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Volume 11, Number 50b December 15, 2005

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Joe Pilot - Countdown to 
Christmas

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

YOUR AIRCRAFT MUST BE "PROPERLY REGISTERED" BY FEB. 1...
Aircraft owners and operators must ensure their aircraft registration information and security waivers are properly completed and up to date by Feb. 1, 2006, or they "may be denied access" to the National Airspace System, the FAA said in a notice published in the Federal Register on Friday. The notice states that the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration will "revitalize and refocus" their airspace-monitoring capabilities to ensure that the requirements are met, "in the interests of national security and aviation safety." The FAA says it has provided numerous notices to aircraft owners over the last few years to emphasize the need for them to update their aircraft registration so both the FAA and aircraft manufacturers can notify them of safety and maintenance-related information. If you might be at risk, the FAA claims to know and offers some simple ways to check yourself (and them). More...

...ABOUT ENFORCEMENT AND COLLATERAL DAMAGE
AOPA has "concerns" about the FAA notice, based on an initial reading, spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb yesterday. "AOPA has already pressed the FAA on one issue -- aircraft renters," Dancy said. "Would they be denied access to the NAS because the owner of the aircraft they've paid to rent has failed to comply with registration requirements? AOPA absolutely opposes anything that would impede a renter's ability to fly." Dancy added that the FAA has assured AOPA that renters would not be denied access to the NAS or face any enforcement action, although their departure on a flight in a rented aircraft could be delayed as the issue is sorted out. He also said the FAA has indicated that if owners do not comply with current registration requirements, the agency may consider requiring re-registration every three years. "They tried that in the 1990s," Dancy said. "AOPA fought it then." More...

Telex 50-D Headsets from Aircraft 
Spruce & SpecialtyAIRCRAFT SPRUCE OFFERS TELEX 50-D HEADSETS WITH $100 SAVINGS
Purchase your Telex 50-D Headset at Aircraft Spruce by December 31, 2005 and save $100. This headset features slow recovery foam ear cushions that conform to the user's head, extra thick cushions and pad that reduce tension and provide a luxurious feel, an enhanced fit by patented Comfort Cam™ tension adjustment, dual volume controls, auto shutoff, failsafe mode (in the event of a power failure), stereo/mono switch, and a collapsible design with carrying case for portability. Power the headset with battery or panel power, depending on your needs. To order, call 1-877-4SPRUCE, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/spruce/avflash.

FIRED AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS BACK TO WORK...
Eleven air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) on Long Island who were fired by the FAA last August have been reinstated. The controllers had been fired for allegedly failing to report on their FAA medical forms that they'd sought treatment for job-related stress. "The case was so one-sided in our favor that we didn't call a single witness," said John Carr, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "NATCA did not even put on a defense, relying solely on the agency's witnesses to exonerate our people. The FAA folded like a cheap tent." The controllers will have letters of reprimand placed in their files for the failure to properly complete the forms and most will lose five days' pay. More...

...FAA CITES "ZERO TOLERANCE"
"The taxpayers have a right to expect high standards of conduct from all civil servants," FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb on Tuesday. (Your mileage may vary.) "The accuracy and integrity of these medical forms are essential to aviation safety. We felt this was an important case to pursue. There must be zero tolerance for actions that could affect aviation safety." The controllers were fired by the FAA in August and had appealed that decision. The dispute was resolved when both parties agreed to a settlement during arbitration. "We consider the matter closed," Martin said. More...

The Outdoor ChannelNEW EPISODES OF HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO EXPLODE
ONTO YOUR TELEVISION WITH WINGS TO ADVENTURE!

Wings to Adventure is the ground-breaking series featuring aviation as YOU know it! Sunday at 2:30pm Eastern, on the Outdoor Channel. Each week, host Tom Gresham profiles classic and new planes and visits great fly-in destinations. Buckle up! http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/outdoor/avflash.

CIRRUS WRECK RAISES SPECIAL CONCERNS...
A Cirrus SR22 crashed in Minnesota on Sunday night, killing the pilot and two passengers. When rescuers reached the crash site, questions arose about the safety of approaching the wreck. "There's an explosive charge that sends that parachute up, that hampered the investigation to some degree," Lincoln County Sheriff Jack Vizecky told the local KeloLand TV. Such concerns are legitimate, according to Bill King, a Cirrus vice president who oversees investigations. "As a practical matter, we would rather that if the first responders don't need to go in, that they didn't," he told AVweb on Tuesday. "We don't want somebody to get hurt." More...

...CITING AIRBAG, (BALLISTIC) CHUTE DANGERS
The concern is not only about the parachute, but also the airbag seatbelts, which are standard on the newest Cirri. "First responders have been hurt by airbags in the past," said King. "So we will ask them to stand down until we can get there. Or if that's not possible, if they need to act, we will walk them through how to deal with the airbags and parachute to be sure they're safe." In the case of the Minnesota crash, where there were no survivors, everyone on the scene did the right thing, King said. It's best to disturb the site as little as possible until NTSB investigators arrive, he said. More...

Trade Up to a Thirty 3G and Save!

"TRADE UP" YOUR LIGHTSPEED HEADSET AND GET COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING!
Save money this holiday season while giving the perfect headset — and complimentary ground shipping! Until 12/31/05, trade in your LightSPEED XL or K headset toward a Thirty 3G headset and get the quietest headset on the market with 28-30dB Active Noise Reduction (ANR). LightSPEED's Thirty 3G is the ultimate ANR headset, providing superior comfort, cell/music interface, and up to 30 hours of ANR. Retailed at $599, with this "Trade-Up" program, you may want to buy a second headset. For more info, contact LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 during business hours (PST) or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/trade/avflash.

SOCATA TAKES ON VLJS WITH TURBOPROP
EADS Socata will soon be offering its EASA-certified six-seat TBM 850 for sale in the U.S., the company announced Tuesday in Washington, D.C. The pressurized single-engine turboprop's performance will compete directly with very light jets (VLJs) while its operating costs will be lower, Socata said in a news release. The TBM 850 is based on the 15-year-old TBM 700 design, but with a more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D engine. It will cruise at a maximum 320 knots at FL260, 20 knots faster than the 700. Deliveries will begin early in 2006, after FAA certification is complete. Base price is set at $2.5 million, which -- in billionaire-speak -- is about where Cessna hopes to tag its Mustang VLJ twinjet and not quite twice the cost of an Eclipse 500. More...

VIRGIN GALACTIC TO BUILD HQ AT NEW MEXICO SPACEPORT
Virgin Galactic will locate its world headquarters and Mission Control in New Mexico, in a deal with the state that will launch the creation of a $200 million spaceport on a 27-square-mile site in a remote part of the state. Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, announced the deal on Tuesday, saying New Mexico is an ideal operations base, with a favorable climate, uncrowded airspace, low population density, high altitude, and stunning scenery. "Our activities will prove the commercial viability and excellent safety technology behind private personal spaceflight and give birth to a new industry in New Mexico," he said. More...

THE SJ30-2 IS THE WORLD'S FASTEST LIGHT BUSINESS JET
Not only is it fast; it has intercontinental range — 560 mph and over 2800 sm range. The SJ30-2 is the most advanced light business jet in the sky today, the perfect package of speed, range, and good looks. For details, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/sino/avflash.

SPORT-JET MOVING TO OKLAHOMA
Excel-Jet, which has been working to develop its single-engine Sport-Jet in Colorado Springs, Colo., since 2002, announced on Monday that it will be moving to Guthrie, Okla., in a deal that will pump up to $5 million in financing into the company. "We've completed negotiations and Excel-Jet will be relocating its facility to Guthrie within 90 to 120 days," said company President and designer Bob Bornhofen in a news release on Tuesday. The money was put together from local and state sources by the Guthrie Industrial Development Authority. It will be enough to bring the Sport-Jet well into the flight-test phase and start certification work next year. More...

LOCKHEED MARTIN TO BUILD GIANT AIRSHIP
Lockheed Martin will build a prototype High Altitude Airship (HAA) under a $149.2 million contract awarded by the Missile Defense Agency, the company announced on Monday. The ship will be 400 feet long and about 140 feet in diameter with a volume of 3.7 million cubic feet, and will operate at altitudes up to 60,000 feet. The prototype is slated to fly in 2009. It will demonstrate launch and recovery, station-keeping and flight-control capabilities while carrying mission-reconfigurable payloads. It will be built in Lockheed Martin's facility in Akron. "The HAA delivers a persistent surveillance capability unmatched by any other platform," said Ron Browning, Lockheed Martin's leader of the project. More...

PROTECT & SHINE YOUR AIRCRAFT
WITH A NAME YOU KNOW & TRUST — AEROSHELL

AeroShell Flight Jacket products are specifically designed for general aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning cloths. To order the best in shine and protection for your aircraft, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

FOR DELTA'S PILOTS, IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE
Pilots for Delta Air Lines struck a tentative deal over the weekend, averting a possible strike that the airline had characterized as a "murder-suicide" scenario. "The pilots came out on top of this skirmish, but I've been around for a long time and I know who is going to win the war -- Delta," industry analyst Terry Trippler told the Associated Press. Delta had been asking the pilots for $325 million in concessions, but under the new deal the pilots will concede less than half that amount. The cuts include a 14-percent wage reduction for pilots, on top of a 32.5 percent cut agreed to last year. The pilots union says it is not backing away altogether from its strike threat, but putting it on hold for now while the two sides continue to negotiate. More...

SATURDAY CELEBRATES WRIGHTS' FIRST FLIGHT AND 70 YEARS OF DC-3S
In a poll of pilots' all-time favorite airplanes, the DC-3 would surely come out in the top tier, so when we hear about a special event to honor these venerable fliers, we like to let you know. This Saturday is not only the 102nd anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight but also the 70th anniversary of the first flight of the Douglas DC-3, in 1935. Within five years of the DC-3's introduction, passenger miles flown in the U.S. increased five-fold. To celebrate, the Prairie Aviation Museum's famous Ozark Airlines DC-3 will visit the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas. The event will be held in conjunction with the airport's monthly Wings & Wheels Saturday and will feature lunch, museum tours, new DC-3 exhibits, vintage aircraft displays, and many other special activities. More...

IN AIRCRAFT INSURANCE, THERE IS AN OPTION — GO DIRECT TO AVEMCO
Many insurance agents say they represent "all the markets," implying once you call them you needn't bother with any other aircraft insurance provider. What these agents don't tell you is that there is an option — Avemco. Avemco is the ONLY direct writer of general aviation insurance in the country and the only insurance company you can contact directly to purchase insurance. You always have an option with Avemco, offering mid-term premium discounts, storage options, credits for training, same-day service, and multiple payment options. Call (888) 241-7891, or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Nine aircraft destroyed in a fire at Arlington (Texas) Airport...
House bill set fine and prison time for pointing lasers at aircraft...
19 ultralight-led whooping cranes migrated to Florida for winter...
Security-enhanced certificates coming for all pilots, AOPA says...
NATA distributing $13,000 to victims of Katrina...
Hanscom Field will host New England's first AirShares Elite. 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 probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part. More...

THE COLUMBIA 350 & COLUMBIA 400 HAVE A NEW CORPORATE NAME
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/columbia/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
As the Beacon Turns #96: Who You Calling Heavy?
An early morning departure from San Francisco in his nearly half-million pound heavy jet reminds Michael Maya Charles of the value of looking carefully at aircraft performance when you are confronted with something out of the ordinary.

More...

A HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA FOR AVIATION ENTHUSIASTS
The Airplane Shop is the world's most relied-upon connection for high-quality transportation collectibles. Whatever your interest — commercial, military, or spacecraft — there is a wide variety of models to choose from. Special to AVflash readers only: 5% off all purchases between now and the end of the year! Use promo code av5off when you visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/daron/av5off/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, CESSNA OWNERS AND PILOTS!
The 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. With a one-year membership for $39, 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) as they build the ultimate Cessna association. The CFA is located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport in Wisconsin, just 35 NW of Oshkosh. For more information (and to request a sample copy of the magazine), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to hear more of your opinions on the shooting of Rigoberto Alpizar by Federal Air Marshals. Plus: Results of our initial poll about the incident. More...

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
AVweb readers were cooking with gas this week — contributing just over 100 photos to our "Picture of the Week" contest. Those are pretty high numbers for the slow period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. More amazing still, almost half of the photos you submitted were pushed through to the final round of selection! After much debate, we decided to award this week's top spot to "Barrell Roll," a photo that turned to be from frequent "POTW" contributor Lassi Tolvanen. Congratulations, Lassi — we'll be sending an official AVweb baseball cap your way early in the week. (As for the rest of you — now's a great time to dust off those old Polaroids and digital memory cards and send us your pictures!) More...



GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
Visit AVweb's Holiday Shopping Page

Featuring products and services from AVweb's
sponsors — including very special holiday offers!
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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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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.
STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!
Do you have friends or family flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the airplane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of $9.95 a month. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
SUBSCRIBE TO IFR REFRESHER NOW AND SAVE!
You worked hard for your IFR ticket. Now protect it! IFR Refresher is the monthly that polishes your proficiency, challenges your knowledge, briefs you on changing regs, and keeps your decision-making skills sharp. Order today and you'll enjoy guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe! http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrref/avflash
GIVE THE GIFT YOU HOPE WILL NEVER BE USED!
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.  HOLIDAY SPECIAL: $20 off each model with no-cost U.S. shipping.  Go online to find the CO Guardian model right for your aircraft at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/avflash.
HIGH-ADVENTURE FLYING IN UTAH'S RED ROCK COUNTRY
Utah's Red Rock Country, Volume 1 is back-country flying at its best. Experience firsthand the romance and freedom of flying the wide-open spaces of the American West. 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 holiday gifts with complimentary U.S. shipping at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/outthere/avflash.
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ARE YOU LISTENING?
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 aviation humor. Laugh and learn while driving, or take Rod running. Tell Santa that you gotta have them! Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
IFR MAGAZINE'S JANUARY ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS:
"Stepping Up to Glass" — flying LCD screens is easy once you figure out where to look and which stupid button to push, it's keeping current that's hard; "The End of Airmets" — most text-based weather is going extinct, behold the new order as approved weather finally enters the digital age; "Stupid Pilot Tricks" — join the fun as you learn how to shoot down your own aircraft and find duct tape is not an approved repair material; plus more for any IFR pilot who wants to stay informed and up-to-date. Order your subscription to IFR magazine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrmag/avflash.
_____________________________________
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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