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Volume 12, Number 51a
December 18, 2006
 
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Who Uses What?back to top 
 
Sponsor Announcement

DOT OIG AUDITS AIRSPACE USE FOR FAA FUNDING FLAP
The Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General is planning to conduct an audit of the National Airspace System (NAS) that could become a key point of information for the looming battle over how to fund the FAA. In an internal memo obtained by AVweb, David Tornquist, the DOT's Assistant Inspector General for Competition and Economic Analysis, sets as his goal nothing less than putting a dollar figure on each type of airspace usage in the context of the various funding alternatives currently being bandied about for the FAA. "Evaluating these alternatives requires a common understanding of who currently uses the NAS and how that usage affects the FAA's costs and how closely the alternatives mirror use of FAA services," the memo reads. More...

FAA FUNDING ALTERNATIVES ON THE TABLE
The DOT OIG memo gives some insight into the ideas being explored for renovating the FAA's funding structure. "Measures under consideration include charging for aircraft departures, passenger emplanements, aircraft weight, flight distance and time-in-system," the memo reads. "FAA is also exploring the feasibility of cost-based user fees." Among the items on the agenda for the OIG auditors, which will be of great interest to business aviation folks, is an assessment of whether jet fuel consumption makes a good basis for estimating cost to the FAA for air traffic services. More...

USER-FEE ISSUE LOOMS LARGE
AOPA didn’t comment directly on the content of the DOT OIG memo, but said it’s an indication of the way things may shape up in coming months in Washington. AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy said the OIG study came at the request of Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., last summer and AOPA knew it was coming. Dancy said the Government Accountability Office is undertaking a similar study. “Taken together, the two studies indicate the significance both the Administration and Congress place on the FAA Reauthorization bill, and reinforce AOPA's resolve to defend general aviation by preventing a shift of user fees or an excessive increase in taxes,” Dancy told AVweb. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

IS DIAMOND TAKING ON CIRRUS, COLUMBIA, MOONEY?
A report out of Eastern Europe suggests Diamond Aircraft is ready to mix it up in the 200+ knot piston single range. The Ukrainian Web site wing.com.ua is reporting that Diamond intends to build a 350-hp, five-place, fixed-gear airplane that promises to be the “most spacious” of piston aircraft in its class. There’s nothing on the Diamond Web site to confirm this, and the company's North Amertican office in London, Ontario, was closed for the weekend when we called, but the platform suggests an adaptation of the D-Jet configuration, which also has room for five. More...

BRAZIL MIDAIR: POLICE RELEASE PRELIMINARY REPORT
On Wednesday, a preliminary police report released in Brazil said U.S. pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino could have prevented the Sept. 29 midair that killed 154 people when the Legacy jet they were flying collided with a Gol Airlines 737 if they had noticed their transponder was turned off, according to The Associated Press. The two men returned home to New York on Dec. 9 after being detained by authorities in Brazil for more than two months. According to the police report, the Legacy's transponder was turned off for at least 50 minutes before the crash and turned on two minutes after, but the report does not determine whether the pilots or the instrument itself failed. Police investigators have asked for an extra 30 days before presenting a final report. A judge will then decide whether an indictment and trial will follow. 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.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

GROB JET PROGRAM PROCEEDS
Grob Aerospace says European certification of its SPn business jet has been pushed back about six months to early 2008 due to the crash of the second prototype on a demonstration flight in Germany on Nov. 29. The crash -- which occurred near the manufacturer’s Mattsies-Tussenhausen, Germany facility -- killed test pilot Gérard Guillaumaud. While the company awaits the cause of the accident from German authorities, work is proceeding on a new test aircraft, which should be flying in the New Year. In a news release, CEO Niall Oliver said Grob remains committed to developing the $7 million jet and that customers have been “superb” in their understanding and reaction to the tragedy. More...

AIRCRAFT DROWN OUT NATURE?
Residents of Pacific Palisades, Calif., are complaining that increased jet and helicopter traffic is affecting their quality of life. A story in the Palisadian Post even suggests a cover-up, of sorts. "I have a neighbor who used to sunbathe nude,” laments one unnamed resident of Marques Knolls. “But she stopped because she felt as if her privacy was violated by all the low-flying airplanes and helicopters.” According to the Post, jet traffic is up 1,400 percent in the last 23 years and helicopter flights now make up 3 percent of the operations in and out of nearby Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) and that’s making it hard to hear the birds and the bees. “The reason that the Palisades is so nice is that you can hear nature,” resident Hal Oliver told the Post. “But all these planes are changing that.” More...

 
New Term Rates Available from Pilot Insurance Center
Private pilots that expect to fly less than 200 annual hours and have 100 or more solo hours — or who expect to fly 201-300 annual hours and have 400 or more solo hours — may qualify for new lower rates from the Pilot Insurance Center (PIC). PIC specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with the life insurance protection they need. A+ RATED CARRIERS — NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS — Quick and Easy Application Process. Get a Quote from PIC by calling 1-800-380-8376 or visit online.
 
News Briefsback to top 
 

FOURTH NEW YORK AIRPORT EYED
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has set aside $150 million to invest in a fourth major airport to serve the metropolitan area over the next 10 years and the favored location appears to be Stewart International Airport, about 50 miles north of the city. The airport is a former Air Force base and boasts a runway almost 12,000 feet long. It’s currently an Air National Guard base. There is scheduled air service by several airlines (including a shuttle to JFK). But despite these significant attributes, there’s another factor the Port Authority might find hard to ignore. The community seems to actually want the airport. More...

FAA'S ATTEMPTS TO STOP OVERRUNS
Brought into the headlines by overruns at acreage-challenged airports like Chicago and Teterboro, the FAA-approved engineered materials arresting system (EMAS) now crowns 21 runways at 16 airports, with four more airports and five runways due for the upgrade in the next year. Teterboro recently had one of the systems installed at the end of 6,015 foot Runway 6 to the tune of $8.5 million (all but $1 million covered by the FAA). That system was unwittingly put to use October 25, when a Challenger made a $15,000 wrong turn (estimated EMAS repair costs) on the way to the terminal. Teterboro Airport's second system will reside at the south end of Runway 18 following the relocation of Redneck Avenue. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

ANOTHER GREAT YEAR
The aerospace industry had record sales for the third year in a row, according to an analysis by the Aviation Industries Association (AIA). In its annual review of aviation commerce, AIA said total sales were up $14 billion to $184.4 billion, an increase of 8.4 percent over 2005. "It would be hard to overstate aerospace's positive contributions to our national economy, as evidenced by these very strong indicators," said AIA CEO John Douglass. He also noted that the total represented a positive trade balance of more than $52 billion and he said there’s no immediate end in sight. More...

ASPEN AVIONICS FIGHTS ECLIPSE SUIT
Aspen Avionics founders Peter Lyons and Jeff Bethel say their hazard awareness system retrofit for older aircraft was developed before they went to work for Eclipse Aviation and that invention and non-disclosure forms they signed with Eclipse weren’t valid. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Lyons and Bethel claim -- in a response to Eclipse’s October lawsuit over ownership of the AT300 Hazard Awareness Display -- that they developed the technology in 2001 and 2002, before joining Eclipse in late 2002. Lyons and Bethel also say the only invention and disclosure agreements they signed were during the interview process and not as employees of Eclipse. Eclipse claims the pair created the device and developed their business plan on company time. More...

AVWEB DAILY NEWS COVERAGE
You can now get the latest general aviation news from AVweb -- the world's premier independent aviation news source -- as it happens at AVweb.com. Or sign up for our news feed and have the most recent headlines pushed directly to your RSS-based news reader. Either way, you'll be able to read the same concise, but comprehensive, news stories that you've come to expect from AVweb. And for major breaking general aviation news, AVweb will send out news alerts via e-mail to keep subscribers informed. Don’t worry -- you'll also continue to receive AVwebFlash every Monday and Thursday. More...

 
Cessna Reason #1 — Pilots First
Leading the aviation industry isn't about bragging rights. Being No. 1 is about providing pilots with all of the things that make owning a Cessna such an irresistible value. Things like safety. Affordability. Reliability. Insurability. Flyability. And the world's largest service organization. All of which have helped make Cessna the Number-One-selling line of new single-engine aircraft. Explore more reasons at CessnaREASONS.com.
 
News In Briefback to top 
 

ON THE FLY
Student pilot convicted for false medical information…
Chevron picked as fueler for new Houston airport…
Radar outage caused delays at O’Hare…
Socata has a new vice president of industry and aerostructures...
Legacy pilots say they did nothing wrong. 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 to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? 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.
 
New On AVwebback to top 
 

CEO OF THE COCKPIT #65
COLUMNS

CEO of the Cockpit #65: Walking on the Moon in Zip-Up Boots
Sure, pilots in space now are astronauts -- scientists or the cream of the jet jockies. But someday NASA will need regular service to and from the moon, and then...
More...

PILOT WORKSHOP #2
COLUMNS

Pilot Workshop #2: GPS Tips for IFR Flight
In this 10 minute workshop, 2004 National CFI of the Year Doug Stewart will provide operational tips to ensure your GPS is your ally. He’ll also point out the common mistakes that can get you in trouble.
More...

AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVFLASH
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...

 
VFLITE™ Holiday Special: The Perfect Gift to Give — Or Get!
Receive 10% off all of the award-winning VFLITE GPS Training, Instructor and Utility software ordered online, now through 12/22/2006. This offer includes the new VFLITE GPSMap 496 Interactive Guide and CFI iTools. VFLITE GPS training programs are available for the Garmin® GNS 530/430; GPSMAP 496, 396, 296 & 196; as well as Lowrance® AirMap 2000C, 1000 & 500 portables. PLUS: No-cost ground shipping (U.S. and APO addresses) is VFLITE's gift for all who enter the discount code "holiday" during online checkout. Order today!
 
Avweb Audio Newsback to top 
 

AVWEB AUDIO NEWS
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 Bill Lear Jr. on light jet progress. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with NATA President Jim Coyne; 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 the DOT Inspector General is starting an audit to determine who is using U.S. airspace, Diamond Aircraft's possible foray into a high-performance piston single, the FAA's use of crushable concrete for runway arresting systems and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

 
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.
 
FBO Of The Weekback to top 
 

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to North American Aviation at KRFD in Rockford, Illinois.

AVweb reader Wayne Phillips said he's treated like a rock star at this FBO.

"No matter what size airplane you fly in, they treat you like a rock star. They also keep 100LL prices low for a big airport ($3.85), have no ramp fees, have put my Skylane in their hangar when the weather gets bad at no cost, have driven me to my mom's house 12 miles away to avoid rental car or cab fees and have let me use their courtesy car overnight. These guys deserve the recognition!"

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...

 
If You Have a Calendar Event, AVweb Wants to Hear from You!
AVweb's no-cost Calendar of Events is available to everyone who has an event to post! Remember, over 160,000 subscribers turn to AVweb for their news. Make sure they know about your upcoming event: Post it online!
 
Video Of The Weekback to top 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: NEAR-MISS WITH A T-38 TRAINER
Our latest "Video of the Week" is nail-biting footage of what's often called a "near-miss" — although they're more accurately called "near-mid-air-collisions." Watch as one pilot gets a little too close for comfort to a T-38 trainer in this clip posted to YouTube by smkenney7 and marked as being from Randolph Air Force Base. (Click through to watch.) More...

 
The Used Aircraft Guide Can Save You Thousands When Purchasing an Aircraft
It's taken a long time to get to this point — purchasing an aircraft. Don't waste time and money, use Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide to puchase your dream. Order your UAG online.
 
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 
 

SHORT FINAL
We were flying from Chatham, Massachusetts to Nantucket with flight following from Cape approach. The weather was marginal VFR with heavy haze and reasonably poor visibility when out of the mist we heard this on the air:

Cape approach: "Cessna Four Five Six, are you aware that you are heading toward a restricted area?"

Cessna: "No, I wasn't aware of a restricted area. What's in there?"

Cape approach: "It's some type of microwave installation."

Cessna: "Yup, I see a tower ahead."

Cape approach: "That's the tower I want you to miss. If you fly near that tower, it could ruin all your equipment, and you'll never have anv children."

Cessna: "Roger that. Turning now..." More...

 

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

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 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.

Aviate, navigate, communicate.