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Volume 12, Number 38a
September 18, 2006
JA Air Center 
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If you are looking to sell your current GPS, JA Air Center Purchases Used GPS and Avionics — call for current values.
Visit the new GPSMap 496 Blog for more information on this exciting new product from Garmin.
T-3 Trainers Crushed, Melted, Shreddedback to top 

The flying fraternity and sorority in the San Antonio area is collectively shaking its head at what some are describing as a senseless waste of tax dollars with the destruction of 110 piston-single aircraft. As AVweb told you in its Sept. 15 Audiocast, the T-3 Slingsby Firefly pilot screening aircraft, virtually all of which were in flying condition when they were mothballed nine years ago, were smashed to pieces by heavy equipment at Hondo Airport last week. According to Air Force spokesman Capt. Gideon McClure, the military’s term for the systematic destruction of the aircraft is "salvage in place." The Air Force paid more than $32 million for the planes and the best it can hope for from the destruction work is that it won’t cost any more. More...

It doesn’t appear anyone had any hope of the aircraft flying again. They were outfitted to military specifications and the Air Force estimated that converting them to civilian standards and fixing the effects of nine years of neglect would cost upward of $100,000 per plane. But what local pilots couldn’t understand was why the airframes went to the crusher with all their radios, instruments, wheels, tires, brakes, seats and everything else where Slingsby put them, including the Lycoming AEIO-540 engine. Norris Warner, president of the Southwest Regional Fly-In held annually at Hondo, said his group tried to recoup some of the value of the aircraft through a salvage proposal. More...

The T-3s were purchased as part of a program to save money on initial flight training by the Air Force. The fully aerobatic, relatively high-performance aircraft allowed the Air Force to expose flight-training prospects to the twists and turns of military flying at relatively low cost to make sure they could handle the larger, more powerful primary flight training aircraft. But, according to GlobalSecurity.org, the T-3s were plagued by an apparent fuel problem that would cause the engine to quit when it was throttled back in flight. It happened 66 times on takeoff or landing. Three instructors and three students were killed in three crashes that don’t appear to be related to the fuel fault. There were also 10 groundings of 57 aircraft for engine and brake problems. More...

Pilot Insurance Center Get Our "Best Class" Rates with Only 250 Total Hours
Now, through the Pilot Insurance Center, a private instrument-current pilot with as few as 250 total hours may qualify for our "Best Class" rates. Pilot Insurance Center works closely with leading insurers to develop life insurance policies specifically designed for pilots. All of our insurance products offer full coverage with no aviation exclusions and are provided by A+ rated (A.M. Best) insurance companies. Compare and Save — for a quote, call PIC today at (800) 380-8376 or go online.
New Florida Airport Approved by FAAback to top 

The FAA formally gave its blessing for a new major airport near Panama City on the Florida Panhandle. The agency issued its Decision of Record accepting the environmental-impact statement and clearing the way for federal funding for the $300 million project. The state has committed $82.5 million to the project and civic officials are hailing it as a boon to local tourism and development. The current Panama City-Bay County International Airport is on 715 acres the city says was worth $55 million three years ago. The new airport would be about 30 miles away in West Bay and critics argue that the project has more to do with real estate than it does with air traffic. More...

Environmental groups are trying to shout down the project, which still has some hoops to go through. The National Resources Defense Council says that from an aviation standpoint, the airport isn’t needed because traffic is dropping at the existing facility. "Given that traffic at the current airport has dropped dramatically, there's no demand for this new one, which would destroy nearly 2,000 acres of wetlands that protect water quality and provide a buffer against storms," it said in a statement. The group claims that traffic records for the existing airport show the number of arrivals and departures has dropped from about 50 a day to about 24 a day and that upgrading the current facility will handle any foreseeable future growth. More...

Bose® Aviation Headset 
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The Future Is Now — And What About the Past?back to top 

EAA and its Warbirds of America division are working with the FAA to ensure the regulatory environment allows historic aircraft to keep flying long into the future. The FAA has come up with what it calls its Road Map to keep warbirds and other vintage aircraft in the air. During EAA AirVenture, EAA officials met with the FAA to discuss the document and make recommendations. "During the weeks immediately following EAA AirVenture 2006, EAA's Industry and Regulatory Affairs Department and the Warbirds of America's Advocacy Committee thoroughly reviewed the draft and made numerous recommendations to enhance the document," EAA said in a news release. Earl Lawrence, EAA’s regulatory expert, told AVweb much of the focus is not on the aircraft themselves but on the people needed to fly and fix them. More...

What adjective do you use to describe a jumbo jet that’s been given a plus-size makeover? While the spinmasters come up with one, Boeing is celebrating the arrival of the first of its Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighters at Boeing Field in Seattle. The plane, which is modified with an outsized fuselage and a hinged empennage, is one of three that will be used to carry wing and fuselage parts for the new 787 from offshore contractors. The arrival of the plane, which was on its first long-distance flight (from Taipei), was symbolic for those on the 787 program. "These planes will be a cornerstone," Scott Strode, who’s in charge of the 787 program, told the Bellingham Herald. "It's one of our most visible milestones this year for the 787 because we have to have it certified and ready to ship hardware by early next year." More...

AOPA President Phil Boyer says there's not much room for general aviation in NASA's and the FAA's vision of future air travel. The so-called Next Generation Air Transportation System is geared toward commercial carriers and heaps expense on GA while diminishing its access. "But in this nightmare of the future, GA would lose access to airspace, experience increased security requirements, and operate from fewer airports," said Boyer, "even if we equipped with all the expensive technologies envisioned." There are some major shifts in the way airspace management would work under the plan [1.3 meg PDF file] but it's the expense that small aircraft owners would incur that’s got AOPA particularly riled. More...

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Building the Futureback to top 

Cessna and its parent company Textron dedicated a new parts factory in Chihuahua, Mexico, last week that officials from both companies seem to think is the shape of things to come. "We believe the Textron Aerospace Mexico facility is a positive step toward expanding Cessna's global presence as we continue to ensure Cessna products remain competitive in the world-wide aerospace market," Cessna Senior Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain Ron Alberti told Jobwerx.com. The Mexico plant makes wiring harnesses for Cessna jets and employs 138 people in a 62,000-square-foot facility. Meanwhile, back in Wichita, aircraft parts suppliers gathered to look at the future of their business. More...

After they’ve beaten the explosives detectors, scammed the baggage scanners, avoided the ever-vigilant scrutiny of security screeners and knocked down the bulletproof door to the cockpit, terrorists of the future might face an even more daunting adversary -- the plane itself. European scientists began working on a $35 million project in July to see if they can’t make the last line of defense against airborne terror the aircraft. "You never reach zero level of threat, no risk, but if you equip planes with on-board electronics, it will make them very difficult to hijack," Daniel Gaultier, coordinator of the Security of Aircraft in the Future European Environment (SAFEE) project, told the Evening Standard. More...

Aircraft Investor Resources, of Bend, Ore., says it will begin certification tests on the Dynasty, a certified version of its Epic LT turboprop single, this fall in Calgary, Alberta. Assuming all goes well with the turboprop, the company says it will then start work on certifying a twin-engine jet called the Elite. The company turned heads at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh a few years ago with the turboprop, which it took from a paper airplane to first flight in less than a year. It was selling a builder-assisted kit version of the plane but was attracted to Canada to certify it by the more streamlined process north of the border, according to CEO Rick Schrameck. "The Canadians have been wonderful to work with," Schrameck said in a news release. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

An unidentified pilot suffered serious injuries after he was hit by the main wheels of the airplane he commanded and was then dragged across the ramp at Gatwick Airport. The freak accident happened last March but a report on the mishap was just released by Britain’s Air Accidents Investigations Branch. The pilot and co-pilot were getting ready to take the Lear 45 to Paris when the co-pilot accidentally moved a thrust lever forward. The pilot, who was stowing his baggage in the rear, noticed the change in pitch in the engine and rushed forward to warn the co-pilot. Along the way, he somehow lost his footing and fell out the open door. The plane, with the pilot in tow, hit a ground worker and a vehicle before spinning 180 degrees and coming to rest against a large truck. More...

Runway chase leads to federal charges ...
Canadian flight schools full of foreign student ...
Companies propose Snowbird replacement ...
Controllers want leaking center roof fixed. 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.
AVweb's Audio Newsback to top 

For many aviation buffs, there's nothing like the sound of four big radial engines on a B-17 or the sight of a Mustang in flight to stir the soul. There are hundreds of warbirds still flying, but the supply of qualified personnel to fly and fix them will run thin if something isn't done to ensure those skills are passed on. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with EAA's Earl Lawrence about a program that addresses that issue, in today's Audio News podcast. More...

Flight Explorer Pilot Edition® Could Save You Time When Flight Planning
Whether you want to view the weather along your planned route of flight, receive alerts when the FAA sends your preliminary flight plan, or need to have an e-mail automatically sent to someone when you depart or arrive, Flight Explorer Pilot Edition® is for you. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
Your Favorite FBOsback 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 Twin Cities Air Service at KLEW inAuburn, Maine.

We've heard good things about this FBO before, but AVweb reader John D. Light thought the entire staff deserved kudos for theservice and facilities.

"Senior CFIs Dale Stewart and Jamey Gauthier are two ofthe best anywhere in the world," writes John.  "The entire A&Pforce, led by Ben Mosier, are always ready, willing and able todo whatever is required to keep you flying, and the front desk man, Chris Parker, is the best front desk man to be found anywhere. OwnerNate Humphries runs a very fine FBO that is certainly deservingof all the recognition it gets."

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!


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!
New Articles & Features on AVweb.comback to top 



Probable Cause #15: IFR & Meds — A Deadly Mix
by Brian M. Jacobson
A pilot loses control while executing a missed approach. The NTSB believes that cold or allergy medication played a role in the accident. This accident report first appeared in AVweb's sister publication, IFR Refresher.


What's New for September
This month AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you amphib floats for Glasairs, tour of the Bahamas, training DVDs and 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...

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.
Video of the Weekback to top 

A big thanks to everyone who took a few minutes last week to share their favorite flying videos with us. We didn't get much work done on Monday or Tuesday, but we did enjoy your videos — so please keep 'em coming! This week's "VOTW" is a little longer and more laid-back, but well worth a watch. It was originally posted on YouTube by richardr2000. More...

Truth! Aviation Consumer Is the ONLY Unbiased Publication Available to Pilots
Because Aviation Consumer isn't supported by advertising like other aviation publications, Aviation Consumer's editors can tell you the unbiased truth about products and services. Be a subscriber to the fearless aviation publication, Aviation Consumer. Order online and receive unlimited no-cost use of Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web archives!
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 


Lady ATC Controller (in a somewhat monotone and hard-to-hear voice): Airliner 123, proceed direct FATHR.

Airliner 123: Say again for 123.

ATC: 123, proceed direct FATHR.

Airliner: Couldn't quite understand you. center. Say again.

ATC (now in a slow, deliberate but still monotone voice): Airliner 123, proceed direct FATHR, as in "Luke, I am your father."

Airliner 123 (with chuckles): Direct FATHR, 123.

Later on, for a frequency change ...

ATC: Airliner 123, contact center on 123.45.

Airliner 123: Center on 123.45, and may the force be with you.


HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice-monthly AVwebBiz newsletter? Reporting on breaking news, AVwebBiz also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. AVwebBiz is a must-read. Watch for a Biz regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ 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.

Power Flow Is Now FAA-Approved for the Diamond DA40
The Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System is now standard equipment on all 2007 Diamond DA40 aircraft. Benefits include: Speed increases of up to 8 knots; 15% more climb; or, go the same speeds and save up to 1.2 gallons per hour. Starting in October, existing DA40 owners can retrofit their aircraft. For complete details, go 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.

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.

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