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Volume 13, Number 45b
November 8, 2007
Zulu Time ... From Lightspeed
See the ANR headset everyone's talking about at ZuluSeries.com.
Homeland Security Tightening Up on G.A.back to top 

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is working to strengthen its ability to detect radiation and nuclear devices in the international GA environment. The DNDO is evaluating equipment that it will use to support this mission, according to a "General Aviation Fact Sheet" published by the DHS on Monday. The goal is to "further minimize the vulnerability of GA and private aircraft flights being used to deliver illicit materials, transport dangerous individuals or employ the aircraft as a weapon," the fact sheet says. The DHS plans to screen aircraft at sites outside the border, to ensure that illicit materials do not enter the U.S. More...

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff made clear in a speech on Monday that he wants more scrutiny of general aviation aircraft that cross the U.S. border -- but while his main concern appears to be with large corporate jets, his proposals don't distinguish between the different types of GA activity. Chertoff discussed his concerns at a meeting of the NATA Business Aviation Roundtable, in Washington, D.C., and the industry was quick to respond. "We will continue to oppose any regulations that place restrictions on GA that outweigh the actual security threat," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "One size doesn't -- and shouldn't -- fit all." Chertoff's plans include creating a partnership with overseas FBOs, in which the FBO will check boarding passengers against the manifests on file. The DHS is working with Signature Flight Support in Ireland and Alaska, and plans to have the program in place by the end of this year. More...

Rescue Tape Is Now Available at Aircraft Spruce
Rescue Tape is a self-fusing silicone repair product with infinite uses. First used by the U.S. military and now seen at trade shows, this is the most versatile and easy-to-use emergency repair product available. Stretch, wrap, and Get Rescued! Repair leaks on plumbing and hoses in a flash, use for electrical wiring or as shrink wrap, and more. For information, call Aircraft Spruce at 1-877-4-SPRUCE, or visit online.
U.S. Government Steps Carefullyback to top 

That's the question raised by a Wall Street Journal commentary on Wednesday. The procedural rules that would allow it to happen are complex -- the sausage factory analogy certainly applies -- but according to the WSJ, Congress could pilfer the $10 billion per year raised by airline excise taxes (and GA fuel taxes) and use it to balance the budget so they don't have to impose higher taxes on the middle class -- as they would otherwise have to, under their own rules, to balance the budget. This sleight of hand will be made possible only if the House allows general tax revenue to fund the FAA. Thus, according to the WSJ, there is a major political incentive for Congress to change the FAA's funding structure, to solve their own political problems. More...

The Air Force suspended non-mission-critical F-15 flight operations on Saturday, the day after the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C during a training flight. Preliminary findings indicated that a structural failure of the aircraft may have occurred, the U.S. Air Force said. However, the accident is still under investigation and the indefinite suspension of flight operations is a "precautionary measure," according to the Air Force. The Air Force flies more than 700 of the aging F-15 fighters, which date back to 1975. They are gradually being replaced by the F-22 Raptor. The Missouri jet crashed in a wooded area about 120 miles southwest of St. Louis. The pilot ejected and was released from a hospital Saturday after treatment for a dislocated shoulder, a broken arm and minor cuts. 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.
Aviation Safetyback to top 

At busy Newark Liberty International Airport, just outside New York, 73 flights landed after telling controllers they were operating with minimum or low fuel during six months this year, compared to just five flights making the same declaration during a similar period in 2005. An additional 10 flight crews declared an emergency fuel situation, requesting to land immediately, according to WABC News. The WABC report blames cash-strapped airlines for pressuring their crews to carry minimum fuel, saving money by cutting weight on the flights. "They're taking away the margin of safety," former NTSB Chairman James Hall told WABC. "Seeing numbers like that, the FAA administrators should be calling the airlines in on the carpet and find out what's going on." WABC also cites anonymous reports from NASA's aviation safety reporting system in which one pilot says an airline's "fuel saving program takes preference over safety," and another writes, "It's a case of dice rolling at its most dangerous." More...

"I heard this huge bang, and [the man next to me] said, that's our engine that's just fallen off. I couldn't believe it. He had to repeat it to me," passenger Ronel Derma told the Independent News. A Nationwide Boeing 737 was taking off from South Africa's Cape Town International Airport on Wednesday afternoon when the right-hand engine separated from the wing. "The aircraft returned and landed ... without further incident," the airline said. The landing was safe and none of the 106 passengers was hurt. "The plane started to shake a bit, but what was amazing was the staff and passengers, everybody was so calm," said Derma. "There was no hysteria, no nothing, it was amazing." 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.
Flying Troubles in the Rest of the Worldback to top 

Australia's largest independent regional airline, Regional Express (Rex), announced on Monday it will suspend one of its routes due to ongoing pilot shortages. "We are extremely disappointed that we have had to take this drastic action," said Rex Managing Director Geoff Breust. "However, given the pilot shortage, we are faced with the choice of suspending some of our regular services to build up a reserve buffer or canceling [flights] each time a pilot calls in sick." To cope with the ongoing shortage, Rex has started its own training academy, which will start next month with a class of 20 in a 32-week course. Breust called on the major airlines in Australia to follow Rex's lead and train their own pilots, "instead of simply poaching massively from the regional airlines and the pilot training schools." More...

A certified flight instructor in India has been accused of selling his endorsement to commercial pilot applicants without conducting the required checkrides in at least 25 cases, the Times of India reported on Tuesday. The pilot candidates had been trained abroad and applied for conversion to Indian licenses. The instructor should have checked each applicant's skills in night flying, day flying, and instrument procedures. Entries were made in the applicants' logbooks that they flew in aircraft belong to a local charter company, but the company said its aircraft were never used, according to police. "It is very significant as the authenticity of entries in the student's flight log books are never verified," an instructor told the Times. "These checks are the only means of knowing whether the student has actually taken any flying training and whether he/she knows [how] to fly." More...

Learn to Fly Green of Peak!
Advanced Pilot Seminars' hands-on engine operating course November 16-18 in Ada, Oklahoma uses the most advanced engine cell and state-of-the-art multimedia technology. APS shows how to lean your engine the right way, without sacrificing performance or durability. With the high cost of avgas, this course will pay for itself in fuel savings, plus you'll enjoy lower maintenance bills while sharpening engine monitor interpretation skills. Call (225) 925-2066. Space is limited. Sign up now!
News in Briefback to top 

A US Airways crew on Monday said cockpit odor made them sick...
USAF's oldest T-38, age 46, flew for the last time Monday...
GAMA has elected Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier 2008 chairman...
A high schooler who buzzed a football game in a 172 is suspended. 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...

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.
New on AVwebback to top 

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

GA jostles for fair play around Europe; and, yet again, GA pilots have reason to be grateful for AOPA and other general aviation associations. More...

Now that Michael Chertoff has laid out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's plans to fortify borders against private airplane traffic, we want to hear what AVweb readers think: How much general aviation cross-border security do you think is reasonable? Plus: What did AVweb readers have to say last week about foreign companies controlling the flight operations of U.S. air charter companies? More...

Last Call for Mike Busch's West-Coast Seminar
Mike Busch just returned from conducting two sold-out Savvy Owner Seminars in Albuquerque and Tulsa and will be doing one final seminar in 2007: December 1-2 in Burbank, California. For 2008, he'll be conducting four more in Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Norfolk. Sign up for one of these classes and learn how to save thousands of dollars on maintenance costs, year after year. Do it before your next annual inspection! For complete details (and to reserve your space), click here.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Panorama Flight Service at Westchester County Airport (KHPN) in White Plains, N.Y.

"Panorama Flight Service goes out of their way to serve pilots and passengers," according to AVweb reader George Samara, who also raved about the princely treatment he received there:

They are the only FBO I know of that provides free: a flavored coffee service, a large container of Gorp Mix, a large container of Jelly Beans, a large container of small chocolates, and (for all pilots) a selection of seven different kinds of cheesecake (which were awesome). Oh, and they also provide several kinds of free granola bars, and a great Crew Lounge with two computer terminals and two phones. Did I mention that there are three phones in the lobby, too?

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!


Diamond DA40 A Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University have all selected the G1000-equipped Diamond DA40. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. Go online for information on all Diamond Aircraft.
Reader-Submitted Photosback 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." Bob Steinbauer of Billings, Montana sent in this photo snapped by Jason Newby, which takes the top spot as our "Picture of the Week." Watch your inbox, Bob: We'll sending a pair of hats — one for you and one for Jason. More...

Shop From Your Computer for Perfect Pilot Gifts
When purchasing gifts for family, friends, and flying buddies, go to AVweb's Holiday Shopping Page. AVweb is the perfect place to find the right gifts for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. And for yourself — forward the link as a hint to what you want! It's easy online, with AVweb!
More AVweb for Your Inboxback 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...

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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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