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Volume 13, Number 3b
January 18, 2007
3 Hours of Single-Pilot IFR Training for $5.75
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Comair Crash Has Wide Implicationsback to top 

On Wednesday, the NTSB released transcripts and tapes from its investigation of the Aug. 27 Comair CRJ-100 crash in Lexington, Ky., which killed 49 of the 50 on board. Safety board investigators determined that the regional jet took off from the airport's shorter, 3,500-foot Runway 8/26 instead of the intended 7,000-foot Runway 4/22. Transcripts from Flight 5191’s cockpit voice recorder showed that the copilot -- the lone survivor, James Polehinke -- noted that the runway lights were off as the jet sped down the wrong runway. "That is weird with no lights," he said, at 6:06:16 a.m., and Capt. Jeffrey Clay responded, "Yeah." Seconds later, Clay said, "Whoa," then the sound of impact is heard. More...

The Comair crash in Lexington, Ky., raised questions about the FAA's dissemination of airport information and its staffing of air traffic control towers. The tower at Blue Grass Airport had only one controller, instead of the required two, on duty that morning. Construction work at the field had changed the regular taxiway and runway layout, but the crew's information was outdated. The FAA last week issued an advisory to airport operators, asking them to disseminate better information about closures and construction. "Air crews may have a hard time keeping up with these changes as they occur," the FAA said. "In many cases, the NOTAM system may be inadequate." More...

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the FAA is not staffing air traffic control facilities in the state adequately. In Albany, for example, there should be 30 full-time controllers, but there are only 26, Schumer told The Associated Press. "It started as a labor dispute, but now it's become a safety issue. The FAA cuts are absurd," he said. FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told the AP the union's numbers don't reflect actual staffing needs. "We have a staffing plan to put the right number of controllers in the right place at the right time," Brown said. "There may be a few facilities here and there where we have a couple fewer controllers than what we want." On Wednesday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) said staffing issues in Tulsa, Okla., threaten air safety. More...

McCauley Propeller For Grumman Available At Aircraft Spruce
The innovation McCauley builds into every one of their propellers comes out as a unique benefit to you. Unsurpassed safety and reliability and a new dimension of durability and dependability. Every standard OEM propeller and every BLACKMAC STC model delivers advantages found only from McCauley. High-strength, corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy and quieter fly-over and cabin noise levels. Price reduced to $1,995.00. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online for more information.
News Briefsback to top 

Less than a mile from Montgomery Field, a busy GA airport just outside San Diego, developer Sunroad Centrum is moving forward with plans to finish up a 180-foot-tall building that the FAA has deemed a hazard to navigation. That's a bad idea, AOPA said last week. "This is a critical safety issue not only to pilots using the airport, but also to workers in the new office complex," said AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn. "AOPA is appalled that the developer is blatantly ignoring the FAA's ruling and the city's order to stop working on the building." AOPA has joined the city of San Diego and the California Department of Transportation as a real party of interest in a suit against the developer. A local pilots group, the Community Airfields Association of San Diego, has also joined in the suit. More...

Raytheon Aircraft Company said on Tuesday it will cut the list prices of its 2007-model Bonanza single-engine airplanes by 14 percent over last year's prices. Beechcraft Baron twins will sell for 12 percent less. Additionally, the cost of popular options such as SkyWatch and Stormscope will be cut by up to 20 percent. The company said it can offer the new prices because of gains in production efficiency and strategic sourcing. The list price for a typically-equipped Bonanza G36 was $667,000 in 2006; this year it will be $574,000, a drop of $93,000. The price of a typically equipped Beechcraft Baron G58 last year was $1,186,000; this year it will be $1,046,000, saving $140,000. More...

Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets:
Discover the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz., and 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). For more information and to view a video clip, click here.
News Briefsback to top 

Columbia Aircraft, of Bend, Ore., delivered a record 185 aircraft last year, the company said on Wednesday, despite delays certifying the Garmin G1000 glass panel and a summer hailstorm that affected more than 60 aircraft. The aircraft weren't significantly damaged but all had to be refinished. “No doubt, we endured more than our fair share of challenges in the first half of 2006,” said Randy Bolinger, Columbia vice president of marketing. The company's previous record for one year was 114 aircraft delivered, set in 2005. The 2006 total included 146 Columbia 400s and 39 Columbia 350s. The company also said that overall, orders last year were up more than 200 percent over the previous year. More...

As Aviation Technology Group works toward certification of its 500-knot, $2.795 million Javelin executive jet and military trainer aircraft, the FAA on Monday proposed special conditions regarding the aircraft's internally-mounted turbofans. The FAA believes "applicable [Part 23] airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards" for two turbofans set side by side inside the fuselage and "not in the pilots' field of view." Central to the issue is fire suppression and specifically how one ill-fated engine's malaise (read: violent conflagration) would be isolated from the adjacent engine, fuel lines, a nearby 280-gallon fuel tank and primary structure and systems "passing through or near the engines" that support "critical flight controls." So far, the FAA is suggesting that the Javelin 100 be required to incorporate extinguishing along with fire detection systems and fire isolation. ATG told AVweb it is aware of the special conditions and is working closely with the FAA. "It is not uncommon for jets to have special conditions under Part 23. We don't expect any problems in certifying the Javelin," spokeswoman Sara Newton said. More...

British fans of the Concorde are not giving up in the fight to restore one of the elegant birds to airworthy condition, and they are focusing on the London Olympics of 2012 as an event that deserves to be commemorated with a Concorde fly-by. Last week, they won some support in the British House of Commons when a bill was introduced that would promote the maintenance and preservation of "certain vehicles of cultural value." The legislation, if it passes, would authorize the restoration of a Concorde to airworthy condition for use on ceremonial occasions. Britain's Save Concorde Group is encouraged by support for new legislation. More...

Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
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News Briefsback to top 

The newly installed House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., got to work last week, eager to approve a new ethics package during their first hours on the job. But EAA says their proposed law includes a provision that could prevent pilots who serve in Congress from flying their own aircraft. Intended to curb lawmakers from accepting free rides in corporate jets, the language reflects a lack of understanding about how aviation works -- a lack that's all too familiar to most aviators. According to EAA, the ethics legislation states that members of Congress "may not use personal funds, official funds or campaign funds for a flight on a non-government airplane that is not licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire." But the FAA licenses carriers, not airplanes. The wording would virtually ban travel on any private aircraft. More...

Aircraft owners who live in Ohio now must sign a declaration stating they are not involved in terrorist activity when they renew their annual aircraft registration. Owners of other vehicles are not required to do this by the state Department of Transportation, only owners of aircraft. AOPA said on Tuesday it is "extremely displeased at this discrimination." The association has asked the state to remove this requirement. "Frankly, it is offensive to Ohio's pilot population to suggest that they are more suspect than people who own boats, trucks, or automobiles," wrote Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional affairs, in a letter to the state's department of public safety. 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.
News Briefsback to top 

An anti-missile system is being tested aboard a FedEx MD-10 during its regular cargo flights, Northrop Grumman said this week. The airplane launched on Tuesday from Los Angeles International Airport with the Guardian system installed, starting the operational test and evaluation portion of the program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The tests will continue through March 2008. The Guardian system uses proven military technology to defend against shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, Northrop Grumman said. The system detects an approaching missile and directs a non-visible, eye-safe laser toward it to disrupt its guidance signals. More...

"Every time you flew, you had to fight with the ground staff and themanagement about all the regulations you had to violate," FeisalBanser, 30, a former captain for Adam Air, has told The Associated Press. An Adam Air 737 wentmissing on Jan. 1 with 102 people on board; the wreck has still notbeen found. In May 2005, a group of 17 pilots jointly resigned fromthe airline, citing alleged safety concerns, the AP said. The airlineis now suing them, saying they violated their contracts and mustrefund money the airline spent on their training. Banser says he wasgrounded for a week in 2005 after he refused to fly because he hadalready flow five takeoffs, the daily limit. When the airline startedup four years ago, pilots lined up to sign on. But within months, atleast 20 left, citing safety concerns, according to the AP. More...

Why Not Get Rewarded for Your Purchases?
AOPA's WorldPoints™ Rewards credit card program features two points for every net retail dollar spent at thousands of FBOs, on select AOPA products and services, and at participating aviation retailers, including Sporty's, Pacific Coast Avionics, King Schools, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, and Gulf Coast Avionics. There's no limit on the number of points, and points can be redeemed for cash, travel, event tickets, and more. For more information, call (800) 932-2775, or visit online.
News In Briefback to top 

A memorial fly-in to be held for William Kershner Feb. 17 in Tenn...
AirVenture will host the USAF 60th anniversary exhibit...
A new $89 million control tower is now open at Sky Harbor...
Keith Markley named COO at Liberty Aerospace.

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...

Avidyne TAS600 — Because Two Antennas Are Better than One!
Whether you're flying in a busy terminal area, navigating a long cross-country, or hovering over a city, seeing and avoiding traffic requires having the right information in real time. Avidyne's TAS600 Traffic Advisory Systems, with dual-antenna technology, provide significantly improved signal coverage and target tracking, enabling faster updates and enhanced performance over single-antenna systems, for maximum safety. Starting at $9,990, Avidyne's TAS600 Series makes premium performance, active-surveillance traffic alerting affordable for virtually every general aviation aircraft. Visit Avidyne online.
New On AVwebback to top 



The Savvy Aviator #40: Checking the Dipstick
During preflight, there's a lot more to checking the engine's oil dipstick properly than just noting the level.

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...

If You Live in Florida or Texas, Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You
Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) on February 24-25 and near Dallas/Addison Airport (ADS) on March 3-4. In one information-packed weekend, you will learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving thousands on maintenance costs, year after year. For complete details, and to reserve your space, click here.
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 Mikel Boorom at Maule Air. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Professsional Aviation Maintenance Association president Brian Finnegan; aviation forecaster Richard Aboulafia; NORAD; Bill Lear, Jr.; NATA President Jim Coyne; Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith; and Cirrus Design cofounder and CEO Alan Klapmeier. In Monday's news summary, hear about how the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo drew record crowds and exhibitors, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's planned use of UAVs along the Canadian border, a midair collision that controllers failed to prevent, an upcoming ADS-B mandate and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

Introducing AVweb Bookstore, the Most Complete Aviation Bookstore Anywhere
Over 400 titles representing 52 publishers are in stock and ready for immediate delivery, as books, videos, or CDs. 100+ titles available instantly as fully searchable e-Book downloads. Whether you are a pilot, an A&P technician, or a kit airplane builder, if it's worth reading, it's available from the AVweb Bookstore. Click here to visit online.
Question Of The Weekback to top 

Alleged insurance concerns are prompting some maintenance shops toturn away older aircraft (those manufactured more than 18 years ago). Has this issue influenced you to consider purchasing a newer airplane?

Plus: What did AVweb readers have to say about the new plastic pilot's licenses? (A report on the results of last week's QOTW poll.) More...

FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Copeca Inc. at TJBQ in Aquadilla, Puerto Rico.

AVweb reader Tami Bream said the FBO makes you feel right at home.

"We have been flying to Puerto Rico for more than 10 years and always land at Aquadilla Airport (BQN/TJBQ). We never found an FBO there, until now. Copeca is first rate and really knows how to treat GA pilots. Upon our arrival, they met our Bonanza with umbrellas due to the rain. This is a rare event, even in the States when arriving in a single-engine piston. Once we got out, they pushed the plane directly into a hangar so we could unload and stay dry. Their facilities are beautiful and clean, and we felt right at home. They should be recognized for their courteousness and knowing how to really treat GA pilots."

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!


Pictures Of The Weekback to top 

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week."

Given the sudden chill many pilots are feeling, it's no surprise that a common theme in this week's submissions is ice — and plenty of it! Frequent "POTW" contributor Don Parsons of St. Peters, Missouri submitted our favorite icy photo this week. "We had a freezing rain ice storm Friday night," writes Don. "When it started warming up Sunday morning, the blade warmed up enough for the ice to slide off it. It was still attached to the spinner, however, leaving this 'ice blade.'" 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 Mary Grady (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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