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Volume 9, Number 42bOctober 16, 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. Hear the difference in headsets at LightSPEED's AOPA Expo Booth #226, or for more information on LightSPEED's QFR Solo SS headset and other quality headsets visit go online at

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

If you have a beef with the way the FAA has treated you during an investigation, you may soon be able to have all the facts reviewed by a third party. That's part of the fallout resulting from the crash of a Cessna Citation near Branson, Mo., on Dec. 9, 1999, which killed all six on board. While the NTSB ruled pilot stress, fatigue, rainy weather and poor visibility contributed to the crash, particular focus has been placed on the two Kansas City FAA officials who were accused of harassing pilot Joe Brinell. More...

While FAA investigations into pilot records are not uncommon, the methods and tactics used by the Kansas City officials have been called into question. U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) helped launch the investigation into the FAA’s actions over Brinell. As a result, Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead determined in a January report that the FAA abused its regulatory power and "induced stress" on Brinell. Acting on the report, the FAA changed the job titles of the two men but has not publicly released their names. Last week Blunt announced the agency had put new policies in place in response to his pressure and the inspector general's report, and chief among them is the right to third-party review for complaints about FAA investigations. 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

An Algerian-born pilot has successfully sued one of Britain's largest newspapers for libel after he was arrested there, at the request of the FBI, just after 9/11. Now Lotfi Raissi is going after the U.S. government. Raissi spent five months in London's Belmarsh and was freed in February 2002. Raissi now claims to have been defamed by U.S. government agencies and has won his case against the Daily Mail, of London. In one of its articles headlined "Flight Terror Suspect Stole Identity of 74-year-old Grandmother," the paper claimed Mr. Raissi had dishonestly used the social security number of a dead grandmother, Dorothy Hansen, to create a fake U.S. identity. More...

With the libel suit behind him, Raissi promises to go after the U.S. government in another legal battle. This one may prove a bit more difficult, as he claims several government agencies and President George W. Bush himself are at fault. On Raissi’s behalf, attorney Paul Hoffman submitted administrative claims to the FBI and Justice Department last month. This opens the doors for a suit to be filed against the federal agencies in U.S. District Court. But since Raissi is facing criminal charges in Phoenix, of making false statements on behalf of a friend seeking political asylum, it's unlikely he'll risk arrest to pursue the suit. "Of course, I would be arrested," he admitted to The Arizona Republic. "But there is justice. I believe that President Bush said this is a fight against terrorism, not against innocent people ..." he added. More...

Raissi is not the only pilot to be affected by post-9/11 security concerns and he may not be the last. As AVweb previously reported, the TSA remains the sole arbiter of who is (or isn't) a security risk worthy of having his or her airman certificate pulled. An amendment requiring a third party to review such suspensions is contained in the FAA Reauthorization Bill that is currently stalled in Congress over air traffic control privatization. More...

AEROSANCE PowerLink™ FADEC APPLICATIONS 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 visit the experts at TCM's AOPA Expo Booth #812, or go online at

The Vantage jet may fly after all. Two men have purchased the assets of the bankrupt VisionAire Corp. with the hope of bringing the defunct jet program back into full swing. Matt Eller and Joel Goodman paid $441,000 to a St. Louis bankruptcy court for the estimated $110 million worth of technology, engineering equipment, parts and avionics systems. The plane's mock-up, trailer and other computer equipment have already been moved to an office building in Ames, Iowa, where the partners hope to resume production. Ames was home for VisionAire’s original headquarters and factory. More...

On Tuesday, EAA released some new data that shows the number of homebuilt aircraft is on the rise. The Oshkosh-based organization claims the homebuilt-aircraft segment has shown steady growth and there are now more than 25,000 U.S.-registered homebuilt aircraft. They account for more than 15 percent of the single-engine piston-powered general aviation fleet. EAA says about 1,000 additional homebuilt aircraft have received their airworthiness certificates and been added to the FAA register each year since the late 1980s. More...

The last flight of the famed Concorde is nearly upon us, and many aviation enthusiasts, historians and those who want a last peek at the aircraft are planning to bid it farewell in style. Thousands of people are expected to pack London’s Heathrow airport to watch the final flight of Concorde on Oct. 24. Special grandstands will be built at the airport where onlookers will watch Captain Mike Bannister land the aircraft for the last time on a commercial flight. While the event will be broadcast on UK television, American audiences will see the aircraft’s departure courtesy of NBC. More...

DIAMOND ENGINEERS REDESIGN DA40 PANEL TO OPTIMIZE FORM AND FUNCTION Diamond's DA40 is the platform for the first certified installation of Garmin's new integrated glass panel. The G1000 offers better situational awareness by rolling the functions of conventional panel-mounted instruments into two 10-inch sunlight-readable displays, including digital audio, a WAAS-capable IFR GPS, VHF navigation with ILS and VHF communication, 8.33-kHz-channel spacing, Mode S, solid-state attitude and heading, a digital air data computer and optional weather and terrain data all hooked up to a Bendix/King KAP two-axis autopilot. The jet-style, laser-etched polycarbonate overlay adds the final high-tech touch. For more information on the DA40, and Diamond Aircraft's other innovative aircraft designs, stop by AOPA Expo Booth #156 and the static display, or go online at

Sure, flying has always been associated with some element of risk, but a recent government study says it's downright dangerous as jobs go. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a list of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in America for 2002. In the report, examined by CNN and Money Magazine, pilots and navigators collectively were listed as having the third most dangerous jobs, following timber cutters and fishers. The CNN/Money article, cites the survey as claiming that commercial pilots died on the job at the rate of 70 per 100,000 workers. More...

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) , the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, has selected two contractors to provide new eyes in the sky for its aircraft. The hyper-spectral imaging sensors and a visual computing network allows a sensor on a moving aircraft to detect objects on the ground by picking up light reflected from those objects. The imaging equipment can detect both man-made and natural objects that have a known spectral "signature," or can be used to survey a scene to determine what is out of place. More...

You may surprised to hear that one of the U.S. Air Force’s prized F-22s nearly crashed on Sept. 19. That’s because the government had kept the incident under wraps until a Texas newspaper broke the story. The Dallas Morning News reports an anonymous senior Air Force official confirmed the accident, which nearly cost the life of the pilot and the $161 million jet. The article claims an experienced F-15 pilot with less than 20 hours in the new Raptor attempted a dogfight maneuver that "sent the aircraft plummeting in an upside-down spiral." More...

FLY INTO THE FUTURE AT THE GREAT LAKES INTERNATIONAL AVIATION CONFERENCE On February 6-8, in Lansing, Michigan the Great Lakes International Aviation Conference will host a top-flight lineup of nationally known speakers with breakout seminars, hands-on displays, discussions, and an extensive maintenance program. The exhibit area will be filled with the latest products and technologies. IA renewal and the FAA Wings program are available for those who qualify. For more information call 248 348-6942 and mention this AVflash, or visit

Stall and spin flight-testing has wrapped up on the Liberty XL2...
JetBlue is proposing a new in-flight child-restraint seat system...
The federal government has identified a new security threat via pillows...
Sydney, Australia’s jet fuel supply is about 90 percent back to normal. More...

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

AT BENNETT AVIONICS THEY DISCOUNT THE PRICE--NOT THEIR SERVICE! Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business. Find the avionics equipment to meet your aircraft's needs while leaving enough money for avfuel! Bennett stocks a complete line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to your aircraft at a price that makes sense. Bennett also purchases used avionics equipment and will work out an exchange for newer electronics. Bennett Avionics-your one-stop used avionics specialist at

Say Again? #29: Leaf Peepers (And Other Strange Critters)
It's October, and the Leaf Peepers are out. Not some kind of birds -- they're folks flying around looking for fall colors. Wonderful way to spend the day -- and AVweb's Don Brown has a few suggestions when you want VFR traffic advisories for something other than a trip from Point A to Point B. More...

GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT YOUR AIRCRAFT'S FUEL BILL BY 20 PERCENT! If you're tired of being grounded by sky-high gas prices, install GAMIjectors. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Talk to GAMI's experts during AOPA Expo in Booth #206, or order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine at

We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, John M. Hermann, of Sheboygan, Wisc. His picture titled "On Target" captures the exact moment a pilot tries to land his Cessna Skyhawk as close as possible to the chalk line in a precision landing contest. Not only are these events fun but they also helped hone our flying skills. Great picture, John! 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 200 responses to our question last week on business aviation’s recovery. Over half (56 percent) of those responding felt business aviation, lime all segments of the aviation industry, have greatly suffered since 9/11 from an economical standpoint and with the numerous flight restrictions sill in place.

To check out the complete results go to
This week we would like to know your thoughts on unusual attitude training. More...

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CPA EXPERTS ANSWER YOUR CESSNA QUESTIONS DURING AOPA EXPO 2003 Experts from the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) will be on hand at AOPA Expo Booth #710 to answer all questions concerning your Cessna aircraft. If you aren't attending AOPA Expo go online for all the benefits of CPA membership including terrific hands-on seminars at

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! See all Comm 1's products at AOPA Booth #648, or order online at

STOP WONDERING—OR WORRYING—WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE! Friends flying in today? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner be back before you need the airplane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. Sign up for a quarterly subscription for just $9.95 a month and receive an introductory month at no cost! Go to

UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF YOUR AVIONICS WITH A SPECIAL EFS 10% DISCOUNT! Train at your own pace with ElectronicFlight Solutions' CompleteLearning(tm) Avionics Software Library including Garmin GNS 530/430, Goodrich SkyWatch & Stormscope, Bendix/King IHAS Traffic and Terrain, S-TEC 55X and Bendix/King KAP 140 / KFC 225 Autopilots. Self-paced, media rich, interactive, FAA Wings Accepted CD-ROM training. Go by EFS's AOPA Expo Booth #637 for more information, or to take advantage of this special till October 31 go online at

GLEIM OFFERS 15% DISCOUNT ON THE FAR/AIM 2004 EDITION IN BOTH SIZES! Receive 15% off both the desk and flight bag size FAR/AIM 2004. And, for AVweb subscribers only...for less than $25 you can ensure you know the rules, regulations, and procedures with Gleim's Private Pilot Refresher Course (PPRC), plus it counts towards the FAA Wings program. Take a no-cost lesson, and order Gleim publications and products at


GOING TO AOPA EXPO? GO BY & THANK THOSE WHO BRING YOU NO-COST AVFLASH! AVflash sponsors appreciate knowing you are a subscriber. Print out the sponsors list at

AVIATION CONSUMER'S NOVEMBER ISSUE REVIEWS THE NEW GPS FROM LOWRANCE Along with finding the best wax or sealant; what pilots are getting out of FAA's new Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS); new vacuum pumps fight for the market; continuing two-part series on using private aircraft for business travel; and Used Aircraft Guide evaluates the Beechcraft 55 Baron series. Order your subscription at

LET FALL DAYS SLIP BY IN TOTAL RELAXATION The autumn issue of Pilot Getaways magazine has lined up fly-in destinations perfect for the total relaxation experienced in beautiful surroundings. But if you have energy to burn, you can kayak, hike, camp, fish, sail, and golf to your heart's content. For these autumn destinations across the United States, Pilot Getaways gives all the details for a full day's play or, kick back and watch the world go by. Subscribe to Pilot Getaways at

GOT AN IFR TICKET? THINK YOU KNOW IT ALL? THINK AGAIN. Now that you have that IFR ticket it's just the beginning of your IFR experience. Rod Machado's Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual, newly expanded and revised, is real world flying. This manual will boost your IFR skills interpreting GPS approach charts and teaches things you just won't find in other books. More than a refresher-corporate and airline pilots use it too. Rod Machado makes learning fun...just like flying should be. Order at

COME BY AND SAY "HELLO" TO AVWEB AT AOPA EXPO AVweb personnel will be at Booth #502 during the AOPA Expo, October 29-November 1, in Philadelphia. And don't forget to tell friends and colleagues about no-cost AVweb/AVflash subscription. They can sign up online 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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