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Volume 13, Number 5a
January 29, 2007
JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 496 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
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A Nightmare That’s Every Private Pilot’s Dreamback to top 

Stephen Brown says he has no intention of abandoning his successful air conditioning business in Albuquerque, but he’s done something most private pilots haven’t. The 47-year-old 182 pilot was asked to take the right seat of a Continental Airlines Boeing 757 after the captain collapsed at the controls (he later died) shortly after takeoff from Houston bound for Puerto Vallarta 10 days ago. Brown, along with his wife and some friends, was among 210 passengers heading on vacation when, less than an hour into the flight, Brown said he knew something was terribly wrong not long after a flight attendant asked if there was a doctor on board. “Anyone who could see up front could see them pulling one of the pilots out of the cockpit,” Brown told AVweb in an exclusive interview. More...

After presenting himself to the cabin crew, Stephen Brown was asked to sit in one of the front passenger seats while the right-seat pilot switched sides. He then transitioned from a 182 cockpit to the glass screen spectacle that is a modern airliner’s command post. “Gosh, there’s a lot going on in there compared to a 182,” he said. Brown said the pilot introduced himself as a 28-year veteran of this world. “At that moment I was probably the least nervous person on the plane,” he said. Brown said it was obvious the pilot was more than capable of safely landing the plane himself but the concept of cockpit resource management dictates that two sets of eyes, hands and feet are better than one and, despite his relative lack of experience, he was able to make a contribution. More...

Click here to hear AVweb's exclusive podcast interview with Stephen Brown about his experience on the Continental flight.

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.
Symphony Declares Bankruptcyback to top 

The eleventh-hour balk of a Symphony Aircraft Industries investor has forced the company, which shipped five aircraft in 2006 (all in the first two quarters), to lay off all employees and declare bankruptcy, according to a letter sent Tuesday to dealers by now former President Paul Costanzo. "It was a big shock for the dealers," said Florida dealer Jeff Ermish, who also sells Storm LSAs. Other knowledgeable sources on Thursday told AVweb that the company had told dealers in a Jan. 5 conference call that a plan to secure funding for continued operations and production of the Symphony 160 – a two-seat, fixed-gear, high-wing airplane that sold for roughly $160,000 -- was approved and moving forward. The turn of events is rumored to have been ignited by a late change in the funding plan that would have required a larger investment from a lead investor who on Jan. 19 reviewed that change and pulled out of the deal. More...

As for the future of the Symphony 160, "I don't know, specifically," Jeremy Keninger, the company's former national sales director, told AVweb. "I don't think it's the end of the aircraft -- it's a great value at that price point [IFR-equipped for about $165,000]," Keninger said. "It's too bad it didn't work out in Canada," where the company in recent years completed manufacturing facilities. Keninger could not confirm rumblings that the current lead creditor is thinking about resurrecting the company and bringing it to the U.S., where the cost of labor and efficient building practices would likely remain key issues. For aspiring owners with deposits already paid, "they will be treated as unsecured debts of [Symphony]," writes former president Paul Costanzo. "It is extremely unlikely that the proceeds of liquidation will be sufficient to pay the secured creditors, and as such the entirety of these deposit amounts will more than likely be lost." More...

Symphony Aircraft and Tiger Aircraft customers may be down but they're not necessarily out. Liberty Aerospace, which came on the scene roughly concurrently with the now-bankrupt Symphony and Tiger, is offering to honor the deposits of customers of its former competitor toward the purchase of a Liberty two-place touring aircraft. "The exit of these two companies is a tremendous loss to the aviation community," Keith Markley, chief operating officer of Liberty Aerospace, said in a news release. "Pilots and the rest of the industry have a strong history of working together and our wish is to keep the aviation community flying by delivering to those who still desire a new aircraft." More...

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News Briefsback to top 

Frank Thielert, the CEO of Thielert AG, announced that Kent Abercrombie has been selected as the new president of Superior Air Parts. Abercrombie joined Superior in December of 2000 as the director of finance and was promoted to V.P. of finance in September 2005. Last year Superior experienced 25-percent growth, and further growth is expected since Superior aims to offer the four-cylinder 220-hp angle-head XP400 engine as a certified product, according to the company. Thielert AG, whose diesel engines have won industry acclaim for efficiency serving in the sleek Diamond TwinStar, acquired Superior last spring. More...

The British media is buzzing about a covert video and photo surveillance mission that’s worthy of an Ian Fleming novel. But unlike a Fleming book, there’s nothing as paltry as the future of mankind at stake. This plot has shaken and stirred something far more important—soccer (or, as they prefer to call it in Britain, football). According to the Daily Mirror, a highly modified Cessna 172 has been flying over the heavily guarded training complex of Manchester United as the lads practice and set tactics for future matches. United appears to be the team to beat in Britain’s top league and the video and still pictures taken “during the astonishing spying mission could be invaluable to rival clubs,” the newspaper speculated. More...

Use Trade-A-Plane & See Why 96% of Their Subscribers Choose Trade-A-Plane as their primary aviation shopping tool. Thousands of classifieds (updated daily), product and advertiser indices, NAAA Evaluator, and aviation weather — Trade-A-Plane is everything that keeps you flying! To order, call (800) 337-5263 or order online.
News Briefsback to top 

An NTSB recommendation resulting from its investigation of a January 2001 King Air crash that killed all aboard -- two crew and eight members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team -- has borne fruit. NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker praised the "admirable work" of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and other student athletic organizations as "above and beyond" for the creation of a 64-page "Safety in Student Transportation" guidance manual that has since June been distributed to some 9,200 presidents of colleges and universities, athletics directors and business and risk managers at educational institutions across the country. If officials implement the policies, "We will have gone a long way toward making something good come out of a tragic accident," said Rosenker. More...

The owner of two small cargo aircraft that collided at Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport last Wednesday says both pilots were complying with instructions from the tower. One of the pilots was slightly injured when the Cessna 402 and Beech 99, both owned by Freight Runners Express, came together at the intersection of three taxiways just off the airport’s main runway. "Both aircraft were operating in controlled areas under explicit instructions of air traffic control," Freight Runners said in a statement quoted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Neither pilot was notified by [air traffic control] of the impending conflict at the intersection, which would have prevented this accident." The NTSB hasn’t decided whether it will investigate. 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 

It may not be as flashy or capable as GPS but Long Range Aids to Navigation (LORAN) is almost bulletproof when the going gets tough, and that’s why the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is urging the federal government to improve it. The feds have asked for opinions on what to do with LORAN, a ground-based system that uses the time difference of low-frequency radio signals between the receiver and ground stations to plot the position of the receiver. Although GPS is now the favored navigational aid for everyone from pilots to hikers, NATA says it’s also vulnerable to disruption from weather and terrorists, while the long waves of RF from LORAN are hard to jam. “LORAN provides a critical back-up should GPS malfunction or become unavailable,” NATA says in its comments to the Department of Transportation. More...

Vietnam’s flying farmers (well, technically, they haven’t really flown yet) are at it again and this time, according to VietNamNet Bridge, it looks like they might actually put some air between themselves and the ground. As AVweb reported in 2004, Tran Quoc Hai and Le Van Danh from Tay Ninh Province cobbled together a helicopter from salvage parts and a Russian truck engine, and the Vietnam government (perhaps wisely) confiscated it before it they could test fly it properly, although they said at the time they’d hovered it about 18 inches above the ground. Undeterred, the duo started construction on another aircraft, which looks a little like a recycling bin with a rotor, but which they say is much improved over the first one. Now comes word that the country’s prime minister has decided to give his blessing (and you thought the bureaucracy was tough in North America and Europe) to a test flight, provided the ministry of defense and other relevant agencies agree the chopper is airworthy. More...

Join NAA and Help Shape the Next Century of Flight
It's a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization. At $39 a year, NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast! Members receive the Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero magazines, plus access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call (703) 527-0226 to become an NAA member, or sign up online.
News In Briefback to top 

Florida County to fight FAA for control of Witham Field…
Open baggage door a factor in Citation crash…
New Marine One touched down on White House lawn…
Most FAA employees satisfied with jobs…
Grenade-shaped belt buckle halted flights…
Pilot error cited in Predator crash…
Double engine failure led to highway landing…
NATCA honors top controllers. 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...

Attention, Cessna Owners and Pilots!
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Cessna Flyers — the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA), since 2004 providing same-day parts locating, faster answers to technical questions, an informative monthly magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual gatheringseminars, member discounts, and more for only $39 yearly. The CFA is located in the Blue Hangar on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, Wisconsin, just 35 nm NW of Oshkosh. For more info, visit CessnaFlyer.org.
New On AVwebback to top 



The Pilot's Lounge #109: Please, FAA, Return to Reality on Flying In Ice
Just when you thought it was OK to fly during the winter, the FAA appears to have changed the definition of known icing. AVweb's Rick Durden doesn't like choosing between scud running and getting grounded by FAA inspectors pulling his ticket.

AVMAIL: JAN. 29, 2007


AVmail: Jan. 29, 2007
Reader mail this week about the Comair crash, ATC staffing, user fees and more. More...

AVweb.com, the world’s best Web site for general aviation news and information, is now even better thanks to a redesigned home page that was unveiled this weekend. The revamped home page has 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...

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.
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 NATCA's Paul Rinaldi. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with AOPA's Kathleen Vascouselos; 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; and Honda Aircraft's Jeffrey Smith. In last 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. In today's special-edition podcast, hear an exclusive interview with Stephen Brown, the private pilot who went from Continental passenger to temporary copilot. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

Artful Flying Now Available for Michael Maya Charles Fans!
Artful Flying, written by AVweb columnist Michael Maya Charles, is now available. Readers will learn the secrets to becoming a better pilot — and enjoying 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 Taylor Aviation of Elizabethtown at KEYF in Elizabethtown, N.C.

AVweb reader Eddie Smith said the FBO is a shining example of Southern hospitality.

"Oscar and Mitch Taylor go beyond the required service. They have Paymaster self-service pumps, but are there to service your aircraft anyway. They just cannot do enough for you. Their fuel prices are extremely low, and I noticed many others landing there – some even going out of their way to return. Enough cannot be said about the service at this facility."

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!


Featured AVweb Classified Ad: Mobile ACF-50 Corrosion Treatments
ACF-50 Corrosion Treatments at your location. Don't fly someplace to have a treatment. Done at your location by McKnight Engineering LLC.
For contact information regarding this ad, to view more ads, and to post your no-cost ad, click here.
Video Of The Weekback to top 

Over the last few months, we've seen quite a few amazing videos from AVweb readers — and if we've learned one thing, it's how tough it can be to stage, shoot, and produce your own video. Sometimes you'll see something from the air that's incredible — but capturing that in a video can be tough. Ultralight pilot Lee Baer seems to have mastered the art is our latest "Video of the Week" clip. (Click through to watch.) More...

The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

The following exchange took place enroute to opening day at Sun 'n' Fun last April:

Bonanza: Jacksonville Center, Bonanza Two Zero Yankee. 11,000.

Center: Bonanza Two Zero Yankee, Roger, Jacksonville altimeter 30.12.

Bonanza: Are you working a lot of traffic to Lakeland this afternoon?

Center: I'll tell you what -- if you fell out of your airplane right now, you'd never hit the ground. 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) 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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