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Volume 13, Number 8a
February 19, 2007
Will Your Life Insurance Cover You If You Fly Experimental Aircraft?
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Top Newsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

The FAA's Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) is making progress toward the lofty goal of reinventing the National Airspace System, but there's a minefield of coordination, budget and implementation issues ahead, according to a report from the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General. OIG said the creation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) is "an extraordinarily complex and high-risk effort given the potential multibillion-dollar investments by FAA and airspace users." While there seems to be an overall plan to coordinate a bunch of agenciestoward the goal of accommodating three times the air traffic of todayby 2025, the OIG worries that there's a lack of specific direction within those agencies to make sure the work actually gets done. The OIG is naturally interested in just how the FAA is going to invest all those billions of dollars in NGATS equipment and facilities, but it's also concerned about the financial impact on those who will use the system. More...

Alaska could become a real-life test bed for technologies anticipated to be part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System under a complex agreement recently (and secretly) signed by the FAA and many of Alaska’s aviation groups and companies. The Business Journal of Alaska obtained a copy of the agreement and says it calls for installation of Automatic Dependent Broadcast-Surveillance and other gear that formed the basis of the Capstone system in 5,000 GA and commercial aircraft. Essentially, the deal requires the aviation industry to ensure that the aircraft will get the necessary equipment, while the FAA will set up the infrastructure. While it’s expected to be easy to get the commercial operators on board, getting all the private owners to equip their planes might not be as easy, and it could be a deal breaker. “The agreement will be considered null and void if industry is unable to successfully equip aircraft as expected in this agreement,” according to the agreement. 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 

The 18th annual Women in Aviation International (WAI) conference closed on a high note Saturday night after the three-day event broke the record books. More than 3,200 attendees packed the exhibit hall at Disney's Coronado Springs Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and the association sold 214 booth spaces, up from last year's 180 spaces. On Saturday night, more than $375,000 in scholarships was awarded at the closing banquet. WAI also inducted three new members into its Pioneer Hall of Fame. More...

While some aviation groups say the FAA’s current funding proposal will be the end of general aviation as we know it, the lobby organization that is generally credited with its creation says it’s “a good first step.” The Air Transport Association, which represents most U.S. airlines, has been pushing for a “user pay” system to cover the operation and modernization of the FAA for at least two years. Despite howls of protest from those who will pay more under the new scheme, ATA President Jim May said this week he doesn’t think the system of user fees and the tripling of general aviation fuel taxes goes far enough to relieve the unfair burden airlines have shouldered. “While we applaud this proposal as a good step forward in advancing the reauthorization debate and welcome its recognition of the inequity of forcing airlines and their customers to subsidize other system users, we have deep concerns over a number of elements of the proposal,” May said in a statement. More...

The Department of Transportation Inspector General last week released a report covering FAA progress and key elements of the FAA's congressionally mandated controller workforce plan created to counter an anticipated surge in controller attrition. The report concludes that the "FAA has made significant improvements by centralizing its hiring process" and has reduced "the time and costs"to train controllers (largely through increased use of simulator training), but the report also identifies and expands on five shortcomings: staffing standards, projected retirements, controller training, productivity initiatives and costs associated with trainingas it relates to on-the-job training times. More...

In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
News Briefsback to top 

A German paraglider was frostbitten and bruised from being pummeled by orange-sized hail, but lived to tell the tale of being sucked up inside a thunderstorm and spit out at 30,000 feet. Ewa Wisnerska was practicing for a meet in Australia when the storm hit. Another competitor, He Zhongpin of China, was killed in the storm. Wisnerska, 35, shot to 30,000 feet in about 10 minutes. "You can't imagine the power. You feel like nothing, like a leaf from a tree going up," she told a news conference. "I was shaking all the time. The last thing I remember it was dark, I could hear lightning all around me." More...

Gear-up landings make regular appearances on the local news, but not many of them involve police using a Taser gun on the volunteers who turn out to help. According to the Fresno Bee, Merced County Sheriff’s Department was called to Castle Airport in Atwater, Calif., last Thursday after a report that a Piper Arrow pilot was having trouble lowering all the gear. Of course, by the time they got there, there were lots of airport folks already discussing the situation. Maintenance technician Lupe Gonzalez apparently wanted to do more than talk. He and a group of other airport workers hatched a plan to drive a truck under the airplane as it flew down the runway so they could try and muscle the reluctant gear out of its bay. This didn’t sound like such a good idea to the police officers, and they said so. What happened next is in dispute, but it ended with Gonzalez twitching on the ground thanks to the Taser dart he’d received from one of the cops. More...

JA Air Center, Your Garmin GPSMap 496 Source, Is Looking to Purchase Used GPS Units, Avionics, and Aircraft
Call (800) 323-5966 for current value, with no purchase required. JA is your source for Garmin GPS and Avionics, including the popular GPSMap 496 with XM Weather, Terrain, AOPA Airport Guide, Taxiway Database, and built-in StreetPilot Auto GPS.

JA Air Center [Dupage Airport (KDPA) in West Chicago, IL] provides the finest avionics installations, turbine/piston maintenance, avionics/instrument service, mail order, and aircraft sales. Call (800) 323-5966, or click for more information.
News Briefsback to top 

The FAA has issued a policy statement addressing concerns that it has in the past approved taxi, landing and recognition lights for Part 23aircraft without reference to the effects of those lights on required lights or electromagnetic interference issues. To clarify approved use of lights, the FAA asserts that taxi lights may reduce the area covered by required position or anti-collision lights because theyare designed for "the taxi phase of flight" (presumably, that "phase of flight" that takes place on the ground). Landing lights for use in approach and landing phases of flight may also reduce the area covered by required lighting. Part 23 does not, however, require forward-facing recognition lights, and the statement says those lights are acceptable if they supplement but do not reduce therequired field of coverage of position lights or anti-collision lights, do not cause a hazard and do not cause EMI. "Logo lights"used to illuminate parts of the aircraft fall under those same rules. More...

University of Utah researchers are working on a device, which, if it works, could help prevent one of the most common causes of aircraft fires. Prof. Cynthia Furse and her students are hoping to create a wire fault detector that works while the plane is in the air. During flight, condensation can trigger tiny short circuits in cracked or worn wiring that can lead to much more serious problems. "We are working on developing an intermittent, live wire fault location system that can locate the fault within one foot," Furse told the student newspaper, the Daily Utah Chronicle. More...

Do You Know the Cold Facts About Icing?
Download Aircraft Icing — a no-cost, 16-page Safety Advisor published by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Learn how to recognize the potential for icing during preflight, strategies for avoiding icing in flight, how to identify the different types of ice you may encounter, and steps to escape an icing encounter. Download your no-cost Icing Safety Advisor now.
News Briefsback to top 

Thirty years after the worst aviation disaster in history, a permanent reminder of the runway collision at Tenerife Airport in the Canary Islands will be erected on a mountain there. The 60-foot steel sculpture entitled De Wenteltrap (means spiral staircase) was created by Dutch artist Rudi van de Wint. It was commissioned by Foundation Relatives Victims Tenerife, a group formed in 2002 to raise funds for the monument. It will honor the memory of 583 people who died when a KLM Boeing 747 collided with a Pan American 747 on a runway at Tenerife. The monument will be publicly unveiled March 27 in front of Spanish, American and Dutch family members of victims, survivors and government officials. More...

AOPA announced last week that U.S. pilots are one step closer to being able to file their medical renewal information online. The FAA has agreed to accept printouts of AOPA’s Turbomedical form as long as they’re signed in the presence of an AME or the doctor’s staff. Turbomedical is described as a “medical assistant” designed to help pilots answer the FAA’s medical questions efficiently and accurately. AOPA designed it as an online tool and has been lobbying the FAA to allow the questionnaire to be submitted electronically, but we’re not quite there yet. More...

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
Pilots view and interact with the data — including radar, winds, METARs, lightning, and more — on compatible MFDs, EFBs, and PDAs from a wide range of industry partners, as well as on laptop PCs. The situational awareness afforded by XM WX Satellite Weather allows pilots to enjoy their journeys with more confidence and comfort than ever before. For more information, please visit XMWXweather.com.
News In Briefback to top 

Mixed opinions on the future of Loran…
Stowaway squirrel diverts Tokyo-Dallas flight…
DuPage Airport worth plenty to local economy.

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...

Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the discerning aircraft owner. See how your new Columbia will look with the interactive online Paint Selector. Just go online and click on the "Paint Your Passion" icon.
New On AVwebback to top 



Pelican's Perch #83: The Shell Report
Shell's recent Tech Talk has great advice for how to run engines -- and some real bloopers.



Probable Cause #26: Four Minutes
Few things demand getting the airplane on the ground more quickly than an in-flight fire. Here's why.

AVweb.com, the world’s best Web site for general aviation news and information, is now even better thanks to a redesigned home page. 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...

Oregon Aero Defines Aviation Upgrades
/up-grade/ verb: to raise equipment to a higher standard by adding or replacing components. Oregon Aero makes Painless, Safer, Quieter™ upgrades for aviation equipment — from seats to headsets — that improve your flying experience. You don't need new equipment; you just need an Oregon Aero® upgrade. Visit OregonAero.com to learn about Oregon Aero® upgrades and other products.
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 Cliff Gaston, manager of a B-29 restoration program. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with NBAA's Ed Bolen; Alaska pilot Cable Wells; NATCA's Paul Rinaldi; 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; and Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn. In today's podcast, AVweb interviews EAA's Earl Lawrence about how the new air-tour rule will affect the Young Eagles program. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

Benefit Aviation and Yourself with the NAA Platinum Visa® Card
In addition to favorable Visa® rates, National Aeronautic Association (NAA) cardholders receive discounted rates on NAA membership and aviation products. Cardholders may qualify for no-cost accidental death and dismemberment coverage and aircraft damage reimbursement. NAA, the first national aviation association, receives a contribution on NAA Platinum Visa® card puchases. NAA preserves aviation heritage with prestigious awards presentations and national aviation record certifications. For more information, visit the NAA web site.
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to City of Wauchula at KCHN in Wauchula, Fla.

AVweb reader Jerry Carbaugh said the personnel at the city-run facility focus on pleasing customers.

"The folks running the FBO are great. They have the lowest fuel cost around and believe in satisfying the customer."

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!


Attention, Piper Owners and Pilots!
Join the fastest-growing and best association for Piper Flyers — the Piper Flyer Association (PFA), 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 PFA 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 PiperFlyer.org.
Video Of The Weekback to top 

Our latest "Video of the Week" is for those of who'd love to attend a hot air balloon race, but just couldn't find the time in 2006. You're in luck, because YouTube user tlapse has put together and incredible time-lapse video of the 2006 Reno Balloon Race launch ceremony — using stills from a Canon digital camera! (Click through to watch.) More...

Answering 14 Questions Can Help AVweb Serve YOU Better!
AVweb is asking you to take just a few minutes to answer an online survey with only 14 quick questions. The answers to these questions will help AVweb better serve our subscribers' needs and interests. You will not be added to any list or sent unwanted e-mails. Please click here to take the survey.
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 

Overheard in IFR 
Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Overheard in Southern Florida:

Fort Myers Approach: Cessna Three Four Alpha, say heading.

Cessna: Ah, we're headin' for Tampa.

Fort Myers Approach: Cessna Three Four Alpha, say heading.

Cessna: Well, okay, we're headin' for the LaBelle VOR first and then going on to Tampa.

Fort Myers Approach: Cessna Three Four Alpha, could you look at your compass and tell me what number is behind the little line?

Cessna: Oh...you want to know which way we're going right now. Three five zero, sir.


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) 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.