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Volume 12, Number 25a
June 19, 2006
Pilot Insurance 
Center Compare & Save at the Pilot Insurance Center
Don't pay more for your life insurance coverage just because you fly. Before your next premium payment is due, call Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) to see how much you can save on the same policy. PIC works with top insurance companies to provide preferred rate plans for pilots. A+ rated carriers -- no aviation exclusions -- quick and easy application process. Call (800) 380-8376 or visit online.
FAA Cost Savings Take Legislative Hit back to top 
ATG - A New Dawn of Business 
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

The House dealt a significant blow (psychologically, anyway) to the FAA's cost-cutting plans last week when it included language in the agency's appropriations bill that would prevent it from spending money to combine terminal radar approach control (TRACON) facilities. The FAA says it can save millions of dollars a year by having larger and fewer TRACONs but the political fallout that has ensued may prevent the move. Although a similar measure would have to be passed by the Senate, there are indications of similar support there. More...

Although Democrats have traditionally been opposed to these types of measures, this amendment has bilateral support and was sparked by the FAA's intention to move the Palm Beach TRACON to Miami. Two Republicans, Mark Foley and Clay Shaw, joined Democrat Robert Wexler in backing the amendment, which was proposed by Alcee Hastings, another Florida Democrat. In a letter to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, Hastings said putting all of South Florida's TRACONs under one roof would be a risky venture. "If a terrorist attack or natural disaster were to strike the Miami TRACON, then all three major international airports would lose their approach radar systems," the congressmen wrote. More...

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told reporters that other TRACON consolidations have been accomplished with no impact on safety and they do save money. She also discounted the Florida delegation's fears about hurricanes and other threats to service. "When we build a facility in an area prone to natural disasters, we make the facility capable of handling those kinds of events," Brown said. "We also have procedures in place so other facilities can handle the air space that that facility handles." The National Air Traffic Controllers Association disagreed with Brown, saying the consolidations threaten safety. 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, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
FAA Looks Hard At Diesels back to top 
Northwest EAA - 
Arlington Fly-In 2006

Anyone who's owned a vehicle with one knows that a diesel engine is a different animal, requiring different care and feeding. Well, the same goes for aircraft applications and the FAA has come out with a list of special conditions that must be satisfied before the switch is made from 100LL to Jet-A. And while you'd expect there to be some regulatory requirements, the list is (so far) pretty long and deals with some rather esoteric distinctions between the two types of mills. More...

In a torrent of regulatory verbosity last week, the FAA issued five diesel-related notices of proposed special conditions dealing with its concerns about putting Jet-A-powered engines in planes designed to use 100 LL. It detailed the many and varied factors that those seeking diesel STCs from the two main manufacturers will have to consider and prove not to be a threat to the safety of the aircraft. For instance, diesels tend to vibrate more (or differently) and the FAA wants to ensure the vibration (including the shaking that would result from one cylinder shutting down) isn't beyond the tolerances of the airplane. It's also concerned about the effect of diesel on fuel-system components, the adaptation of wiring and other systems, fuel grades, fuel filters and a host of other technicalities. There are also requirements to protect the full authority digital engine controls (FADEC) from electrical interference. More...

JA Air 
Center JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 396 Source, Is Proud to Announce a New Low Price of $2,195
JA also offers top dollar for used GPS, avionics, and aircraft. Call (800) 323-5966 for your current value, with no purchase required. 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 order online.
News Briefs back to top 

Delta Air Lines will try to dump its dysfunctional employee pension program on the beleaguered Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. effective Sept. 2. The bankrupt airline intends to apply to the courts to rid itself of the costly burden today. Delta's pensions are believed to be under-funded by about $10 billion. The move has been expected for some time and Delta's pilots have already said they won't oppose it. Word of the action came in a letter from Delta CEO Gerald Grinstein to Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson on Friday. More...

The first Cessna Mustang not designated for FAA certification testing took flight last week in a two hour and 20 minute flight that put it through all its functionality tests. The aircraft, serial number 003, is the first to come off the production line at Cessna's Independence, Kan., assembly plant (which is where the company's piston singles are made) and is destined to become the customer demonstration aircraft. Revenue-producing aircraft, serial numbers 004 to 015, are on the line in Independence in anticipation of certification by the end of the year and first deliveries in 2007. More...

Mercury VistaNav™ Portable Synthetic Vision 
System Save $300 for a Limited Time on the VistaNav™ Portable Synthetic Vision System with Highway-in-the-Sky IFR Approaches!
Why fly with 2D moving maps? The future of electronic navigation is VistaNav™'s true 3D Synthetic Vision. Using cutting-edge 3D visualization and Mercury's exclusive Inertial Navigation Unit, VistaNav provides a backup navigation system that has changed the way our customers fly. Prices starting at $2,199. Use Code AW300D. Offer ends 7/30/06. Promotions cannot be combined. Call Today: (866) 627-6951. Learn more.
News Briefs back to top 

While regular airports all over the country struggle for survival, spaceports, which some might argue are a tad less practical, are a growth industry. Oklahoma is the latest to move to the starting line trying to cash in on the private space race. The Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority (OSIDA) was issued a Launch Site Operator Certificate by the FAA for its spaceport at Clinton-Sherman Industrial Airpark, located adjacent to the town of Burns Flat, Okla. OSIDA spokesman Bill Khourie is predicting big things for the Oklahoma Spaceport. "The dream of many that Oklahoma would become the planet's premier location for the launch and recovery of suborbital reusable space vehicles is now a reality," he told Space.com. Rocketplane Ltd. will be its first space-bound tenant. More...

Power to the people of a rural Chicago suburb may come at the expense of a small private airport. ComEd is proposing to string high-voltage power lines about 410 feet from one end of the main runway at Reid Airport, near Huntley. The airport has an FAA certificate and is owned and operated by Bruce Starrenburg. He flies a T-6 out of the grass strip and other aircraft drop in from time to time. There are about 10-20 operations a week from the field, which is part of the 230-acre farm purchased by his father-in-law Howard Reid, then a Delta Air Lines pilot, in 1971. For 35 years Reid, and later Starrenburg, lived the dream of flying from their home but it seems likely the dream will end in 2008 with the completion of the power project. More...

If Exxon Elite Protects Peter's Piper Perfectly, How Many Other Private Pilots Prefer Exxon Products' Proven Performance? Plenty!
Picky about in-flight performance? Exxon Aviation Oil Elite 20W-50 may be the piston engine oil for you. It incorporates 21st Century technology and can reduce wear by controlling rust and corrosion. Flying a poorly maintained aircraft can be unforgiving. Exxon Elite can help. Make it part of your preflight routine. Learn more.
News Briefs back to top 

A well-known Colorado engine and general repair shop closed down earlier this month, maybe for good. Employees of Firewall Forward, in Loveland, Co., returned from lunch to find the doors locked. A total of 38 employees are out of work. Company CEO Andrew Chumney said the company had no other choice when its bank called about $1 million in loans. Chumney told The Coloradoan that Firewall Foreward was current with its payments but the bank pulled the financing based on the company's inability to turn a profit. He estimates the company will need an immediate cash injection of $2.5 million to get going again. More...

AOPA is fighting a potentially expensive NTSB ruling that it believes would allow manufacturers' service bulletins to carry the same legal weight as an airworthiness directive on Part 91 aircraft. The case revolved around an A&P mechanic's engine repair that did not comply with instructions contained in publications issued by the engine and parts manufacturers. The upshot of the legalese, according to AOPA, is that the NTSB's ruling in that case changes the service bulletins from an advisory nature to mandatory under the law. "That is neither AOPA's nor the FAA's interpretation of the regulations," said Luis Gutierrez, AOPA director of regulatory and certification policy. "Service bulletins are considered advisory, not mandatory, for Part 91 operators." Now, while it seems prudent that service bulletins be complied with, the difference here is in who decides what's mandatory -- the FAA, or individual companies. 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 

Blimps are often shown on television but a new aircraft from the Lightship Group is the television. The company, which builds advertising and promotion blimps, has figured out how to attach an array of LED screens to the envelope of a 170-by-55-foot blimp and display any image that could normally be played through a television. It can only display red during the day, but at night it can show a full color image. Full color for the day is coming. Lightship spokesman Toby Page told The Associated Press the sky-high screen is a real head-turner. "It totally rises above the clutter because this is the only one of its kind in the world," he said. More...

NTSB recommended icing training for commercial pilots...
Chalk's awaits inspection standards from FAA...
Rocket helicopter tested...
F-14s say goodbye...
Air show pilot Scott Manning killed in crash. 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, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Our best stories start with your tips. More...

Stop Squirming in Your Seat -- Upgrade to First Class!
Oregon Aero, Inc. has the solution to uncomfortable seating for any aircraft -- Portable Universal SoftSeatTM Cushion Systems. The cushion design shifts your hips and pelvis into the proper, pain-free position. Visco-elastic foam "reads" body temperature and pressure to prevent painful hot spots. Select the Portable SoftSeat™ Cushion to fit your aircraft online at Oregon Aero or call (800) 888-6910.
Fuel Prices back to top 

For local prices, enter your U.S. ZIP Code or Airport Identifier:
Fuel prices provided weekly by AirNav,
based on prices from the past 2 weeks.
Changes are relative to last week.

Ever wonder what the national average is for a gallon of avgas? Need to find up-to-the-minute fuel prices at all the FBOs along your route? Starting this week, you'll be able to answer those questions with our handy AVweb Fuel Finder (to your right). Featuring data provided by AirNav, the Fuel Finder will appear every Thursday in AVwebFlash -- listing the latest prices for 100LL and Jet A, along with a quick view of how those prices have changed in the last seven days. To get local fuel prices, just enter a U.S. ZIP Code or a 3- or 4-letter Airport Identifier into the Fuel Finder and click "Go." To get local fuel prices, visit the full-featured HTML Fuel Finder on www.AVweb.com. (Look in the upper right corner of the home page.)


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.
Features back to top 

Online Now: Listen to, or take today's news with you. Find exclusive interviews featuring the biggest names in the business. AVweb's Podcast index, is available online. More...

The Pilot's Lounge #101: Balloonatics
A quiet evening with little wind may be good for students to practice landings, but it's even better for those who like a flight in a balloon. AVweb's Rick Durden went along for a slow, relaxing, wind-directed flight.



Reader mail this week about British Airway's 747, NATCA vs. FAA, VLJs for commuting pilots and more.


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!
Your Favorite FBO's back to top 


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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to HOUMA JET CENTER at KHUM, Houma, LA.


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!


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.
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...



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.

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.

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.

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 online

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.

Aviation Consumer's June Issue Reviews the Costs & Practicality of Fractional Ownerships
Plus: "Which Oil Lab Is Best?"; "Save a Little O2" -- a review of two new oxygen-conserving devices; "PS Engineering's PMA8000B: Top Dog Audio" -- it's that good; "Mooney's Comeback"; "Columbia E-Charts" -- Columbia Aircraft addresses cockpit electronic charts; and "Used Aircraft Guide: Piper Seminole." Don't miss an issue of the only publication that has the guts to tell it like it is! Order gutsy Aviation Consumer online.

The Lighter Side Of Flight back to top 

No, that's not what I said.

"I was about to lift off with my instructor from a class D airport in a Robinson R-44. The route of flight would take us very near neighboring Class C airspace. The controller questioned us after we gave our initial heading..."

Controller: Staying clear of all airspaces?

My instructor: ...Except yours.

(short pause)

Controller: Did you just say, 'Up yours'?

We were both laughing too hard to respond. 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.

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