AVwebFlash - Volume 14, Number 30a

July 21, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
"The-Jet" Has a New Name: Cirrus Vision SJ50
Cirrus Vision SJ50 is the official name of Cirrus Design's single-engine personal jet. Cirrus Vision has unsurpassed interior space, single-engine fuel efficiency, flexible seating for seven, state-of-the-art avionics and flight systems, and safety hallmarks including the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS™). Sporting a V-tail design, Cirrus Vision is technologically advanced yet engineered to be simple to fly, allowing owner-pilots more lifestyle pursuits. Go online for complete details.

» See the Cirrus Vision SJ50 for yourself at booths 15-22 (Combo P) at EAA AirVenture
Top News: Frightening Experience for Skydiver, Pilot back to top 
Sponsor Announcement

Pilot Leaves Controls To Rescue Tangled SkyDiver

A British soldier and jump instructor participating in a parachute competition in Germany got hung up on the landing gear of his jump aircraft, reportedly a Britten-Norman Islander, and was rescued by the only person left on the aircraft -- its pilot. The aircraft was 3,000 feet above the Joint Service Parachute Centre at Bad Lippspringe when five soldiers successfully departed the aircraft. The sixth, the instructor, suffered a partially deployed chute that caught his rigging on the aircraft's gear. The aircraft's civilian pilot became aware of the situation and left his seat, cutting snagged lines until the parachutist fell free of his aircraft and deployed his reserve. The pilot's excursion left him out of the cockpit for approximately 30 seconds, according to initial reports. Claiming he was only doing his job, the pilot has so far asked to remain anonymous. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence told the Daily Mail, "The pilot showed significant bravery and skill. We are unaware of a rescue like this happening before."

Initial reports did not indicate the type of aircraft involved in the incident.

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Technology Watch back to top 

Embraer Challenges Geared Turbofan Efficiency Claims

It's the economy, stupid. Bombardier's pre-Farnborough assertion that its Pratt & Whitney geared-turbofan-powered CSeries 100-149 seat regional jets (due in 2013) could be 20 percent more efficient than rival aircraft has rival aircraft manufacturer Embraer saying "not so fast." Embraer (the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world) has spun the argument to operating costs and says its 110-seat E195 would only fall behind a CSeries C-110 by 3 or 4 percent in 2013 -- after the E195 undergoes improvements. Speaking of the CSeries, Embraer CEO Frederico Curado said in an interview with the Montreal Gazette, "We're not making any assertion that the airplane will not deliver what it promises, nothing like that. We are assuming that it will." He then went on to add, "But we are disputing the figures they are promising, this 15 to 20 percent thing is really unreal." Curado believes that the Pratt's efficiencies exist, but are compromised by their attachment to an airframe in the real world. Bombardier says it has taken those considerations into account.

In the end, Curado estimates that laboratory figures showing 15-percent efficiency improvements will translate to 9 percent in a real-world application and his company's E195 will make up about 4 percent through design improvements. Bombardier is aware of Curado's concerns and is standing by its efficiency claims.

BRS Announces Possible VLJ Parachute

Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), maker of whole-aircraft parachute systems, Friday announced that its new 5000-series canopy complies with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. BRS has submitted to the FAA its plan for 5000 series Part 23 certification testing. This BRS system can support heavier piston airframes and higher-weight-category very light jets. It's not yet certified and the system's precise operating limitations have yet to be announced, but the system marks another step forward for the company (and, arguably, the rest of us) and makes inroads into the arena of "heavier aircraft." First applications of 5000-series recovery systems may include Diamond's D-Jet and the Lancair Evolution, according to BRS' financial statements for early 2008. The company has since 1981 delivered more than 29,000 parachute systems to aircraft owners worldwide, 3,500 of which reside on FAA-certificated aircraft including Cirrus Design's SR20 and SR22 aircraft. The company says its systems "have been credited with saving the lives of 213 pilots and passengers."

Epic Elite Cruises Past 385 Knots

Epic Aircraft, maker of turbine-powered kit and to-be-certified aircraft, says that its six-plus-two-seat twin Williams FJ-33-4 powered Elite jet has in test flights consistently logged cruise speeds "in excess of 385 KTAS." The company says that makes the Elite "the undisputed fastest very light jet in the world." For those who are interested in both apples and oranges, the claim doesn't yet make the Elite a certified option and Honda is expected to chime in with its 420-knot (and certified) eight-seat HondaJet sometime near 2010. Epic's Web site says that "current estimates point to certification of the 6-8 seat Elite in the next two and a half years." The aircraft falls in line with Epic's standing commitment to "take off with all the seats occupied, full fuel and luggage." Let the 1330 pounds of available payload after fuel be your ruler for that equation. Epic delivered well on its early promises of bringing aircraft from design to market and was rewarded for the work.

The company says debuts of its Elite twin-jet and Victory four-plus-one-seat single-engine jet (not yet slated for certification) earned more than $60 million in gross sales. Pricing and availability are offered by Epic in response to online inquiries. Recent news reports have place Epic's certification plans in both Canada and Georgia (the one overseas) with final plans to be determined.

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» Try out the Headset X™ and other Bose Corporation products at booths 171-176 at EAA AirVenture
Meanwhile, Back at the Airport ... back to top 

TEB Airport Guide/Safety Package, Good Stuff From The FAA

The FAA is providing detailed pilot training for easier access and improved safety to Teterboro through a presentation that basically serves as pre-packaged local pilot experience available online, free of charge. We might hope to eventually see these for every airport, but Teterboro Airport is a 13-mile drive from the Empire State Building and that proximity makes it one of the busiest (and most expensive) general aviation airports in the country. The Teterboro Airport Flight Crew Briefing offers interactive graphics and a voiced briefing that presents pilots with an overview of the airport layout, its normal operations and relevant regulations, along with airport-specific safety and security procedures. Included are runway incursion hot spots and an interface that allows clickable access to the nuances of each one. Pilots are also given access to a review of frequently used air traffic control procedures, including common departures, and are briefed on the most common errors flight crews make while accessing the airport.

The presentation even details what the Air Charter Safety Foundation calls Teterboro's "best practices for aircraft lighting configurations and taxi procedures." Funded by the FAA and produced by the National Air Transportation Association, it's available online — and again, it's free.

TSA Goes Easy(er) On Flight Crews ... Sort Of

If easy is relative and "expedited access" run by the TSA are the guidelines, then the agency's crewPASS test program, launched Friday and expected to last two months, may ultimately provide easier access to secure areas for properly credentialed commercial flight deck crew members. The system employs a crew member database that provides transportation security officers with a picture and other information with which they may cross-check airline-issued identification and other ID provided by flight deck crew. Through what some may see as a better application of backwards thinking, crew members will enter secure areas via the exit lane of each area's corresponding checkpoints. And in conjunction with the new measures, "Flight deck crew members who utilize this program will be subject to random screening, observation by behavior detection officers and other layers of security."

The program will be tested at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall, Pittsburgh International and Columbia (S.C.) Metropolitan airports. The test is being conducted in cooperation with the Air Line Pilots Association and is limited to uniformed flight deck crew members. It will last 60 days, after which time "a full evaluation will be made."

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Honor and Heritage back to top 

National Aviation Hall Of Fame Weekend Enshrinees

The National Aviation Hall of Fame Saturday conducted its 47th annual enshrinements in Dayton, Ohio, and along with an airline man, a WWII triple-ace and military commander, active air show pilot and general aviation ambassador Sean D. Tucker was on the list. Dr. Peter Diamandis and his X Prize Foundation were also honored, being awarded the "Spirit of Flight Award." As for enshrinees, Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson flew the P-51B "Old Crow" while assigned to the 357th Fighter Group. The 357th was credited with shooting down a record 609 1/2 enemy aircraft in only 15 months and produced 42 aces. Fellow military man, the late William A. Moffett, the "father of naval aviation," was also enshrined as was Herbert D. Kelleher, founder and retired chairman of Southwest Airlines.

The list of recognized presenters included Rear Admiral John W. "Bill" Goodwin, USN, Commander, Naval Air Force, Atlantic Fleet and Col. Joe Kittinger, USAF (Ret) and 1997 enshrinee. Tucker also flew in the Dayton Air Show over the weekend.

Win A Vintage 172, Or Support 1940 Air Terminal Museum

If you want to win a vintage 1957 Cessna 172, your chances are one in 2,500 (as of Saturday). The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport, Houston, Texas, Saturday announced the new contest along with the winner of its prior and first annual "Win Your Own Plane" raffle. Joe Montano of Pearland, Texas, won a 1947 Cessna 140 over the weekend. The 172 is up next. The museum's press release notes that, "The winner [of the 172] will be announced at the Museum's July 2009 Wings & Wheels open-house, or a sooner Wings & Wheels if all tickets have been sold." Both promotions are part of a fundraising program created by the museum. "At the museum, we meet people every day who have always dreamed of flying. This contest will give one lucky winner the chance to realize that dream," said museum president Drew Coats. Funds acquired through the promotion support day-to-day operations and museum expansion. We don't have a horse in this race, but will note that there are more than 110,000 people reading this right now and we'll remind you that no more than 2,500 tickets will be sold at $50 each. Translation: If you're interested, you might want to hurry up -- but there's one catch.

The museum isn't open on Mondays and they can't sell raffle tickets to e-mail requests. We spoke with them Saturday and they're looking forward to your voicemails and calls, which they'll field on Tuesday. The number is (713) 454-1940. E-mail info@1940airterminal.org for more details.

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» Visit Cessna Aircraft (makers of the Caravan) at booths 143-156 at EAA AirVenture
News Briefs back to top 

News From The Farnborough International Airshow

AVweb European correspondent Liz Moscrop was at the big show for most of last week and filed reports on some of the major announcements.

Click here for an assortment of news from the show.

On the Fly ...

The crew survived the July 7 crash of a Kalitta Air Boeing 747-200 cargo jet that lost power shortly after takeoff in Bogota, but the aircraft was burned and two on the ground were killed. It was the second 747 crash for Kalitta in six weeks, the previous on took place in Brussels, May 25. Now rumors have emerged that the crew of the Bogota flight said the aircraft lost power of the outboard starboard engine after rotation, followed by failure of the outboard port engine as the crew was preparing to follow standard procedures for single-engine failure during takeoff. Loss of an engine during takeoff is central to the Brussels investigation.

Xerion Avionix LLC has earned FAA approval for installation of the AuRACLE CRM series engine management systems into all 4 and 6-cylinder Cessna and Piper aircraft via STC. (AVweb has a short video on this product here.)

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has moved to cut red tape that hinders experienced overseas aircraft engineers from joining the Australian aviation industry. Procedures for qualification of eligible engineers have been streamlined to boost the numbers of licensed aircraft maintenance engineers in that country. For more, click here.

A First Choice Boeing 767 out of Gatwick for Cuba with 268 aboard landed in Bermuda after one allegedly unruly passenger reportedly lunged for the door as crewmembers attempted to defuse an altercation.

At least two crew members have been recovered after the crash of USAF B-52 off Guam early Monday, but it's not clear from initial reports whether they survived. Four others are presumably missing. The aircraft was to fly over a parade marking the anniversary of the liberation of Guam in the Second World War. The plane was from Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, La.

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» Ask about the advantages of AOPA Insurance Agency in person at booths 164-166 at EAA AirVenture
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

AVmail: July 21, 2008

Reader mail this week about lead, oil speculators, balloon flights and much more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the editor.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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New on AVweb back to top 

Leading Edge #20: Choosing Your Takeoff

You too can be a test pilot ... and test your airplane (and yourself) so you have more options when it isn't just a "normal" takeoff.

Click here to read.

If a nonpilot asks you "How do you take off?" how would you answer? Line up with the runway, add power, accelerate to liftoff speed, raise the nose and go. But is it really as simple as that? Every year airplanes fail to get off wet or muddy runways, or to clear obstacles past the departure end. Every summer we hear of airplanes that can't get airborne or, if they make it into ground effect, don't have the power to climb any higher. The answer to "How do you take off?" is "I have to choose the technique to match the takeoff conditions." So how do you choose your takeoff?

Rolling Takeoff, Or Power Up On The Brakes?

Do you stand on the brakes and power up, or do you prefer to add power smoothly, letting the airplane roll as you advance thrust? A rolling takeoff is less stressful on the airframe (and occupants). Although some pilots have a personal preference one way or another, there is no "correct" answer; what you do depends on the requirements of that takeoff.

Try this experiment: On a calm-wind day, put an observer in the copilot seat. Line up with the runway centerline on a specific spot, such as the runway numbers. Add power for a "rolling" takeoff ... that is, let the airplane accelerate naturally as you advance the throttle. Accelerate until you lift off, having your observer count the number of runway stripes and spaces from power-up to liftoff. If the runway has standard markings, each stripe-and-space combination is 100 feet long. Regardless, fly the pattern and land, having recorded your estimated runway requirement for takeoff.

Now repeat the experiment, except from your identified starting point power up while holding the brakes. As soon as you achieve full power release brakes (you'll need more rudder initially than a rolling takeoff, because low air flow over the rudder reduces its effectiveness at countering torque). Accelerate to the same takeoff speed, with your observer counting the runway stripes-and-spaces.

Do this a few times each way to gauge the difference at a variety of weights and density-altitude conditions. What you may find in many airplanes is this: A rolling takeoff results in a longer takeoff roll. The heavier the airplane and/or higher the density altitude, the greater difference you're likely to see. So back to answering that nonpilot's question: If the objective is to get off a short runway, or to take off when you have a nearby obstacle, or when departing with a high-density altitude (you'll have to explain that to a nonpilot), you'll probably choose to make a "power up on the brakes" departure. Otherwise, you'll likely make a rolling takeoff to reduce stress on the airplane.

Flaps Or No Flaps?

Do you use flaps on takeoff, or not? The effect is going to vary widely by airplane type, so you'll need to do another experiment. (Getting to better know your airplane's flight characteristics ... what a good excuse for doing a little proficiency flying!) First, look for any limitations on flap use for takeoff in your airplane's flight manual or POH (not just Performance section recommendations -- I mean Section II, Limitations, which are imperatives).

Repeat the rolling/braking experiment, but this time using a consistent technique (i.e., rolling) but with any flap settings that is not prohibited by the manufacturer. On each takeoff, call out when you're 50 feet agl (or, if it's easier to read, 100 agl) and have your observer note where you are over the ground when you make that call.

Determine what flap position gets your airplane off the ground soonest and what gets you to the altitude goal (50 or 100 agl) in the shortest distance. Again, it will vary by type, weight and density altitude, but you might find that your airplane gets off the ground sooner with flaps, but takes a shorter distance to meet the altitude goal without them. If that's the way your airplane flies, your answer to that nonpilot might be, "If the runway is short but there's no obstacle, I'll use flaps, but if there's a power line or trees off the end of the runway, I'll take off with the flaps up."

Liftoff Speed

"How fast is your airplane when you take off?" your nonpilot friend inquires. As you may have already figured, the answer is again, "It depends." Depending on the vintage and complexity of your airplane, the manufacturer may have specified a takeoff speed. It will even vary with airplane weight in heavier aircraft. For your experiment, pick a technique (rolling or braked power-up) and a configuration (flap setting) and have your observer note takeoff distance and the point you reach your altitude goal when lifting off at the "book" speed. Next, repeat the trial but let the airplane lift off "when it's ready" (the heavier the airplane, the less wont it has to do this). Finally, consistent with the airplane's capability, try a couple "soft-field" takeoffs, lifting off into ground effect at a slower airspeed.

See what effect different liftoff speeds have on runway distance and initial climb. Can you generalize your airplane's performance for the nonpilot, and your own choice of takeoff technique?

VX or VY?

Closely aligned with liftoff speed is the target speed for initial climb. If your goal is to climb steeply over an obstacle, use VX. It'll be listed in the POH, perhaps modified (and thinly disguised) as a recommended 50-foot target airspeed, adjusted for airplane weight, on the takeoff performance chart. Note that the airplane may have different published speeds for different takeoff flap positions. On some of your "experimental" takeoffs, find the attitude that results in VX speed passing over that mythical 50-ft obstacle and have your observer record the distance it takes to reach that height from rolling/braked, flaps/no flaps conditions. Do the same at VY speed passing 50 agl. What you'll likely tell your nonpilot inquisitor is, "I will begin my climb at VY unless I have to clear a close-in obstacle, in which case I'll climb at VX.

But wait: You may want to climb out even faster than that. If engine cooling is an issue, or in multiengine airplanes where speed is your best defense against loss of control in the event of an engine failure, you may want to climb out at an even shallower angle and higher airspeed if obstacles permit. Figure a few of these faster initial climbs into your exercise and see how much distance it takes to get to 100 agl. You may tell that nonpilot you'll normally climb out even faster than "book" unless conditions dictate otherwise. That's powerful information to know as you choose your takeoff technique on any given day.

Mixture Technique

Chances are your nonpilot friend won't think to ask you about fuel-mixture technique. But you need to make a conscious decision about it. Mixture technique for high density-altitudes is a common topic in aviation publications (see "Hot and High How-To" in the July 2008 issue of our sister publication Aviation Safety). Yet it's obvious from the summertime mishap reports that the lesson needs to be reviewed each time the weather begins to warm.

The trend in more powerful engines is to crank up the fuel flows to their maximum to provide additional cooling at high power settings. This is especially true with turbocharged engines. The high flow rates now in vogue serve their purpose, but they may inhibit takeoff performance by creating too rich a fuel-air mixture. In hot weather (with a long runway), experiment with full rich and leaned mixture, measuring their effect on takeoff roll and the distance required to get 50 or 100 feet into the air. You may find to clear an obstacle, especially at a high density-altitude, you need to sacrifice a little long-term engine cooling (full rich mixture) for short-term performance (leaned for maximum horsepower). Afterward, if your nonpilot friend does ask you about mixture technique for takeoff, you might reply, "I use full rich except as need for takeoff performance, and if so, then I enrichen the mixture as necessary for engine cooling after transitioning to en route climb."

Choosing Your Takeoff

Planning, flying and interpreting these experiments would make a great instructional session. Combined with the required ground instruction and with a CFI as your observer, it could be a very informative flight review (see last month's Leading Edge column). Use a long runway so maximum performance isn't required for safety; adhere to all airplane and engine limitations.

Airplane weight and density altitude will greatly affect performance, so be careful that you generalize only for a given set of conditions. Fly extremely conservatively when outside your area of experience. By thinking about how you'd answer that simple nonpilot's question, "How do you take off?" you'll ask yourself what technique you should use every time you choose your takeoff.

Fly safe, and have fun!

Thomas P. Turner's Leading Edge columns are collected here.

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AVweb Insider Blog: Raise the #@!$% Fares (Part II)

Last week, the major airlines sent a letter to their customers blaming oil speculators for high prices. AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli thinks they're giving customers the runaround, asking them to become junior lobbyists and urge Congress to crack down on oil speculators instead of demanding a consistent, practical national energy policy. Read what Paul has to say about this on the AVweb Insider blog.

Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Available for Retrofit Installation in Select Cessna 300-Series Aircraft!
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» See Avidyne's state-of-the-art technologies in action at booths 2098-2101 (Combo E) at EAA AirVenture
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Want to Fly with the Aeroshell T-6 Aerobatic Team? Here's How ...

File Size 6.5 MB / Running Time 7:04

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Just throw your name into the hat for a chance to win a backseat ride in one of the Aeroshell T-6s at EAA AirVenture next week. No need to buy anything; just let us know you're interested, and we'll enter you in the drawing. Meanwhile, for more details on the team, listen to this podcast with team leader Alan Henley, who aptly describes the T-6 show as "satisfying all of the senses."

Related Content
Click here to register for our drawing!
(Remember: You have to be at AirVenture on Monday, July 28 to fly with the AeroShell Team!)

Click here to listen. (6.5 MB, 7:04)

Video of the Week: Sometimes You Just Have a Bad Day

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

A Sterling Boeing 737 ended up in an unnatural position (for a 737) at the airport in Malaga, Spain on Saturaday after a strange encounter with the airport bridge. For some reason, the bridge went up and caught the aircraft under its open door. Early reports didn't have a damage estimate.

Thanks to AVweb reader Robert Reid, who turned us on to the video and also referred us to this incredible photo from Robert Campbell.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it, there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."

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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: TAC Air (KGMU, Greenville, SC)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to TAC Air at GMU in Greenville, South Carolina.

AVweb reader John Hey hadn't stopped at GMU for six months, but he tells us "they still remembered me":

Great, cheerful, and competent service — even though I had just saved $30 using their self-service pump. Call ahead, and they get you a great discount on the nice Phoenix Motel one block away with the best free full Southern breakfast ever!

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 

Short Final

While on tower freq for VGT (North Las Vegas), I overheard the following:

Cessna 1234N:
"Tower, this is Cessna 1234N, 10 miles northwest with yankee, inbound full stop."

"Cessna 1234N, tower. Continue inbound. Report 4-mile final for runway 12 right."

Cessna 1234N:
"Tower, Cessna 1234N reporting 4-mile final."

"Cessna 1234N cleared for landing. Runway 12 right. Say type, Cessna."

Cessna 1234N:
"Tower, 1234N is a Cessna 152 Heavy!"

"Cessna 1234N, roger!"

(And before the mike keyed off, there was substantial chuckling in the background.)

J. Brandon
via e-mail

More AVweb for Your Inbox back to top 

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

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

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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