Your Engine Just Died and You've Got Three Choices Water? Road? Trees? Get this 20-minute program with tactics on handling emergency landings. Listen as safety expert Bob Martens examines factors such as off-field landing
choices, stretching the glide, landing pattern, wind and flap management, landing long or short, and more.
Click here to listen
online or download.
The aviation community has had a tough time this fall getting Congress to focus on the issue of FAA reauthorization, but patience -- and time -- are running out. The FAA budget was due to expire
this week, on Sept. 30, but has now been extended to Dec. 31. Aviation advocacy groups are pressuring the Senate to use that time to come up with a comprehensive reauthorization package, instead of
simply continuing to grant extensions, as it has done seven times in the last two years. In a letter (PDF)
sent to senators last week, 32 industry groups representing air carriers, GA, pilots, air traffic controllers and many others said the new legislation is "critically overdue." A comprehensive bill is
needed to provide funding for airport and airway system improvements. "The strength of our aviation system and the ability to meet future demands is dependent upon the federal government's success in
meeting its obligations to provide adequate infrastructure," the group's letter reads. "A critical step in meeting those obligations is for the Senate to advance a comprehensive, multi-year bill that
will help provide the resources necessary to help our country meet the demands being placed on the aviation system."
The letter notes that aviation helps to sustain over 10 million jobs and contributes over $1 trillion in economic activity in the U.S. A new FAA reauthorization bill would have a stimulative
economic impact on the aviation work force, creating or maintaining tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, the letter says. The groups signing the letter include the Air Line Pilots Association, AOPA,
General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, National Air Transportation Association, and National Business Aviation Association. Much of the delay has
been blamed on the change in administration and a change in leadership at the FAA, but with Administrator Randy Babbitt now in place and elections over for the White House and Congress, pressure for
definitive action to be taken is likely to increase.
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Search for aircraft (hourly updates). Find companies, products, and services. Locate dealers/brokers. Call or e-mail sellers, and click directly to their web sites. With our web and mobile
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Two senators this week said they have formed a General
Aviation Caucus and invited other senators to join them (PDF) to ensure support for pilots,
aircraft owners, and the aviation industry in the U.S. "General aviation has a presence in every state, and plays a significant role in our economy," said Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, one of the caucus
founders. "We're hopeful many of our Senate colleagues will join us in learning more about the importance of this industry." Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said GA is a critical component of his state's
transportation infrastructure. "It helps keep our state connected, supports economic development, and helps our businesses operate efficiently," he said. The two said they plan to hold their first
meeting later this fall. So far, Senators James Inhofe, R-Okla., Sam Brownback, R-Kans., and Pat Roberts, R-Kans., have joined the caucus.
GA advocacy groups responded positively to the announcement. "Having the involvement of these senators whose states know the value of GA, and who make use of it themselves, is vitally important to
helping others in the Senate better understand all that general aviation contributes to the nation," said AOPA President Craig Fuller. NBAA President Ed Bolen said, "NBAA is delighted at the formation
of this caucus, in recognition of the value provided by all of general aviation, including business aviation. We look forward to working with everyone involved with the caucus to promote policies that
help all general aviation continue to provide value in every state across the country." Pete Bunce, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, also expressed support. "We truly
appreciate the leadership efforts of Senator Begich and Senator Johanns to bring general aviation issues to the attention of the Senate and we look forward to supporting their work," said Bunce. There
are over 220,000 GA aircraft and 650,000 certificated pilots in the U.S. General aviation contributes significantly to local economies in many states, generating over $150 billion annually with 1.3
million American jobs directly tied to the industry, Senator Begich said in a news release. A similar GA caucus was formed
in the U.S. House of Representatives in April.
Aircraft Spruce West Coast Super Sale October 3, 2009!
Aircraft Spruce West will be holding their annual Super Sale and Fly-In on Saturday, October 3, 2009 from 7:00am to 3:00pm in Corona, CA. Come and join the Aircraft Spruce Team and
vendors for lunch, special pricing, vendor demonstrations, and educational seminars. Lots of opportunities to win raffle prizes from some of your favorite vendors. A no-charge shuttle will be
offered to and from Corona Airport (KAJO). Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or
For the last five years, Harrison Ford has acted as chairman of the EAA's Young Eagles program, but this week he ended his term and handed over the job to Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and
First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, known for their expert handling of an emergency landing in the Hudson River in January. The two pilots visited EAA during AirVenture last summer, where they drew huge
crowds and rediscovered their GA roots. "I'm grateful to EAA and the AirVenture Oshkosh convention for allowing me to fall in love with aviation for a second time in my life," said Skiles during a news conference on Tuesday. "I'm eager to share this passion with young people and encourage participation in aviation."
Sullenberger also recalled this summer's visit as a pivotal moment. "After having the opportunity to learn more about the EAA Young Eagles Program while I was in Oshkosh, Jeff and I were inspired to
get involved," he said. "Co-chairing the program is an opportunity that I welcome. Jeff and I are honored to take the stick from Harrison Ford." Click here to listen to audio interviews with Ford, Sullenberger and Skiles at the EAA Web site, or click
here for video of Sullenberger and Skiles at AirVenture.
EAA President Tom Poberezny, who launched the EAA Young Eagles Program in 1992, thanked Ford on Tuesday for his service and welcomed the new co-chairs. "Harrison and I were delighted when Sully and
Jeff agreed to co-chair the program," he said. "They were ideal candidates not only because of the skill they demonstrated on that fateful day in January but also, and perhaps more significantly,
because of the leadership they've shown since that time. They've been excellent ambassadors on behalf of aviation." Ford agreed. "For five years as the program chair, I've stressed the program's
message of earned reward, showing young people that, by disciplining and applying themselves, they can earn marvelous rewards, such as the freedom and thrill of flight," he said on Tuesday. "Now,
Sully and Jeff will add an emphasis on the value of training, preparation, and teamwork. No one could bring more credibility in sharing these concepts with our youth."
US Airways announced on Monday that Sullenberger is returning to work in a new role as "management pilot." In addition to his flying duties, Sullenberger will join the US Airways flight operations
safety management team. "The months since January 15 have been very full, and my family and I have had some unforgettable experiences," Sullenberger said in a US Airways news release. "However, I have missed working with my colleagues at US Airways
and I am eager to get back in the cockpit with my fellow pilots in the months ahead. In my new role, I will continue to be the same kind of advocate for aviation safety that I have been for several
decades." The airline said it will release more details later regarding Sullenberger's return to the flight deck. Meanwhile, Sullenberger's book, "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really
Matters," is due to be published on Oct. 13. Skiles returned to work earlier this year.
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Click for a larger image of the flight path, via Flightaware
A Mooney crashed Wednesday morning near Muncie, Ind., after the pilot, who was alone on board, became disoriented and then failed to respond to ATC. Two F-16s from the Indiana National Guard
intercepted the airplane, which was flying erratically, [see FlightAware tracklog] and
provided an escort until the airplane lost altitude and crashed in a cornfield about an hour after takeoff. Military officials told The Associated Press the pilot appeared to be suffering from hypoxia
or perhaps a health problem. The airplane had launched in Grand Rapids, Mich., after having maintenance done, and was traveling at about 23,000 feet when ATC lost contact. Officials would not comment
on the condition of the pilot, according to the AP.
The F-16s operated under the direction of NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The intent of military intercepts, according to NORAD, is to identify aircraft, re-establish
communications with local FAA air traffic controllers and instruct the pilot to follow air traffic controllers to land safely for further follow-on action.
Got a Minute? Watch Real Aviation Heroes, an important Pilot Safety Announcement from the Air Safety Foundation
Don't be like this guy! Enjoy this short humorous PSA that addresses a common safety issue.
Cessna released its new Cessna Sport/Private Pilot Course this week to its Pilot Center network, in anticipation of starting deliveries of the Skycatcher light sport aircraft later this year. "The
new training program is a key component of Cessna's effort to make flying more accessible and to re-energize pilot training," said Tom Aniello, Cessna's vice president of marketing. The Web-based
training, developed in partnership with King Schools, makes it easy for students to access training materials from any location, Cessna said in a news release. The program can be customized by instructors to reflect the local training
environment, and it can be used with either a full-glass cockpit or analog steam gauges. Features include scenario-based lessons, videos, full-motion diagrams, and exam reviews.
The first Skycatcher fabricated and assembled on production tooling flew in China two weeks ago, and performed a number of handling quality tests during the flight. The airplane features a Garmin
G300 avionics system. Cessna says it has more than 1,000 orders for the Skycatcher. There are more than 280 Cessna Pilot Centers
around the world.
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Click through for a guided tour of the Gulfstream G650, from EBACE 2008
Gulfstream rolled out the first example of its ultra-large G650 Tuesday in front of about 7,000 people at its plant in Savannah, Ga., and announced the program is on schedule with first deliveries
planned for 2012. The aircraft has been spotted several times in recent weeks as it underwent engine start and low-speed taxi tests. The rollout on Tuesday presumably marks the beginning of the flight
test program, although no date has been announced for a first flight. The rollout comes about two months after Cessna announced it was shelving its large-cabin Columbus intercontinental jet. "Simply
put, the Gulfstream G650 is in a class by itself," said Joe Lombardo, the executive vice president of General Dynamics' aerospace group.
Announced in the heady days of massive backlogs, maximum production and seemingly boundless opportunity (about 18 months ago), the 650 was clearly presented as a flagship product intended to assert
Gulfstream's dominance of the ultra-luxury market. It's the largest G ever built, with a top cruise speed of .925 Mach, a maximum operating altitude of 51,000 feet and a range (at .85 Mach) of 7,000
nm. It will carry up to 18 passengers, depending on cabin configuration, and includes a separate compartment for a second crew on those long flights.
The NTSB on Tuesday released its annual compilation of transportation fatalities, and reported that in 2008
aviation-related deaths increased slightly to 572, from 550 in 2007. Nearly 87 percent of those fatalities occurred in general aviation accidents (495), which was almost unchanged from the previous
year (496). The other deaths occurred in air taxi operations (66), airlines (3), and foreign or unregistered aircraft (8). Commuter airlines were fatality-free in 2007. "We at the NTSB will continue
to press hard advocating improvements in all modes of transportation to keep this trend moving in the right direction," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "Every transportation fatality is an
unnecessary tragedy." Also on Tuesday, the board issued several safety recommendations asking the FAA to take action
to prevent bird-strike accidents. The FAA should ensure that GA airports near woods, wetlands, or water comply with the wildlife-hazard assessments they are required to perform, the NTSB said. Also,
aircraft manufacturers should be required to develop guidance for pilots to minimize bird-strike damage, such as airspeed charts that show the safest speeds to fly when in areas of known bird
The NTSB would also like to make it mandatory for all wildlife strikes to be reported to the FAA database, which is now voluntary. The NTSB also asked the FAA to require that all flight plans
identify the operator and specify the operating rules under which the flight is being conducted. The NTSB would also like the FAA to require that all cockpit voice recorders be checked periodically to
verify that the audio is being recorded properly, is intelligible, and is free from electrical noise or other interference. Several other recommendations addressed charter operations.
General aviation airports and private aircraft have taken a beating in the press lately (click here if you missed it), but
the industry is not taking it without a fight. This week, the Alliance for Aviation Across America unveiled a new tool for the
defense of GA -- an online compilation of data from each of the 50 states detailing the jobs, businesses, and other economic activity generated by all those little airports and aircraft. "We've been
working for about six months to collect all this data," AAAA spokeswoman Selena Shilad told AVweb on Tuesday. "So it's not a direct response to the recent USA Today stories -- but it is
particularly important in light of that." She said AAAA aims to communicate to the public, to lawmakers, and to the media that GA is a crucial element in our communities, supporting thousands of jobs
and small businesses. Click here to view the new map, which allows users to look up local airports by state or by
"This is just the start of a big new campaign to educate the public," said Shilad. The map will be an ongoing project and data will be updated periodically, she said. The nonprofit Alliance, formed
in 2007, comprises more than 4,000 representatives from business, agriculture, FBOs, small airports, government, and charitable organizations. Members include AOPA, EAA, NBAA, the Air Care Alliance,
and Helicopter Association International.
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter, AVwebBiz?
Delivered every Wednesday morning, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it a must-read.
Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb subscriptions today by clicking here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
Rediscover Jet City!
Make King County International Airport/Boeing Field your flight destination! Conveniently located just 5 miles from downtown Seattle, KBFI is positioned in the center of the growing
economy of the Puget Sound region, serving as a hub for business travel, private jets, and general aviation travel. Partner with aviation experts when you fly to Seattle. Make your destination
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information, visit online.
Last week, we asked AVweb readers whether they buy into concerns about safety problems on the regional airlines.
Most do, with 40% of those who took a moment to answer our question saying that overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated pilots and airline staff equals potential disaster.
Another 36% said there was still investigation to be done into the matter but recommended federal oversight authorities look closely and objectively at working conditions and maintenance.
Only eight AVweb readers (at press time) said the opportunity is worth the asking price and with less than a day left to go in the eBay auction, a few bidders have already raised their electronic bidding paddles.
For a complete (real-time) breakdown of reader responses, click here. (You may be asked to register and answer if you haven't already participated in this poll.)
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
Quite a few groups and individuals are tired of waiting months and years for the new FAA
reauthorization bill. Others are in no particular hurry to set up the new status quo. This week, we'd like to know where you stand.
If you've ever had to make an emergency landing on a road, we'd like to hear more about it. As part of sister publication Aviation
Safety magazine's new podcast series, we're looking for pilots who have had the combined misfortune and good luck to make a forced landing on a road. Especially if your event includes a
"teachable moment," we may ask you to help inform other pilots about the lessons you learned by participating in an upcoming podcast, moderated by Aviation Safety magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeb
If you've "been there, done that" and would like to share your experience with other pilots, please drop us a note at email@example.com briefly describing what happened. Please also include your name, e-mail, and
telephone number. We'll take it from there!
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips
via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as
our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your
comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the
Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.
Letter of the Week: Internet Ground School a Mistake
Your remember yours. I remember mine. Every pilot remembers ground school.
Mine was in a dingy and dark corner of the low-rent district of our Florida airport. The three-classroom facility smelled like stale coffee and mildew. The air conditioning worked fine; at least
when the owner the Part 141 pilot school felt like turning it on. There is nothing like sweating over a whiz wheel.
This familiar scene could, however, become a thing of the past. The FAA is considering requests by several "on-line"
universities. They want to offer Internet-based flight training. Students would satisfy the ground school requirement by logging into their computers, grabbing a beverage, and "attending" on-line
As an aviation attorney and college professor, I do not buy into the hype surrounding Internet education. I never have. Online education is not effective. It is unsupervised. It lacks the give and
take among students and instructors that makes a classroom environment successful.
Also absent from online classes is confrontation. A classroom environment should put students on the spot. They must be required to defend their positions, the facts they believe, and their views
on issues. Instructors should be able to engage them, to question them, and to confront them when appropriate. The flight deck is not a passive, docile, and forgiving place. Nor should be the
Kent Grayson, CFII, ATP, and the dean of Morton Aeronautical University agrees. Despite the excellent revenue potential of online flight training, Mr. Grayson said his institution will not
consideri it. "Flight training needs personal interaction between the student pilot and instructor," he says.
"Our purpose is not just to impart facts and figures. The job of the institution is to build a student pilot's confidence and character. This is not an easy job and we are not willing to entrust it
to impersonal and unsupervised online classes," Mr. Grayson said. Dean Grayson specifically mentioned lessons relating to flight planning, critical thinking, aviation weather, emergency procedures,
and go-no-go decision-making. "These do not lend themselves to an online format. These areas deserve narrative, discussion, personal context from the instructor, and a hands-on approach."
Indeed, if your flight training experience was anything like mine, you probably learned as much from your CFI's war stories and bull sessions as during formal study. Internet-based ground school
students will miss a lot of that.
As a college professor myself (I teach contract law at Holmes College), I am very sour on Internet-based programs and curricula. Online education has not lived up to its billing. Such programs
usually attract the lowest quality instructors. And it should therefore be no surprise that they attract the least qualified and least ambitious students; ones not willing to dedicate the necessary
amount of time or money to a proper educational experience.
The FAA is accepting comments on this proposal until November 30, 2009. You can send the FAA your comments by logging into Regulations.gov.
You will need to enter the docket number for the proposal:
J. Christopher Robbins
Museum a Grassroots Effort
Thanks for the article publicizing our new Take Flight exhibit at the Iowa Children's Museum in Iowa City, Iowa.
What the article fails to mention is that the genesis of this exhibit was truly a grassroots effort by local pilots to find a way to save general aviation from extinction. Were it not for the
efforts of local pilots and enthusiasts (all members of the local airport advocacy group, "Friends of Iowa City Airport") to put on an airport event called "The Big Kids Toy Show" in 2006, at which
the "seed money" was raised and the Take Flight concept devised, there would be no exhibit today.
The development of this world-class exhibit is truly an example of what local pilots can do to help save GA when they put their minds to it. You should play up this aspect, as an inspiration for
pilots everywhere to get involved.
Permission to Enter, Please
The Dept. of Homeland security now requires citizens traveling in private aircraft to obtain permissionto leave or enter the U.S. Aircraft leaving or entering have always been required to file a
flight plan with the FAA, and notify Customs and Border Protection with the number of citizens and non citizens onboard and land at designated airports for paper work and inspection. Now, they must
also file an electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS).
EAPIS is not about just filing a report! It is about asking permission from the government to travel. It is a constitutional violation for the government to require a citizen to obtain permission
to leave or enter the U.S.
It was decided in the 1950s by the Supreme Court that it is a violation of the Fifth Amendment for the government to require it's citizens to obtain permission to travel to or from the USA. It is
a question of freedom of movement.
Remember the wall in Berlin. That was about another regime which required its Citizens to obtain permission to leave their country.
We are not slowly letting our freedom slip away. It's disappearing quickly!
The airlines aren't going to be customers with the FAA? In the flight school/air taxi world that's not news.
We've never been treated like customers! Welcome to our world!
Read AVmail from other weeks here, and submit your own Letter to the Editor with this form.
Aviation Consumer's survey of EFIS owners and users revealed widespread satisfaction with the technology. Some readers even described glass panels as having saved their lives. Consumer
editor Paul Bertorelli chuckled a bit at the thought, gave the pilot a little more credit that he did himself, and started thinking about how much the definition of "flying" has changed in a short
Become a Mooniac Now
There has never been a better time to own the fastest single-engine piston plane available. Mooney Airplane Company is offering generous incentives, low interest rates, the best
warranty in the industry, and immediate delivery from current inventory. In the Western U.S.,
Mitchell at jmitchell[at]mooney.com for information.
As a Mooney owner herself, Jennifer can guide you through the purchase process.
The Austro aerodiesel, based on the Mercedes-Benz A-class sedan automotive engine, is now certified in the U.S. and Europe. As part of AVweb's flight trial of the new DA42 NG, we did a detailed video tour of the engine.
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Reporting on your favorite FBOs is usually a feel-good occasion, but this week we found a story in our inbox from one couple who had to rely on an FBO as their lifeline when they encountered a
terrible situation while traveling. Bryan Liang explains what happened and how Pacific States Aviation at Buchanan Field
Airport (KCCR) in Concord, California helped him cope:
My wife and I flew to CCR, hangared our plane with PSA, and borrowed its crew car. During our stay, we were carjacked. I suffered broken wrists and head wounds, and my wife spent eight days in ICU
and twelve days in hospital literally fighting for her life.
The PSA folks were our main support the whole time. They came to the ER with flowers Saturday night. On Sunday they rented, paid for, and delivered a rental car to the hospital for me. They paid for
my hotel, waived fuel/hangar fees, waxed our plane, talked with me daily, and then drove us 1.5 hrs to a commercial flight home. All because it was the right thing to do.
PSA's generosity and kindness lifted a heavy burden from us. They cared. Words cannot describe how much they opened their hearts to us and helped us feel we weren't alone. We are deeply grateful
for all Greg, Shari, Jennifer, Marcy and the line guys did for us. They represent the best in aviation and the best in human beings. They deserve to be not only "FBO of the Week," but of the year,
of the decade, and of the century.
Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on
AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo on
AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
Reader submissions to our weekly photo showcase are up well above average for this time of year. (We've ogled more than 600 photos since the beginning of September!) This week's
batch is particularly interesting, featuring more gold, orange, and red than we've seen in a single week's submissions in the last two or three years. (Yep, lots of gorgeous skyscapes and
sunrises/sunsets.) Plus, we had quite a few reflection-themed photos, like the one that tops this week's offerings.
Wow. Any of these jaw-dropping dusk photos could have been a "Picture of the Week" winner on another Thursday morning, but this batch offered too much competition. Still,
this beauty from Craig Bixby of Indianapolis, Indiana is sublime.
Travis Faudree of Chesapeake, Virgina had his camera on hand to capture this group of "friends, families, and aircraft enthusiasts enjoying a
nice afternoon at Gravelly Point Park." Suddenly Thursday looks like a great day to knock off early and not come back to work after lunch ... .
Your new desktop wallpaper, courtesy of Pete Howell of St. Paul, Minnesota.
And that was our fifth favorite photo this week! Now you see why we opened this week's installment with so much gushing about the quality we've been receiving lately. By all
means, keep sending us your photos! They're our favorite part of the week.
Oh, and don't forget the bonus pics mixed in with the slideshow at AVweb's home page. Who loves ya, baby?
A quick note for submitters: If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of
seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too. ;)
A Reminder About Copyrights:
Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to
release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.
AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.
The AVwebFlash team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
Contributing Editors Mary Grady Glenn Pew
Features Editor Kevin Lane-Cummings
Webmaster Scott Simmons
Contributors Jeff van West Mariano Rosales
Click here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)
Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.
If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only
version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.