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Volume 9, Number 33bAugust 14, 2003

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

Move over, James Bond, we've got you covered with the latest set of gadgets that are especially designed with the technically savvy aviator in mind. While noise-canceling headsets are nothing new, a Maryland company is promising huge improvements with its next generation of communications technology. Ellicott City-based TechnoSys Inc. will use fiber optics in the headsets and, it claims, improve communication in airplane cockpits. More...

While DUATS pioneered online weather services, it's hard to keep up with all the new computer-based products coming out these days. For example, PDA users can now get graphical weather products right in the "Palm" of their hands. TurboWx -- available as a Palm OS Web Clipping and a browser-based PDA and SmartPhone application -- is a server-based subscription service that delivers commonly available free, non-copyrighted weather information, available on the Internet, into a presentation specifically designed for these devices. More...

Cellphone technology is also helping out with one of the least-favorite preflight chores. Smartsoft, a Norwegian software company, just released its new aviation weight & balance software, Flight WTK 1.0 (Flight Wireless Tool Kit). The software enables pilots to perform weight and balance on their mobile phone even as the aircraft is being loaded. The company hopes the versatility to change calculations on the ramp will be a big plus for pilots. Very handy on those trips to Oshkosh, where everything seems worthy of buying. 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 go online at

AOPA's Air Safety Foundation (ASF) just released a report on spins and stall accidents, and while some of the results aren't surprising, it challenges some pretty well-entrenched perceptions of one of the most deadly types of in-flight mishaps. The ASF reports stall and spins have a fatality rate of about 28 percent, and account for about 10 percent of all GA accidents. "Fatal stall/spin accidents most often begin at or below traffic pattern altitude (generally 1,000 feet above ground level), well below the altitude necessary to recover from even a one-turn spin," the report reads. More...

What might be surprising to some is that the thickness of the logbook and number of endorsements held by a pilot do not always equate to stall/spin immunity. "A common misconception is that student pilots are most likely to suffer fatal stall/spin type accidents," said ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg. More...

Because aircraft design is the primary factor in how an aircraft will behave in a stall or spin, the report went on to list some of the aircraft that show up more often in the stats. For example, the ASF claims Piper Tomahawks were involved in roughly double the number of stall/spin accidents per 100 aircraft as the Cessna 150/152 or the Beech 77, but again, the data needs qualification. 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. Online at

If you've read our recent coverage on Burt Rutan's White Knight/SpaceShipOne combo, you'll know that the fertile minds at Scaled Composites were working overtime on this dynamic duo. Now, the top contender for the X-prize competition has taken flight and moved one step closer to winning the $10 million prize money. Last Thursday, the first free flight of SpaceShipOne took place over the desert testing area near Mojave, Calif. The space ship was carried to its release altitude of 47,000 feet via the White Knight carrier craft, then allowed to glide under a pilot’s control to a smooth landing. More...

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean is a challenge for any light aircraft, but for something weighing in at less than some passengers, it's nothing short of astonishing. A model aircraft called The Spirit of Butt's Farm conquered the Pond last weekend, departing Cape Spear, Newfoundland, on Saturday, landing on the west coast of Ireland Monday morning, and setting a world distance record. 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

While the aviation industry continues to recover, some unemployed CFIs may wonder when things will turn around for them. Perhaps they should be checking in with the folks at Daniel Webster College. The Nashua, N.H.-based institution recently began training 13 new flight instructors in preparation for the arrival of the incoming 2007 graduating class. Doug Joyce, director of flight operations for Daniel Webster, says the college is acting on hiring plans set in motion about three years ago. To date, the school has 50 instructors on staff. Other organizations, including some specialized Part 61/141 flight schools, are hiring instructors on a limited basis. More...

Aside from the Countdown To Kitty Hawk's massive touring pavilion and marketing machine, there are other great opportunities for aviation enthusiasts to learn about the Wright Brothers' work toward that historic day in 1903. Wright expert Darrell Collins will be at this year's NBAA 56th Annual Meeting & Convention, to be held October 7 - 9. Collins will appear at the event's venue in the Orlando/Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and give a special presentation during the opening general session on October 7. More...

RYAN ANNOUNCES NEW MULTI-HAZARD DISPLAY (MHD)! This high-resolution full-color 3ATI Multi-Hazard Display is designed to give pilots what they need most: easy-to-read, easy-to-interpret real time information on the most immediate flight hazard. By isolating hazard information onto a dedicated display, pilots don't have to wade through the clutter of information on an MFD to find the information they need immediately. To learn more go online at

There's nothing like an airport expansion to foster debate, and the controversial $6.6 billion expansion of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is getting some additional heat from U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, who's questioning United Air Lines' ability to pay for its share. The senator accused United of planning to use proposed federal legislation allowing deferment of pension contributions as a way to pay off its share of bonds for the airport project. More...

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is preparing an evaluation of aircraft datalink systems. If you have one and would like to talk about it, contact the editor at More...

A helicopter owned by an Indian oil company crashed with 29 aboard...
A study indicates the growth in aviation could speed up global warming...
The FAA plans an AC on certification and operation of amateur-builts...
American Eurocopter breaks ground on a new U.S. facility this morning...
Occupants survived crash of Cessna 175 into B.C. policeman's house. More...

AEROSHELL FLIGHT JACKET PRODUCTS SHINE AIR FORCE ONE TO A SPARKLE AeroShell Flight Jacket line of aviation appearance care products contributed to the Centennial of Flight by completely refurbishing the original Boeing 707 Air Force One first flown by President Eisenhower. Seattle's Museum of Flight was to repaint the aircraft, but with AeroShell Flight Jacket products the aircraft was brought back to its original beauty without new paint, saving the museum over $50,000. See what Flight Jacket products can do for your aircraft. Buy the entire line at

AVweb's AVscoop Award...

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

New Articles and Features on AVweb

BIZAV, August 14, 2003
AVweb's expanded coverage of business/corporate aviation continues with news from EAA's AirVenture at Oshkosh, questions about the costs of corporate flying, milestones in small jet development and more.

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR CLUB? TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling service offers advanced features like standby scheduling and notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve aircraft utilization and will make your members happy. Add AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree and QuickBooks. SPECIAL: One month NO-COST trial or NO-COST set-up. For a NO-COST online demonstration go to

AVweb's Picture Of The Week...


We received over 90 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Col. Mike Horner, of Garland, Texas. His winning photo, titled "9-11 Flyby" was taken over Lancaster, Texas on September 11 2002 as Col. Horner was riding in the back seat of a Vultee BT-15. Along with other members of the DFW Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, he participated in a tribute to those who lost their lives in the tragic attacks of 9-11. Great picture, Col. Horner! Your AVweb hat is on the way.

To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to

AVweb's Question Of The Week...


We received over 200 responses to our question last week on the overall AirVenture experience. The results were quite mixed with 27 percent of our respondents enjoying every aspect of the event, while 18 percent felt the food prices seemed higher than ever. Nearly one-third (29 percent) indicated AirVenture's commercialism is getting way out of hand, while 2 percent didn't enjoy the event at all.

To check out the complete results, go to


This week, we would like to know your thoughts on following noise-abatement procedures. Our thanks to Jim Lawliss for suggesting this week's topic. Please go to to respond.

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

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IFR REFRESHER IS THE PUBLICATION FOR NOVICE AND EXPERIENCED PILOTS! Keep sharp and informed with IFR Refresher. The September issue highlights: "Please Cancel My IFR"..know when; "Back of the Book IAPs"; "What Am I Forgetting?" tips on the old five Ts; "Same Way Every Time"; and much more can be yours in every IFR Refresher issue. Order at

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"NAH, I KNOW MY AIRPLANE. NO NEED TO DO A WEIGHT AND BALANCE" Are you one of the many pilots who don't bother doing weight and balance calculations before each flight? You might think twice about that, after learning what happened to one pilot who didn't bother with weight and balance. You'll find out what he told investigators in the August issue of NTSB Reporter. Order at

"PURCHASING & EVALUATING AIRPLANES" IS A MUST-READ FOR ANYONE THINKING about buying an airplane, especially if they want to follow the purchase process to a successful conclusion. It's vital to purchase an airplane that will meet your needs and not attack your wallet. Written by Brian Jacobson, a full-time aircraft appraiser and buyer's agent, this book will show the steps needed to purchase the right airplane. Order 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

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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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Today's issue written by News Writer Arturo Weiss:
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