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Volume 10, Number 01b -- January 1, 2004

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LIGHTSPEED ON THE MOVE With LightSPEED's continued success and growth they are moving to a larger facility in Portland, Oregon. The move should have minimal impact on their pilot customers. LightSPEED apologizes for any inconvenience during this move and appreciates their customers' patience. Should your travels bring you to the Portland area please stop by for a visit. For LightSPEED models and ordering information go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed.com

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

HAPPY NEW YEAR, LOOKS LIKE THE OLD YEAR...
With the alert level stuck nationwide at Orange, airspace restrictions were imposed in an effort to protect holiday events around the country. Over New York City, a no-fly zone covered a five-nm radius over midtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, from the surface to 18,000 feet, and Temporary Flight Restrictions were imposed over Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, and Chicago. The Department of Homeland Security sent warplanes to patrol the skies above Times Square, Pasadena's Rose Parade, and the Las Vegas Strip. On Monday, adding to the jitters, an errant Mooney wandered down the East River -- violating La Guardia's airspace -- and then flew a circle round Lady Liberty. More...

...PROMPTING AOPA IRE...
The TFRs may help revelers to feel safer, but AOPA prez Phil Boyer says they are unfair to GA pilots. "Security-related TFRs usually single out general aviation aircraft, which have never been used in a terrorist attack," Boyer said yesterday, in a news release. "The restrictions are an additional burden for pilots to carry. AOPA believes they should only be issued based on credible threats -- not on a political need to be seen taking strong measures." AOPA noted that in both New York and Las Vegas, air carrier operations are not restricted from operating in the no-fly zones. More...

...AS AIRLINE PILOTS DETAINED, FOREIGN SKY MARSHALS MANDATED
Two airline pilots from the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago, flying for BWIA, were detained by the FBI last week after their names reportedly appeared on a TSA "no-fly" list. In a statement, the T&T government said it considered the detention "unwarranted, unjustified and severely damaging, not only to [the pilots'] image and reputation, but also to the national airline BWIA." The two pilots reportedly were held in New York and Miami, and were cleared by the FBI by last weekend, but were not allowed to return home until their names were removed from the list. Meanwhile, on Monday, the Department of Homeland Security decreed that it will require foreign passenger and cargo airlines to carry armed sky marshals on certain flights into the U.S. More...

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LET'S CELEBRATE...
2003 was a unique year in aviation. The Centennial celebrations -- bringing a moment's pause to reflect on 100 years of powered flight -- seemed to inspire the industry to look ahead with confidence to another 100 years of achievements aloft. And the year brought much more than just nostalgia ... there was the destruction of Meigs Field, the painfully slow progress of the Sport Pilot rule, the ongoing race to build light jets, new developments in avionics and powerplants, and lots more, from the last flight of the supersonic Concorde to the first supersonic test flight of Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne. Take a quick trip through the Year In Review in today's Special News Feature. More...

...A NEW ONE JUST BEGUN
With today's edition, AVweb begins its tenth year of bringing the news to your desktop. In the world of Internet publishing, that makes us one of the grand old luminaries of the medium. We just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who come along for the ride, sending us your pictures for Picture of the Week and your opinions for Question of the Week, and deluging us regularly with your e-mails about the world of aviation -- and how we report on it. It's always great to hear from you ... and we look forward to the next 10 years. More...

FELLOW PILOTS TRIED TO HELP DOOMED AVIATOR
When New Zealand pilot Kelvin Stark, 58, found himself alone above the Pacific Ocean last week, with fuel-flow problems in the new PAC 750XL single-engine skydiving plane he was ferrying to California, other pilots tried to help, the New Zealand Herald reported Monday. In the dark, overcast night, Stark reached out on 121.5 and found Capt. Steve Jacques, flying a United 767 from Honolulu to Denver, who talked with him for about three hours as Stark tried to troubleshoot the problem. "He had no co-pilot, but at a push of his microphone switch he was getting the support of many others," Jacques told the Herald. More...

CRATER COULD EXPLAIN BEAGLE-2 SILENCE
Just minutes after the British Beagle-2 lander touched down on the surface of Mars last Thursday, NASA's orbiting Mars Global Surveyor snapped a picture of the landing site and found a deep crater right in the center of the targeted area. "We'd have to be incredibly accurate and incredibly unlucky to go right down this crater, which of course would not be good news," project leader Colin Pillinger told reporters on Monday. The tiny lander, about the size of a bicycle wheel and weighing less than 75 pounds, could be damaged by a rough or rocky landing. As days go by and no signal is received from the lander, efforts are continuing but hopes of success are fading. More...

ANOTHER ADVENTURER HEADS FOR SOUTH POLE
OK, British pilot Polly Vacher had to turn back in the face of bad weather last month, after flying her Piper Dakota to the Antarctic peninsula. Australian pilot Jon Johanson was stranded for days after landing at McMurdo-Scott Base in need of fuel. He finally took off after gassing up from Vacher's unused cache. And now Gus McLeod, 49, of Maryland, is on his way south, having launched on Monday from College Park Airport, flying a modified Velocity kitplane called the Firefly. McLeod intends to become the first person to fly solo over both the North and South Poles in a single-engine plane -- the same goal both Vacher and Johanson were trying to achieve. More...

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AOPA OPPOSES OUTER BANKS MOAS
The U.S. Marine Corps has filed paperwork for two proposed military operations areas (MOAs) that would force GA pilots flying near North Carolina's Outer Banks into an area that the military considers unsafe for its own pilots, AOPA said on Monday. "If the FAA permits these two MOAs, they will have an unavoidable adverse effect on civil aviation in the Outer Banks area," said Heidi Williams, AOPA's manager of air traffic. "Besides some obvious safety issues, MOAs that are in constant use, as the Marines envision these, become de facto airspace restrictions for many GA pilots." More...

COLORBLINDNESS CITED AS POSSIBLE FACTOR IN FEDEX CRASH
The NTSB is looking into a pilot's colorblindness as a possible cause of the crash of a FedEx plane in Tallahassee in July 2002, the St. Petersburg Times reported last week. The first officer may have failed to distinguish red lights in the Precision Approach Path Indicator beside the runway, which should have shown that the Boeing 727 was dangerously low, the newspaper reported, citing NTSB documents. The cargo plane crashed one-half mile short of the runway and exploded in a fireball. The three pilots on board escaped. The pilots have said the lights never gave a red warning. More...

HOUSTON TRACON DEALS WITH SEWAGE LEAK
A busy Sunday morning at Houston's Terminal Radar Approach Control facility, working the post-Christmas rush, took a turn for the worse when staffers were faced with a messy, aromatic, and disgusting sewage spill inside the building. Controllers continued to work, taking breaks every 20 minutes to seek fresh air outside the facility. The FAA slowed the workload with ground delays, snarling traffic throughout the region. The sewage spill left 25 controllers reporting ill effects, including lightheadedness, nausea and headaches, according to a news release from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). The TRACON building has been troubled by flooding in the past, NATCA said. About 500 flights were delayed. More...

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ON THE FLY...
Study confirms long airplane flights can cause deep-vein thrombosis...
Piper J3 and Schleicher glider collided in Arizona Sunday, four died...
Also on Sunday, two gliders collided in South Africa, one pilot died...
Boeing said composite wings for 7E7 Dreamliner will be made in Japan...
NTSB will assist in investigation of 727 crash in Benin, Africa. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
BRAINTEASERS: Quiz #76 -- The Weather Outside Is Frightful
In the age of Stormscopes, Doppler radar, and data uplink you'd think the weather would get the message and behave. But no, pilots still need to analyze the skies for themselves, with a little free help from flight service. See how you weather these questions.

NEWS FEATURES: 2003 Year In Review
It was a year of firsts and lasts, summer dreams and winter fears. Aviators launched new ideas filled with hope, and watched in sadness as doors closed and airplanes flew for the last time. But with 100 years to look back on, that rearward glance seemed to inspire everyone to look ahead with confidence to another 100 years of spectacular achievements aloft. AVweb presents a brief look at the top aviation stories of 2003. More...

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BUSINESS AVFLASH
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/

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AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 200 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Randy Hammonds, of Beaumont, Texas. His photo shows two buddies pairing up for some aerial fun over southeast Texas. The flight’s mission was to take a few pictures of this newly painted Yak, which is owned and operated by Phil Sauter. Great picture, Randy! Your AVweb hat is on its way.

To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, click here. More...

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
We received over 270 responses to our question last week on winter flying. The majority (56 percent) of those responding indicated they enjoy flying in all four seasons. About 15 percent said smooth air is what makes winter a preferred flying season, while 9 percent claimed engine performance was the major benefit. Nearly one-tenth (8 percent) simply enjoyed flying over the white landscape, and of course, who can blame them?

To check out the complete results or respond to this week's question, click here.
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on the year 2003 in review. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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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
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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Happy New Year!

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