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solution on StackOverflow involves skinning as you expect ("flex Spark Tab bar rollover index.."):
Thank you Peter.
Yes, you're right - the solution is in custom skin.
But for my needs - detecting the tab index on mouseover - I found much simpler solution that the one suggested at the StackOverflow.
Since detecting state change is already buit-in, I just added one line of code in the custom TabBarSkin:
var elt:UIComponent = dataGroup.getElementAt(i) as UIComponent;
elt.id = String(i); // that's the only line that I have added
And now I can get this index on mouseover: event.target.id
Thank you so much for this reply , this is exactly what i am looking for. Thanks again.