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Volume 13, Number 46a
November 12, 2007
Shop JA Air Center for All of Your Holiday Avionics Needs
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Oversight in Actionback to top 

Swiss-based TAG Aviation Holding Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary TAG Aviation USA will pay the FAA $10 million as part of a final resolution of the FAA’s “concerns” over TAG’s involvement with FAA-regulated aircraft operators, the company said in a news release. In October, the FAA’s concerns led to the revocation of AMI Jet Charter’s operating certificate under rules that define the level of operational control that charter companies must maintain over the aircraft they use. TAG owned 49 percent of AMI and said it acted as a flight broker. The FAA alleged that TAG was secretly pulling the strings on the operation of aircraft being chartered through AMI. As part of the settlement, the FAA acknowledges that TAG admits no wrongdoing in the case, which involved a seven-month investigation by the FAA. The FAA has also agreed not to stand in the way of the transfer of aircraft to new owners that might take over the business. A deal with Sentient is in the works. More...

The Office of Inspector General began looking into the saga of NASA’s National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (NAOMS) a week after NASA Chairman Michael Griffin said the data from the survey would be released publicly. Griffin was on the hot seat last week after The Associated Press ran a story in which a NASA official said it withheld results of the survey, which polled 29,000 pilots on their experiences in the air, because it didn’t want to alarm the public or affect airline revenues. The OIG will look at the efficiency and taxpayer value of the survey, something which Griffin also called into question during the hearings, according to New Scientist magazine. More...

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Responsibility for All Pilots ... And Fun for Oneback to top 

The NTSB released its annual “most wanted” list of aviation safety improvements on Thursday and among the most urgent recommendations is that the FAA address runway incursions. “It is time to do something before we have to investigate an accident that is catastrophic and explain to the families that technologies are out there to begin to prevent this thing from happening,” NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker told a news conference Thursday. Although the FAA has had a program in place to reduce incursions for several years, the NTSB still considers its response “unacceptable” and notes that there have been 24 incursions this year. The NTSB says there need to be systems to directly warn pilots in the cockpit about impending incursions (like the one tested in Syracuse, N.Y., earlier this year) rather than the systems that now warn controllers in the tower. The NTSB also took aim at pilot and controller fatigue. More...

What is likely the first civilian Harrier jump jet reportedly had its first flight in private hands at St. Mary’s County Airport in Maryland on Saturday. Owner Art Nalls reportedly decided not to shatter any neighbors’ nerves (not to mention their windows) and made his first takeoff and landing in the ex-Royal Navy Harrier FA2 short field, rather than vertical. "The Harrier left the runway at less than the half way point of 2W6," Dave Baden, who saw the flight, told AVweb. "Roughly 2000 feet of runway was used for the takeoff. Landing was very similar with a roll-on landing that could have easily used less than half the runway but Art took it to the end anyway." Just what he plans to do with the notoriously (some say gloriously) loud VTOL aircraft isn’t clear but there’s not much doubt he’s comfortable in the cockpit. More...

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Quotes reprinted with permission. Aviation Consumer, August 2007.
Bastions of Booming Businessback to top 

So, how busy is your aircraft plant that it needs its own tower? The FAA started daily 7 a.m.-to-7 p.m. staffing of an air traffic control tower at Independence, Kan., last week and Cessna’s piston single and Mustang entry-level jet traffic is the main reason. "This is another milestone in the expansion of the Independence facility," Rod Holter, manager of Cessna’s Independence plant, said in a news release. "With the increase in traffic following the successful launch of Mustang production here, installing a tower was the right thing to do for the convenience and safety of our customers and our employees who fly." More...

Oshkosh may be the biggest and Paris the most influential but when it comes to getting people to lay their money down, it would appear the Dubai Air Show is on top of the game. On the first day of the show, airlines, charter companies and others committed to more than $35 billion worth of hardware. Now, admittedly, the hometown favorite provided much of the fanfare. Fast-growing Emirates Airlines announced orders for 143 aircraft, including 120 Airbus A350s, 11 A380s and 12 Boeing 777ERs, worth $34.9 billion. But both Cessna and Embraer got off to a good start at the show, too. More...

Inspiring Daydreams Daily, BoeingStore.com
The one-stop shop for the aviation enthusiast, BoeingStore.com has everything you're looking for: Apparel, travel gear, aviation posters, photographs, models, books, toys, novelties, and more. Now just a click away, take your passion to a higher altitude at BoeingStore.com.
News Briefsback to top 

The FAA and NTSB are investigating how two seasoned pilots, both senior officers in the Civil Air Patrol, flew into a mountain near Las Vegas Thursday evening. Col. Edwin Lewis, director of operations for CAP’s western region, and Col. Dion DeCamp, commander of the Nevada unit, died when their CAP Cessna 182 hit 8,500-ft. Mt. Polosi, about 12 miles southwest of Las Vegas. According to the FAA preliminary report visibility was listed as 10 miles when the aircraft crashed about 7:15 p.m. More...

Sales of piston singles continue to lag behind last year’s impressive totals but major increases in the sales of turboprop and jet aircraft continue to keep the general aviation industry robust. Figures released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for the third quarter of 2007 show the total number of sales up marginally (1.7 percent) but industry billings are up significantly (14.1 percent) thanks to the continuing popularity of the higher value products. GAMA President Pete Bunce said that while piston sales are off for the third quarter in a row, manufacturers continue to report strong interest in the sector and they aren’t sitting on their hands. “We are encouraged, however, by the industry’s commitment to strengthening this segment with the introduction of products that will bring new pilots and new customers into this market.” More...

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
Pilots view and interact with the data — including radar, winds, METARs, lightning, and more — on compatible MFDs, EFBs, and PDAs from a wide range of industry partners, as well as on laptop PCs. The situational awareness afforded by XM WX Satellite Weather allows pilots to enjoy their journeys with more confidence and comfort than ever before. For more information, please visit XMWXweather.com.
News Briefsback to top 

The initial prototype of Solar Impulse, a solar-powered aircraft that may fly around the world without fuel in 2011, was unveiled last week in Switzerland by project organizer Bertrand Piccard. The first aircraft has a wingspan of almost 200 feet and will be used to test the basic science behind the project. If all goes well, it will fly nonstop for 36 hours, using solar power for its electric motors and charging batteries by day and using the stored energy at night. As formidable as that challenge might be, the ultimate goal is much more ambitious. More...

It can take decades but military aircraft technology often trickles down to civilian applications (think FLIR, head-up displays, GPS) and the latest in fighter pilot headgear would sure make life easier for all types of pilots. The London Daily Telegraph is reporting that the helmet worn by Royal Air Force F-35 pilots will display flight information right on the visor instead of the head-up display common in other aircraft. But it’s the helmet’s ability to (virtually) see through titanium, among other things, that really sets it apart. "It will superimpose infra-red imagery on to the visor to allow the pilot to look through the cockpit floor at night and see the world below," an unnamed ministry of defense spokesman told the newspaper. More...

Experienced helicopter pilot killed walking into rotor ...
Border rule comment period extended to Dec. 4 ...
Aircraft ends up in river after aborted takeoff. More...

New HD Training Videos from OnTheFlightLine.com
The new HD video covers decoding PIREPs, executing Class B transitions, and filing flight plans in flight. On the Flight Line is using HD video, CG animation, and motion graphics to make your training experience effective and enjoyable. On the Flight Line makes downloading easy. Simply browse the library, choose from three popular formats, and click to buy. No subscription required. To preview, please visit OnTheFlightLine.com.
AVweb Readers Speak Outback to top 

AVMAIL: NOV. 12, 2007
Reader mail this week about FSS consolidation, fewer fighters, the Aviation Trust Fund and more. More...

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, will soon publish an in-depth report on aircraft batteries. As part of that report, the magazine would like to hear about your experiences with aircraft batteries -- good, bad or otherwise. To take part in our online survey, click here. 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...

Wishes Do Come True!
Ever wish you could fly every approach like it was sunny and VFR?
Click here.

Happy Flying,
True Flight
(866) 443-3342
New on AVwebback to top 

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

Can a GA airplane really slip past all those delayed airliners in holding patterns? Only sometimes ... More...

It's true! The next time you find yourself making a trip on a commuter airline, you may or may not find it comforting to know that the pilot in the right seat of your regional jet isn't old enough to buy you a beer at the destination airport bar. AVweb's Mike Blakeney set out to see where the pilot qualification bar really is set in today's commercial aviation world. In this audio feature, we talk with Jeff McNamee of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to get to the the bottom of all the airline hiring rumors floating around. More...

Telex Headsets for the Holidays — Get a $50 Rebate Today!
Upgrade or replace your cockpit headsets with the Telex Stratus line of headsets and receive a $50 rebate. From the Stratus 30 to the 50D, you will appreciate the high-end comfort and performance of these ANR headsets. PILOTessentials offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure you will love it. Plus, you get complimentary shipping through December 3, 2007. Use Code PEHOLIDAY07. Order online from PilotEssentials.com.
Your Favorite FBOsback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Heartland Aviation at KEAU in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

AVweb reader Mark Griffith was preparing to leave Eau Claire when his alternator failed:

Unable to make the one-hour flight back to Rochester and realizing that the FBO had just closed, we resigned ourselves to a cold, dark fall night outside, waiting on our ride home. Hugh, the night janitor at Heartland Aviation, saw our predicament and quickly ushered us inside to the nicely furnished (and comfortably warm) pilot's lounge. Our ride arrived a couple of hours later, and we could thank Hugh enough for being a gracious and warm host. He really turned a cold, depressing evening into a gathering of friends! Thanks for everything, Heartland!

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!


Join AOPA: The Real-Time Flight Planner Is Worth the Dues Alone!
AOPA membership is an invaluable resource at an incredible value. At $39 a year, AOPA membership includes these exclusive benefits: AOPA Pilot magazine; 24-hour access to the web site's "members-only" section; and AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner with up-to-the-minute flight restrictions, routing images, weather info, and more! AOPA is an advocate for over 414,000 members, protecting their right to fly. Click here to become an AOPA member today.
Video: Lockheed Martin's 21st Century Airshipback to top 

This week's video came to us under the radar, and we were planning to save it for another week — but after you see it, we think you'll agree that it's hard to put out of your head. (Maybe especially so if you watched the History Channel's Lost Worlds episode "The Age of Airships," as we did this week. Or if you're a fan of Pink Floyd and always wanted to see an even bigger flying pig.) The behemoth shown here is Lockheed Martin's P-791, a (possibly) quarter-scale working concept for a cargo-carrying airship being developed in conditions that can only be called hush-hush. (Click through to watch.) More...

Shop From Your Computer for Perfect Pilot Gifts
When purchasing gifts for family, friends, and flying buddies, go to AVweb's Holiday Marketplace. AVweb is the perfect place to find perfect gifts for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. And for yourself — forward the link to your family and friends as a hint as to what you want! It's easy online, with AVweb!
The Lighter Side of Flightback to top 

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

Returning home from the West Coast a few years ago, we landed in Flint, Mich. The Midwest had had weeks of rain and overcast skies that summer, and I got this on departure:

"Bonanza Five Four Seven Zero Victor, when you get on top, would you look out to the southeast and tell me if you see a big bright light?"

Don Sanderson
Bear Creek, Pennsylvania

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...

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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