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Volume 13, Number 5b
February 1, 2007
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.
Top Newsback to top 

The FAA will propose a new rule that would raise the retirement age for airline pilots to 65, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said today. During a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Blakey reiterated the history of the age-60 rule, and said, "This is a change whose time has come." Issues of experience and equity clearly support change, she said, as well as the need for "global harmonization" with international rules, which as of last November allow for one pilot on airline crews to be over 60. Safety will be enhanced by keeping experienced pilots in the cockpit, she said. The new rule will apply only to pilots who haven't reached 60 by the time the rule takes effect. More...

If it's OK for pilots to work until age 65, then why must air traffic controllers retire at 56? "Because that's the law of the land," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said during a Q&A session after a speech she gave on Tuesday announcing that the age limit for airline pilots would be upped from 60 to 65. "If there is a move on Congress' part to raise the age for controllers, we would be happy to work with them on it." The FAA chief said last year's retirements from ATC were about 25 percent higher than expected, which she attributed to the imposition of the FAA's new contract. But she also defended that contract as "very fair," and said she has no intention to reopen negotiations. She said the agency will hire 1,100 controllers this year, staying ahead of the number of expected retirements. More than 2,000 qualified candidates are "lined up and ready to go," Blakey said. New controllers earn about $96,000 after five years, she noted, and the FAA is not having any problems filling those jobs. More...

AOPA President Phil Boyer makes no bones about it: "There is no bigger issue facing general aviation today -- our future is hostage to the FAA funding decision. If we choose user fees or radical new taxes, America's unique personal aircraft transportation system will die." In case it's not quite so clear just how this issue affects you as an airspace user, AOPA has launched a new Web page to explain it all. "We explore the arguments for change and objectively demonstrate why our current tax system is the best choice," notes AOPA Executive Vice President of Communications Jeff Myers. The site features short videos to help people visualize the issues. More...

Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. Click here for further details.
News Briefsback to top 

Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) has completed a series of successful development tests of the Next Generation Parachute System, which could operate on aircraft weighing as much as 5,000 pounds, BRS spokesman John Gilmore told AVweb on Wednesday. The system would work on aircraft such as the Diamond D-Jet, which is expected to have a BRS parachute as standard equipment. The system now being tested consists of a single landing parachute, which could be deployed once the aircraft had slowed down to about 180 knots or less, Gilmore said. Other designs still being considered could include a two-stage system that would deploy a drogue chute to slow the airplane down, then a larger chute for landing. "There's still more testing ahead, but we're making progress," Gilmore noted. More...

Oceanside Municipal Airport in California must stay open indefinitely, the FAA has told the city. A recent economic study by the city proposed several alternate land uses in 15 to 20 years' time. "The obligation to keep the airport open as an airport does not expire," officials at the FAA's Los Angeles District Office wrote. But city officials said they had never expressed any "formal" intent to close the airport anyway, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Tuesday. The FAA also said the city should move forward with plans to build more hangars on the field. More...

Aircraft Spruce Reduces Pricing on the Orga-Knee-Zer Kneeboard
Extremely versatile organizer/kneeboards provide a standard 7-ring binder on a stable platform with built-in pencil sharpener, combo mag-lite/pencil holder, and other unique features. Compact storage, rugged materials, and powder-coat finish add even more to their rich feature set. Use for VFR or IFR flight, with NOS or Jepp charts to adapt to your pilot needs. As seen in Plane & Pilot magazine's "10 Coolest Cockpit Gadgets." Aircraft Spruce's price: $79.95. Call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
News Briefsback to top 

Thielert Aircraft Engines of Germany on Wednesday announced that its new diesel engine, Centurion 2.0, is ready to hit the market. The engine evolved from the Centurion 1.7, which is sold in the U.S. in Diamond Aircraft's twin-engine DA42 and in a version of the DA40 single. According to Thielert, the new engine will replace the 1.7 for all installations from now on. "In launching our new engine, we are demonstrating that our proven concept is also upwards compatible," says company CEO Frank Thielert. "As already seen in the Centurion 1.7 and the Centurion 4.0, we have also utilized tried-and-tested technology in this development step and have allowed the ongoing improvements and innovations from automotive volume production to flow into our own development." Product enhancements include a flatter FADEC, a lighter cast gearbox housing, interfaces for glass cockpits and a new service tool that allows the FADEC to be programmed in the field, Thielert notes. More...

If your travels will take you anytime soon into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the NTSB wants you to keep an eye open for stray GE CF34 engine pieces. On Jan. 25, an America West Express Bombardier regional jet en route from Denver to Phoenix was climbing through 24,000 feet when it experienced an uncontained engine failure. The left engine cowling, fan and other forward components separated over sparsely populated mountainous terrain in an area beginning just south of Woodland Park, Colo., and running south-southwest to 10 miles southwest of Cripple Creek. Anyone who finds debris shouldn't handle it but should contact the Teller County sheriff's department (719-687-9652) and relay the location, estimated size and description of the parts. 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.

Click for details.
News Briefsback to top 

Sales of Socata's TBM 850 are up 35 percent compared with last year as the company pits the economy of its 320- ktas (at FL260) turboprop against a fledgling very light jet (VLJ) market and rides a 21 -percent rise in revenue. Socata aims to deliver 50 of the turboprop singles this year, with a current backlog of 40 aircraft. The company's coffers are bolstered by a freshly won contract to retrofit avionics for a fleet of Embraer Emb-110 Xingu at the French Military Air Transport Flight School. Socata last year increased production of subassemblies for other companies like Airbus, Dassault and Eurocopter by 13 percent. More...

A team of researchers in the United Kingdom and India won an award last week for their work on new alloys that can change shape or position at a particular temperature. The team hopes these materials could take the place of mechanical moving parts in aircraft, leading to reduced engine weight and increased energy efficiency. The project is being developed by researchers at Imperial College London, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Rolls-Royce is also a collaborator. Additionally, the project might aid the aerospace industry's development of "more-electric" airplanes -- next-generation aircraft in which hydraulic and pneumatic systems are cut to a minimum, according to The Engineer Online. More...

When It Comes to Aircraft Insurance, the Choice Is Easy
The AOPA Insurance Agency is the only agency that offers the built-in expertise of AOPA's 66+ years' commitment to general aviation and the only aircraft insurance agency qualified to carry the AOPA name. One call to the AOPA Insurance Agency, and you'll have multiple quotes from major A-rated underwriters in minutes. Call for a complimentary quote at (800) 622-2672, or go online.
News Briefsback to top 

This July 23 to 29, EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., will host aerial performances from Sean D. Tucker, Patty Wagstaff, the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Kirby Chamblis, Matt Younkin and Kyle Franklin; all (and more) have already signed up for the EAA show. The performers "come together at EAA AirVenture to make an all-star roster of the 'best of the best,'" said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. While display booths and seminar tents showcase every major aviation innovation, renovation or contemplation, the AirVenture air show begins each afternoon (weather permitting) following flight demonstrations of aircraft old and new. More...

The U.S. Navy published a request for proposals this week with the objective to develop a radar sensor compatible with small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that would allow them to operate safely and reliably in civilian airspace. The Navy noted that UAV flights currently are "severely restricted" because of concerns they could collide with other aircraft. FAA regulations require that UAVs must demonstrate "an equivalent level of safety" comparable to see-and-avoid for manned aircraft before they can be allowed into the National Airspace System. The Navy is looking for an anti-collision system that would enable small UAVs (those with wingspans under 11 feet) to avoid all other air traffic, whether or not those aircraft are transponder-equipped. More...

The FAA has issued a Notam restricting flight in the Miami area during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 4. There will be a 30-nm-radius TFR centered on the FLL VOR's 214-degree radial at 8.4 miles, extending up to FL180. It will be in effect from 4 p.m. until 11:59 p.m EST on Sunday. Also, there will be a smaller 10-nm-radius GA no-fly zone in effect within the larger TFR during that same time. More...

Meridian. Mirage. Pressurized Comfort. Pure Performance.
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Excitement Level: Off the charts!
Up to $150,000 in factory incentives on your way to PiperJet ownership. Call Piper at (866) FLY-PIPER for a dealer near you, or go online.
News In Briefback to top 

The Cirrus SR22 Turbo received STC approval from Transport Canada this week...
Some older Cessnas' plastic controls may crack, FAA says...
A Wisconsin pilot faces a homicide charge in fatal crash...
"Airspace for Everyone" free online from AOPA ASF...
New tower and TRACON opened Tuesday at Fort Wayne...
ATG named Action Aviation distributor for Africa, Asia...
Sonex offering two new AeroConversions baffle systems...
Garmin now has GTX 328 Mode S transponder for Europe. 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 weekly 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...

If You Think "Bargains" Are Something Alien to Aviation — Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's marketplace. Bennett Avionics provides pilots with quality avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
New On AVwebback to top 

You think all your weather problems are solved now that you have your fancy-shmancy NEXRAD in the cockpit (or, for that matter, on your air traffic controller's radar)? Then why are we losing more planes in thunderstorms than ever? AVweb's Don Brown has some ideas. 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...

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.
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 Monday'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...

Featured AVweb Marketplace Ad: Biennial Flight Review Flashcards
These flashcards provide more than 290 questions and answers from current the FAR, AIM, and other sources. Includes a comprehensive review of sectional charts, all shown in color. Download immediately for just $12.95 from AJ Publications, LLC.
For contact information regarding this ad and to view more ads, click here.
Question Of The Weekback to top 

The FAA plans to raise the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots from 60 to 65. Do you support this change, and should there even be an age limit for Part 121 operations? Plus: Reader responses to last week's question about the Cirrus's new MFD safety checklist. More...

Featured AVweb Classified Ad: 1957 Cessna 182A
Beautiful IFR cross-country aircraft with an up-to-date new Garmin avionics package including GNS 430, GMA 340 Audio Panel, GTX 327 Transponder, and S-TEC 50 Auto Pilot. Annual 09/07, mid-time engine on Millennium cylinders. Much more.
For contact information regarding this ad, to view more ads, and to post your no-cost ad, click here.
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!


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." Gary Glenn of Shepparton, Victoria (Australia) made our stomach drop with this great angle-of-ascent shot — and in return, we're naming Gary's photo our "Picture of the Week." Watch your mailbox, Gary — we'll be sending an official AVweb baseball cap your way in the next couple of days! 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.

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