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Volume 9, Number 51b December 18, 2003

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

GREAT DAYS IN AVIATION HISTORY
At about 12:35 p.m., at Kill Devil Hills, N.C, yesterday, EAA’s Wright Experience replica Wright Flyer pilot Kevin Kochersberger and crew attempted a launch ... and failed to fly. (See AVweb's NewsWire for a video clip of the run.) In front of 35,000 visitors (still wet from a morning downpour) and millions of worldwide television viewers, the very expensive, very time consuming project ended its historic journey into the past slightly damaged and in a puddle at the end of a 200-foot portable runway/rail. EAA President Tom Poberezny said that the wind dropped below the minimum 10 knots required for liftoff from the length of rail and high humidity reduced engine rpm and output by several horsepower. But apparently the team thought it best to try anyway. More...

...SHOWCASES AVIATION'S OLD FOILS (WEATHER)...
The planned 10:35 a.m. launch was delayed by a downpour that soaked visitors and would have made the Flyer too heavy to fly well, according to The Wright Experience founder Ken Hyde. A subsequent flight, following the first (less successful) one was anticipated later in the afternoon, but a frontal passage accompanied by shifting, gusty winds prevented it. No subsequent public flight of the Flyer was announced. The aircraft was purchased for display in the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. President George W. Bush talked exclusively about the achievements of the Wright Brothers and other aviation heroes and dispelled rumors by making no announcement of a new manned-space program. The President’s party arrived and departed in helicopters a few hundred feet from the site where Orville Wright flew the Flyer 120 feet in 12 seconds 100 years ago.

NOTE: AVweb thanks former Kitplanes editor Dave Martin for his contributions to this story. More...

...AND NEW ONES, AS TFRS CLOSE AREA AIRPORTS
While President Bush's visit to Kitty Hawk yesterday (by helicopter, Air Force One, and helicopter) was widely viewed as a boost for aviation, it brought with it huge chunks of TFR'd airspace, giving the folks at AOPA a chance to vent. "This has got to be the bitterest irony -- that America will celebrate a century of powered flight by grounding aircraft," fumed AOPA President Phil Boyer in a news release Monday. The TFRs closed the two fields closest to the Centennial events -- Dare County Airport and Elizabeth City Regional Airport (ECG) -- from 7 a.m. till noon local time on Wednesday. However, airport manager Joe Lamothe at ECG told AVweb Tuesday that he didn't think the shutdown would affect the plans of too many GA pilots. "It's busy here tonight," he said, "but most people who are planning to be here are already here." More...

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MAINTENANCE PRACTICES CITED IN AIRLINE CRASHES...
Flying today is certainly much safer than it was in the early days, when the Wrights and others were developing the first airplanes, but things still can go wrong. Last week, the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported that faulty maintenance played a role in at least three, and perhaps four, of the last five fatal airline crashes, including the January crash of an Air Midwest Beech 1900D that killed 21 people in Charlotte. NTSB member John Goglia told the Observer that cost-cutting by the airlines is at the root of the problem. "Unless we start dealing with these issues sooner rather than later, we're going to pay the price, and that could mean more deaths," Goglia said. More...

...AND NTSB STRUGGLES TO RESOLVE SAFETY ISSUES
For the first time since 1975, the number of "open" safety recommendations on the NTSB's books has dipped below 1,000, the board reported Monday. "Open recommendations mean that the safety loop is not closed -- open recommendations mean that our job is not done," said NTSB Chairwoman Ellen Engleman Conners. The current number of open safety recommendations is now 989, and 335 of those are aviation-related. Some recommendations that have been resolved in the last six months, according to the board, include better terrain depictions on aviation charts and maps, spurred by the 1995 crash of an American Airlines 757 that hit a mountain ridge on a nighttime approach to Cali, Colombia, killing 160 of the 164 on board. More...

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HONDAJET GOES LEGIT
Breaking its long silence about its clandestine jet program, Honda Motor Co. on Tuesday announced a flight-test schedule for its new composite-structure six-seater, but stopped short of saying it will develop the airplane for the commercial market. After all, why would the market want Honda's HF118 engines that are 40 percent more efficient than conventional engines, according to Honda, and mounted on wing pylons? The design also incorporates a laminar-flow forward fuselage/cockpit section that reduces drag at high speeds, and increases cruising efficiency. Plus, the unconventional configuration also eliminates the need for structural engine mounts in the fuselage, which affords 30 percent more cabin space compared to similarly proportioned aircraft. The aircraft has already flown at its North Carolina base. Honda plans 200 hours of flight testing. More...

BOEING MOVES AHEAD WITH 7E7
While Boeing has taken a beating over the last couple years from its archrival Airbus, this week's announcement of its 7E7 Dreamliner launch offers somewhat of a silver lining on the manufacturer's ominous storm cloud. On Tuesday, the beleaguered aerospace giant officially announced the start of the sales and marketing effort for its new 7E7 Dreamliner jet, a major step toward a formal launch of its first new aircraft in a decade. After mulling over several other sites, Boeing decided to build the new mid-sized jet in the Seattle suburb of Everett. The 7E7 would replace the slow-selling 757, which Boeing is discontinuing, and the 767 line, which has slowed to just one aircraft per month to sustain production until a controversial order for 100 U.S. Air Force fuel tankers is finalized. More...

WILL ATC "INCENTIVE PAY" HURT GA?
The contract extension that recently took effect between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) includes a change that for the first time links pay to performance. The incentive-pay provision sets as its goals reductions in runway incursions and controller errors, and increased arrival efficiency rates and on-time performance for airlines. If the targets are not met, the controllers won't see their raises. Does this mean that more resources will be leaning toward expediting airline traffic, to the detriment of general aviation? Not according to NATCA President John Carr. "Air traffic control is about safe, orderly and expeditious flight, in that order, and nothing in this contract changes that," he told AVweb on Tuesday. More...

GIVE GARMIN'S 196 GPS - 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 go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin

AN INVENTOR'S AVIATION ALCHEMY
Mike Pohl, of St. Louis Park, Minn. -- living the small-business-owner's version of the American Dream -- recently took his little flight-simulator company from a strip-mall storefront, where he sells $39.95 gift certificates for an hour of dogfights, to a six-figure contract with aerospace heavyweight Lockheed Martin. Pohl's customers line up to "fly" in the AeroDome simulator he designed -- an enclosed cockpit built of wood and fiberglass, with motion, a 180-degree projection screen, and off-the-shelf computer technology. Earlier this year, he sold two of the simulators to Lockheed, and delivered them to the defense giant's simulation training facility in Orlando, Fla., where they are being evaluated. More...

FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT STRUGGLES WITH DEBT
This centennial year had its share of hits and misses, in efforts to draw public attention -- and funding -- to the world of aviation. One event that had mixed results was the Festival of Flight, held last May in Fayetteville, N.C. The event's organizers met on Monday to try to agree on a plan to retire their debt of $262,000, most of it owed to 29 vendors. Low attendance hurt the financial returns. The group is hopeful that some creditors will forgive their debts, and that a fundraising effort after the New Year will bring in enough cash to settle the rest. More...

TWO MASS. PILOTS HONOR FIRST FLIGHT
Two Massachusetts pilots celebrated the centennial of flight on Tuesday by spending nine hours in a Skyhawk, flying in and out of each one of their state's paved, public-use airports. Bill Herp, 41, and Doug Barth, 47, a former flight instructor, landed at 36 of the 40 airports on Tuesday, missing out on four remote fields that still had too much snow from the weekend's storm. In the process, the two raised thousands of dollars for a Boston homeless shelter. "It was a great flight," Herp told AVweb, just minutes after landing the plane at its Hanscom Field home base. "It went just like we planned. The FAA gave us expedited service, and the weather was perfect. It was a beautiful day." 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

SUPERSONIC VERTICAL GLIDING FLIGHT
OK, not exactly. Scaled Composites' X Prize hopeful, SpaceShipOne, a Burt Rutan design, yesterday achieved ignition of its hybrid rocket motor, driving it to 1.2 Mach and 68,000 feet near Mojave before demonstrating its "feathered" high-drag descent feature. The aircraft reached 48,000 feet with the aid of Scaled's White Knight turbojet host aircraft, after which the supersonic portion of the flight was achieved by test pilot Brian Binnie, who released from White Knight at 8:15 a.m., ignited the rocket and flew the craft under power in a 60-degree climb, ultimately going vertical to reach zero airspeed at 68,000 feet. The rest of the flight test went well ... right up until landing. More...

ON THE FLY...
Gulfstream IISP pilot flies route from Los Angeles to Kitty Hawk to new record...
An Enola Gay protestor was arrested Monday at NASM's Hazy Center...
Congress allotted $298,000 for Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania...
Garmin is now listed in the NASDAQ-100 index...
A Montana man who crashed while shooting coyotes aloft faces charges...
Two space tourists paid $20 million each to fly to the Space Station...
Australian pilot Jon Johanson landed safely at Adelaide yesterday. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Each month, AVweb will bring you a quick survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners. This month we have a few books, a new GPS, handheld software and more. In some cases, AVweb has actually examined the product; in other cases, we are just letting you know it exists. If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note. More...

DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL CARBON MONOXIDE MONITOR? GET ONE BEFORE WINTER! Low levels of carbon monoxide can be extremely hazardous in aircraft because the effects of CO and hypoxia are cumulative. A small CO leak may be an early warning sign of an impending life-threatening problem, such as cracks or holes in the exhaust system. Don't take chances with yourself and your passengers! With its digital readout that displays CO concentrations as low as 5 parts per million, the CO Experts Model 2002 from Aeromedix.com is by far the most sensitive under-$100 carbon monoxide detector you can buy. Don't procrastinate ... call 1 888 362-7123 and mention this AVflash, go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi

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...

RISK MANAGEMENT IS AN AREA OF AVIATION INSURANCE OFTEN OVERLOOKEDwhen purchasing aircraft hull and liability insurance. CS&A Aviation Insurance specialists excel in risk management, which in turn gives their customers the best insurance package for their individual needs. Owner or renter, shop around and you'll find CS&A meets your insurance needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 300 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Duncan Marshall, of Chelsea, Quebec. His photo captures the beautiful early morning scene of his Ski equipped Citabria on the Gatineau River at Cascades Quebec, 20 miles north Ottawa - Canada's Capital. The aircraft is awaiting removal of frost from its wings for a day of freedom flying to any lake, river or field the lucky pilot chooses. Great picture, Duncan! You AVweb hat is on its 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 attending this week’s Kitty Hawk event. Nearly half (48 percent) of those responding advised they will not be attending the event, as the hassle of getting there is too much to deal with. Only five percent of respondents said they would attend, while 8 percent advised they could care less about the event.

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 the overall Countdown to Kitty Hawk/Centennial 0f Flight celebration. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL IS A MUST READ!Three years before Lindbergh's flight to Paris, the U.S. Army joined the race to be the first to fly around the world. Many countries had tried. All had failed. Most pilots had died. Could the United States capture aviation's greatest prize? This hardcover book by Spencer Lane tells it all in great detail. Order your (non-autographed) copy today for $27.95 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/firstworldflight

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SPECIAL REMINDER…This special ends December 21, 2003

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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

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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

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