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Volume 13, Number 20a
May 14, 2007
 
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Top Newsback to top 
 
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POLICE BLAME PILOTS FOR BRAZIL COLLISION
Brazilian police say the failure of two New York pilots to notice that the transponder aboard their Embraer Legacy 600 bizjet was not working amounts to the criminal offense of "placing a vessel or aircraft in jeopardy" and are, according to a Brazilian newspaper, recommending prosecution. Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino were delivering the Legacy from the factory to their employer, ExcelAire of New York, last Sept. 29 when the left winglet and part of the tail struck a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800. The airliner crashed, killing all 154 onboard, while Paladino and Lepore were able to land the damaged Embraer at a military base in the Amazon jungle. The pilots have steadfastly maintained (and radio transcripts appear to support) that they were at the altitude assigned by air traffic control. More...

CONTROLLERS SHARE BLAME IN BRAZIL MIDAIR, TOO
It now appears that at least three Brazilian air traffic controllers could be charged with involuntary manslaughter for their role in the collision between an Embraer Legacy 600 bizjet and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737, which killed all 154 aboard the Boeing last Sept. 29. Earlier reports from Brazil said a federal police investigation ignored air traffic control’s involvement because ATC is run by the military in Brazil and it would do its own investigation. But a fresh report from the Sao Paulo newspaper O Estado, quoted by Newsday, says the police probe has implicated three of the 10 controllers who were on duty at the time of the collision. More...

GROUPS FEAR EFFECT OF PILOT PROSECUTION
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) are calling on Brazil’s federal police to drop criminal charges against two American pilots, in part because of concerns about the effect of the prosecution on future crash investigations. Jan Paladino and Joe Lepore, who flew the Embraer 600 that collided with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 over Brazil last Sept. 29, will likely face charges based on their alleged failure to notice that their transponder wasn’t working. In a joint news release, NBAA and FSF say the charges are premature because the crash investigation isn’t complete. They also say the decision to pursue criminal charges could put a chill on accident investigations, not only in Brazil but all over the world. "We are deeply concerned that the criminalization of the investigation into the tragic accident of September 2006 could have a negative impact on aviation safety worldwide,” FSF CEO Bill Voss said. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

LOCKHEED MARTIN WANTS MORE FSS MONEY
Lockheed Martin is looking for a 10-percent increase in the fees it's being paid to take over flight services. According to a report from the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General, the company, which was awarded a $1.8 billion contract to assume the function, says it's owed another $177 million, mostly because the FAA didn't supply accurate labor cost information. Lockheed Martin's claims are now being assessed. Meanwhile, the DOT OIG also reported that the FAA has fined Lockheed Martin $9 million for failure to live up to service and performance guarantees. Pilots in the Washington, D.C., area have recently complained that FSS changes have resulted in a sharp increase in dropped flight plans and that briefers, some of whom were in California, didn't know the procedures for operations in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that surrounds the capital. The OIG is now preparing a report on FSS operations that will be released later this month. More...

CIRRUS ISSUES SERVICE BULLETIN AFTER CONTROL JAM
Last week Cirrus issued a mandatory Service Bulletin that requires the replacement of some control system parts that, in specific cross control circumstances, can cause the rudder and aileron controls to jam. The Service Bulletin was issued a month after the controls jammed on a relatively new SR20 as a student pilot was lining up for takeoff at Leesburg, Va. According to the NTSB report, the student had applied full right rudder and full left aileron and both systems locked. His instructor aborted the takeoff safely. Investigators found control system parts tangled together and were able to repeat the jamming action. In its Service Bulletin, Cirrus calls for new parts that will prevent the entanglement and it also notes that the jamming has never been reported in aircraft with properly rigged controls. However, the relatively simple fix for the technical issue could affect a lawsuit stemming from the crash of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle’s SR20 last October. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

FAA FACT SHEET PROMOTES AVIATION USER FEES
The FAA is painting a dismal picture of its own performance in an unvarnished attempt to gather support for its controversial proposed aviation user-fee funding system. In a fact sheet released last week, the agency ties the funding package directly to modernization of airspace management, which has been nicknamed NextGen. “The Administration’s NextGen Financing Reform Act, sent to Congress in February, will provide a stable, cost-based revenue stream to fund the transition to NextGen,” the fact sheet reads. “The current tax system expires Sept. 30, so Congress must act now.” Without airspace modernization, the fact sheet warns, the system “will reach gridlock by 2015.” More...

FOUNDER SUING COLUMBIA AIRCRAFT
Columbia Aircraft founder Lance Neibauer is suing his former company for severance and for payment for rights to manufacturing processes he invented when he owned the firm. The company, which makes the certified Columbia 350 and 400 high performance aircraft (and is not to be confused with Lancair, the kit-build company Neibauer also founded) was taken over by its principal investor, the Malaysian government, and Neibauer was kept on as an employee until he was terminated in April 2006. Six months later, according to the Bend Bulletin, Neibauer launched a lawsuit claiming severance of $1.55 million. And in a separate action, launched in the last few weeks, Neibauer is claiming Columbia owes him $100,000 and $400,000 more over the next four years under an agreement signed in 2002. More...

EUROPEAN UNION TO RESCUE GALILEO
It looks like Europe’s space-based navigation system will be government operated after the consortium of companies that were to build and run it effectively quit the project on Thursday. The consortium, led by Airbus parent EADS, had until May 10 to come up with a plan to get the Galileo project back on track and working toward deployment. But, according to Reuters, the consortium was plagued by infighting and nervous of the $3 billion cost so it let the deadline pass. Shortly thereafter, European Union Transport Commission head Michele Cercone said the government would take over the project. More...

 
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News Briefsback to top 
 

PALM SPRINGS TRACON MOVE IGNITES DEBATE
The FAA seems intent on closing the Palm Springs, Calif., terminal radar approach control (TRACON) in three weeks despite unusually strong public and political opposition. It intends to transfer the workload to the Southern California TRACON near San Diego on June 6. In recent weeks, local, state and federal politicians have asked the FAA to reconsider, citing safety concerns, and there's even a bill pending in the House that would outlaw the move.According to the Desert Sun, a public meeting on Thursday, in which opposition was virtually unanimous, apparently failed to move FAA officials, who insist service will improve. "If you stand back from the emotional for just a second and you look at the facts of what level of service is going to be provided, it's going to be a vast improvement," Walter White, SoCal TRACON's support manager for airspace and procedures, said at the meeting. But opponents say closing Palm Springs will add a specialized workload to the San Diego facility that it's not staffed or trained to handle. More...

WARNING SYSTEM MIGHT CURB OBSTACLE COLLISIONS
Two Norwegian pilots have developed a system to warn pilots if they’re on a collision course with obstacles like cell towers, wind turbines, radio masts or just about any other thing that sticks up in the air. The difference with this system is that it’s the obstacle itself that broadcasts the warning and there’s no need for additional equipment on the airplane to receive it. According to the Innovations Report, pilots Rolf Bakken and Morten Mork came up with the idea in 1999 and worked with SINTEF to develop it. The heart of the system is smart radar that can tell if an aircraft is on a collision course with an obstacle. 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 
 

PHENOM 100 VLJ PRICE RISES
If you’re waffling on which very light jet suits you best, Embraer has 130,000 reasons for you to make up your mind by July 1. That’s when the price of its Phenom 100 four-passenger (six-place) jet will go from $2.85 million to $2.98 million (January 2005 dollars). That puts the actual outlay for the Brazilian VLJ a touch over $3 million. The news release announcing the price hike did not explain the reason, though the company did say it has a combined total of 400 orders for the Phenom 100 and its larger stablemate, the Phenom 300. More...

SPOKANE FBO SUES FOR NEW QUARTERS
Spokane Airways is taking Spokane International Airport and its board of directors to court, claiming the airport owes it new digs to replace the buildings it was forced to vacate to make way for a new control tower. According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the FBO says its deal with the airport stipulates that if it has to move, it’s up to the airport to find comparable space. The business, which has about 100 employees, occupied six buildings that have to be demolished to clear sight lines for the new tower, which opens in August. The company was moved to smaller quarters and says its lease requires "relocation or substitution of other premises be at the expense of the [Airport] Board." The airport says that lease was “legally terminated” and suggests the demand is excessive. More...

 
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News In Briefback to top 
 

ON THE FLY
Banyan Air Service holding customer appreciation day June 2…
Cirrus’s G3 Turbos come with air conditioning…
More investigations in carbon monoxide incident at TRACON…
Air Force says UAV sense-and-avoid systems are close. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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...

AVWEBBIZ: AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
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, 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.
 
New On AVwebback to top 
 

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

PELICAN'S PERCH #85: WHERE ARE THE EYES?
As AVweb readers know, John Deakin loves to get precision out of his airplane using instruments. But not when VFR near an airport. More...

PROBABLE CAUSE #32: INCOMPLETE BRIEFING
Complicated weather patterns demand a full and complete weather briefing for anything but a casual flight in the airport vicinity. Here's why. More...

 
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.
 
AVweb-Exclusive Audio And Video Newsback to top 
 

AVWEB AUDIO NEWS

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 Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Air Journey's Thierry Pouille; 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 David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac Airfield, talk about AFSS problems. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.

More...

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO PREVIEW OF CESSNA'S NGP PROOF-OF-CONCEPT AIRCRAFT FROM SUN 'N FUN 2007
Glenn Pew speaks with Cessna vice president of propeller aircraft sales, John Doman, about the company's Next Generation Piston proof-of-concept (NGP POC) aircraft. More...

 
Pilot Journey Isn't Just for Students & Instructors; There's Something for Everyone
You know Pilot Journey's Discovery Flight program converting leads to students. However, all pilots can find something at Pilot Journey: Pilot e-mail accounts, pilot eCards; a pilot cruise with seminars; AvCareers, where position wanted and positions available are listed; and much more. Pilot Journey is the pilot's choice online.
 
FBO Of The Weekback to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: MILLION AIR KHHR

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Million Air at KHHR in Hawthorne, Calif.

AVweb reader Steve Hamerslag couldn't say enough good things about this facility.

"This is a new FBO on the field. When I arrived the ramp personnel were waiting to help with securing the aircraft. I was offered a short lift on their cart to the office, but I elected to walk the short distance. Upon entering the lobby I was helped immediately and efficiently. I was planning on taking a cab to my destination five miles away, but they insisted that they take me in their courtesy van. They even have a free soda machine on top of the normal coffee and tea. When I was departing, the line crew helped remove the chocks and offered me a cold bottled water as I did my walk around. Million Air KHHR has very friendly and efficient staff. The fuel was even reasonably priced!"

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!

More...

 
Choose the Flight Explorer Edition Right for You
Flight Explorer is an information system tracking commercial and general aviation flights. With the Flight Explorer Personal Edition, view air traffic for the U.S., Canada, or New Zealand and monitor and display real-time delay information, TFRs, SUAs, and more. With the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition, view weather along a route, receive alerts with your preliminary flight plan, and have an e-mail sent to someone on departure or arrival. Click here for more information and to subscribe
 
Video Of The Weekback to top 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: AGROROTORS HELICOPTER POWER LINE MAINTENANCE
Man's best friend is the dog, but the electric companies' best friend may well be the helicopter. Last week, we saw how helicopters do thankless jobs like tree-trimming around power lines. This week, let's take a look at some other (pretty impressive) line maintenance that could only be done with the assistance of pilots. (Click through to watch.) More...

 
The Lighter Side Of Flightback to top 
 

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

There is an approach into San Francisco (KSFO) known as the Quiet Bridge Visual. During this approach, commercial operators fly to the bridge and match up with another aircraft for the parallel runway.

NorCal Approach: United Four Five Three, report traffic 10 o’clock one mile, a Skywest Brasilia in sight, and slow to one seven zero.

United 453: Traffic, bridge, airport, parking lot, and my car in sight.

NorCal: United Four Five Three, roger, cleared for the visual two eight right, enjoy your days off, contact tower. More...

 
Names Behind The Newsback to top 
 

MEET THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM

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).

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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