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Volume 10, Number 09a -- February 23, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)

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

NOISE LIMITS CUT FOR LIGHT SINGLES...
Sometimes a regulation sits in the FAA's in-basket for so long that when they finally get around to issuing it, it looks new again. Such might be the case with the FAA's Noise Stringency Increase for Single-Engine Propeller-Driven Small Airplanes, which will amend Part 36 to cut the allowable takeoff noise for light singles by up to 8 percent. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was issued Feb. 4 and comments will be received until June 10. The rule sets the noise limit for light singles to range from a minimum of 70 dBA for airplanes with a maximum takeoff weight of 1,257 pounds to 85 dBA for the heaviest singles. The new levels will affect type certificates and supplementary type certificates issued starting Nov. 4 ... and are based on criteria reached during a meeting in Montreal nine years ago. More...

...WITH MUTED EFFECT ON MANUFACTURERS...
The FAA insists only the eardrums of airport neighbors, and not the flying public, manufacturers or aircraft modifiers, will be affected by the rule. "The FAA believes that this proposed rule would impose minimal, if any, costs on supplemental type certificate applicants and would impose no cost on type certificate applicants, because airplanes in current production already meet the proposed noise standards," the NPRM reads. Industry officials seem to agree. Lancair has certifications pending but spokesman Mark Cahill said the company long ago adopted the European noise standards as a marketing consideration. More...

...LIGHT SPORT SPARED
The soon-to-be-created Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) class will not be affected by the rule. EAA spokesman Earl Lawrence explained that Light Sport Aircraft will not go through the regular certification process, even though they will be delivered as complete aircraft. Because the NPRM specifically includes only type certificate and supplementary type certificate applications, LSA aircraft are exempt. LSA standards are being set by an industry consensus process (with FAA oversight) and manufacturers will swear an "affidavit of compliance" to those standards to get manufacturing approval. Lawrence said there are currently no noise limits but there might be in the future. 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.

LIBERTY: THE NEWLY CERTIFIED TWO-PLACE...
It's not uncommon for superlatives to be flying when a new airplane is certified but Liberty Aerospace spokesman Mike Fabianac says the FAA has bestowed a coveted title on the company's new XL2. "Their primary concern is safety and they told us this is going to be the safest GA airplane ever produced," said Fabianac (we're looking forward to the mail incited by that one). The XL2 is the first two-place light single to receive a type certificate in over 30 years, Fabianac told us, and the first to be certified with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), which provoked even more exhaustive testing by the FAA. It took four years to certify the airplane and the paperwork came through last Thursday. More...

...PERFORMANCE AND PRICE
Well, Volvo has proved that safety can sell, but airplane buyers also look for performance. The XL2 fits an uncommon niche in that it only seats two, an accommodation package usually reserved for trainers. The Liberty folks reasoned that there were plenty of people who fly by themselves or with only one other passenger on most of their flights and might be attracted to a modern, relatively fast (150-mph cruise) airplane that could carry them 500 miles at 27 miles per gallon (just in case the wind stops blowing). By cutting out the back seats, Liberty was also able to keep the price down to $140,000. So far, about 50 have been sold. More...

FED UP WITH BIG BILLS FOR ROUTINE MAINTENANCE?
Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance and join the thousands of savvy general aviation owners who are saving big by doing it themselves! Each monthly issue brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform yourself legally — and easily. Order now for big savings off the regular rates at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm/avflash.

FAMILY BLAMES FAA FOR CRASH IN FOG
The family of a Texas doctor is suing the FAA for $25 million, saying controllers gave Dr. George Swanson "bad information" just before his Swearingen turboprop crashed in dense fog in Florida last November. The suit alleges that Swanson, an experienced pilot, was flying much lower than he should have been when the plane hit a wooded area short of the runway at Craig Airport, near Jacksonville, Fla., last Thanksgiving. But according to the NTSB preliminary report of the crash, controllers had advised Swanson that the weather was below minimums at Craig Airport (a quarter mile and 100 feet) and gave him alternates. Swanson tried the approach, anyway. Members of Swanson's family apparently believe the FAA failed to adequately warn the pilot that he was headed for disaster. More...

HONDA-TCM DEAL NEAR?
A Japanese newspaper has reported that Honda and Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) are close to a deal to produce piston engines for light aircraft. But neither company is apparently willing to confirm or deny the report. The Nihon Keizai newspaper said Honda and Teledyne are in final negotiations on a 50-50 venture to market the engine in the U.S. But Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith told Bloomberg News the report is premature ... in spite of the fact the companies had been telling us to expect an announcement before 2004. "Reports regarding the outcome of the discussions are speculative," Smith said. The news article didn't say where it got the information. 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.

INDIA -- AN AIR FORCE AT WHAT COST?
Friday, an Indian air force MiG-21 crashed in a residential area near Jamnagar, killing at least four people on the ground and injuring 14. The pilot ejected with minor injuries. It was the second MiG-21 crash this month and at least the 30th in less than four years. Investigators haven't been able to find two of the lost 40-year-old aircraft. At least 17 pilots have died. Saturday's crash renewed calls to scrap the old jets, or to at least properly train the pilots who fly them. The challenging MiG-21, with its 210-mph landing speed, is usually the first assignment for rookie pilots coming out of training on much more docile aircraft, according to the Times of India. More...

RESCUE FLIGHTS AVAILABLE FOR SHUTTLE
Shuttle astronauts will have a Plan B if something goes wrong with the spacecraft when it returns to service. The shuttle (it could be Discovery or Atlantis) will be diverted to the International Space Station (ISS) while a rescue mission is mounted using a second shuttle. "We do plan to have a safe haven capability," Michael Kostelnik, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for both the ISS and shuttle programs, told a conference on the future of the of the shuttle. "Though a second vehicle would not be on the pad and primed to go." The crew of the second shuttle would be trained for the rescue mission, if it became necessary. 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.

TIGER MIGHT BUY COMMANDER
Commander Aircraft, of Bethany, Okla., could resume production this year if a buyout by Tiger Aircraft, of Martinsburg, W.Va., is approved by shareholders. Tiger, which makes a modern version of the Grumman model by the same name, has offered to buy 80 percent of the shares in Aviation General, the holding company that owns Commander. Commander filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002. The deal has to be approved by the 400 shareholders in Aviation General and by the Delaware bankruptcy court. If it goes through, Tiger will have added a heavier, more powerful, more luxurious and slightly faster aircraft to its line. More...

FAA SETS BUILDING LIMITS IN CRAWFORD
Until President Bush leaves office, anyone wanting to build or erect anything more than 50 feet tall in his hometown of Crawford, Texas, will not only need the normal building and zoning permits, he or she will also require FAA approval. The purpose of the rule, finalized February 6, is to ensure that new construction doesn't get in the way of the various low-level flight patterns the Marines and Secret Service have worked out to make sure President Bush gets to his ranch in safety and security. It's not only pilots that face restrictions in President Bush's hometown. Now that the comments (all three of them) on the rule have been received, read and pretty much discounted, the rule has been finalized. More...

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER!
WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone. No matter whether you're using Verizon, SprintPCS, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cingular, or Nextel, WxServer can give you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information. SPECIAL OFFER: 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.

SCRAP, ER, MEMORABILIA ON AUCTION
British Airways is getting rid of a huge inventory of useless parts and, presumably, aiding a good cause. The airline has announced it will hold a second auction of Concorde "memorabilia" from April 14 to April 17. More than 150,000 spare parts, now considered collectors' items, will go on the block in the four-day affair at Stoneleigh Park. Bidders will also be able to take part online. Among the items for sale are instruments, on-board computers, engines and parts, lights, sensors, plates, knives, forks and spoons. More...

ON THE FLY...
Australian pilot died after U.S.-owned civilian helicopter was fired on in Afghanistan...
FAA plane landed with one gear leg up, no one injured...
New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey challenged President Bush on FAA budget cuts...
Gulfstream 550 was awarded the Collier Trophy for technical achievement. More...

WINGX FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS NOW 30% OFF — JUST $39.99!
Hilton Software is now offering WingX, the leading Pocket PC Aviation product, for 30% off. Hilton Software has just added AC61-65D (endorsements) and NWS Contractions to their document database — WingX already provides fast access to FARs 1, 43, 61, 91, 119, 141, and 830, as well as the Pilot/Controller Glossary. WingX does graphical W&B calculations with over 200 pre-defined aircraft models. WingX lets you do route planning with wind calculations — it'll even tell you how much the wind is helping or hindering your progress! WingX has easy-to-use E6B and sunrise/sunset pages. Ever forget when your medical is due or when your BFR expires? Let WingX keep track of these dates and many more. Hilton Software is pleased to offer WingX to you for just $39.99 — that’s 30% below the normal price. The demo is complimentary — download it now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hiltonsoftware/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
The Pilot's Lounge #71: "Fresh Annual" And Other Hooks For Suckers
The combination of a challenging national economy and fast-paced (but not face-to-face) internet communication is causing more planes to be sold in very poor mechanical condition with questionable -- if not illegal -- documentation. AVweb's Rick Durden updates the old buyer-beware maxim in The Pilot's Lounge.

NEWS FEATURES
The DreamLaunch Tour: Orlando and Greenville
Jamail Larkins is touring the United States as part of The DreamLaunch Tour, a "barnstorming" effort to get youngsters in middle schools and high schools thinking about careers in aviation. Every few weeks AVweb will publish his travel journal, as well as the winning essays of students from the schools he visits. Essay winners get a ride with Jamail in a Cirrus SR20, bringing full-circle Jamail's aviation journey that started with a flight at age 12 with the EAA Young Eagles program. Jamail began the tour in Orlando, Fla., and Greenville, S.C. 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.

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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READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about Presidential TFRs, Honda jet engine claims, funny airplane stories and more. More...

HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
You read right! Crewcar and Consumer Guides have teamed up to offer hassle-free auto buying to the aviation industry! Next to the purchase of your home and airplane, this is the most important item you will purchase. Don't go blindly into a dealership; look to Crewcar. Crewcar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals. Teamed with Consumer Guide's Personal Auto Advisors (PAA), Crewcar provides shoppers with a free integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service that offers outstanding service and value no matter the geography. The service is provided gratis and meets all the Consumer Guide dealership network quality and service standards. For more information, visit Crewcar's web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
"While flying the Santa Monica VOR-A approach tonight, I heard SoCal approach say..."

Approach: November XXXX say again type.

NXXXX: We're a Beech 19. You know, the little one.

Approach: Roger. So what you're saying is you're a little son of a Beech. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT — DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!
Do you carry a first aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled a traveling medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available ON SALE from Aeromedix for $333. Call (888) 362-7123 and mention this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

USE YOUR PHOTON MICRO-LIGHT HANDS-FREE AND SAVE TOO!
Order any Photon Micro-Light II or Photon 3 and receive a complimentary Hands-Free Photon Clip — a $4.95 value. Order your Photon Micro-Lights and clips at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.

GLEIM PUBLICATIONS' FEBRUARY SPECIALS INCLUDE:
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SPONSOR NEWS

KITPLANES MAGAZINE'S MARCH ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS:
"A Bush Pilot's Dream" is Canada-based Dream Aircraft, a new face in kit manufacturing; "First-Time Builders" guidelines; "Go-Stick Guidelines: Choosing A Prop"; "The Formula GT" from turbine Legend designer Jeff Ackland; "Composite Wingtips 101," a sheet-metal builder's guide to creating composite wingtips for homebuilts; "The Sound of September," a Sport Class Reno Air Race insider offers a look behind the scenes at air racing; "Weight and Balance" explains how balance can be just as important as weight; and "Bob's New Toy," author Bob Grimstead's story of how he got a Fly Baby flying — with some interesting twists and turns along the way. Order your subscription to Kitplanes magazine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/kitplanes/avflash.

LOVE FINDING A BOOK THAT YOU MUST DEVOUR COVER-TO-COVER?
Students at a university were only reading 30% of their previous text! Now they read ahead of their assignments with Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. This is an instructor's best friend — might be the most fun you’ve ever had learning or reviewing. Simply the most comprehensive aviation training manual used at the finest schools. New students love learning with it, airline pilots like to review with it. Warning: Be considerate. Do not read in bed, as use may result in laughter, waking your spouse. For more information (and to order), visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.

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.

_____________________________________
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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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