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Volume 11, Number 51b December 22, 2005

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

HOW SOCAL IS WORKING TO BAN DIVERSITY
EAA says it's making progress in reversing or modifying restrictions on experimental aircraft imposed on four busy California airports by the Van Nuys Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). In April of 2004, then-FSDO Manager Robyn Miller issued a memo that effectively barred some experimental aircraft from regular operations at Van Nuys (yes, of One Six Right fame), Whiteman, Burbank and Santa Barbara airports. Most experimentals are homebuilts but many warbirds are operated in the experimental category, also. The memo says that "phase II and 'normal' operations [by experimentals] will not be allowed" at the four airports although "exceptions may be made based upon current office policy, certification category, aircraft type and operator experience." More...

POLICY DISCRIMINATORY, SAYS EAA
EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said the organization has been aware of the memo since it was issued last year and has worked behind the scenes to help individual pilots at the affected airports. However, Knapinski said the memo is fundamentally flawed in that it can only apply to aircraft that the local authorities are familiar with. "The way it stands now, there's nothing to stop someone from flying an experimental aircraft in from somewhere else, overnighting and taking off the next day," said Knapinski. "It creates two different levels of enforcement." ... And perhaps enforcement by personal interpretation. In addition to helping pilots at the affected airports, Knapinski said EAA has been lobbying FAA officials on the matter. More...

FSDO DEFENDS ACTIONS
Van Nuys FSDO Manager Richard Swanson said his office is merely spelling out a policy that has been directed by the FAA administrator. Swanson said all offices were asked to review their policies with respect to the operating limitations that come with flying an experimental aircraft. He said the limitations vary depending on aircraft type and use, but, in general, experimental aircraft are not supposed to fly over congested areas and the four California airports are all in heavily populated areas with busy airspace. But he noted that doesn't necessarily mean that all experimentals are banned from using the airports because many homebuilts have an exception in their operating limitations that allows them to fly over developed areas and in congested airspace for landing and takeoff. "Each pilot has to be aware of the operating limitations of the aircraft," he said. More...

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A PILOT'S CERTIFICATE IN A WEEK
As with any new category of anything, the "firsts" keep piling up for Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft. However, a 26-year-old magazine editor has set a record that may well stand for a while. A couple of weeks ago, Davin Coburn, a science editor for Popular Mechanics, climbed into the left seat of an LSA for the first time ever at Mid-Atlantic Sports Planes in Bayse, Va. One week and 22 hours of flight time later, he passed his Sport Pilot ride. "This was a working vacation," Coburn wrote in his daily blog. "It's one I'll remember for the rest of my life, but at no time did it involve lounge chairs or drinks that come with umbrellas." More...

A STUDENT WITH A MISSION
Since Coburn's goal was to complete his training in a week, he did as much advance preparation as he could, including passing the written before he even stepped in the airplane. His instructor, Nathan Mayers, said it would have been more comfortable for all concerned for Coburn to have taken two weeks to complete the course but noted that Coburn was an exceptional student. "He was intensely focused, highly motivated and a quick study," Mayers said. "Life would be easier with two weeks instead of one, but Davin proved that it can be done." But, as any freshly minted pilot knows (or should know), getting the certificate is a beginning, not an end, to learning. More...

WHAT IT MEANS FOR SPORT PILOT
Although there's an undeniable thread of showmanship to Coburn's feat, those involved in the fledgling Sport Pilot and LSA industries say there's an important lesson to be learned from the effort. "The national average for a Private Pilot's license [sic] is 72 hours and a lot of people are taking nearly a year to accumulate that much time," said Sportsplanes.com CEO Josh Foss. "Now someone can enjoy the freedom to fly in a week." (Which is a lot easier to fit into a vacation.) Foss said the quick training makes getting a Sport Pilot certificate affordable for just about anyone and that bodes well for aviation in general. "I have little doubt that people like Davin will continue to log hours and eventually upgrade to Private Pilot status and perhaps IFR," Foss said. More...

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Order one pair of ColorEyes Sunglasses by December 31, 2005 and get the second pair at no charge! These sunglasses are very lightweight, comfortable, and easy to fit under a headset. High-Definition Lens Technology (HDL-3C™) built into these sunglasses offers improved sight definition for pilots using color, clarity, and comfort. These lenses filter the visible spectrum to improve color contrasts, increase visibility, and eliminate distortion; visual health is improved, and eye fatigue is reduced thanks to lightweight frames. Several frame choices are available, and all are available with copper-rose or smoke-colored lenses. To order, call 1-877-4SPRUCE, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/spruce/avflash.

CRACKS FOUND IN CRASHED MALLARD'S SPAR
Investigators have found a major fatigue crack in the spar of the wing that separated from a Chalk's Ocean Airways turboprop Mallard on takeoff from Miami on Monday. The wing was recovered Tuesday and fatigue was quickly apparent. "We've seen fatigue. We don't know why that fatigue appeared. That is what we're trying to determine," Mark Rosenker, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, told reporters Wednesday morning. "This crack appears to extend through a majority of the spar at the location of the separation." A total of 19 passengers, most of them from the Bahamas, and the pilot died. More...

AIRPLANES WRECKED BY TRUCK
An accident involving a collision that destroys all or part of two aircraft would normally make headlines across the country but this unfortunate mishap slipped below the media radar, perhaps because it was a pickup truck that did the damage. Thanks to an AVweb reader, however, we're able to tell you the sad tale of an accident at Compton Airport in California that destroyed the fuselage of a pristine Beech Staggerwing that was being restored in a hangar. "The owner now has everything for the airplane except a fuselage," said hangar owner Jack Kenton. It also wrecked the fuselage of a J-4 Cub and a single-place experimental Cassutt. More...

"Wings to Adventure" on The Outdoor 
ChannelWINGS TO ADVENTURE TV MOVES TO PRIME TIME!
Following a spectacular first season on The Outdoor Channel, featuring high definition video and great storytelling, this ground-breaking television series moves to prime time on December 28. Watch WTA every Wednesday at 7:30pm Eastern. Other broadcast times can be found at
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FAA STREAMLINES STC PROCESS
Obtaining a simple Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) could become a relatively painless completion of a checklist supplied by the FAA ... maybe. The agency has issued an Advisory Circular providing compliance checklists for common STC projects. "The standard compliance checklists show typical methods of compliance with the regulations and cross-references related guidance material," said the notice published in the Federal Register. The checklists are expected to make the STC process a little easier. According to the notice, some of the checklists may contain complete certification requirements while others will be used as a starting point for more complicated STCs that are beyond the scope of a checklist. More...

TAPES SUGGEST CONFUSION BEFORE MIDAIR
The pilot of a Beaver floatplane that collided with a Cessna 150 near Renton, Wash., last August may have been confused by a tower controller's report of the Cessna's position as the two aircraft neared the Renton airport. According to an analysis done by the King County Journal, the tower controller was recorded as telling the Beaver pilot that the Cessna, which he was to follow for landing, was "ahead of you and to your right'' when the radar tapes indicate the Cessna was actually to the Beaver's left and about 400 feet lower. The Beaver descended on top of the Cessna while setting up for a landing. The Cessna crashed into an empty school and both occupants died. The Beaver was able to make a safe emergency landing. More...

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AUTOPILOT IMPLICATED IN AUSSIE CRASH
The Australian Transportation Safety Board says it suspects a malfunctioning autopilot is to blame for the events leading to an in-flight breakup of an Aero Commander in Tasmania in February of 2004. The board's report says the plane, flown by a 21-year-old pilot who was ferrying it from Hobart to Davenport, suddenly lost altitude and, in the subsequent dive, both wings and the empennage came off. The wings were found more than a kilometer from the main crash site. The ATSB said it could not conclusively pin the crash blame on the autopilot but said the evidence points that way. More...

SANTA'S ESCORT PILOTS NAMED
Combine the innocence of youth, a misprinted phone number and a quick-thinking air defense officer and what do you get? A 50-year tradition of Santa being tracked and guided into North American airspace by folks whose usual duty is to scare away unidentified aircraft. Yes, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is again providing regular updates of Santa's progress as he makes his North American rounds. While the operation is headquartered at NORAD's underground surveillance center in Colorado Springs, Canadian military pilots will make first contact with the target, easily distinguished by the bright red nose at the head of the team of reindeer pulling the sleigh. CF-18 pilots Capt. William Radiff and Lt.-Col. Patrice Laroche, of 3 Wing Bagotville, and Capt. Dave Monk and Maj. Alex Day of 4 Wing Cold Lake, are this years official escort pilots. The tradition began with a mistake in an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper in 1955. More...

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ON THE FLY...
Thielert says demand is strong for its diesel engines...
Boeing and Onex Corp. hit with age discrimination suit...
A New Jersey man may have picked the wrong target for his laser pen. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
What's going on where you are? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest someone else, too. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, don't be shy. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part. More...

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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #26: Interpreting Your Engine Monitor
The modern probe-per-cylinder digital engine monitor is a marvelous tool for keeping tabs on your engine's health and troubleshooting its maladies. Here are some tips for figuring out what those bars and digits mean.

More...

FAA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS ARE ON THE RISE!
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150% — all requiring legal counsel.  That's why pilots enroll in the AOPA Legal Services Plan for affordable, dependable legal protection when they unwittingly violate FAA rules.  The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a variety of situations, plus gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by the Plan, annual review of key aviation documents, and one no-cost half-hour consultation — all for less than $30 per year.  Enroll in AOPA's Legal Services Plan BEFORE you need it!  Call (800) USA-AOPA (800-872-8672), or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopalegal/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...

DOES SANTA NEED A P2 SKY BUDDY? YOU BET HE DOES!
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.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
It's Christmas time. What tops your airplane's wish list this year? PLUS: Results of last week's follow-up question about the American Airlines shooting. More...

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.

ASO — A BETTER WAY TO SELL YOUR AIRCRAFT SHARE
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 tomorrow.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
'Tis the week before Christmas, and AVweb readers must be settling in for their long winter's nap — submissions numbers were down to a modest 50 entries this week. As longtime readers know, that's not unusual for the last couple weeks of the year. Even pilots and photographers have holidays to celebrate, as demonstrated by the large number of holiday lights, flying Santas, and prop wreaths we saw in this week's batch of photos. So, in the interest of celebrating the season, we're running the top five holiday photos this week — and rolling over our non-holiday submissions (all 29 of them) to next week's contest. This will give us more photos to choose from next week. In the meantime, kick back with a cup of eggnog and see what your festive fellow readers have been up to! More...



GIFT-GIVING MADE EASY
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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.
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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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 to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
SOME PILOTS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER, WHILE YOU LACK CONFIDENCE
After reading Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for Flight Instructors, and Ways to Improve the Precision, Safety and Confidence of Rated Pilots, you will know HOW to be more capable and confident in your flying. This is not a question-and-answer book, but what you do and think when you are in the cockpit and how to route out bad habits and techniques. HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Order this amazing book for yourself and as gifts for $34.95 — save $5 and get complimentary gift-wrapping and media mail shipping at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/avflash.
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All ZD Publishing's Pilot-Friendly Manuals on GPS operations can be delivered in time for holiday giving with no U.S. shipping costs. Order today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zdpub/avflash.
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Flying the Legendary DC-3 DVD puts you in the cockpit of one of the world's best-known and best-loved aircraft.  Five cameras and high-quality digital sound allow you to see, hear, and feel what it was like to fly the airliner that made aviation history.  Order your copy online direct from the producer, Rick Searle Productions, at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ricksearle/avflash.
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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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