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Volume 9, Number 32bAugust 7, 2003

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

AIRVENTURE: THE GOOD AND THE SAD
As AVweb reported all last week, the scene in Oshkosh this summer was bright and bustling, with cooperative weather, big crowds, and a feeling that the worst is behind us. Wednesday, EAA released estimated numbers, backing President Tom Poberezny's words offered in a Monday news release that the show was "one of the most successful conventions we've ever had." The figures confirmed a record 2,960 registered show planes (beating the former number by nearly 7 percent), an estimated 770,000 attendees wandering the grounds and more than 800 exhibitors. More...

...HUGHES RACER AND PILOT DON'T MAKE IT HOME...
The sleek and beautiful Hughes H-IB Racer, a one-of-a-kind homebuilt that attracted thousands of admirers last week at EAA AirVenture, crashed about 6:30 p.m. Monday night in Yellowstone National Park, killing its devoted and inspirational pilot, James Wright, 53, of Cottage Grove, Ore. The plane was on its way home from Oshkosh. It approached from the west about treetop level, the Associated Press reported Tuesday, and struck the bank of the Firehole River near the main park road, about five miles north of Old Faithful geyser. The crash started a fire that was quickly snuffed by park workers. Nobody on the ground was hurt. More...

...AVWEB/AIRSIDETV'S AIRVENTURE COVERAGE INDEX
This marked AVweb's first year of streaming video coverage direct from the AirVenture show grounds, all of which remains available (for a brief period) along with our written coverage, plus our six-page image gallery. For your reference...

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 go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin

PRIVATIZATION ...
Various powers-that-be in D.C. insist there is nothing to fear in the new FAA reauthorization bill -- including FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, who last week at AirVenture told AVweb, "There are absolutely no plans to privatize air traffic control as we know it." Others through their actions apparently think Blakey is either lying, fickle, or irrelevant in the long term. With no resolution in sight to disputes over privatization language in the bill, the legislation now has been put on hold until after Labor Day, while Congress takes a recess. Among the loudest dissenters, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association says the bill would allow for the removal of FAA controllers from 69 towers, replacing them with contract workers. Blakey said the FAA already has that option, and has not exercised it. The Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) also decried the "disastrous" bill, calling it a threat to aviation safety. More...

...AOPA IS OK WITH HALF A LOAF...
AOPA says that although it is "disappointed" in the reauthorization bill's stand on privatization, the legislation does include many features favorable to general aviation, and it would be better to get it passed than to risk further delay and debate. "While we don't like everything about the bill," AOPA President Phil Boyer said in a news release last Friday, "we are asking senators to support it by voting 'yes.'" AOPA noted that the bill includes a four-year moratorium prohibiting the FAA from transferring aircraft separation and control functions to any public or private entity other than the U.S. government. However, that is far from a promise not to privatize. More...

...WHILE NBAA SEES HOPE FOR DCA ACCESS
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), meanwhile, is also urging the business aviation community to ask Congress to support the bill in its current form and get it passed. Of primary concern to the NBAA is a mandate for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a plan that would allow security-qualified GA operators to regain access to Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The NBAA said it has worked hard to get this provision into the current version of the bill and hopes to work closely with the DHS on the development of the security plan. The provision would allow the president to suspend GA operations at any time, citing national security concerns, but the reasons for the suspension would have to be explained to Congress within 30 days.

MARV GOLDEN PILOT SUPPLIES OFFERS SPECIAL FROM TELEX If you need a headset now is the time to buy from Marv Golden Pilot Supplies. Purchase a Telex Stratus 50-D headset and receive a Telex EV Mutimedia Speaker System at no cost, a $100 value. Offer good through August 31 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold

YET ANOTHER LITTLE JET
On Monday, Avocet Aircraft, headquartered in Westport, Conn., announced that it will work with Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), manufacturer of Gulfstream bizjets, to develop and market the Avocet Professional Jet, a six-seat, twin-turbofan, all-metal-fuselage jet designed for the air-taxi and fractional markets. Projected sales price is about $2 million, with deliveries projected to start in late 2006. The ProJet enters a crowded field, already occupied by Adam, soon to be contested by Diamond, Eclipse, Cessna, etc., all with jets at various stages of design/completion coming to market, and projected prices varying from "well under a million" to about $3 million. IAI designed, certified and manufactures business jets for Gulfstream Aerospace, including the G100 and G200, and is currently developing the G150 with Gulfstream. More...

MEIGS SAGA -- THE FINAL CHAPTER?
Demolition crews advanced upon Meigs Field early Tuesday morning, despite pleas from the aviation community for a moratorium on destruction. "The day we had all feared has arrived," lamented AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Meigs is no more." But the undaunted Friends of Meigs does not so easily give up. "The city seems to be running scared," said FOM President Rachel Goodstein, still fighting for a plan that would create a combination park/airport at the site. So far, the city has not responded to the FOM's proposals. More...

GULF COAST AVIONICS: THE LOWEST PRICES IN THE INDUSTRY, PERIOD Gulf Coast Avionics is a leading supplier of avionics, instruments and pilot supplies. With one of the largest comprehensive inventories in the industry, pilots are sure to find what they need. Go online to Gulf Coast Avionics' e-commerce site to shop for the latest products and offers at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gca

NTSB: DC-8 CRASH CAUSED BY FAULTY MAINTENANCE
The NTSB said on Tuesday that the probable cause of the crash of an Emery Worldwide Airlines DC-8 aircraft near Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 16, 2000, was "a loss of pitch control resulting from the disconnection of the right elevator control tab." The three crew members aboard the flight were killed, and the aircraft was destroyed. The board judged that improper maintenance work caused the control problem that doomed the airplane, but investigators were not able to determine exactly when the improper work was done. NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman said the finding illustrates the interdependence of each member of the aviation safety chain. More...

STOCKTON MIDDLE-SCHOOLERS NOW HAVE AIR & SPACE OPTION
A new program starting next month in Stockton, Calif., offers a chance for 24 students in grades 7 through 9 to integrate aeronautics and space into their middle-school curriculum. The Venture Space and Aeronautics Academy will meet at the Stockton National Guard Air Center. "There's so much science and math in aviation," academy educator Marcie Lane told the Lodi News-Sentinel. "It's exciting and motivating for the kids." Local EAA members will cooperate with the program as pilot mentors and as part of the Young Eagles program. Materials developed by NASA and the FAA will be extensively used in the classroom. More...

FORGET SYNTHETIC VISION -- FLY BLIND BY FEEL
A system intended to enable pilots to fly accurately even when blindfolded is being tested this month at Canada's Institute for Aerospace Research (IAR) in Toronto. The system, developed by U.S. Navy Capt. Angus Rupert, uses stimulators embedded in a pilot's vest to produce tiny vibrations that move around the torso in the same direction that the aircraft is moving. The inputs are said to be easy to interpret and help pilots sense their position in the absence of visual cues. Initial tests suggest the tactile system reduces both pilot workload and spatial disorientation when flying in degraded visual conditions. More...

BENNETT AVIONICS MEETS YOUR AIRPLANE'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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett

NEW PIPER: PURSUING THE PAST TO FIND THE FUTURE
New Piper said last week that it has achieved shorter product-development cycles and greater efficiency in its "Factory of the Future" by implementing the production techniques developed by automobile manufacturers in the 1980s. "That task was nothing less than changing the way Piper does business," New Piper CEO Chuck Suma said in a news release. New Piper also noted that it took only six months to achieve FAA certification of its newest model -- the 6X, a normally aspirated, fixed-gear version of its more complex six-seat Saratoga II aircraft that dates from the 1980s. "People said it couldn't be done in that short a time," Suma said. The 6X should be ready for delivery next month, Suma said last week at EAA AirVenture. More...

SEAWIND JOINS "SOON TO BE CERTIFIED" SET
A sleek amphibian (not a description usually used for flying boats) that captured the imagination -- if not the marketplace -- in the kit crowd will be launched as a certified design, according to Advanced Aero Corporation spokesman Paul Marshall. A prototype of the production Seawind, with its distinctive tail-mounted engine and massive bubble canopy, could be started as soon as this fall in Quebec. First deliveries are anticipated in 2005, said Marshall. The company says the aircraft offers performance similar to many complex singles at a competitive price and adds water operations as a bonus. More...

ON THE FLY...
Boeing S-307 Stratoliner arrived August 6 at Washington Dulles...
A Learjet 35A crashed Monday in Groton, Conn., killing both pilots...
Ibis Aerospace 10-seat propjet to be Czech-certified by 2004...
FAA wants pilots for an online survey about Flight Service Stations...
727 designer Jack Steiner died last week at age 85, in Medina, Wash....
Scottsdale (Ariz.) pilots face rising noise complaints...
Michigan pilot-background-check law is repealed. More...

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Kimberly Lansdon, 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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PICTURE OF THE WEEK

*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

This week, we're doing things just a bit differently. Because our team of AVweb reporters captured a slew of high-quality photos at AirVenture, the POTW team decided to pick the top three. We hope you enjoy them! We welcome you to browse our AirVenture Image Galleries and disagree.

To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw.


QUESTION OF THE WEEK

*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

We received over 100 responses to our question last week on AVweb's AirVenture coverage. About a quarter (26 percent) of our respondents enjoyed the new product release coverage, while 8 percent picked our new streaming video as a their favorite feature. Many (26 percent) couldn't single out a best feature, so they chose the "I can't pick a favorite because it's all great!" category.

To check out the complete results, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.

*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

This week, we would like to know your thoughts on the overall AirVenture experience. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond.

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to qotw@avweb.com. Note, this address is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers.

"TEST DRIVE" A B-737/300 AT CONTINENTAL'S IAH PILOT TRAINING CENTER! The "Airline Training Orientation Program" (ATOP) is a two-day 737/300 familiarization course designed for *any* U.S. pilot, especially those interested in airline careers. Presented exclusively by ATOP Inc., the course features 12 hours' ground school, one hour in the 737/300 FTD, and two hours in the 737/300 full-motion simulator. Earn the optional "High Altitude Endorsement," too! Register for any class by September 1 and get a $40 discount off the $435.00 course fee by mentioning AVweb! For details go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/atop

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New Articles and Features on AVweb

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AVIONICS
Roll Your Own Electronic Flight Bag
Overwhelmed by paper? Tired of buying and carrying pounds of approach charts for a cross-country trip when you'll be landing at only a few airports along the way? John Ruley has found some new solutions for when you're ready to bring your charts into the digital age.

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BRAINTEASERS
Quiz #71 -- Special Use Airspace
Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) have become permanent, roving annoyances to pilots. Other Special Use Airspace (SUA) restrictions have vexed aviators for decades. Test your knowledge of off-limits airspace. This quiz first published August 7, 2003.

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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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SPONSOR NEWS

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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.

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