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Volume 13, Number 43b
October 25, 2007
Aircraft Spruce Now Carries the New Mini Maglite LED
The new Mini Maglite LED is built tough enough to last a lifetime. Its durability and patented features are now available with the new Mag-LED Technology. Whether you choose the super-bright 2-cell AA for its smaller size or the longer 3-cell AA with its higher performance, they are ideal flashlights. Features include a powerful projecting beam, balanced optics, intelligent energy source, and interchangeable light sourcing. Call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
NASA Under Fireback to top 

NASA got into hot water over the weekend when The Associated Press reported that the agency refused a Freedom of Information Act request to release the results of a pilot survey on aviation safety, citing concerns that the report could reflect badly on the aviation industry. U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., a member of the House Committee on Science and Technology, wrote to NASA Administrator Michael Griffin that possible damage to the image of the airline industry "does not appear to fall within any of the exceptions" in the FOIA, The New York Times reported. Griffin said on Monday he had just been made aware of the FOIA request and would immediately review the matter. "NASA should focus on how we can provide information to the public -- not on how we can withhold it," he said. Meanwhile, the House Committee on Science and Technology said it also wants to take a look at those records, according to Reuters, and plans to hold a hearing on the matter soon. More...

Adam, Cirrus, Columbia, Diamond, Liberty ...
The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines. Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine. Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck. Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. Click here for further details.
Reactions to Bobby Sturgell at FAA Adminback to top 

The White House announcement that Robert Sturgell will be nominated as the next FAA administrator drew quick reaction from the GA alphabet groups. Sturgell has been with the agency long enough that the players are familiar with him and his stand on the issues. None of the major groups mentioned the user fee issue, which Sturgell has presumably played a major role in developing. Sturgell demonstrated his support for user fees under oath at a Congressional committee hearing last month saying that the way the FAA is funded needs to change. "A cost-based funding structure is essential to transforming the aviation system," he said. With that thorn conveniently buried for the moment, the groups found plenty to like about Sturgell's appointment.

AOPA and EAA said they welcomed the nomination. "Bobby Sturgell understands the issues that face EAA members and has been engaged in those issues as deputy administrator," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president. "Bobby has had the opportunity to join us at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh over the past several years, so he is very familiar with EAA and our members' enthusiasm for flight." AOPA President Phil Boyer also said he is okay with the choice. "We've worked closely with Bobby for more than five years and have found that he understands aviation from the pilot's perspective," Boyer said. "He was particularly helpful in pushing through some of the latest changes that made the Washington, D.C., Air Defense Identification Zone a little easier for pilots to negotiate." The National Business Aviation Association said: "Bobby Sturgell is a distinguished aviator with a strong government background ... NBAA looks forward to working with him." 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.
Midair Follow-Upback to top 

A reader sent us the tower tape clip (MP3) of the exchange between a smooth, professional air traffic controller at Republic Airport on Long Island and the pilot of a Piper Saratoga who'd been in a midair collision with a Cessna 152 last Sunday. As we reported on Monday, both pilots were able to land their aircraft without incident but the tower tape reveals just what it takes to recover two damaged aircraft on the same runway during a busy period at a large GA airport. The first call from the Saratoga pilot comes about 2:15 on the audio file, but listen to the whole thing to get a feel for what the controller was up against in getting the damaged aircraft on the ground without anyone else (including a student launching for his first solo) getting in the way or into trouble. More...

Zulu Time ... From Lightspeed
See the ANR headset everyone's talking about at ZuluSeries.com.
Long-Range Safety Issues ...back to top 

Last week the FAA issued a press release saying it had exceeded its hiring goals for air traffic controllers in the last fiscal year, attracting 1,800 new air traffic controllers and was on track to meet its long-term goals. “We’re getting a lot of enthusiastic new recruits who are interested in becoming air traffic controllers,” said [then-]Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell. “Controller hiring, training and staffing is a major priority and we are on track to meet future traffic needs.” However, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association says that while there may be bodies in the buildings, that doesn’t mean the number of qualified air traffic controllers is reflected in those figures and the manpower crisis it has long predicted is upon us as the most experienced controllers head for the exits. “Our system is on the brink of a total breakdown,” NATCA President Pat Forrey told a teleconference on Monday. More...

The U.S. aviation community has made significant progress in efforts to improve on-airport safety in the last two months, the FAA said on Monday. "Recent close calls at some of our nation's busiest airports show that action must be taken to reduce the risk of runway incursions and wrong runway departures," the FAA said in a statement. Representatives of airlines, airports, air traffic control and pilot unions, and aerospace manufacturers, met with the FAA in August and agreed to work together to improve cockpit procedures, airport signage and markings, air traffic procedures, and technology. The FAA's statement includes a progress report on what actions have been taken. The list includes new taxiway markings at 52 large airports and 24 smaller ones, the completion of runway safety reviews at 20 major airports, the expansion of recurrent training requirements to more airport users such as FBO operators and airline mechanics, a review of taxi clearance procedures, and the expansion of a voluntary reporting system for safety issues. More...

Receive a New Multimedia Tip Each Week
Take a few minutes each week to improve your pilot skills. It's fun and costs nothing. Top aviation experts share important and practical tips on IFR, emergency handling, risk management, and more. Listen as they explain valuable tactics and strategies to make flying safer. No charge. Click here to sign up.
... And a Few More Immediate Safety Concernsback to top 

The pilots of a 737 that crashed in Indonesia in March, killing 21 people, should be prosecuted, Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on Tuesday. Five Australians died in the crash. A report by Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, released on Monday, found that during the approach, 15 warnings and alerts were sounded by the Ground Proximity Warning System and the copilot called for the pilot in command to go around. The PIC ignored all those warnings, flew a steep, fast approach, and touched down at an airspeed of 221 knots with only 5 degrees of flap, 87 knots faster than the landing speed for 40 degrees of flap. "The copilot did not follow company procedures and take control of the aircraft from the PIC when he saw that the pilot in command repeatedly ignored the GPWS alerts and warnings," according to the report. Downer said in an ABC World interview that based on that report, he would like the Indonesian authorities now to look into the possibility of prosecutions. More...

Picture the last time you flew commercial and stood in line to remove your shoes before reporting to the gate. Now imagine being an airline pilot in uniform, and going through those same lines up to 10 times a day. In Norway, some airline pilots are running out of patience with the system. One pilot delayed a departure when he refused to take off his shoes and reportedly shouted "I am no terrorist!" Another senior pilot chose to retire early, citing "security madness" as the reason. "He is happy to be retired and finished with this," Tom Erik Liverud, head of Widerøe airline's pilot union, told the newspaper Adresseavisen. "This is a marked contrast to some years ago when pilots were sad to give up their dream jobs when they passed 60." More...

Download No-Cost Runway Flash Cards Now!
Landing a plane is tough. Flying into unfamiliar runways makes it even tougher — and more dangerous. Ensure you and your crew's safety by downloading these no-cost flash cards today. Each of the 23 flash cards displays an airport sign or pavement marking as well as the required pilot action. Use them as a quick reference before your departure or during your flight. Download the Runway Safety Flash Cards now.
Cool Airplanesback to top 

There are lots of options available on a Gulfstream 550 but Boeing intends to make the flight deck crew one of them. Lacking a suitable platform of its own, the Chicago-based company has purchased one of the $43 million state-of-the-art bizjets to turn it into a drone for maritime surveillance. If it’s successful, Boeing could win a $4 billion contract to build the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) program. More...

After years of struggling to raise $12 million to restore a retired Avro Vulcan, volunteers and aviation enthusiasts last week got their wish -- the four-engine, 110-foot delta-wing bomber took to the skies at Bruntingthorpe airfield in England, 14 years after its last flight. The impressive-looking aircraft was one of three British V-Bombers designed to drop nuclear weapons during the Cold War. The fleet fought in the Falklands War and was retired in 1993 -- and until last week, none had ever flown again. The bomber will now undergo rigorous testing so it can be certified to fly by the Civil Aviation Authority. "It is hoped that once this has been achieved, the aircraft, once the UK's deadliest weapon, will be used to entertain and educate crowds up and down the country by showcasing its amazing grace, power and maneuverability," says a news release from the Vulcan to the Sky Club. More...

AFSS Is Up to Speed. And Gaining Altitude.
The new automated flight services system is here. Revolutionizing flight service operations. Reducing legacy sites. Bringing 15 upgraded sites and three hubs online. Retaining 1,200 specialists. Marrying local needs with national information sources. The result: ever-improving levels of performance. And a future of efficient, effective service that give general aviation pilots more flexibility than they've ever thought possible. To see for yourself, visit AFSS.com.
News Briefsback to top 

If you've ever wondered what happens when an expensive business jet collides with an asphalt roller, you might ask Sony Corp. Their Mystere Falcon 900 was taxiing for departure from Teterboro Airport last Sept. 28 when the left wing clipped the machine on a taxiway. According to the NTSB preliminary report, neither the captain of the Falcon nor the roller operator claimed to see the other coming. No one was hurt but we suspect it ruined a lot of people's day. (Click through for photos.) More...

It takes a certain kind of person to enjoy jumping out of airplanes -- or off of mountains, or out of balloons, or from bridges -- and those people look like cash cows to the new space-tourism industry, according to New Scientist magazine. That's because while most people will be satisfied with a once-in-a-lifetime trip into space, extreme-sports enthusiasts -- also known as adrenaline junkies -- will keep coming back for more. In anticipation of that market, entrepreneur Rick Tumlinson has started a company called Space Diver, to develop and promote the sport. But the thrill-seeking also has a practical side. Equipment developed to allow skydivers that ultra-long thrill can also be used as safety gear in an emergency. One scenario for how it would work: The space-suited diver would ride on a platform atop the rocket into space, then simply push away to begin the descent. The diver would then free-fall until about a mile above the surface, then deploy the parachute for safe landing. More...

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a research project on diesel aircraft engines. If you're flying one, we would like to know what your impressions of it are. Has the performance been what you expected? How about the economy? We would also like to know about service history. For a questionnaire, e-mail avconsumer@comcast.net. The editorial staff will get right back to you. More...

University of North Dakota instructor and student die in crash ...
Embraer celebrates 300th E series delivery ...
Pilot accused of flying drunk turns in his certificate. More...

Bennett Avionics: Used Avionics Guidance You Can Trust
Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business! Bennett Avionics has served general aviation worldwide with reliable and quality used avionics for over 30 years. Bennett Avionics can help you meet your avionics needs, improve the capability of your aircraft, and maintain your budget. Call Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295, or go online for a complete list of available products.
New on AVwebback to top 

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

After never missing a beat for more than 4,000 hours, a TCM cylinder offers some important and surprising insights. More...

Recently two flight instructors wrote a book on how to use Microsoft Flight Simulator X to enhance pilot training and to provide sim-only pilots a guide to making their flying more realistic. AVweb will publish several chapters from this book, beginning with this chapter on weather. More...


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!


WingX 2.5 for Your Motorola Q, Blackjack, or Pocket PC — New!
WingX 2.5 for your smartphone and Pocket PC comes with DUATS support, and you can file and close flight plans from your phone. WingX 2.5 has Animated NEXRAD; satellite; lightning prediction graphics; color-coded METARs and TAFs; approach charts; advanced weight and balance; route planning; searchable FARs; endorsements; E6B; runway layouts; SmartTaxi™; and a comprehensive A/FD with auto-dial. WingX 2.5 is GPS-enabled! Click here to download your demo version of WingX 2.5.
Voice Your Opinionback to top 

NASA's decision to withhold the results of a flight safety survey has raised questions about what type of information should be publicly available to pilots and citizens. This week, we want to know what AVweb readers think. Who should make the call when it comes to releasing this sort of data to the public? Plus: Who did AVweb readers predict will be the new owners of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. 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...

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.
Reader-Submitted Photosback to top 

With well over 100 submissions to our regular "Picture of the Week" contest and nearly two dozen real contenders for the top spot, life is good. Impossible as it might have been, we've managed to pick five of our favorites to share with you here — but don't forget there are a dozen more to see in the "POTW" slideshow on our home page right now! Whatever you do, be sure to check out the large-size version of this week's winning photo from Michael Palmer of Prudhoe, Northumberland (U.K.). Trust us: The thumbnail versions don't do it justice, and users with widescreen monitor configurations will want to snag this as desktop wallpaper. More...

Don't Purchase or Sell an Aircraft Without the Used Aircraft Guide
Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide can pinpoint the aircraft that best fits your needs and budget, resulting in savings when you buy and more when you sell. Buying the right aircraft can minimize maintenance and operating costs, too. Order your Used Aircraft Guide online.
Need More AVweb in Your Inbox?back to top 

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/. More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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.

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