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Volume 12, Number 38b
September 21, 2006
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.
Sponsor Announcement ECi — 
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That price, to be paid by the nearly 3 million citizens of the city of Chicago for the decision made by its mayor, will be over $1 million. The final decision on what penalty the city will pay for bulldozing Meigs Field in the middle of the night in March 2003 was announced Monday by the FAA. Besides a $33,000 fine, the city must repay $1 million of airport funds that Mayor Richard M. Daley illegally diverted to pay for the destruction. Together with more than $550,000 spent fighting those penalties, the loss to the city totals about $1.6 million, according to AOPA. The city admitted no wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement. Still, the outcome "sends a clear signal to other cities that the FAA is serious about upholding its regulations," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. More...

"This is a drop in the bucket, compared to what Chicago has lost," said Steve Whitney, president of the Friends of Meigs Field. "A downtown business airport like Meigs is worth its weight in gold to the economy." His organization has documented over $490 million in annual spending by Meigs users prior to its demolition, Whitney said. "The economic losses are staggering. Not only from the loss of business by Meigs users, but also by the additional delays caused by displaced traffic at O'Hare and Midway." Friends of Meigs will continue to lobby to reopen the airport as a combination park/airport/air museum. More...

EAA president Tom Poberezny found little comfort in the fine. "A settlement has been reached that unfortunately puts the burden on Chicago taxpayers, but for aviation and Chicago, it's too little, too late," he said. EAA in the past sponsored regular monthly Young Eagles flight rallies with the Tuskegee Airmen at Meigs. For years, Friends of Meigs was allotted a prominent spot at the annual EAA AirVenture show at Oshkosh to proselytize and collect signatures on petitions. "But it remains a tragic story that the once ideal landing facility for business travelers and Young Eagles has been reduced to a part-time concert venue and bike/nature trail," said EAA. More...

Ultra-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!

A bill that was introduced into the Senate last week would require the FAA to explain why it has not implemented the recommendations of the NTSB's "Most Wanted Safety Improvements." The accounting would be due within 90 days after the legislation is enacted. The stipulation is part of the 2006 NTSB Reauthorization Act. The Most Wanted list asks the FAA to act to reduce the dangers of icing and runway incursions, to require upgrades to in-flight recording systems, and to mandate restraints for children under age 2. Some of the same issues have come up year after year on the NTSB's list, with the FAA's response labeled as "unacceptable." More...

Meanwhile, the FAA's efforts to mandate safety-related changes for the maintenance of aging transport aircraft are meeting with stiff resistance from the airlines. The Air Transport Association filed its comments Tuesday on the proposed rule, which was posted in April, calling it premature, incomplete, unjustified and too expensive. The FAA estimated costs at $360 million over 20 years, but the ATA says it projects costs of over $3 billion. "The NPRM, unfortunately, does not propose reasonable, presently determinable regulatory requirements ... [it] should be withdrawn," the ATA said. The rule is intended to set strict criteria for determining life limits for commercial aircraft. More...

All of these issues were on the agenda for a wide-ranging meeting on aviation safety held yesterday afternoon in Washington by the House Aviation Subcommittee. However, immediate concerns over air traffic control stemming from last month's fatal Comair crash in Kentucky took precedence. The lawmakers "attacked" the FAA, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. They were concerned that lack of staffing may have been a factor in the Aug. 27 crash, which killed 49 people. "The FAA has yet to address its staffing problems. That is a safety issue," said Rep. Ben Chandler of Kentucky. The FAA's Nicholas Sabatini said the FAA was tackling its staffing problems. More...

Aircraft Spruce West Coast Super Sale: Oct. 7, 2006 Aircraft Spruce West Holds Their Annual Super Sale on October 7th
Aircraft Spruce will be holding their annual Super Sale in Corona, CA on Saturday October 7th from 7:00am – 3:00pm. Vendors will be on site demonstrating their products. Raffle prizes will be given away hourly. Seminars will include Garmin, Zaon Flight, and the FAA. Numerous discounts, hot dogs for all, and lots of fun! No-cost shuttle service available throughout the day from the Corona Airport (AJO). For more information, please call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.

Aviation fatalities from all sectors dropped a bit last year, according to preliminary figures released this week by the NTSB, while GA deaths were up slightly, to 562 from 558 the year before. The number of people killed in all aviation accidents in 2005 dropped to 616, from 652 in 2004. Airline fatalities increased from 14 to 22, while air-taxi deaths dropped sharply from 64 in 2004 to 18 last year. General aviation fatal accidents amounted to 1.3 for every 100,000 hours of flying, according to the NTSB's estimate. "It is very disturbing to see transportation fatalities rising," said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "We need a concerted effort by government, industry and the traveling public to establish a strong downward trend in the number of fatal accidents." More...

The FAA on Tuesday issued a Production Certificate to Adam Aircraft for its A500 twin-engine piston airplane. This allows the company to inspect its own aircraft to verify that they meet FAA requirements and are ready for delivery. With that certificate in hand, Adam can now boost its production schedule. "An FAA Production Certificate represents a major step toward the Adam Aircraft goal of delivering six A500 aircraft every month," said CEO Rick Adam. "Issuing a Production Certificate means the FAA accepts the Adam Aircraft Quality System as one that will reliably produce A500 aircraft that conform to the approved type design." More...

Garmin 396 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
How does the Garmin 396 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM Weather?  Check out this link to find out.
(866) 443-3342

Tests of a new synthetic aviation fuel in California this week attracted wide attention as airlines -- and other oil-guzzling industries -- hoped for a break from high oil prices. The U.S. Air Force tested the fuel in a B-52 bomber Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force Base. The bomber flew with two of its eight jet engines burning a 50-50 blend of conventional JP-8 and a synthetic fuel produced from natural gas. An Air Force spokesman said the engines running on the synthetic fuel performed as well as the others, though final test results are pending. The flight was cut short due to a mechanical issue with the B-52's left wing-tip landing gear, which was unrelated to the fuel test. The aircraft landed safely without incident. More...

The Reno National Championship Air Races wrapped up a safe week of high-speed flying on Sunday afternoon. Mike Brown and "September Fury" won the Unlimited Class Gold Race with a speed of 481.619 mph. Matt Jackson flew "Dreadnought" to a second-place finish, roaring around the pylons at 453.559 mph. The winners shared a purse of $1 million. "This is the only place in the world where you can come and do this [fly low and fast] and not get in trouble," race president Michael Houghton told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "We've got the largest race field we've ever had." The event has grown in the last few years, now attracting about 200,000 visitors, lots of vendors and displays on the ground, and dozens of airplanes that race in six categories from biplanes to jets. Fastest and most popular are the "unlimiteds," modified warbirds that fly close to 500 mph. According to Reno's race results page, a Lancair Legacy qualified for the Sport class at better than 354 mph. 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.

Usually, an airplane making an off-airport landing is pretty routine -- though it might be a memorable event to those involved. But last weekend there seemed to be a rash of pilots without runways. On Sunday, Robert Berkoski was flying his Piper Super Cub, towing a banner to New York's Giants Stadium. He started losing altitude, so he dumped the banner in the water, then headed for a sparsely-populated Staten Island beach, where he landed safely. On the opposite coast, another banner tower, on his way to Gillespie Field in a Cessna 150, had fuel problems and landed on California Route 125 in El Cajon. Near Chicago, an instructor and student in a Piper Cherokee 140 took off from Palwaukee at about 10 a.m., but didn't get far. They put it down about two miles to the southwest, in a backyard in a residential area. Some tree branches were broken, and the airplane and occupants were a bit worse for wear, but nobody was seriously hurt. And just one more, from the far side of the world. More...

Here's the catch (according to the manufacturer and military) -- costs are rising, but if you try to cut back, it's going to cost even more. Congress is getting edgy about the money sink that is the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and is trying to slow down production. That will only drive the cost per unit higher, say Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force. The projected price under the current plan would be about $47 million each. If production slows, that could rise as high as $62 million, leading to fewer purchases and yet higher costs. "We're trying to get out of that spiral," Lockheed exec Tom Burbage told Reuters. The prototype of the fighter is now in development, and first flight is expected later this year. 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.

Senate yesterday considered nomination of Mary Peters as DOT head...
A Nigerian Air Force Dornier 228 crashed Sunday, killing 13...
Space tourist Anousheh Ansari has arrived at the ISS...
Boeing will build towers and deploy UAVs along U.S. borders...
The first launch from New Mexico spaceport is set for Monday...
The Embraer 175 regional jet is now certified by the FAA...
E-mails reveal FAA sniping about LEX tower management after crash...
If you fly a Continental engine, TCM invites you to a party. 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...

Post-crash fire supression. A new in-depth interview is posted online each Friday. Check AVweb tomorrow. Click through to listen. And check our audio news index tomorrow to hear what's next.

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.


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.



As the Beacon Turns #105: NOTAM -- The NOTAM System Is Broke
How can you follow all the changes in rules and procedures -- announced by NOTAMS -- when you have to wade through dozens that have nothing to with your flight? AVweb's Michael Maya Charles knows: You can't. More...

Click, See, Load & Fly Safe — with the New VFLITE™ Weight & Balance Visualizer
This easy-to-use Windows® program lets you balance your aircraft in just seconds, with loading output shown on unique profile, arm, and moment graphics. Out-of-limits situations are simple to fix — just click on the fields to change the weights! Key features include on-screen warnings, drag & drop loading elements, custom presets, and aircraft data. Only $39.95 for most popular aircraft. Now available at VFLITE.com.

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!


Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Starting at $9,990, Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes premium performance, active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable for virtually every general aviation aircraft. Visit Avidyne online.

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...

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.

If all aircraft are products of compromise and the balance of those compromises determines an aircraft's market, we're going to make this very difficult. What's the most important feature of your desired aircraft? This week, we'd like to you look at our list of choices and tell us which is your number one consideration. PLUS: What types of planes are AVweb readers looking to purchase? More...

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.

Welcome to another installment of AVweb's aviation photography showcase, "Picture of the Week."  Time's at a premium this week, so we'll jump right into the pictures without much ado but first, a big "thank you" to everyone who submitted this week. Thanks to your efforts, our weekly crop has shot back up to well over 100 photos.  Keep 'em coming! Daniel Valovich of Hot Springs, Arkansas shot this week's winning photo from 1,500 feet above a Labor Day fireworks display on Lake Hamilton.  Daniel writes, "We had the best seats for the show," and it's hard to disagree. More...



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 buyers 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, call (888) 992-9276, or visit online.

Flight Explorer Pilot Edition® Has Valuable Pilot-Oriented Benefits
Whether you want to view the weather along your planned route of flight, receive alerts when the FAA sends your preliminary flight plan, or 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.

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.

Pilots Comment After Reading IFR: A Structured Approach:
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states Fred Scott. "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book, you will establish your personal standard of IFR operating practices, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. Order online.


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.

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