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Volume 9, Number 40bOctober 2, 2003

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LIGHTSPEED 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. For more information on LightSPEED's QFR Solo SS headset and other quality headsets go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed

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

GA SECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS
You'll need to sign your name a few more times and be more vigilant about locking up behind you, but if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) adopts GA security measures proposed by an industry panel, they shouldn't cost you much, if anything. A working group formed by the TSA's Aviation Security Advisory Committee submitted its final report Wednesday and, since most of the members represent GA groups, it's not surprising the recommendations are light on the wallet and heavy on commonsense precautions. National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President James Coyne said all federal money for aviation security is going to protect scheduled service and that's as it should be. "Recognizing this, the working group went to great lengths to avoid placing any unfunded mandates on the aviation industry," he said in a statement. More...

...STUDENT PILOTS MONITORED...
If the recommendations are adopted, student pilots warrant a little more scrutiny and will be monitored fairly intensely, especially early in their training. Low-time students won't be given the ignition keys until the instructor is belted in beside them and it's recommended there be a formal sign-off procedure for dispensing keys to soloing students. The report says those renting aircraft, particularly for the first time, should be checked for ID and given a briefing on local operations and security procedures. Renters should be on the lookout for suspicious activity and know how to report it. More...

...LOCKS AND OTHER DEVICES
Of course, most of us have a considerable proportion of our net worth tied up in our airplanes and the stuff that goes with them so we most likely have a security program of our own, even if we don't call it that. The report goes over all the things we can do to ensure the airplane and its accoutrements remain where they belong, including the obvious, like locking everything up and, perhaps, investing in anti-theft devices, such as propeller locks and locking tie-downs. Crop dusters should get special security attention. Limiting vehicle access to the field is also recommended, where practical, and lighting, signage, fencing and gates should all be reviewed and upgraded where possible. Of course, it's always best to have a plan for the worst and the report lays out a blueprint. 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

VYING FOR THE X-PRIZE
The X-PRIZE race began like many others, with a slew of competitors jumping from the starting position with all of the motivation and excitement of a world-class runner. The mission is daunting, as the contest rules call for launching a manned craft to 62 miles, returning it safely to Earth and then doing it again within 14 days. Now, the race is realistically moving into a tight contest between two companies with an eye on the $10 million prize. Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites and Dallas-based Armadillo Aerospace are leading the suborbital race with their own respective spaceship designs. Scaled Composites’ project consists of two stages: a carrier aircraft, the White Knight, and a second-stage rocket, SpaceShipOne (SS1) . Armadillo's current design is a single-stage vehicle with "non-traditional operating features." More...

...AS LAUNCH DATES APPROACH...
Both of the leading teams will soon have a chance to show off their spacecraft in action as the X-PRIZE launch date nears. While there is no "set-in-stone" deadline, the X-PRIZE is fully funded through January 1, 2005, and some participants may launch sooner. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X-PRIZE Foundation, told the Associated Press he expects one of the two teams will launch within the next few months. "We expect to have a winner within the next nine to 12 months," Diamandis proclaimed in a presentation Friday to FAA officials. The FAA is also planning ahead, as it has already approved the launch applications of the aforementioned companies. The agency also approved a Mojave airport location for use as a launch pad. More...

...BUT AT WHAT COST?
While venturing into suborbital flight is exciting and pioneering for the private sector, many have questioned the safety aspect of performing privately funded space exploration. Others critics claim the financial risks of private funding are just as high. Burt Rutan claims the risks are prevalent in government and private ventures, but the calculated risk is necessary. "Safety, of course is paramount, but minimum cost is critical. I strongly feel that, if we are successful, our program will mark the beginning of a renaissance for manned space flight," he said. Armadillo Aerospace’s John Carmack supports Rutan’s assertion. More...

AEROSANCE PowerLink™ FADEC APPLICATIONS FROM TCM GROW With STCs for a number of Beech Bonanza and Baron models now in hand, Aerosance, another Teledyne Technologies company, is highlighting the latest developments with their revolutionary PowerLink™ FADEC digital engine control system. For more information on how to bring your aircraft into the FADEC generation, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm

EXTRA AIRCRAFT RESUMES PRODUCTION IN GERMANY
The folks at Extra Aircraft sent us a note announcing that their German factory is back in operation. The facility’s reopening follows the company's new life under new ownership, which was announced at this year’s AirVenture. The company’s new EA-500, which was also debuted at the show and will appear at the upcoming NBAA Convention, will be built at the German facility. In addition, the EA-400 and Extra 300 aerobatic model will also be built there. Ken Keith announced at Oshkosh that his team assumed managerial control of the company on Aug. 1 after Extra was nearly bankrupt thanks to a slow economy, slow sales and the Lycoming 540-series crankshaft shortage that saw an end earlier this year. More...

MIRAMAR’S FLOATING AIRPORT IS SUNK
Airport planners in Miramar, Calif., are keeping busy seeking a suitable location for the area’s next regional airline-populated airfield. The county's new airport agency, called the Public Working Group, tasked with finding such a venue, recently recommended adding a fifth military location, East Miramar, to the list of finalists for a possible regional airport site. At the same time, the agency elected to drop a "floating airport" concept, amid concerns of engineering complexities (and, perhaps, budgetary concerns). The agency recommended that the nine-member San Diego County Regional Airport Authority board of directors focus on four San Diego County military sites. The Airport Authority hopes to draw an FAA grant to cover 80 to 90 percent of the cost, and has budgeted up to $1.8 million of its own money to use through June 30, 2004. More...

BRIT MAKES THE BALLOONING RECORD BOOKS
Hot air balloons are designed to fly in good-weather conditions, but that was not the case for the British pilot who broke a ballooning record this week. On Monday, David Hempleman-Adams became the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic in an open wicker-basket balloon. The flight -- which followed a route from Sussex, New Brunswick, in Canada to Hambleton, Lancs, in the United Kingdom -- took 83 hours, 14 minutes and 35 seconds to complete. The 46-year-old adventurer faced the most perilous portion of his flight as he approached the U.K. for landing. While Hempleman-Adams’ original plan was to land next to the Blackpool Tower, he found himself drifting farther inland and dodging houses and power lines as the aircraft descended below 100 feet. More...

AFFORDABLE FLIGHT. LOOKING FOR BIG FUN WITH A SMALL PRICE TAG? There’s nothing better than the Symphony 160, the two-place, high wing, single engine aircraft from OMF. This well-equipped aircraft can take you and a passenger, plus full fuel and baggage, wherever you want to go, and make getting there part of the fun. It has the sporty good looks, comfort, safety and German engineering that will make possible the lifestyle you want. The Symphony 160 makes flying fun again. To discover more about the fully-loaded Symphony 160, call 1-866-OMF-1600 or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/omf

AMERICAN PILOTS ON COLOMBIA’S FRONTLINES
The United States has been fighting a drug war in Colombia for many years and American contract pilots have helped to wage the battle by spraying drug crops with insecticide. Of course, flying over lands controlled by drug lords has never been as safe as walking the dog, but a new danger from leftist rebels is increasing the danger quotient substantially. The Associated Press cites a United Nations study, which claims an ongoing U.S.-backed fumigation campaign has cut coca cultivation in the country by one-third in seven months. However, the weapons of choice -- contract American ag pilots -- are now caught in the crossfire between leftist rebels and government forces who try to clear the flight paths for the aerial bombardment. More...

AN AISLE SEAT AND A BOX CUTTER
Two years after box cutters were cited as weapons used to hijack the airliners that changed the world’s view toward terrorism, the management of airport security has been overhauled ... and two things remain very similar. You can still get an aisle seat, and you can still get a box cutter onto an airliner. On Friday, James Loy, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, admitted this problem is very much a reality thanks to a series of budgetary concerns his agency is struggling with. When it was first created, the TSA hired 55,000 screeners. On Tuesday, the agency was forced to cut another 6,000 screeners from its dwindling workforce. The cuts, cited as a necessary step to deal with budget shortfalls, will bring the total number of screeners down to 45,000 by the end of 2004. More...

SYDNEY’S FUEL RETURNING TO NORMAL
Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney, Australia, has been experiencing an unusual problem for the last week: a fuel shortage. Production problems at Sydney refineries and delays in shipments have caused fuel supplies at the airport to drop below 35 percent lower than normal. Now, the fuel distribution company says that the situation is easing and normal supplies could be restored by the weekend. Regardless, the damage is done. Because this shortage has come at one of the airport’s peak seasons, the delays have been massive and several airlines plan to take action in search of compensation. More...

ATTENTION 1968 THROUGH 2003 172 SKYHAWK OWNERS! SEMINAR OPENINGS The Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) will conduct Lycoming Powered 172 Skyhawk Systems and Procedures Seminar at CPA headquarters in Santa Maria, October 11-12. This program will not be offered again on the West Coast until 2005. Those interested should make an effort to attend this October seminar now! More information and on-line sign up are available at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa

HIGH SCHOOL: FLYING FOR CREDIT
While nothing could ever make high school classes as fun as some would like, we'll hope that flying is a step in the right direction. A unique program at Dominion Christian High School in Cobb County, Ga., is granting credit to students who engage in flight training. About twelve students will spend the first semester of the yearlong program in classroom instruction, during which they will prepare to take the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. The second semester is spent at McCollum Airfield in Kennesaw, where actual flight instruction is performed. Eager students, age 16 or older, must pay (or convince others to pay) $3,000 over the school's standard tuition to cover costs. More...

ON THE FLY...
Bahrain is missing an F-16 and pilot...
The homebuilt community is mourning the loss of David Stits...
Newark’s Liberty and LAX are celebrating their 75th anniversaries. More...

AVWEB'S AVSCOOP AWARD...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Jay Cioffi, 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.

More...

BENNETT AVIONICS: UPGRADE YOUR AIRCRAFT WITH CONFIDENCE & SAVINGS! Used avionics is Bennett Avionics only business. Find the avionics equipment to meet your needs while leaving enough money for avfuel! Bennett stocks a complete line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to your aircraft, for much less money than new. 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 ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB...

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BIZAV
BIZAV: October 2, 2003
AVweb's expanded coverage of business/corporate aviation continues with news about the final rules on fractional ownership, NBAA's annual show, Raytheon weathering the summer's heat and more.

More...

RYAN AND CAREERS IN AVIATION TEAM UP AT NBAA 2003, OCTOBER 7-9, ORLANDO Enter to win a ride in an L-39 Fighter Jet. Go Vertical compliments of Ryan International and Careers in Aviation! Sign up at NBAA Booth #3964. You must be 18 years or older to enter. Ryan International brings you the best in TCAD technology at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ryan

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Michael Crook, of Lumberton, NJ. This week, we decided to go with a military theme and the winning photo, titled "Cleared for contact" is a great way to highlight the concept. The photo captures a C-141B coming in for some gas behind a KC-10 somewhere over Illinois. Great picture, Michael! 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...
We received over 200 responses to our question last week on federal aviation funding. Over half (54 percent) of those responding felt small reliever airports are an area where urgent federal funding is needed. Almost a quarter (22 percent) indicated air traffic control as the necessary recipient of federal money, while only 1 percent cited certification as the primary area of needed funding.

This week, we would like to know your thoughts on the public’s perception of general aviation. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SPONSOR NEWS

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COME BY AND SAY "HELLO" TO AVWEB AT THE NBAA SHOW, ORLANDO, OCTOBER 7-9 AVweb personnel will be at Booth #935 during the NBAA Convention and Trade Show, Orlando Convention Center. And don't forget to tell friends and colleagues about no-cost AVweb/AVflash subscription. They can sign up online at http://www.avweb.com/profile

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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 Arturo Weiss:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#aweiss
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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