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Volume 12, Number 39a
September 25, 2006
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The Post-Crash Fire Factorback to top 
Sponsor Announcement ATG - The Way You Used to Fly Is History!

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board is recommending the FAA and Transport Canada beef up certification standards for small aircraft in light of a study that shows many crash victims survive the impact only to be killed or horribly injured by fires that start after the crash. In a report issued, ironically, a day after Comair Flight 5191 crashed in Lexington (at least some of the 49 who died were believed to have been killed by fire), the TSB says occupants of small airplanes are potentially more at risk from what it calls post-impact fires (PIF) because of the close quarters of the cabin and the proximity of the occupants to the fuel. It wants regulators to impose fuel-system safety standards on light aircraft similar to those adopted for helicopters in 1994. More...

A Johns Hopkins University study looked at the same issue, from a slightly different perspective, and came up with similar conclusions in 2001. The institution's School of Public Health and Hygiene revealed in its study of Alaskan accidents that the biggest difference between crashes in which the occupants survived and those in which they were killed was whether or not there was a post-crash fire. "Postcrash fire was the strongest predictor of fatality for pilots in this study," the paper concludes, noting that "fuel systems that could withstand impact forces more effectively and keep from igniting when a crash occurred could lessen the number of post-crash fires, improving survivability." More...

Foamex, a Pennsylvania company whose main business is making cushion material for beds and furniture, is in the final stages of an FAA-funded research project to come up with an affordable way to make aircraft fuel tanks more fire- and explosion-resistant. As we described in our Sept. 22 Audiocast, Foamex Technical Products has developed a special type of polyurethane foam that, when installed in fuel tanks, slows or prevents the rapid spread of fire within a tank and shows promise to "reduce the effects of post-crash fires" according to a Foamex news release. Dr. Chiu Chan, Foamex's director of research and development, told AVweb the foam is mostly air and displaces only three percent of the available tank volume. And, although air and fuel flow freely through the foam, it acts as a three-dimensional fire screen, preventing the spread of a fire. It also acts as a "plug" in the case of a fuel tank rupture, slowing the escape of fuel. More...

Bose® Aviation Headset 
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New Airplanes, Old Designsback to top 

The driving force behind a native American bid to enter the small aircraft business has decided to go it alone. James E. Billie, who went by Chief Jim Billie when he was chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, has taken over all the assets, including type certificate, of the Micco Aircraft Inc. He's renamed it MICCO Aircraft Company Inc. and is moving the operation from Ft. Pierce, Fla., to Bartlesville, Okla. "I just couldn't see this aircraft not being built," Billie said in a news release. "It hurt after all the effort of the MICCO team and the funding of the Tribe, to see it 'thrown away.'" Although the SP26, a fast aerobatic two-seater base on the 1950's era Meyers 200, was certified in 2000, it never really made it into significant production. More...

While the Sport Pilot rule was originally aimed at inspiring new aircraft designs and manufacturing, it's also spawned a renaissance of popular old designs that meet the weight and performance limitations. And it seems like the design many credit with starting the modern GA movement, the Piper J-3 Cub, is leading the LSA charge. There's fierce competition between Cubcrafters, of Yakima, Wash., and American Legend, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, for the CopyCub market. American Legend is holding a homecoming for about 100 Legend Cub owners and pilots Oct. 20-21. It's been building them for 15 months. Cubcrafters is celebrating its first two Sport Cub customer deliveries after three years of development efforts. And in Alaska, a company is reviving one of the most popular bushplane designs. 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.
Once An Airport, Always An Airport?back to top 

The FAA says Bakersfield Municipal Airport (California) will remain an airport "in perpetuity" despite the current city council's development designs. The city asked the FAA to relieve it of its obligations under the Airport Improvement Program so it could sell off the airport for housing and commercial development. The FAA could have simply said no, citing the agreements it has in place with Bakersfield as part of the city's acceptance of about $10 million worth of federally funded improvements. But, according to AOPA, Catherine Lang, the agency's acting associate administrator for airports, took the time to spell out the reasoning and to debunk the city's position that it's dangerous and a drain on its coffers. More...

Build it and they will complain? Tiny Culleoka, Tenn., doesn't face the same urban pressures as fast-growing Bakersfield and, ironically, that's why Harry Askey has been forced to close the private airstrip he's been using for 13 years. Askey claims that when he asked Maury County officials if an airstrip was allowed on his 80-acre property, he was told it was fine with them. "They said, 'You're in a rural area. You can do what you want to do. You can have a private strip,'" Askey told the Columbia Daily Herald. However, Askey never thought to check that assurance and it's come back to haunt him. Newcomers are trickling into the area in pursuit of a quiet country lifestyle and a neighbor recently lodged a formal complaint against the airstrip. More...

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.
News Briefsback to top 

Locally imposed restrictions on the operation of experimental exhibition aircraft, most of them warbirds, have been lifted at airports in the Los Angeles basin. EAA says the relaxation came after three years of lobbying by the group. In 2003, the Van Nuys Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) decreed that experimental aircraft were effectively banned from four local airports. Although the existing aircraft could continue using the airports where they were based, if they moved or were sold they weren't welcome. Van Nuys FSDO officials reasoned that experimental aircraft, by their classification, posed an increased risk to the densely populated areas surrounding the airports in question (Van Nuys, Santa Barbara, Burbank and Whiteman). More...

It was perhaps an appropriate scenario to end a storied era in military aviation. The Navy, quite wisely as it turned out, had a spare airplane waiting in the wings for the ceremonial final flight of an F-14 Tomcat at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia last week. Sure enough, the first airplane failed to perform and it was a spare that took off to the cheers and applause of about 3,000 people attending the ceremony. In practical terms, most of the remaining F-14s have at least one more flight left as they get dispersed to air museums around the country but their days as Cold War air superiority fighters and, later, ground support aircraft are officially over. More...

Don't Fly "Coach" in Your Own Plane — Upgrade to a First-Class Seat
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News Briefsback to top 

A Montreal man whose SUV was damaged by a Piper Cherokee making a forced landing last week says he can't believe the spin his insurance company is putting on the mishap. Allstate says Bill Mack must pay the $1,000 deductible on the $4,000 in damages his Dodge Durango sustained when the Cherokee dropped in on him. There were no serious injuries in the crash. Quebec has a no-fault type of system in which insurance companies cover their clients' losses with no deductible. But that only applies to car crashes and Allstate spokesman Derek Tupling told the Montreal Gazette the company has to investigate cases like this to determine who's at fault, something Mack found hard to take. Perhaps adding insult is that the Canadian Transportation Safety Board's initial report faults the pilot for moving the plane's fuel tank selector to the wrong position and starving the engine of fuel. More...

While it's doubtful any airplane is loud enough to wake the dead, Craven County Airport Authority, near New Bern, N.C., isn't taking any chances. The county is giving back $204,000 in federal funding after Civil War-era graves were found near the proposed site of new hangars and right where the new taxiway was supposed to go. The army leveled the cemetery during the Second World War to build an airstrip and the dearly departed from historic days gone by were all but forgotten. But they came to light in a 1970s battle against a runway extension and, to date, 522 graves have been identified on the airport land, not including the unknown number found recently. More...

AviationClassifieds.com Releases New Site Format and Offers Complimentary Ads
AviationClassifieds.com has released a new site format and is offering complimentary 90-day ads with photos. Ads automatically display on multiple sites at no cost. The site offers new anti-fraud and anti-spam protection and has hundreds of fresh, up-to-date aircraft listings. Ads automatically display at Tailwheel.com, USAviation.com, BuyAPlane.com, FindAPlane.com, and AircraftNow.com. Go to the site now for more information.
News Briefsback to top 

As a car, it can charitably be described as ugly. As an airplane it's almost beyond description but one of four Aerocars left in the world (one crashed) is for sale in Grand Junction, Colo. Carl and Marilyn Felling say they don't want to sell the machine they call Dumbo but it's part of their divorce settlement. Ironically, they obtained the extraordinarily rare contraption through a divorce sale 20 years ago. "I wouldn't say it's cursed by divorce," Marilyn Felling told the Grand Junction Sentinel. The Molt Taylor design was actually certified by the Civil Aviation Authority in 1956 but it never went into production. More...

A DC-10 converted to drop firefighting retardant helped crews battle a stubborn fire near Santa Paula, CA Sunday. The aircraft dropped 12,000 gallons of retardant on the fire, which has been burning for three weeks and is threatening homes. "It's been very, very effective and very impressive," forestry agency spokesman Matt Streck told the Los Angeles Times. "Each drop looks like it covers more than half a mile of terrain." As AVweb reported in 2004, the plane was quietly developed by a company called 10 Tanker Air Carrier, of Victorville, Calif. The aircraft made a splash (sorry) at the 2005 Paris Air Show with a demonstration drop and it's been busy since July, helping to snuff fires from Washington State to California. The California Department of Forestry caught it on video on a fire in July. More...

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 in Briefback to top 

Pilot tells passengers plane isn't safe...
Home landing causes concern...
Chalk's hopes to resume flights. 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...

Audio news, plus a new in-depth interview are posted online each Monday and Friday. Check AVweb's audio news index to hear the news directly from the newsmakers.

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.


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.
Featuresback to top 



CEO of the Cockpit #62: Garden Party
It's really easy to get into the mode of complaining and bemoaning the state of aviation and, in particular, the airlines. Get a bunch of recently retired CEOs of the Cockpit together and it's downright maudlin. Until someone comes by with a new perspective.... More...

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...

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.
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 Henderson Executive at KHND in Henderson, Nevada.

AVweb reader Thomas Okerlund offered his praise for theservice and facilities.

"The Line and Customer Service staff are top notch and match the new facilites just opened at Henderson. On a recent after hours late night trip, the Line Staff came into assist with parking and luggage. To accomodate the crew, they took everyone to their hotel and then turned down a tip when offered. Wow!"

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!


Don't Purchase or Sell an Aircraft without the Used Aircraft Guide
Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide can pinpoint the aircraft that best fits your needs and budget, resulting in savings when you buy and more when you sell. Buying the right aircraft can minimize maintenance and operating costs too. Order your UAG online.
VOTWback to top 

This week's video arrives, courtesy of the folks at the Red Bull Air Races and Freecaster.com. You'll need the QuickTime plug-in to view this one. (There's a link to download it if you don't already have it.) And after you've watched Kirby Chambliss strut his stuff at the Red Bull Air Race in Longleat, U.K., use the embedded menu to watch more clips from Longleat. Please keep sending your video links!
For those who asked, the song featured in last week's Video was "Treetop Flyer," recorded by Stephen Stills and found on the album Stills Alone.


AVweb's Flight Explorer 5.0 Includes Enhanced Services
AVweb's Flight Explorer features include FAA Airport delays; enhanced terrain/elevation map depictions; updated Airways, NAVAIDs, Fixes, Special Use Airspace, and Flight Service Stations; and much more. Click here for more information and to subscribe.
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

Remind me, again. What did I just say?
(Heard at KRFD the other day as we turned to final in a King Air.)

Cessna123: Cessna123 ready to go Runway 19.

Tower: Hold short for traffic on final.

Cessna123: Ready to go 19.

Tower: I already told you to hold short.

Cessna123: Do you want me to take the runway?

Tower: If killing yourself and others is at the top of your agenda today, I'd rather you did it somewhere other than Runway 19, just now.

Cessna123: Hold short Runway 19.




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.

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.

Retention Can Be Increased by 70% with Auditory Learning!
Welcome to your instructor in an audio book! The complete Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook is presented in a warm, conversational manner on 30 professionally recorded CDs. Rod's tried-and-true method of instruction can turn wasted freeway time into learning time. One pilot commented, "I felt like a flight instructor was there in the car with me." Reviewing or learning, take the easy road with Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. 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 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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