This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED AviationAUX
AUDIO ON LIGHTSPEED HEADSETS
The ability to use your aviation
headset like a standard stereo headphone seemed an obvious benefit to
us. Although some pilots do not immediately see the benefit of this
feature, many find it indispensable. As PDAs become more prevalent in
the cockpit, the ability for these devices to give audible warning and
advise will increase the value of this headset feature. As noted in
prior AVflashes, LightSPEED is the first headset company to offer
this integrated feature. This Auxiliary Audio Interface is standard on
the QFR XC2, 20XL2, 20 3G, and the 30 3G models. These headsets also
feature "Com Priority Muting", which automatically turns down the
Auxiliary Adio source should the headset detect input from the intercom.
See the model right for your flying needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
GE TEAM UP ON LIGHT-JET ENGINE
The light-jet engine market is becoming almost as crowded as the
mini-jet market itself. The collaborative effort of General Electric and
Honda (which flew its own aircraft in November) to produce and
market the HF 118 turbofan with a thrust rating in the
mid-teens (the prototype is 1650 pounds but engines of this type can
usually be scaled to produce more or less power) creates, with Williams
International and Pratt
and Whitney Canada, a powerful triad of competitors for a group of
aircraft designs representing thousands of aircraft that so far exist
only in order books. "For our segment of the industry, this is huge
news," said Eclipse Aviation spokesman Andrew Broom. "It's great
that another innovator is entering the marketplace." Eclipse is one of
the few mini-jet makers to actually fly a prototype (Adam Aircraft's
A700 is the only to fly with production engines) and none of the
manufacturers will have planes ready for delivery for more than a year.
Diamond spokesman Peter Maurer echoed those sentiments, saying it was
"really encouraging" that such major companies see the market potential.
Honda and GE made the announcement in Tokyo on Monday after reaching a
still-secret deal the previous Friday. More...
As significant as the competitive aspects of the deal are, the
announcement also helps to validate the somewhat speculative nature of
the mini-jet market. There's more than opportunism at work in Honda's
official entry to the aviation market. According to Honda CEO Takeo
Fukui, it was the dream of company founder Soichiro Honda to build
airplanes. He told the news conference that working with jet engines
helps to motivate Honda engineers and lend more prestige to the company
brand (and perhaps a fair amount of buzz). Cessna's own announcement 18
months ago that it would build the mini-Citation Mustang has so far
collected about 200 orders for the $2.3 million aircraft (the most
expensive in the field), by far outdistancing any other Cessna model.
HONDA STOP AT AN ENGINE?
Honda America spokesman Jeffrey Smith told the Dayton Daily News the
current market for mini-jets (most of which will be employed as air
taxis) is about 150 to 200 planes a year, rising toward 250 units a year
over the next decade. However, Cessna spokeswoman Jessica Meyers said
she's not aware of any contact between her company (the largest bizjet
manufacturer in the world) and Honda. Cessna's Mustang will carry Pratt
& Whitney, Canada, (PWC) engines currently under development. Likewise,
Eclipse's Broom said, "We won't be switching engines again," sticking
with PWC after canceling an engine deal with Williams last year. With
the market's big guns otherwise committed, could Honda have another
market in mind? Based out of Atlantic Aero's facility in Greensboro, N.C.,
flight-testing continues on the reportedly uber-efficient HondaJet.
Diamond's Maurer said his company might be interested in the engine in
the future despite an existing deal with Williams to power their
single-engine D-Jet. More...
CAN BE A WINNER WITH SCHEYDEN, AVIATION'S FINEST EYEWEAR
surprised that I won and even more surprised at the quality of these
glasses!" said recent AVweb winner Ted Weiner of Massachusetts. A pair
of Scheydens will be given away every other week to a lucky AVweb winner
a retail value up to $395! The unique flip-up design has become
the choice of pilots who demand quality and function in every aspect of
aviation. Handmade titanium frames, quality lenses, a Rosewood case,
plush micro-fiber bag and cloth are standard equipment on all styles.
For more information (and to register to win), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.
IN THE COCKPIT -- INSIDE THE TRAINING
Since the debate over arming airline and, finally, cargo pilots began
two years ago, the focus has been on the gun. Where it's kept, how it's
carried, who gets to have one. But when approved pilots finally get to a
remote federal training center in New Mexico to become Federal Flight
Deck Officers, they find the training much less about shooting bad guys
than not shooting anyone else. "The actual amount of attention paid to
the mental preparation as opposed to the physical is pretty amazing," a
trainee, who couldn't be identified for the story, told Knight Ridder.
"We're taking the mindset of the terrorist and applying the appropriate
level of force." And that may take some explaining. More...
THERE'S STILL TARGET PRACTICE
But while the training gives a pilot's mental ammunition a workout,
there are, of course, practical lessons in how best to put the 9-mm
Heckler and Koch semiautomatic to use in saving an airplane full of
people -- and maybe hundreds or thousands on the ground. Trainees learn
hand-to-hand combat (moves designed specifically for the confines of the
aluminum tube), disarming techniques and, of course, take target
practice. They also go through simulated scenarios on three Boeing 727
"shoot houses." But the biggest weapon they have in the war against
terrorism is the terrorist's own risk calculation. More...
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR
TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling
service offers advanced features such as standby scheduling and
notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve
aircraft utilization and will make your members happy. You can also add
AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree
and QuickBooks. For a no-obligation online demonstration, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy/avflash.
DECADE LATER, FAA MOVES ON EXPLODING FUEL TANKS
The FAA is hoping to propose a rule this fall that would require
airlines to install equipment to lessen the chance of in-flight
fuel-tank explosions. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey announced the
initiative Tuesday, saying the rule is being considered because new
technology, largely developed by the agency itself, is now available to
displace some of the oxygen within fuel tanks with inert nitrogen.
"We're taking this step because we have found a practical solution," she
told a news conference. The new, roughly $220,000-per-plane rule would
be phased in over seven years starting in 2006, 10 years after the NTSB
determined the belly tank of a TWA Boeing 747 (Flight 800) exploded off
Long Island, killing 230 people. It was not the first or the last event
of its kind. More...
FORTUNES RIDE ON MUSTANG
Cessna announced Monday that it will build the 340-knots-at-35,000-feet,
six-place Mustang mini-jet in Independence, Kan., alongside
the piston singles its plant there now makes. It turns out the
out-of-the-way nature of the place was its biggest asset. Cessna
spokeswoman Jessica Myers said there's room for expansion in
Independence, and the ability to test-fly a lot of aircraft. Cessna
already has 200 orders for the Mustang, which won't be available for two
years, and expects it to be its biggest bizjet seller.
AVEMCO OFFERS ON APPROACH ONLINE!
years, one of the additional benefits AVEMCO has provided its customers
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SYSTEM LIGHTS UP ALASKA STRIPS
Few places have more need for night flying in bad weather than Alaska,
and soon aircraft will be able to get into some of the state's most
remote airstrips in an emergency. Galaxy Litebeams
LLC, of New Jersey, and Greatland Laser LLC, of Anchorage, are partners in a
$1.4 million contract to provide portable emergency lighting systems to
42 emergency landing zones and seven runways at remote villages. That's
less than the cost of a single fixed-lighting system for many runways.
All the gear fits on a trailer that can be pulled by something as small
as a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle. More...
MODIFIES AIRSPACE RULES
Australia's government is furiously backpedaling from sweeping airspace
reforms that have drawn fire from all facets of the aviation industry.
Airservices Australia announced on Monday that it
would implement "safety enhancements" at various airports in an attempt
to restore public confidence in the system. Among the fixes are
transportable radar systems to fill gaps in coverage and distribution of
new charts, this time with air traffic control frequencies printed on
them. More changes are expected. Two weeks ago, the government-owned
airspace regulator held meetings with representatives from all parts of
the aviation industry and was essentially told to scrap what was billed
as an American-style system, implemented Nov. 27. More...
AEROSHELL GIVES YOUR AIRPLANE SHINE AND
AeroShell, a trusted name for oil and lubricants,
has a line of appearance products designed specifically for general
aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be purchased
in a convenient leak-proof bag designed for easy carrying and storage.
The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight
Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning
cloths. Order AeroShell Flight Jacket products at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.
RIVER IS BOOMING?
It's not only civilian airports that get noise complaints. The sound of
freedom is rattling the dishes -- and fraying the nerves -- of some
residents near the Navy's Patuxent River Air Station. Some residents
claim the Navy jocks are unleashing sonic booms over the naturally quiet
hamlets of Princess Ann, Salisbury, Deal Island and Whitehaven in
Maryland. "It rocked my house like an earthquake," Dinah Abbott, of
Salisbury, told the Daily Times. But Pax River spokesman John Romer said
it's not likely sonic booms that are jarring the residents.
HOMEBUILDER WANTS HELI BACK
Farmer Le Van Dahn spent $30,000 and seven years building a helicopter
out of spare parts and an old Russian truck engine. The contraption has
risen 18 inches off the ground in four test flights and Dahn was getting
ready to start trying to maneuver it when the government clipped his
rotor blades. No one in Vietnam has ever been allowed to build his own
aircraft. So the government took the whirlybird away. Maybe EAA should
consider opening a chapter in Vietnam. Sure, it might only have one
member ... but he could really use the help More...
CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
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.
AVweb's AVflash is mainly an aviation news service,
so it's a little embarrassing when we run a story that's almost four
years old. Alas, that is what happened with our breathtaking account of
the runway departure of an F-15E in Lakenheath, England, in the Feb. 15
NewsWire and AVflash. Trusted sources provided AVweb with
information indicating the event occurred within the last two weeks when
it actually happened in September 2000. We should have checked more
carefully. If AWweb is made aware of any factual errors in our
news stories, we're happy to publish immediate corrections or
A new NPRM may challenge Light Sport Aircraft...
The Internet public meeting on National Air Tour
Standards begins Feb. 23 at 9 a.m...
Sun 'n Fun's air show schedule is alive and posted, listing dates and
Sino Swearingen's SJ-30 bizjet can now deliver certified sea-level
pressure at 41,000 feet.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Savvy Aviator #2: In Quest Of The Ideal Mechanic
a dozen crucial attributes that you should look for when choosing an A&P
to maintain your aircraft. Realistically, however, you'll never find any
one mechanic who possesses them all. AVweb's Mike Busch explains how to
size up your mechanic's strengths and weaknesses, and offers a case
study of how to take advantage of the strengths and overcome the
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, AVweb asked you if the much-tauted ''bonus depreciation''
provision in last year's tax bill was responsible for the upswing in
General Aviation. We discovered that AVweb readers are well-grounded and
not quick to make snap judgements just over 50% of you said that
while it is an upswing, we shouldn't think that financial troubles are
entirely behind us. Another 25% of respondents said the improvements in
GA are a clear indicator that better economic times are on the horizon.
This week's Question was submitted to AVweb directly from a
government agency -- Click here
to answer this week's Question and weigh in with the TSA.
MAGAZINE'S SPRING REVIEW
Just like in every issue, Pilot
Getaways' Spring Issue leads you to some aviation-friendly
destinations around the country: A grass strip on Cape Cod, an
international airport in San Francisco, a WWII-themed hotel in Texas
even a gravel bush strip in the California mountains. Don't miss
out on the best information for flying with your airplane. Subscribe
today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
AVweb readers have a seemingly inexhaustible supply of great aviation
images. Some are breath-taking, some hilarious, and some just plain
charming like this week's winning photograph, of 1-3/4-year-old
Frederick Jack Robaina from Miami Springs, Florida. "He points at all
the airplanes in the sky," photographer Freddy Robaina tells us.
Congratulations to both Fredericks a certified AVweb ball cap is
on the way! More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
THE RUST OFF THIS WINTER!
The latest in desktop simulators
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even partial-panel work won't be a problem when you prepare ahead of
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YOU WORKED HARD FOR THAT IFR TICKET. NOW PROTECT
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DRIVE" A B-737/300 AT CONTINENTAL'S IAH PILOT TRAINING
The "Airline Training Orientation Program" (ATOP) is
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ATOP Inc., the course features 12 hours' 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
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YOUR FLIGHT LEVEL DESKTOP DATA FILES SECURE WITH A SPECIAL
Safekeeping your files is essential. Losing data can be
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WHAT DOES A YELLOW TAG REALLY MEAN?
tag is the conventional way of signifying that a part or appliance is
serviceable and okay to use. But what does yellow tagging really mean?
Not as much as you might think a topic that's thoroughly
addressed in the February issue of Light Plane Maintenance
magazine, the first and best source of money-saving how-to information
for aircraft owners. Order your Light Plane Maintenance
subscription online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm/avflash.
PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
APPROACH by JOHN ECKALBAR:
"Perhaps the most useful
aviation training publication I have encountered in almost 40 years"
(Fredric Boswell); "The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. ...
It is certainly the best instrument flying book I have ever read" (Fred
Scott); "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a
skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it" (AOPA
Pilot, November 2003). With the help of this book, you will
establish your own personal standard operating practices for IFR,
including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and
the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. For more
information and to order online, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.
AVIATION'S MAINSTAY FLYING MAGAZINE AT SPECIAL
Flying's March issue covers: "The Best
Gulfstream Yet" the G550 flies faster and farther with the most
exotic cockpit electronics; A review of the Garmin CNX80; Reports from
Kitty Hawk; "Urban Bush Flying" minutes from Seattle; "Incapacitated
Pilots" how many are there? Plus all the columns and pilot
reports that make each issue of Flying a keeper. Order your
subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/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.
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Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?
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