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Volume 12, Number 21a
May 22, 2006
Workshops NEW Online Workshop --
"Managing the Risks of Non-Towered Airports"

Did you know you are at the greatest risk of having a mid-air collision when operating at a non-towered airport? Veteran Aviation Safety Expert Bob Martens delivers a no-nonsense assessment of the risks and gives you simple and practical solutions you can use to fly safer in this often-challenging environment. This workshop is a valuable refresher for all pilots. Try a complimentary 6-minute sample. Click here for instant online access.
Connecting Rod AD Set back to top 
ATG - A New Dawn of Business 
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

The FAA says only about 100 aircraft will be affected by an Airworthiness Directive (AD) that takes effect June 22 concerning certain connecting rods manufactured by Engine Components Inc. (ECi) and installed in Lycoming 360- and 540-series engines. The AD resulted from a single engine failure in a Cessna 172. In the preamble to the AD, the FAA says a faulty grinding machine at ECi's San Antonio plant turned out connecting rods in which the journal bore wasn't a perfect circle. The resulting stresses caused fatigue failure in one of the rods of the engine that failed. The FAA's action has not arrived without controversy. When the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was released, ECi immediately protested, saying it did not believe there was a flight safety issue and suggesting there were other problems (an oil blockage) with the engine that failed. AOPA also chimed in. More...

If your engine has not been overhauled or had new connecting rods installed since it was manufactured, there is no action required. If it has been opened up since Lycoming packed it in a box, however, you'll need to check the engine logs to see if any of these connecting rods got in there. The affected rods are part number AEL11750, having forging part number AEL11488 and lot numbers 1 to 54/6 (54 is lot number, 6 the serial number). If those numbers appear and the rods have 2,000 or more hours on them, they have to be replaced within 50 hours. If they have less than 2,000 hours they have to be replaced at overhaul or at the next repair that gives accessibility to the rod (i.e., removal of a cylinder). The FAA says it will take four hours to replace each rod and the part cost is $450. More...

Pilot Insurance 
Center Innovative Life Insurance Products From The Pilot Insurance Center
In addition to the incredible savings pilots get when purchasing life insurance from the Pilot Insurance Center (PIC), PIC 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 online.
FAA/NATCA Deadline Looms In Congress back to top 

A couple of House members have launched a last-minute bid to prevent the FAA from imposing a contract on air traffic controllers. Representatives Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) and Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.) have introduced a "discharge petition" to force a vote on bill H.R. 4755, which would send the dispute to binding arbitration. Costello, the senior Democrat on the House Aviation Subcommittee, said the current process is "unbalanced" and he doesn't think Congress is going to act. "A discharge petition is our last opportunity to try to get the two sides back to the bargaining table and arrive at a contract that both sides find acceptable and that best serves the traveling public, particularly as we approach the heart of the summer travel season," Costello said in a news release. More...

One sign that the back rooms are buzzing is the two cents' worth offered by the Heritage Foundation, a self-described "conservative think tank" that keeps right on top of these sorts of issues. Not surprisingly, Heritage Foundation researcher Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D., says Congress should stay out of the way, keep the process the same and let the FAA's final offer stand as a first step toward radical reform of the agency. The foundation says air traffic control should be completely privatized and the privatization or commercialization of other arms of the agency should also be explored. But the Heritage Foundation isn't the only organization ringing the privatization bell. More...

Trade-A-Plane: The Aviation Marketplace Since 
1937 Over 100,000 Classifieds (Updated Daily), a Product & Advertiser Index, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, and Aviation Weather. Trade-A-Plane gives you everything that keeps you flying. Order your subscription by calling (800) 337-5263 or by going online.
Fly-In For A Friend back to top 

"Pilots" from all over the world are expected to converge on the controlled airports in Poland on May 28 in a six-hour effort to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis victims. Each landing will accumulate points toward the cause and the tougher the flying, the more money will be raised. The more adventurous will be heading to smaller Polish airports where non-radar ATC services are in effect (there's a two-point bonus for those) while others might be content to do touch and goes at the country's biggest airports in Warsaw and Krakow. And an army of controllers will be waiting for them, doing their best to manage the traffic but not terribly concerned about crashes. For while the fundraiser is real enough (it's in honor of a young Polish "controller" who died a year ago of CF), all participants will be members of the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation (Vatsim) Network and the only things crashing will be hard drives. More...

Vatsim grew out of the desire of ardent flight sim addicts for more and more realism. Along the way, they've attracted more than 100,000 registrants in a worldwide system that rivals the real air traffic control system in complexity and regulations. Vatsim is not for the casual gamer. It can take up to two years of study, practice and testing before Vatsim superiors will trust a controller to handle live traffic unsupervised. Virtual pilots also go through the full gamut of certificates and ratings that are required of real pilots before they get the keys to a 300-seat airliner. More...

JA Air 
Center JA 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) 323-5966, or click for more information.
News Briefs back to top 

Cliff Garl satisfied a lifelong dream and may have set a record of sorts last week. The 91-year-old Shoreline, Wash., student pilot soloed for the first time over Arlington Airport. "You go into a nursing home and you'll see people a lot younger than he just sitting there," Garl's 75-year-old instructor Joe Bennett told The Seattle Times. "I actually don't know of anybody, even in their 80s, who's soloed." According to the Times, the FAA didn't have records of any student pilots over the age of 90 in 2004 and showed only 59 in their 80s. Garl told the Times he was nervous before the flight but once in the cockpit of the Cessna 172, the training took over. As might be expected, the medical was Garl's biggest obstacle -- even though he's in good health. More...

Congress has trimmed funding for the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for border patrol duties until someone can explain what caused a Predator UAV to crash in Mexico last month. As AVweb reported, the UAV went out of control in the early morning of April 25 while scanning for drug runners and illegal immigrants. Cause of the crash wasn't immediately known. According to AOPA, funding appropriations of $6.8 million for 2007 were cut by Congress until U.S. Customs and Border Protection releases a report on the crash. However, funding from the 2006 budget is still in place and UAVs could theoretically be back in the air until Oct. 1, when the new budget takes over. 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 

Two announcements this week are a case in point for the diversity of the newly regulated Light Sport category of aircraft. Nexaer, of Colorado Springs, announced that its LS-1, an all-composite low wing with a swooping fuselage, is ready for its first flight. Meanwhile, beleaguered Renaissance Aircraft said it's found a home at Flabob Airport in Riverside, Calif., and will produce an LSA version of the Luscombe 8, a 1940's taildragger, there. Nexaer showed its futuristic mock-up at AirVenture last year and the company says it got plenty of response to the design, which looks like it's going fast sitting on the ground. The company says what sets it apart from other LSAs is the 54-inch wide cabin and great visibility. More...

A flight school in the Canadian province of New Brunswick says it will train up to 900 pilots for China Southern Airlines over the next five years. Officials of Moncton Flight College, of Moncton, N.B., say they expect to sign the $70 million deal in the next few days. The deal is the result of more than five years of inspections, negotiations and renovations (the college did a $6 million CAD expansion). "This is part of a very large growth and expansion program over the next five to ten years," Mike Doiron, the school's principal, told the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. "It's really going to place New Brunswick as a key player in the flight training market." 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 

It's been 16 months of hard work but what a prize Robert Simon got at the end. The Columbus, Ohio, pilot and homebuilder recently flew his Lancair ES-P for the first time. The P stands for pressurized but it could also mean pretty darn fast. Simon reports his four-place, fixed-gear aircraft (Lancair suggests a Continental TSIO-550-E) cruises at 260 KTAS at 25,000 feet with the occupants in shirt-sleeved comfort (Lancair's Web site currently says builders should expect 293 miles per hour at 24,000 feet in recommended trim). He says his aircraft has a high-speed range of 1,300 nm (Lancair's Web site quotes 1,200 statute miles for its kit). Simon plans to fly the plane to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh this summer, where he expects to have it on display at the Lancair booth. Lancair has long(er) offered its IV-P retract kit, but Simon believes though several other ES-P builders are nearing completion, his aircraft is the first to fly. More...

We like aviation art as much as anyone but we suspect an Italian artist's interpretation of the term could be questionable in the minds of some. Paolo Pivi borrowed an apparently well-used Westland Wessex helicopter and had it placed, greasy side up, in a public square in Salzburg, Austria. The 9,000-pound helicopter comes from what The Helicopter Museum in Somerset, England, calls its "reserve collection" and is a complete aircraft. It will be flopped upside-down on the square until the end of July. At least Pivi didn't stretch too far in naming his "art." He's calling it Upside Down Helicopter In A Public Place. We are having a little trouble nailing down his inspiration for the work, however. It's apparently part of the 200th anniversary celebrations for the composer Mozart. ... An AVweb cap for anyone who can make sense out of that one. More...

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.
News in Brief back to top 

An international aviation weather study is calling for pilot participation...
A Cessna 210 pilot escaped the airplane and a lake with a bruised nose...
The Naked Rambler strikes again. This time, aloft...
Crewmen of an Air Force C-5 pleaded guilty to transporting Ecstasy...
GlobalFlyer to make its final flight, Tuesday. More...

Online Now: Listent to, or take today's news with you via AVweb's downloadable podcasts. You'll hear things you won't find anywhere else. Find exclusive interviews featuring Excel Jet's Bob Bornhofen, 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 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. 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...

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.
Features back to top 

The Pilot's Lounge #100: Truth -- And Some Opinion
AVweb's Rick Durden has been writing "The Pilot's Lounge" column for eight years, and every one has tidbits of wisdom, advice, or just plane [sic] rumor. For his 100th column, Rick has assembled a bunch in one place.



Reader mail this week about Lockheed FSS, English on the radio, preventing mid-air collisions with gliders and much more.


ASO -- A Better Way to Sell Your Aircraft Share
Finding aircraft share buyers can be almost impossible. FBO bulletin board flyers are too limited, and ads in national publications are too broad. There's a better way with ASO's Partnership Ads. List your share on ASO, the most trusted place for aircraft sales, where interested buyers have the ability to search geographically to easily find your partnership listing. For a limited time, select Partnership Ads are complimentary. To get your share in front of potential buyers tomorrow, call (888) 992-9276 today or visit online.
Your Favorite FBO's back to top 


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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to AIATC at KAAF, Apalachicola, Fla.


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!


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.
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...

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.
The Lighter Side Of Flight back to top 

There's a club for that, too...

An exchange overheard between an Australian charter company and ATC. The company was in mid-April flying a DC-3 carrying a wedding party at 2000 feet over Sydney harbour while the nuptials took place. The flight's pilot made sure ATC was aware and ready to coordinate a return to the airport...

DC-3: ...and, Sydney, we'll soon be finished with the ceremony and looking for a higher altitude for the return.

[soon after]

DC-3: ...So that's it. He does, she does, and that much is done.

ATC: Very well.


You're cleared for the return at 5280 feet. (Laughing) And tell them to make it snappy. More...



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.

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, an 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. 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, click here.

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 & Then See What They Do with the Information
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives you 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 want for just $9.95 a month. Subscribe now.

Subscribe to Aviation Consumer and Save, Plus Get No-Cost Access to AviationConsumer.com. This subscribers-only web site is packed with ratings and evaluations of aircraft, avionics, aviation products, and accessories. Enjoy greater confidence when you buy and when you fly with your Aviation Consumer subscription. Order online.

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, click here.

Pilots Comment After Reading IFR: A Structured Approach:
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states Fred Scott. "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book, you will establish your personal standard of IFR operating practices, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. Order online.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety and Save!
You spent thousands earning your license; safeguard it for just pennies a day. Aviation Safety helps pilots stay ready for the realities of today's demanding flight environment with instructive articles to keep your decision-making skills sharp. Save by subscribing online.

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.