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Volume 12, Number 40a
October 2, 2006
Compare & Save at the Pilot Insurance Center
Don't pay more for your life insurance coverage just because you fly. Before your next premium payment is due, call Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) to see how much you can save on the same policy. PIC works with top insurance companies to provide preferred rate plans for pilots. A+ rated carriers — no aviation exclusions — quick and easy application process. Call (800) 380-8376 or visit online .
A Rules And Its Oppositionback to top 

The FAA on Friday published its final version of a controversial rule affecting crankshafts in 3,774 Lycoming 360- and 540-series engines. The Airworthiness Directive (AD), effective Nov. 3, requires owners to replace the crankshaft either at normal overhaul, when the crankcase is split for any reason, or within 12 years of the time the crankshaft was put into service. Replacement parts will cost about $16,000 per engine. Lycoming is offering to reduce that price to $2,000 for three years. If the routine overhaul is done at the Lycoming factory, the crankshaft will be replaced with no additional charge. But that hasn't satisfied all owners, who note that in a previous crankshaft AD, the company bore the entire cost of repair. And, so, there's the court system. More...

The Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) objected to the proposed AD, saying there should be no calendar time mandated and compliance should be determined based on the type of operations for which the aircraft is used. The FAA did not agree. The CPA also said "the FAA has been used by Lycoming to spread out over time the costs to the company for the removal of their flawed parts." John Frank, CPA executive director, wrote, "The crankshafts that the FAA will require to be replaced at owner expense under this NPRM are equally and identically as flawed as those that were replaced at Lycoming's expense under AD 2002-19-03." More...

AOPA also argued that aircraft owners should be allowed to continue to use their engine until reaching time-for-overhaul based on hours, without any "arbitrary" calendar deadline. Some owners may have only a few hours on their engine and reach the 12-year limit well before an overhaul is needed, AOPA said. The FAA disagreed with that one, too. "We re-evaluated the risk that this unsafe condition presents to aircraft and have determined that adequate risk mitigation can only be achieved by establishing an end limit for crankshaft removal based on years since a crankshaft enters service," the FAA said. Variations in the crankshaft anomalies make it impossible to predict when failure might occur, according to the AD. More...

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear sound, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the fifth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot magazine. (Headset Preference Survey, 12/05.) Learn more and order.
User Fees Examinedback to top 

The FAA position that user fees are the answer to declining resources in the Aviation Trust Fund found little support on Capitol Hill last week, according to AOPA. At a hearing held by the House aviation subcommittee on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) said the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects a growing surplus in the fund. "This new information raises questions about the administration's claims that there is a revenue crisis at the FAA," Costello said. The FAA is saying it expects to need as much as $15 billion over the next 15 years to get the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) up and running. According to the FAA, that means more money must come from somewhere. But the CBO report suggests that the current revenue streams will cover it. More...

Witnesses at the hearing said it's not certain how much it will cost to modernize the system. According to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, "No comprehensive estimate of NGATS costs has been developed." The result, said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), is that the discussion "is putting the cart ahead of the horse when we don't know what we need." Donald Marron, acting CBO director, testified that based on conservative assumptions, the aviation trust fund will have a surplus of "$2 billion at the end of 2006, increasing to $19 billion by the end of 2016." Costello said he disagrees with FAA Administrator Marion Blakey's frequent assertion that there is a gap between revenue going into the trust fund and the FAA's costs. More...

In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
News Briefsback to top 

Searchers who parachuted in on Saturday to the crash site where a Boeing 737-800 went down Friday afternoon found no sign of survivors. The wreckage was located in a remote jungle area in the Amazon region of Brazil. The 737, with 155 souls on board, was en route from Manaus to Brasilia when it crashed. Seven people aboard an Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet flying the area felt a jolt, and the pilot found the airplane was damaged. He made a safe emergency landing at Cachimbo air force base. Early reports said the two jets had collided in the air, but later reports said those on board the Legacy saw only a shadow, and the jet may have been hit by debris (we recognize that is an unusual collection of words). An online photo shows damage to the left wingtip and stabilizer on the Legacy. More...

As GA pilots become increasingly dependent on GPS signals not only for navigation but for instrument approaches, it now appears that it may be possible for the signals to be disrupted by solar flares. Right now that's not a problem because the sun is in a quiet phase, but it's expected to get active again in 2011. That seems a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. The intense solar flares could cause GPS signals used by aircraft navigation and emergency location systems to degrade by up to 90 percent, for hours at a time. GPS has become ubiquitous during a quiet solar period, and no easy fix for the problem is immediately apparent. More...

Find JA Air Center — Find the New Garmin GPSMap 496
JA Air Center, Your Garmin Source, has the new Garmin GPSMap 496 with XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, Taxiway Database, and built-in StreetPilot Automotive GPS in stock for immediate delivery. Call JA Air Center toll-free at (800) 323-5966, or order online.
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 

In a long-awaited study that was released last week, the Department of Defense said its tests have shown that large wind farms degrade the effectiveness of military radar if they are located within the line of sight of the installation. However, Air Traffic Control radar systems used by the FAA are much less prone to such interference. According the report, "ATC radars can rely on both primary radar returns and [transponder] returns to ensure safe airspace operations. ... The presence of a wind farm does not appear to significantly affect the performance of [those] systems." However, the report notes that decisions about wind-farm impacts on ATC radar are up to the FAA. More...

Adam Aircraft, of Englewood, Colo., last week received an amended Type Certificate from the FAA for its A500 piston twin. The TC now OKs the airplane for night and IFR operations, for single-pilot operation, and for cabin pressurization up to 12,500 feet. Operating altitude expansion to 25,000 feet is on hold until de-icing certification tests are completed over the winter. The TC was originally handed over in May 2005, but with numerous limitations. Adam was recently awarded an FAA Production Certificate, allowing it to ramp up its production process. The company has a two-year backlog of orders for the airplane. More...

Mike's Mechanic Must Be a MENSA Member
Mike says that multi-grade Exxon Elite is mandatory for a Mooney's motor. But can one brand of oil really work more effectively than another to combat rust? The answer is "absolutely" — and by a large margin. But to arrive at that conclusion, you need to disregard intuitive myths to examine some hard evidence that has come out of "humidity cabinet" testing protocols. To learn more, click here.
News Briefsback to top 

Richard Branson, the U.K. airline mogul who has joined with Burt Rutan to build spaceships for tourists, unveiled a mockup of SpaceShipTwo last week at the Wired NextFest event in New York City. The ship, as expected, is a larger version of SpaceShipOne. It's designed to carry six passengers and two pilots. It will be carried aloft to about 60,000 feet on a carrier named White Knight Two, then detach and rocket into space at about Mach 4. Virgin Galactic has also launched a spiffy new version of its Web site, with lots of new movies and information about the project. According to the site, flight testing of the prototype is expected to start next year. It was also reported last week that Branson is negotiating with British TV networks to develop a reality show where six contestants will compete for a spot on a ride into space. More...

The FAA last week established a forum of airline, labor and medical experts to review the long-debated rule, established in 1959, that requires airline pilots to retire at age 60. The forum will recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard, due to take effect in November, that will allow one of the two pilots on the flight deck to be over age 60. The forum also will determine what actions would be necessary if the FAA were to change its rule. "The FAA must ensure that any future rule change, should it occur, provides an equal or better level of safety to passengers," said FAA head, Marion Blakey. More...

Just Tell Oregon Aero Where It Hurts™
Oregon Aero designs and manufactures more than 500 Painless, Safer, Quieter™ products — including custom Seat Cushion Systems that make flying painless, no matter how long the flight. Upgrades for any production aircraft and homebuilts are available. Learn more about Seat Cushion Systems for your aircraft at Oregon Aero
News in Briefback to top 

A supervisor at DEN Center had sex at work, say local news reports...
The FAA chose Lockheed Martin to help introduce UAVs to NAS...
UP Aerospace has recovered its rocket near New Mexico's spaceport...
Richard Branson says we can reduce airliner pollution 25 percent...
Wingless flight -- Rocketbelt Convention met in N.Y. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email tonewstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...


AVmail: Oct. 2, 2006
Reader mail this week about crushing the tweeties, copycubs, airline reregulation and much more. 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.
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 Regent Aviation at KRST in Rochester, MN.

AVweb reader Mervyn R. Broadway offered excellent marks and simple praise for theservice and facilities.

"This has to be the best FBO I've visited in years."

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!


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.
Featuresback to top 


Probable Cause #16: Peer-Pressurized
A VFR-only Bonanza pilot succumbs to peer pressure and launches into marginal conditions. More...

Don't trust reporters? AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. Check AVweb's audio news index to hear the news straight from the horse's mouth.

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.


WingX 2.0 Now Available — With NACO Approach Charts, SmartTaxi™, Online Weather, and Podcasts!
Hilton Software LLC has just released WingX 2.0 for the Pocket PC — now with approach charts, weather images, podcasts, N-number search, helicopter W&B, and SmartTaxi™ to help prevent runway incursions. Of course, this is in addition to WingX's great Weight and Balance, Route Planning, FARs, color-coded weather reports, and superb E6B capabilities. Excellent A/FD with auto-dial. WingX is now GPS-enabled! Learn more and download WingX at HiltonSoftware.com
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...

Tired of the High Cost of Fuel? GAMIjectors Are the Answer!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices. Install GAMIjectors, and you could see up to a 20% cut in your aircraft's fuel bill. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Call 888-FLY-GAMI, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine.
Got Safety? It's More Important than Milk!
At least for pilots. No other aviation publication can keep you updated on safety issues like Aviation Safety! This unique publication will keep your decision-making skills sharp with interesting and information-packed articles. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

The sound of cooperation.

Departing out of Edmonton AB, CYXD, Friday 27 Sept 06 I was talking to departure and after getting north a way...

City Center: Grumman RGG, I see you over [pause] I forgot the name of the town.

RGG: Morinville

City center: Right. Cleared enroute, radar service is terminated.


City Center: Everybody on frequency pretend they didn't hear that.

Unknown: Roger

RGG: Wilco. 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.

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.

Flight Explorer Personal Edition® Is a Real-Time Decision-Support Tool
Flight Explorer Professional® is an integrated flight tracking and management-decision-support tool that provides companies and professional individuals with system features they require to improve operational efficiency and performance. 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.

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.

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