AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 12, Number 35a

August 28, 2006

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Runway Confusion In Kentucky back to top 
Sponsor Announcement ATG 
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RJ Down In Lexington, KY

Crash investigators in Lexington, Kentucky Sunday gathered information from the wreckage and data recorders of a Comair CRJ-100 that crashed and burned during a pre-sunup takeoff shortly after 6 a.m. at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport. Forty-nine of the 50 people onboard died in the wreckage, one -- the co-pilot -- was pulled free. The airport offers crossing runways: 3,500 by 75-foot Runway 26, and 7,001 by 150-foot Runway 22. The aircraft damaged an eight-foot fence and scarred earth off the end of Runway 26. It came to rest less than a mile beyond the end of that runway. Bombardier's CRJ-200 (and -100) model does not have leading edge slats and takeoff distance under standard conditions at maximum weight is listed at 5800-feet. (Delta and Bombardier Sunday offered conflicting reports that the aircraft was a CJR-100 and a CRJ-200, respectively.) When questioned about the clearance given to the flight, an NTSB spokeswoman said yesterday, "there were references to Runway 22," and stated that data indicates the aircraft aligned to 260 (matching the shorter runway) for the takeoff roll. She declined adding more details (analysis of voice and data recorders will begin in earnest, today). The shift for the one controller scheduled for duty at Lexington early on Sunday mornings would end at 6:30 a.m, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

En route to Atlanta, it is not yet clear if the aircraft ever left the ground and the crash may have left the aircraft somewhat intact prior to the post-crash fire. First officer James Polehinke, 44, was pulled from the shattered cockpit by police officer Bryan Jared and two airport officers, John Sallee and James "Pete" Maupin. The men were on the scene minutes after the crash. Jared was treated for burns to his arms suffered during the rescue, according to The Associated Press. Polehinke was in critical condition after surgery at last report Sunday.

Weather was benign at the time of the crash. It had rained earlier but it had stopped by the time of the crash at 6:07 a.m. and winds were light. It was, however, dark and a Friday NOTAM suggests the operating condition of certain runway lights may be in question. The taxi from terminal to runway is short and the shorter Runway 26 would have been the first reached by the aircraft en route to 22. The flight's captain was hired by Comair in 1999 and had been a captain since 2004. The first officer had been flying with Comair since 2002. By the FAA's count, there has not been a major crash in the United States since Flight 587 crashed on Long Island, N.Y., Nov. 12, 2001. (Not included in that count, an Air Midwest Beech 1900D crashed at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in 2003, killing all 21 aboard.) In Kentucky yesterday, Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn told the Chicago Tribune, "From what I can see and where the bodies were placed, there was some reaction," suggesting passengers may have survived the impact, but not the fire.

Previous Mishap Averted

According to the Aviation Safety Network, it was at least the second time an airliner crew had initiated a takeoff roll on the shorter runway. According to ASN's report of Sunday's accident, an airliner lined up for takeoff on the shorter Runway 26 13 years ago but a controller caught the error and cancelled the clearance. A report of the 1993 incident, reported on the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System and quoted by ASN says, "Possible contributing factors were poor visibility and wx (rain), confusing rwy intxn and twr's request for an immediate takeoff." Runway 26 (the short runway) and Runway 22 form a short-legged V with an intersection about one-third of the way from northeast ends of the runways. Paving work has been done recently on the main runway and 600-foot overruns have been added also.

Pilot Insurance Center Before Your Next Insurance Payment Is Due, Call PIC to Compare Rates
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FAA Updates Controller Hiring Projections back to top 
Sponsor Announcement How Do You Know Which Aviation Equipment Is Best?  Trust 'Aviation Consumer'

11,800 New Controllers Over Next 10 Years

The FAA says it will actually have 200 more air traffic controllers on duty two years from now compared to today's figures as it tackles the "retirement bubble" created 25 years ago when President Ronald Reagan fired two-thirds of the agency's controllers. However, a report (3.5 Mb file) on the necessity of hiring 11,800 controllers over the next 10 years also notes that given the agency's penny-pinching of late "it will be extremely challenging to sustain the long-term hiring and training to meet the projected controller staffing requirement." Despite the challenges, the FAA says it's on track to keep the consoles manned and it's doing so with a combination of efficiency and ramped-up hiring. "The controller workforce plan ensures that the FAA will have the right number of controllers in place at the right time to address the controller retirement bubble," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said in a news release. "We are focusing on all aspects of the process, including recruitment, hiring, training and staffing requirements." The FAA report says that a total of 2,060 controllers will be hired by the end of 2007 and that improvements in training methods and equipment should reduce the amount of time it takes to produce a traffic-ready controller. The agency has also brought the hammer down on alleged abuse of sick leave and other down time for already-qualified controllers and, among the new hires are more than 200 former automated flight service station employees who lost their jobs when Lockheed Martin took over the contract to run the FSS system.

Union Says Too Little, Too Late

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association says the FAA's math is a little fuzzy (or selective) and the reality is there are now almost 1,100 fewer controllers (or 7 percent) on duty today than there were three years ago. "And that's a problem, because we certainly have not seen a 7-percent decrease in traffic volume," NATCA spokesman Doug Church told AVweb. "Quite the contrary, in many locations. So you have fewer controllers working more traffic than ever before. Church said the FAA also seems to underestimate just how upset the membership was when working conditions (the FAA's contract) were imposed on them in June. Church predicts many members will head for the door as soon as their retirement numbers add up. Church said 25 percent of controllers will be eligible to retire by the end of 2007 and he noted that at the Dallas TRACON, seven controllers have left since July when the FAA began implementing the terms of the imposed contract. "They are dangerously close to the edge as far as the absolute minimum number of controllers needed just to safely operate the system each day," Church said. He also said it remains to be seen whether the hiring goals set out in the plan actually survive the budget process, noting that hiring totals for 2005 and 2006 were trimmed substantially.

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NTSB Issues "Urgent" Recommendations back to top 

Beechjet Flameouts Prompt Warning

Three dual engine flameouts on Beechjet 400 bizjets, including one that resulted in a dead-stick landing, have prompted the NTSB to urge immediate action to resolve the problems that are causing the failures. "Dual-engine flameout is an unacceptable risk that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible," NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said in a news release. The flameouts occurred on July 12, 2004, near Sarasota, Fla.; Nov. 28, 2005, near Jacksonville, Fla.; and on June 14, 2006 near Norfolk, Va. (There was also one in Brazil in 2000.) In two of the U.S. incidents, the pilots were able to restart at least one engine but the crew of the third Beechjet had to glide to a landing. All the landings were without injury. The flameouts all occurred when the aircraft were between 38,000 and 40,000 feet and near areas of convective activity. Evidence points to an icing problem with the Pratt and Whitney JT15D engines as the cause of the flameouts.

Engine Icing To Blame?

In its news release, the NTSB says an FAA engine icing specialist notes that thunderstorms blow a lot of ice crystals into the upper-airway altitudes. Pratt and Whitney did a study on the phenomenon and discovered that if pilots don't turn on the engine anti-icing gear when this is going on, ice can build up on the front inner compressor stator and cause a surge and/or a flameout. The NTSB wants the FAA to make sure pilots are aware of the potential problem and what to do to avoid it. The board is urgently recommending the FAA require that engine icing systems be activated whenever aircraft are operating at high altitude near convective activity or when there's visible moisture in the air. It's also suggesting that pilots be warned of the danger and that work begin on engine ice detector systems.

Don't Worry, It's on Cessna ... Cessna Offers to Cover $15,000 in Fuel Costs
From now until October 31st, Cessna is stepping in to cover the cost of your fuel! With the purchase of a new Skylane or Turbo Skylane from a participating dealer, Cessna will provide a $15,000 Multi-Service fuel card. To find out more about the program, contact your Cessna Sales Team Authorized Representative or call 1-800-622-7495. Offer expires on October 31, 2006. Complete program details online.
News Briefs back to top 

Orenda V-8 Making Comeback?

A Texas group in the Midland/Odessa area is revving up plans to build the Orenda 600, a geared aircraft engine based on an 8-cylinder big-block Chevy racing engine. Trace Engines holds all the rights to the engine, which went into production in the late 1990s in Nova Scotia but was dropped by Orenda Aerospace's parent company Magellan Aerospace about five years ago. According to the Odessa American, Trace Engines now expects to spend about $20 million to set up a manufacturing plant for the engine, which previously achieved certification but has yet to make much impact on the commercial market. When originally developed, the engine was touted as a low-cost replacement for turbine and radial engines in the 600-hp range -- Trace says that market still exists. According to the newspaper report, the deal was sealed last Thursday and Curtis Leonard, a local lawyer who helped put the deal together, said there's a new aircraft manufacturer two years away from starting production "that exclusively needs and uses this engine" (and no, we haven't the faintest idea who he might be talking about). The Orenda weighs in at 750 pounds (minus cooling system) and with its twin turbochargers is said to be comfortable in the flight levels where it uses less fuel than comparable Jet A-powered products. The Texas plant is anticipated to be in full production in three years with 115 employees.

FAA Starts Paperless Transition

The FAA has announced it will no longer mail certain airworthiness-related documents to affected owners and operators as the first stage of its program to eventually distribute all of this kind of material electronically. According to Helicopter Association International, starting last Friday, the agency stopped mailing corrections to Airworthiness Directives that don't trigger a new amendment number or AD number. The corrections will continue to be published in the Federal Register and on the FAA Web site. The agency is also trimming its postage bill by sending mailed copies of engine-related ADs only to those who have registered those engines and not to the aircraft owners and operators referred to in the AD. Emergency ADs will continue to be mailed and faxed but final rules relating to those ADs will not. No more Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIBs) will be mailed but you can receive them by e-mail by subscribing on the SAIB page on the FAA Web site.

AviationClassifieds.com Releases New Site Format and Offers Complimentary Ads
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News Briefs back to top 

Re-engined Citation Certified

Sierra Industries has obtained a supplementary type certificate (STC) to install modern engines on a classic bizjet. The company says that by putting Williams FJ44-2A engines on the Cessna Citation 500 and 501 series, the 30-year-old jets can compete with modern designs in terms of performance and endurance. It calls the faster-climbing, faster-cruising, longer-legged creation the Stallion. "The Stallion offers the exhilarating performance that comes with a substantial power increase and provides owners with choice when it is time to overhaul engines," Sierra CEO Mark Huffstutler said in a news release. With the 2,300-pound thrust Williams engines (the original JT15-Ds put out 2,200 pounds) and the efficiencies inherent in the more modern design of the engines, the Stallion climbs fully loaded directly to 43,000 feet, cruises 30-40 knots faster and goes about 150 to 200 nm farther on a tank of gas, depending on power settings. The Williams conversion costs about $1.4 million.

First "Air-Port" To Close

The iconic airport labelled as the first to use that particular term will close next month. Development pressure and what appears to be an almost complete lack of community support has sealed the fate of Bader Airport in Atlantic City. A local newspaper reporter was credited as the first to use the term "air-port" in describing the facility in 1919. The name stuck. Bader has been in continuous operation since 1910, making it one of the oldest in the U.S. (College Park in Maryland opened in 1909) and saw its share of firsts, including being the launch point for the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by air. Development of Atlantic City International Airport 15 years ago shifted interest and business from Bader (though Bader is closer to and a few minutes from casinos and beaches) and there are now only about a dozen aircraft based there. AOPA has opposed the closure, but developers are licking their lips over the potential of the site, which is a stone's throw from the famous boardwalk and is billed as the choicest piece of real estate on the Eastern Seaboard. "The gambling interests were stronger than the aviation interests," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The city is reportedly asking $1 billion for the land, which could become the site of a casino or housing.

The Best Aviation Weather Service for Cell Phones Now Available!
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News Briefs back to top 

Scottsdale Bans Aerial Commuting

Scottsdale, Ariz.'s planning commission has passed a motion that would ban landing aircraft in residential areas. Commission spokesman James Heitel said legislation with that intent has been on the books for 20 years but the motion passed last week clarifies the old law and makes it "black and white" according to a report in The Arizona Republic. The new rule fixes a problem that might hardly exist. The Republic states, "Scottsdale planners say that to date, only a handful of residents have landed aircraft on their properties," but the community's apparent failure to deal with another planning issue has prompted the pre-emptive strike against those who might want to change that condition. Traffic headaches are mounting in the affluent community and the planning commission is afraid that hopping over the gridlock might soon become attractive to those who can afford it. One homeowner has filed suit against the city's 2003 decision to outlaw helipads as "accessory uses" in residential areas.

Enflight Founder Died In Crash

Geoff Peck, whose software creation evolved into one of the most popular flight planning services on the Internet, died earlier this month when the Piper Arrow he was flying crashed in the mountains of Colorado while he was returning to his California home from EAA AirVenture. Peck, a computer scientist, devised a program to translate weather information into plain language. That breakthrough evolved into Enflight. According to the preliminary NTSB report, Peck was making a forced landing at the 12,000-foot level of the Rocky Mountains near Salida, CO., on Aug. 7 when one of the Arrow's wings hit a tree and the plane skidded to halt in rocky terrain. An unidentified passenger in the plane was injured.

If Exxon Elite Protects Peter's Piper Perfectly, How Many Other Private Pilots Prefer Our Product's Proven Performance? Plenty!
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News in Brief back to top 

On The Fly...

The first female space tourist will head to the International Space Station Sept. 14. Anouseh Ansari, the name sponsor for the Ansari X Prize competition, will join NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin on the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan…

The FAA has written new rules governing commercial rocket launches. The rules are largely in response to the aftermath of the Columbia breakup and are aimed at protecting people on the ground from launches that go awry. They take effect in a year…

An Airbus A380 has flown with new GP7200 engines made by Engine Alliance. The engines, capable of making 81,000 pounds of thrust, were developed from other widebody engines made by GE and Pratt and Whitney and 82 of the 140 orders for the superjumbo are specifying that engine.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Find all of today's stories in AVweb's: NewsWire

Audio News

For AVweb subscribers who prefer their news straight from the horse's mouth, AVweb posts fresh audio news issues each Monday, plus interviews, Friday. We call them podcasts, but no iPod is required. Check our audio news index and hear what you've been missing.

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. Listen up.

Nonin FlightStat — Pulse Oximeter At Aeromedix.com
The Nonin FlightStat is the world's smallest and lowest-cost precision instrument for measuring oxygen saturation in the bloodstream. Think of it as a "hypoxia meter" that warns when you're becoming hypoxic and measures precisely how much supplemental oxygen you need to avoid impairment of your pilot skills. Aeromedix carries Nonin's full line of prescription-only pulse oximeters. Aeromedix is one of Nonin's largest distributors, and nobody beats their pulse-ox prices. Order by calling (888) 362-7123, or go online.
Features back to top 

New Articles and Features on AVweb


CEO of the Cockpit #61: There's No Trying to Reason With the Terrorist Season
Do you want to see the captain of your airline flight walk through security in stocking feet with his "air marshal" government-approved gun in a clear plastic bag? AVweb CEO of the Cockpit just wants to keep his deodorant, thank you very much.

Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles


AVmail: Aug. 28, 2006
Reader mail this week about exploding batteries, synthetic fuel, circling approaches and 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.
Your Favorite FBO's back to top 

FBO of the Week: Davis Field Aviation (KMKO, Muskogee, OK)

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.

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

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Davis Field Aviation at KMKO in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Gordon Richardson II writes, "We stopped at MKO with a flight of Texas bound AT-6s on the way home from Oshkosh, and what a treat! The operators gave us some courtesy cars to go get some lunch. They were friendly, helpful, and had great fuel prices. Not to mention a nice airport."  Now that sounds like a top-notch stopover!

Keep those nominations coming.  For complete contest rules, click here.

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

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.
AVwebBiz back to top 

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/ .

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.
The Lighter Side Of Flight back to top 

Short Final

I was in the pattern at KSRQ shooting a bunch of touch and goes in a Piper Cherokee. The tower called with my next landing clearance. The conversation went something like this...

Tower: Warrior 12345, cleared touch and go, runway 22.

Me: Cherokee 12345, cleared touch and go, runway 22.

Tower: Cessna 12345, roger. Winds 240 at 5.

Me: 12345 is a Piper Cherokee, sir. Roger Wind.

Tower: Warrior 12345, copy.


Me: ...Whatever.

Tower: (Laughter)



DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University — all have selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. For more information, click here.

ASO Is Giving Away a Week of Advertising!
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AVweb's Flight Explorer 5.0 Available at Same Low Price!
Version 5.0 is now available at the same low price! New features include FAA Airport delays; enhanced terrain/elevation map depictions; updated Airways, NAVAIDs, Fixes, Special Use Airspace, and Flight Service Stations; and more. Click here for more information and to subscribe.

Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed. IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your flying and decision-making skills. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

Sundowner, Musketeer Owners: Power Flow Is Now FAA-Approved
Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System is now FAA-approved for the Beechcraft 23 series with Lycoming O-320 & O-360 engines. More RPM, better climb, saves fuel at current speeds. First shipments by February 2007. $400.00 pre-production discount ends 12/31/06. Place your deposit now. Complete details 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.

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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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