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Volume 12, Number 50a
December 11, 2006
In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
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Pilots Freed; What Next?back to top 

Two U.S. pilots face a maximum of four years in jail after they were charged by a Brazilian prosecutor with "endangering air safety" in the collision between their Embraer Legacy 600 business jet and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 in late September. However, the pilots -- Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino of New York -- were still allowed to leave Brazil on the promise that they return to face the charges. The charges were filed Friday when they appeared at a Rio de Janeiro police station to give statements. The pilots, who are now back in the U.S., have consistently denied any wrongdoing in the collision, in which a winglet on their aircraft is believed to have contacted the 737's wing, causing it to fail. All 154 people aboard the 737 died after the airliner plummeted into the Amazon jungle. More...

As Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino made their way back to the U.S. late Friday -- by private jet to avert Brazilian journalists who booked commercial flights to New York trying to corner the pair -- their supporters were trying to figure out just what legal consequences they might face. Joe Sharkey, the New York Times columnist who was on the Legacy during the midair collision, wrote on his blog last week that the foundation for the nebulous charges is that the pilots didn't ensure their transponder was working. According to a news release issued by the Brazilian federal police, the charges are based on "elements of proof existing in the police inquiry, which point to the lack of the caution that is necessary, expected, and can be demanded of pilots during the realization of a flight." More...

European and North American aviation organizations are applauding the release of pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino from Brazil and renewing their call for criminal proceedings to be left out of the investigation of the accident. Lepore and Paladino were flying a Legacy 600 business jet that collided with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 Sept. 29. And, while it might be too late in this case, the Flight Safety Foundation, the National Business Aviation Association, the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations say the threat of criminal prosecution will hamper investigations because those involved will be less forthcoming with information surrounding a crash if they think it might be used against them in court. "We recognize the right of judicial authorities to commence a criminal investigation, but it must be independent of the safety investigation, and the evidence obtained by the safety investigation may not be used by the criminal investigations," the letter reads. More...

Weather the Holidays with 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 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.
Raytheon Aircraft Sale Down To The Wire?back to top 

Onex Corp. together with Goldman Sachs might have entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of Raytheon Aircraft Company (RAC), according to a report published Thursday in The Wichita Eagle. The arrangement would allow the potential buyer access to company records providing information necessary to determine the exact position of Raytheon Aircraft as final details of the potential deal are reached. Though RAC recently added employees and announced plans to add more, a new owner would likely seek to cut operating costs (possibly by outsourcing) or launch a new product (such as a very light jet). Both options would reallocate human resources. More...

On Aug. 1, Raytheon Company entered into a retention agreement with James E. Schuster, Executive Vice President of the company and CEO of Raytheon Aircraft Company (RAC). The agreement attempts to secure retention of and secures compensation for Schuster in the case that he stays on through the company's then stated goals of seeking "strategic alternatives" for RAC (which includes a potential sale of that business). In short, if Schuster remains with RAC until it is sold and does not leak "confidential" information leading up to that sale, he will receive "a lump sum payment of one times his annual base salary plus annual target bonus." But there's more. More...

How Would You Like a Life Insurance Policy That Returns All of Your Premiums?
The Return of Premium Term products through the Pilot Insurance Center feature a level death benefit term plan with fully guaranteed level premiums for the first 15, 20, or 30 years and are also guaranteed to pay back all premiums at the end of the policy. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with life insurance protection they need. For a personalized quote, call PIC at 1-800-380-8376 or visit online.
News Briefsback to top 

Air traffic safety has improved dramatically since ATC-related accidents in Milan and Uberlingen, Germany, according a report issued by the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol). The group says the average "level of air traffic safety mechanisms" among the 42 countries whose airspace management systems it represents is now 70 percent, up from 55 percent in 2002, while regulators have lagged behind at 65 percent. It seems like an average of extremes, however, since more than 25 percent of European countries achieved scores above 90 percent. It would then follow that the bottom quarter is somewhere below the 50-percent mark. The Eurocontrol release did not give a country-by-country breakdown of the safety levels. More...

Well, we don't expect to sit beside him while we're putting our shoes back on after security at the airport, but Britain's Prince Charles says he's going to skip the convenience of private transport as his sacrifice to help save the planet. Starting in February (no point in rushing these things), Charles reportedly intends to make more use of commercial airlines, trains and biodiesel-powered cars to commute between his various castles and his princely appointments, rather than hop on a private helicopter or bizjet. A spokesman for the prince says he's determined to "reduce our carbon footprint" and will be taking a variety of measures to lighten his considerable environmental load. More...

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
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News Briefsback to top 

China is expected to launch two satellites next year that will start its GPS constellation. The Beidou (Compass) satellites will provide coverage for most of China and some neighboring countries before the country launches the remaining 33 satellites to yield worldwide coverage. The plan was confirmed by state-controlled news services last week. The open frequency from the system will give navigational accuracy to 10 meters, with speed accuracy to within 0.2 meters per second and timing accuracy to within 50 nanoseconds. The "authorized" service will be better on all three counts. More...

Former FAA Director of Oceanic and Offshore Services David Ford, who led a series of successful initiatives to make airspace more efficient, has joined Rannoch Corporation. Ford recently retired from the FAA after a 31-year career. He led the team that developed the Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) system that allowed a reduction in lateral separation of transoceanic flights from 300 miles to 100 miles. Ford also helped develop a daily tracking system for transoceanic flights and helped develop airport surface movement monitoring systems using ADS-B and multilateration. At Rannoch, Ford will be the vice president of strategic operations, where he'll manage development and implementation of ADS-B and multilateration gear "to improve air traffic safety, capacity and efficiency for the next generation of air traffic management," according to Rannoch. More...

Hint, Hint — Oregon Aero Holiday Gift Ideas!
You'll find more than 500 items at Oregon Aero, Inc. that make flying a Painless, Safer, Quieter™ experience for your favorite pilot. From seat cushion systems to hand-made headset and helmet upgrades, flight bags, and survival kits — even flashlight and pencil holders — Oregon Aero has great gifts. Can't decide? Get a gift certificate today at OregonAero.com.
News Briefsback to top 

Cecil County commissioners have voted to keep studying the possible construction of a relatively large county airport on land near I-95. The county has been given an FAA grant to study the feasibility of an airport and gauge public opinion. The commissioners are looking for an airport that can handle corporate jets. Raintree Airport, the existing private facility now serving the county, doesn't cater to bizjets but it is undergoing expansion. The commissioners insist their airport won't compete directly with the private airport. More...

The owner of a farm where Comair Flight 5191 crashed has sued the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport Board over its valuation of the property, which it would need to lengthen the runway that the regional jet mistakenly took off from. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Elkhorn Bend, a limited liability company that owns the 115-acre property off the end of 3,500-foot Runway 26, paid $748,000 for the land in 2005. Now it says it's worth $3.4 million. A certified appraisal commissioned by the airport board pegged the value at $1.75 million last May. Elkhorn Bend filed the suit Nov. 28, saying the county intends to acquire the property through condemnation and the suit is intended to prevent it from paying too little. 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.
News Briefsback to top 

Buttressing its argument with the negative effect on small business and significant logistical obstacles that prevent the law from fully achieving its goals, AOPA has filed a federal lawsuit against New York state's pilot criminal background check requirement. More to the point: "This law is unnecessary, discriminatory, anti-business and ineffective," said AOPA president Phil Boyer, "and it violates the U.S. Constitution." AOPA further argues that because Congress has enacted legislation to create a single system of aviation security regulation to be maintained by the federal government, any state attempt to do so is therefore preempted. More...

A hangar tenant at Washington state's Pierce County Airport (Thun Field) is trying to rally local pilots against hangar and tie-down rent increases that he claims are at least immoral and may be unconstitutional. John Prukop, "organizer" of the Thun Field Pilots' Association, says the proposed increase (to $197 a month) was approved at the Nov. 21 meeting of the local county board, only three days after most tenants at the airport received notice. He claims the increase is unjustified because there have been no improvements to the already-substandard hangars (no doors, leaking roofs) and there's no economic justification because the airport is debt free and covering its costs. But what he says particularly rankles him is that the county ordinance wording appears to apply retroactive rate increases for 2004, 2005 and 2006 in a section that says "Pierce County Public Works and Utilities is proposing an increase to the fees representing a 5-percent increase per year for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006." More...

VFLITE™ Holiday Special: The Perfect Gift to Give — Or Get!
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News In Briefback to top 

Thunderbirds to perform at the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends…
The closure of a short runway has prompted expansion at AGC…
Maybe Santa's sleigh was in for an annual at EAA event…
Los Angeles Mayor opposes LAX project…
Former DOT Secretary Mineta to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom. 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...

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice monthly business newsletter, AVwebBiz? 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. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.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.
New On AVwebback to top 



Pelican's Perch #81: It's a Jungle Down There
Brazil's courts held two U.S. bizjet pilots for two months without charges, seemingly on the assumption they were at fault for a midair collision with a 737. AVweb's John Deakin has flown into Brazil many times and he thinks otherwise.


AVmail: Dec. 11, 2006
Reader mail this week about progress in light jet development, TFR violations and more. More...

AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll find an interview with NATA President Jim Coyne. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith; Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier; Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton; and Spectrum Aeronautical chairman Linden Blue. In today's news summary, hear about what's next for the Legacy midair pilots now that they're back home, the possible acquisition if Raytheon Aircraft by Onex, safer ATC in Europe, China's proposed GPS system and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

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!
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Hutchinson County Airport at KBGD in Borger, Texas.

AVweb reader Mack Secord said he received real Southwestern hospitality at the county-run facility.

"After more than nine hours of flying in our Skylane, we were ready to call it a day when we selected Borger, Texas, as our overnight stop. Almost before the prop stopped turning, Ronnie Wood and his crew had chocked and tied down the airplane, unloaded our baggage and positioned the fuel truck for a load of 100LL at $3.05 per gallon. When we asked about a place to stay, they promptly made us reservations at a new nearby motel, suggested three local restaurants and gave us the keys to a Crown Victoria sedan (at no charge). On departure the next morning, they arranged for a simply stunning sunrise as they wished us farewell. (I'll be submitting the photo of that sunrise for 'Picture of the Week!') This was Southwestern hospitality at its finest."

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!


Just in Time for Holiday Gift-Giving — Artful Flying
Artful Flying, written by AVweb columnist Michael Maya Charles, is the perfect gift for any pilot. Readers will learn the secrets to becoming a better pilot — and enjoy it more! Order online and receive ground shipping at no cost.
Video Of The Weekback to top 

Here's a YouTube clip that will have you reading through the comments and trying to make up your mind. Originally posted by user meetmrglock, this clip of "the world's smallest twin" has tongues wagging. (Click through to view.) More...

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.
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

We were in our Seneca performing the pre-takeoff run-up at Orlando Executive Airport when we heard this exchange on ground control frequency:

Cessna: Orlando ground, Cessna Two Three Four, clear of the active.

Ground: Cessna Two Three Four, taxi to the ramp.

Cessna (still on ground frequency but thinking he'd switched to unicom 122.95): Executive Air...ah, this is Cessna Two Three Four...we're going to need some gas.

Ground: I've got plenty of gas, but I don't think it'll work very well in your airplane. Try Executive Air on 122.95. More...



Limited Quantities of Collier Trophy Collectible Medallion Series
NAA's Collier Trophy Centennial Medallion Series 1 and 2 are now available for gift-giving or for your own collection. A commemorative card encases a heavy metal medallion showing the Collier Trophy on one side and an image of SpaceShipOne on the reverse of Series 1, and the image of the Eclipse 500 in formation on the reverse of Series 2. Visit NAA's merchandise section to view and order

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.

Ensure Yourself and Your Passengers' Safety for Under $149!
CO Guardian has reliable and proven CO detectors in both portable and panel-mount models starting at $149. You can't afford not to purchase from CO Guardian. Order online.

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 Contributing Editors Russ Niles (bio) and Glenn Pew (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.

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