AVwebFlash - Volume 16, Number 27b

July 8, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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AVflash! Tomorrow's Power Today back to top 
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Pelton, Fuller Take A Look At GAMI's G100UL

Cessna CEO Jack Pelton and AOPA President Craig Fuller flew into Ada, OK on Wednesday to get a look at a new 100LL replacement proposed by General Aviation Modifications Inc. As we've reported previously, GAMI's G100UL appears to perform similarly to 100LL and the company claims it's producible using conventional refining methods. GAMI invited Pelton and Fuller to Ada to view a detonation test cell run comparing G100UL to other fuels. In an evening e-mail to other GA leaders and the press, Pelton said "We participated in a thorough brief along with a test cell demonstration running three types of fuels, 100LL, min spec 100LL and G100UL. At the conditions we observed, it was very interesting to see the data on the engine characteristics for the three fuels. I would characterize the conditions as worst-case sea-level tests. In general terms, G100UL out-performed min spec 100LL and seemed to be about the same as straight-from-the-FBO 100LL." Pelton said in his view, G100UL "looks to be a fuel that can be refined and distributed within the existing infrastructure we have here in the states. I would guess it could be produced in many other international locations also."

Pelton added that "I know the devil is in the details. But this project is very interesting and very exciting. George [Braly] heard what the EPA said about 100LL is trying to do something about it for our industry." Pelton said he encouraged other GA leaders including GAMA's Pete Bunce to take a closer look at G100UL. The fuel is currently undergoing test in a Cirrus SR22 and GAMI has asked the FAA for an STC to move forward with wider fleet testing. It has also applied to ASTM for a formal fuel specifications approval.

Solar Powered Aircraft's Night Flight

Solar Impulse HB-SIA began its 24-hour flight at 6:51 a.m. local time, Wednesday, seeking to finish it Thursday, after surviving the night over Payerne, Switzerland, on stored solar power and aerodynamic efficiency. The aircraft climbed all day to about 28,500 feet. It began that trip using stored battery power, but as the sun rose the aircraft's 12,000 solar cells kicked in. They overcame the four electric motors' energy drain and fully charged the batteries even while the airplane climbed. As darkness fell, the aircraft transitioned to conservation mode. It spent about four hours and thirty minutes in a slow descent, reaching about 4,500 feet at roughly 11 p.m.. At that height, pilot Andre Borschberg put the juice to the motors to maintain altitude. He would loiter there until about 7:30 a.m. when the sun again rose high enough to build charge in the aircraft's batteries, proving it could complete the cycle. At the time AVweb went to press, the aircraft had flown through the night until dawn and the solar energy it was collecting had just made the aircraft "energy neutral." It appeared the flight would conclude sometime after it turned the corner to show positive total energy gain, marking the flight as a success.

For the entirety of the flight, Borschberg was tasked with hand flying the aircraft and for a full ten-hour period, cockpit temperatures were below minus 20 degrees Celsius. He did have a heater, which he could use, sparingly. The aircraft's wing spans 63.4 meters and it carries 400kg worth of batteries. Running the aircraft's four motors to sustain altitude uses approximately 10-percent of the aircraft's battery capacity per hour. That means the aircraft can maintain altitude for about ten hours on batteries alone. For this flight, it needed about eight and a half hours (from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.) of endurance before the sun rose high enough to begin charging the batteries, again. Aside from performing while sleep deprived, Borschberg encountered environmental challenges. The cold temperatures froze his drinking water system and caused his iPod to fail, but we understand he filled some of his downtime with singing. For the latest update and details, check the Solar Impulse blog, by clicking here.

SP-400 Radio from Sporty's Pilot Shop
Sporty's SP-400: "Better Than Some Panel-Mounted Gear"
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Forging Ahead back to top 

NASA Seeks Supersonic Jet Of The Future

Lockheed Martin and Boeing have both submitted designs to NASA depicting their ideas about the supersonic transport of the future. Boeing's team recommended a fixed-wing configuration with a V-tail and engines above the wing. The airplane could carry 120 passengers and cruise at Mach 1.8 with a range of about 5,000 nautical miles. Boeing's study also found sonic boom noise could be reduced to 65 to 75 decibels, which would make it possible for a supersonic transport to operate at maximum cruise speed even over land. Lockheed's simulation uses an "inverted-V" surface above the wing that would minimize the shockwave by disrupting the airflow behind the aircraft. The designs are meant to show concepts that could be viable within 20 to 25 years.

NASA funded the $1.8 million effort back in 2008 to generate new ideas for revolutionary technologies that could minimize sonic booms and fuel emissions. The teams researched not only what the vehicle of the future might look like, but also laid out a roadmap to an industry-wide path that would make the vision a reality. Boeing said its study concludes that a supersonic aircraft could be economically and environmentally viable in multiple markets. NASA's project doesn't provide funding for further development of the concepts, but Boeing said it expects to announce updates soon about the future of its research program.

New Ownership At Lancair

Lancair International, of Redmond, Ore., on Tuesday announced new ownership, new leadership, and an infusion of new operating capital for the company. Gene Wolstenholme is now majority owner and chairman, and his son Robert Wolstenholme, who built and flies his own Lancair IVP, was named president and CEO. The company now will focus on the owner-built Evolution turboprop, which Gene Wolstenholme described as "a world-class product." With five of the airplanes flying and 24 orders in hand, "we're off to a great start, and we are going to focus on pushing through this down economy and getting our incredible airplane to market," he said. Joe Bartels, CEO of the company since 2003, resigned his position last month but will remain a minority percentage owner. "Joe did a great job overseeing development of the Evolution aircraft," said Bob Wolstenholme, "and we now need to move ahead and expand the manufacturing infrastructure and training programs to support the Evolution product line."

Bob Wolstenholme brings an extensive background in manufacturing from several Wolstenholme Group businesses based in Colmar, Penn., that build precision parts for the medical, aerospace, and telecommunication industries, as well as mine detectors and robots for bomb disposal. "Flying is, and has always been my passion," he said, "and this new partnership is a chance to bring our proven management skills together with Lancair's high-performance products with a focus on customer satisfaction." Tom Bowen will continue to head company operations management. AVweb's Paul Bertorelli recently took a look at the Evolution and its Lycoming IE2 electronic powerplant at Sun 'n Fun; click here for the video.

Tire Dog Tire Pressure Monitoring System from Aircraft Spruce
Tire Dog Wireless Tire Pressure/Temperature Monitoring System Is Now Available at Aircraft Spruce
The Tire Dog Wireless Tire Pressure/Temperature Monitoring System can measure real-time tire pressure and tire temperature while the aircraft is standing or in action. The tire pressure range is 0 to 180 psi. It will support two tires up to 22 tires. An adjustable swivel-mounting bracket allows the monitor to be mounted on the dash or windshield. All items of the system are battery-operated with a life span of 12 to 24 months, depending on use. Call 1 (877) 4‑SPRUCE or visit AircraftSpruce.com.
What's the FAA Been Up to Lately? back to top 

FAA Ponders Changes To LSA Certification

The FAA is considering making some major changes in the way special light sport aircraft are approved, Dan Johnson, chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, said on Wednesday. FAA officials told LAMA that in the future, LSA manufacturers may have to pass a compliance audit conducted by a specially trained cadre of FAA inspectors. The FAA staffers would also inspect the first production airplane for each LSA model produced. "Airworthiness certificates will not be issued until after both the audit and inspection are successfully completed," the FAA said. If the FAA follows through on this plan, it would be a major change from the current practice, which allows manufacturers to certify on their own that consensus standards have been met.

Although the FAA has not yet taken any formal action to change the status quo, Johnson said the industry should start now to be prepared for possible changes. FAA officials, including Administrator Randy Babbitt, have said frequently that they have found no cause for alarm in the safety record of LSAs, but a recent FAA assessment of the industry led regulators to believe that many companies are not in full compliance with the ASTM standards, according to Johnson. "Therefore, it is in your best interest to review your compliance," Johnson said in a letter to LAMA members. On Wednesday, Johnson told AVweb that it's too soon to consider the impact of these possible changes on aircraft owners and buyers. "All of it is tentative," he said. "LAMA just wanted to get the word out now to manufacturers, to be prepared." He said he doesn't expect the FAA would start to review LSAs that are already in the market, but would focus their efforts on proposed new models.

FAA, TSA Amend DC Flight Rules

Several changes to operations in the Special Flight Rules Area that affects Washington, D.C., airspace will become effective Sept. 1, the FAA said recently. The most significant change will affect pilots flying VFR who lose radio contact with controllers after departing from an airport located within the SFRA (which extends in a circle extending 30 nm out from Reagan National Airport). Under the current rules, those pilots must squawk 7600 on their transponders and immediately leave the SFRA by the most direct route. The new rule will allow pilots to return to their departure airport if it is closer than the SFRA boundary. The FAA also set a speed limit of 180 knots for VFR aircraft within the SFRA. The FAA also made minor tweaks to several other operating practices (click here for the complete official announcement). Also, EAA says the TSA has revised its rules for sport pilots using the three general aviation airports located within the inner 15-nm circle of the SFRA, known as the Flight Restricted Zone.

The TSA has confirmed to EAA that it will treat sport pilots and recreational pilots the same as private pilots, in regards to operating at College Park Airport, Potomac Airfield and Hyde Executive Field. Previously, only private pilots with medical certificates were allowed to complete the application forms required for access to the three airports. TSA officials told EAA the omission was unintentional and the changes are effective immediately.

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News Briefs back to top 

FBI Suspects Notorious Teen In Another Airplane Theft

Colton Harris-Moore, a 19-year-old accused of stealing several airplanes since leaving a group home near Seattle in 2008, is now suspected in the theft of a Cessna Corvalis that went missing from its locked hangar in Indiana and showed up in the Bahamas on Sunday, more than 1,000 miles away. The airplane was ditched in shallow offshore waters around 7 p.m., but when emergency workers arrived, there was nobody inside and no sign of injury. Harris-Moore has become something of a celebrity on Facebook. He never took lessons and apparently taught himself to fly using manuals and flight simulators. He's also suspected of stealing several speedboats and luxury cars, which together with the airplanes total about $3 million in value.

FBI Special Agent Steven Dean said the teenager has "turned from a regional nuisance into an international problem, if that is in fact him," according to The Herald-Times, of Everett, Wash. "We want to get him," Dean said. The FBI on Tuesday offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Harris-Moore's arrest. Bahamian police told the Herald-Times that about 11 hours after the Corvalis was ditched in the waters off the island of Abaco, a house on the island was broken into and a vehicle parked there was stolen.

Warbird Pilot Wannabes Wanted

Prowler Command is a different kind of flying club that's using a North American B-25 Mitchell bomber and a C-47 Gooney Bird to woo dues-paying members, and the group says it's hoping to add more warbirds to the mix. Membership includes a type rating with "second in command privileges" in either aircraft. The "second in command" satisfies insurance requirements. Qualified members may rent the aircraft at deeply discounted rates and fly it with an insurance-company-mandated safety pilot. Members can expect to pay about $25,000 for one rating, which, according to Prowler, is tens of thousands less than pilots might pay elsewhere. On top of that come annual dues of $10,000, but those are tax deductible because Pacific Prowler Organization operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Prowler also offers corporate sponsorships that help support the aircraft while bringing attention (and perks) to the supporting businesses and has plans to add at least three more aircraft to the fleet.

Prowler intends to add a T-28, an L-39 and an A-26 to its rentable collection, all of which will be available to trained member-pilots at discounted rates. The two current aircraft can be made available to support corporate promotions, meetings or employee incentives, through Prowler's corporate sponsorship programs. Corporations can participate at prices ranging from $100 to $200 per month, which includes airplane rides.

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New on AVweb back to top 

Aerobatic Performers Support Wounded Veterans

Click for more photos

Airshow season is in full swing, and one new act on the circuit aims not just to entertain but also to raise awareness about injured veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life. Team Vandy-1, based in Maryland, operates a black L-39 aerobatic jet that now is branded with the Wounded Warrior logo on its tail. The Wounded Warrior Project, based in Jacksonville, Fla., began as a group of veterans and friends who would visit wounded soldiers recovering in the hospital. The nonprofit organization now provides support and advocacy for transitioning vets, from providing counseling and mentoring to organizing bicycle tours and rock-climbing treks. The Vandy-1 team will promote the Project at airshows around the country, raise money and awareness, and also take veterans up for a flight.

Other aerobatic teams working with the Wounded Warrior Project include Warbirds Over Long Island, which will join the Vandy-1 jet at some airshows with its P-51D Mustang; and Team MS760, a pair of vintage Paris jets flown by veteran pilots Capt. Dale "Snort" Snodgrass (USN-ret.) and Lt. Col. Jerry "Jive" Kerby (USAF-ret.). Capt. Snodgrass took an AVweb camera along in his Paris jet in this video from Sun 'n Fun, and talked about the jet in this video interview. Recently, AVweb's Mary Grady caught up with the Vandy-1 team at the Rhode Island National Guard airshow, click here for that podcast interview, new this week.

Click for photos.

AVweb Insider Blog: Pushing the Envelope

It's a complicated, scary world, full of challenges that compound one on top of another faster than we can keep up — but then again, we may be better at keeping up than we give ourselves credit. When a technological problem is at its worst, the pressure to innovate often gives rise to surprising solutions — and that thought gives AVweb editor Mary Grady a little hope when it comes to the giant hurdles facing aviation.

Click here to read Mary's post on the AVweb Insider blog and leave your comments.

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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week back to top 

New Models On Tap For Cessna

Cessna and Bell Helicopters will introduce new models and upgrades of existing aircraft as early as 2012 as parent company Textron boosts investment in the two companies to coincide with an expected industry turnaround next year. In an interview with Bloomberg, Textron CEO Scott Donnelly said work is already under way on the recovery plans. "The programs are there, the teams are working, so we're going full-speed ahead," Donnelly told Bloomberg. "You will see some refreshes, some block changes to some aircraft, and we also have a couple things in there that will be brand-new aircraft." His comments are sure to fuel speculation that the Columbus large-cabin business jet shelved 18 months ago will be among the first to be revived.

Donnelly's comments come a couple of weeks after a similarly cheery outlook was expressed by Pratt & Whitney Canada CEO John Saabas, particularly concerning the future of its PW800 series engines. The Columbus was to be the launch customer for the PW800. Cessna has long wanted to crack the lucrative, almost recession-proof super-luxury market and Columbus was to be its foray into competition with Gulfstream and Bombardier. Meanwhile, Donnelly and Cessna CEO Jack Pelton will be in Farnborough later this month with Cessna's core small-to-midsize jets that were propped up while development money was shifted from the Columbus. Pelton told Bloomberg the financial world is unfolding as Cessna believed it would and that growth in business jet sales will happen two years after the bulk of the economy returns to normal.

Consultant Sees Bizjet Consolidation

Business consulting firm AlixPartners predicts consolidation in the corporate aircraft sector as prolonged slow growth becomes the "new normal" in the aerospace sector in general and the bizjet market in particular. The firm released a study on the industry's outlook on Tuesday and says the future looks especially hard for business aircraft makers. "Business jets face an even tougher environment, while also still trying to shake the 'politically incorrect' stigma of a year ago," spokesman Phil Toy said in a news release. In an interview with Dow Jones Newswire, Eric Bernardini, managing director of the firm, said there are too many bizjet companies fighting over too few orders.

He told Dow Jones production dropped 34 percent among OEMs and the fractional business, which accounts for a significant portion of bizjet orders, has also been hard-hit. In general, he said, manufacturers are going to have to adopt different business, engineering and production models to stay afloat in the lean times ahead.

AVwebBiz: AVweb's Business Aviation Newsletter

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More on Kelly Aerospace aircraft starters.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Question of the Week: Light Sport and the FAA

The era of self-policing for light sport aircraft manufacturers may be coming to a close as the FAA is hinting it wants a say in how the industry is run.

Should there be more government oversight in the LSA sector?
(click to answer)

Last Week's Question: Results

Want to see the current breakdown of responses? Take a moment to answer the question yourself, and then you can view real-time results.

What's On Your Mind?

Have an idea for a new "Question of the Week"?
Send your suggestions to .

NOTE: This address is only for suggested "QOTW" questions, and not for "QOTW" answers or comments. (Use this form to send "QOTW" comments to our AVmail Editor.)

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

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 newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

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AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Lycoming's IE2 Project Tech Review

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

If Lycoming's electronically controlled IE2 engine seemed like it was over the horizon, it is in fact just around the corner. Lycoming and Lancair are in full-swing flight test in the launch aircraft, the Lancair Evolution, and certified versions are expected by the end of this year or a little later. In this video, Lycoming's Jim Morris provides an update on the project.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.


Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

There are a handful of high-wing LSAs offering tandem seating but only a couple of low-wing designs offering the same feature, giving that fighter-like view from the cockpit for both pilot and passenger. The MySky MSOne is one of those, and in this brief video, AVweb gets a look at the MSOne.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a Zaon PCAS XRX

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Zaon PCAS XRX as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Friday, July 16, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Richard Kemp of Canton, Georgia, who won an AV8OR handheld GPS in our last drawing! (click here to get your own from Bendix/King by Honeywell)

Light Plane Maintenance Toolbox CD
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 

FBO of the Week: Million Air (KMFR, Medford, Oregon)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

Conoco-Phillips WingPoints || Under Our Wings, Your Rewards Are Your Call || Click to Get 
Your Card

AVweb reader Robin Herrman discovered our latest "FBO of the Week" — the Medford, Oregon location of Million Air, at Rogue Valley International - Medford Airport:

I was planning a trip ... and called the different available FBOs for details on their services. I selected Million Air due to their 24-hour availablilty. I fly a C-182, nothing fancy, but I was treated like a millionaire (pardon the pun) with excellent ramp service and a wonderful pilot lounge with friendly staff during both my arrival and departure three days later. The little details were appreciated, like meeting us on the ramp upon arrival, tying down the aircraft, helping us with our bags, cleaning our windscreen before depature, and making sure we had bottled water. ... How nice to have customer service exceed your expectations for once!

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

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Reader-Submitted Photos back to top 

Picture of the Week: AVweb's Flying Photography Showcase

Submit a Photo | Rules | Tips | Questions | Past Winners

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.


Once again, the quality and sheer number of submissions have made the job of choosing a single "Picture of the Week" tough — but, hey, in the grand scheme of things, that's a pretty good problem to have.

medium | large

Used with permission of Thomas Auerbach

"Gentlemen, Start Your Engines"

We love a touch of dynamism in our photos, and this one from Thomas Auerbach of Ponca City, Oklahoma scans beautifully from left to right: Your eyes start at the empty turret, then move to pilot Tim Hahn in the cockpit, cross the outstretched arms of marshaller Robert Winkler, and then glide past the spinnning prop and into the smoke.

It doesn't hurt that Thomas had a great subject, either — the Lone Star Flight Museum's B-17 Thunderbird. This was snapped at the Lone Star Museum Air Show in Galveston, Texas a couple of months back.

medium | large

copyright © Heather Kallhoff
Used with permission

Readying for the Flight

Heather Kallhoff of Watertown, South Dakota combines the latest in high dynamic range photography with one of aviation's oldest traditions — a barnstorming tour. (In this case, it was the American Barnstormers passing through Watertown.)

medium | large

Used with permission of Carol Kerner


To be honest, we were a little reluctant to pass over some of the great air-to-air shots in this week's submission box in favor of this seemingly simple shot. But then, we simply couldn't stop looking at this photo from Carol Kerner of St. Charles, Missouri! Every time we looked away, we forgot which was a strut and which was a shadow ... .

(Carol tells us this is a 1929 Monosport at the very beginning of a restoration at Creve Coeur Airport in St. Louis.)

medium | large

copyright © John E. Rees
Used with permission

51st Annual Waco Reunion

John E. Rees of Blacklick, Ohio has all the summer green we could want in this shot from the Wynkoop Airport at Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

51 years? Wow.

(Psst. John says there are more photos here, but we're a little preoccupied with tomorrow's stories to check at the moment. Why don't you go over there and gawk, and we'll catch up in a few hours, O.K.?)

medium | large

copyright © Guy Lynch
Used with permission

Swiss Haze

Guy Lynch of Pewsey, Wiltshire (UK) hasn't shown up much in our submission box latey, but we're happy to see him back. He's just in time to provide this week's pitch-perfect sign-off photo!

You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. Don't miss 'em!

Click here to submit your own photos to "POTW."

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.

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

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:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Scott Simmons

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.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.