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Volume 13, Number 1a
January 1, 2007
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.
Breaking Newsback to top 


Eclipse Aviation beat Father Time again -- even if just by a hair. On New Year's Eve two years ago, the redesigned Eclipse 500 with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F turbofans flew as promised by the end of 2004. This time it was the promised delivery of an Eclipse 500 to a customer before the end of 2006, an event that took place on Sunday (New Year's Eve). In the coming days, Eclipse will hold a formal delivery ceremony at the company headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M. “For many years, the promise of this day has fueled the passion and perseverance of everyone associated with Eclipse,” said Eclipse President and CEO Vern Raburn. “As we deliver the first Eclipse 500, our dream of opening up the world of private jet travel to a new realm of customers has become a reality.” The first customer Eclipse 500 was delivered to co-owners David Crowe, a private owner, and Jet-Alliance, a shared jet ownership company in Westlake Village, Calif. More...

Direct-To Avionics has reportedly ceased operations as of late last month, leaving potentially dozens of kitbuilders without equipment or immediate support for experimental versions of the Chelton EFIS. Chelton sold experimental versions of its EFIS systems to dealers exclusively through Direct-To. While some builders claim to have paid for components that have not been delivered, Chelton’s official release said, “Chelton has received various inquiries from persons who have alleged that they were told by D2A [Direct-To Avionics] that parts for which they claimed to have paid D2A were ‘back ordered.’ Chelton currently has no purchase orders from D2A and there are no ‘back orders’ to be filled. Chelton has also suspended taking any further purchase orders from D2A and has suspended D2A's status as an authorized distributor." 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.
Facilities Turn Away "Old" Planesback to top 

Aircraft owners in Kansas and parts of the Southwest are worried about a policy adopted by one and possibly two aircraft maintenance providers to refuse to work on aircraft that are 18 years or older. A customer of Kansas City Aviation Center in Olathe, Kan., who asked not to be identified, told AVweb that officials of KCAC, a Piper dealer, told him they would no longer lift a wrench on anything beyond that age, including Piper products. He said he was told by company officials that it’s an insurance issue. A phone message and an e-mail request for an interview left Friday with KCAC’s maintenance supervisor were not returned by our deadline, nor was an e-mail request for comment from Piper Aircraft. More...

After word spread on Web forums about the Kansas situation, at least one other instance of a similar policy was reported in a chain of FBOs that operates in the Southwest. The firm, said to be Cutter Aviation on the Malibu Mirage Owners and Pilots Association online message board, hasn’t returned telephone or e-mail message requests for an interview. The Kansas pilot we did speak with told us his main fear is that the policy will spread and could result in owners of older aircraft being unable to obtain service or repairs while traveling. Meanwhile, Kevin Mead, the owner of a shop in Hutchinson, Kan., says he doubts the insurance industry is driving the issue. More...

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
Enjoy an unmatched combination of benefits: Full-spectrum noise reduction, clear sound, and comfortable fit. Voted the #1 headset for the fifth year in a row by readers of Professional Pilot magazine. (Professional Pilot, Headset Preference Survey, 12/05) Learn more and order.
News Briefsback to top 

According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the FAA's decision in early September to ban "commercial" AM/FM radios and cellphones from ATC facilities placed Daytona Beach Airport (Fla.) controllers -- as well the crew and passengers aboard a landing Comair regional jet -- in "extreme danger" last Monday. One of the two tornadoes that ripped apart Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's on-airport campus came within 150 yards of the ATC tower on Christmas afternoon, and without an emergency weather radio the six controllers in the facility had no forewarning, NATCA said. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen confirmed that the agency in September banned, and removed, "commercial" radios in ATC facilities because "most were tuned to music stations during tours by FAA officials, which is a distraction to on-duty controllers." She also verified the cellphone ban. More...

The hot topic in political circles around Vero Beach, Fla., these days is the future of its largest manufacturer, Piper Aircraft, and it appears some local officials are ready to use taxpayers' money to ensure that the company's latest project -- the PiperJet -- is built there. A proposal is being floated that would involve Indian River County becoming Piper's benevolent landlord. "I'd like to see them build the jet here in Indian River County," County Commission Chairman Gary Wheeler told Scripps News Service on Thursday. "I'd like to see something worked out where the county buys the land and leases it back for $1." On Dec. 20, Piper CFO Michael Kelley wrote Vero Beach City Manager Jim Gabbard to let him know Piper had hired a Boston consultant to scout potential locations for the jet plant. Among the options consultant BDO Siedman has been told to consider is an expansion of the existing facilities at Vero Beach. More...

A Cincinnati couple is in an Indianapolis hospital after apparently being overcome by exhaust fumes while taxiing their aircraft at Delaware County Airport in Muncie, Ind., on Wednesday. Thomas and Marilyn Kroll were pulled from their aircraft by another pilot after the airplane was seen taxiing off the edge of the pavement. Gene Marlin was also taxiing nearby and pulled up beside the Krolls' plane to see what was going on. "Whenever I got there, the line-boy had the door open but the gentlemen and the lady were still in the airplane and the airplane was running," Marlin told Indianapolis television station WTHR. "I just shut the engine off and pulled the people from the airplane out." As AVweb reported in November, the FAA issued a safety bulletin reminding mechanics to be especially careful in checking exhaust systems and heat exchangers as the cold weather approached. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Ballistic Recovery Systems increased sales by 13.3 percent in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 and recorded a small profit of about $45,000. And while that might not seem much for a company that sold almost $10 million worth of airframe parachutes last year, it’s a major improvement over the $1.76 million loss it recorded in the previous year. "We are pleased with our fourth quarter and full year performance as well as our ability to achieve consistent growth in revenue and a return to profitability,” said CEO Larry Williams in a news release. Fueling that growth was a 47-percent increase in sales to the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) sector. More...

Built in Baltimore in the early 1940s, the last two remaining four-engine Martin Mars seaplanes, now owned by TimberWest of Vancouver, British Columbia, are up for sale -- but the owners may be among a local minority that would like to see the aircraft go. And so it is that while the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum seeks your support for a fundraising effort to "bring one home," governments of more combustible provinces in Canada have maneuvered to seek funds to retain the immense and unique water bombers. The fully operational Martin Mars airplanes can each carry 60,000 pounds of water, and that puts them in a very elite (and hard to replace) class of water-hauling aircraft. But at 65 years of age, their abilities may not be the only thing that's hard to replace. More...

Angel Flight Georgia (AFGA) has won a court battle for exclusive use of the name Angel Flight in the Southeast after a judge ruled that Florida-based Angel Flight Southeast (AFSE), which is not affiliated with the Georgia group, had not only inappropriately taken the name but had exploited the confusion that resulted from having two similarly named volunteer pilot organizations operating in the same general area. In his Nov. 20 ruling, U.S. District Judge Jack Camp says AFSE siphoned donation money away from AFGA by contacting known supporters of AFGA (gleaned from an AFGA pamphlet) and asking for donations without drawing a distinction between the two groups. “The record evidences that AFSE has intended for the public to be confused and to benefit from that confusion,” Camp wrote. “AFSE contacted AFGA donors that AFSE would not have normally contacted due to the donors’ size and location, except that they were known AFGA donors who could be expected to donate to 'Angel Flight.'” Neither AFGA nor AFSE officials returned AVweb's phone and e-mail messages requesting comment. More...

Doc Blue's Emergency Medical Kit — Don't Leave Home Without It!
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled a traveling medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale from Aeromedix for $333. Order by calling (888) 362-7123, or go online.
News Briefsback to top 

Although the big anniversary associated with the Wright brothers has passed, a potentially more significant milestone in the development of practical aircraft comes up in 2009. That’s when the Wrights sold a wary U.S. military its first aircraft. The original Wright Military Flyer is hanging from the ceiling of the National Air and Space Museum. Significant though it might be, however, that’s not the airplane Ken Hyde and his crew from The Wright Experience want to replicate. The 1909 plane was an evolution of a 1908 aircraft that crashed during a demonstration flight for the Army and has the same engine. It’s an important link to the 1908 aircraft and one that Hyde wants to get right. After erecting scaffolding and lighting inside the museum, Hyde’s engine expert Greg Cone was allowed to measure the parts inside the engine after its cover was removed by museum staff. It was the first time the cover had been removed since the Signal Corps transferred the aircraft to the Smithsonian in 1911. More...

Lessons learned in the wilds of Alaska may soon be applied at an airport near you. The FAA has announced that the experimental Capstone program, which implemented automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) service in some of the most challenging flying environments on earth, will be rolled into the national program to exploit the technology in the Lower 48. But the FAA says Alaskans need not fear the advances in safety and convenience they’ve pioneered will be somehow diluted as they join the national effort. In a Dec. 22 news release, the FAA promises that combining the programs “will advance the national ADS-B deployment while it accelerates safety improvements in Alaska.” More...

AVweb has set up a "Rebuild the Fleet Fund" to help Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Daytona Beach, Fla. campus get back in the air following its devastation from two F2 tornadoes on Christmas day. University President John Johnson estimates that the Daytona Beach campus suffered between $50 million and $60 million in damage, $11 million of which is from the 40 airplanes that were destroyed and another 10 that were damaged.

To kick-start the "Rebuild the Fleet Fund," AVweb's parent company, Belvoir Media Group, is donating $1,000. AVweb subscribers will soon be able to donate online to the fund, but for now those wishing to help can send checks to:

The AVweb Rebuild The Fleet Fund
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Office of Development
600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Attn.: Jamie Belongia More...

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.
News In Briefback to top 

Bonanza pilot said he was disoriented before fatal crash…
Atlantic Aviation gets FBO slot at future NYC jetport…
Onex Corp. and Goldmann Sachs test drove before they bought…
FAA approved new LSA designations…
Laser-based runway incursion and debris system patented…
FAA moved to block wireless hackers…
Tallahassee approved new HondaJet dealership…
Rescuers found ice coating downed Rockwell Commander…
Kansas City is looking for a home for an American Eaglet…
Berlin broke ground for new international airport…
Griswold Airport in Connecticut closed permanently over the weekend…
TFR announced for Super Bowl…
SAE Aerotech Congress and Exhibition taking submissions until Jan. 19…
Anousheh Ansari guest at AirVenture Women Soar event July 22…
NASM launches new flight simulators. 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...

AVMAIL: JAN. 1, 2007


AVmail: Jan. 1, 2007
Reader mail this week about tornadoes, hearing aids and more. 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.
New On AVwebback to top 



The Pilot's Lounge #108: For 2007 -- Would You Fly In The Backseat With You?
It's a valid question: Do you trust your flying enough that, if you were with someone else flying that way, you wouldn't be uncomfortable? Honest pilots know they can't stay safe unless they stay current, and Rick Durden's New Year's resolutions reflect that.


2006 Year In Review
Brisk sales, new airplanes, no hurricanes -- despite troubles in the towers, some tragic flights, and worries about the future, overall a pretty good year for general aviation. Here's our year-end review of the news.

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...

Aviation Consumer — The Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell You the Truth about the gear you buy and the planes you fly. Aviation Consumer is packed with in-depth and uncompromising ratings of equipment, avionics, accessories, mods, services, aircraft, and much more. Order online and receive unlimited no-cost use of Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web archives!
AVweb Audio Newsback to top 

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 aviation forecaster Richard Aboulafia. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with NORAD; Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President Jim Coyne; Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith; Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier; and Cessna chairman, president and CEO Jack Pelton. In today's news summary, hear about how two shops in the Southwest are refusing to work on airplanes that are more than 18 years old, the FAA's ban on "commercial" radios endangers safety, the Wright Experience's quest to replicate the Wright Military Flyer, Ballistic Recovery Systems' turnaround year, the FAA's push to roll out ADS-B throughout the entire U.S. and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. 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...

Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students & Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey's Discovery Flight program converting leads to students. However, all pilots can find something at Pilot Journey: Pilot e-mail accounts, pilot eCards; a pilot cruise with seminars; AvCareers, where position wanted and positions available are listed; and much more. Pilot Journey is the pilot's choice online.
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to KaiserAir at KOAK in Oakland, Calif.

AVweb reader Carl Lindros praised the facility for not just catering to jet clients.

"KaiserAir is the best big-city FBO in the nation. They are friendly, fast and thorough, and they're as nice to the small plane guy as they are to the G5 crew. Their prices are very competitive with other big city airports, and they give free van service to the BART station so you can easily get into San Francisco in less than 45 minutes after you check in."

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!


Small Business Owners! AVweb's Marketplace Is the Place for You
Showcase your product or service to over 300,000 unique visitors monthly on AVweb. For a small monthly fee, your business-card sized ad, with graphic, will be placed on the Marketplace page. The AVwebFlash newsletter will feature selected ads as space permits. Click here for more information on AVweb's Marketplace (PDF).
Video Of The Weekback to top 

After seeing this video posted by skoey on YouTube, there was no doubt it would be this week's "Video of the Week." Have a look at the amazing airplane-gliding aerobatic feats of Bob Hoover, and we think you'll see why. (Click through to watch.) More...

Featured AVweb Classified Ad: 1973 L29 Jet Trainers
Three L29 Jet trainers for sale. Last flown by the military 16 November 2005. Engines overhauled in 2002 and have only about 3-400 hours since overhaul. The airframes are also in good condition.
For contact information regarding this ad, to view more ads, and to post your no-cost ad, click here.
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

Returning to Republic Airport in Farmingdale, N.Y., on New Year's Day, I heard the following exchange between the tower controller and the pilot of a Piper Arrow:
Arrow: "Republic tower, Arrow Three Four Five, eight miles north, inbound with India."
Tower: "Arrow Three Four Five, report right downwind Runway 32."
Arrow: "Any chance we can get a straight in?"
Tower: "You said you were north didn't you?"
Arrow: "Yes, seven miles north."
Tower: "Arrow Three Four Five, the only way I can give you a straight in for Runway 32 is if you turn north and continue for about 24,000 miles."
Arrow: (momentary silence) "Uh, okay, sorry, Happy New Year..." More...

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), Glenn Pew (bio) and Marc Cook and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

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.

Happy New Year from the AVweb staff.