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Volume 13, Number 11a
March 12, 2007
Chicago-Based JA Air Center Selected as
Authorized Diamond Service Center

JA Air Center is proud to announce it has been selected by Diamond Aircraft as an Authorized Service Center for the full line of Diamond aircraft. JA will provide full-service aircraft care, including routine inspections; scheduled and unscheduled airframe, engine, and avionics maintenance; and repairs.

JA Air Center has facilities in West Chicago and DeKalb, Illinois and a new facility scheduled to open 2008 in Aurora, Illinois. Call (800) 323-5966 or click here for more information. click here for more information.
Top Newsback to top 

Representing the general aviation community during a Senate aviation subcommittee hearing on FAA reauthorization on Thursday morning, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) president and CEO Ed Bolen urged lawmakers to immediately reject aviation user fees in any form, saying the proposal advocated by the airlines and FAA would be "disastrous" for the national aviation system and for businesses in rural area. During testimony, he maintained that the FAA's user-fee proposal would overthrow a funding structure that has proven to be "stable, reliable and growing" for more than 25 years. Bolen pointed out several shortcomings in the FAA's plan: a $600 million cut in FAA funding; allowing the FAA to go into deep debt, up to $5 billion, starting in 2013; and diversion of funds for ATC transformation to create a bureaucracy to assess and collect user fees. More...

After about two years of posturing, the rubber hits the road for the FAA’s attempt to radically change the way it does business this week. On Wednesday, Administrator Marion Blakey will be in front of the aviation subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to defend the agency’s reauthorization proposal. That will be a warm-up for March 21, when she’ll be back in front of the committee promoting her vision of a user-pay system for air traffic control and other services and hefty fuel tax increases for general aviation. AOPA President Phil Boyer will testify at the March 21 hearing to fight the proposal, saying it’s unnecessary from a financial point of view and will seriously harm GA in the U.S. More...

Belvoir Media Group is seeking an aviation editor/writer to join the staff of our Sarasota-based print and online magazine division, including Aviation Consumer, Aviation Safety, IFR, IFR Refresher and Light Plane Maintenance. We're looking for a CFI or CFII with a proven track record in writing, reporting and editing to assume editorship of one of our titles. Electronic page make-up and Web skills plus higher flight ratings are a plus, but we offer training to the right individual. If you are that individual, contact us by clicking here. More...

Fly with the Bose® Aviation Headset X
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News Briefsback to top 

After being walloped by weather and bogged down by bureaucracy,Columbia Aircraft says it has to trim its workforce by 10 percent tomake ends meet. The Bend, Ore., planemaker announced on Thursday itwill lay off 59 of its 605 employees because of unforeseen factorsthat cut the number of deliveries it could make lastyear. Although sales have remained strong, CEO Bing Lantis said in anews release that a freak hailstorm last June and a six-month delayin the certification of its Garmin G1000 panel installation have"hampered Columbia's ability to operate profitably." The 59 workersgot their pink slips this week. More...

Hawaiian tour industry officials have leapt to the defense ofHeli-USA Airways after the helicopter tour operator suffered itssecond fatal crash in as many years this week. "I have everyconfidence in these guys," Mike Stewart, a local tour companyoperator who books flights with Heli-USA, http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070309/NEWS01/703090345"target="_blank">told the Honolulu Advertiser. "I put my daughteralone on their flight." Three of seven people aboard the Heli-USAAerospatiale A-Star died in the crash near Princeville on theHawaiian island of Kauai on Thursday afternoon. A fourth died on theway to hospital, and the survivors were critically injured. Among thedead is pilot "Helicopter Joe" Sulak, who was reported by thenewspaper to have more than 10,000 hours in the A-Star. TheAdvertiser said Sulak reported unspecified hydraulics problems abouttwo miles from the airport and the helicopter crashed just short ofthe Princeville runway. It was the fifth fatal air tour crash onKauai in four years and the second for Heli-USA. More...

Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Daily
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News Briefsback to top 

Israeli Aerospace Industries is working on an airliner-sized unmanned aerial vehicle capable of carrying 60,000 pounds of freight. And the only reason it’s focusing on a cargo plane is that the flying public won’t accept a pilotless passenger plane. Shlomo Tsach, IAI’s director of flight sciences, told the Jerusalem Post the technology already exists to fly passengers without pilots but "the world is not yet ready to be flown without a pilot at the stick.” However, he said, a study by Boeing suggests there’s no such resistance to sending packages without direct human intervention, so the idea of a pilotless cargo plane is gaining some traction. At the opposite end of the spectrum, IAI is also working on a nine-pound solar-powered UAV. More...

The Kansas Aviation Museum says it needs a quick $110,000 or an army of well-equipped volunteers to bring a Cold War relic home. A B-47, the first swept-wing, pure jet bomber, is no longer welcome at the Oklahoma City fairgrounds, and the Kansas museum would like to bring it back to Wichita, where it was built in 1951. “It would be great to have the plane,” museum director Teresa Day told The Wichita Eagle. “It would definitely complement the B-29 and the B-52 we already have on display.” But Oklahoma City wants the aircraft, one of only 24 intact B-47s, gone by the end of April and will scrap it if necessary. “We have such a limited time frame, I’m just not sure it can happen,” Day said. More...

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.
News Briefsback to top 

RegionsAir, which operates regional flights for Continental Airlines to Cleveland and American Airlines to St. Louis, has suspended operations to resolve issues with its training policies. The company was shut down for two days last week and resumed service last Monday before being shut down again on Thursday. In a news release quoted by the Marietta, Ohio, Times, RegionsAir said all planes and pilots were recalled to its home base in Smyrna, Tenn. "We have been in discussions with the FAA today and will honor the requests outlined in the Consent Order with the intentions of satisfying any [and] all requested modifications to our Line Check Airman training [and] Certification program," Nathan Vallier, director of sales and marketing, said in the release. The nature of the modifications wasn’t discussed. RegionsAir also didn’t say how long it might be grounded but a news release from American Airlines said flights are cancelled through March 31. More...

Air Accident Digest says changes may be made to the Federal Flight Deck Officer program to encourage more airline pilots to carry guns in the cockpit. According to the Web site, issuing badges would allow armed pilots to instantly identify themselves to other law enforcement officials and establish authority during an incident. Another change being considered is to allow FFDOs to carry their weapons when deadheading, instead of the current practice of securing their guns in lock boxes. The Web site says that it’s estimated that less than 10 percent of the 90,000 airline pilots have FFDO certification (the actual numbers are a secret) and suggests the government is interested in beefing up those ranks to take some of the pressure off the Federal Air Marshal’s program. 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.
News Briefsback to top 

Civil aviation is doing its bit to reduce fuel consumption and help the environment, according to FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. In a speech to a meeting on energy security, Blakey said she welcomes the Air Force’s commitment to run half its fleet on so-called synthetic fuels by 2015. Synthetic fuels are liquid fuels produced from coal or natural gas, both of which are plentiful in the U.S. compared with oil reserves. Blakey said civil aviation is also looking at synthetic fuels, but she indicated that the biggest reduction in fuel consumption will come from more efficient engines and aircraft and more direct routing through use of satellite navigation. “We’re taking a comprehensive look — with DoD as a partner — at a transformational move to a network centric, satellite-based endeavor called the Next Generation Air Transportation System,” she said. More...

As U.S. aircraft manufacturers continue to complain about the shortage of FAA inspectors and certification staff on home turf comes word that the agency is reaching out to China to speed development of its new regional jet program. The FAA opened an office in Shanghai last Friday aimed at funneling U.S. technology into the new ARJ-21, a 70-to-100-seat twinjet that’s expected to fly early next year. About 40 percent of the aircraft’s parts will come from foreign suppliers, many of them American, and the new office is expected to help smooth that process. "This is certainly facilitating the exchange of aeronautical products between the United States and China," John Hickey, head of certification services for the FAA, told The Associated Press. More...

New from Aeromedix! Doug Ritter RSK Mk3™ Fixed-Blade Survival/Utility Knife
The Doug Ritter RSK Mk3™ Knife is Doug Ritter's first fixed-blade design to reach production. A direct descendant of the RSK Mk1™ folder knife, the RSK Mk3™ is a medium-sized lightweight fixed-blade with premium steel. The 4.5-inch (11.43 cm) CPM S30V blade is a bit over an inch longer than the full-size RSK Mk1™ folder. For complete details, go online.
News In Briefback to top 

Russ Chew tries to fix JetBlue…
Sun Valley Airport closed April 23 to May 24…
Lufthansa contest offers sneak peek at A380…
Ferry pilot still missing…
New FAA Chief Counsel named…
Updated PC-12 passes cold weather test…
CompAir 12 expected to fly in early April…
Premier named Diamond Aircraft Dealer of the Year. 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...

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 



CEO of the Cockpit #68: Animal Stories
The airlines have gone to the dogs. Dogs are going on airliners. And AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit has seen it all.

Pilot Workshop #3: Improving Rudder Skills
Rudder pedals are not meant to be footrests. In this 15 minute workshop, Wally Moran explains the importance of good rudder skills and how proper coordination improves safety, performance and passenger comfort.


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...

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.
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 LoPresti's R.J. Siegel. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Eclipse Aviation's Vern Raburn; B-29 restoration program manager Cliff Gaston; 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.; and NATA President Jim Coyne. In Monday's newscast, hear about the highlights of Heli-Expo2007, production problems looming at Eclipse Aviation, lawsuits flyingin wake of the Cory Lidle crash, Jacksonville reconsidering its ban onbuilding kit airplanes in garages and more. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

Brought to you by Bose Corporation. More...

Find Your Next Aircraft on ASO!
When you search for aircraft on ASO, you get the most complete picture of the market available anywhere. View thousands of listings with detailed specs and photos or use ASO's advanced search tools to quickly find your next aircraft. Best of all, know that every ad is current and no time is wasted on stale listings. If you're ready for your next aircraft, it's ready for you — on ASO. Visit ASO today!
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to North Atlantic Air at KBVY in Beverly, Mass.

AVweb reader Steven Swartz says employees at this FBO kept their cool under difficult weather conditions.

"Four days after we received our just-repainted (and gorgeous) 1980 Warrior, the Northeast was hit with an ice storm. North Atlantic's superb and enthusiastic line people moved it into a cozy corner of a heated hangar to wait out the storm. Moving aircraft for the next several days was like something out of an old-time Laurel and Hardy movie as the ice was inches thick all over the taxiways, ramps and parking lot. NAA's crew never flinched, and more importantly never fell down on the ice. Regular jet traffic was slowed but not stopped by the storm. Watching these guys handle expensive hardware on treacherous ground deserves a nomination of FBO of the week. May can't come soon enough around here!"

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 Marketplace Ad: The Great Circle Air Safari DVD
Experience an exhilarating flight through the vast Australian Outback, one of the most forbidding places on the planet. Featuring HD photography by Oscar winner Eric Thiermann.
For contact information regarding this ad and to view more ads, click here.
Video Of The Weekback to top 

This week, we ask the question, "Would Top Gun have been as much fun if Tom Cruise had an RC antenna instead of a stick?" Probably not — but it might have been more exciting than you think, as evidenced by this clip of a scale model radio-controlled F-14 posted on YouTube by mwtpt4270. (Click through to watch.) More...

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 while en route from Loveland, Colo., to Mesa, Ariz.:

United 123: Center, we’ve got continuous chop at 390. Is the ride any better lower?

Center: United 123, standby. Cactus 222 how’s the ride?

Cactus 222: Continuous chop at 350.

Center: United 111, no joy. We’re getting reports of continuous light to moderate chop at all flight levels.

Unknown Aircraft: C’mon down big fella! The ride’s nice and smooth here at flight level 085!


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 Editor Russ Niles (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.

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