's news conference in Orlando. The huge NBAA convention, which expects to attract about 30,000 visitors with 1,000 exhibitors and 110 aircraft on static display, was quickly moved from its scheduled venue in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Guest speakers will include Ellen Engleman Conners of the NTSB, astronaut Gene Cernan, and legendary pilots Scott Crossfield and Bob Hoover. Over 75 forums are scheduled. And of course all the aviation companies will have updates on their latest projects. AVweb's Jeb Burnside will be in Orlando to file a special edition of AVweb's BizAV newsletter, which will appear in your inbox on Friday Nov. 11. (If you're not a BizAV subscriber, you can sign up today ... it's free ... or check the online version for updates.)


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NTSB Report Exonerates Pilot...

Two Died In Fiery Crash

It's unusual for the NTSB to complete its investigation of a GA accident and find no fault with the pilot. But in its probable-cause report on a September 2002 crash in New Jersey, issued last week, the safety board found that a bad bolt caused the engine of a Piper Saratoga PA 32R-301T to stop without warning, and put none of the blame on the pilot's handling of the ensuing emergency. Mike Kirkley and his wife, Sandy, of London, Ontario, died when their airplane crashed and burned in a wooded residential neighborhood. Their two young sons were rescued by bystanders and survived. The Kirkleys were well-known in their home region, where she was a leading orthopedic surgeon and he was a former football star who had built a successful communications company.

...Faulty Part, FAA Blamed

The probable cause, says the NTSB, was improper manufacturing of a crankshaft bolt that was supplied by Champion Bolt Corp. About two weeks after the crash, Lycoming issued a Service Bulletin to replace bolts on certain 540-series engines, and in October 2002, the FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive to also replace the bolts. An earlier AD had mandated replacement of the bolts in helicopters. The NTSB report also cited as a "causal" factor that Lycoming had failed to remove the bolts from all of its fixed-wing engines, although four years had passed since the bolts had first been identified as flawed. The FAA's inaction on the matter also was cited as a factor in the accident. The bolts had been known to fail twice in helicopters in 1998, once in a Piper Saratoga in 1999, twice in Royal Jordanian Falcon trainer airplanes in 2000 and 2001, and again in a Piper Saratoga in June 2002, the NTSB said. In September 2002, the fatal New Jersey accident occurred.


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Cessna Getting Loud About Big Changes

Cirrus Design's one airframe may be pressing production and design at Cessna. As Cirrus practically matches deliveries with Cessna, Cessna Aircraft CEO Jack Pelton confirmed last week what his company has been leaking -- Cessna is planning to not only produce a new design, but to revamp its line of single-engine aircraft, "to be competitive." "We're working real hard on it," Pelton told The Wichita Eagle. Cessna spokesman Dick Ziegler told AVweb Tuesday that changes are in the works but insists no further details are available just yet. "We're studying designs, materials, and technologies, we're analyzing available data, and we're getting customer feedback," he said. "We are committed to retaining our leadership in the single-engine market ..." and "We'll announce and go forward when the leadership is ready," he said. The company has said that its new products will continue to be built in Kansas. Cirrus, which has become the strongest threat to Cessna's single-engine four-place dominance, welcomes the competition. "I think it will be good for aviation and good for pilots," Cirrus VP of Marketing John Bingham said recently. Any time new products that enhance safety and performance are introduced, the industry as a whole benefits, he said. The latest numbers from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association showed that Cirrus delivered 447 single-engine four-place aircraft in the first three quarters of 2005, compared to 424 for Cessna.

EAA, Members Of Congress, Log In On ADIZ

The clock has run out on time allotted for comments regarding the FAA's proposal to create a permanent flight-restricted area over Washington, D.C., and in the final pushEAA weighed in with 39 pages of remarks. That was added to the more than 17,680 comments the site listed as logged. "EAA ... strenuously asserts that converting the current ADIZ into a permanently restricted area is a very bad idea and an even worse precedent," said EAA President Tom Poberezny, in a news release on Tuesday. "This proposal does nothing to enhance security while it eviscerates the general aviation infrastructure in that area." Also, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which has direct control over the FAA, has requested public meetings with Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security officials on the matter, and it has asked for an extended comment period, according to AOPA. The FAA proposal, which has drawn opposition from just about every national aviation organization, would convert the existing Air Defense Identification Zone into a permanent Special Flight Rules Area, severely restricting general aviation activities in a wide region within 50 miles of the nation's capital.

Some of EAA's points include: This is the first airspace proposal whose sole focus is to deprive Americans of their right to have access to the National Airspace System ... It specifically targets recreational and general aviation pilots ... It is the latest in a disturbing trend where specific agencies and even private corporations have superceded FAA's authority to manage airspace ... A multitude of flight safety and economic threats in the affected region remain under the proposal and, in a number of cases, are worse ... and more. The official comment period ended yesterday ... unless that changes. To read the comments now filed, go to the Docket Management System, type in 17005 and click on Search.


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AOPA Warns User Fees Could Reduce Oversight Of FAA

The way the FAA now is funded, Congress has some control over the purse strings. But if the agency gets it way and user fees and privatization prevail, that important oversight function could be wrested from the hands of elected officials, AOPA warns. AOPA made its comments last week in response to an FAA document on funding ATC and other critical components of the nation's aviation system. "Instead of imposing user fees to fill perceived shortfalls, the FAA should work with the aviation community to find cost savings by eliminating FAA services that are no longer needed and to identify creative ways to fund the capital improvements needed to modernize the air traffic control system," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The FAA must be very careful not to advance funding policies that would dismantle the air transportation network," he added. "Virtually every citizen in the country benefits from this system that is so crucial to the nation's economy -- whether or not they ever fly." AOPA has argued that user fees would disproportionately impact general aviation pilots, who are the only system users who must pay out of their own pockets, while the airlines can transfer their costs to passengers. AOPA's comments were filed in response to a document titled "Questions on Future Funding of the Air Traffic Control System, Other Aviation System Components, and Related Issues" that was recently published in the Federal Register.

Global Expansion For Bombardier

It's a small world, and the aviation industry is globalizing and outsourcing -- Mexico has attracted Raytheon for wire harness work and Cessna has announced plans to follow. Last week, Bombardier Aerospace announced it will open a manufacturing plant in Queretaro, Mexico, in an effort to cut operating costs and boost profits. The company will invest about $200 million there over the next seven years. The new facility will manufacture and assemble wire harnesses for Bombardier aircraft. Will the change mean jobs lost in the company's current workforce? Bombardier said it is "in the process of evaluating the impact of the transfer of these activities." By late next year, the new facility is scheduled to start manufacturing major structural aircraft components currently being built by Bombardier Aerospace suppliers. By the end of 2006, employment at the Queretaro facility is expected to reach 300 workers and increase to 600 by the end of 2007.

The Lancair Company has re-branded itself as Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The manufacturers of the Columbia 350 and Columbia 400, the world's fastest certified piston aircraft, made the change as part of an ongoing campaign to develop a unique identity for these premium aircraft. The schedule for the Fly Columbia Tour, an interactive Columbia experience, is posted online at

International Air Rally Draws 38 Aircraft

A diverse group of GA pilots from North America and Europe, flying Cessna 172s, a turbo Maule on floats, a Piper TriPacer, a Pilatus PC-12, and more, gathered in Canada in August for a week of competitive flying. The fliers covered 2,200 nautical miles, visiting Hudson Bay, Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec. The rally has been held every summer since 2001. This year's rally was unique, organizers said, for its North Canadian experience, hospitality from the Cree Communities, and the successful cross-border experience into Maine. The 2006 rally, to be held Aug. 3-12, will launch in Minnesota and will take pilots to remote territories of Ontario, Quebec and Labrador. A documentary about this year's event is scheduled to be shown on Canada's TSN channel on Nov. 12.

Aviation Consumer Wants Your Input On Vortex Generators

Does your airplane have vortex generators? If so, our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, would like to hear from you for a report the magazine is doing on these clever little modifications. Drop us an e-mail and we'll contact you.

On The Fly...

A P-51 Mustang allegedly flew low across Washington-Grizzly Stadium before Montana's football game with Cal Poly on Oct. 22. The FAA is looking for witnesses...

Got a bunch of extra dollars to spend? A company is offering hot-air balloon tours of Europe -- just $81,000 for 52 days and seven countries...

The U.S. Air Force is performing icing tests in Tennessee for Airbus A380 engines...

Preliminary NTSB reports on Teterboro bizjet crash raise questions about crew decisions and training...

UltraFlight Radio Show, a weekly discussion of ultralight and sport flying news, now available online as a podcast.

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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.

New Articles and Features on AVweb

Quiz #100 -- New Stuff, Old Stuff
In this -- the 100th Brainteaser quiz -- we cast a net across the vast sea of aviation knowledge to snag what's old, new, and even a little blue while challenging your crosswind technique.


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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

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AVweb's Question of the Week ...


With jet prices dropping and manufacturers promising even more affordable models in the future, AVweb wondered just what our readers' "magic number" might be.  How low would jet prices have to fall before AVweb readers started buying?

That's the question we put to our readership last week, and the answers we received were all over the economic spectrum.

15% of you chose not to play our version of The Price Is Right, saying you'd just as soon stick with your piston, thankyouverymuch.

A very small 4% of our readership said they were ready with their down payment if we could get them a jet for a cool million.  Slightly more of you (7% of those who responded) started to run the numbers when we got the price down to $800,000.  As we took another $200K off the price, interest started to rise considerably:  14% of our readers were willing to consider it at $600,000, and another 12% at $400,000.

A significant portion of our readers (another 15%) said they'd be interested in an aircraft share for $100,000 if we could wrangle that.

And the largest number of respondents this week (still only 33%) said we were off our collective rocker to consider dropping that much money on a fancy jet-engine aeroplane.

Needless to say, we won't be having an "Everything Must Go" clearance on AVweb jets this holiday season ... .


They've closed Potomac.

This week, AVweb wants to hear your reactions to the closing of Potomac Airfield, one of a handful of small GA airports operating in the vicinity of Washington, D.C.

Click here to answer this week's question.

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to

This address is only for suggested QOTW questions, and not for QOTW answers or comments.
Use this form to send QOTW comments to our AVmail Editor.

From master developers for 8.03 acres of mixed-use land at the busy southeast corner of the airport.  GA commercial opportunities could include aircraft maintenance, avionics, charter, aircraft management and rental, restaurants, rental car facilities, or any combination thereof.  A mandatory pre-proposal conference is December 5, 2005.  Contact Dennis Rouleau at (847) 537-2580; or, for the complete RFP, go online to

White Sands, NM for dunes, rockets, balloons, and sand boarding; Santa Monica, CA for sunbathing, surfing, and sushi; Columbus, OH to show off flowers, the John Glenn Institute, and the Jack Nicklaus Museum; Bar Harbor, ME, which sports colorful island views, fishing, biking, hiking, and kayaking; Astoria, OR, where Lewis and Clark met the Pacific and where history abounds today; Dolores Point, CO for hundred-mile views; and Winter Haven, FL for a tour of Jack Brown's Seaplane Base. Don't miss a single issue of Pilot Getaways. Order your subscription online at

AVweb's Picture of the Week ...

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions

Current POTW Winner | Past POTW Winners

In a nutshell: You send us pictures. We're flabbergasted and amazed by your talent. We argue a bit and eventually decide to send just one of our contributors a spiffy new AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you." Then we run as many photos as the bean-counters and our tight production schedule will allow right here (on this very page!) so you can be flabbergasted and amazed, too. If that sounds like your cup of tea, welcome to AVweb's "Picture of the Week"!

Used with permission of Steve Ratchford

"Relief Efforts in Pakistan"
Steve Ratchford of Norcross, Georgia
sent us a couple of photos taken during
Pakistani relief runs, but this was our favorite.
It was "sent by a friend's brother on a business
trip," writes Steve. "His tent was set up
next to this plane while it ran all night."

Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of readers who submit photos.


AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up. Click on the links below to view larger versions.

Used with permission of George Mock

George Mock
of Windsor, Ontario (Canada)
pops up in our "POTW" submissions from time to
time, and he's always got a treat for our eyes. We
were a bit surprised to see his name on this photo, as
it's a slight departure from the last few action-packed
photos we got from George. But once we read his
comments, we realized there was plenty of action
going on here, too: "The camera was stretched at
arm's length and held backwards, guessing and hoping
to have Denis [the pilot in command] lined up in the lens. ...
[U]sed was an Olympus E-300 with 14-45 lens at 1/400
and a good grip on the camera strap."

Bonus Pictures

Those first three were good stuff, right?
So why stop now? Let's keep rolling ... !

Used with permission of Jean Paul Morel

"Thunderbirds in Guatemala"
Just when we thought we'd seen the
Fabulous Thunderbirds in every possible
context we could hope for, here comes this
spectacular photo of the 'birds in front of
Agua Volcano, taken at the Guatemalan
Air Show on October 26, 2005, courtesy of
Jean Paul Morel
from (where else?) Guatemala.
Nice work, Jean Paul!

copyright © Paul T. Gernhardt
Used with permission

"Sea Plane Preflight"
Paul Gernhardt of Ashburn, Virginia
is gonna be one waterlogged pilot when
he finally comes up for air! As a companion to
last week's wrecked DC-3 photo (back story here),
Paul sent us "another of my favorite sea planes."
So is this a hobby of yours, Paul? And how many
more of these amazing photos can we drag out
of you before we have to send you a hat? :P

Used with permission of David Johnson

"Now That's Fast"
David Johnson of McDonough, Georgia
caught this F-86 in mid-flight while it was making
a low pass at the Great Georgia Air Show "to wow
the audience." For the record, it wowed some
AVwebbers who were too busy typing away in their
darkened offices to attend any shows this year.

Used with permission of David Alger

"Alaskan Glacier from 12,000 Feet"
Finally, David Alger of Lago Vista, Texas
sees us out with one of our favorite black-and-white
landscapes. David snapped this grand image
while flying over the glaciers in Alaska this summer.

These are not to be confused with the glaciers in
Arkansas — which, we understand, are
pretty nice in their own right.

Thanks to all those who kept us honest
this week and otherwise kept us entertained
and educated with their letters and e-mails.

To enter next week's contest, click here.

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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

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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
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