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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
BACKGROUND CHECKS VETTED BY GAO
The TSA and FAA need to be more careful and consistent in conducting
background checks of pilots when they authorize waivers for aerial
advertisers to fly over restricted stadium airspace, the U.S. General
Accounting Office (GAO) said in a report issued last Friday. The report, in the form
of a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge from Cathleen
Berrick, the GAO's director of homeland security and justice issues,
concluded that "vulnerabilities and inefficiencies in the background
check process" need to be addressed, in the event that the waiver
restriction on aerial advertisers is repealed. Further, "such actions
could also improve the quality of background checks for all general
aviation pilots seeking waivers of security-related flight
restrictions," the report says. More...
The report also recommends that, in the event that aerial-advertising
waiver restrictions are repealed, the TSA should determine whether more
comprehensive background checks are warranted. Lawyer Julian Hayes, who
represents the U.S. Aerial Advertisers Association, told AVweb
that he has no problem with more-comprehensive checks. "Nobody would
object to any level of scrutiny, if they could just get back into the
air," he told AVweb yesterday. Hayes added that he doesn't see
the GAO report as a step toward reinstating waivers, no matter what
security checks are in place. "There is too much pressure on the TSA to
keep [the ban on waivers] intact," he said. More...
LATEST GA SECURITY GAFFE REVERBERATES
"If there had even been a tall chain link fence with barbed wire on top
of it, I would have just turned around and went on home," Louis Paul
Kadlecek told the Houston Chronicle last week. Kadlecek is the
21-year-old who police say stole a Cessna 172 on a drunken whim on
Feb. 29 and crashed it into power lines. "You would think they would
have already thought of that after 9/11," Kadlecek added. Well, they did
think of it, but while construction crews were busy building new fences
at Brazoria County Airport, near Houston, the gates were left unlocked.
And the public is clearly not ready to believe that small airplanes are
not a threat -- The Washington Post reported with alarm on Tuesday
that some small airports with scheduled passenger service have no metal
detectors, security checks or passenger screening. More...
AUX 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
warnings and advice 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 30 3G models. These headsets
also feature "Com Priority Muting," which automatically turns down the
Auxiliary Audio source should the headset detect input from the
intercom. Find the model right for your flying needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.
INTRODUCES NEW SR22 MODEL
With spring, new aviation stuff seems to sprout like crocuses, and this
Design is getting a jump on the season. Cirrus announced on Tuesday
that it's ready to launch a new version of its popular SR22 model,
dubbed the SR22-G2. The G2 will feature a new fuselage and cowl with
easier access for maintenance, a six-point engine mount for a smoother
ride, blended-airfoil Scimitar Select Hartzell propellers, new (easier
to operate) door latches, a redesigned leather interior and more. "We're
introducing the SR22-G2 today because we have the technology, capability
and desire to engineer improvements into our product that make it a
better value for the customer," Cirrus CEO Alan Klapmeier said in a news
XM OFFERS MORE COCKPIT WEATHER
XM Satellite Radio and Heads Up Technologies
announced Monday that the FAA has granted a Supplemental Type
Certificate and Parts Manufacturer Approval (STC-PMA) for the XMD075-01
aviation data receiver manufactured by Heads Up. XM WX Satellite Weather
provides pilots with graphical information about weather conditions
across the United States, including NEXRAD radar in a high-resolution,
full-color graphical format overlaid on a map. "The XM WX service
significantly improves the quality and timeliness of weather information
available in flight, and we're proud to introduce the first
FAA-certified XM data receiver," said Rob Harshaw, president and CEO of
Heads Up Technologies. More...
SEIZED AT ZIMBABWE AIRPORT
A Boeing 727-100 cargo aircraft with a U.S. registration number was
seized by the government of Zimbabwe on Sunday. Officials said the 727
was carrying 64 suspected mercenaries and a cargo of military equipment.
The 727 apparently had an N-number, but the Kansas company listed by the
FAA as its owner said the aircraft was recently sold to a company called
Logo Logistics -- it was unclear yesterday if that company was based in
South Africa or the United Kingdom. This 727 apparently has no
connection to the 727 that went missing in Africa last May after
it took off from Angola. That airplane never arrived at its destination
in South Africa and hasn't been seen since. More...
STUDY COULD HELP PILOTS AVOID ICING
Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in
Boulder, Colo., are testing a new system this month that may pinpoint
the location of water droplets in clouds that cause icing, potentially
enabling pilots to avoid dangerous areas, the center announced yesterday. The system, known as S-Polka,
combines two existing radars that use different wavelengths. By studying
the differences between the images that are reflected back to each
radar, scientists hope to find tiny water droplets that are difficult to
distinguish using either radar alone. "This will take out a lot of the
guesswork," said Marcia Politovich, director of the NCAR's icing
MARY DILDA RELIES ON OREGON AERO FOR PAIN-FREE
The crowds at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In will experience
the aerobatic magic of Mary Dilda again this year, and she credits
Oregon Aero for helping her concentrate when performing. She uses an
Oregon Aero Pilot SoftSeat Cushion, Aviation Helmet Upgrade,
and Shock-Absorbing Insole Inserts. Oregon Aero also has upgraded her
headset. "It's the most comfortable gear I've ever worn," says Mary.
"All of these products have helped remove pain or discomfort inside and
out of the airplane. Now I can completely concentrate on my performance
without worrying about physical stress." Visit Oregon at the Sun 'n Fun
Fly-In (Building A, 40-42) and check out all of their products online at
GROUP JOINS NASA SMALL-AIRCRAFT EFFORT
NASA's Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) recently
established a new consortium based in Indiana, the sixth state or
regional group to join the National Consortium for Aviation Mobility (NCAM). The NCAM has
teamed with NASA and the FAA in an effort to make better use of
underutilized rural and suburban airports. NASA's SATS program is
working together with industry and the FAA to develop technology such as
integrated airborne systems, cockpit displays and operating procedures
for use in small aircraft. These technologies could help pilots safely
fly into many airfields that don't have radar or air traffic control
towers, NASA says. More...
WILL SEND WOMEN INTO SPACE
China's growing space program took another new step this week when it
was announced that female astronauts will be recruited
for future space flights. China began to recruit woman pilots to its
military forces in 1951, and hundreds of female pilots have joined the
country's civil aviation ranks and air force since then. China sent its
first human into space last October, when its Shenzhou-5 spacecraft,
piloted by Yang Liwei, a former fighter pilot of the People's Liberation
Army air force, orbited Earth 14 times and returned safely.
PROBLEMS HINDER AIR FORCE F/A-22 PROGRAM
The Comanche helicopter program, which was shut down by the Army
recently, is not the only military aviation program under scrutiny --
the Air Force's latest fighter jet, the F/A-22 Raptor, is also being given a hard look. The
$71 billion program is behind schedule, and an Air Force official
recently cited software malfunctions and reliability problems as areas
of concern, as well as a shortage of pilots ready to take on the next
phase of flight-testing. Air Force officials will decide soon if the
Raptor is ready to move on to the combat test phase, which has already
been delayed three times. "Some parts are failing that we didn't expect
to," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark Welsh, director of fighter and bomber
programs. Lockheed Martin said it is working on the problems.
Our story in Monday's issue about the reorganization of Boeing's Air
Traffic Management division used the term dissolved to describe
the division's move to become part of Boeing's Phantom Works research
arm. Boeing assures us the ATM has not been dissolved but, as our story
also said, will continue to work on an advanced air traffic control
Venture Development Corp. (VDC) has awarded AVweb reader Tom
Ahonen of Blaine, Minn., with a $1000 gift certificate to Sporty's Pilot
Shop.As we reported in Monday's edition of AVflash, VDC is conducting a
Web-based market survey on in-flight datalink weather options. Response
to the survey was so high that VDC reached its limit of 1000 respondents
by early Monday and readers who reached the site later weren't able to
access certain pages. However, we're told their names were still placed
in the hat for the drawing. More...
UPDATE YOUR FLIGHT BAG WITH AN ASA FLIGHT
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.
AD proposed for bellcranks on Cessna Models 208 and 208B...
Harrison Ford has been named new EAA Young Eagles chairman...
NASA opened new 3-D Mars exhibit at Ames Research Center, Calif....
DeltaHawk and Kurt Mfg. Co. to produce turbo-diesel Jet-A engine...
NBAA book, The Flying Office, teaches school kids about aviation...
Heli-Expo 2004 opens March 15 in Las Vegas, Nev....
Aircraft Electronics Association convention is March 29, in Las Vegas.
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/
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.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The DreamLaunch Tour: Greenville and Atlanta
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. Jamail continues the
tour in Greenville, S.C., and Atlanta, Ga.
What's New -- Products and Services
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 a GPS manual, a vortelator kit for propellers, a ground-adjustable
propeller and more. If you know of a new product or service other AVweb
readers should hear about, please send us a note.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb would like to hear readers' opinions on the widening
gap between technology and flight training. Can training keep pace with
new technologies? Plus: The results of last week's poll on the Age-60
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,
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
AVweb would like to apologize to photographer Sven de Bevere for running
his photo with the wrong attribution last week. The photo was submitted
by an AVweb reader who mistakenly assumed Sven's photo was in the public
domain. It was not, but Mr. de Bevere has been very kind about the
mix-up. This week, we're proud to present the original photo
depicting a Cessna leading a 747 down the runway as it originally
appeared on Airliners.net. Plus, as an added bonus, we're giving you
three runners-up this week, instead of the usual two. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
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WISH YOUR AIRPLANE HAD ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES
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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.
It's just that easy to get insurance for the way
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It's that easy just call (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash,
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OFFERS MARCH SPECIALS PLUS DISCOUNTS TO AVWEB SUBSCRIBERS ON
During the month of March, Gleim Publications is
offering a 10% discount on their Flight Maneuvers books and 15% on their
new Flight Bag. Plus, don't miss the best Flight Instructor Refresher
Course on the planet, with a special discount to AVweb subscribers. All
TIME WITH SUMMIT AVIATION'S COMPUTERIZED AVIATION REFERENCE
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others are updated irregularly; and others are rarely changed. Summit
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FAA publications and other vital information on a single CD-ROM that
organizes, formats, and makes information accessible! Updates are
available from twice a year to every two weeks. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/summit/avflash.
OFFERS HEADSETS AND FLIGHT BAGS THAT WON'T BREAK YOUR PIGGY
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
AEROSHELL KNOWS WHAT PILOTS WANT TO PROTECT AND SHINE
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.
AVIATION SAFETY'S APRIL ISSUE FOCUSES
"Airspace Paranoia": are the Feds really trying to lure
us into busts, or does it just look that way? "Slipping Down": put a
solid understanding of forward slips in your toolbox; "Flying the Mids":
tips on flight-level fear; "Strapping In": helpful hits for seatbelts;
"New Bag of Tricks": more Garmin 430 shortcuts; "Big Sky Fails":
skirting under the shelf of Denver's Class B and talking to ATC, a
northbound Skyhawk climbs into the path of a southbound Cheyenne; plus
accident reports, maintenance issues. and lessons learned. For your
Aviation Safety subscription, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avsafe/avflash
ROD MACHADO'S PLANE TALK Aviation Human Factors &
CRM: The Mental Art of Flying an Airplane
Finally, a book on
CRM and human factors that's fun reading. You'll forget you're learning,
but later you'll recall the lessons from the stories. This is more like
reading for sheer enjoyment. "We don't get a lot of new stuff in
aviation that's not battery-powered. ... I guess if you have ever met
Rod Machado, you know who got the batteries, and all we got is an
absolutely great book. I hope everyone enjoys reading Rod Machado's
Plane Talk as much as I do. I sincerely recommend it." (Jim Trusty,
1995 National CFI of the Year) To order your copy, go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
ELECTRONICFLIGHT SOLUTIONS HELPS OURPLANE OWNERS BECOME
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ElectronicFlight Solutions for their training at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/efs/avflash.
YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT
Do you ever wonder why you lack confidence? Take a
look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for Flight
Instructors, where Gordon takes lessons from fifty years of flying
and tells you HOW to be more capable and confident in your own flying,
and how to teach more effectively. This is not a question-and-answer
book, but a guide to what you actually do and think when you are in the
cockpit, and it tells you how to route out bad habits and techniques.
You will never understand the depth of this book until you read it. To
order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/avflash.
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