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Volume 12, Number 41b
October 12, 2006
Adam Aircraft Designs & Manufactures the A700 AdamJet & A500 Centerline Piston Twin
Adam Aircraft's A700 features twin Williams FJ-33 engines, state-of-the-art avionics, and comfortable seating for eight (or seven with an aft lavatory). The A700 is currently undergoing flight test and development. Adam Aircraft's A500 centerline piston twin has been Type Certified by the FAA and offers superior safety, range, and performance, along with the pressurized comfort of a roomy six-seat interior. For complete details on both aircraft, go online.
Sponsor Announcement

Details as of our deadline were still in flux, but it appears that two people, including Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, were killed when a Cirrus SR20 (Lidle, a private pilot since February, purchased the aircraft in June) crashed into a Manhattan apartment building near the East River yesterday at about 3 p.m. The fiery crash attracted intense media attention and eerily recalled the horrors of 9/11 as black smoke poured into the sky and fire blazed from the upper floors of the 50-story Belaire building. Late reports said an instructor in the airplane also died and up to 21 people, most of them firefighters, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. No residents of the building were hurt. AOPA warned last night that an editorial in today's USA Today will call for a ban of GA flying over large cities. A response from AOPA will run with the editorial. More...

The pilots in the Cirrus had reportedly been on a sightseeing flight in the area. They had taken off from Teterboro Airport, six miles east of New York, in nearby New Jersey, just 23 minutes before the crash. The airplane circled the Statue of Liberty then headed north up the East River. The VFR airspace beneath the Class B follows the river at 11-hundred feet and below, ending (dropping to the surface) north of the crash site. The VFR airspace in that area might be described as a box canyon with a roof. The corridor (and river) is roughly 2,000 feet wide, contains five bridges, Roosevelt Island, has tall buildings on both sides and often includes helicopter and sometimes seaplane traffic. Winds were reported ENE at 13, with gusts to 22. Witness reports suggest that the airplane had made a u-turn to the left from a northern heading. The aircraft hit the north face of the building, at about the 40th story, and broke apart. More...

For now, a Temporary Flight Restriction is in place above the accident scene, extending up to and including 1,500 feet AGL, with a radius of 1 nm. Lidle had apparently bought the airplane this summer and had learned to fly in the last off-season. He talked to the New York Times last month about his passion for flight. His instructor Tyler Stanger, in Pomona, Calif., said he was an excellent student. "He learned very, very quickly, and a lot of it is desire. He had huge desire," Stanger told the Times. Lidle said he felt safe in the airplane. "If you're up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly," he said. The NTSB has dispatched a team to investigate the crash, they were due to arrive in New York last night. More...

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.

General aviation safety issues have been getting more attention lately from the NTSB, and that trend is going to continue, says the board's chairman, Mark Rosenker. "From my perspective, we need to continue to elevate GA safety in public and political eyes, while operating within increasingly tight budgets," Rosenker said at a meeting of safety investigators in Wichita, Kan., late last month. "We are doing this by realigning our priorities, conserving our efforts on accidents that have no safety payback, and ramping up efforts to highlight significant accidents and safety issues. We've already seen the fruits of this realignment over the past few months through an increase in the number of Special Investigation Reports, Safety Recommendations, and board meetings that address GA issues," he said. Rosenker said that over the last few years, the presence of NTSB investigators on-scene for fatal GA accident sites was in decline. More...

Jeff Guzzetti, the NTSB's deputy director for regional operations, told AVweb on Tuesday the board is keeping an eye on about a dozen different GA safety issues, many of them involving new technologies. He said the board will be "monitoring very closely" the introduction of very light jets (VLJs). "We'll be very attuned to the operational aspects. We're expecting to see a lot of propeller pilots moving into faster-moving aircraft, and that raises potential issues," he said. He added that the NTSB already has seen three serious accidents in flight testing with VLJ prototypes -- Sino-Swearingen, Spectrum, and Excel Jet -- and investigators have their "eyes and ears perked up" to watch for user-interface issues regarding the VLJs. More...

Other GA areas of concern to the safety board, Guzzetti said, include aging aircraft, air-tour operations, unmanned aerial vehicles and flight into thunderstorms. He's also "very intrigued" with any accidents involving GA aircraft with airbags. "We'll be launching on every one of those, and collecting data," he said. The board wants to study the safety benefits, check to see if the airbags deploy or not and why, and watch for any unintended hazards. Aging aircraft are also a concern, with the average age of the GA fleet approaching 40 years. "These airplanes were never meant to fly this long," Guzzetti said. He doesn't foresee life limits being imposed anytime soon, but noted that the board recently sent two safety recommendations to the FAA regarding problems associated with aging GA aircraft -- cracking control yokes and corroding elevator parts. "The NTSB is very closely monitoring this," he said. As for light sport aircraft (LSA), they will also be getting a close look. More...

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!

As two American pilots continue to be held in Brazil -- not charged with any crime, but also not allowed to leave the country -- questions about the apparent midair collision between a Legacy 600 business jet and a Boeing 737 over the Amazon jungle on Sept. 29 remain unresolved. All 154 aboard the 737 were killed. Honeywell said on Sunday that the transponder aboard the Legacy jet was not subject to a recent airworthiness directive that outlined deficiencies in some models, according to The New York Times. Earlier, the charter service that owns the Legacy had said it believed the transponder was subject to the AD. The directive, which takes effect Oct. 17, noted that some Honeywell transponders can erroneously go into standby mode if the flight crew takes longer than five seconds to change the ATC code. More...

The tenor of the investigation, and the accusations against the pilots, have raised concerns about accuracy and fairness. "We call on the Brazilian government to stay strong in the face of immense public pressure and continue to respect the integrity of the investigation and not rush to judge the various players in this accident," said Bill Voss, president of the Flight Safety Foundation, in a news release last week. American attorneys representing victims' families have said they will conduct their own investigation. "Official reports often suffer long delays, and official investigations often include manufacturers and others who could potentially be held responsible," lawyer Lexi Hazam told The Associated Press. Brazilian authorities have said the Legacy jet was assigned to fly at FL360. The collision took place at FL370. More...

Aircraft Spruce Carries Nitrogen Inflation Systems
GENTEC® refillable nitrogen inflation systems allow for easy, cost-effective inflation of aircraft tires with pure nitrogen. Michelin, the FAA, and other leading tire manufacturers recommend the use of nitrogen for all tire inflation. Nitrogen has a larger molecule than air, thus tire pressure is maintained longer. Tires run cooler from the lack of moisture internally, and oxidation and corrosion are eliminated as well. Help extend the life of your aircraft's tires; use nitrogen. For more information and to order, call 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit online.

Late last month, Swiss aviation startup Aviace filed suit against Eclipse Aviation, saying the Albuquerque-based aircraft manufacturer delayed and then canceled its order for 112 Eclipse 500s at a price of $1.045 million apiece. When Aviace placed the fleet order for the very light jets in May 2002, it said it planned to offer the aircraft through a jet club scheme, with the Eclipse 500s to be used for point-to-point, on-demand private jet travel, at attractive prices, throughout Europe. Aviace says it later shelved this business plan due to delays in the aircraft program, and last year decided it would sell some of its Eclipse 500 positions for nearly a half-million-dollar per airplane profit (Eclipse currently prices the jet at $1.52 million), putting Aviace in direct competition with Eclipse Aviation. And that, according to Aviace, is where the trouble began. More...

A recently released NTSB factual report on the May 23 crash of South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's Mooney M20E says the Lycoming engine had flown just 20 hours since a recent overhaul, and suggests that some bolts may have been incorrectly installed. The piston single was halfway down the runway at a private airstrip near Blacksburg, S.C., when power began to drop, according to passenger John Leonhardt, who holds a commercial pilot certificate. Bauer said there wasn't room left on the runway to abort, so he took off. The Mooney collided with trees and power lines. Both men suffered serious injuries, and the airplane was destroyed in a post-crash fire. The NTSB report indicates that at least two bolts securing an engine induction tube were a quarter-inch too short and had vibrated loose. 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.
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The FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO) is preparing to make the necessary changes to handle predicted increases in air traffic over the next two decades, says Chief Operating Officer Russell Chew. "It isn't about being the best and the brightest," he told aviation industry executives last Thursday, at the Aerospace Industries Association's civil aviation council meeting. "It's about being able to change." Chew stressed that the ATO needs to pursue a single "revolutionary" goal, and avoid spending years developing programs that will be obsolete by the time they're done. "Whatever you build, you have to have the future in mind," he said. More...

Google's 3-D maps of the Earth are proving useful in the aviation world. Dispatchers who work with firefighting airplanes for the U.S. Forest Service are incorporating the 3-D maps into their flight-following system, and they say it works great. Linda Naill, an aircraft dispatcher at the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center in Minden, Nev., uses the Google system to manage up to 20 aircraft at a time. "When I put a [temporary flight restriction] in place, I can really see if I'm impacting someone, and if someone violates it, we can easily figure that out," she told Government Computer News (GCN). The software helps avoid air-traffic conflicts and makes it easier to coordinate aircraft converging on the fire from different directions, according to GCN. Others also have found uses for the maps. 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.

It's a simple idea: If a wing could change shape in flight, it could do things that our rigid wings can't do. The Wright brothers attempted it with wing warping. We use the same idea when we employ flaps and ailerons, and some military aircraft have variable-geometry wings that can sweep back and change aspect ratio in flight. This week, the University of Dayton was awarded a $580,000 federal contract to further the development of "morphing" aircraft. The researchers will evaluate flexible-skin concepts that would enable wings to change shape, develop better simulations, and try to find ways to use devices within the wing skins to recover or "harvest" energy as the wings move. More...

A pilot from Calgary, Alberta, was indicted last week in California for allegedly carrying about 300 pounds of cocaine, worth some $30 million, aboard a Cessna 340 headed from San Diego to British Columbia on Sept. 27. The pilot, Daniel Raymond LeClerc, 35, was arrested when he landed to refuel at an airport in a small northern California town. According to the Calgary Sun, California narcotic task force agents received a tip that a large drug shipment was en route via a Cessna twin that would be stopping to refuel at Montague Airport. More...

When It Comes to Aircraft Insurance, the Choice Is Easy
The AOPA Insurance Agency is the only agency that offers the built-in expertise of AOPA's 66+ years' commitment to general aviation and the only aircraft insurance agency qualified to carry the AOPA name. More than 405,000 pilots trust AOPA for their aviation needs, so when it comes to aircraft insurance, why call anyone else? One call to the AOPA Insurance Agency and you'll have multiple quotes from major A-rated underwriters in minutes. Call AOPA Insurance Agency for a complimentary quote at (800) 622-2672, or go online.

The new Airbus CEO quit after just three months on the job...
Watch for two special editions of AVwebBiz from NBAA next week...
Daniel Webster College will raffle off a free online MBA...
Final report on Helios 737 crash is completed...
FAA tells controllers they can't go out for lunch...
SJ30 deliveries delayed due to problems with wing installation...
Popular Mechanics honored Burt Rutan for Breakthrough Leadership...
Special from Sam's Club... buy a Citation Mustang jet...
Operation Migration again leading endangered cranes to winter home. 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...

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.


Aircraft Tire Selection and Maintenance
Tires don't get the respect they deserve. Most folks just say that they are "round, black, and dirty." The reality of the situation is quite different. More...

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.


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...

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.

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 Dixie Chopper Air at K4I7 in Greencastle, IN.

AVweb reader Bruce Cameron offered comments and a few reasons to stop by.

"Stopped twice in the last month (X-C in my Bonanza Coast to Coast R/T) Excellent service and prices, Great restaurant and 12 guest suites overlooking the runway. What else could a pilot/passengers ask for?."

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!


Your Last Chance to Save Thousands on Your Aircraft's Maintenance!
Aircraft maintenance expert Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed weekend Savvy Owner Seminar in Las Vegas November 18-19. This is the final seminar in 2006! 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. To reserve your space in Las Vegas, click here.

This week, AVweb would like to know how much training time you got in with an instructor over the last year. PLUS: How many hours did our Instrument-Rated pilots log in the last 12 months? More...

Visit AVweb's Sponsor Companies at the 2006 NBAA Convention
AVweb will be in Orlando, Florida for the annual NBAA Convention and Conference next week, October 17-19. If you're one of the many AVweb readers who make a living in the business of aviation, please take a moment while you're at the show to stop by our sponsors' booths. Their patronage of AVweb makes it possible for us to deliver the high quality of news, reviews, and information you've come to expect in your inbox twice a week — at no charge to readers. We encourage you to visit with them at the show and thank them for their support of AVweb. Click for a complete list of AVweb sponsors and where to find them at the show.

With 142 photos submitted, this week's "POTW" was an especially tough call!  We managed to winnow the pile down to 40 really outstanding photos and then, through perseverance, to a mere fifteen photos.  When we looked at the names on those 15, we discovered some duplication, which gave us just the excuse we needed to trim our stack down to a manageable 10 photos.  (Whew!  That's still plenty!) One of our multiple contributors this week was Jeffrey Austin Randall of Clyde, Texas, who had three photos in our Top 15.  While it may have broken our hearts to leave out his Thunderbird photo, we think you'll enjoy the one we chose as "Picture of the Week."  Naturally, Jeffrey will receive an official AVweb baseball hat for his contributions — and an equally official encouragement to keep going to air shows and taking pictures!

Want to see your photos here? Submit them for consideration, and each week we'll run the best of the best in our Thursday AVwebFlash newsletter.  If your photo is chosen as the "Picture of the Week," we'll even send you an AVweb hat as a token of our appreciation. More...

Perform Maintenance Legally & More Easily by Knowing What & How
If you are an aircraft owner, you need to know more than an average pilot about your aircraft's maintenance. Light Plane Maintenance brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform legally and easily. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

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.

Freedom, independence, responsibility.



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.

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!

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.

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.

Better than an IFR Refresher, This Manual Is Real-World Flying!
With Rod Machado's Instrument Pilots Survival Manual, private pilots can learn: mimicking pro pilot thinking strategies; developing IFR self-talk skills; managing cockpit resources; planning for unanticipated changes; a three-step instrument scan; IFR charting secrets; insights into flying GPS approaches; and techniques for avoiding thunderstorms and handling icing conditions. Pilots claim, "You can't find some of this information anywhere else!" Order online.