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Volume 12, Number 44a
October 30, 2006
 
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Let's Be Careful Out Thereback to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

IN WAKE OF CRASHES, CIRRUS CEO APPEALS TO PILOTS
In the wake of three fatal crashes involving Cirrus aircraft in the past couple of weeks, Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier is urging pilots to set and follow their own personal limits for flying in marginal weather. And although his message is addressed to Cirrus owners and pilots, it could apply to just about any pilot. In a letter to Cirrus owners, Klapmeier urges them to take stock of their abilities and review all the safety-related material and services the company has created to try and prevent accidents. "Historically, weather has been one of the most significant risk factors affecting general aviation," Klapmeier wrote, noting that the onset of winter magnifies and extends potentially dangerous conditions. "We, as prudent pilots, must adjust our decision making to the new season." More...

PILOTS' GROUP CHIMES IN
Cirrus pilots also heard from the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association on the same topic and President Mike Radomsky was a little more candid in his message. "It is tempting, but very dangerous, to believe that because the airplane is capable of flying in challenging conditions, the pilot can take it there," he wrote. "No technology can replace training, skill, proficiency and judgment." He also noted that, statistically speaking, COPA members appear to be much less likely to be in an accident. "The fact is that over 87% of the [Cirrus] pilots of the fatal accidents to date were among the 30% or so of pilots who do not belong to COPA," he wrote. More...

EIGHT PEOPLE LOST IN TWO WEEKS
The latest crash occurred Friday in Statesville, N.C., in bad weather. Two people were killed and two were injured when the SR22 they were in crashed about 50 feet from the airport in a wooded ravine. NTSB spokesman Ted Lopatkiewicz told The Charlotte Observer the aircraft was on an instrument approach when it crashed. According to witnesses, the aircraft made a low pass over the length of the runway and then returned to do the same. The witnesses told the Observer the second low pass was apparently aborted and the plane turned and climbed into the clouds before they heard it crash. The survivors were identified as Edward Sasso, the plane's owner, and Cecile Sasso. The deceased were not identified. The North Carolina crash came a day after a crash in northern Arizona killed a family of four from Georgia and about two weeks after New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor Tyler Stanger died when the SR20 they were in hit an apartment building in Manhattan. More...

 
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VLJ Study Releasedback to top 
 

PROMISE AND PERIL AWAIT MINI-JET MAKERS
The very light jet (VLJ) market is fueled largely by the salesmanship of its optimistic originators and the potential of a boom in air taxi operations, but a study by a European media consultant company still predicts that 4,154 aircraft will be delivered over the next 10 years by at least five manufacturers. "Some industry observers critical of the manufacturer-supplied growth rate contend that only two, or at best three, manufacturers will make it to market but the authors of this report are slightly more optimistic than this," wrote Phillip Butterworth-Hayes in the study he compiled for England-based PMI Media Group. "We believe, in addition to the five key programs featured in this report there will be other new entrants who succeed in producing aircraft for the personal jet market." The study also strongly suggests that the air taxi business, which makes up the bulk of initial orders for several companies, won't materialize as predicted. PMI shared a copy of the 155-page study with AVweb but is selling online and print versions, so we won't go into fine detail. More...

WHO WILL FLY THEM?
If, as predicted by the study, the air taxi market doesn't materialize as predicted, a lot of the customers for those 4,200-odd jets will be owner pilots and that raises training and insurance issues. A Canadian company is addressing the pilot issues head-on with an "introductory" course for piston pilots who think they might like to fly jets. JetSet Inc., of Burlington, Ontario, held a training session for would-be jet jockeys over the past weekend and plans another for Nov. 24-25. The sessions give students a grounding in what will be expected of them as jet pilots for the relatively modest fee of about $2,250 USD. "This introductory course is for pilots who dream about flying a jet -- a much faster and appealing aircraft -- but who have not had the opportunity before," Edward Furtak, president of JetSet Inc., said in a news release. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

GAMA SAYS EXPORTS HELP GA BOOM
Emerging markets in Europe, Russia, China and India are helping fuel the continuing boom in aircraft sales worldwide, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association's (GAMA's) report on third-quarter results for 2006. Most companies are reporting healthy sales increases both in terms of billings and in the numbers of units sold. And an increasing number of those aircraft are being shipped overseas. "Our manufacturers have seen growth in all airplane segments, part of which we attribute to strengthening sales in Europe, and into Russia, China, and India," GAMA President Pete Bunce said in a news release. "Business people and government officials are recognizing the dynamic role that general aviation plays in building a vibrant economy and, as our manufacturers continue to bring new innovations to market, we expect this trend to continue." More...

FIRST WAAS, NOW LAAS
Work is continuing on development of Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) to further enhance GPS navigation, particularly during precision approaches. The Wide Area Augmentation System has been running for about three years and has opened up hundreds of airports for ILS approaches, to established minimums, using GPS data. The LAAS system is another refinement of GPS that allows even greater precision. "LAAS will offer very precise guidance to aircraft, eventually providing guidance all the way to the runway surface even when visibility is near zero," said Rick Cassell, head of safety systems for Rannoch Corporation. Rannoch recently won an FAA contract to provide engineering support on the project. 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 
 

LAW ENFORCEMENT PILOT BEATS FAA RAP
A law enforcement pilot for the State of Wisconsin has been cleared of all charges that he violated airport procedures at Chetek Airport in Wisconsin. According to the Chetek Alert newspaper, Larry Schasinger was originally found guilty by an FAA administrative judge of flying a right-hand pattern, in his personal aircraft, a Christavia, at Chetek instead of the standard left-hand pattern. He appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board and the charge was dismissed. Schlasinger offered as evidence documents showing he was flying in his law enforcement role for the state on Aug. 6, 2003, the day he's alleged to have fudged the approach to Chetek. He also entered his plane's maintenance log, which showed it was grounded for propeller work at the time of the alleged incident. As you might expect, there's more to this story. More...

ASLEEP AT THE CONSOLE?
The FAA isn't saying whether a controller who allegedly fell asleep while on duty in Charleston, S.C., last month has faced disciplinary action. But spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen did say that he's been cleared medically and has returned to work. A fellow controller arriving for work allegedly found his colleague dozing at the scope about 6 a.m. on Sept. 13. "He allegedly dozed off for a few minutes," Bergen told The Associated Press. "We're looking into the circumstances surrounding the allegations that someone was sleeping on duty." No flights were affected but things were about to get busy with the early morning departures. Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) told The Associated Press he wasn't surprised, since a shortage of staff has resulted in six-day workweeks and a heavy workload for many controllers. Not all controllers agree. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

DRIVER'S LICENSE MEDICALS REJECTED (AGAIN)
AOPA says it won't give up trying to convince the FAA to accept a state driver's license as proof of medical fitness to fly with a recreational permit. Recreational pilots are restricted to fixed-gear, 180-hp, four-place aircraft flown day VFR only. AOPA argues that the difference in performance and weight between the recreational permit privileges and those allowed under the new sport pilot permit (which allows the driver's license medical) are not enough to continue requiring a third class medical for the recreational certificate. "Too many healthy pilots have lost their medicals, yet they could still fly simple aircraft like Cessna 172s safely," AOPA's VP of government affairs noted in a news release. "We're going to find a way to make that happen." More...

WEATHER GATHERING SERVICE EXPANDS
Next time you get bounced into the headliner on a short-haul flight you can take some comfort that you might be helping other aircraft avoid that weather. After an initial trial of Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting (TAMDAR) with Mesaba Airlines, AirDat LLC has attached weather sensors to aircraft toiling for regional carriers in all areas of the continental U.S., providing real-time, real-world meteorological data through satellite transmissions. AirDat CEO Jay Ladd said in a news release that the rich stream of data from airliners-turned-weather-stations is improving forecasting accuracy and allowing the airlines to adjust routing and scheduling on the fly to minimize weather delays. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

A NOTE TO READERS
With this week's edition of AVweb news, we have two staff changes to announce, one a new face and the second the departure of an old friend. Joining the AVweb staff as editor in chief is Chad Trautvetter, a seasoned aviation journalist, CFII and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Before joining AVweb, Trautvetter was most recently an editor at Aviation International News and before that, he did a stint as an editor at Pro Pilot. He'll join AVweb as part of an ongoing expansion of our Sarasota, Fla., editorial offices. We were unable to pry Glenn Pew loose from California to join us here in Florida, but he'll remain aboard as a contributing news editor. Long time AVweb readers have come to appreciate the entertaining and insightful writing of Michael Maya Charles in his As the Beacon Turns column. But even good things must end and as of this week, Michael will be moving on to other writing pursuits, including growing his own publishing company, Artful Publishing. You can follow Michael's career and order a copy of his book at www.artfulpublishing.com. We wish him the best in both his continuing flying and publishing careers. More...

ON THE FLY...
An ADC Airlines aircraft crashed in Nigeria, Sunday; early reports of 100 dead...
Boeing Field may be traded for a bike path...
Regional jet lined up on closed runway...
Quest Aircraft named Sandpoint's Business of the Year...
Air show legends heading to Hall of Fame. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS...
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...

 
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 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: SCOTTSDALE AIRCENTER
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 Scottsdale AirCenter at KSDF in Scottsdale, Ariz.

AVweb reader Alan Tipps praised the friendly service received at Scottsdale.

"The line-staff are totally heads-up, proactive, professional and courteous, and on-the-ball. Just about every time we are into Scottsdale, the line staff anticipates our needs. Their ramp management is progressive and efficient, and I find these folks to be one of the best line crews in the country."

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!

More...

 
Buy 2 Cases of Exxon Elite in November and Receive an ExxonMobil Cash Card Worth $20.00!
For every two cases of Exxon Aviation Oil Elite 20W-50 you purchase between November 1 and November 30, ExxonMobil will give you a Cash Card worth $20.00. Purchase Exxon Elite online, or at the ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants exhibit at AOPA Expo.
 
Featuresback to top 
 

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS

Motor Head #16: Jabiru -- A New Engine That's Not All That New, But Cool Nevertheless
The advent of light sport aircraft has created a resurgence of need for engines that fit in-between the ultralight lawn mower engines and the standard, 160-hp four cylinder. AVweb's Marc Cook found one from an unexpected place. More...

AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVFLASH
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...

 
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.
 
AVweb Audioback to top 
 

AUDIO NEWS
AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In Friday's podcast, you'll find exclusive news about rumored changes to the ADIZ. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Adam Aircraft chairman Rick Adam and New Piper CEO Jim Bass, recorded live at the recent NBAA Convention in Orlando. And in Monday's news summary, hear from Cessna's Jack Pelton on his company's LSA, TCM president Bryan Lewis, NATCA president John Carr, New 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 and Dale Klapmeier and more. Plus: Listen in to an exclusive interview with Cirrus' Dale Klapmeier about the current state of Cirrus Serial Number 1, courtesty of our sister publication, Aviation Consumer. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

More...

 
New VFLITE™ Computer-Based Training for Your GPSMap 496!
Learn at your own pace, while practicing procedures at the comfort and safety of your computer, with the new VFLITE GPSMap 496 Interactive Guide. Featuring scenario-based guided simulation, you'll learn how to get the most from your 496 the quick, easy, and safe way. The ideal solution for both initial and recurrent GPS training, VFLITE programs are also available for the Garmin® GNS 530/430; GPSMap 396, 296 & 196; as well as Lowrance® AirMap 2000C, 1000 & 500 portables. Windows and Mac compatible. Order now and receive complimentary domestic shipping!
 
VOTWback to top 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: U.S.A. VS. JAPAN IN THE 'OPEN A BEER BOTTLE WITH A HELICOPTER' CONTEST
Each week, we get a handful of e-mails from AVweb readers who've found interesting, funny, or downright strange videos while surfing the web. And since we love a good diversion as much as the next aviation buff, we're doing our part to keep these viral videos alive by sharing one a week with the rest of you. Today's clip features the most expensive bottle opener you're ever liable to see, courtesy of Glumbert.com. Click through to watch! (And remember to tell us about any interesting videos you run across out there!) More...

 
Not Keeping Up with FAA Rules & Regulations Can Cost You
In today's flight environment, busting a rule and/or regulation can cost you not only a fine but your ticket. Protect it by being informed. Read Aviation Safety every month for interesting and information-packed articles to sharpen your air readiness. Order your Aviation Safety subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
 
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 
 

SHORT FINAL
While returning from a cross country into Ellington Field...

Tower: Warrior 123, enter right downwind for 35L.

Warrior 123: Roger, downwind 35L

Tower: Warrior 123, wind calm, cleared for 22 if you like.

Warrior 123: Roger. Cleared for 22.

[Short pause]

Warrior 123: Tower, am i cleared for 22? Because ther is a truck in the middle of the runway...

Tower: Warrior 123, go around.

Warrior 123: [While applying power and retracting flaps] Could you get him to move over, because I don't think I can get around him.

Tower: GO AROUND! GO AROUND! GO AROUND!

What can I say? Sometimes the little devil on my shoulder wins. More...

 

AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS,
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU

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.

Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is the nation's top-selling information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand or monitor and display real-time FAA delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts when the FAA sends your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone when you depart or arrive. Click here for more information and to subscribe.

Power Flow Is Now FAA-Approved for the Diamond DA40
The Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System is now standard equipment on all 2007 Diamond DA40 aircraft. Benefits include: Speed increases of up to 8 knots; 15% more climb; or, go the same speeds and save up to 1.2 gallons per hour. Starting in October, existing DA40 owners can retrofit their aircraft. For complete details, go 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.

 
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.

Freedom, independence, responsibility.

 
Attending the AOPA Expo in Palm Springs?
AVweb will be! This year's convention starts Thursday, November 9 and runs through Saturday, November 11 in Palm Springs, California. We know many of you will be on-site with us this year, so please take a moment while you're seeing the sights 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.