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Volume 12, Number 39b
September 28, 2006
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, and lots of fun! Complimentary shuttle service available throughout the day from the Corona Airport (AJO). For more information, please call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online for complete details.
Sponsor Announcement ATG - The Way You Used to Fly Is History!

Airports are getting more creative at finding ways to make money, USA Today reported this week. At Houston's Bush International Airport, for example, some empty spaces are being put to work growing high-grade hay to sell to local ranchers. Other airports are developing golf courses, hotels, office parks, and residential developments. In Miami, the county shut down the Opa Locka West GA airfield after it was damaged by hurricanes, and will mine limestone rocks at the site. The quarry is expected to generate $300 million to $600 million, which will go to the aviation department. The advantages are that airport operators can keep costs low and thus more competitive, and also can supplement the sometimes volatile aviation revenues. More...

Meanwhile, the FAA is under fire for wasting money in a project that was designed to fast-track its contracting process by using pre-qualified vendors. The project has been shut down after costing the agency tens of millions of dollars in overruns, The Washington Post reported last weekend. The FAA awarded 114 contracts under the system, with a potential value of about $543 million, according to a recent report by the Transportation Department Office of Inspector General. The report found problems with the project's structure, its implementation, and its cost analysis. More...

For years, pilots have complained that it's not the skies that are crowded -- it's the runways. The FAA is catching up a bit with a slew of new airports and expansion projects. St. George, Utah, one of the nation's fastest-growing metro areas, will get a new $17-million airport, the FAA said this week. "Aviation is about more than just airplanes -- it's about providing the kind of economic connections communities need to thrive," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said. On Tuesday, Blakey said the FAA will commission six airfield projects, including four new runways, a runway extension, and an airfield reconfiguration, by the fall of 2008. More...

Motors, Inc. Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. Click here for further details.

Mooney Aerospace Group announced on Tuesday that CEO Gretchen Jahn is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Jahn's resignation will be effective Oct. 1, but she will remain with the company as an advisor to oversee the (235-plus knot turbo) Acclaim certification. Jahn led during a dynamic time for Mooney, when exciting new products hit the market and the company rebounded from a period of change and upheaval. "I have a passion for getting companies up and running. It has been exciting to participate in this process at Mooney," Jahn said in a news release. "We have accomplished many goals over my two years here, including increasing deliveries from 36 deliveries in 2004 to 85 deliveries in 2005, dramatically increasing brand recognition and order backlog, revitalizing customer support, and introducing two new aircraft." More...

Dennis Ferguson was named on Tuesday as the new CEO. He was previously president of Airshow Inc., an avionics manufacturing company. Prior to that, he was a vice president at Dynatech/Acterna Corporation. He introduced lean manufacturing practices that reduced manufacturing costs and increased product quality, Mooney said in a news release. "Dennis brings a strong background in the aviation industry and experience in transitioning a small, entrepreneurial company into a significant force in the marketplace," said Steven Karol, chairman of the board. 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!

The Honda Aircraft Company will start accepting orders for its HondaJet VLJ next month at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention, Oct. 17-19 in Orlando, Fla. A full-scale interior mock-up will be on display in the exhibit hall. Honda created the aircraft subsidiary in August to handle the development, production and sales of HondaJet, and will pursue FAA type certification and production certification in the U.S. Honda's goal is to complete certification of the jet in three to four years, and deliver the first customer copy in 2010. The jet's attributes include fuel efficiency, large cabin and luggage space, and higher cruise speed than conventional aircraft in its class, says Honda. More...

Efforts to check on and monitor foreign students at U.S. flight schools have been marked by "confusion and misinterpretations" among the various government agencies involved, according to an internal Homeland Security document obtained by ABC News. ABC says the FAA is investigating reports that "dozens" of foreign students at U.S. flight schools have incomplete paperwork and/or background checks. The Transportation Security Administration says it's revising its vetting process. The FAA told ABC News it couldn't comment because of an open investigation on the issue. AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy says flight instructors must be sure they're aware of and in compliance with the parts of the alien flight-training rule that apply to them. 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

Pilots who stumble into the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) above Washington, D.C., now will be intercepted by helicopters flown by the U.S. Coast Guard, which takes over the job from Customs and Border Protection. The change was made official on Monday. "The Coast Guard is fully ready to [provide] air defense in the National Capitol Region," said Rear Adm. David Pekoske at a ceremony. Coast Guard crews will fly orange HH-65C Dolphin helicopters. The Dolphins will be equipped with civilian-frequency VHF radios plus electronic signboards so they can communicate with pilots who might be having radio problems, AOPA said. More...

Here's another new way to fly, not quite a flying club or fractional deal, but something else altogether. Called an "exclusive transport club," V International is now open in the U.K., offering members access to a fleet of luxury vehicles that includes the Diamond DA42 Twin Star, the Diamond DA40, and the Robinson R44 Raven II helicopter, plus a Bentley, a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Porsche, and a few high-performance boats, too. Members pay about $66,000 for the first year, which gets up to 50 driving days and 6,000 miles plus 50 flying hours and 50 boat days. The company, started by a team of managers from Diamond Aircraft, has plans to expand across Europe and around the world. More...

Join AOPA: The Real-Time Flight Planner Is Worth the Dues Alone!
AOPA membership can be an invaluable resource at an incredible value. Join AOPA for $39 a year, and take advantage of the benefits exclusive to members, including: a year subscription to AOPA Pilot magazine; 24-hour access to the "members-only" section of the web site; and AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner with up-to-the-minute flight restrictions, routing images, weather info, and more! As the largest aviation organization in the world, AOPA is a tireless advocate for over 407,000 members, protecting their right to fly. Click here to become an AOPA member today.

The NTSB on Monday released a factual report from its on-the-scene investigation into the Comair crash that killed 49 people in Lexington, Ky., last month. The Comair crew was cleared to 7,001-by-150-foot Runway 22. The flight data recorder shows the crew stopped near the end of Runway 26 for about 45 seconds before the flight was cleared for takeoff. Six seconds later, the airplane started to taxi onto 3,500-by-75-foot Runway 26. It took about 36 seconds for the airplane to taxi onto the runway and complete the turn before power was increased to initiate the takeoff. The airplane accelerated to about 137 knots, ran off the end of the shorter runway through the airport perimeter fence, and impacted trees on an adjacent horse farm. A series of surgeries continue for first Officer James Polehinke, the sole survivor of the crash, who has already lost his left leg to amputation. More...

Now you can take a step beyond your desktop flight simulator, and fly an actual remote-control aircraft equipped with a head-movement-synchonized camera and a virtual-reality headset that makes you feel like you're right in the cockpit. At least, you can fly this way if you are willing to spend the time and money tinkering with complicated and delicate gear to make it work. Denis Gratton, of Québec, Canada, has done just that, and has the impressive videos to prove it. (See AVweb's NewsWire for links to the videos.) How much does it cost to build a system like this? "It's hard to tell how much it cost, I prefer not to know it," Gratton told AVweb in an e-mail. He says others are starting to join in his hobby, and he expects the costs will come down within a year or so. More...

AVweb's Flight Explorer Personal Edition® Now Integrated with ATCSimulator® 2
With this new edition of Flight Explorer, you can view air traffic for the entire U.S., Canada, or New Zealand or zoom in to one airport or a single aircraft; monitor and display real-time FAA delay information; display TFRs and SUAs; and much more. Click here for more information and to subscribe.

Monday's online version of your AVwebflash e-mail newsletter was originally published with video content that began to play when the page was opened -- whether readers wanted it to, or not. That presentation was not how AVweb intends to present video content. Readers should expect future video content to play only when they "press play." (If you like the expanded content of the online version, don't be afraid to click through.) More...

A blimp landed in trees near Boston after a rudder failed...
Scottsdale, Ariz., has banned helicopters in residential areas...
Rocket launch at New Mexico's spaceport failed to reach altitude...
Spiders on a plane lead to lawsuit...
Four people saved in the first BRS deployment in Jamaica...
The NTSB wants controllers to be clear when they issue a runway change. 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...

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!



The Savvy Aviator #36: Temperature, Temperature, Temperature
Those three words contain the secret to making your aircraft engine operate trouble-free for a long time. 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.


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.

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...

Award-Winning VFLITE™ Computer-Based GPS Training Just FAA-Adopted
Now in use at FSDOs 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.

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!


Special Offer from Pilot Journey on New FlyUSA Club!
For a limited time, Pilot Journey is offering half off (regular price: $29.95) for all three of their presentations: Learn to Fly, Career Pilot, and Pilot Training Financial Information. Pilot Journey provides resources for future pilots with podcasts, live seminars, pilot supply discounts, forums, articles, a browser Pilot Dashboard toolbar, newsletters, and more — some at no cost. Passionate about flying? Check out Pilot Journey's site.

Our latest "Question of the Week" comes from an AVweb reader, who writes:

Since de-regulation more than 25 years ago, the U.S. has seen airlines soar and sink. Mostly sink. September 11 didn't help. Delays caused by airport caused by airport capacity don't help. The impending air traffic controller shortage surely won't help. The legacy major air carriers haven't seen sustainable profit in a very long time. Would you like to see some form of government regulation for the airlines in hopes of bringing a more stable path for them to succeed?
Plus: The results of last week's Question, What's the most important factor in choosing an aircraft? More...

Separate Fact from Advertising Hype with Aviation Consumer
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!

"Stiff competition" is the order of the day in our latest installmentof "Picture of the Week."  Not only do the number ofcontributions continue to rise as we enter fall here in the U.S., butthe quality of photos seems to be on the rise, as well.  Notthat quality has ever been a problem when it comes to picking "POTW"contenders, but the last few weeks have been chock-full of great-lookingphotos that we simply couldn't find a way to squeeze in.  Restassured, we've saved plenty of them to our hard drives and turned theminto lovely wallpapers — sokeep sending 'em! Even those that don't make it into our weekly round-up are ogled andappreciated by the AVwebbers who go through 'em.

Robbie Culver of Waukegan is afamiliar name at "POTW" headquarters.  Robbie's signature has shownup on several contenders over the last year or so (most notably lastweek), but he's never sent us the right photo on the right week to winone of our coveted "Picture of the Week" AVweb hats.  This week,circumstance and an awesome photo come together to push Robbie'slatest submission to the top of our pile.  Congrats, Mr. Culver —it's always fun to see your name on the back of our photo submissions,and it's about time you won an AVweb hat.  You've earned it! More...



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.

Bonanza & Baron Owners: Learn to Save Thousands on Maintenance
The 10,000-member American Bonanza Society is sponsoring a weekend-long Savvy Owner Seminar by maintenance expert Mike Busch November 4-5 in Mobile, Alabama (BFM), including a TCM factory tour. Seminars are open to all GA aircraft owners! In one information-packed weekend, Mike teaches how to save literally thousands on maintenance costs, year after year. For details and to reserve your space, go online.

Flying Takes a Sneak Peek at the New Cessnas in the October Issue
Plus: an Oshkosh photo tour, a report on the roomy and hefty Pilatus PC-12, strategy and tactic tips to earn a pilot's license, and much more. Order your special savings subscription 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.

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