Having trouble viewing this AVwebFlash newsletter? View it online.
To ensure that you continue to receive this newsletter,
please add avweb@e.avflash.com to your address book.

Volume 13, Number 19b
May 10, 2007
PowerLink™ FADEC Certified on Liberty XL-2; Is It Right for Your Aircraft?
Liberty Aerospace is the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art online.
Top Newsback to top 

The FAA says that the current national airspace system won't be able to handle the expected tripling of air traffic by 2025, and there's generally no disagreement among stakeholders about the need for ATC modernization. But it is how we get there that is the big problem. In opening statements before a hearing Wednesday morning on ATC modernization, House Subcommittee on Aviation Chairman Jerry Costello, D-Ill., brought up the FAA's poor track record of previous ATC modernization projects and promptly added that "vigorous congressional oversight" will be needed for NextGen. DOT Inspector General Calvin Scovel testified that NextGen is a "high-risk effort" that will "involve billion-dollar investments by both the government and airspace users." During questioning, he submitted that the FAA and Joint Planning Development Office (JPDO) need to have a detailed R&D plan developed before Congress can properly appropriate funding for ATC modernization. More...

When the FAA handed off the Flight Service Station system to Lockheed Martin more than a year ago, AOPA supported the change, expecting to see improved service. But last week AOPA officials met with Lockheed to complain about long hold times, disconnects and lost flight plans. "This is not the level of service pilots expect," AOPA's Andy Cebula told Lockheed officials at the meeting. "Lockheed and the FAA must live up to the standards they set." Many of the problems have been blamed on computer glitches and on temporary staff shortages as workers are moved and retrained. Lockheed told AOPA that it plans to work through all these transitions soon, and pilots should see an overall improvement in quality by July. More...

Avidyne has issued a "Mandatory Service Bulletin" (MSB) regarding its "Release 7 upgrade" due in the third quarter for Entegra primary flight displays. The MSB responds to some pilots' apparent interim action of using the displays in combination with Garmin GNS430 units upgraded to WAAS-capable 430W, though the devices are not presently compatible, according to the Avidyne. The software incompatibility is specific to Avidyne's EXP5000 PFD and will be corrected in the Release 7 update due later this year. Avidyne has not yet announced a specific release or a specific price for the Release 7 update. Initial testing of the Garmin GNS430W has shown that EX500 and EX5000 MFD units will eventually function properly together. More...

Use Your AOPA WorldPoints® Rewards World MasterCard Credit Card at Aircraft Spruce
Now with double points! Earn two points for every dollar in net retail purchases at Aircraft Spruce. Choose from among great rewards like cash; travel rewards, including flights on major U.S. airlines with no blackout dates; brand-name merchandise; and gift cards from top retailers. You'll also enjoy no limit to the points you can earn and no annual fee. For information, call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit Aircraft Spruce online.
News Briefsback to top 

Columbia Aircraft this week started to call back workers who were furloughed in March, the company said on Monday. "Essentially, we've spent the past six weeks cleaning house on our production line, upgrading tooling and implementing a number of lean enterprise practices to enhance efficiency," said Columbia vice president of manufacturing Chris Redgrave. The returning employees work in the assembly, upholstery and subassembly departments. Redgrave said he expects to recall the remaining laid-off workers soon. Columbia continues to deliver aircraft at a rate of four per week. More...

Angel Flight America, a well-known national network of nonprofit groups that arrange free flights for people in need, announced this week that it will change its name to Air Charity Network. "We are changing our name to better describe the comprehensive services currently offered through our network as well as those which may be added in the future," incoming Air Charity Network Chairperson Christel Gollnick said. The announcement made no reference to a court decision late last year in which Angel Flight Georgia was granted exclusive use of the name Angel Flight in the Southeast U.S. Air Charity Network helps people in need get life-saving specialized medical care. More...

Announcing the Online MBA for Aviation Professionals
from Daniel Webster College

Did you know that professionals with an MBA earn an average of $10,000 to $30,000 more per year? Within 27 months, you can be one of them!

Daniel Webster College MBA for Aviation Professionals is a fully-accredited, 100%-online program built for the busy schedule of the aviation professional. Being "on the road" is no longer a barrier to career advancement. Call (866) 458-7525 or click here for more information.
News Briefsback to top 

Air traffic controllers at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., were evacuated after smoke and fumes were reported in the tower cab at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The controllers were moved to a nearby backup facility for about three hours while the tower was aired out, and nearby construction equipment, the source of the fumes, was moved away from the tower. About five controllers were taken to the hospital to be checked, according to Kieron Heflin, the facility representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). "We ran operations out of our little ramp tower, but we had no computer connections, no radar, no flight plans. We had radios and yellow legal pads and pencils. It was like working out of a tent," Heflin told AVweb. He said some aircraft were delayed, but as far as he knows there were no cancellations. "The computers that would keep track of all that weren't available, so I don't really know," he said. More...

Imagine if you worked as a pilot for an outfit that was actually a secret project of the Central Intelligence Agency -- shouldn't you be eligible for a federal pension when it comes time to retire? That's what pilots and others who worked for Air America during the Vietnam War are claiming. The U.S. government has acknowledged that Air America was a "wholly owned subsidiary of the CIA," according to the Los Angeles Times, but employees at the time were told only that they were working on behalf of an unnamed "client." Pilots for Air America's 200 or so aircraft carried medical supplies and weapons, and flew other dangerous missions throughout Southeast Asia during the war. In the famous photograph of refugees climbing to a rooftop to be evacuated during the fall of Saigon, those helicopters were flown not by the military but by Air America pilots. More...

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.
News Briefsback to top 

Owners and operators of aircraft built by Beech Aircraft Corporation and its descendants have two major milestones to celebrate at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., this July. Special activities, flights and exhibits will mark the 75th anniversary of Beechcraft and the 60th anniversary of the Beechcraft Bonanza. The festivities will include a mass arrival of scores of Bonanzas on Saturday, July 21. On Sunday evening, pilots and owners of all Beechcraft models are invited to join all those Bonanza fliers, along with Hawker Beechcraft's own house band, the "Sons of Beech," in the North 40 aircraft camping area for a barbecue and celebration. "There is no better place to honor Beechcraft's contributions than at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, where the whole world of aviation gathers each year to celebrate the passion, devotion, and ingenuity that the love of flight inspires," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. More...

NASA and the FAA on Wednesday agreed to work together on an education project that aims to foster the development of students' skills in science, technology, engineering and math. Their first undertaking is a NASA curriculum called "Smart Skies," an online air traffic control simulator for grades 5 through 9. It introduces students to the concepts of controlling air traffic while teaching them skills in math and problem-solving. The effort will contribute to the development of a diverse, qualified aviation and space workforce for the future, according to NASA. Air traffic controllers at FAA's Oakland, Calif., facility helped to develop the program. More...

Meridian. Mirage. Pressurized Comfort. Pure Performance.
Turboprop or piston, your choice in pressurized comfort.
Meridian: 500 hp turboprop; maximum cruise speed - 260 ktas; range - 1,000 nm; useful load - 1,720 pounds; maximum altitude - 30,000 feet.
Mirage: Turbocharged 350 hp piston engine; maximum cruise speed - 213 ktas; range - 1,345 nm; useful load - 1,245 pounds; maximum altitude - 25,000 feet.
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 Briefsback to top 

A Philippines air force UH-1H Huey was carrying four people over the central island of Cebu when it crashed April 28 on a public street with nylon kite string entangled below its main rotor. Seven people on the ground were killed, as were two of the helicopter's crew. Lieutenant General Horacio Tolentino said a captain aboard the helicopter told him the aircraft was flying perfectly just before landing, and "there was no problem with the engine ... [the kite string] caused the stoppage of the rotor," he told ABC news. Though terrorists have used kites as anti-helicopter tactical weapons in the past, and kite flying is banned in the area, the general said last week that in this instance no blame was being assigned as no malice was intended. More...

If the thought of kite strings and blimp tethers sharing your airspace gives you the jitters, just imagine if this project comes true -- the deployment of massive wind generators in the jet stream, with cables stretching thousands of feet to the surface. The generators would take advantage of the high speeds of winds aloft to create electricity. Just a tiny fraction of the power available there could provide all of the world's energy needs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Bob Thresher, of the U.S. Department of Energy, told the Chronicle that the biggest obstacles may not be technical, but financial. "There's a tremendous advantage in going up [toward the jet stream] because there's much more energetic winds," he said. However, "you have to be able do it very cheaply because the cost of [ground-based] wind energy has come down so dramatically, it's becoming competitive with conventional sources." More...

When It Comes to Aircraft Insurance, the Choice Is Easy
The AOPA Insurance Agency is the only agency offering the built-in expertise of AOPA's 66+ years' commitment to general aviation and the only agency qualified to carry the AOPA name. 411,000+ pilots trust AOPA, so why call anyone else? One call to the AOPA Insurance Agency and you'll have multiple quotes from major A-rated underwriters in minutes. Call AOPA Insurance Agency for a complimentary quote at (800) 622-2672, or go online.
News In Briefback to top 

Senators Daniel Inouye and Ted Stevens have signed on to alternative FAA reauthorization bill...
CAF’s upgraded B-24 will be unveiled Saturday morning in Midland, Texas...
An AA-5B pilot was "wrestling" with a passenger when they crashed, NTSB said...
National Institute for Aviation Research opened a new lab in Wichita...
AeroPalm now has terrain and conflict information...
24 pilots have completed Eclipse 500 type training, 26 more in pipeline…
Quest Aircraft hired Steve Zaat as director of customer service. 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...

Garmin 396 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
How does the Garmin 396 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM Weather? Call (866) 443-3342 or Check out this link to find out. For more information, call (866) 443-3342.
New On AVwebback to top 

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

Uh oh! You've discovered some ferrous metal in your oil filter, and the oil analysis lab reports a big spike in iron. Is it time to panic? More...

AVweb (and you) ride along with Michael Mancuso as he flies his precision formation routine with Matt Chapman. The video includes narration by Mancuso, who briefed us after the show. (Click through to watch.) More...

Upside-Down — Now What? Don't Become a Statistic
Loss of Control In-Flight remains the leading cause of aviation accidents worldwide. Customized GA courses optimize pilot awareness, recognition, and recovery skills in all upset scenarios. APS Emergency Maneuver Training, the leading provider of upset recovery and stall/spin awareness training, delivers rewarding turn-key programs. Integrate 10,000 hours of specialized upset recovery expertise into your safety training today. Call (866) 359-4273 or get Upset Recovery Training info online.
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 Monday'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.


Featured AVweb Marketplace Ad: AircraftCostAnalysis
AircraftCostAnalysis calculates aircraft before- and after-tax ownership costs for business and individual owners, joint ownership, charter and rental leasebacks, managed aircraft, commercial, fractional, charter, helicopters, and Ag. Request sample reports.
For contact information regarding this ad and to view more ads, click here.
Question Of The Weekback to top 

Attendance seemed to be down this year at Sun 'n Fun, so we'd like to know about your plans for EAA AirVenture. Are you planning on attending the annual air festival in Oshkosh in July? Tell us. Plus: Find out what AVweb readers had to say about the quality of AFSS post-consolidation, in the results report from last week's poll. More...

Safety Equipment — Add Aviation Safety to Your MEL
A Minimum Equipment List is not complete without a subscription to Aviation Safety. Discover this informative, instructive monthly publication that sharpens your air readiness. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
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!


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." The volume of "POTW" submissions that arrive in our box each week continues to fluctuate as the weather warms up here in the U.S. — but, by happy coincidence, every time the number of photos drops off, the quality goes through the roof. This week was no exception, with only 54 photos finding their way to us. Thankfully, there's no shortage of oohs and ahs in this week's batch, starting with a fantastic (if unsettling) weather photo from Philip Clifton of Raleigh, North Carolina. (Do yourself a favor and click through to view Philip's photo full-size — there was just too much majesty to fit into our tiny little "winner" box here.) 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) 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.