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Volume 12, Number 32a
August 7, 2006
JA Air Center 
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Visit the new GPSMap 496 Blog for more information on this exciting new product from Garmin.
Where Have All The Pilots Gone...back to top 

General aviation shipments are coming off a record high half-year, but that surge apparently isn't being fueled by new pilots. The Washington Post was at EAA AirVenture this year and, while it may not be a revelation to readers of this publication, informed its audience of the next crisis facing aviation: most pilots are old white guys. The Post reporter solicited opinions from an assortment of 50-something pilots on why the place wasn't teeming with eager, fresh faces and, not surprisingly perhaps, got answers that sound suspiciously like something their parents and grandparents might have said about them 30 or 40 years ago. "The younger ones want instant gratification. Learning to fly is work. You have to work at it," Jack Gilbert, a 57-year-old pilot, told the Post. Gilbert blamed video games and others chimed in that flying lacks the adventure (read: danger?) and intrigue that drew many to it. But what do young people have to say? More...

Opinions aside, fewer than half the number of student pilots are today bumping their way through touch and goes and spinning whiz wheels when compared to recent boom times, and the old guard is mobilizing to increase those ranks. One of these initiatives is among the most ambitious recycling projects we've come across. Build A Plane takes donations of unfinished kit airplanes and non-airworthy certified aircraft and distributes them to high schools and youth organizations that want to take them on as projects. Local experts are enlisted to help the kids do the work necessary to make the project fly. There are dozens of projects underway, ranging from a BD-5 to a Twin Comanche. Another group, Wings of Charity, allows dedicated participants to get their private pilot certificate for a vastly reduced price. More...

Although the tragic events of 9/11 put a damper on the whole aviation industry, it has rebounded and the hiring of pilots in all sectors (quite opposite of new pilot starts) is coming back to the historical highs of the turn of the century, according to Be A Pilot. The current boom is fueled in part by the rapid expansion of airline service in China, India and the Middle East and the worldwide growth of cargo operations. New airlines are luring experienced pilots from North America (where airline pilot pension and job insecurity make headlines) and that means more opportunities for younger, less experienced pilots to get a crack at the jobs left behind. The jury is still out on the impact very light jets (VLJs) will have on the air travel business but if even half of the projected growth materializes it will create thousands of pilot jobs. More...

Pilot Insurance Center Don't Overpay for Life Insurance Just Because You Fly!
Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) works closely with A+ rated insurance carriers to design full-coverage life insurance for pilots. In addition to huge savings, PIC offers a fast and easy application process. Take advantage of the best life insurance program available to pilots through the Pilot Insurance Center. Call (800) 380-8376, or visit online.
Pension Bill "Unfair"back to top 

Texas politicians say a pension reform bill passed by the Senate and House last week puts two Texas-based airlines at a competitive disadvantage. The bill, in general, allows companies with under-funded pension plans seven years to get caught up with their payments. However, companies that have frozen their pension plans get an additional 10 years to bring them up-to-date and they can do so at preferential interest rates. Bankrupt Northwest and Delta Air Lines qualify for the extension. Texas-based American and Continental do not and that's got the Texas delegation in both houses reaching for their legislative guns as disparity spreads. More...

Delta Air Lines says the pension package is what it needs to keep its fund alive. "Delta will be in a position to preserve its pension plan covering 91,000 active and retired ground and flight-attendant employees, thereby preserving their hard-earned benefits and preventing the U.S. pension system from being burdened with additional plan liabilities," Gerald Grinstein, Delta's chief executive, said in a statement. Both Delta and Northwest froze their plans as part of their bankruptcy rescue operation but neither American nor Continental is in that position. More...

Trade-A-Plane: The Aviation Marketplace Since 1937 Subscribe to Trade-A-Plane & See Why 96% of Trade-A-Plane Subscribers choose Trade-A-Plane as their primary aviation shopping tool. Thousands of classifieds (updated daily), product and advertiser indices, NAAA Evaluator, and aviation weather — Trade-A-Plane is everything that keeps you flying! To order, call (800) 337-5263 or go online.
News Briefsback to top 

A "national treasure" has been grounded indefinitely and it'll take $3 million to get it back in the air. Fifi, the Commemorative Air Force's B-29 bomber, has had chronic engine problems for years and the CAF has decided that they must be resolved for safety's sake. Fifi is the only airworthy B-29 in the world. As the CAF's Kay Crites told AVweb in our Aug. 4 audio news, the original equipment engines were maintenance hogs when they were new and they haven't gotten any better in 60 years of service. The CAF has decided to replace the engines with custom-built variants of the Wright Cyclone 18-cylinder radials and it's launched a fundraising effort to do the work. More...

Cessna may adopt a construction method used by some kit airplane companies to simplify assembly of the aircraft. Computerized match-hole drilling involves pre-drilling sheet metal pieces so that the holes line up perfectly when it comes time to fit them together. Companies like Van's aircraft (which estimates its homebuilt flying fleet at more than 4,500) have had good success with the system, which saves the builder time and improves the fit of the components. "It's very accurate," Neal Wilford, who's heading up Cessna's LSA project, told The Wichita Eagle. Wilford is building a Thorp Sky Scooter using the same technique. "So I knew it worked." The process might offer Cessna more than just a precise fit and finish. More...

Bose® Aviation Headset X - Garmin Geko 201 with Purchase Fly with the Bose® 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. (Professional Pilot, Headset Preference Survey, 12/05.) Buy today and receive a complimentary Garmin® Geko 201 handheld GPS. Learn more and order.
News Briefsback to top 

Arkansas Democratic senator Mark Pryor has introduced a bill that would force the FAA to resume negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association toward a new contract. The FAA imposed a contract on the union in June under the terms of legislation that would have required congressional intervention to resolve the dispute. Under that law, Congress has 60 days to act after the agency declares talks "at impasse." The impasse was declared April 5 and a last-ditch attempt by House members to halt the process failed. However, the union thinks Pryor's bill has a good chance. "We believe we have overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle," NATCA representative James Keith told the Springdale Morning News. More...

Many piston pilots have likely never heard Aerostar mentioned in relation to anything but an airplane, but to the ballooning community, the Sioux Falls, S.D., company is kind of like Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft all rolled into one -- and the company just announced last week that after Jan. 31, 2007, it won't be in the hot-air balloon business anymore. Aerostar, which started as Raven Industries back in the 1960s, virtually invented the system that gave birth to the modern sport of hot-air ballooning. Company President Mark West said the decision was an economic one. "The entire general aviation industry took a marked decline after 9/11 and the hot-air balloon industry has never recovered," he said in a news release on Tuesday. More...

Cessna Reason #1 Reason #1 — Pilots First
Leading the aviation industry isn't about bragging rights. Being No. 1 is about providing pilots with all of the things that make owning a Cessna such an irresistible value. Things like safety. Affordability. Reliability. Insurability. Flyability. And the world's largest service organization. All of which have helped make Cessna the No. 1 selling line of new single-engine aircraft. Explore more reasons at CessnaREASONS.com.
News Briefsback to top 

A young man who according to his sentencing judge loaded two young friends aboard a Cessna 172 in Danbury, Conn., and flew it for three hours before landing almost out of fuel and "drunk" at Westchester, N.Y., will have another year in jail to think about that night. He'll also have six months of enforced rehab to sort out the alcohol problem that he's now admitted to having. A Connecticut judge imposed the sentence last week after Philippe Patricio, now 21, pleaded guilty to a string of charges relating to the incident on June 22, 2005. He had already been in jail for nine months on charges laid by New York authorities. More...

Our story in Thursday's news about the fatal taxiway accident in Oshkosh on July 30th inadvertently gave the impression that EAA hasn't reviewed its safety procedures following the accident. EAA is awaiting the results of the NTSB's investigation of the accident before considering any changes in safety procedures. EAA President Tom Poberezny told AVweb on Thursday that it constantly revisits safety, whether there are accidents or not. "Safety is our number-one priority," he said. "We address it year after year." Meetings are held year-round to establish safety procedures, and every suggestion and comment is looked at and taken very seriously, he said. More...

If Exxon Elite Protects Peter's Piper Perfectly, How Many Other Private Pilots Prefer Our Product's 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 in Briefback to top 

FAA building may have been shot...
Seven airplanes, two helicopters damaged by Utah storm...
Hungarian claimed glider aerobatic title...
Man arrested after NYPD helicopter lased...
Lost airfield Web site...
Flight medical wait list seven months in India. 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 tonewstips@avweb.com. Our best stories start with your tips. 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.
Featuresback to top 

Probable Cause #12: Siren Song
As home beckons, a commuting pilot slugs through storms and delays before finally meeting his match a half-hour from home. More...

Online Now: Listen to, or take AVweb's no-iPod-required audio news with you.

Find exclusive interviews featuring Cessna's Jack Pelton on his company's LSA, TCM president Bryan Lewis, NATCA president John Carr, New Piper CEO Jim Bass, Hal Shevers for Sporty's Pilot Shop, Light Sport guru Dan Johnson, 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 online, now. You'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.


A Pilot Wearing a Headset Walks into a Bar ...
Sound like a joke? Not really. Pilots with Oregon Aero® Aviation Headset Upgrades say their headsets are so comfortable they forget they're wearing one. The five components of the Oregon Aero® Upgrade eliminate pain, reduce overall sound pressure, improve intelligibility and transmission clarity, and give you cool, dry ears. Oregon Aero offers hand-made, custom Upgrades for more than 150 headset models. Visit Oregon Aero online and see why Forgettable Is Good™.
Your Favorite FBO'sback 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 one week ago.

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lakeland Aviation Inc., at KADM, Ardmore, OK.

Offering up Lakeland, Dean Roberts told us, "New facility with excellent food, clean environment, constantly growing airport."

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!


Award-Winning VFLITE™ Computer-Based GPS Training Just FAA-Adopted
Now in use at FSDO's nationwide for FAA Inspector training, the VFLITE standard and advanced GNS 530/430 eLearning programs are the ideal solution for both initial and recurrent training. Featuring scenario-based, guided simulation; get the most from your GPS the quick, easy, and safe way. Manufacturer-recommended, VFLITE programs are also available for popular Garmin® and Lowrance® portables. Prices start at $49.95. Order online.
AVmailback to top 


Reader mail this week about Oshkosh, glider ratings, user fees and 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.
AVwebBizback 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...

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.
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

Slow day at ABQ...

DEP: ... Airliner123 cleared to FL33, as filed to Atlanta.

123: (after readback) Wish you worked Atlanta, we always get a stairstep out of there.

DEP: That's why they call us "controllers."

123: I already have a wife.




Doc Blue's Emergency Medical Kit — Don't Leave Home Without It!
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled a traveling medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale from Aeromedix for $333. Order by calling (888) 362-7123, or go online.

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.

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.

AVweb Flight Explorer Personal Edition 5.0 Online Now!
New features include: FAA airport delays; enhanced terrain/elevation map depictions and updated Airways; NAVAIDs; Fixes; Special Use Airspace; Sector boundaries; Flight Service Stations; and more. Current subscribers will need to download and install the new version of AVweb Flight Explorer. For more information about the AVweb Flight Explorer 5.0 upgrade, check out the FAQ page.

Perform Maintenance Legally & More Easily by Knowing What & How
If you are an aircraft owner, you need to know more than an average pilot about your aircraft's maintenance. Light Plane Maintenance brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform legally and easily. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

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.

Feeling Guilty? You Should Be Studying and Reviewing ...
You have every intention of doing so, right? You want to be up-to-date and impress the CFI on your review, but there's no time to study. Easy solution: Rod Machado's complete Private Pilot Handbook on 30 professionally recorded audio CDs. Review while in the car or exercising. You won't fall asleep with these CDs! The text is comprehensive, clever, rich, and laced with humor. You'll be quickly captivated by the British narrator's voice. No more commuter blues. Enjoy yourself and feel righteously up-to-date. Order online.

If You Fly the Gauges, Add IFR Magazine to Your Flight Library
IFR magazine has insightful articles to help you get the most from the system, your aircraft, and your knowledge. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

Names Behind the Newsback 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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