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Volume 13, Number 19a
May 7, 2007
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Top Newsback to top 

A compromise bill on FAA budget reauthorization is meeting swift -- and predictable -- opposition from the aviation sector it hits hardest. The National Business Aviation Association has come out swinging against the bill proposed by Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., that would shift all of the burden of general aviation user fees to smaller turbine aircraft. "It is regrettable that at a critical point in our transformation to the Next Generation Air Traffic System, the bill is proposing a sharp pivot away from a proven funding structure toward the foreign-style user fees that have been so harmful to small aircraft operators outside the U.S," NBAA President Ed Bolen said in a news release. AOPA was more conciliatory, but nonetheless opposed to the principles involved in the bill. More...

Air traffic controllers at the New York terminal radar approach control center (TRACON) are asking for criminal charges to be filed against the FAA after they say they were forced to remain at their consoles despite exhibiting what appeared to be symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to WABC, controllers reported being disoriented and sleepy after diesel fumes from a test of the center’s backup generator got into the building’s ventilation system. They claim the center manager ordered them to keep working traffic, even though some said they could barely keep their eyes open. "I remember just being extremely fatigued ... very tired, very sleepy. It took a lot to stay awake that night," controller Ray Maldonado told the TV station. Several controllers went to a nearby hospital after their shift and carbon monoxide was found in their blood. WABC says the FAA is conducting an internal investigation. The FAA did not reply to AVweb’s request for comment on Friday. More...

Although the company has never actually said it’s planning to move, the talk around Vero Beach, Fla., seems to accept it as inevitable that the area’s largest employer, Piper Aircraft, is heading for greener (as in more tax-friendly) pastures for its PiperJet manufacturing facility. According to TCPalm, local economic development officials confirmed this week that they are actively trying to dissuade Piper from heading to communities like Tallahassee, Fla., Albuquerque, N.M., Columbia, S.C. and Oklahoma City, all of which are reportedly trying to lure the firm and its future very light jet factory. "The team has been meeting for several months to create an incentive package to keep Indian River County's largest employer at their current location as well as to locate their new jet facility here," local chamber of commerce president Penny Chandler said in a news release. "The company is evaluating locations for its headquarters and aviation manufacturing facility." A Piper spokesman did not reply to AVweb’s request for comment. More...

Garmin StreetPilot c330 Auto GPS Special — $259.99
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News Briefsback to top 

The actual circumstances may never be known, but the NTSB is inviting speculation that the pilot of Beech 58 Baron might have been performing aerobatics, perhaps even trying to roll the aircraft, before it was seen shedding parts and crashing near Hamilton, Ga., on April 22. The pilot and all four passengers died. The only witness was a boater who, according to the preliminary report, heard an aircraft approaching and told investigators it “sounded as if the pilot was performing some acrobatic maneuvers.” Shortly after he said he heard the engine noise increase in intensity and he watched as either a wing or part of the tail came off as the airplane dove at a steep angle. But it’s what acquaintances of the pilot told investigators that have led to the possible theory that intentional aerobatics preceded the in-flight breakup. More...

The FAA has issued proposed design criteria for a modern and much smaller incarnation of the famous Zeppelin airship. Built by the same German company that brought us the Hindenburg, among others, in the early part of the 20th century, Zeppelin LZ N07 builds on the hard-won knowledge about safe operation of the aircraft. The newest version first flew in 1997 and is designed as a multi-mission aircraft that can carry up to 12 passengers and two crew. The U.S. and Germany already had bilateral certification requirements for rigid airships, but because Germany elected to certify this new airship in a “commuter” category, the FAA apparently has to rewrite its requirements. More...

"Only PIC Kept Us at the Lowest Rate." — The Aviation Consumer, Feb 2007 Issue
Pilot Insurance Center is an industry leader at providing life insurance protection to pilots and their families. PIC has convinced insurance companies that most pilots needn't pay higher life premiums just because they fly. Read the complete Aviation Consumer article on PIC's web site.

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News Briefsback to top 

A new manufacturer of composite aircraft hopes to tap the skilled labor pool of a former textile producing area to build aircraft and parts in Morganton, N.C. As AVweb reported from Sun 'n Fun two weeks ago, VX Aerospace intends to produce a four-place, four-door high-wing aircraft called the FX-300 and help kitbuilders assemble a low-wing Commanche lookalike called the Ravin. The company will also make composite components used in the defense industry. The FX-300 will be sold in kit form initially, but the company intends to build a certified version in the future. More...

The widow of a New Zealand pilot says the 2005 crash of their Seawind kit-built amphibian on Lake Taupo had nothing to do with the “sticky tape” repair job her husband did on the front landing gear doors and baggage hatch hours before the accident. Bormanm, 60, died of his injuries a day after the Seawind flipped while taking off. His wife Noeleene suffered only minor injuries and told the New Zealand Herald the accident occurred because the plane hit a boat wake just after lifting off. But investigators with the Civil Aviation Authority say the aircraft was “technically and legally unserviceable” when the accident occurred and that Borman’s apparent mindset in attempting the flight was also a factor. More...

Thousands of Classifieds, Updated Daily
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News Briefsback to top 

A small town just northwest of New York City is grappling with the fate of a beloved but problematic landmark, social touchstone and nostalgia piece in one of its most prominent parks. The former National Guard F-86 has been a fixture in the Village of Monroe, N.Y., for 44 years after three local men hauled it 200 miles from Rome, N.Y., where it had been retired. In fact, the locals call the patch of greenspace where it resides Airplane Park, rather than the correct official name of Ford R. Dally Park, after the park's superintendant who spearheaded the project in 1963. The old Sabre has served as a piece of playground equipment (the cockpit was open and kids could play inside until it was filled with cement in 1980s) and an important geographical marker for giving directions (take a left at the airplane) but more recently its main purpose has become, as the Times Herald-Record newspaper put it, “a billboard for teenage pronouncements of love: "I (heart) Drew," "I (heart) Reener," and "Jerry (heart)'s Lisa." It’s also considered enough of a hazard that the park was closed last fall. More...

An Alaska judge has dismissed manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges against a pilot whose floatplane crashed into a lake in 2005, killing a teenager from South Africa. Mark Schroeder, 17, survived the crash but drowned. Pilot Kurt Steenehjem and three other passengers aboard the four-place Maule made it to an ice floe and were rescued. Schroeder sat in the baggage area of the airplane and was the only one not wearing a seat belt and life vest. According to The Anchorage Daily News, it’s believed to have been the first case in which a grand jury has accepted criminal charges against a pilot for a crash in Alaska, but Superior Court Judge ruled that prosecutors gave incorrect evidence to the jury and then failed to give proper guidance of the relevance of other evidence, creating the impression that Steenehjem was “a scofflaw.” The FAA issued an emergency revocation of Steenehjem’s pilot certificate after the crash, citing numerous safety violations on the flight, factors the dead teen’s mother Lesley Schroeder McLean said should have been recognized by the court. 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 

Some high-profile speakers have confirmed their attendance at the Commemorative Air Force’s 50th Anniversary celebration in Las Vegas July 9 to July 11 at Caesar’s Palace. Oliver North and Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, are the keynote speakers at the CAF’s National Patriotic Rally. CAF spokeswoman Kay Crites told Avweb in an interview that the event is dedicated to “honoring America’s legacy of freedom” and recognizes the contribution and sacrifice of Americans who have served their country in that pursuit. “All we want to do is let the men and women who are serving … our country know that we appreciate them,” Crites said. More...

A California man who apparently believes he had a right to privacy in one of the least private environments imaginable, the cabin of an airliner, will likely face jail time for trying to protect that right. Carl William Persing was convicted of interfering with flight attendants and crewmembers on a trip from LAX to Raleigh, N.C., last year. According to a criminal complaint quoted by The Associated Press, Persing and his girlfriend Dawn Elizabeth Sewell were "embracing, kissing and acting in a manner that made other passengers uncomfortable," and when crewmembers asked them to stop, Persing threatened them. 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 

Astronaut Wally Schirra died at 84…
Top Gun voted top aviation movie of all time…
Union said Rome, N.Y., facility temporarily closed due to staffing…
FAA might demand money back for rejected Myrtle Beach terminal. 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...

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.
New On AVwebback to top 

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

Back in the old days pilots smoked, flight attendants were "girls" and you could actually lay about during layovers. Now the only evidence of that time is in museums. More...

AVMAIL: MAY 7, 2007
Reader mail this week about weather, GPS, Automated Flight (non)-Service Stations and more. More...

Dual Antenna Traffic Systems Simply Perform Better
Avidyne's dual-antenna TAS600 Systems detect other aircraft sooner and more accurately, avoiding the shadowing effects inherent with single-antenna systems. TAS600s actively interrogate other aircraft, providing timely alerts and precise locations of conflicting traffic. Starting at just $9,990, the dual-antenna TAS600 provides full-time protection and higher performance. When it comes to safety, you want to see the whole picture. Go online for details.
AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listeningback to top 


AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear an interview with Air Journey's Thierry Pouille. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Epic Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; Cessna's Jack Pelton; Embraer's Ernest Edwards; LAMA's Dan Johnson; Piper's Jim Bass; DayJet's Ed Iacobucci; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster; Avfuel's Craig Sincock; Comp Air's Ron Lueck; and VistaNav's Jeff Simon. In today's special podcast, hear Kay Crites of the Commemorative Air Force. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.


Know WAAS Up With Your Garmin?
Announcing Volume 2 of the VFLITE™ GNS 530W/430W Advanced Training Series. Use it to leverage all the new functions the WAAS-enabled GNS 500W/400W series offer. It's real computer-based training that lets you become proficient with procedures while at the comfort — and safety — of your computer's desktop. On sale now for only $99. VFLITE programs also available for the classic Garmin GNS 530/430; GPSMap 496, 396, 296, and 196. Order online today.
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to St. Thomas Municipal Airport at CYQS in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada.

AVweb reader C. Moon says he visited the FBO twice and was impressed both times.

"I've visited St. Thomas, Ontario, twice, and both times I've received first-class service -- in one case beyond expectation. The first time the starter gear on my Cardinal sheared, grounding my copilot and I late on a Sunday afternoon. The airport was deserted, save for the manager. Rather than have me call my wife to make a 100-mile pickup journey, he pulled a 172 out of the hangar and had us on the way immediately. No fuss, no paperwork, no check ride. And no 100-mile car ride back with a less-than-pleased spouse. Last Sunday I paid a return visit. The crew car was made available to my wife and I for the entire afternoon to tour the area. No charge and no paperwork, just a friendly greeting and hand over of the keys. We will return again. This airport operates as a model of how one dreams what personal flying can be."

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!


If You Live in One of These States, Mike Busch Is Coming to a Town Near You
Massachusetts, Georgia, New Mexico, and Oklahoma are states where Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar. In one information-packed weekend, you will learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving thousands on maintenance costs, year after year. For complete details, and to reserve your space, click here.
Video Of The Weekback to top 

"Ever wonder how they trim the trees around power lines?" That's the question YouTube user daveyonce answers for us in this week's video clip. (Click through to watch.) More...

No Cute Cartoons, No Fancy Covers, IFR Magazine Brings You the Facts
IFR magazine has insightful facts to polish your proficiency, updates on changing regs, and articles that help keep your decision-making skills sharp in the demanding IFR environment. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
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 flying through Boston Approach's airspace one Sunday evening:

Boston Approach: Piper Four Five Mike, are you a single or twin?

Piper 45M: I am a single with twin envy.

Boston: Say again?

Piper 45M (slightly wistfulsounding): Piper Four Five Mike is a single-engine piston.


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).

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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