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Volume 11, Number 52b December 29, 2005

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

LightSPEED's LightFlight Mach 1 
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NEW MACH 1 HEADSET BY LIGHTSPEED:  SMALLER CAN BE BETTER
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Aviation 
Consumer

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

GOVERNMENT REPORT ASSESSES GA SECURITY THREAT
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. More...

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. More...

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. 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.

GPS APPROACH GOES LIVE
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. More...

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. More...

Trade-A-PlaneGIVE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS THEM FLYING
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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. More...

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. More...

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. More...

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. More...

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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. More...

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 with the hope it will save the lives of future young pilots, 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. 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.

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. More...

ON THE FLY...
An MD-80 landed safely after a foot-long gash opened in the fuselage...
New Jersey had 44 aviation accidents in 2005, double the number in 2004...
China building first customer support center for its ARJ21 jet...
Profits in China's civil aviation sector fell by half last year...
Skywatchers in Western U.S. could glimpse space probe re-entry. 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.

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
What have you heard? There might be something to it. 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...

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.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
BRAINTEASERS
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.

More...

AVIDYNE'S NEW TAS600 SYSTEMS DELIVER ACTIVE-SURVEILLANCE
TRAFFIC AWARENESS PROTECTION UNDER $10,000

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/ More...

BENNETT AVIONICS WILL MAKE YOUR HOLIDAY
DEADLINE WITH UPGRADED SHIPPING

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 ...
This week, AVweb wants to know what health issue is most important to you (in relation to your medical certificate). PLUS: What did AVweb readers want to find in their stockings this year? Answers to last week's question. More...

LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE MAGAZINE SAVES OWNERS BIG MONEY!
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 ...
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 ... . More...



LAST CHANCE
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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS  
ATTENTION, PIPER OWNERS AND PILOTS!
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.
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.
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.
FLYING MAGAZINE ASKS, "ARE NEW AIRSPACE USER FEES COMING?"
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.
ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HARDWARE!
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.
HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FROM CREWCAR & CONSUMER GUIDES
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.
SPONSOR NEWS
KITPLANES' MARCH ISSUE IS JAM-PACKED WITH THESE HIGHLIGHTS:
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.
_____________________________________
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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

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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.

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