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Volume 9, Number 37bSeptember 11, 2003

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ECONOMIC AFTERSHOCKS OF 9/11 STILL HURTING GA...
The terrorist attacks of two years ago have seriously damaged flying's image, according to some of those on the front lines. In the last two years, 500 flight schools nationwide have closed their doors, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported on Tuesday. While economic factors are the major reason, some operators cite a "stigma" that has turned people off from the whole idea of flying. "If you tell people that you run a flight school, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is: 'How many terrorists have you trained?'" Mariano Garcia, of Palm Beach Aviation, told the Sun-Sentinel. More...

...AS WICHITA STRUGGLES TO RECOVER...
Among the economies particularly hard hit, Wichita, Kan., central to the aviation industry, lost billions of dollars and about 14,000 jobs. The loss of each of those highly paid manufacturing jobs has a ripple effect, causing the loss of two other jobs as the flow of money slows down, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported on Monday. In Wichita, it's all added up to a lot of unemployment. "The impact is overwhelming," John Moore, a former Cessna VP who is now the lieutenant governor of Kansas, told the Capital-Journal. "Aviation has always been cyclical, but I don't think in history that you can find a time where it went from such a remarkable high to such a dramatic low." More...

...AND SMALL AIRPORTS HOPE FOR BLUER SKIES
While the big manufacturers hunker down and wait for better times, the small businesses scattered among the nation's local airports can't always surmount the obstacles of restricted flight areas, slow rentals and training, and stalled fuel sales. One example is the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Washington state. In 2001 the Narrows airport recorded 95,791 tower operations, which fell to 81,449 last year, the News Tribune reported Tuesday. More...

AEROPLANNER ISN'T ALL FLIGHT PLANNING...IT'S CONVENIENCE AeroPlanner is the best flight planning program around giving you all the information needed for any particular flight. Team your knowledge and skill with AeroPlanner flight planning and it's a winning combination. For a no-obligation demonstration go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeroplan

GUNS IN COCKPITS...
Besides the continuing economic impact, 9/11 changed the entire world of aviation in myriad ways. Airline pilots now carry weapons in the cockpit. Sky marshals surreptitiously fill passenger seats. Cockpit doors have been reinforced, and passengers are kept away from the front of the cabin. But that's not enough for some. The pace of pilot weapons training is too slow, according to the Airline Pilots' Security Alliance -- an active lobbying group that didn't exist two years ago. Last week, APSA also criticized Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge's plan to cross-train 5,000 immigration agents as Federal Air Marshals. More...

...SUSPICION AT GA AIRPORTS...
At small GA fields, fences have gone up, airplanes are locked and tethered, and strangers are eyed with a critical air. AOPA, working with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), developed an Airport Watch program, encouraging pilots to report any "unusual" activity. On Monday, the TSA issued an advisory encouraging the aviation community to remain vigilant. Pilots are expected to show photo identification on request, and charter passengers are subject to scrutiny. The FAA's new airman certificates come with enhanced "security features." For now, the TSA seems content with the situation. More...

...AND FRACTURED AIRSPACE
Continuing airspace restrictions have proven to be one of the changes most difficult to cope with for many pilots. The restrictions sometimes crop up with little or no advance notice, and often affect operations across large areas. This week, AOPA is lobbying in Washington, D.C., for relief from the "temporary" flight restrictions that have become disturbingly permanent in the Seattle area. In addition, TFRs follow President Bush wherever he goes, and are proliferating as campaign season heats up. Flight restriction notices can be found at the FAA Web site and are also posted by the federal Bureau of Land Management. More...

LIGHTSPEED HEADSETS ARE FIRST TO: Give you over 30 hours of battery life on just two AA batteries; Give you intelligent auto shut-off; Integrate a music/cell phone jack conveniently located on the control box; and Offer customers a trade-UP program so they can always keep current with the best LightSPEED products and accessories. Thousands already know what headsets are first...LightSPEED at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed

NEW PIPER CERTIFIES PIPER 6XT
The Piper 6XT has received its Type Certificate from the FAA, New Piper CEO Chuck Suma announced in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday. The Piper 6XT is a turbocharged fixed-gear version of the six-place Saratoga II aircraft. The Piper 6X, which was certified in July of this year, is its normally aspirated equivalent. The announcement was made at Piper's Worldwide Dealer Meeting. "These two new aircraft ... are another example of how New Piper -- even in the face of a very tough economy -- continues to pursue new technology, innovation and new product advancements," Suma told the dealers. More...

CAP PARTICIPATES IN ANTI-TERRORISM DRILL IN NEVADA
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) took part in a homeland-security practice drill in Nevada late last month, working with the U.S. military's Northern Command. The exercise, dubbed "Determined Promise '03," called for a simulated terrorist release of pneumonic plague on the Las Vegas strip. CAP aircrews patrolled highways where pharmaceuticals and medical equipment were moving to a dispensing site, and flew aerial reconnaissance above Clark County's quarantine borders. The mission of the CAP has changed profoundly since 9/11. While the organization still is focused on its traditional search-and-rescue efforts, the CAP is also taking on more of a homeland-security mission. More...

SECURITY CONCERNS DOWN UNDER, TOO
The U.S. is not the only country worried about aviation security. In Australia, airport owners are asking the government to create new rules that would require that all aircraft at GA airports be locked and secured, and that pilots have a photo ID. "You've got to lock your car if you leave it in the street so people can't go for a joyride -- you should have to lock your plane as well," airport security consultant Kim Ellis told The Australian newspaper. 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

CONTROLLERS WANT IG REPORT CORRECTED
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has asked the DOT's inspector general to rescind a recent analysis of contract control towers because of what it terms "critical misstatements" in the description of the facilities. As AVweb reported Monday, Inspector General Ken Mead issued a report saying the 189 FAA-funded towers that are run by private contractors cost substantially less to operate and report fewer errors than 71 so-called "VFR towers" staffed by FAA (and NATCA) controllers. But in a letter to Mead, NATCA President John Carr said the IG goofed when he said the facilities being examined don't have radar to help controllers monitor traffic. In fact, said Carr, at least 58 of the 260 towers examined are classed as "towers with radar" by the FAA. More...

TALL TOWER OUTSIDE DENVER WORRIES PILOTS
"People's lives shouldn't be in danger just so more listeners can hear the top 40, news, weather and sports," reads an editorial in Tuesday's Denver Post. At issue is a new communications tower that has worried some pilots in the area. The 1,996-foot tower rises to 7,000 feet above sea level, and is not far from Front Range Airport, a busy GA field. More...

NEW ZEALAND MISHAP SPURS NIGHT-VFR EDUCATION
New Zealand's accident investigation board has praised a helicopter pilot's skill in saving her craft and crew after a collision with trees at night in rough terrain, despite her own injuries -- but criticized her actions in getting into the accident in the first place. According to the report, Life Flight Trust BK-117 helicopter ZK-III was on a night VFR flight to pick up an injured patient, on January 14, with two crew and two passengers on board. The pilot chose a route and altitude that offered too little margin for safety at night under uncertain weather conditions, the board found. As a result, the board recommended that all pilots should be better educated about night VFR flying. More...

CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS! NON-OWNED INSURANCE AVAILABLE FROM AVEMCO Liability insurance is a high priority for CFIs. Avemco offers the CFI Non-Owned Aviator Series insurance program providing liability and aircraft damage liability coverage for both bodily injury and property damage sustained by others during instruction. This program also provides coverage for the instructor's personal use of non-owned aircraft. The simplified application process of the Aviator Series makes it quick and easy to obtain the appropriate coverage. Contact Avemco at 888 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco

"THINKING" AIRCRAFT PASSES TEST
Just who's in charge of the next generation of aircraft could be open to debate. NASA has recently completed a crucial part of testing an F-15 that learns as it flies and can think for itself in emergencies. The Intelligent Flight Control System research is developing "self-learning" neural-network software for aircraft flight-control computers. During recent tests, the system was able to identify stability and control characteristics and tuck that information away in its memory banks. The theory goes that if it suffers some kind of malfunction in the future, it will be able to go back to that flight data gleaned from "normal" flight and take whatever steps are necessary to restore stable flight. "This work marks a significant step toward learning, thinking aircraft that will be safer, more autonomous and more reliable than ever before," said project manager John Carter. More...

AND A LITTLE GOOD NEWS
While GA airports are too often the target of cranky neighbors and developers in search of space to develop, now and then a local community discovers that aviation can enhance its quality of life. Such a story is unfolding in Tinicum, Pa., amid the suburbs between Philadelphia and New York City, where a little grass airstrip, Van Sant field, was bought for $2.9 million by Buck County's park and recreation association to save it from development. The field now will remain open for enjoyment by antique, classic and glider aircraft, the pilots who fly them, the neighbors who are welcome to visit, and the bobolinks that nest among the trees surrounding the turf. More...

ON THE FLY...
The National Air Tour launched on Monday from Willow Run Airport...
Virginia State EAA Fly-In ready for takeoff on September 20-21...
Eclipse Aviation has developed new performance estimates for its personal jet...
Lancair has resumed flight testing its turbocharged Columbia 400...
Time to apply for 25 scholarships offered by the Aircraft Electronics Association...
A Wright brothers photo exhibit has launched online...
More...

AEROSHELL INTRODUCES FLIGHT JACKET KIT BAG WITH SPECIAL INTRO OFFER The new AeroShell Flight Jacket Leak-Proof Kit Bag contains all six of AeroShell's Flight Jacket cleaners and polishes along with the application pad and cleaning cloths. Shine and protect your aircraft with AeroShell Flight Jackets products. Place your order by September 15th to take advantage of an $10 introductory savings offer go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB

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BRAINTEASERS
Quiz #72 -- Grab Those VFR Sectional Charts And Fly
FAR 91.103 says that you need "all available information" before launching on any flight. Yeah, right. Where's a PIC supposed to glean all that stuff? Surprisingly, much of what you need -- IFR or VFR -- is on the lowly VFR sectional chart. But you need to decode a few things ...

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SKYWRITINGS
A Different 9/11
For AVweb editor Glenn Pew, five years of building and many more years of scheming to complete his one-of-a-kind, (almost) 200-mph, 3000-fpm, fully aerobatic kitplane would prove its worth in one day -- first flight. Unfortunately, some things don't work out the way you hope.

More...

ATTENTION CURRENT POWER FLOW TUNED EXHAUST SYSTEM OWNERS & WANTABES! Save $50 with the $200 introductory price on the new Exhaust Fairing for Cessna 172s AND Power Flow will pay postage for AVweb subscribers ONLY! Those wanting to order the Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System for their aircraft to save money and improve performance can order with Power Flow paying the UPS ground shipping, a $75 value. Offers good till September 30 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...

*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Al Schleif, of Poway, Calif. His winning photo, titled "A Pack of Lifesavers" salutes those airborne heroes that risk life and limb to help others in need. This photo is of the San Diego Regional Fire and Rescue helicopter launching to save another life. Great picture, Al! Your AVweb hat is on the way.

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

More...

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...

*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

We received over 100 responses to our question last week on Flying during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Nearly half (47 percent) of those responding did not fly during the holiday weekend, as money, time and other personal issues were to blame. ABout a quarter (25 percent) did fly out of town for the weekend while only three percent claimed the ongoing TFR's made it impossible to do so.

More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

VANTAGE AND SPIRIT AIRCRAFT PROPERTIES BEING SOLD Visionaire Corporation's intellectual properties: trademarks, drawings, flight test and performance data, marketing and customer contact list, and tooling and molds from more than 12 years of research and development for the Vantage and Spirit aircraft, are being sold. The Vantage, is a six-seat, single engine, business class jet, and the Spirit, is an experimental two-seat aircraft. The sale will be by sealed bid, according to bidding procedures approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Case No. 02-47804-293). Deadline for submitting a bid is September 18, 2003 at 01:00 p.m. (US Central Daylight Time). To receive a copy of the bidding procedures as well as information on how to obtain a bid package contact: Howard S. Smotkin or Janice R. Valdez at 314 721-7011; or Michael Yeager at 314 447-3200.

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ORDER CHASE-DURER'S BOMBER COMMANDER & RECEIVE A FLIGHT JACKET FOR $40! Retail price of this Air Force bomber jacket in sturdy padded nylon, with pockets galore, is $149. The Bomber Commander chronograph watch is truly in a class by itself with Chase-Durer's award-wining style and Swiss dependability. It's truly a wonderful gift or as a purchase for yourself! Take advantage of this special offer through October 11 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur

PRACTICE NAVIGATING AND TALKING TO ATC ON YOUR PC WITH COMM 1! Comm 1 has added an interactive multimedia AvTutorials navigation training software to their line of high-quality aviation educational products. These are effective and engaging training tools for both navigation and radio communications, the two toughest skills for most pilots to learn. SPECIAL: $10 discount on each additional CD with the purchase of two or more Comm1 or AvTutorial navigation training products. Save up to $50.00 when you buy all 6 CD-ROMs! Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1

ALL HOWARD FRIED'S "EYE OF THE EXAMINER" BOOKS REDUCED $2.00 each, and a $5.00 discount on both "Violation" and "Fay Gillis Wells-In the Air and On the Air". Don't delay. This offer good through September 30 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fried

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SPONSOR NEWS

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"CHECKRIDE TIPS" WILL HELP YOU ACE YOUR NEXT CHECKRIDE! "Checkride Tips" is a six-tape cassette series by Howard Fried. Nothing gets by Howard, as you'll see in the stories he tells from his years as a designated flight examiner. Howard's advice will help you show the examiner your very best. Online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/odyssey

USE PROVEN COVERT TECHNOLOGY TO READ CHARTS, MAPS AND MENUS! Photon's latest innovation, the Micro-Light 3, gives a choice of three levels of brightness, strobe and a handy one-minute auto shutoff feature with a water resistant case. Or, choose the Micro-Light Covert 3 that adds an extended bulb shield to reduce glare and eliminates all peripheral light. Great for reading in any situation in order not to disturb anyone or attract attention. Find these and many other Photon Mircrolight models at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon

IFR PILOTS AND STUDENTS! DON'T MISS THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF IFR REFRESHER October highlights: Instruments Up North, flying in Alaska; Hurry-To-Go Departures, it’s often the departure accident that produces fatalities; Foggy Bottom Arrivals, with autumn comes fog; WAAS Up With WAAS?, what WAAS is and what you will need in the cockpit; Heartland Localizer, a surprise approach; and Becoming A New Age Pilot, tips on knowing where the tools are and when to use them. Don't miss an issue. Subscribe today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrref

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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. 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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