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December 28, 2005

NewsWire Complete Issue

By The AVweb Editorial Staff

This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation

LightSPEED's LightFlight Mach 1 Headset

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.

Aviation Consumer

Government Report Assesses GA Security Threat

AOPA Finds It Supportive

The Congressional Research Service has released a new report, "Securing General Aviation," which AOPA says will aid lobbying efforts in support of fair and rational treatment for GA in any new security legislation. The 43-page report aims to provide members of Congress with nonpartisan research results and analysis. It explains what GA is, the risk factors, and possible options to mitigate those risks. "This report from Congress's highly respected research agency provides an unbiased, realistic view of both the minimal threat that light GA aircraft represent and the significant social and economic impacts of ill-considered security regulations," said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. "While we might take issue with some points, the report must be carefully reviewed by policy makers before considering any new security restrictions on general aviation." The report concurs with AOPA's contention that GA security should be risk-based and tailored to the unique characteristics and vulnerabilities of specific airports, AOPA said. The Congressional Research Service is a government agency within the Library of Congress, where members of Congress turn for the nonpartisan research, analysis and information they need to make informed decisions. The CRS has been carrying out this mission since 1914.

Dangers Of GA Aircraft Analyzed

The report carefully analyzes the limited capability of the typical GA aircraft to carry conventional explosives. "At least with regard to being used as a platform for conventional explosives, the threat posed by light GA aircraft is relatively small compared to trucks which have significantly larger payload capacities," the report states. However, the report also explains that GA aircraft are not all alike. "The threat posed by general aviation aircraft is largely a function of aircraft weight, payload capacity (including fuel capacity), and speed," the report says. Further, dangers from aerial dispersion of chemical and biological agents "may not be as ominous as some fear," the report says. Many chemical or biological agents are only effective if released in an enclosed area. Others, such as mustard gas or nerve agents, would only affect a limited portion of the population because of the limited load-carrying capability of a light GA aircraft.

Airspace Restrictions Questioned

Airspace restrictions, in their various forms, are analyzed by the report. Objections from pilots and the impact on flight operations are noted. "The resource requirements and associated costs for monitoring restricted airspace and providing airspace protection around critical sites raise policy questions regarding the appropriate balancing of these measures with efforts to address other homeland security threats, and the effect of these measures on air commerce and the freedom of movement by air," the report says. AOPA says the report will provide support to efforts to prevent the Washington, D.C., ADIZ from becoming a permanent fixture. Also noted in the report were criticism from AOPA and other GA groups about the impact of restrictions on the aviation industry. "In response to this criticism," the report concludes, "attempting to tailor homeland security policy to fit the risk posed by widely varied GA operations, allocating budgets and resources to address security priorities, and addressing concerns about potentially impeding air commerce or compromising aviation safety are likely to remain ongoing challenges for the Congress."

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GPS Approach Goes Live

DCA RNP Now Open To All

A new GPS approach is now available to all aircraft at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA). The Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach had been working since September, but only for Alaska Airlines, which pioneered the use of such approaches to improve access into remote and challenging airports. At Reagan National, RNP-guided approaches will increase efficiency, improve safety and reduce the effect of aircraft noise and emissions on homes and businesses under the flight path, the FAA said. The Reagan National RNP approach to Runway 19, which follows the Potomac River, allows planes to land with considerably lower cloud ceilings and visibility than currently required, increasing airport access during marginal weather. The procedure at Reagan National may be used by any operator who can meet specific FAA requirements for aircraft navigation performance and pilot training.

A Look At What's Next

"We're tapping the high-performance computing capability of today's aircraft to move more planes more safely and efficiently," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "The environmental benefits are terrific too, because flying straight down the middle of the flight path means that people on the ground perceive less jet noise and experience fewer engine emissions." More RNP approaches are slated to become available in 2006, including the Wenatchee Airport in Washington; George Bush Intercontinental in Houston; Chicago Midway; Newark, N.J., Liberty; Honolulu International; Gary, Ind.; Tampa, Fla.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Guam; Tucson, Ariz.; Long Beach, Calif.; and John F. Kennedy International in New York. When performance-based navigation is fully implemented at airports across the nation, it will establish precise approach, arrival and departure procedures. It also will improve situational awareness for pilots and air traffic controllers, and provide smoother traffic flows, saving fuel and benefiting the environment, the FAA said. Want to know more about RNP? Watch the FAA's 13-minute online video (provided you have a speedy internet connection), "Highway in the Sky."

Give 24 issues (two years) of Trade-A-Plane for just $24.95 (US, standard mail) — including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's daily updated web site. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

Chart Mix-Up Affects Busy LAX Airspace

Modifications to the Los Angeles Class B airspace went into effect last week, lowering the base altitudes for several VFR flyways. The new altitudes should have been printed on the back of the new Terminal Area Chart that was published Dec. 22, but due to an internal FAA glitch, the changes weren't made. "The Class B airspace boundaries on the chart are depicted correctly, it is only the flyway (planning) altitudes on the back side of the chart that [are incorrect]," Eric Secretan, of the National Aeronautical Charting Office, told AVweb. He said the chart is being reprinted and corrected copies should be distributed by the first week of January. Meanwhile, the changes are in effect nonetheless. The corrected chart will be sent to all FAA chart sales agents and anyone that purchased the chart directly from the FAA, Secretan said. Anyone who bought the new chart can return it for a free replacement at their point of purchase, as soon as the new charts are available. Meanwhile, an FAA Special Notice describing the issue has been placed on the FAA/NACO Web site, and sent to all FAA chart sales agents and customers. In addition, a NOTAM has been issued describing the corrections to the fly-way altitudes.

FAA Offers Online Airspace Training for Pilots

Online training is now available to help general aviation pilots understand the complexities of today's stricter airspace rules and reduce violations of restricted airspace, the FAA said on Tuesday. The training is meant for any pilots who fly in or near restricted areas, especially around Washington, D.C. The course provides detailed information on the requirements and procedures required to operate in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and other restricted airspace. Pilots who complete the Web-based course and pass a 25-question multiple-choice test will receive a certificate of completion. "Very few pilots actually intend to fly into restricted airspace, but even an inadvertent violation could have serious consequences," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "Pilots are strongly encouraged to take the training to help them understand how to avoid getting into a difficult situation." The training is part of a broad effort by the FAA to reduce the number of violations of Washington airspace.

The Lightweight, All-Weather Millennium Robotow from Aircraft SpruceAIRCRAFT SPRUCE OFFERS NEW ROBOTOW
Aircraft Spruce is pleased to offer the new all-weather Millennium model Robotow. It is lightweight (under 30 lbs.) and portable, making it ideal for carrying onboard your aircraft. When the Robotow's heavy-duty, all-weather knurled drive drum is held against the nose wheel, the aircraft is easily moved. A trigger on the handle controls the speed while a switch reverses direction on command. Powerful, portable, and dependable, Robotow is an ideal power towbar for the following aircraft: Beech, Cessna, Piper, Trainer, Navion, Commander, Caravan, and Trinidad. 18-volt & 120-volt models are available. To order, call 1-877-4SPRUCE, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/spruce/avflash.

Next-Generation GPS Launched in Europe

The European Space Agency yesterday launched their first test satellite for the Galileo project, which will comprise a constellation of 30 satellites to rival the U.S. GPS system. Galileo is expected to be complete by 2010, with some services starting as soon as 2008. Its global positioning capabilities will be more accurate than the current GPS system, which is controlled by the U.S. military, and will even work indoors. Its signals should be compatible with current GPS hardware. It will have a basic signal that will be available free to everyone, and a more precise signal which will be encrypted. The system is meant for commercial, not military use, but concerns have been raised about its future applications. Yesterday, the first signals were reported to have been successfully received from the new satellite.

Blue Origin Quietly Moves Spaceward

Richard Branson's new spaceport in New Mexico could have competition from a similar site in Texas, according to an Associated Press report. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, had bought 165,000 acres near El Paso that will be used as a test site and an eventual spaceport. The AP said Bezos has also bought 25 acres south of Seattle that will be used as a site to design and build spacecraft and engines. The site includes a 243,000-square-foot office and warehouse building that is being revamped to accommodate research and assembly areas, plus a 90,000-square-foot rocket-engine test stand surrounded by a 12-foot earthen berm. Staff from Bezos' space company, Blue Origin, will move to the site early in 2006, the AP said. The company work force is now about 40, but is expected to grow to 100 over the next few years. The company is designing a spacecraft that will take off and land vertically and carry three passengers into suborbital space. Test flights in Texas could begin late in 2006. The AP cited various sources and records, adding that Blue Origin has released little information about its plans.

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FAA Plans To Consolidate Service Area Offices

The FAA currently maintains nine Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Service Area offices, located in each of the FAA regional offices, but plans to consolidate them into just three regional sites in 2006. "The decision to restructure the Service Area offices was made to reduce overhead positions and operating costs, and eliminate redundancies," the FAA said in its location study report, which it recently posted online. "Additionally, the decision to restructure focused on improving the efficiency of operations and effectiveness of service." The report finds that Atlanta, Seattle, and Fort Worth, Texas, would be the best sites for the three consolidated offices, and the changes would save the FAA about $40 million over 10 years. One FAA worker told AVweb that the changes would not serve customers well. A high percentage of the more experienced personnel will not be willing to relocate, he said, resulting in a "brain drain" that will make it harder for the aviation community to get the help they need. The ATO Service Area offices provide management support for En Route, Terminal, Technical Operations, System Operations, and Flight Services facilities within their designated service area.

Pilot's Family Helps Young Time-Builders

The family of a Canadian pilot who died in a crash last week have created a scholarship in his honor, Canada.com reported on Monday. Trevor Hardy, 31, was the co-pilot of a Mitsubishi Mu-2, flying for Nav Air Charter. The airplane crashed and exploded at Northwest Regional Airport on Dec. 20, killing Hardy and Simon Piper, 33. Hardy had worked hard to put himself through flight school and build up the thousands of hours of flight experience he needed to qualify for the airline career he wanted. To help other young pilots, the family and Mike Herr, one of Hardy's lifelong friends, have created the Trevor Hardy Scholarship Fund for young pilots in training. Two other pilots died in a Nav Air crash in April. The company has voluntarily given up its operating certificate, grounding its aircraft indefinitely.

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.

Police Use Airport Records To Catch Drug Smugglers

Police in Oregon arrested two Canadian men when they stopped to refuel at Burns Municipal Airport last month, seizing almost a half-ton of marijuana, The Associated Press reported on Monday. The arrest followed an effort by police to more closely monitor remote rural airports in the region, checking self-service fuel records to search for clues to illicit operations. Information from those records is now going into the Oregon Department of Justice's computerized intelligence network, where it will be available to federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies. But it's expected that the impact of that effort will last only until the smugglers figure it out, then they will simply circumvent it. All a smuggler would have to do is land in a hayfield or on a remote road and refuel from tanks mounted onto farm pickups, Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo told the AP.

On The Fly...

An Alaska Airlines MD-80 landed safely Monday afternoon at Seattle-Tacoma Airport after a foot-long gash opened up in the fuselage at 26,000 feet. A ramp vehicle had dented the airplane just before takeoff...

New Jersey has seen 44 aviation accidents so far this year, double the number in 2004. Thirteen people died, the Star-Ledger reported Sunday...

An emergency-services helicopter pilot in New Zealand was just getting to work when a call came in about a fatal car crash on Christmas Eve -- and one of the victims was his elderly father. Other pilots intervened to keep him away from the crash site and covered for him over the weekend...

China is building its first customer support center for the ARJ21 jet, the first commercial jet to be designed and built in China...

Profits in the civil aviation sector in China fell by half over the last year due to jumps in fuel prices, but the industry's growth is expected to continue...

Skywatchers in the Western U.S. could glimpse the re-entry of a space-probe capsule carrying comet-dust particles, on Jan. 15.


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AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, 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.

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.

New Articles and Features on AVweb

Quiz #102: Smooth Maneuvers
No, the title doesn't reflect our moves on the dance floor. Instead, it refers to your pilot skills in something other than straight-and-level flight. Being cool, you'll coordinate your mind and feet to answer the following questions.


With pricing starting at $9,990, Avidyne's new TAS600 systems set a new price-performance standard for active-surveillance traffic capability and make important safety systems affordable for owners of light GA aircraft.  TAS600 systems show standard TAS symbology on display systems from 15 different manufacturers, including Avidyne's Entegra and EX500/5000 MFDs; Garmin's G1000, MX20, and 400/500-series; as well as displays from Honeywell, Collins, Chelton, Sandel, and others.  For complete details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/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/


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.

AVweb's Question of the Week ...


Last week, AVweb got into the holiday spirit (the commercial side of it, at least) and asked what gadgets and gizmos topped your airplane wish list.

It was no big surprise that most of you (36%) would like a new GPS unit for your plane.

The next most popular gift would be a hangar for your plane — one of our favorite "hint, hint" items, too — with 26% of you choosing hangar from our short list.

Nearly tied at 16% and 15% of responses were an Electronic Flight Information System or a new ANR headset.

And pulling up the rear, with only 7% of your votes, was a new transceiver.

Just to offer our own statistic, AVweb wishes 100% of our readers could have gotten everything on their holiday wish lists.


This week, AVweb wants to know what health issue is most important to you (in relation to your medical certificate).

Click here to answer

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to qotw@avweb.com.

This address is only for suggested QOTW questions, and not for QOTW answers or comments.
Use this form to send QOTW comments to our AVmail Editor.

With your subscription to Light Plane Maintenance, you will join thousands of savvy general aviation owners who are saving big by doing it themselves! Each monthly issue brings tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform yourself, legally and easily. Order for big savings from the regular rates at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lpm/avflash.

AVweb's Picture of the Week ...

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions

Current POTW Winner | Past POTW Winners

Submissions to our "Picture of the Week" contest continue to trickle in at a reduced rate.  For the second week in a row, we received only a few dozen entries — not uncommon for this time of year.  Fortunately, we ran a selection of holiday-themed photos last week and rolled over those pictures into this week's competition — allowing us plenty of photos to choose from, including a handful of oh-so-nifty bonus pics.

Interestingly, many of the past couple of weeks' photos were black-and-whites — and more than a few of those were "vintage" photos readers found in their scrapbooks.  So to kick us off this week, here are three of our favorite black-and-whites ... .

Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of readers who submit photos.


Used with permission of Allan Berg

"Long Beach Glider"
Allan Berg
of Atlantic Beach, New York tells us that's
"Jerry Ginsberg in the pilot's seat."  Writes Allan:  "My dad
was about 17 years old at this time in the late 1920s.
He designed and built with a number of friends
while he was in Long Beach (NY) High School."
In case you're wondering, the glider rose to a
height of three feet when "towed by a cab."

Click here to view a large version of this image
Click here for a medium-sized version

AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up. Click on the links below to view larger versions.

copyright © Harold Manzano
Used with permission of Ernest Manzano

"Bell 430 at the Dominican Republic
Presidential Palace 2005"
Ernest Manzano
of Miami, Florida
reminds us why we like black-and-white
photos so much — not to mention helicopters.

Used with permission of James W. McCoy

"Off-Field Repair, 1933"
Like Allan Berg above,
James W. McCoy
of Houston, Texas
also owes his "POTW" success to his dad.
The elder Mr. McCoy was on the crew that
recovered the wreckage from this crash
near Cherokee, Wyoming in 1933.

Bonus Pictures

A few last-minute pictures
to wave goodbye to 2005.

Used with permission of George Mock

"On Guard"
George Mock of Windsor, Ontario (Canada) kept
us up-to-date on the move of the Lancaster FM212
that used to adorn Dieppe Park in Windsor.
Now he treats us to a shot of the replacement,
a replica Spitfire that keeps watch over the Detroit River.

Used with permission of Brian Bixler

"Another Great Day at SXM"
We've gotten lots of low-approach photos
since Natalia Anemodoura's shot of LGKR
on Corfu Island, Greece a few weeks ago.
Brian Bixler
of Redmond, Washington joins the club
with this so-close-you-can-feel-the-breeze photo from
SXM on St. Maarten Island.  "You can drink your beer,
hang out on the beach, and get a free airshow every day!"
writes Brian.  Sounds like our kind of place!

copyright © Robbie Culver
Used with permission

Robbie Culver of Waukegan, Illinois
shot this photo at Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport
recently and "thought it was appropriate for the season."
Though it gives us an unpleasant chill, we've gotta agree.
Thanks, Robbie!

Used with permission of Kevin Korterud

"Santa's Warbird Sleigh"
In response to last week's many flying Santa photos,
Kevin Korterud
of Norcross, Georgia shows us a, um,
different kind of holiday spirit.  He tells us that Santa's warbird
is actually on loan from members of the Dixie Wing of the
Commemorative Air Force.  If you haven't followed our links.
to the CAF in the past, be sure to check out Dixie Wing.

To enter next week's contest, click here.

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.

Take Advantage of AVweb's Holiday Sponsor Specials

AVweb's sponsors always have top-notch products and
outstanding prices, but the next couple of days are
your last chance to enjoy holiday savings on everything
from pilot supplies to books to avionics to aircraft!
Click here:  http://www.avweb.com/shopping

Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

The Piper Flyer Association (PFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national and regional events, 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 Piper aircraft. Join the Piper Flyer Association (PFA) as they build the ultimate Piper association. The PFA is located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport in Wisconsin, just 35 miles NW of Oshkosh. For more information (and to request a sample copy of the magazine), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pfa/avflash.
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.
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.
Find out in the January issue of Flying. Plus: Best Buy Singles; Flying the "Fast Glass" G1000 Mooney Ovation 2; Report from the Red Bull Air Races; Ice Protection for Singles; and much more. Special rates online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
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.
Don't go blindly into a dealership when purchasing a vehicle; look to CrewCar. CrewCar is a car-buying service providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value nationwide. The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards. For more information, visit CrewCar at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/avflash.
The ViperJet II promises speed with docile handling for a price; ignition option technology; "See & Avoid, Part 1: Hazard Detection"; a review of three LSAs ready for sale; Earl Hibler's Baby Doll; tips and tricks for fabric covering; and "Designer Spotlight: Lance Neibauer, Lancair Founder." Don't miss an issue of Kitplanes — order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/kitplanes/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:
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.

Freedom, independence, responsibility.

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