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Volume 9, Number 28aJuly 7, 2003

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

The pilot involved in the D.C. ADIZ flight plan-related fuel starvation and subsequent encounter with trees last week four miles from Martin State Airport in Maryland has recognized his role in running out of fuel. "Ultimately, the pilot is responsible for what happens," Dale Roger told The Baltimore Sun after he was released from the hospital where he received stitches for a gash in his head. But while Roger nurses the sore head (he and his two passengers suffered only minor injuries) fingers are pointing in a myriad of directions over Roger's one-hour-long wait for ATC to find his flight plan. For one, although he did not declare an emergency, Roger did let air traffic controllers know he was short of fuel 20 minutes before the prop on the rented 172 stopped spinning. More...

The mishap has prompted calls for the easing of the Washington flight restrictions and some opining. AOPA's Warren Morningstar told the Sun that lost flight plans are a common occurrence and a mishap of some sort was inevitable: "Because of the inability of the system to handle all the aircraft, it was only a matter of time ..." Jim Crook, vice president of operations for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), disagreed, saying, "I don't think they're [ATC installations] understaffed." Meanwhile, David Wartofsky, who operates Potomac Airfield within the ADIZ questioned the rationale behind all the flight planning, transponder codes and ATC attention. "Anyone can get a clearance within the 30-mile ring, so why even ask them for it?" More...

And while the various constituencies discuss the human factors that led up to this incident, a scientist at the University of California in Berkeley has come up with a system he says keeps the pilot out of the security loop. Edward Lee proposes somehow modifying the avionics and flight-control systems of aircraft to cause them to steer clear of restricted areas and prevent pilots -- or hijackers -- from overruling them ... with control inputs, anyway. The system (which has drawn the support of Boeing's Phantom Works) would pinpoint the boundaries of restricted areas and any attempt by the pilot to breach the so-called "soft walls" would be met by active resistance from the airplane itself. The airplane would simply refuse to cross that line in the sky. Lee, who is apparently not a pilot, says he's surprised by the negative reaction of those who do fly. More...

GARMIN'S 196 GPS HAS THE MOST UTILITY AMONG AVIATION HANDHELDS! WAAS-capable, the Garmin 196 has advanced mapping and logbook capabilities offering more utility as a cross-platform navigator than any aviation portable on the market. On land the GPSMAP 196 can navigate along roads or waterways. For details on the 196 and other Garmin GPS models stop by AirVenture Booth 1073, 4035A-C, Combo S, or go online at

It's the U.S.'s largest exporter and by far its largest aerospace company, so when Boeing stamps its feet, the ground shakes under most of us. Lately the Chicago-headquartered manufacturer has been attracting the attention of critics who claim Boeing is drawing too much from the government trough. The Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has formally asked the House Armed Services Subcommittee to oppose a $21 billion deal for Boeing to lease 100 767 aerial tankers to the Air Force. The CAGW claims upgrading the existing fleet of 127 707-based KC-135s would cost $3.8 billion and it also points out that after leasing the 767s for 10 years the planes go back to Boeing. The company is also (according to some) seeing some extremely generous offers from states and towns as it dangles the carrot of 1,000 jobs to be won by the location that will build its new 7E7 Dreamliner. More...

But there's apparently a limit to how much help the government can give before it actually starts to hurt business. No doubt with the best of intentions, the proposed 2004 Defense Authorization Act is laced with "buy American" provisions that some of the major defense contractors, including Boeing, say could make it harder for them to compete on the world market. The House version of the bill would require that 65 percent of every plane, bomb, truck or photocopier purchased by the Defense Department would have to be made in the U.S. That's up from the current 50 percent. The list of products that must be 100-percent domestically produced would be expanded to include items such as ready-to-eat meals, tires and bomb fuses. Defense contractors are afraid the provisions will prompt similar protectionist moves in other countries, making it tougher for them to compete there. More...

On the battlefield that the commercial airliner market has become, Boeing notched two significant victories earlier this month. The company sold 45 737s to All Nippon Airways and inked a deal with AirTran Airways for 50 Boeing 737s and another 10 717s, worth a reported $4 billion. The sales came after Airbus beat Boeing, which has dominated the budget airlines, for contracts with JetBlue and easyJet. AirTran's CEO said his deal could have gone either way because Airbus's bid was neck and neck with Boeing's. According to an Associated Press story, a week before the AirTran contract was signed, Boeing's financial arm exercised options to buy more than a million shares of stock in AirTran. More...

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Dick and Burt Rutan played gracious hosts to one of the most publicized "surprise" birthday parties ever held June 28. Their Mojave, Calif., Scaled Composites headquarters was descended upon by an estimated 105 Vari Ez and Long Ez homebuilts there to help the brothers celebrate their 60th (Burt) and 65th (Dick) birthdays. The gathering set a new record for the number of canard aircraft to gather in that spot, last won in 1988 when 82 planes made the pilgrimage to Mojave. The latest gathering has been in the works for months and word first got out about it in May. Those attending got an up-close look at the Rutans' Scaled Composites entry for the X-Prize, the White Knight launch vehicle and the Space Ship One spacecraft. More...

What some might consider the ultimate military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is on the Pentagon's drawing board. The Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle (HCV) will be able to strike anywhere in the world within two hours of a launch from within the continental United States. It will carry up to 12,000 pounds of munitions and be able to take off from a conventional runway. Such a capability will give the U.S. an enormous advantage in any conflict, anywhere in the world, according to the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). More...

DO YOU REALLY NEED A $600 PORTABLE OXYGEN SYSTEM? NOT WITH E-OX! With prices starting under $200, E-Ox from Aeromedix, is the solution for pilots who don't fly enough high-altitudes to justify the cost and hassle of a full-blown portable O2 system. E-Ox is light, compact and yet offers up to 3.4 hours duration. Available in 36- and 113-liter sizes. See all the Aeromedix products at AirVenture booth 3002-3, or to order this and other Aeromedix products call 888 362-7123 and mention this AVflash, or go online at

A potential blast from the past interrupted the massive expansion of Diamond Aircraft's European headquarters last week. Employees were evacuated when workers digging the foundation of the new 100,000-square-foot composite facility unearthed a couple of unexploded World War II bombs. Diamond's factory, at Wiener-Neustadt Airport in Austria, was the site of a Messershmitt ME 109 factory which was bombed heavily during the war. After the bombs were removed, work resumed on the expansion made necessary by overall demand and the introduction of the DA 42 TwinStar and D-JET. Another European manufacturer, EADS Socata, is in expansion mode, too. More...

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority has issued an urgent Airworthiness Directive (AD) for Robinson R22 helicopters after a failed rotor blade caused a fatal accident June 20. The AD requires visual and eddy current inspections of the blades and a special vibration warning placard in the cockpit. The FAA usually follows suit with emergency ADs issued in other countries. Australia issued this AD after an investigation showed the main rotor blade in the crash helicopter failed at the inboard end of the bolted joint. More...

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If your airplane's props were serviced by T and W Propellers, of Chino, Calif., they may need doing again and the sooner the better. An Airworthiness Directive has been issued essentially ordering a recall of certain props certified and returned to service by the company. The AD follows investigation of a prop failure on a Beech Travel Air that determined the prop was zero-timed by the company even though it had visible corrosion and a four-inch crack. More...

Russians swept the top three places at the World Aerobatic Championships in Lakeland, Fla., last week. Sergey Rakhmanin edged Svetlana Kapanina, who held first place going into the final round of the four-round competition and was trying to become the first woman to win the title. Alexander Krotov completed the sweep. Robert Armstrong, of Athens, Ga., was the top American, placing fourth in a French-built CAP 231. He was in second place through part of the competition. Pilots fly four rounds, including freestyle, known compulsory and two compulsory rounds where the routines are given to them just before takeoff. More...

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 AirVenture, 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 at AirVenture Booth 3037-40, or online at

Dayton Celebration of Flight underway, while festivities ready across the country...
Fiat sold aerospace division to American equity firm and Italian government company...
A fake bomb caused partial evacuation of LaGuardia...
Record total of 87 homebuilts in 1,000-mile EAA AirVenture Cup Race. More...

Nearly fifty yars ago when I was a NAVCAD (Naval Aviation Cadet), one of our classmates had an accident. One of the accident board members asked him what he thought caused the accident.

His reply: "Well sir, I ran out of airspeed, altitude and ideas all at the same time." More...

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

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

New Articles and Features on AVweb

CEO of the Cockpit #21: Let's Fix This Airline
Once again, AVweb's fictional CEO of the Cockpit holds court in a high-flying bull session with fellow pilots and comes up with can't-fail fixes for his fictional airline's finances.

Why Twins Crash
Mostly it's the usual suspects: fuel, weather and runway prangs. But poor maintenance is a surprisingly big player, as Aviation Consumer recently reported.

Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:

Reader mail this week about the plane crash after ATC denied clearance into the ADIZ, crashing into safe trees and more.

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EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING CAN'T ENSURE YOUR WON'T BE VICTIMIZED! Spatial disorientation is insidious and -- despite what you may have been led to believe -- not even experience and training can absolutely ensure that it won't victimize you. Take the case of the pilot of a Learjet which was taking off early one morning. Details in the July issue of NTSB Reporter. Subscribe online at

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