Having trouble viewing this AVwebFlash? View it online. To ensure that you continue to receive this newsletter, please add avweb@e.avflash.com to your address book.

Volume 12, Number 36b
September 7, 2006
David Clark X-11 Headset from Aircraft Spruce Aircraft Spruce Carries the Redline STIFFY Tow Bar
A spring-loaded, reversible one-way ratchet that delivers tremendous power and allows the wheel to continue rolling in the direction it is being levered, but it has to be "unlocked" in order to allow movement in the other direction. Traction on the tire supplied by quot;teeth" on the "friction pad." The basic system consists of two pieces (special one-piece tow bar and the STIFFY mechanism). For more information, please call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
Battle Over ATC Staffingback to top 
Sponsor Announcement ECi — 
Parts & Services for Lycoming & TCM Engines — Find the Best Prices 
from A.E.R.O.

Although conflict over staffing levels for air traffic control has been simmering for years between the FAA and the controllers union, last week's fatal crash in Lexington, Ky., has upped the rhetoric. The FAA said this week that towers at Duluth, Minn., and Fargo, N.D., were the only towers besides Lexington that have both ground and radar functions that didn't have two controllers on duty Sunday night. In New York, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is demanding that all towers in the state must be fully staffed around the clock. He also wants Congress to allocate $60 million to replace the 42-year-old tower at LaGuardia Airport, which has been plagued by leaks and power problems. "The FAA says we don't need as many controllers because we have updated our equipment, but they haven't updated the equipment, at LaGuardia and at too many other towers," Schumer said. More...

"It isn't just about one-person midnight shifts and airports like LEX," Ruth Marlin, executive vice president for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), told The Eagle Tribune. "The FAA is short-staffed at O'Hare, Atlanta and Dallas towers. If you don't have enough people, you either can't provide the service or can't maintain the safety margin." FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said last week at a news conference in Louisville, Ky., that staffing is not a problem. "Overall, across the country, we do not have a shortage of air-traffic controllers," Blakey said. Dr. Charles Czeisler, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, told The Eagle Tribune that the sleep-deprived schedule kept by the lone Lexington controller could cause attention lapses and cut reaction time. More...

The senator from New York is not the only voice in Washington calling for change. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., and Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., who are both on the House transportation committee, have demanded an investigation by the Transportation Department's inspector general, USA Today reports. "In aviation, there's no curb to pull over and look under the hood," Oberstar said. "What you're always looking for is widening the margin of safety." On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that a control tower supervisor at Lexington had filed an anonymous safety report with NASA in 2004. More...

Motors, Inc. PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
White House Names New DOT Chiefback to top 

Mary Peters has been nominated by President Bush to take over Norman Mineta's cabinet seat as Secretary of Transportation, the White House announced on Tuesday. Peters was formerly the head of the Federal Highway Administration and director of the Arizona Department of Transportation. She is currently working in the private sector as a transportation policy analyst. "Mary has a reputation for character and common sense," the president said. "She's an innovative thinker. She knows how to set priorities and to solve problems." In accepting the nomination, Peters noted that the nation's transportation infrastructure is "showing signs of aging." More...

Within hours, AOPA, NBAA, EAA, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) had issued statements reacting to the announcement. Their main concern -- what will be Peters' position on user fees for GA? AOPA said the nominee would pose both an "opportunity and [a] challenge." Her position on user fees is far from clear. In the past, she has advocated for collecting highway tolls to upgrade the road system. "That's because the highway trust fund is going to go broke. The aviation trust fund isn't," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. He added that, "While I don't yet know her personally, Mary Peters has a reputation for honesty, integrity, and a willingness to listen and understand all sides of an issue ... AOPA fully intends to take every opportunity to take advantage of her good listening skills to explain why user fees would be harmful to the world's best aviation system." More...

Boyer is not the only GA leader ready to give Peters an earful about the needs of GA pilots. NBAA President Ed Bolen said, "I look forward to working with Mary and ensuring that she is fully aware of the concerns of business aviation." GAMA President Pete Bunce said, "We congratulate Ms. Peters and look forward to continuing the same great working relationship on aviation issues that we had with Mr. Mineta." EAA President Tom Poberezny noted that Mineta leaves big shoes to fill. "Secretary Mineta was a friend to EAA and to sport and recreational aviation," he said. "Under his watch, the sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rules became a reality. He's been to Oshkosh on a number of occasions and we truly enjoyed working with him." More...

Comfort from LightSPEED Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets
"Custom ear molds made my Mach 1 as quiet as any headset I've tried." — Bing Lantis, President of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. Discover what thousands of pilots already have: the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz.; the full-size Thirty 3G, just under 16 oz. and uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money-back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). View the 60-second video clip!
News Briefsback to top 

Transportation Security Administration officials have asked airport managers, flight schools, flight-training providers, and aircraft operators to remain vigilant for suspicious behavior and activities. The notice was prompted by a recent undisclosed incident involving suspicious activities at flight schools, the TSA said. The TSA advisory, issued on Friday, warns of continuing Al-Qaeda efforts to conduct multiple attacks against the U.S., and says those attacks may involve aviation. Owners of GA aircraft and airport owners and operators are urged to review the security measures contained in the TSA publication, "Security Guidelines for General Aviation Airports," as well as AOPA's Airport Watch Program materials. More...

A source of complication for many GA pilots has always been that once you land, you still have to get to your destination, and it's not always easy. One car-rental company is trying to solve that problem, with a program aimed directly at GA pilots. Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the biggest car-rental company in North America, has an easy-to-use Web portal, where pilots can plug in any airport identifier and get immediate detailed information about rental-car availability. In some cases, there is a branch on the airport, but if not, Enterprise will deliver the car to your FBO or pick you up there and shuttle you to their facility. The site lists what service is available, as well as car models and prices. Response to the project has been "tremendous," Enterprise spokesman Brad Carr told AVweb on Tuesday. More...

Introducing New AeroShell® Oil W 80 Plus
The newest member of the AeroShell® family, AeroShell® Oil W 80 Plus is designed to provide excellent protection for pilots who fly in colder weather or less frequently. With the same anti-wear and anti-corrosion additives found in AeroShell® W 100 PLUS, new AeroShell® W 80 Plus provides pilots with a lighter single-grade oil they can trust. Learn more online.
News Briefsback to top 

When pilots Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson reached 50,699 feet in a glider over the Andes last week, there was more to it than just catching another world record. The pair was conducting scientific research on atmospheric phenomena, trying to learn more about the structure of mountain waves and how they interact with polar winds. Because the stratosphere is generally stable, with no thermal lifting, the only way for a glider to get up there is to hitch a ride on mountain waves. The objective of Fossett and his team was to "surf" from one wave to another, to climb as high as possible. They tried for five seasons on three continents before reaching their target height, surpassing the 1986 record by 1,662 feet. More...

A paraglider was flying along above Utah last Friday, about 75 feet high, when he encountered an airplane at his altitude ... which quickly became an unpleasant surprise. The remote-controlled airplane, with a 21-inch wingspan, dispensed enough force to disrupt the parafoil. The paraglider pilot, Wade Hutchinson, 31, of Wyoming, crashed on the side of a slope, but was spared serious injury. "That mountain helped break his fall," local police officer Clint Fackrell told the Salt Lake Tribune, referring to the angle of the terrain. The glider "folded up" on impact, according to the Tribune (not much of a surprise considering paraglider wings have no solid structural members). Hutchinson was flown to a hospital by helicopter, but his injuries were reported to be not life-threatening. More...

If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
The fact is brokers can't get a quote from Avemco, the only direct provider of aviation insurance. On top of that, only Avemco lets you talk directly to the aviation underwriter for fast, accurate answers in one simple phone call. Plus, Avemco offers consistent rates and coverage as well as short, easy-to-understand policies. So if a broker tells you he covers the whole market, he's only telling you half the story. Call Avemco at (888) 241-7891 or visit online to hear the rest of the story.
News Briefsback to top 

Two Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft that crashed in the last two weeks in Florida have successfully raised additional concern over the safety of the twin turboprop. The MU-2 accident record prompted the FAA to undertake a safety review of the aircraft in December 2005. The review found that although the airplane's fatal accident rate is about 2.5 times that of similar twin turboprops, the airplane is not inherently unsafe. The FAA mandated extra training for MU-2 pilots. Last Friday, Hardy Head, 64, was killed when the MU-2 he was flying crashed in rural Walton County, Fla. On Aug. 26, Ward and Barb Walter, a Michigan couple in their 60s, died when their MU-2 crashed near Ormond Beach, Fla. The aircraft "operate more like a business jet than they do a turboprop," FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. More...

Jim Carlaccini and John Long plan to fly from Florida to California next month to raise money for children's charities. They'll fly an FPNA A-22 Valor LSA and an Airborne XT-912 trike. The trike has been adapted with hand controls for Carlaccini, who uses a wheelchair since a skydiving accident several years ago. Their trip will take about two months. In South Africa, two rotary pilots plan to crisscross their country, one flying an R22 Robinson helicopter and the other an ELA gyrocopter. More...

Belvoir Media Group (AVweb's parent company) is seeking an aviation writer/editor for a staff position at Kitplanes magazine (AVweb's sibling). We're looking for someone with a proven track record in writing, reporting and editing. The ideal candidate -- we know you’re out there -- should have a good working knowledge of experimental (amateur-built) aviation as well as a broad-based background in general aviation. Familiarity with Adobe InDesign page layout software and advanced flight ratings are a plus. Contact editor@kitplanes.com More...

The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious Sophistication
Avidyne's Flightmax Entegra Integrated Flight Deck is standard equipment on the New Piper Mirage. Three flight displays, moving map, Garmin GNS 430, autopilot, color radar system, and dual Air Data/Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) combine to provide serious sophistication for a higher level of confidence. Click here for complete information on the New Piper Mirage.
News in Briefback to top 

Comair first officer's condition upgraded, injuries detailed...
Delta can terminate its pilots' pension plan, a judge said...
ATG chose Op Technologies avionics for its Javelin Jet...
Scott Carson is new CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes...
The A380 flew with 474 company employees on board Monday...
A German entrepreneur plans to launch an all-smokers' airline...
NTSB says firefighter didn't break up in flight, it was CFIT...
A new laser could power cheaper missile-defense systems for aircraft...
Qantas to offer in-flight wireless access and cellphone service. 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...

Use the Best — ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs and FAA Exam Prep Now Available
ASA's 2007 FAR/AIMs, Test Preps for pilots, and Fast-Track Test Guides for AMTs are now available. Prepware combines all the information in the Test Prep and Fast-Track Test Guide series in computer-based training. Contains all FAA Knowledge Exam questions. Virtual Test Prep lets students study from their TVs or computer DVD players. For complete details about these products, visit ASA's web site.
Featuresback to top 



Quiz #111: Flapped, Foiled and Dragged
The Earth's atmosphere is composed of 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen, leaving only one percent for airplanes. Let's see what we can force into that airspace with a few aerodynamic questions and controversies. More...

For AVweb subscribers who prefer their news straight from the horse's mouth, AVweb posts fresh audio news issues each Monday, and interviews, Friday -- it's information you won't find anywhere else. 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. You'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.


Cessna Single & Twin Owners: Learn to Save Thousands on Maintenance!
Aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed weekend Savvy Owner Seminar in cities throughout the U.S., including a location within easy flying distance of you. In one information-packed weekend, Mike will teach you how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving literally thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. For seminar cities, details, and to reserve your space, click here.
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 last week.

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Aitkin Aviation at KAIT, Aitkin, MN.

Offering up Aitkin, Helen Woods told us, " My boyfriend and I stopped in for fuel during a long cross country trip to find a beautiful little country airport -- the type with a cub in every hanger and folding chairs in the hanger doorways gazing out onto the runway. The FBO manager came out and topped us off with reasonably priced fuel. They offered three grades including MoGas, which saved us a good deal of money. We then discovered that they had a beautiful grassy and tree lined campsite, complete with fire ring, grill, picnic table, and a huge mountain of firewood. They also had a 24hr pilot lounge complete with a shower, clean restroom, and weather computer, which they offered to us for indoor camping if we preferred. As the weather had deteriorated, we took them up on their hospitality decided to camp in their beautiful campsite. No sooner had we unrolled our tents than the FBO manager drove a car over to us and handed us the keys, maps of town, and directions to good food and enjoyable places to visit. We spent two nights at this airport and left on a Saturday morning when we found the FBO manager making huge pots of chilli for a vibrant volunteer airport community that had come out to repaint the runway markings. We said our good-byes and were handed two bags of locally grown wild rice as parting gifts from the FBO manager as we left. All of this, except the fuel and charts we purchased, was free of charge. If this FBO isn't worthy of an AVweb award, I don't know what is!"

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!


If You Think "Bargains" Are Something Alien to Aviation — Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's marketplace. Bennett Avionics provides pilots with quality avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
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.
QOTWback to top 

This week, AVweb invites you to speculate on the root cause of the the current air traffic control crisis. Safety, jobs, money, power — which do you think is really behind the air traffic control dilemma? PLUS: Results of last week's Question on runway responsibility. More...

The Best Tool in Your Toolbox Is Information!
Save money and time with helpful articles from Light Plane Maintenance magazine. Light Plane Maintenance brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform legally and easily on your aircraft. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
POTWback to top 

This year's Labor Day holiday may have been more eventful than usual,but it still signals the end of summer for many.  (Say it ain'tso!)  But don't let that discourage you — with extended DaylightSaving Time this year and just a little bit of luck with regard to theweather, we may still have a few good weeks of short-sleeve shirts andairport afternoons in store.  While you're enjoying the last raysof summer, remember to keep a roll of film (or an extra memory card)handy.  Make AVweb a part of your end-of-summer adventures bysubmitting youraviation photos to our "POTW" contest every week.  Thomas Clough of Wauconda,Illinois did — and his bush flying photos climbed all the way up theranks to take the top spot in this week's contest.  As our "POTW"winner, Thomas will receive an official AVweb hat in the mail, alongwith a few thousand oohs and ahhs from fellow AVwebreaders.  Thanks for taking time to submit, Thomas! More...



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.

Ensure Yourself and Your Passengers' Safety for Under $149!
CO Guardian has reliable and proven CO detectors in both portable and panel-mount models starting at $149. You can't afford not to purchase from CO Guardian. Order online.

Gas Prices Keeping You Grounded? Share Expenses on Your Next Flight!
Join PilotShareTheRide.com. This unique site is offered at no cost to pilots AND those who love to fly and don't have access to an aircraft. You can share costs on your next flight! Pilot Share The Ride is supported by advertisers, just like AVweb, so there are no membership costs. Check out PilotShareTheRide.com.

Comm1 Radio Simulator — Special Offer to AVweb Subscribers
Receive a complimentary Communications Reference Card with the purchase of any Comm1 Radio Simulator. Fly confidently by training with Comm1 Radio Simulators — unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Available in VFR, IFR, and Clearances on Request versions. Experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics from the safety and privacy of your desktop. Also Available: VFLITE's Garmin GPSMap 396 Interactive Guide. Order online.

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 Mary Grady (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.