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Volume 10, Number 07a -- February 9, 2004

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

USING PILOTS TO BREAK JETLINERS...
While the NTSB has yet to issue its final report on why American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in New York in November 2001 after its vertical tail surface broke off, killing 265 people, the board recently released a report by an aeronautical engineer that suggests the design of the Airbus A300-600's flight-control system could have played a role in the accident. The report, by Prof. Ronald Hess of the University of California at Davis, focuses on whether pilot-induced oscillations (PIOs), resulting from control-system characteristics, could have been a factor in the crash. More...

...AND SENSITIVE POINTS ABOUT SENSITIVITY...
In his report, Hess notes that the "pedal/rudder sensitivity of the A300-600 at the airspeed at which the AA 587 accident occurred is the highest of all comparative transport aircraft." For example, compared to the Boeing 767, the A300-600 pedal/rudder sensitivity is seven times greater, and it is 10 times greater than the preceding models in the Airbus series, the A300-600B2 and B4, Hess reports. "The sensitive nature of the rudder/pedal system is a plausible candidate for a control system property conducive to a PIO," the report says. "One has a very powerful aerodynamic surface ... activated by one of the most powerful muscles in the human body, commanding a pedal/rudder system that is considerably more sensitive than that of any comparable aircraft," the report says. The report is still under consideration by the NTSB. More...

....AS MD-80 ENGINES SCRUTINIZED, DRAMATIC IMAGES RESURFACE
In recent weeks, the MD-80 fleet worldwide has been hampered by reports of engine cracks. In Japan last month, 17 of the airliners were grounded after engines of two aircraft vibrated, and the flights were aborted. According to CBS news, Chicago, American Airlines discovered similar cracks in engines on some of its MD-80 planes. "Routine airline maintenance procedures don't usually ... reveal cracks of this nature," Mary Frances, with American’s maintenance program, told CBS news. The concerns resurrected the tale of a McDonnell-Douglas DC-9-80 (a precursor of the MD-80) that blew its nose wheels and broke its tail off during a test flight in 1980. In that case, the engines survived, but other damage was extreme. See AVweb's NewsWire for video, an event summary and NTSB records of the event. 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/avflash.

GA AIRPORT SECURITY: THE WAR OF PERCEPTION...
An ABC affiliate TV station in New York City, apparently unaware of the bashing unleashed by the GA community upon CBS after that network aired a segment critical of security at small airports, took its own stab at the issue last Thursday. WABC-TV ran a story based on its "months-long Eyewitness News investigation" headlined "Security Practically Nonexistent at Many Small Airports." The story begins: "Call it a case of airport insecurity. Open gates, no guards, no fences, airplanes within easy reach." Reporters visited 15 of the more than 100 small airports within 75 miles of midtown Manhattan. At some of these airports, which the report doesn't identify, reporters say they found fencing in disrepair, and at least one airport they were able to drive right up to hangars full of airplanes without being stopped or questioned by anyone. More...

...VS. THE REALITY...
The WABC story did mention that perhaps a small aircraft is no more dangerous than a truck or a car packed with explosives. Yet some of the "porous" airports housed larger charter planes, WABC said. And the report noted that the Department of Homeland Security has made recommendations for improvements at small airports, but it has issued "virtually no security requirements for general aviation." Of course that failure to issue "requirements" could tie in with the reluctance to find billions of dollars to implement them. In fact, despite the lack of requirements, extensive security precautions have been implemented at thousands of GA airports nationwide, and that trend is likely to continue. More...

...VS. THE DEEPER REALITY
The implied but unarticulated subtext of the WABC story, as well as the recent CBS network report, is that small airports and small airplanes are lacking in intrinsic value to society, and thus present an unnecessary threat. Yet a tragic story from Hawaii last week showed that people do value the services based at these kind of airports -- after an air ambulance crashed, killing the pilot and two paramedics, the crew members were widely hailed as heroes. The thousands of small airports across the country provide a base for such critical services -- firefighters and search-and-rescue units, police and news helicopters, ambulances and cargo planes -- which we've yet to see mentioned by any of these "airport insecurity" reports. More...

SINCE 1937, TRADE-A-PLANE IS THE AVIATION MARKETPLACE
Subscribe to one issue per month — or all three! Print subscription includes complimentary full access to the Web edition of Trade-A-Plane. Trade-a-Plane — there's no better way to buy, sell, and fly. For more, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

3-D TOURS OF SMITHSONIAN AIRCRAFT NOW ONLINE
If you haven't yet had a chance to visit the Smithsonian's new Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport, in Virginia, now you can view a few historic aircraft and cockpits in detail on the Internet. The cockpits of the Concorde, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the SR-71 Blackbird and more can be viewed in seamless, intricate detail from any vantage point. Exterior shots of the J-3 Cub and a Monocoupe 110 can be rotated to view the airplane from either side, front or back, and anywhere in between. The high-resolution digital photos were shot last year as the aircraft were moved into the new facility, and before they were put on exhibit, a rare opportunity existed to access the aircraft before they become inaccessible. More...

NEED AWOS? JUST CALL ON YOUR CELLPHONE
In a nifty new service for pilots, a quick toll-free phone call can now connect you to any AWOS in the U.S. -- if you don't mind having to listen to a short advertisement before you get to the weather. The service, aptly called "anyAWOS," is a new product offered by Mackinac Software. One of the co-creators of the system, Bill McUmber, told AVweb: "Although my company is a software company, I am an active IFR pilot and thought it would be useful to be able to check conditions on the fly -- hence this system." After dialing the toll-free number (877-any-AWOS, or 877-269-2967), callers can enter any three-digit airport ID and -- after choosing from a list of possible matches, and listening to a word from their sponsors -- they will be connected to that airport's AWOS or ATIS. More...

MEMBERSHIP IS THE BEST $45 YOU CAN SPEND ON YOUR CESSNA!
With more than 12,000 active members, the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) is the world's biggest and best "aviation-type club." At just $45/year, CPA membership is the world's greatest bargain for Cessna pilots and owners. Members receive a monthly magazine; a weekly e-mail newsletter; technical support by a full-time staff of A&Ps with tremendous expertise in all Cessna models; model-specific buyer's guides and systems courses; a group aircraft insurance program; and access to CPA's giant online knowledge bank and hugely popular online member forums. To join this remarkable organization, phone (805) 922-2580 or click http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa/avflash.

NASA JET SHEDS PARTS OVER FLORIDA
A modified Gulfstream II flying as a Shuttle Training Aircraft for NASA was 13,000 feet above Florida recently when parts of its thrust reverser went missing and splashed into the Banana River. The reversers are part of a retrofit that helps the GII mimic the Shuttle's steep descent profile. An astronaut and two pilots were on board when the parts fell off in early December, and the crew aborted the mission and made a safe landing, Florida Today reported on Saturday. NASA's fleet of four modified GIIs was grounded after the incident and the fasteners for the reversers were beefed up. After that, test flights checked out OK, and the fleet was back to normal by Jan. 12. More...

BIG AIRPORT $ECURITY, TIGHT AS A SIEVE
A 19-year-old man, apparently intending to score a free trip aboard a Delta flight from LA to Atlanta last month, successfully bypassed two checkpoints and then successfully boarded an airliner without a ticket. Security cameras showed that he got past the initial checkpoint by going through an unguarded roped-off area, then walked through the metal detectors. At the gate, he waited until the gate agent was distracted, then sauntered onboard. Other passengers saw what he had done, and after he went into the restroom they alerted the crew. The man, who was from Decatur, Ga., is a convicted burglar and had violated his probation, authorities told the Los Angeles Times. He was arrested but no weapons or bombs were found, and the plane was OK'd for departure within an hour. More...

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STARS BRIGHTER THAN THOUGHT
STARS is brightening the lives of controllers all over the country, and not just in the handful of places AVweb and several other media outlets mentioned in stories last week. The Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System has been installed in 13 airports since the successful full deployment of the system in Philadelphia last June. "We got a lot of systems out last year," Rebecca Trexler, of FAA Public Affairs, told AVweb. Two prototype systems in Syracuse and El Paso were also upgraded to full deployments, bringing the total number of STARS systems in use to 16. More...

WANTED: YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH ENGINE CYLINDERS
Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on owner experience with engine cylinders. If you've bought an overhaul recently, let us know how the jugs are holding up. Log on to www.aviationconsumer.com and click the "Surveys" button. We'll take care of the rest. More...

WHEN PURCHASING A NEW AIRCRAFT, CHECK WITH CS&A'S INSURANCE PROS!
Purchasing a new aircraft can be very stressful. Make the insurance process an easy one with a no-obligation, complimentary quote from the insurance pros at CS&A Aviation Insurance. CS&A has complete insurance packages with the best coverage and prices in the industry. You and your new airplane will be together for a long time, so be insured by the best the industry has to offer. Learn more about CS&A at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Pax at LAX down last year by 2.25 percent, lowest level in 14 years...
Fundraising pilot to land at 100 airports in one day for Angel Flight...
A seven-foot panel from a FedEx MD-10 wing fell into a parking lot...
Radar at Chicago TRACON was down for 13 minutes Wednesday...
Jean Ross Howard Phelan, a founder of Whirly Girls, died at 87...
Jerome Lederer, former NASA director of flight safety, died at 101...
Pilot Gus McLeod, headed for South Pole, landed Friday after icing up...
Researchers found homing pigeons follow roads to navigate. More...

MIKE BUSCH'S SAVVY SEMINAR COMING TO MEMPHIS, VAN NUYS, HARRISBURG, & OSHKOSH!
Ever had "sticker shock" when you got the bill after an annual? Frustrated when problems still aren't fixed after several tries? Flabbergasted by the stratospheric cost of parts? Intimidated by mechanical problems far from home base? Ever felt a shop had you "over a barrel"? Spend an illuminating weekend with Mike Busch — AVweb founder, writer, teacher, pilot, aircraft owner, and A&P mechanic — at one of his Savvy Owner Seminars. He'll share his 40 years of aviation experience, help you become more maintenance-savvy and empowered, and teach you how to get better maintenance while saving thousands of dollars. For complete seminar details plus dozens of Mike's maintenance articles, visit Savvy Aviator Seminars at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash,

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #73: All Glass
Ready to climb into the age of the glass cockpit, AVweb's Michael Maya Charles is looking forward to learning his next new airplane type. It turns out to be an interesting and -- hopefully -- "best of both worlds" combination of two other planes he's flown: the DC-10 and MD-11. More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about terrorists (and non-terrorists), stupid pilot tricks and more. More...

$10 OFF WXSERVER — NOW: AVIATION WEATHER IN MORE WIRELESS PHONES THAN EVER BEFORE!
WxServer has just expanded their service to work with virtually any Internet-enabled phone. No matter whether you're using Verizon, SprintPCS, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cingular, or Nextel — if your phone can surf the net, WxServer can give you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information. This month AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates, and CFIs can sign up for the WxServer referral program at no charge! Check it out at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

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/

More...

CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT BUDGET ANALYZER
AirPower Software offers multiple software editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your preloaded information to address your particular usage amounts and/or costs. Changes can be made to an individual preloaded figure or across the entire layout as needed. In addition to the preloaded databases of aircraft, the Budget Analyzer also lets you create your own individualized budget via the "My Aircraft" selection. This allows you to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There are six editions: Lite (no aircraft databases included); Piston; Turbo Prop; Helicopter; Jet; and Full (which includes all four aircraft databases). Instant downloads are available on all software products. For complete information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
From our, "There's a right way, and then there's other ways," file...

Tower: Cessna XXX cleared to land 20.

Cessna: Cleared to land 20.

Tower: Cessna XXX can you land and hold short 31-13.
(brief pause.....)
Cessna: You bethca.

Tower: XXX is that a roger.

Cessna: ...Roger. Land and hold short 31-13. More...

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PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE
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COMM 1 ANNOUNCES INTERACTIVE NAV & VOR/NDB SIMULATOR TRAINING PROGRAM
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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER?
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SPONSOR NEWS

IFR MAGAZINE IS A SAFETY MUST-READ!
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_____________________________________
We Welcome Your Feedback!

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.

Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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