AVwebFlash Complete Issue: Volume 13, Number 43a

October 22, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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The Rare Accident That Ends "Well" back to top 

Midair Collision Ends Happily

There were no injuries in the midair collision of a Cessna 152 and a Piper Saratoga five miles out of Republic Airport on Long Island early Sunday evening. Airport spokesman Gary Lewi told Newsday that the two aircraft, both based at Republic, “bumped” each other about 6:15 p.m. while they were both heading back to the airport. The Saratoga lost about a foot of wing, causing a fuel leak, while the Cessna had wing and windshield damage. Both landed uneventfully (except for all those trucks on the runway). The pilot was the only person on board the Cessna and there were two people in the Saratoga. The Saratoga lost a landing light, which fell into the yard of a home under construction in Dix Hills, and there were no injuries on the ground. Lewi said the pilot of the Saratoga reported he had no problem controlling the aircraft. The airport remained open during the drama as both damaged aircraft were cleared to land on the same runway, leaving a second runway open for other traffic.

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Quotes reprinted with permission. Aviation Consumer, August 2007.
Environmental Concerns back to top 

Environment Department Looks At De-Icing Fluid

Alaska’s environment department is considering regulating the cleanup of “spills” of propylene glycol, the most common chemical de-icing fluid used on aircraft. Aviation groups are monitoring the progress of the proposed legislation and some individuals are questioning the point of the new law, which doesn’t address the hundreds of thousands of gallons of the chemical sprayed on aircraft every year that almost immediately drips on the ground. "What's the difference between spilling and dripping?" pilot Woody Richardson wondered in a recent interview with the Anchorage Daily News. Propylene glycol is considered much less toxic than ethylene glycol, the main constituent of automotive antifreeze and another common deicer. Last winter, 380,000 gallons of propylene glycol and 114,000 gallons of ethylene glycol were used to de-ice aircraft at Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport and while some of it is collected onsite, most drains into Cook Inlet. Some gets into Lake Hood. But while almost 500,000 gallons of the chemicals are dissipated into the local environment each year, the proposed law would only require an industrial clean-up response in the event of a “significant event” such as a truck turning over and losing its load on the ground.

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Aircraft Taxes back to top 

West Virginia Ponders Aircraft Tax Exemption

More than half of the corporate aircraft that were once based in West Virginia have relocated since the imposition of a state property tax that includes aircraft. That’s prompted the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission to push for legislation that would exempt corporate and other aircraft from the tax. Before the tax, there were 23 corporate aircraft in the state, including one that was exempt because it belongs to a college. “Now there are 11 and the one is still exempt,” Commission Chairman Richard Wachtel told the Cumberland Times News. “It’s obvious we are losing corporate aircraft to the states surrounding us which have little or no corporate personal property tax.” A bill to exempt aircraft from the tax was introduced in the state legislature last year but failed, largely due to opposition from tax assessors. Wachtel said the bill will be re-introduced in the next session and he’s hoping the aviation community can convince state officials to support its passage. “Especially talk to the assessors; I’m convinced the assessors don’t understand the issue and the importance of keeping aircraft based in the state,” Wachtel said.

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News Briefs back to top 

Criminal Reference In TFRs Rankles AOPA

AOPA says it's concerned about a not-so-subtle change in the wording of the text descriptions of temporary flight restrictions (TFRs). The FAA is now warning pilots they could be held criminally responsible for violating TFRs. AOPA says the agency has always had that ability but seeing it in black and white raises the specter that those powers will actually be employed. AOPA President Phil Boyer has written the FAA asking that pilots who accidentally bust TFRs not face criminal proceedings. "Security-related flight restrictions can occur virtually anywhere in the country with little advance notice. It is not uncommon that the average pilot has to pick through pages and pages of irrelevant and unrelated NOTAMs to find these important airspace restrictions," Boyer wrote to acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell. The new passage in the TFRs seems to stress that criminal action will follow only if the pilot violates the TFR on purpose. "Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the rules concerning operations in this airspace is subject to certain criminal penalties under 49 USC 46307," the passage reads.

Eclipse Lays Off Workers

The 100 to 150 employees recently laid off by Eclipse, almost all serving in positions necessary to begin production, were mostly temporary employees and only a handful of "direct" employees were affected, according to Eclipse spokesman Andrew Broom. The staff reduction amounts to roughly 10 percent of Eclipse's near-1,500 person workforce that is currently churning out about one aircraft each day, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Speaking for Albuquerque, which offered Eclipse incentives to set up shop and bring jobs to the area and holds Eclipse as an example of the city's high-tech industry, Mayor Martin Chavez told NBC, "They are contractors and it's what they do for a living." He added, "The job base in Albuquerque is really rich right now, so they'll be fine." Eclipse had initially hoped to have production levels up to two jets per day by now. Certain developmental and certification issues have caused delays.

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News Briefs back to top 

Jump Out -- Not Usually The Best Plan

... But when the airplane you're flying is loaded with chemicals and fuel and headed at a very low altitude directly at a hillside, apparently one's brain might concoct that jumping out is a reasonable option. Reports from South Africa say that ag-pilot Johan Foley found himself facing that particular set of circumstances when the crop-dusting aircraft he was flying began having engine trouble. Foley's mental computations of the situation apparently led to his decision to depart the aircraft when it was barely above the ground and just before it crashed.

So, here's the report card: The aircraft struck the hillside and exploded; Foley, age 29, ended up in the hospital "slightly injured" with "a neck injury," according to Independent Online. AVweb was unable to verify the specific model of aircraft involved. Don't try this at home.

Apartment Crash Pilot Was WWII Vet

A World War II Lancaster bomber pilot, with more than 60 years of flying experience, has been identified as the pilot of a Piper Seneca that crashed into the ninth floor of a Vancouver-area apartment building on Friday. Peter Garrison (no, not the technical guy from Flying Magazine), 82, of nearby Maple Ridge, B.C., was the lone occupant of the aircraft that plowed through the balcony window of the luxury condo. Two occupants of the home were injured. Garrison had been involved in another accident last year and the Seneca had just recently been repaired. Canadian Transportation Safety Board regional manager Bill Yearwood told reporters Saturday that Garrison had clipped a fence on landing and the gear collapsed in what he called a "minor incident" last year. Investigators still aren't sure what caused the aircraft to apparently go out of control just after takeoff from Vancouver International Airport about 4:10 p.m. on Friday but there was no explosion or post-crash fire.

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News Briefs back to top 

Kosher Carry-On Sparks Complaints

Passenger complaints about airline food usually fall on deaf ears but when a pilot and flight attendant joined the chorus about a Columbus family’s choice of carry-on cuisine, it raised a big stink. Robert Blum told The Associated Press that a pilot and flight attendant threatened to throw him and his family off the United Air Lines flight from Denver to Columbus if they didn’t get rid of the kosher fish dinner they were enjoying. Other passengers had apparently complained about the smell (remember, those vents just recirculate the air) and the crew members sided with them. Blum said he and his family, Orthodox Jews, were humiliated by the incident and called it a case of discrimination. The airline is apologizing to the Blums but it’s not clear whether it will discipline the crew members for their “inappropriate” behavior.

On the Fly ...

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association will hold a news conference today to release figures on staffing levels, which it claims are at a dangerous low ... .

The Department of Transportation says it wants to reduce flights into New York’s Kennedy Airport by 20 percent next summer to ease delays. About 100 flights an hour were scheduled during peak times this year ... .

Sioux City, Iowa has decided to make the best of its ICAO moniker, SUX, rather than change it. The airport’s new slogan FlySUX, is the centerpiece of a new marketing campaign. The FAA offered five alternative designators, including GAY (no, we didn’t make it up).

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We Couldn't Do It Without Readers Like You ... back to top 

AVmail: Oct. 22, 2007

Reader mail this week about Bob Hoover, Customs passenger manifests, Columbia's sale and more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the editor.

Heard Of Any Avgas Shortages?

The only thing that moves faster than the aviation rumor mill, it seems, is the price of avgas. Over the past few months, AVweb has been getting sporadic reports about shortages of 100 LL. In every case, the issue seemed localized and short-lived but we’ve had enough of them to wonder if these are the first signs of a larger problem. Drop us a line at newstips@avweb.com if you (or the FBO where you get your fuel) have had any supply problems and what, if any, are the explanations for them. We’d also like to know what’s happening with fuel prices. Crude topped $90 a barrel last week and, although it will be weeks before any of that oil is turned into avgas, some suppliers started hiking prices immediately. We’ve heard of overnight increases of as much as 60 cents a gallon in some areas and we suspect it won’t be long before everyone is digging a lot deeper.

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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Mike Busch Is Winding Up the Savvy Aviator Seminar Schedule for 2007
Mike Busch will be offering his acclaimed Savvy Owner Seminar in California and Oklahoma. In one information-packed weekend, you will learn how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. For complete details (and to reserve your space), click here.
New on AVweb back to top 

CEO of the Cockpit #75: At the Show

The folks at NBAA made their first mistake when they let in an airline pilot; but AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit won't cause too much trouble.

Click here for the full story.

Gadget Mounts: RAM Takes Top Honors

Versa-True has more positioning flexibility but RAM's gadget cradle is superior and it costs half as much. Best value is the RAM suction mount.

Click here for the full story.

AVweb's Monday Podcast: Chesapeake Sport Pilot — Training a New Breed of Pilot

File Size 8.5 MB / Running Time 9:16

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

When the Light Sport Aircraft category and the Sport Pilot certificate were created a couple of years ago, proponents claimed a new era in aviation had begun because learning to fly would become so much more accessible under the relaxed training and medical rules. Well, if the experience of Chesapeake Sport Pilot is any indication, it would seem the original boosters were right on the money. AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with Tim Adelman, who helped found the flight school only seven months ago and has watched it grow faster than he ever imagined it would.

Click here to listen. (8.5 MB, 9:16)

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Lockhart Aviation Service (Saskatoon Airport Esso, CYXE, Canada)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Lockhart Aviation Service's Saskatoon Airport Esso at CYXE in Saskatoon, Canada.

AVweb reader Jim Hinnen stopped in on a fishing trip and couldn't recommend Lockhart highly enough:

Owner/manager [Douglas Lockhart] ... directed us to phones, parked and tied us down, helped with baggage, and even ... suggested hotels where they had a better rate, then called [the] hotel for rooms and transportation. You could not have any better (friendly, courteous, helpful) service anywhere. Also, no tie-down charge! [I] tried to tip them, and they refused, saying our business was good enough.

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!

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 Flight back to top 

Short Final

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

The American League Championship series between Cleveland and Boston began on a Friday night. Early the next morning, after an IFR handoff to Boston Center, the pilot of a Boston-bound aircraft posed the all-important question:

Piper 123:
Sox win last night?

Boston Center:

Piper 123:
That's too bad.

[thoughtful pause]

Piper 123:
You're not going to make us hold now, are you?

Boston Center:
Probably not — but just remember, I'm not paying for the gas!

Knowledge Is Power; Knowledge Is Also a Safety Factor When Flying IFR
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More AVweb In Your Inbox back to top 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

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.