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Volume 9, Number 49b December 4, 2003

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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

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

NEW AIRCRAFT UPDATE: ADAM ZIPS ALONG...
With the first flight of its A700 twinjet this summer, Adam Aircraft leapfrogged to the front of the small-jet race, and according to yesterday's online conference with CEO Rick Adam, the company is making steady progress on both its twinjet and the piston A500 design. FAA certification and first customer deliveries of the A500 piston twin are on course for first quarter 2004, with the A700 to follow by the end of the year. Since the A700 design follows so closely on the piston plane, that helps a lot to move the certification process along, Adam said. The A500 program is now finishing up work on serial number 3, which is a fully conforming aircraft. Number 3 has been taxi-tested four times, and its first flight is expected in the next week or so. The company is paying keen attention to owner/pilot concerns and is working very closely with insurers to both pave and smooth the road. More...

...WHILE OMF HALTS PRODUCTION IN QUEBEC
OMFAircraft, manufacturer of the two-seat Symphony 160 (with plans to introduce a diesel version and later a four-place), has laid off its production workers and halted the production line at its Quebec manufacturing plant, the company said yesterday in a statement, but added that the halt is expected to be temporary. The Quebec plant opened less than two months ago. "GmbH (the German parent company) is experiencing financial challenges," the company said, and "the new North American company, OMF Aircraft, is also experiencing challenges as it starts up its operations." The flow of parts to OMF Aircraft has been interrupted, so the workforce has been cut from 23 down to eight. The staff still on board are the management team and product support personnel. The company said it hopes to resolve its financing issues soon and then recall its workers about eight weeks later. "Product support continues to be a priority," the company said. 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 go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/fadec

BOEING'S SWEET DEAL TURNS SOUR...
In the latest of a long series of bad days for Boeing, on Tuesday the Pentagon said it will put on hold the manufacturer's lucrative but controversial $20 billion deal to sell 80 KC-767 airborne refueling planes to the Air Force and lease them 20 more. The contract was presumably a done deal when President Bush signed a bill on Nov. 24 that authorized the Defense Department to move forward, but the contract has not yet been finalized. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has been an outspoken opponent of the deal, is calling for the entire contract to be reassessed. More...

...AS CONDIT STEPS DOWN
The Pentagon's action followed Monday's news that CEO Phil Condit would step down, after 38 years at the company. And just last week, Boeing fired CFO Mike Sears and Darleen Druyun, a vice president in the missile unit, for alleged ethical misconduct. Druyun and Sears improperly discussed Druyun's future at Boeing while she was still employed by the Air Force and in a position to influence decisions about the tanker contract, Boeing said. Harry Stonecipher, the former CEO of McDonnell Douglas who led the merger with Boeing in 1997 and retired as Boeing's president last year, was named the new CEO. More...

A PORTABLE SOFTSEAT™ CUSHION OR AN OREGON AERO GIFT CERTIFICATE MAKE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFTS! Need something for those "hard-to-buy-for" people on your holiday list? An Oregon Aero Gift Certificate or Portable SoftSeat™ would make their day. Oregon Aero has more than 500 gift ideas with some not just for pilots. For complete details and to order go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/gift

WELLSTONE CRASH MAY BRING CHANGE...
The NTSB on Tuesday issued several safety recommendations, stemming from the board's final report on the 2002 crash that killed Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone and seven others. The board suggests that the FAA should enhance its oversight of on-demand charter operations, require that such operators who use dual-pilot crews train them in crew resource management, and investigate whether it would be feasible to require low-airspeed alert systems in airplanes used for commercial operations. In its final report, the NTSB found the probable cause of the Wellstone crash to be the failure of the flight crew to maintain adequate airspeed on approach and entering a stall from which they did not recover. More...

...WITH MORE TRAINING AND NEW ALERT SYSTEMS
Specifically, the NTSB recommended that the FAA should require en route inspections and observe ground training, flight training, and proficiency checks at all Part 135 on-demand charter operations, just as they do at Part 121 and Part 135 commuter operations. Also, the FAA should require that Part 135 on-demand charter operators that conduct dual-pilot operations establish and implement an FAA-approved crew resource management training program. The FAA also should convene a panel of specialists in aircraft design, aviation operations, and aviation human factors, including representatives from NASA, to determine if it would be feasible to require low-airspeed alert systems in airplanes engaged in commercial operations under Parts 121 and 135. More...

CESSNA EXPERTS ARE INCLUDED WITH A CESSNA PILOTS ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP Along with terrific hands-on seminars, an online e-newsletter and a print publication directed exclusively to Cessna pilots and owners. Any Cessna pilot and/or owner would appreciate a CPA membership at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa

FAA PROPOSES NEW NOISE STANDARDS BY 2006
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published Monday, the FAA proposed that Stage 4 noise standards for all new designs for transport category aircraft and subsonic jets should take effect as of Jan. 1, 2006. "This noise standard would ensure that the latest available noise reduction technology is incorporated into new aircraft designs," the NPRM says. The Stage 4 standard is intended to provide uniform noise certification standards for Stage 4 airplanes certificated in the United States and those airplanes that meet the new International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 16 Chapter 4 noise standard, the FAA said. More...

PLAN WOULD PRIVATIZE RUSSIAN AVIATION
Last summer, Russia's government asked the country's aviation industry to come up with a plan to grow more competitive, and this week, The Moscow Times reported that it has seen a draft of that plan. The draft calls for privatization of the industry as well as consolidation, and would create a consortium known as the Unified Aircraft Building Co., which would be similar to EADS, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. The consortium would emerge by 2007 and would include such manufacturers as Sukhoi, MiG, Irkut, Ilyushin and Tupolev. About 75 percent of the industry would be controlled by private capital, the Times said, with the state holding on to 25 percent, and the consortium could ultimately claim about 10 percent of the global aerospace market. Under the proposed timeline, a consortium of Sukhoi, MiG, Ilyushin, Irkut and Tupolev would be created next year. More...

ROUND-THE-WORLD PILOT LANDS IN ANTARCTICA
British pilot Polly Vacher landed her single-engine Piper Warrior in Antarctica on Monday, about halfway through her solo flight circling the globe via both poles. Vacher, 59, left Scotland in May, headed north across the pole, then flew across Alaska, North America and South America en route to the Antarctic peninsula. She plans to fly to McMurdo research station sometime this week, then return home via New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Europe, finishing up next March. The trip is raising money for World Wings, an English aviation organization that provides flight training to the disabled. In 2001, Vacher flew around the world, raising $317,600 for the group. 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, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond

CENTENNIAL TICKETS SCARCE, AS TEST FLIGHTS RESUME
The National Park Service (NPS) will stop selling tickets online for the First Flight Centennial celebration, set for Dec. 12-17, this Sunday, Dec. 7, at 10 p.m. EST. Tickets for the 16th and 17th have already sold out, and the rest are going fast. Recently, tickets have appeared for sale on eBay and in newspaper classified ads, drawing bids for hundreds of dollars, according to Monday's Virginian-Pilot. Ticket sales are limited to 35,000 for each day of the event, held at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Meanwhile, the Wright Experience team at Kitty Hawk have completed repairs to their 1903 Flyer reproduction and have resumed flight training in preparation for the Dec. 17 event. More...

RHODE ISLAND REVISES AVIATION TAX
The state of Rhode Island has issued a revised aircraft-use-tax regulation, after an emergency regulation issued in April raised concerns among aviation advocates when it apparently tried to impose a 7-percent "use tax" on transient aircraft, which the state Tax Division said was not its intent. After some discussion with aviation groups about the rule's lack of clarity, the state agreed to revise it. The new regulation, which takes effect Dec. 11, tries to make it clear that nonresidents of Rhode Island are not affected by the rule. However, residents of the state who buy aircraft outside the state and hangar them at out-of-state airports will be subject to the tax if they fly into Rhode Island and stay overnight. More...

CHELTON'S FLIGHT SYSTEM REQUIRES UPGRADE
Chelton Flight Systems, maker of a certified synthetic-vision wonder-box (that may represent the first generation of the kind of instruments that will usher the SATS program into reality) issued a Service Bulletin last month requiring owners to upgrade their software to prevent the FlightLogic EFIS from giving "hazardously misleading guidance into non-protected areas in certain departure and missed approach procedures." The bulletin describes how to recognize when misleading guidance is being displayed and describes procedures for continued safe operation. The system should not be relied on for certain procedures, defined in the Service Bulletin, until the Service Bulletin is complied with. More...

THE BUZZARD HAS LANDED Original Lazy Buzzard T-Shirts are now available. Join in his ongoing adventures in future designs as he dedicates himself to finding life, liberty, and definitely, the pursuit of happiness. Share the journey and live the life he inspires. Order for yourself and those on your holiday gift list at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lazy

LAX MINI-ROUTE NOW OPEN 24/7
The FAA has made the VFR transition "mini-route" across the east end of Los Angeles International (LAX) available anytime, as of yesterday, AOPA reported this week. Since the establishment of the route by the FAA in June 2002, internal logistical problems at the tower had restricted its availability, AOPA said, and it was open only four to eight hours per day. The transition is now available 24 hours a day, weather and traffic configuration permitting, for all aircraft regardless of their departure or arrival points, the FAA said in a Letter to Airmen. More...

ON THE FLY...
Near midair of 737 and two small aircraft in Australia yesterday...
Vandals suspected in damage to airliners at Malaysia airport...
You're invited to opening day at Udvar-Hazy Center, Dec. 15...
TSA now has GA advisory committee report on security posted online...
Concorde fans spent $1.3 million for artifacts at BA auction...
Ten airplanes that changed aviation selected by MSNBC...
Cozy hit two houses and crashed on Long Island, N.Y., pilot OK. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
BRAINTEASERS
Interactive Quiz #75 -- Aerodrome Operations
You can successfully fly hundreds of miles across burning sands, frozen tamarack, and deadly L.A. freeways, but all that Zen-like aero-bliss can turn to grief if you don't understand the operating rules in the airport environment. Have fun navigating the following scenarios. More...

CS&A. AVIATION PROFESSIONALS WHO WORK WITH YOU ON YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS CS&A combines one of the most knowledgeable teams of aviation insurance professionals with the industry's most respected aviation underwriting companies to find the right service for your aircraft's needs. Go online for a no-obligation quote at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa

BUSINESS AVFLASH
&lid=bizav">HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb’s NO-COST twice monthly Business AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read! Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ More...

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 200 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Richard Sugden, of Jackson, Wyo. His picture titled "L39 Sunset" helps top off a unique pattern of in-flight views this week. The winning photo captures the L-39, being leased by the Test Ops squadron at Edwards AFB, over the flight line at the EDW air show several weeks ago. The picture was shot from a T-38. Great picture, Richard! 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 the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill. We asked our readers to pick out what they felt where the major benefits to the recently passed FAA bill and 23 percent thought the allotted money to keep the FAA operating was the main issue. Only 5 percent felt the return of general aviation operations to Ronald Reagan National Airport was key, while 12 percent thought all of the issues we listed were equally important.

To check out the complete results or respond to this week's question, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on flying during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. More...

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IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY GIVING SKYGUY OFFERS HEADSETS AND FLIGHT BAGS And these won't break your piggy bank! Feather Lite stereo headsets for $89, and a genuine leather flight bag for $29. With these prices you can order as gifts AND for yourself! Go online now and order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyguy

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LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE KEEPS YOU INFORMED! Next to your house and your car, an overhauled aircraft engine represents the biggest investment you're likely to make. In the December issue of Light Plane Maintenance, you'll find seven practical tips on how to make an engine last to TBO and beyond athttp://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm

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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. http://www.avweb.com

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Today's issue written by News Writer Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
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