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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by …

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National Security And Your Convenience

Graphical TFRs In Practice...

With TFRs coming and going all over the landscape -- and presidential TFRs proliferating as the campaign trail heats up -- it's lucky that the FAA's graphical TFRs are finally starting to come online. A visit to the FAA Web site over the weekend showed dozens of full-color TFR depictions, from Arkansas to Alaska, Honolulu to Washington, D.C. Among the biggies: a 30-nm presidential TFR set for today over New York City, affecting operations at more than 20 airports, heliports, and seaplane bases. AOPA said over the weekend that although it opposes such large TFRs, it was "pleased" to see the zone where flying is banned outright held to a 7-mile radius. Within the airspace between a 7-nm and 30-nm radius, operations are limited to aircraft arriving or departing local airfields. "AOPA continues to lobby against these oversized presidential movement TFRs," said AOPA President Phil Boyer, on the organization's Web site. "TFRs this large have significant operational and economic impacts on pilots and absent a specific, credible threat, we don't think they need to be this big."

...And A Very Stern Warning

Later today, President Bush will head for Camp David, and the standard Prohibited Area there will be expanded to a 10-nm radius for tonight and tomorrow. Don't even think about messing with this one: AOPA says federal security officials told them this is a "highly sensitive" visit, and enforcement actions will be "severe in the extreme" -- meaning that military patrol aircraft are authorized to shoot down violators. Most operations are banned within a 5-nm radius, with restrictions on flights up to 10nm out. All aircraft departing from private airports/air fields within that outer ring must be on a heading away from the center of the prohibited airspace, the NOTAM says. More TFRs are expected as the president travels to fundraising events in Miami and Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday. Over the next several weeks TFRs can be expected in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Houston and Detroit, according to EAA.


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Happy News, For A Change

GA Movers And Shakers Get Attaboys...

It's always a treat to have good news to report from the GA aircraft-manufacturing world, and we found a few such stories to warm our hearts this week. At the Paris Air Show, Flight International announced its annual Aerospace Industry Awards, giving this year's top honors to Diamond Aircraft, for the DA42 Twin Star. Finalists were Sikorsky Aircraft for its S-92 helicopter, and Cirrus Design for the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. The awards recognize "a major technological or operational step forward for this diverse but important sector," the organizers wrote. This was the first year that the awards included a category for GA, separate from corporate aviation. Other aerospace achievements that were cited: the FAA's controller-pilot datalink communications, and Jeppesen's terrain and obstacle database.

...And Cirrus, Groen Bros. Report Brisk Sales

And if you can stand it, yet more good news: Cirrus Design, citing the growing demand for its SR20 and SR22 aircraft, announced last week it has more than tripled the size of its sales force, from seven to 24. Cirrus, based in Duluth, Minn., has delivered more than 850 airplanes, and doubled its output in 2002. Also, Groen Brothers Aviation, of Salt Lake City, Utah, announced last week that its subsidiary, American Autogyro Inc. (AAI), is ready to debut the prototype of its new product line, featuring the Sparrowhawk Gyroplane. The aircraft will appear next month at both the Popular Rotorcraft Assoc. convention in Mentone, Ind., and at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, Wis. AAI is marketing the Sparrowhawk mainly as an airborne police cruiser. "We already have fully paid orders on nearly 20 SparrowHawk Gyroplanes, which we expect will begin being delivered this year," AAI President James Mayfield said a news release last week. "The existing market for a safe, stable, easy-to-fly two-seat gyroplane is already large," he added. Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier said in a news release, "Our airplanes are attracting a new breed of pilot. ... Our new sales team has joined us from a variety of management backgrounds that enables us to interface with the broad spectrum of clients to whom we sell planes."


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Briefs...

FAA-Commissioned Cellphone Study Under Way

Cellphones are seen everywhere now -- restaurants, supermarkets, cars, sidewalks -- but if you're in an airplane, since the dawn of cellphone time, talking aloft has been forbidden. The reasons behind the ban have been unclear, sometimes citing possible interference with avionics, other times blaming cell-network issues. Now an official panel has been asked by the FAA to study the ban and see if there is any real problem with using the phones and other wireless devices, and if there is, how to fix it. The RTCA, an aviation study group, will investigate the problem and issue its initial report by November. The study group held its first meeting in May and convenes again next month in Washington, D.C. An Advisory Circular issued in October 2000 provides guidance for complying with the current regs regarding portable electronic devices.

P&W Scramjet Engine Completes Mach 4.5 Ground Test

The world's first flight-weight, hydrocarbon-fueled scramjet engine has achieved 4.5 Mach ground testing, Pratt & Whitney announced last week at the Paris Air Show. Ground testing at 6.5 Mach is expected to be completed later this month. The project is working with Air Force researchers under the Hypersonic Technology (HyTech) Program. "We are on track for this program to change the aerospace industry forever, as this technology will create a paradigm shift in the way we employ propulsion for access-to-space and global-reach applications," P&W Space Propulsion President Larry Knauer said in a news release from Paris. The engine uses standard JP-7 fuel, while Australia's HyShot scramjet, which began flight-testing in 2001, uses hydrogen fuel. Hydrocarbons have less energy than hydrogen, but are easier to store and considered more practical for most applications. Pratt & Whitney expects to start flight-testing their design in 2006 or '07. The long-term vision for the scramjet engines include power for launch vehicles that can substantially reduce the cost of access to space, along with military and commercial aircraft that can span the globe in less than a few hours. Near-term applications include air-to-surface missiles with a Mach 6.5-plus cruise capability to fly hundreds of nautical miles in minutes.

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Those Scary Cessnas?

The teenager who flew a stolen Cessna 172 into a Tampa office building last year sought out detailed information about MacDill Air Force base shortly before the fatal flight, according to a new FBI report quoted in the Tampa Tribune last week. A week before he committed suicide, Charles Bishop, 15, emailed a classmate to ask if he knew the location of Central Command at MacDill, the Tribune reported, and also searched the Internet for maps of the base. The NTSB reported that Bishop's plane buzzed the control tower at MacDill and flew within 100 feet of two parked KC-135 tanker aircraft loaded with jet fuel. Whether the FBI report will serve to worry the military (or the public) about the perceived potential dangers of small aircraft remains to be seen. Bishop's family has filed a $70 million lawsuit against makers of the acne drug Accutane. The drug company says there is no link between its drug and suicide.

Pilots Face Court, Loss Of Certificates For Alcohol

It's a well-worn debate, but it's getting yet another run -- if a pilot drinks, is that a medical problem to be addressed, or a violation to be punished? The rules were changed after Newsday reported last year that 22 commercial airline pilots had tested positive for alcohol use, up from nine the year before. If found guilty in court, it seems pilots could lose not only their medical certificates, but -- under new FAA rules in place since January -- they could lose all their flight certificates as well. About 10,000 pilots of the 75,000 in the U.S. are tested randomly each year, but pilots can also be tested if an airport worker or airline official raises a question about their behavior. Accusations from TSA screeners instigated several of the recent tests. Some of those tests resulted in pilots being charged, and this spring, the TSA told screeners across the country to be on the alert for impaired pilots. In the wake of 9/11, the side for strict punishment is gaining ground. Two America West pilots accused of trying to fly while under the influence on a Phoenix-bound flight from Miami last year are the latest to face the courts -- they are scheduled to be tried in Florida on July 7.

NEW OREGON AERO SEAT TO BE STANDARD EQUIPMENT IN RV-10 Oregon Aero has taken a giant leap in seat comfort and safety with the introduction of its new “High-G Safety Seat.” The highly engineered seat provides maximum flexibility, safety and pain-free flying and will be standard equipment in the front of Van’s Aircraft four-seat RV-10 homebuilt, expected to be introduced at Oshkosh, July 29-Aug. 4. The seat exceeded the FAA’s 19G/1,500 lumbar load survivability test, sustaining 23 G’s vertical and 26 G’s horizontal. The seat’s sophisticated construction tilts forward for access to the back and reclines to accommodate pilot preference for position and comfort. The lumbar cushion is pilot-adjustable. Check out all of Oregon Aero’s products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon

Aerobatic Pilots Compete For World Championship

The skies above Lakeland, Fla., will be filled with tumbling airplanes this week, as some of the world's best pilots gather to compete in the World Aerobatic Championships. The 10-day event, starting Wednesday, is an intense affair. It opens with a night air show and closes with fireworks, but otherwise the schedule is focused on tough, competitive flying. Fifty-four pilots from 12 countries will compete, and titles will go to individual men and women as well as national teams. Pilots are judged on a series of compulsory and freestyle flights. One flight is known and practiced before the competition. Another flight is unknown to the competitor until hours before the pilot takes flight. The third flight tests a pilot's skill to design and fly a program that is both technically challenging and artistically appealing. In the bios of each pilot provided by EAA, a few competitors say they just want to fly their best and help the team, but at least three express their heartfelt desire to be World Champion -- so it's sure to be a hard-fought and interesting contest. U.S. team members include: Steve Andelin, Newport Beach, Calif.; Robert Armstrong, Athens, Ga.; Kirby Chambliss, Phoenix, Ariz.; Chandy Clanton, Lincoln, Neb.; Vicki Cruse, Santa Paula, Calif.; Julie Mangold, Apple Valley, Calif.; Mike Mangold, Apple Valley, Calif.; David Martin, Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas; Marta Meyer, Quartz Hill, Calif.; and Debby Rihn-Harvey, La Porte, Texas.


On The Fly...

New whooping crane chicks flew in a private plane to Wisconsin last week, to begin training with ultralights for their fall migration...

Boeing said last week at the Paris Air Show that its 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes are meeting, and often exceeding, expectations as they approach their sixth month of flight testing. One of the airplanes set a twin-engine airplane maximum takeoff weight record of 774,600 pounds. Test pilots say the airplanes handle just like other 777s…

Joe Gauthier of Cromwell, Conn., has been selected for EAA's 2003 Tony Bingelis Award, in recognition of his contributions to the homebuilt-aircraft community. He will receive the award at the annual Homebuilder's Dinner on July 31 at Oshkosh…

A Boeing 707 that served as an Air Force One for 28 years in presidential service was disassembled and moved 100 miles over the weekend to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The aircraft will be reassembled at the site and on public display by late 2004…

Stanford University, in Palo Alto, Calif., needs Bay Area pilots for a study of flying skills and aging. To be eligible you must have between 300 and 15,000 hours, be age 45 to 65, and a be current and active pilot with at least a third-class medical. For info, contact Annie or Tiffany at (650) 852-3457 or by e-mail at aboyd@stanford.edu.

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Short Final...

The definition of irony: Naming an airport after a President that fired all of the Air Traffic Controllers.

Contributions to Short Final are welcomed at sf@avweb.com.

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PARTICIPATE IN GENERAL AVIATION'S HEALTH & SAVE MONEY IN THE PROCESS Participation in Avemco's Safety Rewards Program will make you eligible for up to 10% credit on your Avemco premium. The Safety Rewards Program is designed to address issues, starting with the "Practical Risk Management for Pilots" course produced by John and Martha King. After completing the King course, further credits can be earned by completing recurrent training that goes beyond the FAR minimums and that addresses "real world" pilot problems. For complete details go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Martin Scherr, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.


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New Articles and Features on AVweb

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COLUMNS
Pelican's Perch #70: Gulfstream IV Part 2
Last month, AVweb's John Deakin told us what it was like to live the life of an itinerant Gulfstream IV pilot. This month he digs into the actual operations in the cockpit and, guess what? It's a good thing he likes computers and can read computer screens.

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SKYWRITINGS
SBD Checkout
Very few of these Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless dive-bombers are left, and even fewer are flying. The Dixie Wing of the Commemorative Air Force has one, and it provides a very memorable checkout at Falcon Field in Georgia.

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Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about kit vs. production aircraft, Sport Planes, GPS jamming and more.


Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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SPONSOR NEWS

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IF YOU'RE AN AVIATION CONSUMER YOU NEED "THE" AVIATION CONSUMER No advertising, just no-holes-barred good reporting on products. Here are some of the articles in the July issue of Aviation Consumer magazine: OMF Symphony; Replacement Choices for Aircraft ELTs; PLBs Finally Approved; Cockpit Fire Protection; Can Bombardier Take On the Big Two?; A Portable Tiedown; and Used Aircraft Guide Report: Piper's PA-28 Arrow. Be a savvy consumer, be an Aviation Consumer consumer at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons

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We Welcome Your Feedback!

AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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