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Volume 9, Number 27aJune 30, 2003

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

Look for the alphabet groups to switch their focus from Michigan to New Jersey in the now-familiar battle to prevent states from getting into the pilot-qualification business. Just as the Michigan House was giving unanimous support to a bill that would repeal that state's criminal background-check law, New Jersey legislators were passing a law that would require, at their own expense, fingerprinting and "background identity checks" for student pilots. New Jersey's already mandates that pilots comply with a mandatory "two-lock" rule. According to the Soaring Society of America (SSA), the current legislation can be interpreted to cover introductory flights (flown by CFIs) as well as regular flight instruction and will become law unless Gov. James McGreevey vetoes it within the next 40 days. The governor is available, online. More...

Meanwhile, federal legislators appear to be taking no chances that the so-called "pilot insecurity rule" will be left solely in the hands of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to administer. A few weeks ago, the Senate and House passed their versions of the FAA Reauthorization Bill establishing an independent appeal process for pilots, instructors or mechanics who lose their certificates based on security concerns raised by the TSA. Currently, it's the TSA that hears the appeals. There's no guarantee that language will survive a joint Senate/House committee review that must reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill. Just to be on the safe side, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has included the appeal language in a bill of "technical corrections" to the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, thus giving the measure a second chance if it's lost in the FAA bill. More...

Your personal paperwork isn't the only object of the government's security watchdogs. The FAA has announced it is going through its aircraft registry, one plane at a time, to ensure that all the documents are in the right place at the right time. Any registration that doesn't meet requirements -- for any reason -- will be flagged as a possible security threat and followed up on by the FAA. The solution for aircraft owners is simple and that's to make sure that all the paperwork is properly done, especially with ownership transfers and other status changes. But AOPA also wants to make sure the FAA is not overzealous in its review. "AOPA's concern is that aircraft owners not be branded potential terrorists due to a clerical error or other innocent mistake," said AOPA VP Melissa Bailey. More...

LIGHTSPEED 20XL HEADSETS GET A MAKEOVER! The 20XL is back, and better than ever! The 20XL/2 brings back the popular model with a new, even smaller, battery box and the Aux Audio 3G input, at a new LOWER price of just $395. Get MORE LightSPEED for LESS at

The latest legislative attempt to broaden access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) has passed the committee stage. Included in the Aviation Security Technical Corrections Act of 2003 are provisions to allow non-scheduled carriers back into the metropolitan airport. The bill has been passed by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and will go before the full House, although no timetable has been set. Under the bill, the Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service would develop a security program for the non-scheduled carriers. An amendment also passed that would allow non-commercial business aircraft into DCA under an approved security process. More...

Meanwhile, the FAA seems to be distancing itself from the whole DCA debate. The agency has passed the buck on reopening the airport to non-scheduled services. In a letter to NATA, the FAA said it's "not the final authority on security concerns" and passed NATA's request to the TSA. NATA had formally petitioned the FAA to lift the charter ban at DCA. In its letter, the FAA said the Department of Homeland Security calls the tune on such matters and the FAA just does the footwork. More...

GREAT PRICES ON GARMIN PRODUCTS-AND MORE-AT AVIONICS WEST! As always Avionics West has the lowest prices on avionics. This week's specials include great deals on Garmin's GPSMAP 196, GPSMAP III Pilot, and GEKO 301 Outdoors GPS. Also terrific deals on Lowrance AirMap 100, PDC-100 Flight Computer, LightSPEED QFRSOLO SS Headsets, and AVcomm AC-747 Headset. For more too-low-to-advertise prices, call 805 934-9777, or send an email to or go online at

Well, the test pilot came out of it unscathed, but the crash of a cutting-edge unmanned prototype off Hawaii is a tragedy nonetheless for this fuel-cell test project and record-setting aircraft. The solar-electric Helios Prototype flying wing was destroyed when it crashed into the Pacific Ocean in the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility off the island of Kauai on Thursday. The propeller-driven craft was flown by a ground-based pilot from the plane's owner, AeroVironment Inc., on a checkout flight to test the fuel-cell system. More...

Adam Aircraft is next in a lengthening line of modern designs to have chosen Avidyne's FlightMax Entegra integrated flight deck for its push-pull A500T twin. The Avidyne system (reviewed, June 15, by AVweb) features two 10.4-inch diagonal, high-resolution sunlight-readable displays as pilot and co-pilot primary flight displays (PFD). Each display has its own electronics for reliability and redundancy running the solid-state air data and attitude/heading reference system (ADAHRS). The screens will also show standard flight instrumentation including an electronic attitude direction indicator, electronic horizontal situation indicator, altitude, airspeed and vertical speed. More...

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

A fatal crash involving one of its students has prompted a Florida flight school to accelerate the closure of its primary flight-training department. Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics will continue to offer advanced training to existing pilots who want to work for the airlines but it's no longer taking private, commercial, multi- and instrument-rating students. There are about 20 students working on those ratings now and they will be sent to other schools, with Gulfstream picking up any difference in cost. Gulfstream President Mark Ottosen said the fatal crash two weeks ago speeded up the plans. More...

As air shows go, it's a big one -- but then so are the hearts of the organizers. Van Nuys Airport's Aviation Expo 2003 raised $101,000 for more than 20 local nonprofit youth and service organizations. Nature played a role by turning down the Southern California heat to attract more than 385,000 people over two days. The crowds were treated to a massive static display that included, along with the military, vintage and commercial aircraft, a full-scale replica of the Wright Flyer. There were also numerous aerobatic, military and vintage flying displays. More...

WIN THE GETAWAY OF THE CENTURY! AVweb and Pilot Getaways magazine have joined with to bring you the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes. The lucky winner will be a part of the Kitty Hawk activities on December 17. Other prizes include special commemorative watches and more. Enter the sweepstakes, secure VIP events seating, and purchase official Wright products at

A new safety and engineering center, with the power to stop a space shuttle launch, will be in place before Atlantis blasts off as early as next December, NASA announced Friday. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe told a meeting of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the Florida Press Association that the safety center will cover all programs of the agency. "They can stop the mission or stop the operational activity or slow it down or whatever else is necessary along the way when they find ... really serious issues that need to be resolved," said O'Keefe. More...

Warbirds and other surplus military equipment in private hands appear safe, at least for this year, from the Bush administration's fixation with destroying the historic items. Every year, the White House tries to include, as part of the defense authorization bill, a section that would require owners of warbirds and other ex-military equipment to "demilitarize" the items at their own expense. The wording is found in S. 1050 and H.R. 1588. It's generally agreed that means destroying them. But each year, the Senate and the House, after prompting from the various associations that owners of these things belong to, delete that section from the bill. More...

AVIATOR'S GUIDE SHOWS WAYS TO USE YOUR AIRPLANE TO ENJOY LIFE! Aviator's Guide is a general aviation travel and lifestyle magazine written to be enjoyed by both pilots and their families. Features include: "Yipes, My Marriage Is A No-Fly Zone"; "Putting Your Airplane To Work For Business"; "Top 10 Fly-In Golf Destinations"; and more. A full year's subscription is only $14.95 at

EAA and have combined to help you track presidential TFRs...
Women In Aviation plan 15th annual convention in Reno in March...
Sailplanes in cross-country race to Kitty Hawk, ending July 4...
One of five flying Concordes was grounded by electrical fault. More...

AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Trevor Potts, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to Rules and information are at

SUBSCRIBE TO FLIGHT EXPLORER AVWEB EDITION 4.02 FOR ONLY $9.95 A MONTH! The latest edition of this real-time flight tracking display of all IFR aircraft in-flight includes enhanced tracking of individual flights, surface overlays, terrain and elevation maps, and full screen mode for a larger picture on your PC. To subscribe at the AVweb subscriber rate of only $9.95 a month go to

New Articles and Features on AVweb

Troubleshooting Mysteries
When problems arise, pilots are trained to logically step through checklists and quickly determine causes and actions. But beware the red herrings: When dealing with complicated mechanical systems like airplanes, the first culprit is not always the primary cause, as Michael Maya Charles relates in this month's As The Beacon Turns.

Taking the "Search" Out of "Search-and-Rescue"
After years of bureaucratic delay, the FCC has finally approved the use of 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacons in the United States starting July 1, 2003. For less than $1,000, you can now carry technology in your flight bag or survival kit that will alert search-and-rescue agencies of your identity and exact location within five minutes.

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BE A PART OF THE FUN AND ADVENTURE OF AN INTERNATIONAL AIR RALLY The world's largest International Air Rally is being professionally orchestrated for July 19-26 in Ontario and Quebec, Canada with a total of $50,000 (CDN) in prize money! Aviators from all over Europe, Canada and the U.S., no matter what they fly, are invited to share the camaraderie and test their flying abilities while enjoying fantastic tourists attractions along the way. Come! Enjoy! U.S. residents find details at and European residents go to

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FREE COPIES OF PILOT GETAWAYS MAGAZINE AT ARLINGTON, WASHINGTON SHOW If you plan on attending the Northwest EAA Fly-In and Sport Aviation Convention in Arlington, WA, July 9-13, stop by booth 106 and pick up your FREE copy of Pilot Getaways magazine. It's a keeper!

DISCOUNT ON "YOU WANT TO BUILD AND FLY A WHAT?" FROM BUTTERFIELD PRESS Check this out, and other Butterfield publications at

MOUNTAINSCOPE FROM PCAVIONICS IS A SAFETY ESSENTIAL With 17% of general aviation fatalities caused by controlled flight into terrain (CFIT), MountainScope is essential to display situational awareness of your surroundings in plain and 3-D views with pictorial warnings of dangerous obstacles or terrain. Overlaid onto the terrain are familiar aviation charting symbols to provide guidance to the closest airports, and navaids in case of emergency or disorientation. Flight Planning and Track Logging are additional features. Demonstration and details at


CABIN LIGHTING OPTIONS HIGHLIGHTED IN JULY LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE Panel lighting in older aircraft is a mixed bag of post lights, overhead red spots and occasionally, an internally lighted instrument. In the July issue of Light Plane Maintenance, read about modern panel lighting options that vastly improve the old technology. Most of these systems are retrofittable. Subscribe at

PILOT JOURNEY LAUNCHES ONTO THE INTERNET WITH EXCITING WEB SITES geared to grow and unite the general aviation and flight-training industry. You'll find a service for flight-training providers, or those who want a personal or business site. Pilot Journey brings you eye-catching, low-cost Web site hosting with NAFI member discounts with success-driven marketing and educational tools at

ATTENTION POWER FLOW TUNED EXHAUST OWNERS AND WANT-A-BE'S! Power Flow introduces a ceramic muffler that will NOT discolor unlike the current muffler that can discolor from intense heat. It's FAA approved and sustains that "new chrome" appearance with a five year Power Flow guarantee. Don't have a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System? Go online to see if your aircraft is one of the fortunate models FAA approved for a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System! Details at

"SPEAKING OF FLYING" OFFERS 44 AVIATION CELEBRITY STORIES OF HEROISM, humor, skill and terror. The perfect gift for any aviation buff at

YOU'VE READ YOUR AVFLASH...GOT A MINUTE...CHECK OUT AVWEB—THE MAGAZINE chocked full of columns, articles, databases, an events calendar, weather and travel info...everything to satisfy your aviation interests all at

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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.

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