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Volume 10, Number 07b -- February 12, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Scheyden Eyewear

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

PISTONS 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...

...AS 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 aircraft. Lancair 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, 18. More...

ADDITIONAL FEATURES ON THE LIGHTSPEED QRF SOLO SS
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.

DESIGNS 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...

…NEW 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 Garmin’s G1000 primary flight display system. But unlike Cirrus, Mooney says it will also retain the steam-gauge option for owners who aren’t 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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GA 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. More...

MINETA 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 gap." More...

DICK KEYT COUNTS ON OREGON AERO FOR PAIN-FREE COMPETITIVE FLYING
Pain and discomfort are things that Dick Keyt can't afford in a long-distance race when piloting his one-of-a-kind monoplane, the Polen Special. His custom-designed seat cushion system and helmet upgrade from Oregon Aero give him the additional edge he needs in competitive flying. Check out all of Oregon Aero's products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

CERTIFIED 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 propellers. More...

ON 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 TIMER!
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.

AVIATION 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...

O'HARE EXPANSION PRICE TAG SOARS TO $14.8 BILLION
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has a bad case of gridlock, but the plan 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 Tribune. More...

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PILOT'S 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 together. More...

ON THE FLY...
FAA to investigate AOPA's complaint against Chicago for closing Meigs...
EAA posted schedule for kids' Air Academy and adults' Fantasy Camp...
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 jurisdiction...
A pilot for AA startled pax when he asked for a show of Christian hands. More...

"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE"
"My 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.

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 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...

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...

BENNETT AVIONICS: UPGRADE YOUR AIRCRAFT WITH CONFIDENCE & SAVINGS
Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business. Find the avionics equipment to meet your needs while leaving enough money for avfuel! Bennett stocks a complete line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to your aircraft for much less money than new avionics. Bennett also purchases used avionics equipment and will work out an exchange for newer electronics. Bennett Avionics — your one-stop used avionics specialist, at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.

AVWEB'S 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...

"TEST DRIVE" A B-737/300 AT CONTINENTAL'S IAH PILOT TRAINING CENTER!
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.

AVWEB'S 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...

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SHOPPING DEALS

PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE
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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. Special autographed copies are available for AVweb subscribers only at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/firstworldflight/avflash.

SPONSOR NEWS

THE MARCH ISSUE OF AVIATION CONSUMER IS RIGHT UP A CONSUMER'S ALLEY
Coming up in the March Aviation Consumer:

  • "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 kerosene burners
  • "Gas Guzzlers Are Us" — find out what airplanes won for MPG
  • "ECI Cylinder Recall?"
  • Plus: "Used Aircraft Guide" features the Piper Lance/Saratoga

Secure your consumer knowledge with a subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/avflash.

CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS! SAFETY IS CO GUARDIAN'S CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
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 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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