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Volume 9, Number 29aJuly 14, 2003

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

PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) WANTS YOU TO COMPARE AND SAVE! Compare and save on your life insurance with PIC's exclusive rate plans designed for pilots. For the month of July, call or visit PIC's website for a quote and they will pick up the tab on a one-year subscription to Flying Magazine. There is only one Pilot Insurance Center. A+ RATED CARRIERS. NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS. FAST SERVICE. Go by PIC's AirVenture Booth 2065-66, or call 1-800-380-8376, or browse

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

EAA AirVenture is just around the corner and because many companies gear their product development and PR campaigns to the week at Oshkosh, particularly this year in the centennial of flight, you will soon be awash in new products to drool over and/or lust for. AVweb is already aware of some new weather products, new aircraft and new support services for all facets of flight (including those you spend on the ground). Whether you're going to the show (see AVweb's Survival Guide) or not (see our coverage), the AVweb team will be at AirVenture in force, to find what's best of what's new. Among the new aircraft, Extra Aircraft, the U.S. sales and marketing arm of the German aircraft manufacturer Extra Flugzeugbau, will spotlight their new business/touring aircraft with designer, founder of the German-based company, and aerobatics icon Walter Extra on hand. More...

Explorer Aircraft is no stranger to AirVenture, but the latest twist in its marketing efforts might raise an eyebrow or two. The Australian-based firm is pitching its big, powerful, bush-friendly single as a "pilot-optional" aircraft for military use. With a pilot, the Explorer is a 10- to 16-passenger workhorse that can get in and out of smaller airfields. Take the crew out of the equation and the company says it's an unmanned aerial vehicle that can fly as high as FL400 and accomplish a myriad of missions. While AirVenture is a showcase for all types of aviation, its roots are with homebuilts and kit plane manufacturers, like the New Glasair, which continues to innovate, announcing a super-fast-build option. According to the company, the pre-built components shave a total of 750 hours from the build time. More...

You won't actually have to attend the show to see some of the latest products and services being offered there (but it's a lot more fun). WSI, which provides pilots "a continuous stream of aviation weather information to your portable or panel-mounted display," will soon be setting up a temporary mini-site within its main Web site to show off its capabilities and provide extensive weather data for those traveling to the Oshkosh area. That will include satellite pictures, radar imagery, and a three-day temperature and sky forecast as well as a textual TAF. The mini-site will be up during the event and for a few days prior and afterward. Another company, TurboWx, will put similar information on your appropriately enabled cellphone. 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

Is the latest Inspector General report slamming the FAA a harbinger of things to come in the soon-to-be-created Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) category? On Thursday the Transportation Department's Inspector General criticized lack of oversight by the FAA on some maintenance facilities. It singled out the difficulties the FAA has with making sure work done in foreign countries is up to U.S. standards. That's been one of the main concerns of U.S. manufacturers who may face an influx of less-expensive imported aircraft when LSA becomes a reality. Oversight of foreign manufacturers is identified as a priority in the LSA rulemaking process but for some the FAA's record on overseeing offshore maintenance of U.S. airliners, as raised in the Inspector General's report, may suggest cause for concern. More...

Maintenance concerns were raised during the investigation into the crash of an Air Midwest Beech 1900 in Charlotte last January and the Inspector General is warning more safety problems could arise if the FAA doesn't tighten inspections of contract maintenance facilities. Meanwhile, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is concerned that the FAA's plans to Oct. 6 implement new rules for repair stations and quality-control manuals does not provide shops opportunity to study the rules and comment. NATA Vice President Jeb Burnside is also concerned about a new policy that would require component repair be treated as outsourced maintenance. He said the rule would increase paperwork and costs without improving safety. "When a repair station simply sends out a part for repair or overhaul by an FAA-certificated authority, there is no rational reason why that transaction needs to be labeled as contract maintenance," said Burnside, "This policy on contract maintenance clearly places an untenable financial burden on small businesses at a time when they can ill afford it." More...

NEW PRODUCTS AND SAVINGS AT AVIONICS WEST Avionics West has two new products: the Vertex Standard VXA-150 and VXA-210 Deluxe model portable transceivers. The new Deluxe series includes a powerful high capacity Ni-MH battery with two and a half times more capacity that their competitor, and comes with a CN-3 Antenna adapter. But wait, it gets better! There's a $25 factory REBATE coupon in the box for a limited time! Avionics West also has factory REBATES up to $75 on selected ICOM products. Save BIG on a portable transceivers at Avionics West. For more too-low-to-advertise prices, call 805 934-9777, or send an email to or go online at

In what looks like a case of too little, too late, a lone Chicago Alderman (one of 50) has spoken in support of reopening Meigs Field. Ald. Joe Moore (D-49th Ward) stood up at last Wednesday's full meeting of council to call for public hearings into alleged safety problems caused by the March 31 closure of Meigs and for consideration of reopening the waterfront airport. At an earlier news conference, Moore said there have been increased runway incursions at O'Hare and allegations of overwork by air traffic controllers at Midway since Meigs was closed by Mayor Richard Daley, who ordered large X's excavated in the runway. More...

Boeing has entered the race to put a fuel-cell-powered aircraft in the air. Boeing's research center in Madrid, Spain, will launch the process, planning to equip a Diamond Katana Xtreme motor glider with the plumbing, controls and electric motor needed to make it fly on a fuel cell. The plan is to fly the aircraft by late 2004 or early 2005. Most of the corporate partners in the project are European, but Advanced Technology Products, of Worcester, Mass., which has been making slow progress on their own fuel-cell aircraft project, is also involved. That project in June won a $400,000 NASA grant "to develop and build the Fuel Cell System for the project." It's not clear if that project will be continued, abandoned or absorbed in the well-heeled Boeing project, which hopes in the near term to produce a fuel-cell powered APU. The investigation continues into the crash of the Helios Prototype, the unmanned aerial vehicle that was preparing to test a fuel-cell propulsion system. More...

AFFORDABLE FLIGHT Looking for big fun with a small price tag? There’s nothing better than the Symphony 160, the two-place, high wing, single engine aircraft from OMF. This well-equipped aircraft can take you and a passenger, plus full fuel and baggage, wherever you want to go, and make getting there part of the fun. It has the sporty good looks, comfort, safety and German engineering that will make possible the lifestyle you want. The Symphony 160 makes flying fun again. To discover more about the fully-loaded Symphony 160, call 1-866-OMF-1600 or visit

A top FAA official has been "counseled" by Administrator Marion Blakey and new flight information policies are being drafted after the agency got caught in a Texas-sized political scramble in May. The Department of Transportation's Inspector General's office released findings of the FAA's involvement in the fracas, which, as we reported in June, at one point had the full weight of the Department of Homeland Security's interdiction apparatus looking for a planeload of hooky-playing Texas state politicians. "The FAA lacks clear internal guidance for the processing of requests for FAA aircraft/flight information received from law enforcement and other government entities," said the report, triggered by Sen. Joe Lieberman, and authored by Inspector General Ken Mead. More...

GA pilots in the Los Angeles area are getting plenty of advanced notice of an FAA Christmas present to them. For whatever reason, the FAA has chosen Dec. 25, 2003, to implement the realignment of a VFR corridor through the busy LAX area. The new alignment changes the northern boundary of the Los Angeles Special Flight Rules Area and it also clarifies the text of the flight regulations within the SFAR to ensure aircraft maintain the correct fixed altitude while using the route.

Owners of certain Lycoming engines will have to replace the rotary fuel pumps on them sooner rather than later. An earlier AD requiring torque check inspections of the pump relief valve attaching screws on certain Cran/Lear Romec "AN" rotary fuel pumps has been superseded by a new AD that requires the inspection plus the replacement of the pump with one of an improved design. The older style could leak. More...

DON'T SIT THERE AND WISH YOUR AIRPLANE HAD ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES! Bennett Avionics meets your aircraft's needs while maintaining your budget. Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business. Bennett stocks a complete line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to your aircraft at a price that makes sense. Bennett also purchases used avionics equipment and will work out an exchange for newer electronics. Bennett Avionics-your one-stop used avionics specialist at

AOPA has developed an online form to collect real-life horror stories of pilots trying to operate within the security-related flight restrictions that have become a fact of life since 9/11. AOPA wants to use the stories as ammunition in its attempt to have the whole system of security-related regulations reviewed. AOPA is particularly interested in pilot experiences in the Baltimore-Washington Air Defense Identification Zone and the presidential-movement TFRs that pop up wherever Air Force One lands. "We will take these very real operational stories to the decision makers. We want them to feel our pain and respond," said President Phil Boyer. More...

As AVweb told you Thursday, ILS-like accuracy could be coming to an airport near you, thanks to the FAA's new Wide Area Augmentation System. The WAAS signal, which improves GPS receiver accuracy, was switched on and now properly equipped aircraft can pinpoint their position to within a few meters. But the major impact will be in the creation of ILS-like approaches to hundreds of airports not yet served by the costly (to buy and maintain) ground-based ILS equipment. AOPA President Phil Boyer said the organization has been behind the over-budget, years-late system from its inception. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey apologized for the delays but said it was worth the wait. "The general aviation community will be the first to benefit from this system," she said. More...

GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT YOUR AIRCRAFT'S FUEL BILL BY 20 PERCENT! If you're tired of being grounded by sky-high gas prices, install GAMIjectors. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. See all the GAMI products at AirVenture booth 3005-6, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine at

Senate committee approved funding for Airport Watch Program reporting line...
National Aviation Hall of Fame honorees celebrate the centennial July 19...
Alabama wildlife officials check eagles with a Skylane...
Contest determines Concorde's last passengers. More...

After holding short of runway 4, with no traffic in sight and the vice-president of the company riding shotgun...

Pilot: Cessna 123, still holding short.
Tower: Cessna 123, Hold your taters.
Pilot: Taters held, over.
Tower: Cessna 123, release taters, [chuckle] Runway 33, position and hold.

The VP was impressed and the pilot is now known company-wide as "Tater". More...

EXCLUSIVE OFFER TO AVWEB SUBSCRIBERS ONLY FROM POWER FLOW! Cessna, Mooney, Piper and Grumman owners, your airplane and wallet deserve a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System. Not only will your airplane perform better but you'll save money at the avgas pump. Power Flow guarantees it! SPECIAL: $150 discount on any order placed before July 31st AND FREE UPS ground shipping, a $75 value. Go by and talk to the Power Flow experts at AirVenture booth 1050-51, and go online to see if your aircraft is one of the fortunate models FAA approved for a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System and take advantage of this special AVweb offer.

New Articles and Features on AVweb

The Pilot's Lounge #63: It Takes A Village To Raise An Airport
AVweb's Rick Durden has gotten used to stories about airports losing money, support, and pilots. So when he heard about a place where the airport was increasing the support from the citizens, he had to find out more.

Risk Management For Pilots
Why does the risk of accidents increase in the few hundred flight hours after primary flight training? Are we still not properly teaching students how to manage risk as they build experience in a variety of flight situations? AVweb presents some suggestions to get you started.

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

Reader mail this week about plane crazy days of summer, the Avjet settlement and more.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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HOW SENSITIVE IS "YOUR" CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR? Low levels of carbon monoxide can be hazardous in aircraft since the effects of CO and hypoxia are cumulative. By the time a chemical spot or hardware store CO detectors alerts, you could have a life-threatening exhaust leak. The CO Experts 2002 from Aeromedix warns of CO levels as low as 5 parts per million! On sale for $99.95. See all Aeromedix's products at AirVenture booth 3002-03. Be safe and order your CO detector today by calling 888 362-7123 and mention this AVflash, or go online at

PRICELESS PIECE-OF-MIND FOR JUST $9.95 A MONTH! Sign up now for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer, the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR traffic over the U.S. and Canada. Simply enter the aircraft's N-number to track a flight, be alerted to delays, and get updated ETAs. The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer costs just $9.95 a month, subscribe at

REMOTE AND BEAUTIFUL...PILOT GETAWAYS INSPIRES YOU TO GO THERE The tiny resort of Punta San Francisquito in Baja, Mexico is just one of the destinations you will find in the Summer issue. Stop by AirVenture tent 34 to pick up your FREE issue and meet the staff. Subscribe to Pilot Getaways at

GIFTS FOR GRADUATIONS, BIRTHDAYS, FIRST SOLO, OR TO SAY "I LOVE YOU" are all at Port-to-Port Jewelry. From 14k gold, sterling silver and costume, you'll find the right gift of airplanes, balloons, gliders, and more at Port-to-Port's AirVenture booth 2112, or online at

HOWARD FRIED'S FINAL "EYE OF EXPERIENCE" SERIES AT SPECIAL PRE-PUB PRICE ends on Thursday, July 17. To take advantage of the pre-publication price of $21.95, regular $24.95, on the last of the "Eye of Experience" series go to

FLYING'S PETER GARRISON FINALLY FLYS HIS MELMOTH 2! In Flying's August issue Peter Garrison flys his Melmoth 2 after 21 year of construction; a pilot report on the Robinson Raven II and Cayenne; A new twist on shared ownership with a Cirrus SR22; and more. Stop by Flying magazine's AirVenture booth 4151 and BMC 201 for your FREE copy, and for special online rates go to


MAKE OREGON AERO YOUR OSHKOSH OASIS FOR THOSE ACHING FEET You will really feel a noticeable difference walking around Oshkosh (and elsewhere!) with a pair of Oregon Aero SoftSole™ Inserts. These inserts eliminate foot pain and relieve fatigue. Thousands of U.S. military personnel are using them. Oregon Aero has men and women’s sizes for walking, running, standing, and for those with foot injuries or other medical conditions. Stop by AirVenture booth 3037-40 to purchase these inserts and other products that eliminate pain, reduce noise and improve impact protection. Check out all of Oregon Aero’s products online at

AVIATION SAFETY AUGUST ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS: "Convective Living", technology make most trips a safe go; "Flight Review & You", get out what you put in; "Shut the Prop Up", techniques for keeping the peace; "Fighting Corrosion"; "Evasive Action", easing the potential for mid-air collisions; plus, accident reports, service difficulties and real-life experiences in the air. Stay informed and up-to-date with your subscription to Aviation Safety.

PICK UP ROD MACHADO AT AIRVENTURE. NO, NOT THE REAL PERSON BUT ROD'S videos and books! These are the next best thing to having Rod Machado stand in your living room making you learn while you laugh. Go by AirVenture booth 2072-73, or go online to

SMITHSONIAN'S AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE IS A HISTORICAL KEEPER! August/September issue highlights: The Hmong Air Force, trained by the CIA they fought like tigers to protect their homeland; Hong Kong's Kai-Tak airport has closed, can the flying club keep the legends alive?; Space Garden; State Secret: The Trade War; Of Tri-motors and Travel Airs; and much more to peak your interest and increase your knowledge. Order online at

NEW PRODUCTS FROM SACRAMENTO SKYRANCH IN TIME FOR LOTS OF SUMMER FLYING! You know Sacramento Skyranch for their great maintenance books, now find two new products: The GATS JAR, the only fuel analysis tester to separate non-petroleum contaminants and thereby purifying water and debris from contaminated avgas and jet fuel allowing extracted fuel to be put back into the aircraft and not on the ground. REJEX, a thin-film polymer coating that reduces adhesion of bugs, oil, grime and more to any aircraft surface and lasts for months. See these and other fine products at

HUMAN FACTORS IN AVIATION ACCIDENTS AUDIOTAPES DISCUSSES THE HUMAN SIDE of why accidents happen and what can be done to prevent them. The tape discusses in-flight decision making, error chains, personal limits, personality traits, and other elements than can lead to disaster. Brian Jacobson, author of Flying On The Gages, will give you something to think about. Order online 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

SUPPORT THOSE WHO BRING YOU FREE AVFLASHES! Stop by during AirVenture and tell AVweb sponsors how much you appreciate their support of your FREE AVflash issues. AVweb will be in booth 4144-45. For a list you can print out and take with you go to

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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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