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Volume 10, Number 10b -- March 4, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Light Plane Maintenance

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

GA AIRPORT PROVES AN EASY TARGET...
A Cessna 172 was stolen from its hangar about 6:30 a.m. Sunday at Brazoria County Airport, near Houston, Texas. More than a dozen hangars were broken into and at least one other airplane was taxied onto the field and abandoned. The thief finally settled into a 172 with the key in it, loaded it with ... a few six-packs of cold beer (you were more concerned?) ... opened up the pilot's operating handbook, and took off into the fog. He hit power lines less than two miles from the runway. The thief left the airplane a broken heap of metal on the ground, and disappeared. Tuesday, police arrested Louis Paul Kadlecek and charged him with the theft. Police said he had been drinking for four days to celebrate his 21st birthday and had never flown an airplane before. "This guy used up all the luck he is ever going to have," Louis Jones, county aviation director, said Monday. More...

...DESPITE EFFORTS TO BOOST SECURITY
Brazoria County Judge John Willy said Sunday's incident will trigger a reassessment of security measures at the airport. "We're going to review that and decide whether we do need more," he said. The county already is adding new gates and perimeter fencing, but while the construction work is in progress the gates were left unsecured. Surveillance cameras were operating, but were not monitored. A report last October by the GA Airport Security Working Group said: "Locking hangar doors and aircraft doors to prevent unauthorized access or tampering with the aircraft is important. ... Pilots should make it as difficult as possible for an unauthorized person to gain access to their airplane." Apparently that message has not yet overcome old habits. More...

RECONDITIONED 25XLs AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED AVIATION
When new, these headsets had a list price of $599. Now, for a limited time, you can buy reconditioned 25XLs for $350. Most of these headsets come to us from pilots who have upgraded to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All have new ear seals and head pads and are upgraded and tested to current factory specifications. In additon, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day money-back guarantee, one-year warranty, and the LightSPEED emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. For additional information — and to purchase an R25XL — go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash.

ARE AGING AND ACCIDENTS LINKED?...
By 2030 one in five Americans will be age 60 or older ... a statistic likely to be reflected in the pool of general aviation pilots. A study released last month by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found a link between aging and safety, concluding that drivers over age 65 are more likely to die in car crashes. Despite years of effort by pilot-advocacy groups, the FAA has remained steadfast in its rule that airline pilots must pack it in at age 60, citing study after study that it says show an age-related decline in skills. Yet no such age limit exists for GA pilots -- as long as they can pass an FAA medical exam, they can fly. More...

...WHETHER A MEDICAL MATTERS OR NOT...
The FAA in the past has dismissed studies of automobile statistics as irrelevant to aviation safety. "Automobile drivers are allowed to drive with a variety of mental and physical conditions that would be disqualifying for pilots," the FAA said in a June 2003 report from the Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City. "Pilots are required to pass periodic physical examinations to obtain their medical certificates." Flying without a medical so far has been restricted to balloons, gliders, and ultralights -- aircraft with low speeds and simple systems that are considered inherently safe. Soon, pilots may also be able to fly Light-Sport Aircraft without an FAA medical, as long as they can qualify for a driver's license. More...

...BUT EXPERIENCE (MAYBE) DOES COUNT
Most of the research into aging and accident rates has focused on professional pilots, driven by the debate over the Age-60 Rule, which requires retirement at that age for airline pilots, regardless of physical condition or mental ability. The scant research that has been done on private pilots (or holders of third-class medicals) has been inconclusive and sometimes contradictory. For example, a 1991 study of NTSB records from 1985 and '86 showed that private pilots age 60 and older had accident rates about twice that of pilots age 16 to 59. One problem is that many studies depend on analysis of crash statistics. "The trouble with accident data is that it's relatively rare, and it's difficult to control for all the factors that vary from case to case," Prof. Dan Morrow, of the University of Illinois, told AVweb. Morrow has studied pilots in lab situations, and has found evidence that they can draw on their experience and expertise to cancel out the effects of aging. More...

YOU TOO CAN BE A WINNER WITH SCHEYDEN, AVIATION'S FINEST EYEWEAR
"I was 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.

SUPER TUESDAY PLUS ONE, NATCA BACKS KERRY
Tuesday's primaries put Sen. John Kerry on track to be this year's Democratic nominee for president, and that is fine with the folks at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). The union yesterday gave its enthusiastic support to Kerry, after he courted them with a promise that there would be no ATC privatization on his watch. "I have been disappointed with the Bush administration's systematic plans to diminish our air traffic control system," Kerry wrote to the controllers union. NATCA called Kerry "the candidate who will ensure that the safety of the flying public never takes a back seat to political ideology or special interests." Actually, both Kerry and NATCA had a lot to say. More...

DRUNK-FLYING SUSPECT HAD DRUNK-DRIVING RECORD
The Pennsylvania man who in January was arrested and charged with flying while drunk (for four hours, low over populated areas, through controlled airspace without contacting ATC, forcing diversion of a half-dozen airliners, and within 900 feet of a loaded Boeing 747) had twice been convicted of drunken driving -- in 1989 and 1990, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He had also been charged with public intoxication just months before the flight that got him in trouble. Since 1990, more than 3,000 pilots have lost their medical and airman certificates due to drug or alcohol problems, the FAA says. That's nearly one-third of all revocations issued by the agency, but the Pennsylvania pilot was not among them. The FAA's rule that requires pilots to report DUI suspensions didn't go into effect until November 1990. More...

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR CLUB?
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.

MOONEY SETTLES IN FOR ANOTHER 30 YEARS IN KERRVILLE
Mooney Airplane Co. said Monday it has negotiated a new 30-year lease for its site at the Kerrville (Texas) Airport. The lease adds stability to Mooney's operation, said company President J. Nelson Happy. "Our old leases were fragmented, covered too much land and only had nine years left to go. We were reluctant to make investments in the physical plant without a long-term lease." The terms of the new agreement reduce Mooney's leased acreage from 51 acres to the 17 acres the company actually uses. "This will drastically cut our tax burden and eliminate the need for Mooney to maintain several old deteriorated buildings," Happy said. More...

PILOT ERRORS DECLINE, BUT MAINTENANCE MISTAKES STEADY, REPORT SAYS
An analysis of NTSB crash data by USA Today this week showed that pilots are blamed less often than they used to be, while the incidence of maintenance errors has stayed the same. Improved training and better cockpit warning systems have helped pilots to deal with problems that might have proved fatal in the past, the report said. Pilot error is still the number-one cause (50 percent) of accidents, but maintenance comes in second. More than 30 percent of accidents from 1997 through 2001 were caused at least in part by maintenance mistakes, USA Today said. But some may feel the "analysis" fell short. More...

CLICK, QUOTE, FLY
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FLYING ARTIST DIES IN CRASH
A Canadian artist for whom an airplane was as fundamental to his art as palette and brush died in a crash in British Columbia Sunday. Toni Onley was practicing touch and goes on the Fraser River just east of Vancouver when his Lake Buccaneer amphibian crashed into about 30 feet of water. There have been reports that the plane might have hit unmarked telecommunications wires spanning the river before the crash. Onley, 75, used the Buccaneer to get into wilderness areas and coastal locations that are accessible only by air and the resulting watercolor images hang in some of the most prestigious galleries in the world. But the airplane was more than a tool; it was part of his passion and he occasionally lent his name to lobbying efforts by aviation groups. More...

FAA HAS SECOND THOUGHTS ON T-34 FLEET (AGAIN)
On Monday, the FAA published a final rule affecting the T-34 fleet, declaring that the Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) it had approved for an earlier Airworthiness Directive on wing spars are no longer valid. The rule follows the November crash of a T-34 in Texas, in which two pilots were killed when a wing separated from the airplane while they were performing air-combat maneuvers. The impact of the new rule on the fleet is not quite clear, Tim Roehl, president of the T-34 Spar Corp., which provides modifications for the airplanes, told AVweb yesterday. "We expect that the AMOCs will be revised and resubmitted to the FAA," he said. More...

AEROSHELL KNOWS WHAT PILOTS WANT TO PROTECT AND SHINE THEIR AIRCRAFT
AeroShell Flight Jacket products are specifically designed for general aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning cloths. For the best in protection and shine, order from a company you know and trust (AeroShell) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

GPS INVENTORS JOIN HALL OF FAME
The two men who brought GPS online are among this year's inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, along with the inventors of SuperGlue and the sewing machine. Ivan Getting, who died last year, conceived the idea of a Global Positioning System while working at Raytheon during the 1950s. Bradford Parkinson, now a professor emeritus at Stanford University, served as the first director of the government's NAVSTAR GPS Joint Program Office from 1972-78, overseeing the conception, development and implementation of GPS. "GPS has revolutionized the concept of finding out where something is," Parkinson said. More...

ON THE FLY...
Two Turkish F-4 jets collided in midair Tuesday during training...
A Fokker-50's engines went into reverse before it crashed last month...
A man set fire to his SUV in the lobby of Kahului Airport, Hawaii...
American Airlines laid off 236 pilots this week...
Patent granted for an unusual parachute system for airliners...
Conference on Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety, June 21-24 in Virginia. More...

MARV GOLDEN HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED FROM AVIONICS TO WATCHES
Marv Golden Pilot Supplies is your one-stop pilot shop. March Specials: A complimentary Everest flight bag with any LightSPEED ANR headset purchase, and a complimentary alkaline battery pack with the purchase of any Icom A-5 or A-23. Plus, fantastic prices on the Lowrance Airmap 1000 — now in stock and ready to ship. For all your pilot supplies and gifts galore, visit Marv Golden online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Say Again? #34: It's No Joke
It'd be easy to assume some pilots are just stupid, given the behavior AVweb's Don Brown sometimes sees in his radar screen. But since they've managed to work their way through the FAA certification process, it's more productive to look at the system problems to see why pilots seem to do stupid things.

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...

DON'T WISH YOUR AIRPLANE HAD ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES.
BENNET AVIONICS MAKES THAT WISH AFFORDABLE!

Bennett Avionics meets your aircraft's needs while maintaining your budget. Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' ONLY business. Bennett stocks a complete line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to your aircraft at a price that makes sense. Bennett also purchases used avionics equipment and will work out an exchange for newer electronics. Bennett Avionics is your one-stop used avionics specialist, online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Last week, AVweb polled readers about recent innovations in general aircraft design. Will GA improvements make used aircraft prices drop, or will rising prices continue to be the trend? According to our respondents, the demand for used aircraft will remain steady, and prices will continue to rise — just as they always have. 60% of you (227 voters) said the market forces will continue to drive those prices up. A few of you (4%) even felt that the increasing rarity of traditional metal planes will continue to drive the prices of used aircraft into the sky. A very small percentage of our readers suggested that plane prices are inflated and alternatives such as fractional ownership are a better investment. This week, AVweb would like to know your thoughts on older pilots and the Age-60 Rule. How old is too old to fly? 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.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Thanks to all our readers who submitted photos for the "Picture of the Week" contest. This week's winner is John Ross, with honorable mentions going to H. J. van Gasteren of the Netherlands and Ronald Murphy of San Jose, California. We'll be sending John an embroidered AVweb baseball cap as soon as we get his full address. (Remember to include your address when submitting pictures, folks — you may be our next "POTW" winner!) More...

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SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN STYLE!
During the month of March, Pilotmall.com is offering a complimentary soft leather ID holder with a stamped airplane on the cover (a $19.99 value), with any order of Pilotmall's quality leather flight bags, backpacks, or Scheyden sunglasses. Show your style and save now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall/avflash.

FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY 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.

FOR THE PILOT WHO HAS EVERYTHING, HAVE THEM TAKE ANY VEHICLE FOR A SPIN!
Carprop is a free-spinning propeller mounted on the front of a vehicle to indicate the driver's enthusiasm for flying. As the vehicle moves, the propeller spins. Carprop's design allows the propeller to park in a horizontal position when the vehicle stops so that it doesn't interfere with the license plate numbers. For the pilot who has everything, this is perfect! MARCH SPECIAL: 10% discount on any online order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/carprop/avflash.

SKYGUY OFFERS HEADSETS AND FLIGHT BAGS THAT WON'T BREAK YOUR PIGGY BANK!
Feather Lite stereo headsets for $89, and a genuine leather flight bag for $29. With these prices you can order as gifts and for yourself! Go online now and order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyguy/avflash.

SPONSOR NEWS

"SEE THE LIGHT AND KILL THE RABBIT" IN THE APRIL ISSUE OF IFR MAGAZINE
This article is an in-depth analysis of approach light systems, so you'll know your MALSRs from your RAILs for REIL and how to shed light into your IFR toolkit. Also included in this issue are the following topics: "When ATC Calls a New Play"; "Make the Perfect Go/No-Go Call"; "Circle Like You Mean It"; "When It All Goes South"; plus, editor Paul Berge takes a firm stand on both sides of all hot-button aviation issues; the "Briefing Page"; and "On the Air." Order your subscription to IFR Magazine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrmag/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.

FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE USUALLY SPEECHLESS. THEN THEY CAN'T STOP TALKING
It starts with Be A Pilot, the national learn-to-fly program sponsored by the General Aviation community. Since 1997, over 200,000 people have registered to take their first lesson at one of the 2,114 participating flight schools nationwide. So whether it's for business, career, or fun, stop dreaming and start flying! Register with Be A Pilot online for a low-cost $49 first flight lesson at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/beapilot/avflash.

_____________________________________
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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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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