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Volume 12, Number 5a
January 30, 2006
Pilot Insurance 
CenterA New Resolution for the New Year -- Make This One Count
Resolve to put your family's future at the top of your New Year's resolutions list. At Pilot Insurance Center (PIC), you aren't penalized with higher rates because you are a pilot. Now there's only one reason your family's future isn't covered -- you haven't made the call (or gone online) to PIC. For a complimentary quote, call the pros at (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
The Future Of Air Traffic Control back to top 
ATG - A New Dawn of Business 
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

As the FAA and NATCA continue their acrimonious contract talks and debate over staffing, funding, safety priorities, equipment, pay rates and just about everything else, the controllers union last week announced that four Democratic senators are introducing a bill that would prevent the FAA from unilaterally imposing a "last, best offer." NATCA President John Carr wrote to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey that he hopes the move will encourage her to stop making "misleading statements" and trying to "drive our negotiations to impasse." The bill is sponsored by Senators Barack Obama (Ill.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Frank Lautenberg (Md.), and Daniel Inouye (Hawaii). Carr says the FAA's apparent goal is to drive the talks to impasse and impose a contract, "gutting established principles of collective bargaining." More...

The legislation would require both sides to submit to binding arbitration. Senator Obama said he introduced the bill "to help defuse the growing management-labor tension at the FAA." The Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) union applauded NATCA's move, saying under the current rules, there is no incentive for the FAA to negotiate. "The FAA is playing games by refusing to negotiate in good faith, knowing full well that in the end its contract demands will ultimately be forced upon public servants who are committed to keeping our skies the safest in the world," said Tom Brantley, national president of PASS. More...

JA Air Center 
— Your Garmin Source JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 396 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
JA offers top dollar for used GPS, avionics, and aircraft. Call (800) 323-5966 for your current value, with no purchase required. One of Garmin's largest aviation dealers, JA stocks the new GPSMap 396 with terrain, XM Weather, and music with same-day shipping (before 3pm CT). JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Also, JA provides FBO services and fuel at Dekalb Taylor Municipal Airport (KDKB) in Dekalb, IL. Please call (800) 323-5966, or click here for more information.
FAA: MU-2B OK; Pilots, Mechanics Need Help back to top 

The design of the Mitsubishi MU-2B twin turboprop is not inherently unsafe, the FAA said in a safety report released last week. The airplane has been involved in 11 accidents in the last two years, in which 12 people died. The FAA's analysis found that compared to similar twin-turboprop airplanes, the MU-2B accident rate is about twice as high. The fatal rate is about 2.5 times higher, while fatal accident rates in icing conditions are four times higher. An MU-2B pilot is seven times more likely to lose control and have a fatal accident during an emergency compared to pilots flying similar airplanes in similar situations. The airplane is complex and high-performance, the FAA said, and pilots and maintenance workers need better training to properly handle and fly it. More...

The FAA found that the use of MU-2B airplanes has changed. Originally marketed as a corporate aircraft in the 1960s, it is used more today for cargo hauling and private operations. This switch means the aircraft is now "in the hands of pilots and maintenance providers who, in general, have less experience in high-performance airplanes than when it was used primarily as corporate transportation," the FAA said. Those pilots aren't getting the kind of training and proficiency checks that corporate pilots would, and they may operate a variety of aircraft, not just the MU-2B. Further, this shift in usage exposes the airplanes to more frequent night flight operations. More...

AOPA said it was satisfied with the FAA's report. "The FAA heeded our recommendation and will likely issue a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) to require specific MU-2B training," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "We think this is the right result and a much better solution than issuing an airworthiness directive." But AOPA did have a nitpick with the report, which says that for single-pilot IFR operations using an autopilot, compliance with the AD requiring the installation of trim-in-motion and autopilot disconnect systems is recommended. More...

Bose® Aviation Headset X Your Headset Is a Key Piece of Equipment, So Choose the Performance of an Industry Leader
The Bose® Aviation Headset X offers an unmatched combination of comfortable fit, noise reduction, and clearer audio. But don't take our word for it. Hear for yourself with our risk-free 30-day trial. New: Low monthly payments. Click here to order.
News Briefs back to top 

If poking along at 170 knots in your Cirrus SR22 isn't good enough, George Braly, founder of General Aviation Modifications Inc. , home to GAMIjectors, is working on a solution to retain that speed into the higher altitudes for even better true airspeeds. "We have a turbo-normalizer in flight test now that will make the SR22 into a 200-knot airplane," says Braly. (And they may well do better than that.) He's working on getting STC approval from the FAA and finessing the system, which he expects to have ready for market sometime later this year -- hopefully in time for Oshkosh. Braly has years of experience on similar systems, notably for Bonanzas, but says this one has been designed from scratch, with a lot of unique components. More...

It was a very good year for pistons, for jets, and for customer service, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton reported last Thursday. In 2005, Cessna delivered 249 Citation jets, 822 single-engine pistons, and 86 Caravan single-engine turboprops; won FAA certification for two new jets -- the CJ1+ and CJ2+; and built its order book up to 788 jets and 1,198 single-engine aircraft with a total value of $6.3 billion, Pelton said. He attributed the success to "a broad product line that is responsive to the marketplace, emerging global markets, and implementation of lean manufacturing processes." More...

Zuluworks Zuluworks 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 this link and take a look.
News Briefs back to top 

Amid all the rancor between the controllers union and the FAA, NATCA will take a break tonight to remember what the mission is all about -- helping pilots to fly safely, especially when the going gets tough. Ten controllers will be honored as the second annual Archie League Medal of Safety winners. NATCA developed the Medal of Safety as a way to recognize examples of the heroic work of controllers who helped ensure that emergency situations ended safely. This year's winners will be honored for helping a VFR pilot to find his way out of IMC in Alaska, warning forgetful pilots to lower their gear before landing, helping a panicky lost pilot to get back home, and more. More...

When Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta made a veiled reference to user fees in a speech to the Aero Club of Washington last week, alarm bells went off at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh. "EAA has been loud and consistent on this point," said Doug Macnair, EAA's vice president of government relations. "We are categorically opposed to user fees for general aviation, especially since the FAA has not shown effective cost controls or accountability for the capital improvement programs it wants to undertake. The major airlines and commercial operators favor user fees because they hope to offload many of the costs for operations and services on to general aviation, even though the nation's air traffic system is truly designed to serve the air carriers, not general aviation." More...

"Wings to Adventure" on The Outdoor Channel Put Your Favorite Destination on TV!
Wings to Adventure TV is looking for great fly-in destinations to show in stunning high definition.  Each week, WTA visits great places for pilots — some remote, and some right in town.  Share your favorite destination on the forum section of the WTA web site, and you might see it on TV!  Watch WTA every Wednesday at 7:30pm Eastern, and visit their forums online.
News Briefs back to top 

Pilots should not include the effect of thrust reversers when computing safe landing distances for jet aircraft, the NTSB said last week. Calculations tend to assume the thrust reversers will deploy immediately, when in practice there can be a lag of several seconds. The difference can be critical, especially when runway conditions are poor, the NTSB said. The thrust-reverser credit was used when calculating the safe landing distance required for a Southwest 737-7H4 that landed at Chicago Midway Airport on Dec. 8, during a snow storm. The airplane ran off the runway, crashed through a fence, and hit two cars, killing a 6-year-old boy. If the thrust-reverser credit had not been employed, the calculations would have shown that a safe landing was not possible, the NTSB said. More...

A Czechoslovakian-made Albatros L-39 jet crashed in Ketchikan, Alaska, last Wednesday, killing the pilot. The pilot apparently ejected from the jet before it hit the ground, and was found strapped into his seat about 100 yards from the wreckage. The jet crashed into a small trailer park, causing extensive damage but no serious injuries. The pilot was identified as Stephen Freeman, 32, of San Diego, Calif. Various reports last week said the jet had been sold to an Alaskan charter company and was being repossessed; or that the Alaskan company was only considering the sale and had rejected it; or that Freeman was considering buying the aircraft and was testing it out. Freeman was a retired Marine. More...

The Best Aviation Weather Service for Cell Phones Now Available!
WxServer's Version 6 is chock-full of new features, with a simpler, more powerful menu structure.  NexRad radar maps and satellite pictures are zoomable, and Version 6 takes maximum advantage of any phone's available screen size.  Put NexRad maps centered on every U.S. airport, satellite pictures centered on more than 95% of airports worldwide, METARs, TAFs, and even Winds Aloft maps in your pocket. Aviation weather that's ready wherever and whenever when you need it.  SPECIAL: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rate. Click here.
News Briefs back to top 

You might suspect that watching a sailplane competition -- even in a spectacular setting amid New Zealand's rugged Omarama mountains -- would be about as exciting as watching a lawn bowling match. But at last week's Gliding Grand Prix there may have been some who strongly disagree. A week's worth of daily press releases painted the televised event as: "tense ... dramatic ... challenging ... historic ... competitive ... adrenalin-charged ... thrilling." The excitement included one finish with multiple aircraft crossing the finish line within seconds of each other. It all finished up yesterday, with New Zealander Ben Flewett taking first prize. "Aviation and television history was made in Omarama this week," said Grand Prix director Peter Newport. More...

GlobalFlyer launch possible for Wednesday...
LaGuardia Airport to get a new control tower...
New ASF mini-course on GPS posted online...
Conflict over helicopters using river in Oregon for fire training...
Two died Friday in crash of a Navy T-34C Turbo Mentor in Texas...
Bell's first flight of its tiltrotor UAV last week...
Over 400 skydivers in Thailand to attempt world-record jump this week. More...

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. Our best stories start with you. More...

Get Award-Winning VFLITE Computer-Based Training for Your GPS
Don't train in the cockpit! Discover the safe way to get the full power of your GNS 530/430, GPSMap and AirMap navigators. The new VFLITE GNS 530/430 Advanced Training CD-ROM is FAA FITS-accepted and helps you reach a higher level of understanding on complex procedures. Recommended by Garmin(R) and Lowrance(R), VFLITE programs are the ideal solution for both initial and recurrent training. Prices start at $49.95. Windows and Mac compatible. Click here for free demos and more information.
Features back to top 

Motor Head #11: One Thousand (Not So Easy) Pieces
Wonder why airplane engines cost so much? Just try to build one. AVweb's Motor Head, Marc Cook, did (well, he helped anyway) and found it to be very enlightening. And then he flew a Turbo Cirrus ...

Dick Taylor takes on the IFR crowd, making sure you understand the requirements and the not-so-common sense behind selecting suitable and legal alternate airports. Click through to make sure you've got it right.


406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon from Aeromedix Takes the "Search" Out
of "Search & Rescue." A 406 MHz PLB should be an essential part of your safety gear. PLBs greatly reduce the time it takes rescuers to reach an individual and provide the best chance of being rescued in an emergency. A PLB with integrated GPS transmits precise coordinates to within 100 meters and reduces SAR notification time to as little as five minutes! Aeromedix.com has great deals on FastFindPlus ($549) and ACR 406 I/O PLBs ($649). Order by calling (888) 362-7123, or order online.
AVmail back to top 


Reader mail this week about killer kites, radioactive instruments, the new look of AVwebFlash and much more. More...

Garmin 396 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
How does the Garmin 396 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM Weather?  Check out this link and find out. Call (866) 443-3342 to order, or order online.
AVwebBiz back to top 

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...

Use the Best — ASA 2006 Test Books, Software, & DVDs for FAA Exam Prep
ASA's Test Preps for pilots and Fast-Track Test Guides for AMTs include all FAA Knowledge Exam questions. Prepware combines all the information in the Test Prep and Fast-Track Test Guide series in computer-based training. Virtual Test Prep lets students study from their TVs or computer DVD players. For complete details about these products, visit ASA's web site.
Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors, and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call 888-FLY-GAMI, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine.
The Lighter Side Of Flight back to top 

Submitted by a friend of AVweb...

Heard over the UNICOM:

Cessna XYZ: "Cessna XYZ taking runway 10."

Unknown voice: "Well, don't take it very far. There's another plane on final." More...



Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
The New Year is a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association, the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero magazines, plus access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call (703) 527-0226 to become an NAA member, or sign up online.

DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University CAPT, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, and Utah Valley State College — all have selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the DA40 is the fleet favorite. For more information, click here.

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, visit Narco Avionics online.

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. Check it out.

Fed Up with Big Bills for Routine Aircraft Maintenance?!
Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance and 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 now for big savings off the regular rates.

Order a CO Guardian CO Detector in the Hope You'll Never Have to Use It!
Models from portable to panel-mount units.  Order online.

Power Flow's Short Stack Approved for Pipers & Grummans
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.

Comm1 Radio Simulator -- Special Offer to AVweb Subscribers
Receive a complimentary Communications Reference Card with the purchase of any Comm1 Radio Simulator. Fly confidently by training with Comm1 Radio Simulators -- unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Available in VFR, IFR, and Clearances on Request versions. Experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics from the safety and privacy of your desktop. Order this special offer now.

Gas Prices Keeping You Grounded? Share Expenses on Your Next Flight!
Join PilotShareTheRide.com. This unique site is offered at no cost to pilots AND those who love to fly and don't have access to an aircraft. You can share costs on your next flight! Pilot Share The Ride is supported by advertisers, just like AVweb, so there are no membership costs. Check out PilotShareTheRide.com.

Names Behind The News back to top 

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by news writer Mary Grady (bio).

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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