Number 48b — December 1, 2005|
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The Top Headlines From
AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
SAYS ATC TALKS STALLED...
On Monday, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said contract talks have stalled
with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), and
called for federal mediation to help the two sides reach an agreement.
NATCA's current proposal "does not recognize the hard realities of an
industry that is in financial trouble, real taxpayer concerns, and the
fiscal challenges confronting this agency," Blakey said at a press
conference. "After months of negotiation and extensive review of key
issues, they just aren't moving on the issues at the heart of the
negotiations," she said. Those issues include pay, scheduling, and
work rules. More...
NATCA spokesman Doug Church told AVweb on Tuesday that the FAA
action amounts to "a grandiose publicity stunt." Four and a half
months is not much time to spend on a such a big, complex contract, he
said the last contract took over a year to negotiate -- and
NATCA had already scheduled talks with the FAA well into February.
"The administrator had an idea that we should be done by Christmas,
but that was never part of this deal," he said. Blakey's action
"exposes the true agenda of the FAA," Church said to derail the
negotiations and send the contract to Congress. Once the talks are in
mediation, either side can declare an impasse if progress stalls.
"Then Congress has to act within 60 days on the proposals from each
side which they won't and then, FAA can impose their
'last best offer,'" Church said. More...
GOOD LUCK TO THAT MEDIATOR
FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb yesterday that while
"progress is a subjective term," there has been virtually no movement
on the substantive issues of the contract, in particular salaries and
work rules. He said it is the FAA's goal to reach a voluntary
agreement, which would be in everyone's best interest. But by calling
for a mediator, the hope is to catalyze some forward motion.
Ultimately, both sides need to agree to mediation, he said, and so far
NATCA does not want to take that step. "We hoped that a mediator would
get the two sides more fully engaged," Martin said. "The heart of it
is, can we sustain the current contract, plus increases, plus improve
the system and hire 12,500 new controllers?" More...
NEW MACH 1 HEADSET BY LIGHTSPEED: SMALLER CAN BE
Good things can come in small packages. The "born to
be worn" Mach 1 packs a lot for its size. After years of pilot input,
LightSPEED has introduced the Mach 1, a high-performance
in-the-ear headset. Connect to a host of accessories including
cell phone and music interfaces. Get supreme comfort with unbelievable
noise attenuation. The Mach 1 is ready for a flight across the country
or a short hop to your favorite restaurant. To order, contact a
LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST business hours).
View the 60-second Mach 1 video at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/video/avflash.
PAY AND PENSIONS: DELTA'S DAY IN COURT...
Delta Air Lines is in deep financial trouble, everyone agrees
the company has already lost over $2.6 billion this year -- but
whether that trouble is due to market forces beyond the airline's
control or bad decisions by management is now being worked out in
federal bankruptcy court in New York. Delta is trying to convince the
court that it needs to cut labor costs in order to survive a
position opposed by its pilots, who say that if the court lets Delta
void their contract, they'll strike. The pilots have offered $90.7
million in concessions, but the airline wants to impose $325 million
in wage cuts. This week, Judge Prudence Carter Beatty asked Delta to
defend its decision to spend $2.4 billion to buy back its own shares
before it filed for bankruptcy in September, The
Associated Press reported. More...
JUDGE KEEPS IT LIVELY
Judge Beatty has made a few remarks that raised eyebrows, even before
the trial started, and the Air Line Pilots Association, which
represents Delta's pilots, tried to get her to recuse herself from the
case. She reportedly said it was "really weird" that anyone had agreed
to pay such "hideously high" pilot salaries in the first place. She
also said the only "good thing" about pilots is they must retire at
age 60. But in response to ALPA, she said the remarks were just jokes,
and declined to step down. Sources familiar with Beatty told USA Today that despite her eccentricity,
she's a "brilliant" judge. More...
MORE RESTRICTED AIRSPACE OVER D.C. AREA
A brand-new restricted area, with a radius of one nautical mile, has
been established above Vice President Dick Cheney's new home on the
Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, about 30 miles east of Washington. The
airspace, designated as of Nov. 22, is in force at all times, whether
or not the vice president is in residence. AOPA has complained that
the airspace is already congested and the restrictions shouldn't be
imposed any more often than necessary. Cheney's official residence is
on the grounds of the United States Naval Observatory in Northwest
Washington, which is under permanently restricted airspace.
NEARS FOR WOLF AVIATION FUND GRANTS
Have an idea to promote aviation safety, education, or GA airports?
The Wolf Aviation Fund wants to hear about it, and
they have small-scale grants available to help support your endeavor.
The process is fairly informal, and the deadline is Dec. 15. Proposals
are welcome from individuals and nonprofit groups. More than 100
projects have received funding in the last few years. Last year, the
fund supported about 40 projects, including organization of the
Leadership Conference for Aviation and Space Education; production
of a video that promotes Idaho's wilderness airstrips; two safety
projects for volunteer pilot organizations; and a new Girl Scouts
program that works with Women in Aviation International to encourage
young women to get involved in aviation. More...
AIRCRAFT SPRUCE CARRIES
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty
has your Plane-Power Alternator in stock. Alternators are
FAA/PMA-certified to replace the vast majority of popular general
aviation alternators. These alternators offer significant
improvements: They generate substantially higher power at lower engine
RPMs, they generate significantly less heat while producing rated
power, they generate rated power at typical aircraft cruise RPMs,
their vastly improved balancing drastically reduces bracket failure,
and greater reliability offers significantly increased service life.
Alternators are warrantied for two years against component failures.
Finally, you have an alternative to high-priced,
marginally-performing, rebuilt used replacement aircraft alternators.
Call 1-877-4SPRUCE, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/spruce/avflash.
UPSIDE OF THE DOWNSIDE -- REGIONALS FLOURISH
"They're cash-flow machines," analyst Ray Neidl, of Calyon Securities,
told The Associated Press about regional airlines, in a
Tuesday story. Although not all regionals are doing well, Mesa doubled
its profit over the last fiscal year, Skywest profits are up 41
percent and Republic is up by 63 percent. Many of the regional
carriers operate under contracts with major airlines, which guarantee
minimum revenues and pay some costs, and the regionals don't have the
expensive union contracts and pension obligations of the majors. "We
have a good business model ... we're cost effective," Mesa CEO
Jonathan Ornstein told the AP. More...
TWIN LOSES INSTRUMENTS, BUT A-10 PILOT HELPS OUT
The pilot of an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt helped guide a pair of
pilots in a Piper light twin to a safe landing after their radios and
instruments failed in the clouds over Germany, Stars & Stripes reported on Tuesday. Twenty
minutes after taking off from The Netherlands on Nov. 15, an
electrical wire in the Piper Chieftain broke. Pilot Naim Fazlija and
co-pilot Artan Berisha, who had five passengers on board heading for
Switzerland, used a handheld radio to send a Mayday to German air
traffic controllers. Minutes later, controllers sent help: a U.S. Air
Force A-10 Thunderbolt piloted by Maj. Peter Olson. "It just pops out
of the clouds and I was like, 'Wow, incredible,'" Berisha told Stars &
CAN LEARN G1000 ON A LAPTOP
If a new Garmin G1000 cockpit is on your holiday shopping list -
or even if you just wish it were - now you can start learning
all the details about how to use it before you get into the air, using
a CD-ROM course on your home computer. King Schools this week released
a new interactive four-hour program, "Cleared for Flying
the Garmin G1000." After finishing the course, pilots will not
only understand and be able to use the enormous capabilities of the
glass cockpit G1000, but they'll also know the quickest and most
efficient way to do things and how to avoid the "gotchas" that can lie
in wait for the unprepared, said Martha King. More...
ENTERS STOCK MARKET
German company that has attracted a lot of attention with its diesel
engines for small aircraft, now is offering shares in the stock
market. The company made its initial public offering on Nov. 17, with
a share price of 13.50 Euros, and rose 2.2 percent on the first day of
trading. Interest in diesel power has been growing, since the engines
are efficient and economical, and sales rose 55 percent in the first
nine months of this year. The U.S. military has ordered engines from
Thielert for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Diamond uses them in its DA40
and DA42 TwinStar. The IPO was expected to raise as much as $173
million, which the company plans to invest in expanding in the U.S.
The DoD will continue to produce its FLIP charts...
launch its rocket in mid-December...
The Douglas DC-3 will be celebrated at San Carlos, Calif....
Detroit-area home was hit by falling aircraft debris...
House staff jet Saturday made an emergency landing...
institutions are seeking holiday donations. More...
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...
|AVEMCO IS COMMITTED TO SAFETY AND
Avemco's Safety Rewards Program allows
pilots to improve their flying skills and reduce their insurance
premiums at the same time. By completing a course in King Schools'
CD-ROM Practical Risk Management series, and by completing
Avemco-approved recurrent training, pilots can receive up to 10% off
their annual insurance premiums. For details about Avemco's Safety
Rewards Program and to discover how you can take to the sky
with increased confidence call (888) 241-7891, or visit
Avemco DIRECT insurer of general aviation
aircraft and pilots since 1961 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/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/
MIKE BUSCH THE SAVVY AVIATOR IS THE
PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT
During the next 12 months, aircraft
maintenance expert Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed
weekend Savvy Owner Seminar in Chicago, Boston, Denver,
Frederick, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Orlando, Houston,
Memphis, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Salt Lake City. Learn how to have a
safer, more reliable aircraft while saving literally thousands of
dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. For seminar details and
to reserve a spot for yourself (or as a gift), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB...
Quiz #101: Risk
Flight involves risk. ATC and AFSS supply information,
but only the pilot-in-command can analyze potential threats and make
the go/no-go call. Winter offers lots of decision-making material,
some of which might stick to your pitot. More...
|ASO A BETTER WAY TO SELL YOUR AIRCRAFT
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
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
What's the longest distance you've flown in your aircraft, from
departure to final destination? For the purpose of this exercise,
stops for fuel, the restroom, or sleep do not count. All answers in
nautical miles, please! PLUS: How many of you fly VFR, and how many
prefer IFR? Results of last week's poll. More...
|DOES SANTA NEED A P2 SKY BUDDY? YOU BET HE
Sky Buddy makes a great gift for any aviator.
With a twist of a knob, Sky Buddy helps pilots remember heading and
altitude assignments. It's practical, portable, and helps pilots avoid
potential ATC violations. The bright LED display is easy to read and
can be dimmed to suit any lighting situation. Order directly from
P2, Inc. (1-888-921-8359) by December 31, 2005 and get
one for ONLY $285. You'll SAVE $60 off the regular retail price of
$345. Learn More at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/p2inc/skybuddy/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Submissions to "Picture of the Week" took a slight dip this week
a normal occurrence in the days following Thanksgiving.
Nevertheless, we got to enjoy some stunning landscapes (and even a few
air show pictures) before awarding this week's top prize an
official AVweb baseball cap to Todd Wade of Kansas City,
Missouri. Don't let those jets blow your new cap out to sea, Todd!
GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
Visit AVweb's Holiday Shopping
Featuring products and services from
sponsors including very special holiday
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
|BENNETT AVIONICS WILL MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY|
Bennett Avionics stocks a complete
line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to any
aircraft at a price that makes sense. Till December 31st, Bennett will
upgrade domestic ground shipping to 2nd Day. Call the Bennett Avionics
specialists at (860) 653-7295 (PCT), or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.
|LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT
Narco Avionics proudly announces the
availability of their all-new Value Series plug & play line of digital
transponders. The Value Series is designed for the cost-conscious
owner. Narco's Value Series plug & play transponders include
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 & play
replacements for the ARC (Cessna) RT359A/RT459A. For more information,
go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.
|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
|IFR MAGAZINE IS FOR THE ACCOMPLISHED PILOT;
SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE!|
Each issue of IFR magazine
is loaded with insightful articles to help you get the most from the
system, your aircraft, and your know-how. Order today for guaranteed
savings for as long as you subscribe! If you fly the gauges, add
IFR magazine to your ground support team. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrmag/avflash.
|ARMCHAIR FLYING DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN
Utah's Red Rock Country, Volume 1
High-adrenaline footage captures the spirit and freedom of
backcountry flying, something that few pilots get to experience. Host
and pilot Jim Clark, with the guidance of local CFIs, takes you
into some of the most beautiful, rugged, and remote airstrips in the
U.S. Order in time for the holidays with complimentary U.S. shipping at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/outthere/avflash.
|COMM1 OFFERS COMPLIMENTARY|
MULTIMEDIA STEREO HEADSET
Comm1's unique, interactive CD-ROM Radio
Simulators teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally
with ATC from the safety and privacy of their desktop computers.
Available in VFR, IFR, and Clearance on Request versions, Comm1
Radio Simulators let pilots experience real flight situations
through high-quality audio and graphics. For this holiday special, go
The Best of Rod Machado Live
on 14 audio CDs just released! Using his trademark "Laugh & Learn"
style, Rod entertains his audience as he teaches. These CDs include
Rod's popular seminar on handling in-flight emergencies, his latest
programs on defensive flying, the art of flying, and the non-pilot's
guide to landing an airplane. If you like to laugh, you'll find three
CDs containing Rod's funniest stand-up aviation humor. Laugh and learn
while driving in your car or take Rod anywhere. Tell Santa that
you gotta have them! Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
|ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR
John Schwaner's The Mechanic's Toolbox
+ Engineering Manual Companion has been a mainstay of mechanics
for years. John has revised and updated this publication and put it on
CD. The Mechanic's Toolbox Program contains everything from:
Ohm's Law for Mechanics, Torque Wrench Extension Calculator, Pressure
Conversions, Velocity Computing, and more; to a Palm operating system
including: Alternator Charging System Checker, Hose Shop, Starter
Analyzer, Metals ID using Field Methods, and more. This is immense!
For complete details and to order (U.S. only), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch/avflash.
OFF TO GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE FOR THE HOLIDAYS THIS YEAR|
Pilot Share the Ride and find someone in your area that would
like to share a ride! It's easy, with no site membership costs
involved. Don't be grounded like a turkey; go online now to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/share/avflash.
We Welcome Your
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