Headset Is a Key Piece of Equipment, So Choose the Performance of an
The Bose(R) 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
Low monthly payments. Click here
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News
Coverage At AVweb's
FAA, NATCA BILL WOULD FORCE BINDING ARBITRATION
members of the House have introduced a companion bill to a Senate
document that would ultimately force binding arbitration if the FAA and
its unionized workers can't reach a voluntary contract settlement. The
bill's introduction earned support from both sides of the House (12
Republicans signed on) with Rep. Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Jerry
Costello (D-Ill.) leading the effort. The bill, called the FAA Fair
Labor Management Dispute Resolution Act of 2006, would eliminate a
clause in current legislation that could result in the FAA's last,
"best" offer being forced on the workers. "This bill would propose a
small change in the law, but it would make a big difference by restoring
fairness and true accountability to the negotiation process," John Carr,
president of the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers
(NATCA), said in a news release. Other unions are also pleased.
TRUMP CARD TARGETED
Under the current rules, the FAA has the
ability to declare an impasse in negotiations. That sends the whole
package to the Republican-controlled Congress for consideration. If, as
is widely speculated would be the case, Congress fails to deal with the
contract within 60 days, the FAA deal that was on the table when the
impasse was declared would by default become the new contract.
Naturally, the union leaders are unlikely to see this as a fair
arrangement and have lobbied tirelessly to kick that particular piece of
legislation aside. The unions got their first break a month ago when
Senate Democrats launched their bill. The bipartisan House bill is an
exact replica of the Senate bill. The FAA isn't likely to react quietly.
FAA spokesman Greg Martin called the
union-inspired legislation another delaying tactic in a set of
negotiations that, after six months with little movement, has already
gone on too long. "Ironically, this [proposed] legislation contains a
mediation clause and we've already called for mediation twice. At any
time, without the legislation, NATCA can take us up on mediation so we
can get moving closer on key issues," Martin told AVweb.
"Clearly, NATCA's determination to push this legislation can be seen as
delaying in the context of the evergreen clause." What Martin isn't
saying is that, for now, the FAA may have been out-politicked. Although
it has the legal authority to declare an impasse at any time, it would
be political dynamite if the agency did so while legislation concerning
the impasse authority is before Congress. In the meantime the existing
contract (which the FAA says is far too rich) prevails so some may
believe the union holds an interest in stretching negotiations as long
as possible. More...
Zuluworks Is New and Improved!
has not only treated themselves to a little digital makeover, but have
re-tooled their product line as well. The new Gazelle
ultimate flight bag with 3,200 cubic inches of versatility and style.
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
SETS ITS MIND(S) TO ROADABLE AIRCRAFT
A trio of Massachusetts
Institute of Technology grads is determined to create something that has
so far eluded both the aviation and automotive industry and their idea
seems to be carrying a fair bit of weight in academic circles. An
outside panel of scientists and technologists have awarded Carl Dietrich
the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for, among other inventions (like
a desktop fusion reactor and a lower-cost rocket engine), a "flying SUV"
he calls Transition. And with help from fellow brainiacs
Samuel Schweighart and Anna Mracek, the apparently undisputed genius has
formed a company called Terrafugia (terra means earth, fugia means
escape) and hopes to have something to show us at this year's EAA
AirVenture in Oshkosh. More...
The MIT group deals with the snide remarks,
knowing smiles and barely concealed giggles with a single line on its
Web site: "Why will Terrafugia succeed where so many others have
failed?" the group asks rhetorically. Given the source, the answer might
be obvious. In a word, it's engineering. The trio says it's taking an
engineering approach to the project. What they've come up with is a
two-place vehicle with an airplane-like fuselage and fold-out wings. It
will have a 100-hp engine driving a tail-mounted pusher prop and weigh
in at 1,320 pounds, qualifying it for light sport aircraft (LSA) status.
In fact, Dietrich says, the no-medical, low-cost Sport Pilot certificate
option was a major factor in the decision to design the
drive-to-the-airport-and-fly-away machine. More...
THE FLYING MOTORCYCLE PLANS SUN 'N FUN SPLASH
While the MIT
folks go straight to their ultimate creation, Larry Neal, of Butterfly LLC in Bridgeport, Texas, is taking the
launch of his combination of a three-wheeled motorcycle and gyrocopter
in a more methodical way. Neal's friend John Frena, who's trying to turn
up the hype while Neal keeps his nose to the grindstone, says the Flying
Motorcycle is less than a month from becoming fully functional in the
air and on the ground and will demonstrate both capabilities at
Lakeland. As AVweb told you last week, the Flying
Motorcycle has already flown for local TV cameras. More...
Complimentary Online Workshop for IFR Pilots &
"Fly Single-Pilot IFR with Confidence" is the
title of the newest workshop from PilotWorkshops.com
. Taught by
Doug Stewart, 2004 National Certified Flight Instructor of the Year.
Take a complimentary 10-minute IFR workshop. Click here for instant online access
SQUASH AIRBORNE TOMATO THREAT
While the U.S. is having
trouble keeping people from pointing lasers at airplanes, it seems the
Australians have convincingly dealt with another type of threat to
aviation: flying tomatoes. Southport Magistrate Alex Chilcott put
Anthony Douglas Donohue, 35, of Sorrento, in Queensland, on two years of
probation after the man admitted threatening to bring down a helicopter
by shooting tomatoes from a "homemade bazooka." Donohue became annoyed
over the helicopter's repetitive survey flights over the house he shares
with his parents and called in the threats to Air Services Australia,
the government agency that regulates civil aviation. "I have a homemade
bazooka and if that helicopter is here again tomorrow I will fire the
bazooka at this guv," Donohue was quoted by prosecutors as saying,
according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The court was also
told his ammunition of choice was tomatoes. More...
WINS COLLIER PRIZE (PRE-EMPTIVELY?)
Eclipse Aviation has
joined the ranks of Orville Wright, Chuck Yeager's sonic boom and the
B-2 bomber, among many others, in winning the National Aeronautic
Association's Collier Trophy, considered among the most
prestigious aviation awards. In a press release announcing the winner,
NAA CEO David Ivey says Eclipse is "applying innovations created in the
technology industry to drive down cost, increase performance, improve
safety, and spur a new type of air travel -- the air taxi." The release
also paraphrases and quotes Ivey as saying "the selection committee's
criteria included recognition of the rich heritage of the Collier
Trophy, and 'the spirit of entrepreneurship, technical innovation, and
the impact on American aviation,' exemplified by the Eclipse 500." ...
Which may be Ivey's way of saying that Eclipse's accomplishments might
not fit a strict interpretation of the award's criteria as outlined on
the NAA Web site. More...
Your Favorite Destination on TV!Wings to
TV is looking for great fly-in destinations to show in
stunning high definition. Each week, WTA
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
FLYING METAL MYSTERY
The FAA says a 2.2-pound chunk of metal
that smashed through the roof of a Broward, Fla., home, cracked four
skylights, sliced through a den and finally came to rest, scorching hot,
on the pool deck, where it cracked tiles, didn't come from an airplane.
But the owner of the house is alleging a cover-up. "I think someone's
covering someone's a-- for not inspecting a plane," Robert Amchir told
the Sun-Sentinel newspaper. It's going to cost him about $10,000 to
repair the various holes in his house caused by the metal, which blasted
through last Wednesday afternoon. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said
several airworthiness inspectors examined the metal and none could
identify it as an aircraft part. They thought it might be a
counterweight of some sort used in machinery. "Our investigation is
closed," she said. But if it didn't come from an airplane, where did it
come from? More...
AIRLINERS HAVE MISSILE DEFENSE
As AVweb told you in
January, Israeli government-owned defense contractors have come up with
a retrofit missile defense system for airliners and they didn't fool
around putting it to use. The national airline El Al now carries the
Flight Guard system on each of its 29 aircraft. It took three years to
develop and certify the system, partly due to consideration for perhaps
less security-conscious countries' concerns regarding the possibility of
an El Al aircraft on approach launching conventional magnesium flares
over (or into) densely populated areas. Flight Guard uses
infrared-emitting flares that are presumably less likely to start fires.
There's no official word from the FAA on the system but El Al continues
to operate flights from LAX, O'Hare, JFK and Miami. More...
Insurance Products From The Pilot Insurance Center
addition to the incredible savings pilots get when purchasing life
insurance from the Pilot Insurance Center
offers a wide variety of insurance products. The most popular is the
Return of Premium (ROP) term policy. The ROP policy is a hybrid between
universal life and term insurance. At the end of the ROP policy term,
you get all of your premiums back, and it offers convertibility options.
For more information on ROP benefits and features, or any other
coverage, call PIC at (800) 380-8376
, or visit
HELI PILOT DENIES BLAME FOR CESSNA CRASH
A British military
helicopter pilot says his aircraft didn't cause a Cessna landing on a
nearby runway to suddenly veer off the pavement. Flt. Lieut. Peter
Binstead was taking off adjacent to the runway as Hugh Paton was landing
at St. Mawgan Airport in Cornwall when Paton's plane left the runway and
crashed in flames. Paton's wife and two daughters got out of the burning
plane but Paton later died from severe burns. The 2001 crash was the
subject of an inquest last week. Although the ministry of defense and
Binstead have denied responsibility for the crash, the British
government paid the family about $8 million in an out-of-court
SAYS A380 WING FAILURE NO BIG DEAL
Airbus is downplaying test
results in which an A380 wing undergoing static testing failed slightly
before the required design limit. The wings are supposed to take 1.5
times the design load limit but this one failed at 1.45 times, about 3.3
percent shy of the certification requirement. Airbus spokeswoman Barbara
Kracht said the wing will need some "refinements" but the aircraft is on
schedule for certification and first deliveries late this year. "We will
need to find out from the data what is really needed but it's certainly
not a redesign of the wing," Kracht told Associated Press.
Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 396 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used
GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
Call (800) 323-5966 for
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. Call (800)
, or click for more information
STILL A PROBLEM
The publicity has died down but the FAA says
people are still pointing lasers at airplanes and it intends to crack
down on those responsible. Last Monday, at least 16 aircraft were lased
near Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the second such rash of incidents
there in six months. "We treat it as a very serious matter," FBI Special
Agent Dawn Clenney said. "Laser beams can disorient pilots responsible
for an airplane full of passengers." There were 305 laser pointing
incidents between late 2004 and early 2006, according to The Associated
Press. Meanwhile, the New Jersey man who became the unwitting poster child
for laser incidents has been put on probation for shining a light into
the cockpit of a Cessna Citation. More...
FAA named new Federal Air Surgeon...
meeting to discuss helicopter safety...
United pilots unlikely to get
Microbes are throwing off fuel gauges in
Loose wires shut down Reno ILS. More...
One Product -- Everything You Need!
Preflight to Enroute!
The Voyager Flight Software
integrates all the flight information you need into one
seamless package. Quickly view weather, winds, airport, fuel and terrain
data for pre-flight planning, then fly with enroute moving map and
real-time weather. Whether you just need quick pre-flight data, some
current charts, or a complete Electronic Flight Bag, this is the
affordable solution. Data is updated automatically, and there is NO
CHARGE for always-current approach plates! Download a test drive of the complete system here
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Lounge #97: Precautionary Landings
You probably only flew an
approach to an off-airport field as part of your "power-failure"
training -- and you probably didn't actually land on that crop field
(balloons and gliders excepted, of course). But if that's the only thing
that will save your life when you get caught scud-running, shouldn't you
Radar contact. Paul
Berge identifies the differences in meaning for both VFR and IFR pilots
when a controller says "radar contact". He also tells you what it
doesn't mean for any pilot engaged in either type of flight. Click through to learn.
Dreams, Youth, Freedom All Within
Your Reach Through Dorr AviationDorr Aviation
help you achieve your passion for flight by financing your next aircraft
purchase. Dorr Aviation
has been a trusted name in aircraft
financing for over 45 years. With Dorr's extensive aviation knowledge
and exceptional customer service, they will make the process
hassle-free. Call (800) 214-0066
, or download
OurPLANE Fractional New
Aircraft -- The Intelligent, Lowest-Cost Aircraft Ownership
Your factory-new Cirrus, Cessna, Eclipse VLJ,
Pilatus PC12, or King Air all for a fraction of the usual cost.
Available Coast to Coast! AVweb special discount IF YOU CALL
-- 1-877-RPLANE-1 (877-775-2631)
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/
Use the Best -- ASA 2006 Test Books,
Software, & DVDs for FAA Exam Prep
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
Worried About Busting A Reg? You Should
It's all too easy with today's tightened rules and
enforcement. Join the smart pilots who trust Aviation
to keep them aware and in the air. Discover this
informative, instructive monthly that sharpens your savvy and air
readiness. For big savings from the regular rate, subscribe now
While doing some work, heard the following exchange
on Kennedy Tower freq:
Twr: Cactus 51, turn right zulu
and golf, hold behind the plane that's stopped to
Cactus 51: Cactus 51 we'll make the right zulu
and golf, behind the recycled airplane ... whatever that
Trw: C'mon Cactus, you guys should know what that
means, you fly Airbus' -- it's when the screens go blank and you have to
restart them all.
Cactus 51: Oh, yeah, we know about
that. We just thought it was 'cause we were out of quarters.
AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED
SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS,
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT
NO COST TO YOU
Do You or Your
Passengers Suffer from Motion Sickness?
Then try the
ReliefBand, the most effective product available for nausea and
vomiting associated with motion sickness -- and the only drug-free
motion-sickness remedy cleared by the FDA! Try it with
Aeromedix's unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee! Just
$78.95. Call Aeromedix at (888) 362-7123 or go
The Finer Points
Podcasts Are Now Available to AVweb Subscribers
Miller's The Finer Points is an educational aviation
podcast that has soared in popularity since its launch in October 2005.
Miller has integrated his love of flying and music to bring a new way of
learning to the aviation community. See
Isn't It About Time You
Choose Something Extra?
and internationally renowned -- that's the difference in Extra
Aircraft's EA-300 and EA-500. All it takes is one flight in
the EA-300, and you'll discover why so many world-champion aerobatic
pilots choose Extra. Extra's certified, Rolls Royce-powered, 6-seat
turboprop EA-500 is in a class all by itself. The only new-technology
cabin class airplane, the EA-500 averages 220 kts, gets 11 mpg, and
costs less than $200/hr to operate. Click
here for more information on both remarkable aircraft.
Click, Shop, Save -- at the Pilot's Shopping Site --
Make shopping for everything you and your plane
need easy and quick at Pilot Shop. Books, sunglasses,
flashlights, radios, GPSs, timers, headsets, watches -- the list goes on
and on! AVweb Special: $15 discount coupon for purchases of $100
or more. One use per customer. Offer expires 2/28/06. Coupon Code: AVweb. With this special,
no-cost shipping, and no sales tax (outside NM), you have to see for
yourself. Click here!
See What ATC
Sees And Then See What They Do with It
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.
Cockpit Voltage Converter from Trans-Plata
For $69.95, you
can now afford a cockpit voltage converter from Trans-Plata.
Plus, there's been a price reduction on the 5-amp converter. All
Trans-Plata products can be ordered online.
Prices Keeping You Grounded? Share Expenses on Your Next
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.
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 Russ Niles (bio).
here to send a
letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your
letter is not intended for
Comments or questions about the news should be sent
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on
marketing? Send it to AVweb's
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
Freedom, independence, responsibility.