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Volume 9, Number 44aOctober 26, 2003

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THIS ISSUE OF AVFLASH IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY Trade-A-Plane TRADE-A-PLANE CLASSIFIEDS ARE UPDATED DAILY WITH PRODUCT/ADVERTISER Index, Dealers/Brokers, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, and Weather. Go by AOPA Expo Booth #421-423 and pick up a copy of Trade-A-Plane, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap

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

SAN DIEGO FIRES WREAK HAVOC
Sunday, Southern California wildfires merged into a miles-long conflagration in the suburbs of San Diego. By early evening yesterday, 11 people were dead, 650 homes were lost, the FAA's Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control center at MCAS Miramar had been evacuated, and San Bernardino International Airport had become a shelter for more than a thousand area residents. One small plane attempting to land at Montgomery Field "missed the runway due to the smoke, cartwheeling across Highway 163 south of Balboa Avenue shortly after 2 p.m.," officer Phil Konstantin of the California Highway Patrol told The San Diego Union-Tribune. More...

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LOBBYING FOR GA RELIEF
As the FAA's latest funding bill wends its way through the torturous twists and turns of Congress, amid much noisy debate over privatization issues, another item affecting GA is embedded in the legislation: cash relief to businesses affected by 9/11 and its aftermath. In its latest incarnation, the bill includes $100 million to help FBOs, flight schools, charter operators, manufacturers, and other GA businesses. A group of sympathetic senators last Thursday sent a letter to the Senate's appropriations committee, lobbying for that funding. "[It] will provide the critical support needed ... to revitalize this critical segment of the aviation industry," they wrote. More...

...WHILE PISTON SALES BARELY HOLD ON
Meanwhile, on Friday, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reported that in the first nine months of this year, deliveries of general aviation airplanes totaled 1,602 units, a 9.3 percent drop from the same period last year, with industry billings dropping 24.4 percent to $6.43 billion. However, one bright spot could be found: Shipments of piston-engine airplanes were up 0.2 percent over the same period last year, from 1,099 units to 1,101 units. It's not much of an upside, but at least it's not a downside, and it could even be seen as a trend. GAMA President Ed Bolen said, "This is the third straight quarter in which piston deliveries have been in positive territory, and we hope that is a harbinger of better days for the entire industry." More...

GARMIN'S 196 GPS HAS THE MOST UTILITY AMONG AVIATION HANDHELDS! WAAS-capable, the Garmin 196 has advanced mapping and logbook capabilities offering more utility as a cross-platform navigator than any aviation portable on the market. On land the GPSMAP 196 can navigate along roads or waterways. For details on the 196 and other Garmin GPS models stop by AOPA Expo Booth #300, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin

ATC A DEFENSE FUNCTION?
With the House and Senate (not to mention Republicans and Democrats) still wrangling over language about privatization in that FAA funding bill, a bit more fuel was added to the fire last week. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chair of the House Aviation Subcommittee, proposed shifting command of the air traffic control workforce to the military. Mica plans to hold a hearing Nov. 6 to discuss the possibility. National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President John Carr said Mica's idea "recognizes the inherently governmental function of air traffic control, although we believe the military's priority should be military air traffic control, not civilian," Congress Daily reported last Wednesday. However, such a move would prevent air traffic controllers from joining a union, according to Congress Daily. More...

...NATCA IS "PLEASED"...
In a news release on Wednesday, Carr elaborated: "We are pleased that Chairman Mica has recognized how important this issue is to aviation safety and we support his premise that air traffic control is an inherently governmental function. You will recall it was the House Aviation Subcommittee, under the leadership of Chairman Mica, that inserted the language prohibiting air traffic control privatization into the FAA reauthorization bill and we again thank the chairman for that work, which the House passed by a vote of 418-8 in June. We are looking forward to participating in Chairman Mica's Nov. 6 hearing." More...

...BUT PASS SEES A DIVERSION
The same reports also brought a swift, and negative, response from the Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS), the union that represents FAA systems specialists. "America's armed services are there to respond to threats to our national security," said PASS President Tom Brantley, in a news release on Wednesday. "And they seem to be pretty occupied these days fulfilling their mission. To suggest injecting these dedicated men and women into the middle of a political food fight is just an attempt to divert attention from the real issue at hand -- selling certification of the air traffic control system to private interests." More...

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FAA: BE READY FOR "LESS IS MORE" RVSM BY 2005
Last week, the FAA issued its long-anticipated Final Rule on Domestic Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums (DRVSM), decreeing that on January 20, 2005, the required vertical separation between aircraft above the U.S. at altitudes from 29,000 to 41,000 feet will be reduced from 2,000 feet to 1,000. That means more available routes, which the FAA says will result in greater separation between aircraft. It also means that aircraft who fly at those altitudes must have more-accurate altimeters and enhanced autopilot systems. Those upgrades are costly, and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) was quick to announce it was "disappointed" in the rule. More...

LANCAIR 350S FLYING OFF THE SHELVES
Lancair's bottleneck in its Columbia 350 line broke last week when the FAA OK'd the new model for delivery to owners. The new, all-electric airplane (no vacuums ... it does run on 100LL) has been ready to go since mid-summer, but deliveries were delayed until the FAA certified the S-TEC autopilot and the Avidyne FlightMax Entegra primary and multifunction glass cockpit displays. "The factory is literally bursting at the seams with aircraft that are ready to go to our customers," Lancair V.P. of sales Mark Cahill said last week, in a news release. Now, "The paperwork is done and we're set to hand over the first several customer Columbia 350s." More...

NEW AIRPORT SURVEILLANCE RADAR GOES ALL-DIGITAL
The FAA announced last week the nationwide deployment of the first all-digital airport radar system. The Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-11) will replace older-generation analog radars that are nearing the end of their service life, the FAA said. "Digital radar is a critical component of a modernized airspace system," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey in a news release. "The ASR-11 feeds more data more reliably to air traffic control for greater safety and efficiency." The ASR-11 performs better than the old surveillance radars and provides improved digital aircraft and weather input needed by the FAA's new air traffic control automation systems, such as STARS (Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System). More...

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TSA'S LOY NOMINATED TO NO. 2 DHS JOB
Just a week after telling a Congressional panel that maybe GA is not such a big security threat after all -- remarks that elicited much glee from AOPA, as AVweb reported last Monday -- TSA chief James Loy was nominated by President Bush to fill the No. 2 slot in the Department of Homeland Security. If approved by the Senate, Loy will take over as Tom Ridge's deputy, filling a vacancy created when Gordon England became Secretary of the Navy this month. EAA applauded the nomination. "Admiral Loy has come to adopt a view of general aviation that is generally balanced, fair, and grounded in the need to preserve the American citizen's right to freedom of movement," EAA said in a news release on Thursday. More...

FOSSETT, BRANSON PLAN NONSTOP RTW SOLO FLIGHT
OK, it was done already, 17 years ago in Voyager, with Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in the cockpit. But Steve Fossett wants to be the first to fly *solo* around the world nonstop and without refueling in an airplane. Richard Branson is serving as backup pilot, and Burt Rutan is designing the jet-powered, pressurized GlobalFlyer. The airplane will carry a single Williams FJ44-3 ATW engine, tweaked for this special application. The all-composite aircraft will travel at about 45,000 feet and reach speeds close to 300 mph. The trip is expected to launch from somewhere in the central U.S. sometime next year, and take about three days. In announcing the record attempt, Branson took the opportunity to blast British Airways (BA) for retiring the Concorde -- and turning down his offer to buy the fleet. More...

CONCORDE FOLDS ITS WINGS
We can argue about its usefulness. We can gag at the overstuffed egos of celebrities who reveled in the supersonic cachet. We can shake our heads over the Ohio man who bought the last two tickets for $60,300 in a charity auction. We can even sympathize with the folks in Queens who are relieved to be rid of the cacophonous takeoffs. But we have to take to heart what news-anchor-emeritus Walter Cronkite wrote last week: "The grounding of the Concorde is as if, after a dozen locations had been interconnected, Alexander Graham Bell and his associates had decided to go no further in their development of the telephone." Concorde, after 27 years in service, still fully functional and unique, flew its last scheduled flight on Friday. More...

AVEMCO INSURANCE COMPANY ANNOUNCES A NEW STANDARD OF CUSTOMER SERVICE- online premium payment. Now you can pay for your insurance online 24/7. Eliminate the danger of lapsed insurance coverage by taking advantage of this fast and easy way to pay your policy premiums. Only AVEMCO can offer you this level of service because only AVEMCO is a direct writer. Being direct means you deal directly with the insurance company. No agent or broker is required. Talk to AVEMCO's experts during AOPA Expo at Booth #522 to learn more about the advantages of buying direct, or call 888-241-7891, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco

ON THE FLY...
"Single-Pilot IFR," new free online course from AOPA Air Safety Foundation...
Cessna Twins Spar Corporation hosting an Open Meeting at AOPA Expo...
Raytheon Aircraft sales increased over last year, with 80 deliveries...
NPRM on sightseeing flights could hurt small operators, AOPA says...
First 10 members inducted into Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor. More...

AVWEB'S AVSCOOP AWARD...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Bob Vila, 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...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES
Reader mail this week about unusual attitude training, the end of Concorde and more. More...

RYAN OFFERS THE LATEST IN COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS! Ryan's 9900BX Traffic Advisory System (TAS) features a range over 20 miles and audible position alerting, "Traffic! 6 o'clock! Low! One Mile!" The 9900BX TAS will be on display at AOPA Expo Booth #817. To learn more about flying the Ryan 9900BX TAS visit the Ryan experts at AOPA Expo Booth #817, or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ryan

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #25: Centennial
It's a cliche to say the world of 1903 was very different than 2003. But it is instructive to look back at that year and see what kind of world powered flight entered; to see what it meant to the Wright Brothers and to the rest of humanity at the time. AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit takes us back to those days of innocence when the world was much bigger. More...

SHORT FINAL
An SLC Center Controler I know has his personal aircraft hangered at the local Muni airport. Facing his hangar is another that houses a Green Cessna 210. One day that Cessna came into his sector. My controler friend recognized the N number. The exchange follows...

Controller: N123, is that airplane painted green?
Pilot: Uh, yes. ...Why?
Controller: Just checking our new color radar. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SPONSOR NEWS

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THERE'S MORE TO SHUTTING DOWN AN ELECTRICAL FIRE THAN YOU'VE BEEN TAUGHT You may have been taught that in event of an electrical fire on board, all you need to do is shut off the alternator and battery master switches. But, there's more to it than that. The October issue of NTSB Reporter tells the story of what happened when a pilot who radioed controllers that he was going to shut off the master switch because of an electrical fire, and what investigators discovered. Learn from others mistakes with your own subscription to NTSB Reporter at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ntsbrepo

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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopalist  

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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 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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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