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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
POWERED GA GROWTH IN 2003, THANK TAXES?...
Last year, 1,519 new single-engine piston airplanes were sold in the
U.S., an 11.2 percent jump over the year before, the General
Aviation Manufacturer's Association (GAMA) reported yesterday in its
year-end report. Worldwide, the growth was even stronger, 14 percent
over 2002, or 1,825 new singles. The positive growth, especially in the
fourth quarter, "is an early indicator of a broader turnaround in all
segments of general aviation," GAMA Chairman Clay Jones said yesterday
in a news release. Manufacturers believe a provision in last year's tax
bill, commonly known as "bonus depreciation," stimulated many of last
year's aircraft orders, Jones said. (For more about bonus depreciation,
see yesterday's BusinessAVflash.) More...
CESSNA, CIRRUS, AND DIAMOND CHURN OUT SINGLES
Cessna led the pack,
delivering 588 single-engine piston planes, plus 67 of its Caravan
turboprops; and Cirrus Design was close behind with 469 sales. Diamond came in
third, delivering 228 of its DA20 and DA40 models. New Piper completed
185 single-engine deliveries plus 44 sales of light twins. Raytheon sold 55 Beech Bonanzas plus 107 light
twins, Socata sold 74 from its single-engine line, and American
Champion sold 63 from its stable of light aerobatic and utility
sold 51 Columbias, and other U.S. manufacturers coming in at under 50
sales for the year were Aviat, 47; Mooney, 36; Maule, 32; OMF, 19; and Tiger,
ADDITIONAL FEATURES ON THE LIGHTSPEED QRF SOLO
Earlier this year, LightSPEED launched several new
products based on earlier models, with some additional features and
improvements. One of these products is LightSPEED's QFR Solo SS headset.
LightSPEED has had great success at the large fly-ins where pilots can
hear and compare the QFR Solo SS to other headsets with similar (or
higher) retail prices. Improvements made to the Solo SS from the basic
Solo product are: Same speaker system as used in the higher-priced 3G
product; Gentex Noise-Cancelling microphone element;
temperature-sensitive Comfort-Foam ear seals; and a padded headband. For
all LightSPEED models, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.
ON THE REBOUND...
If you want to do your part for GA growth, there are plenty of airplanes
out there ready for a new owner. Lake's four-place amphibian, the
LA-4-200 EP, first built in 1983, has been revived by LanShe Aerospace of
Fort Pierce, Fla. LanShe is now taking orders at a price of $299,000.
The production line is ready to go, company President Wadi Rahim told
AVweb on Tuesday, with certification and manufacturing tools all
in place. "We're in good shape. We just need some orders," he said.
LanShe bought the Lake Aircraft Company in 2002, and also bought the
Micco line last April. "It's an active line," Rahim said of the Micco
models. "We've built two, one is sold, and we have three or four in
progress. We're ready to make more." More...
MOONEYS: GO WITH GLASS
Following the lead of Cirrus, Diamond and Cessna, Mooney announced this
week that buyers will soon have the option of equipping new Ovations and
Bravos with Garmins G1000 primary flight display system. But
unlike Cirrus, Mooney says it will also retain the steam-gauge option
for owners who arent ready for the brave new world of glass-panel
flying. The G1000 integrates primary flight instruments, navigation and
communication into a pair a 10.4-inch, high-resolution XGA displays,
with the nav/comm boxes themselves remoted to another part of the
aircraft. Mooney says the overall panel size in its new aircraft will
remain roughly the same, requiring only about 1/2 inch of additional
height over the existing models. More...
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ON THE VERGE OF SPACE
The FAA hosted a conference this week in Washington, D.C., to work on
ways to help facilitate the first privately launched manned space
flight, which industry experts expect may be attempted within the year.
Panels were held Tuesday and yesterday to discuss new developments in
propulsion, system safety and other topics. Meanwhile, a bill now
working its way through Congress, the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004,
recently made it past the House Science Committee, and should help to address
some of the regulatory issues. The legislation confirms that the FAA's
Office of Commercial Space
Transportation (AST) has sole authority over suborbital vehicles.
UNVEILS NEW RUNWAY-COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEM
Department of Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta visited Mitchell
International Airport in Milwaukee on Monday to officially unveil the
FAA's new runway-safety technology, installed there last fall, which helps controllers
spot potential collisions on the ground. The Airport Surface Detection
Equipment Model-X (ASDE-X) creates an up-to-the-minute map of all
airport operations, and is especially useful when visibility is poor. Mineta
said the administration's budget this year will support $3.3 billion
for airport improvements, as well as $700 million in Airport Improvement
Program funds for investments in new technologies and runways. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association
(NATCA) painted Mineta's remarks as evidence of a "widening credibility
REPAIR AT YOUR OWN RISK
The FAA needs to issue a new rule that would ensure applicants for a
Part 145 repair station certificate have not previously been associated
with a repair station that had its certificate revoked, the NTSB said on
Monday. The recommendation is based on the NTSB's investigation
into the crash of a Beech 95 Travelair in California in
January 2003, in which a 2 1/2-foot section of a propeller blade
separated from the right engine shortly after takeoff. The airplane
rolled inverted and hit a house, killing the pilot. All four of the
Travelair's propeller blades appear to have been improperly overhauled,
the NTSB said, and the owner of the repair station that did the work had
been chief inspector at a repair station that had its certificate
revoked in 1998 for performing improper overhauls on aircraft
THE TRAIL OF ADAM'S TWINS
In the world of building new airplanes, real time frames never seem to
quite match projections, but the work plods forward nonetheless. When last we heard from Adam Aircraft,
they were expecting to certify and deliver their new centerline-thrust
twin, the A500, in the first quarter of this year, so we called for an
update. "Things are progressing well here," Adam Aircraft spokesman John
Hamilton told AVweb on Tuesday. "We're confident that we'll have
certification of the A500 and first delivery in the first half of this
year." So scratch spring, and hope for summer. In April, Adam will be at
Sun 'n Fun in Florida with an A500 to show, Hamilton said, and will also
exhibit its A700 light jet. More...
UPDATE YOUR FLIGHT BAG WITH AN ASA FLIGHT
Designed by pilots, the ASA Flight Timer has been
engineered for reliability, ease, and convenience. With a large,
easy-to-read backlit LCD display, stopwatch, fuel timer, and
multi-function clock, the Flight Timer's options are limitless. Audible
and visual alarms are fully integrated, and enhanced mounting options
will work for virtually any location. Multiple timer functions include
count-up and countdown capabilities and an exclusive digital notepad for
squawk codes or frequencies. This Timer should be considered essential
equipment for every pilot's flight bag! Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.
HIGH SCHOOL TO OPEN, THANK GATES
Washington State's first aviation-themed public high school, Aviation
High School, will open its doors this fall, thank$ in part to a gift
from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The school is expected to
become "a state and national model," according to its organizers, thanks
to its focus on high standards for student achievement. The school's
goals include sending 100 percent of its graduates on to postsecondary
education, preparing them thoroughly to be competitive in aviation
careers, and encouraging parent participation, mentoring and industry
support. The school's location has not yet been selected, but it will be
in Puget Sound's Highline School District, near Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport and Boeing Field. More...
EXPANSION PRICE TAG SOARS TO $14.8 BILLION
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has a bad case of gridlock, but
to fix it with two new runways keeps developing convolutions of its own,
growing more and more expensive. Originally proposed as a $6.6 billion
plan in 2001, the expansion now includes two new terminals and upgrades
around the field, for a total price tag of $14.8 billion, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday. Critics said the
price inflation only proves the plan is not feasible. "I still believe
the city's figures ... are on the low side," Joseph Del Balzo, a
consultant hired by local groups that oppose the expansion, told the
WIDOW FLIES HIS DREAM
When Flight 93 crashed into a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001, 40
lives were lost, but on Sunday, one pilot's dream came true. Sandra
Dahl, the widow of First Officer Jason Dahl, climbed into an F-16
fighter jet in Colorado and took a 45-minute ride, looping, rolling,
pulling Gs, and experiencing all the joys that her husband had wished
for. Jason Dahl loved the F-16, and always regretted that he let his
25th birthday pass without trying out for Air Force wings, his widow
said. Sandra Dahl carried a picture of her late husband, spotted places
they had traveled on vacation and flew over the home they had shared
FAA to investigate AOPA's complaint against Chicago for closing
EAA posted schedule for kids' Air Academy and adults' Fantasy
Safire Aircraft unveiled enhanced new Web site...
Aircraft accidents in Alaska fell by 14 percent last year...
Pilot accused of drunken flying argues only the FAA has
A pilot for AA startled pax when he asked for a show of Christian hands.
"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE"
uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs." "General Aviation
Modifications' (GAMI) injectors pay for themselves with the fuel
savings. A big bonus is how much smoother the engine runs."
"Customer service is just that service!" This is what GAMI
customers have to say about GAMIjectors. Go online to find out how to
save fuel, time, and buy injectors that pay for themselves at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.
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 engine monitoring software, a flight planning book, CD-ROMs with
worldwide approach charts and more. If you know of a new product or
service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send
us a note. More...
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs 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/
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Last week, we polled AVweb readers about the missing funds that were
supposed to be allocated to General Aviation in the wake of 9/11. Almost
40% of you thought the government pulled the rug out from under
legitimate businesses, but another 33% said simply that it was "business
as usual" in Washington.
This week, we would like to know your
thoughts on the GA economy. More...
DRIVE" A B-737/300 AT CONTINENTAL'S IAH PILOT TRAINING
The "Airline Training Orientation Program" (ATOP) is
a two-day 737/300 familiarization course designed for any U.S.
pilot, especially those interested in airline careers. Presented
exclusively by ATOP Inc., the course features 12 hours of ground school,
one hour in the 737/300 FTD, and two hours in the 737/300 full-motion
simulator. Earn the optional "High Altitude Endorsement," too! Register
for any class by March 1 and get a $40 discount off the $435.00 course
fee by mentioning AVweb! For details, go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/atop/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Once again, AVweb readers stepped up to the plate with dozens of great
aviation photos for our Picture of the Week competition. But since
someone has to win, this week's prize an AVweb logo cap
goes to Mike Benson, who assures us that there really is a B18 under all
that tissue. We'll take your word for it, Mike. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE
Cassette tapes to help you
be a better pilot such as "Are You Ready for an Emergency,"
"Managing Your Fuel Supply," "Getting the Most Out of ATC," and more
are available now. Order your selections today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avconsumer/paut/avflash.
DON'T LOOK ANY FURTHER FOR THE PERFECT
Chase-Durer watches come in styles for both men and
women. Truly in a class by themselves, Chase-Durer's award-wining style
and Swiss dependability make these chronograph watches a wonderful gift
for others or for yourself. Buy them at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur/avflash.
SPORT YOUR NEW LEATHER FLIGHT BAG FROM PILOTMALL AND SHOW
PilotMall.com has real leather flight bags that
are second to none. Plus, there's a backpack model! Go online to order
FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL IS
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. Special autographed copies
are available for AVweb subscribers only at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/firstworldflight/avflash.
THE MARCH ISSUE OF AVIATION CONSUMER IS RIGHT UP A
Coming up in the March Aviation
- "Lowrance AirMap 1000" a new large-screen portable with
impressive features for under $700
- "More Gas, More Range" a survey on tip and aux fuel tanks
- "Three Days, Three Sims" recurrent training isn't for just
- "Gas Guzzlers Are Us" find out what airplanes won for MPG
- "ECI Cylinder Recall?"
- Plus: "Used Aircraft Guide" features the Piper
Secure your consumer knowledge with a subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/avflash.
MONOXIDE KILLS! SAFETY IS CO GUARDIAN'S CARBON MONOXIDE
CO Guardian has models from portable units to
panel-mount units. Each unit's solid-state sensors and temperature
sensors (EMI-shielded to prevent radio interference) are built in the
USA and FAA-certified. Go online to find the CO Guardian model right for
your aircraft at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/avflash.
We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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