HEADING TO COURT
Cirrus Design says it will vigorously defend itself against a lawsuit
that claims its SR22 aircraft has "dangerous stability, handling, stall
and spin characteristics" and that the onboard parachute system failed
when the pilot tried to activate it. "We're going to court," Cirrus CEO
Alan Klapmeier told AVweb. "We're very confident we have the facts on
our side." The suit stems from a crash near Parish, N.Y., on April 24,
2002. The two co-owners of the aircraft, Joseph C. Fisher and Thomas P.
Sedgewick, died when the plane entered a spin from more than 5,000 feet
and did not recover. The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS),
manufactured by Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), did not deploy. BRS is
also named in the suit as is Wings Aloft, author of the Cirrus Training
Manual. The suit was launched by Fisher's wife, Kathleen.
CHARACTERISTICS, PARACHUTE SYSTEM BLAMED
The suit alleges that the aircraft went into the spin because of its
flight-handling characteristics and maintains that the pilots tried, and
failed, to deploy the parachute. Klapmeier flatly denies the claim,
saying the allegation about flight-handling characteristics is a direct
challenge to the FAA's certification of the aircraft. He said Cirrus
wings are designed to prevent stall/spin conditions. As for the
parachute, he said Cirrus' view is the rocket motor cooked off after the
crash, not as a result of a last-second attempt to deploy it. "There is
no evidence the parachute rocket deployed before the airplane hit the
ground," he said. More...
PRODUCT FOCUS: THE QFR SOLO SS HEADSET LightSPEED has launched
several new products based on earlier models with additional features
and improvements. One of these products is the QFR Solo SS. LightSPEED
has had great success with the QFR Solo SS at large fly-ins where pilots
could compare the Solo SS to other headsets with similar, or higher
retail prices. Improvements made to the QFR Solo SS, from the basic Solo
product are: Studio quality speakers; Improved noise reduction
microphone; Confor-foam comfort seals; and a Padded headpad. See
LightSPEED's QFR Solo SS headset and other quality headsets at the Reno
Air Races booth #508 or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed
The innovations of the Wright brothers are not the only aviation
milestones being celebrated this year. The re-enactment of a nationwide
air event during aviation's golden era is also being remembered with a
special series of events. The National Air Tours were
conceived in 1925 and held annually through 1931 to demonstrate the
reliability of air travel, to encourage the development of safe and
reliable aircraft, and to promote the building of suitable airports and
ground facilities. More...
PLANES OF YESTERYEAR, PILOTS OF TODAY...
Many of the pilots who pioneered aviation flew in the original tours,
including Walter Beech, Eddie Stinson, and Anthony H.G. Fokker. This
year, our very own AVweb contributor Brent Blue will be participating in
the tour, as one of a group of "rotating pilots." Brent and company will
be flying many of the airplanes
seen in the 1931 event. More...
COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU!
The 2003 event retraces the historic 4,000-mile route of the uncompleted
1932 tour with stops in more than
two dozen cities. The National Air Tour will start at the Yankee Air
Museum at Willow Run Airport, near Detroit, Sept. 8. The official
program will begin at 8:30 a.m. with departures beginning at 9 a.m.
video interview with Greg Herrick, founder and president of The
Aviation Foundation of America Inc.) More...
SINGLES PUSHING 500 MILES PER HOUR
The faithful will make their annual pilgrimage to Reno Stead airport
next week to pay homage to horsepower and high speed as some of the
gutsiest pilots compete for air racing's most coveted title. Hyped by
organizers as the "world's fastest motor sport," and officially called
the National Championship Air Races
and Air Show 2003, air racing is the main draw to the Reno event,
which runs from Sept. 11 to Sept. 14. Several big-name teams are vying
for the championship, including 500-plus mph Dago Red Air Racing and the
4000 hp Rare Bear Air Race Team.
DREAMS: CRUISE SHIP AIRPORTS AND FLYING CARS
There's no shortage of imagination when it comes to new ways to make
aviation more convenient and accessible, even if the result of these
musings can be a little out of the ordinary. Take, for example, the Freedom Ship, which is touted as
"the future city on the sea." With a design length of 4,500 feet, a
width of 750 feet, and a height of 350 feet, Freedom Ship would be more
than four times longer than the Queen Mary and carry its own airport.
The airport on the ship's top deck would serve GA and small commercial
aircraft, including its large fleet of commuter aircraft that would
ferry residents and visitors to and from shore. Those residents who want
to fly to their floating residence in style may prefer to do so in their
very own kit-built flying car, like the one being developed by Aerospectives.
BOLDLY GO WHERE NONE HAVE GONE (WITHOUT A ROCKET)
A helium leak halted an attempt by two British men to set an altitude
record in a balloon. Colin Prescot, 53, and Andy Elson, 48, hoped to set
a world record by piloting their 387-meters-tall helium balloon to
39,600 meters (132,000 feet). The QinetiQ 1, as it is called, was
supposed to loiter for an hour and conduct experiments on the
stratosphere before returning to terra firma. Unfortunately, the
aircraft never left the ground, as a helium leak occurred during the
balloon's inflation process. The current altitude record for a manned
balloon is 34,667 meters, set in 1961 by United States Navy pilots
Malcolm Ross and Vic Prather. More...
FIREFIGHTERS CHANGE BATTLE TACTICS
Canada's British Columbia has been under assault from wildfires
throughout the summer and aerial firefighting pilots are fighting back
with new tactics to tackle the massive blazes. The tanker group has
resorted to "mass launches by multiple aircraft" during a fire's early
stages to try and prevent the sort of disaster that befell Kelowna,
B.C., two weeks ago. The Okanagan Mountain Fire has grown to 200 square
kilometers and burned more than 250 homes, despite aggressive
firefighting on the ground and in the air. In addition to the massed
attacks, the air tankers are using a more highly concentrated retardant
and much higher coverage levels than normal. The fires, the result of
the driest summer on record, are answering back with towering columns of
exploding trees and airborne debris, the likes of which the pilots have
never seen before. More...
SPECIALS FROM MARV GOLDEN PILOT SUPPLIES Purchase any LightSPEED
ANR headset from Marv Golden Pilot Supplies and receive a LightSPEED
logo flight bag at no additional cost. Or, order any Icom A-5 or A-23
and get an alkaline battery pack at no-cost AND a $30-$50 rebate.
Purchase any Vertex VXA 150 or 210 to receive a $25 rebate with an
alkaline battery case and cigarette lighter adapter at no additional
cost. Save on these specials and many other pilot supplies from avionics
to watches at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold
PILOT MAKES HISTORY
Flying blind isn't just a cliché for Miles Hilton-Barber.
Hilton-Barber, 54, became the first blind person to fly across the
English Channel in a microlight aircraft last weekend. Hilton-Barber was
among about 80 pilots to take off from Headcorn Airfield in Kent (U.K.).
He flew with a "speech output technology," according to BBC news, and a
sighted pilot for safety and legal reasons. Hilton-Barber plans to fly
12,600 miles to Sydney, Australia, in the same aircraft. It's his way of
honoring 100 years of powered flight and raising money for Royal National Institute of the Blind.
An ultralight airfield in N.H. is causing a town-wide ruckus over
On Monday, tax plans that would raise airfares in Britain
A computer glitch caused the delay in processing pax
Wichita State University wants to be a "lead" center of
FAA research. More...
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Char Ryan, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
BIZAV, September 4, 2003
AVweb's expanded coverage of business/corporate aviation continues with
NBAA's convention preparation, big steps in Cessna's Citation fleet,
complaints about Europe's new biz av regulations and more.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN
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HE FLIES THROUGH
WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE, that daring young man in the flying
Inspiration for the song, and the "daring young man", are incorporated
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OFFICIAL OIL OF THE RENO AIR RACES In addition, AeroShell Flight
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AEROX EXTENDS RANGE
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YOU FLY INTO AN AIRPORT, USE YOUR HANDYBIKE! Trans-Plata's
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for each passenger can be carried in a Cessna 172. Details and ordering
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BEEN TO A GOOD AVIATION WEB SITE
SEE WHAT YOU'VE BEEN MISSING athttp://www.avweb.com/
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