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Volume 11, Number 49a December 5, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... JA Air Center

Happy Holidays from JA Air CenterNEW GARMIN GPSMAP 396 WITH TERRAIN, XM WEATHER, AND MUSIC
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Aviation Safety 
Magazine

The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

AIRLINE PILOT REPORTS "SMOKE TRAIL"...
An American Airlines pilot departing from Los Angeles International Airport told air traffic controllers that a missile had been fired at his aircraft and missed, a local ABC News affiliate reported last week. The pilot said he saw a smoke trail pass by the cockpit as the airplane climbed out over the ocean. FBI agents and Homeland Security officials investigated last weekend and said it was probably a flare or a [very impressive] bottle rocket, but they may never know for sure, according to KYW Newsradio 1060. The flight was en route to Chicago and proceeded without further incident. More...

...AS SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM STALLS...
Although both BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman say they will be ready to produce workable missile-defense systems for airliners by January, so far there is no funding available and no mandate that would require airlines to utilize such defenses, The Associated Press reported last week. Several bills pending in Congress would require the systems be carried -- at least on some flights -- but the airlines have balked at cost and maintenance issues, and complain that the systems are too unreliable. Both systems under development use lasers to jam the guidance systems of incoming missiles. More...

...AND CABIN CREWS BALK AT TSA'S LATEST CHANGES
When the Transportation Security Administration announced new passenger-screening procedures and a revised prohibited-items list last week, the Air Line Pilots Association thought it was a good idea. "We feel it's a move in the right direction," Bob Hesselbein, chairman of ALPA's security committee, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We have to keep the focus on the facts of the terrorists and the techniques they use, not on our fears of what they could do." The new list will allow small scissors and screwdrivers on board. However, the Association of Flight Attendants – whose members work in the passenger cabin, while pilots operate behind locked doors -- opposes the change. More...

POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2;
IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR AIRCRAFT?

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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/fadec/avflash.

NTSB TAKES ON GA WEATHER HAZARDS...
Typically, the NTSB reports on flight risks after reviewing a set of relevant accidents, but for its latest report, released last week, the board has implemented a new methodology. The new "case-control" statistical-analysis approach was used in a study of GA weather-related accidents, comparing a group of accident flights to a matching group of non-accident flights in an effort to identify patterns of variables that distinguish the two groups from each other. The advantage, the NTSB says, is that instead of focusing on factors that accidents have in common -- and possibly being misled by characteristics common to most pilots and flights -- it identifies characteristics that set accidents apart and contribute to their occurrence. More...

...RISK FACTORS REVEALED...
For this study, NTSB investigators collected data from 72 GA accidents that occurred between August 2003 and April 2004. An additional 135 safe flights that were conducted in the same area and time as the accident flights were also studied. The analysis showed that risk factors associated with flying in instrument weather conditions or low visibility include: 1) pilot age and training-related differences; 2) pilot testing, accident, and incident history; and 3) pilot weather briefing sources and methods. The board recommended that the FAA should beef up weather-related portions of the Airman Knowledge Tests and flight reviews, develop a means to identify at-risk pilots and target them for intervention, and improve the delivery of weather information to pilots. More...

...AS FAA STANDS FIRM ON CARAVAN ICING AD
The FAA has no plans to revise recent Airworthiness Directives that require a tactile check by pilots to prevent icing problems on the Cessna Model 208 Caravan, the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) said on Friday. RACCA representatives met with the FAA in mid-November and told the agency that the requirement that pilots must physically inspect the airframe for ice contamination within five minutes of takeoff was impractical at most airports. Since such inspections would likely have to take place in run-up areas, where lighting is often poor and other aircraft are operating, "the cure is seemingly more dangerous to pilots than the disease," RACCA said. More...

YOU WORK AT BEING A GOOD AND SAFE PILOT. HERE'S A REWARD!
Don't overpay for life insurance just because you are a pilot. Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with premium rates that are not available through other agents. A+ RATED CARRIERS — NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS — fast and easy application process. For a complimentary quote, call (800) 380-8376 or visit online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/avflash.

AN AIRBUS' GLASS COCKPIT GOES DARK
Picture this ... you're the captain of an Airbus A319-131, and you've just taken off from London into a clear night sky, bound for Budapest with 76 passengers on board. Approaching FL200, you hear a "CLUNK" and the cockpit goes dark. No autopilot, no multi-function displays, no radios, just a bit of backup lighting. An airline pilot must now actually fly the airplane. As your co-pilot starts down the checklist, you take manual control of the airplane, and fly by the night horizon outside and what backup instruments you can see. Two minutes into the checklist, the co-pilot pushes a button, and all whirrs back into bright life. That's what happened during a very long two minutes on Oct. 5. More...

BOOMTIME FOR BOEING
With 800 jets sold already this year and some big orders pending, Boeing is closing in on surpassing its peak of 877 sales, set back in 1988. But in the manufacturing world, big orders can be a mixed blessing. Back in the late 1990s, high demand cost Boeing billions of dollars when the company ran up against a shortage of materials and an abundance of production problems. The company leadership remembers those days all too well, spokesman Craig Martin told MarketWatch. "They are -- to a person -- determined it will never happen again, and particularly not on their watch." Much of the sales boom is being driven by growth abroad. More...

ZuluworksZULUWORKS IS NEW AND IMPROVED!
Zuluworks has not only treated themselves to a little digital makeover, but have re-tooled their product line as well. The new Gazelle is the ultimate flight bag with 3,200 cubic inches of versatility and style. Zuluworks has also added the super-popular Mimi-Z kneeboard at 50% smaller than the original Zuluboard, but still packing the same punch. And the original Zuluboard has never looked so good, with new styling and sixteen new color choices. Click on the web site and take a look at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zulu/avflash.

PILOT FACES FEDERAL CHARGES OF LYING ON MEDICAL
A commercial pilot from Centerville, Mass., has been charged in federal court with four counts of making false statements on FAA medical forms, U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said on Friday. The 53-year-old pilot lied on four first-class medical FAA forms, Sullivan alleged. If convicted, the pilot faces up to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General, Investigations Division. It is being prosecuted by Sullivan's Major Crimes Unit in Boston. More...

AOPA TO FAA -- HANDS OFF GA
When it's not airspace grabs, it's user-fee threats -- that's AOPA's take on the FAA these days. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey spoke to the Aero Club in Washington, D.C., last Monday, and expressed what is by now a familiar theme -- the Aviation Trust Fund faces imminent doom and a new funding system is essential. "You do the math," she said. "The equation doesn't work." AOPA was quick to respond. "Others have done the math, including the White House's Office of Management and Budget," AOPA said at its Web site. The OMB predicts continued trust fund growth. The FAA's authority to collect aviation ticket and fuel taxes will expire in 2007, and Blakey wants to replace the current funding structure. More...

YOUR HEADSET IS A KEY PIECE OF EQUIPMENT, SO CHOOSE THE PERFORMANCE
of an industry leader. The Bose® Aviation Headset X offers an unmatched combination of comfortable fit, noise reduction, and clearer audio. But don't take our word for it. Hear for yourself with our risk-free 30-day trial. New: Low monthly payments. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bose/avflash

ZERO-ZERO LANDINGS IN THE WORKS (FOR MILITARY FLYERS)
The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Ohio, is working to develop technology that will enable the Air Mobility Command to land in a range of environmental conditions, anytime and anywhere, the Air Force said last week. An onboard system will process data picked up by imaging radar to generate a near real-time three-dimensional video image on a heads-up display. The image will be enhanced to appear as if the pilot were landing in daytime conditions on a typical visual approach, the Air Force said. The system would allow for landing in low visibility at remote runways that lack navigation aids. More...

AUSTRALIANS WORKING ON AGRICULTURAL UAVS
Unmanned aerial vehicles have been attracting more and more attention in recent years, mainly for applications in military reconnaissance and border patrol. But down under in Australia, a new research center is aiming in a new direction. "People are talking about using them for so-called armchair farming," says Rod Walker, director of the brand-new Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation that opened at Brisbane Airport last Thursday. Farmers with large properties could send out cheap UAVs to find where the stock is, or to collect data on crops to improve management and productivity, Walker told ABC Newsonline. And protecting the country's borders is on the agenda too More...

A NEW RELEASE OF THE BEST AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE FOR CELL PHONES
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
AD targets 40 faulty propeller hubs from McCauley Propeller Systems...
Around-the-world helicopter flight to raise funds for poor kids...
Raytheon last week won its biggest-ever order, $1 billion in jets...
Flight Aware Web site offers free live online flight tracking...
A 1981 Piper Seneca stolen in Bahamas last Wednesday...
LAX to scrap 11 years of planning and start over...
Pilot Journey to take over marketing and sales for Liberty Aerospace...
First G1000 Diamond Star delivered in Australia. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about? If it caught your eye, it will interest someone else. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part. More...

TRUE FLIGHT ANNOUNCES
PORTABLE TRAFFIC ALERT WITH DIRECTION IS HERE!

See what you have been missing all this time! Fly with direction, relative altitude, and distance of aircraft within 5 miles of your current position with the XRX portable Traffic Alert. Order before 12/31/05 and receive a complimentary Approach Plate subscription for one year. For more information on Traffic Alert and all our Data Link weather products, call True Flight at (866) 443-3342, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/true/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Motor Head #10: Baffling Explanations
We squeeze engines into tight, streamlined cowls and allow the least amount of (drag-producing) cooling air through there because what we really want is speed. But even tiny leaks in baffles can have huge effects on engine cooling and, therefore, engine longevity as Marc Cook discusses in this month's Motor Head column.

____
ATIS
ATC Pay
This opinion piece from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is in response to a letter from an AVweb reader about recent negotiations between the FAA and NATCA.

More...

HOLIDAY STOCKING STUFFERS! FROM AEROMEDIX.COM
The Doug Ritter RSK MK1™ and the Mini RSK MK1™ knives are the best value in a folder for everyday utility or survival use, starting at $99.95. Both models have a CPM S30V steel blade and the superb Griptilian handle.  The Pocket Survival Pak™ is waterproof, floats, and has all essential survival items for $27.50.  The Freedom Photon light with yellow case and covert nose is priced at $19.95. More savings found with combo packs! To order, call Aeromedix at (888) 362-7123. View Aeromedix's complete line of safety and survival products for pilots at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: December 5, 2005
Reader mail this week about flight service, Airbus ADs, controller pay negotiations and more.

More...

WINGX FOR THE POCKET PC, VERSION 1.7
Don't fumble for frequencies, Morse codes, or FSS phone numbers. With WingX for the Pocket PC, you get: Advanced Weight and Balance with over 400 pre-defined models; A/FD information; Route Planning with the latest FAA data; fast FAR access; superb E6B with winds aloft, fuel, and IFR climb calculations; and more. With Hilton Software's referral program, get $10 back with every referral! Don't have a Pocket PC? Hilton Software will pre-install WingX Pro Edition on a high-performance Dell Axim X50 with the WingX Pro Solution! Call Hilton Software at 1 (866) 42-WINGX, or go online for screen shots and a downloadable demo at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hilton/avflash.

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 http://www.avweb.com/profile/ More...

ATTENTION, BARON AND CESSNA 310 OWNERS — NEWS FROM McCAULEY!
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.

ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOU CHOOSE SOMETHING EXTRA?
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/extra/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
Submitted by a heavy iron driver.

After landing on RWY 30 the other day I began to taxi to the gate when I noticed a beautiful red fox strolling across the taxiway.

Me: Hey, Ground. Did you know you have foxes here on the airport?

Ground: Oh, sure, plenty of them. I'm surprised you knew it was a fox -- most pilots think they are wild dogs.

Me: Well, I've been to a bar or two. I know a fox when I see one!

Female Voice: Then I guess you'd know a wild dog, too. More...



GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
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SHOPPING DEALS  
NEW NAA MEMBERS JOINING IN DECEMBER WILL RECEIVE AN NAA HAT
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SEE WHAT ATC SEES — AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH IT
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.
PROTECT YOUR IFR TICKET WITH THE MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO KEEPING IT!
IFR Refresher is dedicated to keeping IFR-rated pilots updated with the latest information. IFR Refresher polishes your proficiency, challenges your knowledge, briefs you on changing regs, and keeps your decision-making skills sharp. Order for guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrref/avflash.
PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED APPROACH:
"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.
THE SHORT STACK HAS ARRIVED FOR PIPERS & GRUMMANS AT POWER FLOW!
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
HAVE A 24-VOLT AIRPLANE AND NEED 12 VOLTS?
Problem solved with Trans-Plata's Cockpit Voltage Converter. And for $69.95, it's affordable, too! AVweb Specials: Price reduction on the 5-amp converter and NO charge for U.S. domestic shipping! To view all Trans-Plata products and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/transplata/avflash.
PHOTON MICRO-LIGHT SPECIAL IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY GIVING
Save $8.50 and/or $10.50 on Photon's P3s — covert and regular version, regardless of beam color — and each P3 order will include a hands-free clip and necklace clip. Order for everyone in your office, your family, and your friends. These will go fast, so the offer is only good while supplies last, at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.
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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. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's 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:sales@avweb.com.

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