AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 12, Number 45b

November 9, 2006

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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!
Winds Of Change At Palm Springs back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

AOPA Expo 2006: Focus On The Future

AOPA's annual Expo opens today in Palm Springs, Calif., with a sold-out exhibit hall and a jam-packed schedule of events. With the theme "AOPA looks to the future," the three-day show highlights technological advances and regulatory issues that will affect GA in the years ahead. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will address attendees tomorrow, and other sessions will feature AOPA President Phil Boyer and top industry leaders. Expect lots of talk about user fees and what this week's election returns might have regarding this agenda. The exhibit hall is filled with displays from about 500 aircraft manufacturers, showing avionics, flight gear, navigation tools, flight-training services and more. Additionally, more than 60 hours of seminars are scheduled. AOPA will also be recruiting members to volunteer as mentors for flight students in the Project Pilot program.

New Airplanes On Display At Expo

Some 108 aircraft taxied down blocked-off streets yesterday morning during the "airplane parade" and are now on display outside the Palm Springs Convention Center. At the static display, visitors can expect a first look at the brand-new 1200-hp Epic Dynasty Jetprop, but don't look for the three Eclipse 500s that are supposed to be on display. Eclipse said it is upgrading the aircraft with performance modifications and couldn't get them to Expo as planned, meaning attendees will have to settle for a mockup on the convention floor. Diamond Aircraft says it is hosting its largest AOPA Expo display ever, and is promising a "special announcement" at a press conference later today. Columbia Aircraft is there, ready to hand over the keys to its 500th aircraft. In the LSA area, Cessna is showing its brand-new LSA prototype, which flew for the first time just last month. While visitors won't be allowed to climb inside the Cessna LSA, they can press up against the windows to get a good look at the two-seater. Also new at the LSA lineup is Nexaer's swoopy-looking prototype, which flew for the first time about two weeks ago. Experimental aircraft will also have a place at the show. The first Lancair ES-P, a four-place, fixed-gear, graphite composite pressurized homebuilt with hot wing de-icing, will be there. Watch for more AVweb reports live from the show, coming to your inbox tomorrow and Saturday.

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.
Lawsuit Filed In Brazilian Midair back to top 

Suit Alleges Malfunction, Mistakes

Lawyers for the relatives of 10 victims of September's midair crash in Brazil filed suit this week in a U.S. court against ExcelAire, the owner of the Embraer Legacy jet that collided with a Boeing 737, and also named Honeywell, the manufacturer of the Legacy's transponder. "The pilots of the ExcelAire jet were flying at an incorrect altitude at the time of the collision and the ExcelAire jet's transponder ... was not functioning at the time of the collision," the lawsuit states. The suit alleges that the transponder stopped operating before the collision, which also disabled the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), and that the Legacy jet was flying at the incorrect altitude. The suit also alleges that the pilots failed to take the steps they should have after they lost radio contact with controllers, and didn't correctly use the transponder and TCAS. Design flaws in the Honeywell avionics and inadequate training of the pilots contributed to the accident, the suit alleges.

Honeywell, ExcelAire Respond

Both companies were quick to respond. "Honeywell is not aware of any evidence that indicates that its transponder on the Embraer Legacy was not functioning as designed or that Honeywell was responsible for the accident," Honeywell spokesman Paul Loughran told AVweb on Tuesday. "The National Transportation Safety Board and the Brazilian authorities are still investigating the tragic crash and have not yet determined a probable cause." Honeywell's statement added that the company had not yet been served with the complaint filed in federal court in New York and could not comment on specific allegations in that lawsuit. ExcelAire also said the lawsuit is premature. The facts surrounding the accident have not yet been fully investigated and established in a comprehensive accident investigation, according to Robert Torricella, a Miami-based aviation attorney representing the ExcelAire pilots. "In the face of recent confirmations that air traffic control cleared and directed the ExcelAire Legacy to fly to Manaus at 37,000 feet, repeated suggestions that ExcelAire's pilots were flying at the wrong altitude are baseless," Torricella said in a statement e-mailed to AVweb yesterday. The ExcelAire pilots are still being detained in Brazil. Torricella said the pilots were following instructions from air traffic control. "According to international aviation regulations and norms, air traffic control directives take precedence over a written flight plan and those directives effectively amend the written flight plan," he said. "It is the flight plan cleared by air traffic control at the time of departure -- and not the prior written flight plan -- that governs the conduct of the flight. Here, the flight plan cleared by air traffic control at the time of departure required the Legacy to fly all the way to Manaus at 37,000 feet and, absent contrary directives from air traffic control, the Legacy was obligated to follow its cleared flight plan. As the findings of the investigation are made public, we are confident that ExcelAire's pilots will be exonerated." ExcelAire is based in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and has pledged its full cooperation in the investigations currently underway in Brazil. "ExcelAire expresses its deepest sympathies to the families that lost loved ones in the tragic accident of September 29, 2006, in Brazil," the statement said.

One Six Left DVD Is Now Available at Aircraft Spruce
Enjoy the companion DVD to the highly-acclaimed aviation film One Six Right, with over 45 minutes of extra footage featuring "The Making of One Six Right." Also included is the original "Into the Clouds" trailer featuring Enya's song "Only Time." Additional footage includes a movie montage of the film's most beautiful shots, two new aerobatic sequences, and more! Call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
News Briefs back to top 

Changes In Congress Will Affect GA, Says AOPA

On Tuesday, voters changed the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives, and apparently the Senate, from Republican to Democratic, and this will have a positive impact for pilots, says AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Now we can be assured of a fair hearing from people who understand aviation and aren't beholden to the White House," Boyer said. Aviation user fees have been strongly pushed by the Bush administration. But the power shift in the House will most likely put Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., in charge of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and he is a long-time friend to GA, AOPA said yesterday. Any law to change the way the FAA is funded will have to originate in Oberstar's committee, and he would control what legislation gets passed out to the full House for a vote. He has historically opposed corporatizing or privatizing air traffic control, and he is highly skeptical of any changes to the current, proven FAA funding system, AOPA says. "We're well positioned with the people newly in power who will, at the very least, listen to us," Boyer said.

"Silent Aircraft" Debuts Loudly

Plans for a quiet, energy-efficient airliner that could be flying in less than 25 years were unveiled Monday afternoon by researchers from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The design uses technology that should be ready to fly by 2030. Besides reducing noise around airports, the airplane would require about 25 percent less fuel. It would use a flying-wing design, eliminate flaps and slats, simplify the landing gear, improve its aerodynamics and mount the engines above the fuselage to screen the noise from the ground. Variable-size jet nozzles would allow for slower jet propulsion during takeoff and climb for low noise, and would be optimized for maximum efficiency during cruise. The research that led to the design was sponsored by the Cambridge-MIT Institute and supported by Rolls-Royce and Boeing. Click here to watch a simulated flyby video. More details about the design are at the BBC Web site.

Adam Aircraft Designs & Manufactures the A700 AdamJet & A500 Centerline Piston Twin
The Adam Aircraft 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. The Adam Aircraft 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.
News Briefs back to top 

Two Bonanzas Land On Same Runway, At Same Time

On Monday afternoon, pilot Robert Johnson had just touched down in his Bonanza at the Los Alamos County Airport in New Mexico when his passenger noticed an ominous-looking shadow just ahead. Another Bonanza, on short final, was trying to land on the same runway, and crashed into the top of Johnson's airplane. Unhurt, Johnson struggled to maintain control as the two entangled aircraft rolled down the runway and coasted to a stop. The pilot of the second airplane, who also was uninjured, said he'd mistakenly been tuned to the wrong radio frequency, and the first Bonanza was not visible to him as he flew the approach. Johnson and his passenger were unable to open the doors or windows and had to be extricated from the cockpit by rescue workers. A similar accident occurred in Florida in December 1999. A Piper Cadet and a Cessna 152 collided on final and landed while stuck together. Nobody was hurt, and damage to both aircraft was minimal. The airplanes were separated and the Piper flew home the next day. Both the Piper pilot and the 152 pilot spoke with AVweb's Joe Godfrey to describe their experiences.

Lessons Learned In Past Midairs

The NTSB has determined that in two midair collisions involving GA aircraft, the failure of the pilots to see and avoid was the main cause of the accident. However, in both cases failures of air traffic control were cited as contributing causes. In 2002, three people died when a Mooney and a Beech Duchess collided while on downwind for Runway 24 at Palomar, in Carlsbad, Calif. In August 2005, a Cessna 150 and a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver collided in Renton, Wash. A student and instructor in the 150 were killed. In the two cases, a controller either gave inadequate information or missed a chance to avert the crash, the NTSB said. In the California crash, both pilots were talking to the control tower. In the Washington accident, both aircraft were under the control of a developmental air traffic controller who was being supervised by a certified controller.

Precise Flight to Supply Fixed Oxygen as Standard Equipment on Cirrus Turbo® SR-22 & SE-22
Bend, ORNovember 9, 2006Precise Flight announced it has received STC approval for its Fixed Oxygen System for Cirrus Design Corporation's SR-22 aircraft. This follows Cirrus' selection of Precise Flight at Oshkosh to provide the Fixed Oxygen System as standard equipment on the Cirrus Turbo® SR-22 and SE-22 and as an option on the SR-22 and SE-22. Click here to read the full release.
News Briefs back to top 

Explore Costa Rica With LightHawk

LightHawk has been working for 25 years to provide free flights to conservation groups in the fight to protect the environment. Now the group is organizing a special fundraising airborne eco-tour of Costa Rica for February 2007. LightHawk adventurers will visit the beautiful Osa Peninsula and go flying above some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, while receiving an unparalleled education in the environmental issues facing the area. The tour group will stay in the Iguana Lodge, meet LightHawk's local conservation partners and get the full briefing on how they are working to protect this incredible region. Ready to go? It's not a bargain trip: The all-inclusive cost is $5,000, but a chunk of that is a tax-deductible donation to support LightHawk's important work. Visitors will also have time for hikes in the rainforest, horseback riding, birding, wildlife watching and more. To sign up, contact Keri Foster at 307-332-3242 or via e-mail at kfoster@lilghthawk.org by Friday, Nov. 17. The tour will run Feb. 2 to 7.

AVweb At AOPA Expo

Not going to AOPA Expo this week? Don't worry, AVweb is, and we'll be delivering the latest news from the show to your inbox. Check your e-mail inbox tomorrow and Saturday morning for special issues written and produced from the show.

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
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News In Brief back to top 

On The Fly

Popular Science lists the HondaJet and Diamond D-Jet as best new innovations in aviation...

FedEx canceled its order for 10 Airbus A380 double-deckers to go with Boeing's 777 instead...

Skydivers have agreed to continue jumping at Florida's Deland airport despite construction of a new control tower...

Precise Flight has received STC approval for its fixed oxygen system for Cirrus Design's SR22 aircraft...

DayJet has pushed back its launch date for a Florida air-taxi service to spring 2007, citing delays in the delivery of its fleet of Eclipse jets...

Winter is almost here in much of the U.S. NASA offers free online courses about icing for pilots...

A skydiver who died in a "swooping" competition was using a chute that was too small, the FAA says.

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 to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Find all of today's stories in AVweb's: NewsWire

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.
New On AVweb back to top 

New Articles and Features on AVweb


Say Again? #69: So Long
AVweb's Don Brown is finally retiring from his job at the Atlanta Center radar scope. This month in his Say Again? column he looks back on 25 years of change -- or lack thereof -- in ATC and aviation.

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/ .

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.
AVweb Audio News back to top 

AVweb Audio News

AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. Last Friday's podcast, you'll find a one-on-one interview with Spectrum Aeronautical chairman Linden Blue. 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. In Monday's news summary, hear about how ATC transcripts might vindicate Legacy pilots in Brazilian midair; NTSB says wind was a factor in NYC crash of Cory Lidle's SR20; more air traffic controllers complain of six-day workweeks; NavCanada turns 10; Russia relaxes constraints on general aviation; FAA issues safety bulletin for Continental engines with ECi cylinders; "safety admonition" released for aircraft exhaust systems; future of airspace management takes root in Cleveland. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Garmin 396 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
How does the Garmin 396 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM Weather? Call (866) 443-3342 or check out this link to find out.
Question Of The Week back to top 

Question of the Week

This Week's Question | Last Week's Results


Does the average pilot's sense of invincibility increase when flying an aircraft with an emergency parachute recovery system?

That's the question we put to AVweb readers last week, and your responses left little in doubt: AVweb readers do think parachutes foster a false sense of security. At least, 57% of you think so.

Another 24% said no, while the remaining 19% of those polled were unsure.

For the complete breakdown of last week's poll answers, click here.


The November elections are behind us, and now AVweb wants to know if you think the power shift will affect the hot issue of user fees. Could the shift of control from the Republicans to the Democrats in the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate, will thwart the push for aviation user fees in the next FAA reauthorization bill?

Click here to answer.

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to qotw@avweb.com.

This address is only for suggested QOTW questions, and not for QOTW answers or comments.
Use this form to send QOTW comments to our AVmail Editor.

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.
FBO Of The Week back to top 

FBO Of The Week: Carolina Air Center

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 Carolina Air Center at KHXD in Hilton Head, S.C.

AVweb reader Matt Thompson complimented the FBO staff for giving piston operators the same red carpet treatment as the jet set.

" I stopped here three times in nine days in two different aircraft (a Beech B36TC and a Cirrus SR22). The quality of service was superb. While many resort facilities really roll out the red carpet for the jet set, Carolina Air Center gave me the same service I have received when arriving in much larger corporate aircraft. It was a pleasure doing business with these folks. I would highly recommend them to anyone passing through the area. And I might add, they are the only FBO on the field. Many thanks for this excellent level of service."

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!

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!
Picture Of The Week back to top 

Picture of the Week

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past POTW Winners

The AOPA Expo gets underway today, so let's kick off the ceremonies with another installment of AVweb's "Picture of the Week" — our regular Thursday feature wherein we spotlight the best reader-submitted photos that have come into submissions box over the last seven days.


medium | large

Photo by Richard Rice
Used with permission of Larry Portman

Head Down, Flying Fast

Richard Rice stopped our hearts for a second with this dramatic shot of skydiver Jennifer Jennings (on her first jump) and instructor Larry Portman.  "A perfect view of a perfect day!" writes Larry, who submitted the photo for consideration.

Congrats, Larry — watch your mailbox for an official AVweb baseball cap, because your photo is this week's "Picture of the Week"!

(To be featured on this page and possibly win a hat of your own, remember to send us your photos!)

AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up.  Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of readers who submit photos.

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Used with permission of Douglas Morley

Time for Skis!

Doug Morley of Minett, Ontario (Canada) writes, "I walk my dog Neko every day here in Muskoka. The boats are put away, but here is my neighbor's 1945 Piper Cub, ready to go as usual. The lake won't freeze for another month, so there is lots of time left for this old bird."


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copyright © John Breitinger
Used with permission

Nice Camouflage

John Breitinger of Minneapolis, Minnesota was returning from a long cross-country when he peeked into a hangar and saw this shot just begging to be taken.  John "thought it pretty well captured the best of summer at the airport," and we couldn't agree more.


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copyright © Richard G. McClellan
Used with permission


Richard G. McClellan of Roscoe, Illinois tells us he got this shot of the sometimes-elusive B-2 at the RFD air show last weekend.  The photo was taken with the auto mode on Richard's Canon PowerShot.


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Used with permission of Daniel Valovich

Fall Colors

Occasional "POTW" contributor Daniel Valovich of Hot Springs, Arkansas submitted this photo as a tribute to the season.  "Fall colors and [an] awesome aircraft," writes Daniel — "what a great way to spend the day."

To enter next week's contest, click here.

A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or send us an e-mail.



DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University have all 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.

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.

IFR, the Magazine for the Accomplished Pilot
IFR magazine presents readers with monthly doses of straightforward, irreverent, pull-no-punches articles and advice and hair-pulling, pencil-breaking, skill-sharpening quizzes — all to add to your confidence and renewed proficiency for today's flying in the complex IFR system. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.

Holiday Special from Comm1 Radio Simulators
Comm1 CD-ROMs are designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Available in VFR, IFR, and Clearances on Request versions, Comm1 Radio Simulators let you experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics from the safety and privacy of your desktop. Special Offer: A complimentary multimedia stereo headset with any purchase. Offer ends December 25th. Order 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 News back 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.

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 is here at the show! We'll be in Palm Springs, California through Saturday, November 11. 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