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Volume 12, Number 20a
May 15, 2006
 
Pilot Insurance 
Center In a Group Plan and Think You're Getting the Best Deal on Life Insurance?
The Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) finds many people believe this is the case. Unfortunately, in some group plans you're only as good as your weakest link. Meaning, while you may be in excellent health, you may be paying a higher premium due to those in the group who aren't as healthy. From airline pilots to weekend warriors, PIC has saved pilots 30-60% on coverage through A+ rated carriers or better. Find out if you are getting the best deal. Call PIC today at (800) 380-8376, or visit online.
 
FAA's back to top 
 
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

FAA BUDGET CUTS FUNDING TO 2,500 AIRPORTS
If there ever was an example of why AOPA and other alphabet groups want the FAA to continue to answer to Congress, the details of the latest FAA budget proposal offer illumination. In what FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has called "tough medicine for local programs," the agency has proposed cutting more than $750 million from airport improvement activities, including the $150,000 "entitlement grants" handed out unconditionally to more than 2,500 small GA airports. AOPA President Phil Boyer says the grant is often the only money small airports have for runway and equipment maintenance and improvements. The agency tried something similar with the 2006 budget but Congress restored the funding. AOPA is tuning its strategy for a similar result this go-around. More...

BLAKEY MUM ON FUTURE FUNDING
At the May 4 hearing, Blakey was grilled repeatedly on the agency's plan to overhaul the funding basis for the FAA. For more than a year, Blakey has been saying revenue sources need to be based on the costs of providing services (read: user fees) but she hasn't revealed any details about how that system might work. AOPA's Boyer says implementing user fees is simply a method to cut Congress out of the decision-making loop and hand control of the airspace system over to the airlines. He also told AVweb in an AVweb podcast earlier this month that any step toward user fees in other countries has historically been just the beginning of an industry-wide trend. At the May 4 hearing, Blakey did say that the current system of fuel taxes seems to work for GA but she declined to elaborate. More...

 
Trade-A-Plane: The Aviation Marketplace Since 
1937 In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site that is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
 
FSS Savings Plummet back to top 
 

LOCKHEED FLIGHT SERVICES SAVINGS DOWN BY $500 MILLION
The Department of Transportation's Inspector General will do a comprehensive audit of the FAA's contracting out of the Automated Flight Service Station system and it's already got a half-billion dollar discrepancy to investigate. When the contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin last year, the FAA said it would save $2.2 billion over the life of the deal. Now that figure has been revised to $1.7 billion -- an alteration that's piqued the interest of the Inspector General. "We are aware of the difference and will be looking into this as part of our review," IG spokesman David Barnes told Government Executive. More...

INSPECTOR GENERAL TO CHECK FSS MONEY, SAFETY, SERVICE
Of course, there are huge financial implications in the audit, but money isn't everything. The IG also intends to investigate whether the move has impaired safety or adversely affected service (Lockheed Martin had service guarantees built into the contract). Publications like AVweb are often a sounding board for those types of issues. There have been a few letters from pilots reporting service or safety issues but, while passionate, they've been comparatively few and far between. Whether that means pilots are being patient during the transition or that Lockheed is so far living up to its promises, we suppose the audit will tell. One group that has quite naturally been vocal through the whole process is the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS). More...

 

JA Air Center Garmin GPSMAP 396/296 Auto Kit Sale -- Only $199.99!
Turn your Aviation GPS into a turn-by-turn Voice Automotive Navigator! JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source, is offering the automotive kit for the Garmin GPSMap 396/296 for only $199.99 plus shipping & handling. Headquartered at Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL, JA 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) 323-5966, or click for more information.

JA Air also buys used GPS, avionics, and aircraft.

 

REQUIRED NAVIGATION PERFORMANCE (RNP) IS SPREADING
A system devised by Alaska Airlines and Boeing to help improve accessibility to notoriously difficult airports in the 50th state could soon help ensure better on-time performance on Lower 48 milk runs (relatively speaking). After experimenting with Required Navigation Performance (RNP) systems at some of the U.S.'s tougher airports (Palm Springs and San Francisco among them) the FAA has decided the system can be implemented by any airline that has the right equipment and training. "It's a game changer," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told The Wall Street Journal. More...

AIRLINES SHOULD SEE IMPROVED ON-TIME PERFORMANCE
As AVweb reported more than a year ago, RNP has vastly improved accessibility to Palm Springs on the comparatively rare occasions when the weather is down there. Because terrain prevents implementation of a standard ILS, diversions were usually the only option in bad weather. RNP allows Alaska Airlines to land at Palm Springs with minima of 250 feet and three-quarters of a mile. But terrain isn't the only obstacle that hinders operations and RNP will find a use at airports surrounded by miles of flat expanses. More...

 
Bose® Aviation Headset X Fly with the Bose(R) Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear sound, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the fifth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot magazine. (Headset Preference Survey, 12/05.) Learn more and order.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

ENGLISH NOT THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE OF AVIATION?
English may be the language of aviation but that shouldn't be a barrier to getting a private pilot's certificate in countries that speak other tongues, according to a spokesman for an international pilots group. John Sheehan, secretary general of the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, says English should only be a requirement for pilots who intend to fly IFR or in controlled airspace. The International Civil Aviation Organization recently passed an amendment that would make English proficiency a requirement for all pilots, regardless of the type of flying they do. "While this requirement may be justified for those using the IFR ATS system, it is difficult to justify for the casual VFR user," Sheehan said in a news release announcing IAOPA's petition against the proposal. More...

MORE "VIRTUAL" RADAR AVAILABLE
Whether you're a flight school operator who wants to keep tabs on students or the anxious partner of a weekend warrior wondering when (if) your flying companion will be home for dinner, a British company might have the answer. Kinetic Avionics has developed a radio receiver and software package which picks up Mode S and ADS-B signals from aircraft within 100 or so miles (depending on terrain and antenna). In the case of ADS-B-equipped planes, it displays them on the computer screen as a realistic portrayal of an air traffic control monitor. Monitoring Times, a magazine which caters to amateur radio buffs, recently reviewed the gear and says it works as advertised, doesn't crash computers and can run on a modestly equipped PC. AVweb recently reported on another similar product, currently available. More...

 
Exxon Elite Prevents Piston Engine Wear
Aircraft owners often ask "How do I know how well my oil is working?" Oil analysis provides the answer, also measuring which brand works best. And which does work best? According to an evaluation by ExxonMobil of used oil samples provided by an independent laboratory, one brand -- Exxon Aviation Oil Elite 20W-50 -- is most effective in preventing wear in aircraft piston engines. Visit online to learn more.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

SUN 'N FUN CRASH WIDOW SETTLES LAWSUIT AGAINST FAA
The widow of a Texas pilot killed in a midair collision on final to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport the evening before the beginning of Sun 'n Fun in 2002 has settled her lawsuit with two defendants for a total of $700,000. Deborah Morrison is collecting $650,000 from the FAA and $50,000 from Sun 'n Fun's insurance company despite findings by the NTSB that both pilots ignored instructions from air traffic controllers, who saw the potential for a collision. Jerry Morrison was flying an RV-6 that was struck by a Piper Clipper (PA-16) flown by Stephen Pierce on final for Runway 27 right. The NTSB found Morrison ignored directions from ATC to slide left to line up with Runway 27 left and Pierce ignored instructions to "keep it high." More...

GEAR-UP: THOSE WHO HAVE, THOSE WHO HAVEN'T YET
The great thing about gear-up landings is they almost never result in any fatalities, unless you count dying of embarrassment. Somehow you expect guys like retired Capt. Dale Snodgrass (Top Gun grad, Navy Fighter Pilot of the Year) to be outside the grasp of "those who have and those who will," but "Snort" was at the helm of a vintage F-86 that went aluminum on concrete at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in March and it's been determined the only failure was Snodgrass's. "It's hard to believe that a guy with all that experience would not put down his landing gear," retired Maj. Jack Boileau, a former F-86 driver, told KVOA News. Snodgrass declined an interview. More...

 
Dreams, Youth, Freedom -- All Within Your Reach through Dorr Aviation
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News Briefs back to top 
 

GLIDER JUST MISSED TORNADO
The UK Airprox (aircraft proximity) Board has called for the development of a lightweight (presumably battery-powered) transponder that can be installed on gliders after one came within a whisker of being obliterated by a Tornado fighter/attack jet flying at 450 knots. The Tornado and the glider passed within 50 feet of one another at 9,000 feet above the Scottish Highlands last October. Glider pilot David Smith told the board inquiry he felt a "terrific thump from the slipstream and could smell the kerosene fumes" after the jet, one of 10 involved in an exercise, passed overhead. And while the world waits for an electronic solution, a British Air Force spokesman suggests that, in the meantime, adding a splash of color to gliders' paint scheme would help. More...

SUPERTANKERS MAY DEBUT THIS YEAR
Jet-A (and lots of it) may be used to help fight forest fires this season. Two companies developing aerial bomber firefighting aircraft, so-called supertankers, from old airliners say they expect to have all approvals in place to accept firefighting contracts. In fact, Omni Air International says its DC-10 is ready to go to work, while Evergreen Aviation still has a few hoops to jump before its 747-200can tackle blazes. The aircraft represent a quantum leap in aerial firefighting capability. The DC-10 can carry up to 12,000 gallons of retardant or water (more than triple the capacity of the largest existing tankers) and the 747 can pack up to 24,000 gallons. Though they can't fill on the fly, they can get to and from the fire at 500 mph. Firefighting experts say the jets will have their uses but they're not a magic bullet. More...

 
Columbia Simplifies Buying & Selling All Aircraft Brands
Selling an aircraft can be a challenging odyssey. Aircraft owners need to: locate a broker with national resources to sell for top dollar; select and utilize the most effective advertising; access no-cost, no-obligation finance pre-qualification; consult aviation tax experts; and obtain insurance quotes with higher liability limits. Columbia Aircraft has created a tool to assist pilots and aircraft owners of all brands. Check out their web site.
 
News in Brief back to top 
 

ALPHA 160 TRAINER GETTING ATTENTION
A New Zealand company says its decision to create a purpose-built two-place training aircraft is paying off. Alpha Aviation recently sold 12 aerobatics-friendly Alpha 160A aircraft and took options for 14 more from CTC Aviation, one of Britain's largest flight training companies. It beat Cessna, Diamond and Piper offers for the deal. The 160A is an updated version of the French-built Robin R2160. Company spokesman Richard Sealy said the world needs more trainers and some of the touring aircraft now being pressed into that kind of service don't have the strength and durability to handle the job. Alpha bought the rights to the Robin designs in 2004 and says it's updated and improved what was already a well-respected design. Meanwhile, Evektor, another manufacturer to watch, says it's considering building a U.S. assembly plant to handle a surge in demand. More...

ON THE FLY...
Vandals did $1 million damage to lights at Mobile airport...
Pilots union workers on strike against union...
FAA recommends oil cooler quarantine...
Flight attendant convicted of setting fire in lav...
Two die when Cessna 150 crashed in yard...
Tomcat tail from Florida crash washed up on Irish shore...
Engine installed in Sportjet. More...

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

 
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.
 
AVweb Audio back to top 
 

PODCASTS
Online Now: Take today's news with you via AVweb's downloadable podcasts. Find exclusive interviews featuring Adam Aircraft's Joe Walker, FAA administrator Marion Blakey, Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier 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...

 
Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), 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.
 
Features back to top 
 

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Motor Head 13: The Lakeland Routine -- Engines Are The News
Sun 'n Fun means new product announcements, especially for engine manufacturers. AVweb's Marc Cook made his annual journey and saw some very interesting products for Experimentals and certified aircraft alike.

_______
COLUMNS
Probable Cause #6: Experience Can Kill You
A time-ridden cliché in aviation is, "Learn from your mistakes so you don't make them again." Of course, if what you learn is that you can press on in a bad situation and survive, someday you might not.

More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES ...
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about ATC, UFOs, ethanol in mogas and much more.

More...

 
Maximum MPG ... Maximum MPG ... Maximum MPG!
LoPresti Speed Merchants, the world's leading provider of aviation PERFORMANCE solutions, converts brilliant design into more miles per gallon. LoPresti offers highly efficient engine cowlings, wing tips, fairings, seals, and shapes designed to reduce drag caused by less-than-optimum aerodynamic shapes on stock aircraft. The comprehensive cowl kits not only cool the engine but significantly reduce drag, providing more range and better fuel efficiency. AVweb Special: Save $300 on new LoPresti Zip Tips. Call LoPresti at (866) 397-4757, or go online.
 
Your Favorite FBO's back to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: MARTINSVILLE AIRPORT AUTHORITY

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to MARTINSVILLE AIRPORT AUTHORITY at KMTV, Martinsville, VA.

TED GULLIA wrote in to say, "FOR THE LAST 3-4 YEARS, I PLAN MY N-S TRIPS WITH A STOP AT MTV. ALTHOUGH I STOP 4-6 TIMES A YEAR (2-3 TRIPS, ONCE EACH WAY) I AM GREETED AS IF I WAS THEIR BEST CUSTOMER. I FLY A CHEROKEE ARROW SO MY FUEL PURCHASES HARDLY COMPARE WITH THE HEAVY IRON."

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!

More...

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...

 

AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS,
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU

E-Ox: High-Quality Portable Oxygen Now in New 2-, 3-, & 4-Place Systems!
Join hundreds of pilots who have discovered you don't need to spend $600 or more to get a high-quality portable oxygen system. Aeromedix's new 2-, 3-, and 4-place systems with individual Nelson type flow meters range in cylinder sizes from 425 to 680, starting at $450. The one- and two-place economy systems come with cylinder sizes from 36 to 680 liters, starting at $199. They are light, compact, and made of 100% medical-grade components. Custom-design your E-Ox system starting at under $200 by calling Aeromedix.com at (888) 362-7123, or go online.

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.

Your #1 Source for Cessna Aircraft Parts -- CessnaParts.com
CessnaParts.com offers exceptional service and support to Cessna Aircraft owners and operators. With competitive discounts on everything for Cessna Single- and Multi-Engine aircraft, which means savings to you! Go online and see for yourself!

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.

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 online for big savings from 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.

Preview Highlights: The June Issue of IFR Magazine
"The Failures of SBT" -- applying scenario-based training is work; "Building a Homemade Glidescope"; "Is Your Estate Safe?" -- stacking the odds in your favor; "Getting ATC's Picture" -- IFR situational awareness must include ATC's mind's-eye of ATC to save you time, frustration, and your life; "Zero-Zero Departures" -- for Part 91, it's if, when, and how. Plus: The editor takes you exploring and more. Order your IFR subscription online.

 
The Lighter Side Of Flight back to top 
 

SHORT FINAL...
The following exchange occurred between my student, the tower, and me at KLVK on 05/08/06...

Cessna N1234 (Student): Livermore tower Cessna 1234 at Sierra ready to taxi 25R with India.

Tower: Roger N1234 taxi to India.

[Student gives me the "Huh? You read it back," look.]

Cessna N1234 (Instructor): Tower N1234 confirm you want us to taxi to 25R. We don't have enough fuel to get to India. 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 Russ Niles (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.

Freedom, independence, responsibility.


--BoUnDaRyCavflashM635D051506T10--