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Volume 9, Number 41bOctober 9, 2003

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

The biggest business aviation event of the year kicked off with lots of news and hoopla, as The National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) 56th Annual Meeting & Convention opened its doors on Tuesday. While last year's exhibitors and attendees displayed residual uneasiness a year after 9/11 and amidst a struggling market, the mood at this year's show was much more optimistic. Several major announcements were made at the show, which opened to a record number of exhibitor and static-aircraft displays. The 1,000 exhibitors, 75 informational sessions and 111 aircraft on static display at Orlando Executive Airport made for an impressive display of corporate aviation's marketing muscle. More...

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and Congressman John L. Mica both expressed frustration with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's ongoing battle with the contract-towers issue, which Blakey characterized as a "non-issue." Mica indicated the debate is holding up the pending FAA Reauthorization Bill, which among other things provides $100 million for the general aviation post-9/11 recovery. Bombardier Aerospace offered its biggest headline this year: the official launch of the Ultra-Long Range Global Express XRS business jet. The $45.3 million jet will feature improved performance over its predecessor and offer an amazing 6,500-nm range at .82 Mach. Claiming the jet "takes the outstanding performance of the Bombardier Global Express even further," Bombardier will eventually replace the current Global Express design with the XRS. More...

Safire Aircraft has kept a low profile, as it transitioned from the S-26 program to the six-seat Safire Jet design and set up shop in Opa Locka, Fla., and acquired 300 orders. At the show, company officials announced that the Williams F-J33 engine -- currently undergoing certification -- will provide 1,530 pounds of thrust to move the $1.395 million jet along at an undisclosed clip. The first Safire Jet flight-test aircraft is planned to fly in the first quarter of 2004. Extra Aircraft took things a step further. Walter Extra himself flew the brand-new EA-500 to the convention's static-display area at Orlando Executive Airport. This marks the first public viewing of the new high-wing executive aircraft and a first for Extra since its reorganization. More...

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The FAA is not the only outfit around to announce its vision of the aviation future, and this week The Boyd Group, of Evergreen, Colo., held its annual forecast conference, in Nashville, Tenn., and on several points offered views that differ from the FAA's ideas. For starters, aviation consultant Michael Boyd predicted far less passenger growth than the FAA, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. The FAA said in March that passengers will return to 2000 levels by 2006, but Boyd forecast it will take until 2008. Boyd also predicted sharp growth in secondary airports near major cities, the Times said, saying passenger traffic at Long Beach, Calif., will increase five times over 2000 levels by 2008. More...

Boyd also said that consumer demands for more comfort and jetway boarding will flatten the demand for smaller regional jets in favor of those that seat 100 and up, and code-share alliances among the major airlines will continue to grow. Another analyst at the conference, Jamie Baker of J. P. Morgan, said that by 2006 at least 40 percent of the domestic airline traffic will be handled by discount airlines like Southwest and JetBlue, the Times reported. Boyd, according to the Dallas Business Journal, accurately forecast the financial woes of Denver International Airport, and earlier this year predicted Dallas/Fort Worth Airport will be busier than O'Hare International Airport by 2012. 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

When the FAA recently published an "Airworthiness Concern Sheet" noting that cracks have been found in the vertical fin attachment brackets of some Cessna 150- and 152-series airplanes, it requested input from type clubs and pilot groups by October 22. This week, a Cessna 150-152 type club in California published online its analysis of the concerns, along with its recommendations to owners. "We believe the FAA will wait for Cessna to issue a forthcoming Service Bulletin," the group says at its Web site, and expects "inspections will [likely] become mandatory via a new Airworthiness Directive in 2004." Meanwhile, the group suggests, "We recommend that you and your mechanic make an especially diligent inspection of these parts at the next service interval." More...

When Mesaba Airlines declined to take aboard a teddy bear that was part of a school geography project in Mason City, Iowa, pilot Richard Rogers read about it and was not happy. "The kids had gone to the airport all excited, and went home real disappointed," he told AVweb on Tuesday. That didn't sit well with Rogers, who flies for Pinnacle Food Group in Des Moines, so he tracked down schoolteacher Kelli Moorehead and proposed an alternate plan. Rogers offered to give Ted a lift in the co-pilot seat of his company's CJ2. Ted could travel in style and then relax in the friendly care of FBO staffers till they found him another spot with GA and corporate pilots. "They didn't realize that GA even existed," Rogers told AVweb. "They were thinking of giving the bear to a truck driver, but this is so much better." More...

The FAA's tight grip on the huge chunk of airspace that is the Baltimore-Washington Air Defense Identification Zone is beginning to loosen, if only slightly. AOPA said this week that after more than six months of negotiating, the TSA and FAA and a long list of D.C. security officials have agreed to a 60-day test that will ease restrictions on operations at about a dozen GA airports near the rim of the ADIZ. "AOPA still believes that the ADIZ has outlived its intent and would prefer to see it lifted entirely," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "But until that happens, this should make operations at the edges of the ADIZ a little less complicated." More...

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Boeing Co. last week announced its third-quarter deliveries, and said it shipped 210 jets in the first nine months of this year. The projected total of 280 jets for 2003 represents an eight-year low for Boeing. Airbus says it expects to ship 300 jets this year, which would place the European consortium ahead of Boeing for the first time ever. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported this week that three 777s have made emergency landings this year after their windshields cracked when wiring to their heaters shorted out. In at least one of the incidents, the wiring briefly caught on fire. Boeing has told airlines to tighten the wire connections, the AP said, and is developing circuit breakers that should prevent the problem from recurring. More...

Cessna is naturally in force at the NBAA shindig in Orlando this week, and on Monday made the most of its chance to hype the latest news about its much-anticipated Citation Mustang entry-level six-seat bizjet. The jet should be ready for type certification in the third quarter of 2006, with first customer deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2006, Cessna said in a news release. About 300 of the jets have already been ordered, according to Bloomberg News. High-speed and low-speed wind-tunnel tests were completed that verified the airframe design, Cessna added. The Mustang will be certified as a FAR Part 23 aircraft, with a cruise speed of 340 knots at 35,000 feet, and a maximum operating altitude of 41,000 feet. More...

This past Sunday New York City's Hudson River Park was assaulted by 35 teams of amateur "aircraft" builders competing for a $7,500 "pilot's training course or cash equivalent" grand prize. An impressive precision parachute jump originated from a helicopter and ended atop the event's floating 30-foot-wide launch pad to open the event. Competitors then began pushing their often-absurd human-powered craft (one was a giant paper airplane) off the end of the 25-feet-above-river-level launch with the help of a 10- to 15-knot tailwind. It was all part of an otherwise shameless promotion of Red Bull energy drink dubbed Flugtag New York, 2003. The av-savvy may have most enjoyed the winning team's 39-foot flight, but there was no lack of entertainment for diving fans, either. More...

WIN THE GETAWAY OF THE CENTURY! AVweb and Pilot Getaways magazine have joined with to bring you the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes. The lucky winner will be a part of the Kitty Hawk activities on December 17. Other prizes include special commemorative watches and more. Enter the sweepstakes, secure VIP events seating, and purchase official Wright products at

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a customer satisfaction survey on the Cirrus SR20 and Diamond DA40 Star. If you own either and would like to participate, contact the editor at More...

Three British WWII pilots are recovering after ditching their 172...
A 1946 Stinson crashed into a house in Okla. Sunday, no injuries...
Richard Abruzzo, Carol Rymer-Davis won Albuquerque Gas Balloon Race...
The pilots of Operation Migration are leading 16 cranes to Florida...
Carter Aviation postponed November attempt to break the Mu-1 barrier.

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


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Quiz #73 -- IFR Charts And Procedures For All Pilots
Rumor has it that some pilots fly inside clouds. Yikes! How can they see the interstate highways? VFR pilots should have at least a passing acquaintance with IFR procedures if only to know where IFR traffic might appear. All instrument-rated flyers could use the occasional brush-up on instrument terms and procedures.


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We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Al Schleif, of Poway, Calif. His picture titled "Kinetic Energy" shows the beauty of a Pitts, even when parked on the ramp. While many aerobatic aircraft have crowded the marketplace, nothing quite captures the look of this awesome biplane. 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 More...

We received over 300 responses to our question last week on the public’s support of general aviation GA). Approaching half (44 percent) of those responding felt many people don’t understand the many benefits GA offers the community, while 309 percent said general aviation is perceived as an annoyance. Only 1 percent indicated the public supports GA and clearly understands how beneficial this segment of the industry is.
To check out the complete results go to
This week we would like to know your thoughts on business aviation’s recovery. More...

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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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