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Volume 12, Number 45b
November 9, 2006
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 Springsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

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. More...

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. 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.
Lawsuit Filed In Brazilian Midairback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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 Briefsback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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 Briefsback to top 

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. More...

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. More...

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 Briefsback to top 

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? More...

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. More...

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear audio, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the fifth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot (2005 Headset Preference Survey). Purchase an Aviation Headset X now and receive a complimentary pair of acclaimed Bose® around-ear headphones to enjoy when back on the ground. (A $139.95 value.) Learn more and order.
News In Briefback to top 

Popular Science lists HondaJet and D-Jet as best new innovations...
FedEx canceled its order for 10 Airbus A380s to go with Boeing's 777...
Skydivers prevented a tower from being built at a Florida airport...
Precise Flight got STC for fixed oxygen system for Cirrus SR22...
DayJet launch delayed to spring 2007, citing delays in Eclipse jets...
NASA offers free online courses about icing for pilots...
A skydiver who died was using a chute that was too small, the FAA says. 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 to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

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


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.


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...

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 Newsback to top 

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 Weekback to top 

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 most likely the Senate, will thwart the push for aviation user fees in the next FAA reauthorization bill? Plus: Results of last week's question on airplane emergency recovery parachutes. More...

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 Weekback 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 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 Weekback to top 

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. 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!) More...



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 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.

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