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Volume 11, Number 50a December 12, 2005

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Joe Pilot - Countdown to 
Christmas

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

ADIZ PUBLIC MEETINGS SET
The FAA has set public hearings on its proposal to make the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone permanent. The meetings will be held Jan. 12 at the Sheraton Hotel in Columbia, Md., and Jan. 18 at the Airport Marriott in Dulles, Va. The meetings will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is expected to be a long list of speakers so it’s probably a good idea to reserve your spot now if you have something to say. Unfortunately, the only way to get your name on the list is the old-fashioned way, with a letter to Noreen Hannigan, Office of Rulemaking, FAA, 800 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., 20591 or by fax to 202-267-5075. The requests must be in by Jan. 5 for the Jan. 12 meeting and Jan. 11 for the Jan. 18 meeting. More...

GET SPECIFIC
It’s pretty hard to find anyone in aviation who actually supports the ADIZ becoming permanent but the FAA isn’t interested in whether we like it. The agency is looking for insight into what pilots think will be the actual impact of making the ADIZ permanent by assessing the effects of the “temporary” zone. Specifically, the FAA wants to know if people are flying less because of the ADIZ and how much it’s cost them. Panelists will be looking for documentary evidence to back up the claims. More...

OMINOUS SIGNS?
The FAA announced the meetings just days after the 9/11 Commission gave the government a B- for aerospace security measures and noted that it really only exists over Washington. What would it take to get an A? AOPA’s government expert Andy Cebula fears it could be a patchwork of ADIZs all over the U.S. "I'm not sure which is more distressing -- that the commission thinks the Washington, D.C., ADIZ works, or that they think the model should be applied elsewhere," Cebula said in a report on AOPA’s Web site. He said the commission’s comments are just the sort of thing to prompt politicians and bureaucrats to do something -- anything -- to appear to be responding to security concerns. "And the easiest thing for them to do would be to create more ADIZs,” he said. If a Kentucky senator has his way, a town as small as 30,000 in population with a relatively small, mainly GA airport would qualify for an ADIZ. More...

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AS3 - The Aviation Industry Expo

PILOT GETS $54 MILLION IN SUIT
A 64-year-old California pilot, who made his living for nine years flying the Gulfstream II owned by actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, has received a star-quality award by a Los Angeles jury. The jury found that Doyle Baker’s age (63 at the time) was the sole motivation for his termination by Connecticut-based PrivatAir Inc. The jury also found that the company and three of its employees had defamed Baker prior to firing him in July of 2004. The jury awarded Baker $53.8 million. Willis and Moore owned the plane but used various management companies to run it. Baker became an employee of those companies. More...

HUMAN-RIGHTS PROBE SIDES WITH PILOT
In Bangor, Maine, a Human Rights Commission investigator has determined that a cargo pilot who refused to fly a plane with one inoperative attitude indicator and one suspect AI into night IMC was illegally fired. According to the Bangor Daily News, Aric Merrow was getting ready to fly a route for Air Now (it operates both Caravans and Bandierantes but the Daily News didn’t identify the aircraft type) when he noticed the pilot-side AI didn’t work. Working by flashlight, he and a mechanic tried to switch the right-side AI to the left side but the result didn’t satisfy either of them. Merrow refused the flight and the mechanic later told the human-rights investigator, Barbara Lelli, that he agreed with the decision. "Tonight didn't look like the night to go darting into the clouds with only one attitude indicator ... which you are not sure works or not,” the mechanic is quoted by Lelli’s report as saying, according to the Daily News. However, Merrow’s supervisor claimed the pilot “just wanted the night off” and had other problems. More...

GOVERNMENT PILOT BACK AT WORK, SORT OF
And in the central Indian state of Maharashtra, pilots are apparently so scarce that the departure of the two pilots qualified to fly the state’s King Airs caused the whole flight department to shut down six months ago. The department has managed to lure one of the pilots, Capt. Neetu Gupta, back, but it still needs one more before the Chief Minister can use the planes again (he’s been getting around in helicopters since July). According to Mid-day, a Mumbai newspaper, Gupta left her government job for a shot at the right seat in an A320 operated by Kingfisher, a new Indian airline, but it didn’t work out so well. More...

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CARAVAN ICING SUITS CONSOLIDATED
Lawsuits are mounting against Cessna over the performance of its Caravan turboprop singles in icing conditions. As AVweb told you earlier this month, an Alaska jury recently exonerated Cessna and the aircraft’s design in a case involving the deaths of 10 people in a Caravan crash in Dillingham, Alaska, in 2001. Last week, the Nolan Law Group, which is representing plaintiffs in four Caravan icing-related suits in the U.S. and one in Canada, has won the right to consolidate the U.S. cases into a single action to be heard in Kansas. The cases focus on the plane’s deicing system and the law firm is asking the FAA not to wait for the courts in taking action on the alleged problems. More...

FIRST VIETNAMESE-MANUFACTURED ULTRALIGHT FLIES
Now, it may be something thousands of people in North America have done in their shops and hangars, but you have to start somewhere, right? The Vietnamese ultralight industry was launched on Dec. 8 with a plane based on a kit design called the Beaver, made by Aircraft Sales and Parts, of Vernon, B.C., Canada. The completion of the snappy-looking pusher “manufactured” by the Vietnam Mechanics Association made all the papers there. The association says about 20 percent of the parts for the first airplane were made in Vietnam. The State Council for Science and Technology, the Ministry of National Defense and the Air Defense Force were in on the testing of the VAM-1, which took three test hops from Nuoc Trong airport in Long Thanh district of southern Dong Nai province. More...

NEW GARMIN GPSMAP 396 WITH TERRAIN, XM WEATHER, AND MUSIC
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CRASH FOCUS NOW ON THRUST REVERSERS
Pilots of an almost-new Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 that slid off a 6,500-foot runway at Midway Airport in heavy snow last Thursday have told investigators the flying pilot couldn’t push up the thrust-reverser lever on landing and needed the help of the first officer to move it. The struggle lasted a few seconds as the plane landed in a snowstorm. "For some reason we haven't pinned down yet, he couldn't get them to go up so he could push them forward," NTSB Investigator Robert Benzon told reporters. "There were seconds of delay." The impact of the alleged malfunction on the braking ability of the plane won’t be known for “a long time,” Benzon said. The accident killed six-year-old Joshua Woods. The boy was riding in a car on a road where the plane came to rest after going through two fences. No one on the plane was seriously hurt. The accident has also renewed focus on the provision of arresting systems for airports that don’t have the 1,000-foot runway overruns sought by the FAA. More...

60 YEARS WITH THE FAA
As part of the ongoing feud between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union recently made hay out of a government employee survey that rated the agency as the worst government department to work for. Kim Yee would beg to differ. While a lot of FAA employees might be ticking off the days until their 25 years are up (and they qualify for a healthy pension), Yee, after 60 years with the agency, as a technician on Guam, is hoping for another 23. He’s now 77 and says he figures 100 is a good age to retire, according to the Pacific Daily News. "I'm one of the luckiest people to be employed 60 years -- with good pay," he said. 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 Mini-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.

AOPA URGES CANCELLATION OF ROD AD
AOPA says the FAA has “blindsided AOPA, ECi, and the general aviation community” with a proposed Airworthiness Directive on a certain type of aftermarket connecting rod used in Lycoming engines. AOPA’s regulatory and certification expert, Luis Gutierrez, said the FAA had promised full consultation with AOPA and other industry stakeholders before proposing ADs but forged ahead on this one despite contrary evidence. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued in October, could affect up to 2,800 engines overhauled and repaired using ECi connecting rods. The NPRM was issued in response to a single engine failure that both AOPA and the manufacturer claim may have been caused or contributed to by an oil-system blockage. "AOPA has found no evidence that shows the engine connecting rods fail to meet safe, FAA-approved limits." More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB

NEWS FEATURES
Katrina Search and Rescue
While GA provided lots of help in the days after this summer's hurricanes, the bulk of search and rescue was provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. There were thousands of stories of amazing heroics and bravery by both rescuers and survivors; this is just one of them.
Find it here .

____
WHAT'S NEW
What's New for December
This month AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you an oil filter adapter, a leather jacket, a satcom system and more.
Find it here .

More...

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CORRECTION
An item in the Dec. 5 edition of AVweb incorrectly stated that Pilot Journey was taking over sales and marketing for Liberty Aircraft. In fact, Pilot Journey is starting and managing the new Liberty Flight Schools program. We apologize for any confusion caused by the error. More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES ...
AVmail: December 12, 2005
Reader mail this week about flight service, the JATO Ercoupe, bottle-rocket attacks on airliners and more. More...

THE 2006 NEW PIPER  MIRAGE COMES STANDARD WITH
AVIDYNE'S FLIGHTMAX ENTEGRA INTEGRATED FLIGHT DECK

This package offers: Two Primary Flight Displays (EXP5000); a third centrally-mounted Multi-Function Display (EX5000); dual Air Data/Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS); Multi-Function Display featuring moving map, flight plan information, and EMax Engine Indication System; two Garmin GNS 430 NAV/COMM/GS/GPSs; a Garmin GTX-330 digital transponder with Traffic Information System; S-TEC's System SSX Autopilot; and a Honeywell-Bendix/King RDR-2000 Vertical Profile color radar system for see-and-avoid precipitation.  With these uncompromising features and advanced technology, the New Piper Mirage provides serious sophistication for a higher level of confidence.  For more, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/newpiper/avflash.

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...

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...

LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT TRANSPONDERS!
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.

ON THE FLY ...
Nigerian crash killed 107 ...
Reports of downed Herc false ...
First operational Osprey delivered ...
Korean government ends pilots' strike ...
Three French prisoners escape by helicopter. More...

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT OFFERS TWO YEARS FUEL AND MAINTENANCE
No aircraft squeezes more performance out of each gallon of fuel than a Diamond. And no aircraft offers the combination of advanced technology, performance, safety, and value that a Diamond does. Now Diamond ownership is even more affordable, with two years' fuel and maintenance on new DA40 Diamond Stars delivered by December 31, 2005. Some restrictions apply. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

SHORT FINAL ...
Recently heard at Manchester international:

Nameless 747 jock: "Ground, can you confirm that a '400 will fit between these two lamposts?"

ATC: "Yip, absolutely, no shadow of a doubt, definitely will."

... pause ...

ATC: "Assuming you are on the centreline....."

More...



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_____________________________________
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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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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