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Volume 10, Number 10a -- March 1, 2004

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

LEARNING FROM THE CHARLOTTE CRASH
When an Air Midwest Beech 1900D crashed in Charlotte, N.C., in January 2003, killing all 21 aboard, the loss of pitch control on takeoff brought it down, the NTSB said in its final report on Thursday. The loss of control was the result of incorrect rigging of the elevator control system and a center of gravity that was substantially aft of the certified aft limit. But the underlying causes were poor maintenance practices, inadequate training of mechanics and a lack of oversight by the FAA. "This accident shows how important it is for everyone involved in the safety chain to do their jobs properly," said NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman-Conners. More...

...MECHANIC TRAINING, FAA NEED IMPROVEMENT...
The NTSB issued a list of 21 safety recommendations directed at the FAA. The FAA should specify that all critical flight systems must pass a functional check before they are signed off, the board said. Procedures for on-the-job training of mechanics need to be beefed up and clarified. Maintenance workers must scrupulously follow proper procedures -- if they had done so, the improperly rigged elevator would have been caught and corrected, the safety board said. The NTSB also found that the FAA was well aware of serious deficiencies in Air Midwest's maintenance-training program but failed to deal with them. For its part, the FAA notified the mechanics who worked on the plane that they didn't violate any federal regulations, The Charlotte Observer reported. More...

...AND RE-LEARNING WEIGHT AND BALANCE
The NTSB also said the weight averages used by air carriers to calculate weight and balance are inadequate. The airlines need to collect current and specific data that takes into account seasonal and regional differences to develop better estimates. Further, systems should be created for collecting actual weight data for each flight instead of relying on estimates. Pilots of small aircraft already know how to get accurate weights, of course -- you ask passengers to step onto a scale. But people don't always like to do that, so airlines don't like to ask them. "There is a passenger dignity issue involved," said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association. 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.

THE FAA, HERE TO HELP
The FAA has published a new Advisory Circular (AC) that for the first time provides guidance to aircraft owners, operators and technicians on the thorny topic of how to obtain FAA field approvals for aircraft alterations. The 35-page document is the FAA's attempt to clarify and standardize its policies and make that information available to the public. The Aircraft Electronics Association called the AC "a significant step forward in standardization of the field approval process," but also said some details are vague and subject to misinterpretation, and that it places an administrative burden on the applicant. More...

...SEEKS YOUR INPUT ON STREAMLINING...
The FAA is well aware that its mounds of regulations can accumulate over time into something of a twisted morass. So it is asking for input from the aviation community for help in deciding where it should amend, remove or simplify its regs. "Getting public comments is a necessary element of our effort to make our regulations more effective and less burdensome," the FAA said in its request for comments, published last Wednesday. Commentators are asked to limit their remarks to the three regulations they consider most urgently in need of review, and list them in priority order. This is the first review that includes 14 CFR Chapter III, the regulations governing commercial space transportation. More...

...NON-PROLIFERATING, DIS-DUPLICATING, DE-CONFLICTING, AND ETC.
The FAA said its goal is to identify regulations that impose undue regulatory burden; are no longer necessary; or overlay, duplicate, or conflict with other federal regulations. The FAA will review the issues addressed by commentators and will publish a summary that indicates, where appropriate, how it will adjust its regulatory priorities. Comments will be taken until May 25, and can be filed online. The Docket Number is FAA–2004–17168. Parts 125 and 135 of the regs are already in the midst of a regulatory review, so any comments on those parts should be directed to that rule-making committee, the FAA said. More...

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PROPOSAL IN CONGRESS WOULD MANDATE NO-FLY ZONES
EAA raised the red flag Friday to warn of an amendment to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 titled, "Secure Existing Aviation Loopholes Act." The document includes a section titled "Security Requirements For General Aviation" and its measures would place additional restrictions on general aviation beyond what is already under consideration by the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On Feb. 11, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) proposed the bill (H.R. 3798 that would require the DHS to establish no-fly zones around nuclear plants and chemical facilities for the duration of any high threat levels, including level orange or above. The zones could also be implemented anywhere else the DHS might designate, at any time it deems appropriate. The bill would also require all GA airports to complete "vulnerability assessments" and develop a plan for addressing those vulnerabilities. More...

GARMIN GLASS COCKPIT FLIES IN HONDAJET
The folks at Honda might not like to talk much about their little jet, or its little engines -- which it plans to manufacture under a recent deal with GE -- but everyone else in the aviation world sure wants to talk about them. On Friday, Garmin announced that its G1000 integrated avionics system is onboard and flying in the experimental HondaJet. The jet is equipped with a three-panel configuration of the G1000 system -- a 10-inch multifunction display flanked on either side by 10-inch primary flight displays, Garmin said. The jet is currently undergoing 200 hours of additional flight-testing at Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, N.C., Garmin said. More...

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NAA'S MOST MEMORABLE AVIATION RECORDS OF 2003
A radio-controlled model plane, the intrepid Flyin' Tiger and the ubiquitous Steve Fossett were among the most memorable aviation record-setters of 2003, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) said on Thursday. The model airplane TAM-5 became the first aircraft of its type to cross the Atlantic Ocean, traveling 1,882 miles from Newfoundland to Ireland in under 39 hours. Bruce Bohannon pushed his homebuilt Flyin' Tiger to 47,067 feet for a piston-engine altitude record in Texas. Fossett zoomed coast-to-coast in a Citation X in under three hours, averaging 726 mph, then made the same trip the next day in a turboprop Piaggio Avanti, setting another record at 546 mph. More...

CESSNA SHOULDER HARNESS AD EXPANDED
Improper installation of a spring may mean that some shoulder restraints installed in some Cessna aircraft will not restrain. The FAA has added 10 more serial numbers to its long list of Cessna airplanes affected by a proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) regarding shoulder harnesses. The 10 additional numbers belong to Model TU206D aircraft. Because of the change, the FAA is also extending its comment period on the proposed AD until April 9. The FAA estimates this proposed AD affects 75,329 Cessna airplanes in the U.S. registry that have Cessna-designed, add-on shoulder-harness assembly accessory kits for the pilot/co-pilot seats. To comply, owners must have the shoulder harness inspected, and if a retainer spring is found, it must be removed. More...

DIAMOND ENGINEERS REDESIGN DA40 PANEL TO OPTIMIZE FORM AND FUNCTION Diamond's DA40 is the platform for the first certified installation of Garmin's new integrated glass panel. The G1000 offers better situational awareness by rolling the functions of conventional panel-mounted instruments into two 10-inch sunlight-readable displays, including digital audio, a WAAS-capable IFR GPS, VHF navigation with ILS and VHF communication, 8.33-kHz-channel spacing, Mode S, solid-state attitude and heading, a digital air data computer and optional weather and terrain data all hooked up to a Bendix/King KAP two-axis autopilot. The jet-style, laser-etched polycarbonate overlay adds the final high-tech touch. For more information on the DA40 and Diamond Aircraft's other innovative aircraft designs, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

VOLUNTEER PILOTS SEEK SUPPORT FOR LIABILITY RELIEF LEGISLATION
The folks with the Air Care Alliance are putting out a call to all volunteer pilots who fly for charitable causes to support a bill now in Congress that would provide "Good Samaritan" liability relief. Letters from pilots and face-to-face meetings with representatives are a vital tool in gaining support for the bill, the Alliance says. At its Web site, the Alliance has posted detailed suggestions for finding your Congressional representatives, what to talk to them about, and how to lobby for their support. If enacted, this legislation would address concerns about limited, high cost or unavailable liability insurance for public-benefit flying. More...

ARSA QUESTIONS TSA'S REPAIR-STATION SECURITY CONCERNS
The TSA held a meeting Friday about security at repair stations -- and the stand taken by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) was that not only has the TSA failed to show that there is any problem with repair-station security, but the effort to improve it might actually make it worse. "We are concerned that, while the current risks may be small, the process of publicly developing new -- and, some would say, unnecessary ---security mandates may actually create new threats and vulnerabilities," ARSA legislative counsel Christian Klein told the TSA. "We wonder whether the TSA, by raising these issues and drawing attention to perceived security gaps, is not potentially creating a greater problem than it is solving." More...

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ON THE FLY...
Aviation Foundation of America seeks support to stop air-tour regs....
Entry kits now available for cross-country air races...
AirVenture to open a new homebuilt camping area and headquarters...
Liberty Aerospace won a 2004 Aerospace Industry Award...
Nine died in a Super King Air 200 crash in Bosnia last Thursday. 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/

AVweb's Business AVflash this week sneaks a peek at the draft that may become a formal outline for regulated general aviation security. Some new jets are rolling off the line at Cessna while business aviation celebrates its "safest" year and a close look at GAMA's annual numbers may show reason for economic optimism. Sign up and read the latest... More...

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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
Pelican's Perch #78: Props Driving Engines
If your CFI (or mechanic) instructed you never to let the propeller drive the engine, or never to run the engine "oversquare," it's time for a reality check. AVweb's John Deakin addresses a few more of these engine myths that started back in the days of radial-engines.

More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about the Army's Comanche helicopter, the scenic tour NPRM, and more. More...

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SHORT FINAL...
From our "Fans of Business AVflash" file:

re: Business AVflash Volume 2, Issue 4 -- February 25, 2004.

You referred to "East Overshoe, Wyoming" in your articleabout the TSA. East Overshoe is in Connecticut. The town you're thinking of is Medicine Breath, Wyoming. More...

PILOT GETAWAYS MAGAZINE'S SPRING REVIEW
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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.

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Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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