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Volume 12, Number 18b
May 4, 2006
MRX CAS from Aircraft Spruce Aircraft Spruce Carries the Zaon MRX Collision Avoidance System
PCAS MRX is the world's smallest collision avoidance device, yet it sacrifices none of the features that previous upper-end systems have become known for. MRX displays range and relative altitude of the closest threat, with continuous monitoring of the top 10 threats within the 5 nm scalable detection window. Altitude detection is scalable up to ±5000 feet. For more information, please call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
Fuel Cost back to top 
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

While airlines can pass along their costs to customers, the private pilot has no place to turn but his (or her) own bank account. Luckily, many small aircraft actually get better "mileage" than some of the SUVs on the road. And the cash-crunched flyer has more and more options, as promoters of Light Sport Aircraft are pushing their low operating costs as an enticement to both new and seasoned flyers. A report posted yesterday at Airnav.com showed the average price nationwide for 100LL avgas was $3.95 a gallon, but prices ranged from $2.50 to $6.73. The cheapest region was the Central U.S., averaging $3.71, and highest were Alaska and New England, averaging well above $4 a gallon. More...

Every time the price of a barrel of oil goes up by a dollar, that translates into a $365 million hike in fuel costs for the 11 major airlines, CNN reported Monday. Added to years of bankruptcies and labor strife, the airlines are struggling to cope. One strategy is to find ways to fit more passengers into the same space. Some carriers are installing seats of stronger, lighter materials with slimmer seatbacks, crowding extra rows into already packed airliners. Others are looking at new designs with flip-up seats like in movie theaters, or "sit-stand" seats, like bar stools but with seatbacks and belts. Even discount carriers like JetBlue and Southwest are feeling the pinch and raising fares, though not as quickly as the legacy airlines. More...

Meanwhile, the demand for jet fuel in China is expected to nearly double by 2010, China Watch reported last week. At a recent China-U.S. workshop on aviation fuel, experts said China's jet-fuel consumption has increased at an average annual rate of about 15 percent since the 1990s. Chinese airlines are feeling the impact of rising fuel prices and have imposed surcharges for passengers and implemented fuel-saving strategies such as more direct flights, higher cruise altitudes and stricter controls on baggage weight. China's growth is also having an impact in the U.S. More...

Teledyne-Continental Motors PowerlinkTM FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLinkTM FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLinkTM FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
High-Profile Accidents back to top 

The probable cause of the fatal crash in Colorado in November 2004 involving NBC sports executive Dick Ebersol was the flight crew's failure to ensure that the Canadair Ltd. CL-600-2A12's wings were free of ice or snow contamination, the National Transportation Safety Board reported Tuesday. "This failure resulted in an attempted takeoff with upper-wing contamination that induced the subsequent stall and collision with the ground," the NTSB said. The board already has issued several safety recommendations based on its investigation. Three people died in the crash -- the 14-year-old son of Ebersol, the captain and a flight attendant. The other three on board -- Ebersol, another son, and the first officer -- were seriously hurt. More...

The NTSB also announced on Tuesday its probable-cause finding in the August 2004 crash of an Air Tahoma cargo airplane. The crash resulted from fuel starvation caused by the captain's decision not to follow approved fuel crossfeed procedures, the board said. The accident airplane, a Convair 580, was operating as a DHL Express cargo flight from Memphis, Tenn., when it crashed on approach to landing at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, in Covington, Ky. The first officer was killed and the captain was injured. The airplane was destroyed. Inadequate flight planning also contributed to the accident, the NTSB said. More...

An Airbus A320 with 113 people on board, operated by the Armenian airline Armavia, went down yesterday at about 2 a.m. local time in stormy weather over the Black Sea. The jet was making a second approach to its destination airport, a resort town on the Russian coast, when it vanished from radar screens about four miles out. No distress calls were sent by the crew. Recovery of debris and bodies began yesterday, despite continued stormy weather and high seas. Investigators said they have ruled out terrorism. The NTSB in March expressed concern over the safety of rudders on A300 series aircraft, but the A320s were not cited. More...

LightSPEED's Ultra-Comfortable Mach 1 and 
Thirty 3G Headsets Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets
"Custom ear molds made my Mach 1 as quiet as any headset I've tried," said Bing Lantis, President of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. Discover what thousands of pilots already have: the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz.; the full-size Thirty 3G, just under 16 oz., uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a comfortable LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money-back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). View the 60-second video clip!
News Briefs back to top 

It's not just aviators anymore who are frustrated with the snail's pace of technology upgrades in the National Airspace System. The FAA is taking heat from Congress over its lagging ADS-B project that would empower pilots and controllers with improved traffic situational awareness. By 2010, the agency plans to spend $300 million and install 400 ground stations to support the system, and the gear should be in every cockpit by 2016. But on Monday, two leaders on the House Transportation Committee sent a letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey expressing concern that the deadline couldn't be met: "It is not clear that [the FAA] budget supports this goal," wrote Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), The Associated Press reported Tuesday. The Air Line Pilots Association has expressed support for the new system, but also says the budget is not up to the task. Other projects also have taken heat. More...

The Eclipse 500 is on track to receive FAA certification by the end of this quarter (June 30, 2006) and EASA certification by the end of the year, Eclipse Aviation said in a news release on Tuesday. The five-jet Eclipse test fleet has flown 1,700 hours and recently completed tests for flight flutter, structural strength, air-data compliance, and battery endurance, the company said. The highest-utilization jet, N506EA, has flown almost 600 hours over seven months, with a dispatch rate of over 99.50 percent. "It's amazing to see the Eclipse 500 excitement build as we near certification and first customer deliveries," said Eclipse CEO Vern Raburn. "Certification testing is progressing exceptionally well." More...

Sino Swearingen's SJ30-2 Business Jet 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. Click here for details.
News Briefs back to top 

Canadians had a string of close calls with falling airplane parts over the last week. "I was 12 feet away from being dead," Norm Kataras told pulse24.com, after a window from a Beechcraft Baron smashed into a car lot. The window apparently broke off shortly after takeoff from Buttonville Airport. Just two days earlier, Wayne Mathias, of Orillia, was cut by flying debris when the detached door of an airplane crashed down in a parking lot. "If it would have hit me ... my head would be gone, because that aluminum strip was so sharp," he said. Monday night, a wing flap from an A300 cargo jet hit the parked SUV of a Mississauga woman just moments before she would have been in the driver's seat. More...

AOPA yesterday urged the FAA to support the continued operation of the loran navigation system until a permanent backup system for GPS is established. The U.S. Coast Guard plan to decommission the loran system is "premature," AOPA said. "Once gone, loran will no longer be a backup option, and any other suitable aviation alternative would likely be more costly, take longer to implement, and would be the responsibility of the FAA exclusively," AOPA President Phil Boyer told FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "Let's look before we leap on this issue." Although most GA pilots use VORs as a backup navaid, the FAA is planning to decommission VOR stations, leaving no backup system should there be a major disruption to GPS. More...

The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious Sophistication
Avidyne's Flightmax Entegra Integrated Flight Deck is standard equipment on the New Piper Mirage. Three flight displays, moving map, Garmin GNS 430, autopilot, color radar system, and dual Air Data/Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) combine to provide serious sophistication for a higher level of confidence. Click here for complete information on the New Piper Mirage.
News Briefs back to top 

Alvin White, who was Scott Crossfield's boss at North American during the heyday of supersonic flight testing, died over the weekend. He was 88. "Al assigned Scott to the X-15 while Al took the less flashy XB-70, which he then proceeded to fly at Mach 3 for hours on end," Rick Durden, who knew both men, told AVweb in an e-mail. "He was one of the great test pilots ... he took the F-100 and F-107 to the edges of their performance envelopes. He survived that time of unprecedented exploration of extremely high speeds and altitudes within the atmosphere, when airframes and engines were developed as fast as engineers could put ideas to paper and metal could be bent to fit." More...

A 10-minute rocket flight and a two-day-long balloon flight were among the most memorable aviation records of 2005, the National Aeronautic Association announced last week. Dick Rutan flew XCOR's EZ-Rocket, a modified Long-EZ, from Mojave to California City in just under 10 minutes, the "longest record flight" by a ground-launched, rocket-powered airplane. In February, Troy Bradley broke a 60-year-old duration-of-flight record when he flew a small gas balloon from Texas to Georgia. Other memorable flights included Steve Fossett's GlobalFlyer circumnavigation in March, and John Parker pushing his Thunder Mustang to 376 mph on a straight course less than a kilometer long. Other records recognized a wide spectrum of aviation achievements. 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 online.
News in Brief back to top 

Service set for Scott Crossfield at Arlington, Aug. 15...
LoPresti will announce at Oshkosh where it will build a Fury factory...
EAA AirVenture NOTAM is now available...
First S-LSA approval for a powered parachute...
Boeing will acquire Aviall for $1.7 billion...
Wreckage found of a Navy jet from 1960 crash in a Montana lake...
American Eagle jet ran off the runway at O'Hare Tuesday, nobody hurt. 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...

It's Not What You Know But Who You Know That Can Save You Money!
Avionics -- next to your airframe and engine(s), avionics are the most expensive items you will purchase for your aircraft. Don't spend more than you need to! Before you buy anywhere else, call Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295, or visit Bennett online. You'll be glad you did!
AVweb Audio back to top 

Coming, Friday: An in-depth interview with AOPA's president, Phil Boyer. Check AVweb.com Friday to listen.
Online Now: Find exclusive interviews featuring Scott Crossfield, Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier, FAA administrator Marion Blakey, and more. AVweb's Podcast index, is available online -- pick and choose your particular interets, or subscribe free to AVweb's podcasts and receive them automatically for listening on your computer, iPod, or while traveling with any MP3 player. You'll hear things you won't find anywhere else. More...

When Was the Last Time Your Plane Recorded Your Flight Times?
Now it can by installing a TimeTrac Flight Recording System from P2 Aviation Technology! The TimeTrac system consists of a tiny onboard computer that receives data from your GPS (or Loran) and fully-integrated software for a laptop or PC. With this data, you are able to track every flight as well as manage records for pilots and aircraft. TimeTrac is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to automate their record-keeping once and for all. Take advantage of the introductory price of $1,695 by ordering directly at 1 (888) 921-8359 or learn more online.
Features back to top 

Aircraft Cleaning
Remember the good-old days when the choices of products to clean your airplane were few? Today it seems we are overwhelmed with choices to the point of bewilderment, but AVweb has some suggestions to keep a healthy shine on your steed.


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...

Avidyne Introduces Large-Format Version of MHAS6000
Avidyne has a large-format version of the MHAS6000 Multi-Hazard Avoidance System featuring the Avidyne FlightMax(R) EX5000 Multi-Function Display (MFD) and TAS600 Series active surveillance traffic system. It joins the FlightMax EX500 version as a comprehensive situational awareness package available immediately for retrofit installation in most general aviation aircraft with savings of up to $3,000 over individual system purchases. For complete details, go online.
Your Favorite FBO's back to top 


Nominate an FBO |Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon was awarded Monday to SILVER WINGS at KLEW, Auburn, Maine.


Keep those nominations coming.

Click here to nominate your favorite FBO and here for complete contest rules

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBO's in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


Isn't It About Time You Chose Something Extra?
Pilot-inspired, German-engineered, 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.
QOTW back to top 

This week's question comes by way of a suggestion from Richard Herbst of Control Vision Corp. "I’d like to see a 'Question of the Week' addressing the relationship between fuel prices and hours flown," writes Richard. "What effect are fuel prices having on your flying?" Click through to answer. PLUS: Results of last week's poll on your favorite VLJs. More...



FAA-Approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) from ASA
Attention, flight instructors! Wouldn't it be nice to renew your flight instructor certificate from the comfort of home? ASA's FAA-approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) provides everything you need to renew your flight instructor certificate for 2 more years. Features over 11 hours of professional DVD presentations, supported with internet-based evaluation and course tracking. You don't need to be online for the entire duration of the course. For complete details, visit ASA's web site.

Attention, Cessna Owners
Do you need to modernize your old, tired RT359A or RT459A transponder? Narco Avionics proudly announces the availability of their all-new AT165/C and AT165/C Value Series digital display transponders. The AT165/C and AT165/C Value Series are designed as direct slide-in plug & play replacement transponders for the old ARC units. Both units feature instant VFR recall with quick and easy one-knob code entry. The AT165/C also features pressure altitude display with hold alert, along with three independent timers with audible alert. 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.

Subscribe to IFR Refresher Now & Save!
You worked hard for your IFR ticket. Now protect it! IFR Refresher is the monthly that polishes your proficiency, challenges your knowledge, briefs you on changing regs, and keeps your decision-making skills sharp. Order today and you'll enjoy guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe!

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. Also Available: VFLITE's Garmin GPSMap 396 Interactive Guide. 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.

POTW back to top 

If you love gawking at flying machines as much as we do, you've come to the right place — AVweb's "Picture of the Week"! Every Thursday, we select and publish the top photos from dozens submitted by our loyal AVweb readers. It's a tough job — especially when there are as many good photos to choose from as there were this week — but we manage. Even tougher is picking a single photo that stands out among all the others. Fortunately, Sparky Barnes Sargent of Washington, Oklahome made this week's choice a little easier than usual. Even in a week filled with stand-out photos, Sparky's caught our eye and practically demanded to be named "Picture of the Week." As our top winner, Sparky will receive an official AVweb baseball cap in the mail. (Keep your eyes peeled for the postman!) More...

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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