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Volume 13, Number 17a
April 23, 2007
Will Your Life Insurance Cover You If You Fly Experimental Aircraft?
Call the Pilot Insurance Center. They offer full coverage life insurance for pilots with no aviation exclusions. Whether you are flying an RV-4 or a DC-10, PIC provides you the best rates on coverage with no aviation exclusions and can save you up to 60% off of your current coverage in the meantime — all through A+ Rated Insurance Carriers. No Aviation Exclusions — Great Savings — A+ Rated Companies. PIC knows what you are flying and won't let you overpay for life insurance just because you are a pilot. Apply for a policy in less than five minutes! Call today at 1 (800) 380-8376 or visit PIC's web site.
Top Newsback to top 

The FAA Safety Team (FAAST) is changing the focus of its Wings-Pilot Proficiency Program from an awards-based program to a true proficiency program. The new system is expected to be in place in June. In a release on the FAAST Web site, spokesman James Pyles said the goal of the program is to instill a culture of constant education and re-education in pilots. "It encourages pilots to continue their aviation educational pursuits and requires education, review, and flight proficiency in the Areas of Operation found in current Practical Test Standards (PTS) that correspond with the leading accident causal factors in the United States," he said. That would be the stick. The carrot is that as long as a pilot keeps up with the curriculum, the requirement for flight reviews is suspended. More...

Pilots in South Florida have said for years that it's been an accident waiting to happen, and now it has. Three people died Friday when the Cessna 182 they were in hit the cable used to tether a surveillance and propaganda blimp over Cudjoe Key in the Florida Keys. The blimp, known locally as Fat Albert, is normally flown at about 8,000 to10,000 feet, and the aircraft hit the wire at about 4,000 feet. Airspace surrounding the blimp is restricted. A camera trained on the blimp caught the impact on video. Fat Albert is one of squadron of lighter-than-air devices, more properly known as aerostats used by the federal government to detect suspected drug smugglers. Some also beam anti-Castro television signals to Cuba. Meanwhile, rescuers are also looking for the five occupants of a Piper Aztec that appears to have gone down off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. 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 

The operator of the Embraer Legacy 600 business jet involved in a midair with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 over the Amazon jungle is blaming the accident on Brazilian air traffic controllers, according to the Associated Press. All 154 people aboard the 737 were killed when the jets collided over the Amazon jungle in late September; the seven aboard the Legacy owned and operated by New York-based ExcelAire survived. In a 154-page document sent to Brazilian federal police earlier this month and released to the AP on Saturday, the U.S. charter firm said an analysis of air traffic control transmissions and flight recorders in the Legacy "confirmed that both planes were freed by Air Traffic Control to fly at the same altitude [37,000 feet] and the same path, in opposite directions." Meanwhile, Brazil's Defense Minister, Waldir Pires, maintains that his country's air traffic control system is one of the safest in the world. More...

Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft is reportedly considering Tallahassee, Fla.; Vero Beach, Fla.; Columbia, S.C.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Albuquerque, N.M. for its PiperJet manufacturing facility, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The newspaper reported on Sunday that if Piper chooses the capital city for its new plant, the facility would be built on a 275-acre site at the Tallahassee Regional Airport, where it would have access to 700,000 sq ft of space. Further, the city said it would construct and lease the buildings to lure Piper to the area, the newspaper said. Meanwhile, Vero Beach officials are fighting hard to keep the work alongside Piper's existing headquarters there. Richard Aboulafia, vice president of aerospace forecasting and consulting firm Teal Group, told the Florida Sun-Sentinel that the PiperJet will likely be manufactured outside Florida because of that state's aggressive incentives to lure new companies. 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 

Visitors to downtown Lakeport, Calif., were treated to an unusual site Thursday afternoon when two aircraft emerged from Clear Lake and taxied through the streets of downtown. The pilots and their aircraft were participating in a rehearsal for the Western States Seaplane Festival -- also known as the Clear Lake Splash-In -- that will take place September 22. The festival is billed as the "largest gathering of floatplanes and amphibious aircraft west of the Mississippi." This year, some of the aircraft will be parked on Main Street, where the public is invited to get close to a seaplane, talk with the pilots and participate in the festivities. Thursday's rehearsal "was designed to ensure that the considerable logistical concerns involved in the effort will go off without a hitch," according to festival spokesperson Damon Trimble. The pilots landed on Clear Lake and taxied up ramps normally used by boaters and fishermen. More...

On Thursday, the Eclipse 500 first very light jet (VLJ) made its European debut at AERO 2007 in Friedrichshafen, Germany. According to Eclipse Aviation, this is the first time that the Eclipse 500 has been outside of North America. The twinjet left Eclipse's headquarters in Albuquerque, N.M., on April 14 and flew the North Atlantic route through Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the UK before landing in Friedrichshafen. “Europe is such a great market for the Eclipse 500 because of its superior performance and efficiency to anything else offered today,” noted Eclipse Public Relations Director Andrew Broom. “We already have more than 100 orders throughout this market, and we be lieve that once people in Europe and the UK see it and fly it, we can change the way they travel.” Over the next month, the Eclipse 500 will travel to several countries while attending trade shows and completing sales demo flights before arriving in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 22 for the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition. 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 Briefsback to top 

A Gulfstream V twinjet will be used to track and analyze large plumes of dust and pollution from Asia as they journey across the Pacific Ocean, according to New Scientist. The airplane is expected to start its first research mission this week to monitor the plumes, which affect cloud formation and are believed to contribute to global warming. The Gulfstream will fly at up to FL510 during the research missions, and onboard instruments will monitor plume movement and cloud formation, as well as capture dust, pollutants and cloud particles for more study. “This is the first time that an aircraft with very sophisticated instruments will be following these plumes all the way across the Pacific,” principal researcher Veerabhadran Ramanathan told New Scientist. “There is a gold mine of information out there waiting to be uncovered.” More...

Paula Abdul either overestimated her star power or underestimated the sort of primeval code of conduct that rules when 100 or more people are packed in an aluminum tube, rebreathing each other's air. The American Idol judge's first mistake was to ask for first-class treatment on the successfully proletariat Southwest Airlines by demanding advanced boarding for a flight from San Jose to Burbank, Calif. Her next move was trying to cash in her star credits. When told that advanced boarding was reserved for the old, the very young and infirm, she reportedly said, “But I’m famous! I need to go on first!” according MonstersAndCritics.com's retelling of tabloid accounts. At that point, her fellow passengers reportedly dissolved into laughter with one quipping "You're no Sanjaya," referring to the talent-challenged contestant whose flamboyance carried him to a final 10 berth in the popular reality TV series. Abdul's final indignity was being forced to rub shoulders (not to mention elbows, knees and likely feet) with the less important people in her seat row because the airplane was full and her lame attempt to reserve the seat beside her was immediately overruled by a flight attendant. But while Abdul's antics had her seatmates rolling in the aisle, Heather Mills' impromptu dance routine couldn't break the veil of doom that had settled over the flight she was on. More...

Reason #31 — Look Ma, No Hands
The new Garmin GFC 700 autopilot gives you more hands-free flying control than ever. The flight director is seamlessly integrated into the G1000 glass cockpit and standard on new Skylanes and Stationairs. Letting go never felt so good. For more great reasons, visit CessnaReasons.com.
News Briefsback to top 

The NTSB says the pilot of Piper PA-28 Warrior misjudged his approach to a private airport in Georgetown, Del., on July 26, 2005, but it also suggests the consequences would have been far less grave had a road that passed perpendicular to the threshold been in compliance with FAA standards. The pilot of the Piper said his sink rate was faster than he expected on the approach, so he added power and retracted some flap. It was noted in the report that retracting flap in that flight condition would increase the sink rate. At any rate, as he did so an SUV occupied by a man and his 14-year-old daughter crossed from the left and the aircraft hit the vehicle, killing its occupants. More...

The greatest threat of collision at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport during early April's unprecedented spring snowstorms was apparently from deicing trucks. Associated Press reported last week that no less than three collisions occurred between trucks and airplanes during whiteout conditions at the airport. In one case, the driver of the truck didn't mention that he'd made contact, but the pilots apparently caught it and, as in the other two incidents, all three airplanes returned to the gates so they could be inspected. There's no word on what damage, if any, the incidents caused. 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 In Briefback to top 

S-TEC's autopilot roll servo STC'd for Cirrus SR22s…
EXP5000 PFD course from Flight1 now FITS compliant…
Anywhere Map offers new PDA bundle…
MS Aviation releases online private pilot training course. 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...

Grand Opening Special at PILOTessentials — Complimentary FedEx Ground Shipping on First Purchase!
To celebrate the launch of their new web site, PILOTessentials is offering FedEx Ground shipping at no cost for your first online purchase. PILOTessentials offers super-fast order processing and a 30-day money back guarantee on all its products including aviation headsets, GPS units, aviation transceivers, pilot supplies, and aviation supplies. Shop PILOTessentials today and take advantage of this special offer! Enter promo code PEAVWEBSHIP during checkout. Offer excludes Garmin products.
New on AVwebback to top 

Columns | Features | What's New | Calendar | Brainteasers

If your instructor is not behaving in a professional, respectful manner, then you need a new one. And if you're a CFI with an unprofessional, disrespectful student, don't wait around for things to change. More...

Some parts of the country are much worse than others, but we all have to know about corrosion. More...

AVMAIL: APR. 23, 2007
Reader mail this week about FSS closures, medical certificate duration, user fees and more. 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 

As we pack up and head home from the 33rd Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida, let's take a moment to recap the six exclusive audio interviews we turned into webcasts during the show. Here's the checklist, in case there are any you've missed. 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.
FBO of the Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Augusta Aviation at KDNL in Augusta, Ga.

AVweb readers Jim and Karen Lindemulder says the FBO owners went out of their way to help them.

"Good Friday evening our Skylane experienced multiple instrument failures while flying over Georgia. Control vectored us to Daniel Airport for assistance, where we were met on the ground by the smiling faces of Sherrell and Steven Gay of Augusta Aviation. The Masters Golf tournament was in progress and every hotel and rental car was taken. There were no mechanics available at the late hour and we considered a ferry flight to another facility, but Sherrell could tell by my wife's face that we really needed a night on the ground. She made many personal phone calls and located the last room available 35 miles away and gave us their own truck to get there. When we returned in the morning, their mechanic had already checked out our plane and determined the pitot heater was not working well and allowed ice to form in the lines. We were gratefully humbled when we were told that there was no charge for any of the services, even though we did not buy fuel. We will definitely stop to see them whenever passing through!"

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!


Understanding Your Airplane's Mechanics Could Save Your Bank Account
Light Plane Maintenance is the monthly magazine for aircraft owners who aren't satisfied with just flying. Aircraft repair can be simple when explained in concise, step-by-step details. If you want to truly learn about the workings of your airplane (and save a few dollars, too), Light Plane Maintenance is for you. Order online today and receive "LPM's 40 Top Maintenance Tips" as a gift. Order online today and receive LPM's 40 Top Maintenance Tips as a gift.
AVweb Exclusive Videoback to top 

This week, we're taking a brief hiatus from reader-recommended videos to point out two videos produced on-the-fly (and largely on-the-run) by AVweb's Glenn Pew over the last couple of days at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida. We shot quite a bit of video at the show, so look for more original video content here on AVweb in the next few days. For now, here are a couple of short clips that set the tone for our adventures in vodcasting at the Fly-In. (Click through to watch.) More...

Fly Somewhere! Use AVweb's Calendar of Events
The skies are blue; you and your plane are ready. Check out AVweb's Calendar of Events for an event near you. If you have an event you want folks to know about, post it at no cost on AVweb's Calendar of Events.
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

After 10 years of flying a Twin Comanche, I upgraded to a Beech Baron. With the Beechcraft Pilot Proficiency Program in Lakeland, Fla. under my belt, I advanced the throttles on my first PIC flight into Orlando airspace.

Me: Orlando Approach, Baron Eight Two Four just off Lakeland, five miles to the east, out of 1,200 for 3,500. Would like to coordinate a Class B entry en route to New Smyrna Beach, VFR.

Approach [in a classic southern drawl]: Baron Eight Two Four, this is Tampa Approach, and if you don’t call us Orlando, we won't call you a Piper. Squawk two seven three zero and ident. 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 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.)

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