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Volume 13, Number 4b
January 25, 2007
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.
User Fee Battle Intensifiesback to top 

The FAA needs to build a modern airspace infrastructure, and 2007 will be a critical year in building a new financing system to support it, Mary Peters, the new Department of Transportation Secretary, told the Aero Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. "I know that user fees and who pays are big concerns for many of you," she said, "but we must not lose sight of the broader issues at stake … We are talking about a fundamental redesign of the entire air transportation system." To finance that effort, the FAA needs a new funding mechanism, she said, and there must be incentives in place to make the system "more efficient as well as more responsive to user needs." Peters said she expects to release a detailed funding proposal soon. More...

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is among those with "big concerns" about user fees, and the aviation group was quick to react to Peters' remarks from Tuesday's Aero Club meeting in Washington, D.C. "We could not disagree more with the link that Secretary Peters attempts to make between the [Bush] Administration's desire for user fees and the ability to modernize the National Airspace System," GAMA said in a news release on Tuesday. GAMA said that even before funding issues are addressed, the administration needs to present a "coherent modernization plan" that will spell out how it intends to improve capacity and control costs. The current Trust Fund mechanism, GAMA adds, is currently bringing in record revenues. More...

The Airports Council International-North America (ACI) recently announced its hopes for the FAA's next reauthorization bill with a focus on passenger facility charges (PFCs) and airport improvement program (AIP) funds, according to a recent report by Aviation Week. ACI believes that inflation will reduce the impact of PFCs while the air transportation system bloats with 300 million new users over the next decade. To prepare for the passenger surge, ACI urges that PFCs in coming years be increased to adjust for inflation and AIP funds be protected to ensure that all airports in need get the TLC they'll need. According to ACI, it's a matter (in part) of recognizing PFCs as an indispensable part of funding projects; converting their taxable perception from private party bonds to use as public purpose bonds; and rolling them out on a widespread basis. More...

3M™ PPT Tape 8672 Now Available in 12-Yard Rolls at Aircraft Spruce
8.0-mil general purpose outdoor grade polyurethane protective tape with acrylic adhesive. Tough thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer designed for outdoor applications. Abrasion-, erosion-, scratch-, puncture-, and impact-resistant. Conformable to most surfaces. Provides excellent surface protection using a technology that contains no VOCs and is fast and easy to apply. Available in 12-yard or 36-yard rolls. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
News Briefsback to top 

A Circuit City Citation business jet carrying two crew and six passengers crashed on approach to Pueblo (Colo.) Memorial Airport in February 2005 because it stalled, the NTSB said on Tuesday. All on board were killed. During the flight, the wing leading edges had picked up a layer of thin, rough ice that degraded the aircraft's performance. The crew didn't activate the deicing boots, and also didn't increase their approach speed as the flight manual dictates anytime ice is present or expected, the NTSB said. The jet's stall-warning system didn't activate until after the aerodynamic stall occurred, which the Safety Board cited as a contributing factor. The Board recommended that the FAA require modification of the Cessna 560's stall-warning system to provide an adequate warning margin in icing conditions, when the stall speed may be higher than normal. More...

On Sunday, Brazilian lead aviation accident investigator Renato Sayao for the first time acknowledged air traffic controllers share some of the blame for the Sept. 29 midair that killed 154 people when a Legacy business jet collided with a Gol Airlines 737 over the Amazon jungle. But the Legacy pilots -- Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino of New York, both of whom survived the collision along with their five passengers – might not be off the hook entirely. According to The Associated Press, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said both the pilots and controllers were likely at fault, though she stopped short of saying if criminal charges will be filed against Lepore and Paladino. The prosecutor's office cannot press charges against the Brazilian controllers since they are military personnel; instead it can only submit findings to military justice officials, who would then pursue any further action. More...

3 Hours of Single-Pilot IFR Training for $5.75
PilotWorkshops.com is offering the audio version of their best-selling Single Pilot IFR workshop for just $5.75 (covers shipping & handling) for pilots who sign up for a 2-week trial subscription to the site. Learn from 40+ online multimedia workshops and 100+ downloads by top aviation experts. It's a powerful new format for pilot education.

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News Briefsback to top 

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) says rules for aviation self-fuel pumps need to be rewritten because some FBOs in Alabama have been sanctioned for violating rules that NATA says are not necessary for aviation operations. Current legal standards for weights and measures require that all self-fuel dispensers display the price per gallon and the amount of fuel pumped during a particular transaction, but most airport fuel pumps don't work that way. NATA says the rules should be changed so aviation vendors can be in compliance without having to replace their current equipment, which is already adequate to provide the information required by the legal standards. More...

Flight Service Stations in Alaska now have an extra tool they can use to help track some aircraft that request flight-following services. FAA personnel will have access to a Web site from a private vendor that tracks the airplanes via satellites and displays their track on a map of the region. Tony Wylie, manager of the Alaska Flight Services Information Area Group, said staff won't actually monitor the flights, but will have immediate access to the information if the flight needs search and rescue. The FAA service will be extended only to aircraft operated by the federal government. It costs about $5,000 to equip each airplane with the "automated flight following" gear, which transmits the aircraft's location, speed, heading and altitude to a satellite. Vendors charge about $20 per hour for the monitoring service. More...

The pilot who died while flying a Boeing 757 for Continental Airlines on Saturday afternoon "experienced a serious medical problem which required the aircraft to land immediately," Continental spokeswoman Mary Clark told AVweb on Wednesday. The pilot's name and age have not been released yet by the airline, and the company is not releasing additional details about the pilot or the nature of his affliction, "although he is believed to have died of natural causes," Clark said. She added that he was based in Newark, N.J., and had 21 years of service with the airline. The co-pilot diverted the aircraft to McAllen International Airport in south Texas, where an ambulance crew was waiting. Lt. Scott Luke of the McAllen Police Department told the Houston Chronicle that doctors and nurses who were among the flight's 210 passengers had assisted the crew in trying to revive the stricken pilot. 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 

The Martin County Commission, influenced by community-developed noise and pollution concerns, more than six months ago voted to stop using a 460-foot section of runway at Witham Field in Stuart, Fla. Unfortunately, in 1998 the FAA approved the runway for extension. And so it is that while the FAA's regional office in Orlando has suggested moving a fence farther from the runway and into a country club to provide a proper safety zone, Dave Shore, president of the Witham Airport Action Majority (WAAM), has suggested pulling a Richard Daley by removing the runway from service whether the FAA likes it or not. More...

It turns out that NATCA and the FAA agree on something – "commercial" radios aren't allowed to be kept by controllers working in the tower. It's a simple rule intended to eliminate distractions from a controller's work environment, but one that was perhaps complicated by a tornado last Christmas that flipped some 50 Cessnas at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus while controllers in the nearby Daytona Beach International Airport tower claim they sat blissfully unaware. In recognition of that precise set of circumstances, two emergency weather alert radios were placed in the tower on Dec. 27. A few days later, re-recognition of the rule apparently led to the radios' recent removal. And so the earth will not go spinning off its axis -- NATCA and the FAA are again at odds. More...

If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
The fact is brokers can't get a quote from Avemco, the only direct provider of aviation insurance. On top of that, only Avemco lets you talk directly to the aviation underwriter for fast, accurate answers in one simple phone call. Plus, Avemco offers consistent rates and coverage as well as short, easy-to-understand policies. So if a broker tells you he covers the whole market, he's only telling you half the story. Call Avemco at (888) 241-7891 or visit online for the rest of the story.
News Briefsback to top 

Here's a story to make you even happier that you fly general aviation. A group of passengers was recently stranded for more than eight hours aboard an American Airlines jet that was diverted to Austin, Texas, due to weather. They had no food, the toilets clogged and overflowed and the stale air reeked. Now some of those passengers are joining a push to get Congress to pass a comprehensive Passengers Bill of Rights. "We feel that enough is enough. This is not the first time, nor is it likely to be the last, that this kind of degrading treatment is visited on passengers," said Kate Hanni, one of those who endured the experience. "Thousands of legitimate complaints by travelers mistreated by the airlines are regularly dismissed or inadequately addressed by the industry." More...

It turns out that the Boeing 727 might not be the true "Jurassic jet." Just as human aviation pioneers started out flying biplanes, allowing for high lift at low speeds, the early ancestors of birds may have done the same. Researchers Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University and R. Jack Templin of Ottawa, Canada, have found that Microraptor, one of the earliest feathered dinosaurs, might have used a staggered biplane configuration during flight. The creature's second set of wings, which were attached to the legs, would have been more efficient if held forward to form a lower wing, rather than trailing behind to form double wings like those of a dragonfly. Their study was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Aircraft designers have mimicked many of nature's flight 'inventions,' usually inadvertently," Chatterjee wrote. "Now, it seems likely that Microraptor invented the biplane 125 million years before the Wright 1903 Flyer." 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.
News In Briefback to top 

Eclipse Aviation recently hired its 1,000th employee...
Boeing, Lockheed teaming up to bid on federal ATC contracts...
AOPA opposes airspace restrictions over LNG terminal...
Commissioners reject FAA funding for Stuart, Fla. airport...
The U.S. House may honor Glenn Curtiss' 100th anniversary. 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...

ASO — A Better Way to Sell Your Aircraft Share
Finding aircraft share buyers can be almost impossible. FBO bulletin board flyers are too limited, and ads in national publications are too broad. There's a better way, with ASO's Partnership Ads. List your share on ASO, the most trusted place for aircraft sales, where buyers search geographically to easily find your partnership listing. For a limited time, select Partnership Ads are complimentary. To get your share in front of potential buyers, call (888) 992-9276, or visit online.
New On AVwebback to top 

AVweb.com, the world’s best Web site for general aviation news and information, will soon get even better thanks to a redesigned home page that will be unveiled this weekend. The revamped home page will have more content, easier navigation, a more user-friendly podcast interface and better graphics to complement AVweb's real-time general aviation news, incisive commentary and unparalleled feature reporting. More...

QUIZ #116


Quiz #116: Along the Airways
Before you can truly appreciate the ease and convenience of the modern sat/nav world, the pilot should master the pre-Columbian world of federal airways. See what you know about these ancient routes between ground-based navaids.

It's Not What You Know, but Who You Know that Can Save You Money!
Avionics. Next to your airframe and engine(s), avionics are the most expensive items you will purchase for your aircraft. Don't spend more than you need to! Before you buy anywhere else, call Bennett Avionics at (800) 653-7295, or visit online. It's not rocket science, just good business!
AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listening?back 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 AOPA's Kathleen Vascouselos. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Maule Air's Mikel Boorom; 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 Tiger Aircraft's bankruptcy filing, staffing problems at contract control towers, TSA security ramp checks for GA aircraft, the FAA's imminent decision on the age-60 rule and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. 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.
Question Of The Weekback to top 

Cirrus Design this week introduced a safety checklist that's available on Cirrus airplanes' multifunction displays. Do you think an electronic checklist that focuses on judgment is a good idea, and will it really help improve aviation safety?

Plus: Your answers to last week's Question, Has recent reluctance on the part of maintenance shops to service older aircraft influenced you to consider purchasing a newer airplane? More...

Featured AVweb Marketplace Ad: Eckalbar's New Book
Ready to upgrade to WAAS? Eckalbar's new book, Instrument Flying Update, picks up where his well-regarded IFR: A Structured Approach ended and explains WAAS, WAAS-enabled approaches, and the rules applying to WAAS — plus other recent changes in IFR.
For contact information regarding this ad and to view more ads, click here.
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to LaSill Aviation at KLAW in Lawton, Okla.

AVweb reader Gerrit Paulsen said the facility consistently provides great service.

"I fly in to KLAW several times a month on business and have received top-notch service from the great folks at LaSill Aviation every time. My first experience with LaSill was early last year, shortly after they opened. I arrived after-hours on a Sunday evening, just as Bill Tipton was climbing into his truck to go home. He cheerfully reopened the FBO, fueled and hangared my Cirrus, and then insisted on giving me a ride to the hotel rather than calling a taxi — and then refused the 'gas money' I offered as thanks. Since then I have come to expect that Bill, Chris Pittman and the rest of the team at LaSill will anticipate my needs and then make it happen with a smile. On a recent visit when I arrived with the finish on my airplane looking a bit dull, Chris and Bill offered to wax the plane while I was in town and did a terrific job at a reasonable price. On my visit there last week my Hertz rental car magically appeared planeside, even though I had not made any prior arrangements to have it delivered from the airline terminal. Fuel is competitively priced as is overnight hangar space."

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."

Terry Wallace of Sacramento, California takes home the cap this week, writing, "Just prior to launch for Scottsdale, while parked at Brown Field, I caught the light just right." Just right is, well, just right to describe Terry's shot. The combination of ominous storm clouds, fading afternoon light, and (waayyyy off in the distance) that alluringly peaceful blue sky made Terry's the stand-out photo this week.

Enter next week's contest here. 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) 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.

Aviate, navigate, communicate.