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Volume 10, Number 13b -- March 25, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Scheyden Eyewear

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

BIRD STRIKES A GROWING CONCERN...
Welcome to migration season. The birds are out there -- even (and in some cases, especially) after dark. The conflict between aircraft and birds is a real and growing problem -- about 60,000 bird strikes to U.S. aircraft were reported to the FAA from 1990 to 2003, and perhaps four times that many went unreported. A 12-pound Canada goose struck by a 150-mph aircraft, says the Bird Strike Committee USA, generates the force of a 1,000-pound weight dropped from a height of 10 feet. Damage to aircraft is estimated at $400 million per year, and up to 400 (human) deaths have been blamed on collisions with birds. During the spring and fall migration, activity levels are high. Now new radar systems, being tested in Alaska, Scotland and elsewhere, might help to mitigate the hazard. More...

...NEW WARNING SYSTEMS UNDER DEVELOPMENT...
Warning systems that try to locate and track birds in flight and communicate real-time information to pilots are still experimental. The Avian Research Laboratory, in Panama City, Fla., is working on an automated ground-based radar system to detect birds at a Scotland military base. Jerry Grimm, director of the laboratory, told AVweb the system is capable of detecting a bird as small as a sparrow up to two nautical miles away. But the equipment is subject to all of radar's limitations and glitches, such as clutter, slow update rates and poor resolution of small targets. Still, "it's giving a very good indication of where the birds are," Grimm said. More...

...AS FAA MAPS HAZARD ZONES, AND OTHER CRITTERS INTRUDE
The FAA is working to develop a wildlife-hazards advisory system that would integrate radar data with the Bird Avoidance Model, or (it's not April 1, yet) BAM, that has been used with some success by the U.S. military. (There also exists a military Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard ... [BASH] team.) The BAM approach is not a real-time detection system, but depends on collecting and analyzing data to document and predict the presence of birds and map known bird strikes so hazardous areas can be delineated and aircraft can choose flight paths that avoid them. The FAA's BAM maps are available online, and classify the risks at low, moderate or severe. But birds are not the only wildlife that conflict with aircraft -- many airports are having problems with deer on the runway. More...

LIGHTSPEED AVIATION & MARV GOLDEN PILOT SUPPLIES TEAM UP
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NTSB REPORTS SLIGHT INCREASE IN GA ACCIDENTS IN 2003...
The number of fatalities in general aviation accidents rose slightly last year -- from 581 in 2002 to 626 in 2003, the NTSB reported Monday. However, the overall accident rate increased only slightly, from 6.69 per 100,000 hours of flight time to 6.71. That overall rate has generally been decreasing since 1984, when it was 10.84 per 100,000 hours. After a steady decline to a low of 6.5 in 1999, the rate has gone up and down slightly in the last few years. The fatal-accident rate has remained fairly steady since 1984, fluctuating between 1.16 and 1.84 per 100,000 hours. In 2003, 695 fatalities were reported for all of civil aviation, so GA accidents accounted for 90 percent. More...

...BUT NUMBERS ARE ONLY HALF THE STORY
The NTSB numbers need to be interpreted with a grain of salt, says Bruce Landsberg, executive director of AOPA's Air Safety Foundation. "Although the NTSB reports rates to two decimal places, that implies a far greater level of accuracy than the system can possibly measure. The slight change [in the overall GA accident rate] may be due more to the FAA's downward revision in the estimated number of flight hours last year than to any real decrease in safety." To put the increase into perspective, AOPA says, there were six more fatal GA accidents in 2003 than in 2002. "The fact remains that the GA accident rate is 60 percent lower than it was in 1970," said Landsberg. More...

TRADE-A-PLANE HAS EVERYTHING THAT KEEPS YOU FLYING AND MUCH MORE!
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AIRLINE CEO SUGGESTS GA USER FEES
While analysts predict high jet-fuel prices and weak domestic revenue will further cripple the struggling airline industry this year, at least one airline may be taking aim at general aviation to share its costs. "As the system works today, you, the commercial airline passenger, are subsidizing private aircraft ownership. This is not right." So claimed Richard Anderson, CEO of Northwest Airlines, in an editorial titled "Fairness for All Airport Users," published in the March 2004 issue of Northwest's onboard magazine. Anderson said taxes and user fees account for up to one-quarter of the cost of an airline ticket, but private aviators are not paying their fair share of the costs of our aviation infrastructure -- essentially, getting a free ride on the backs of air travelers. AOPA was quick to respond, and has set up a meeting between Anderson and Phil Boyer for April 2. More...

NEW ZEALAND CRASH AND, AGAIN, QUESTIONS ABOUT CELLPHONE USE
The old debate over the effect of cellphones on airplanes is back in play, as investigators in New Zealand face questions about a fatal accident last June, during which a cellphone was apparently turned on in the cockpit. Eight people died when a Piper Chieftain crashed just over a mile from the runway at Christchurch Aerodrome. The official report by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC), released last month, concluded that the pilot became distracted at a critical stage in the ILS approach, conducted during light rain, a low overcast, and darkness. But the Aviation Industry Association (AIA) said the possible effect of the cellphone was not adequately investigated. More...

MARY DILDA RELIES ON OREGON AERO FOR PAIN-FREE FLYING
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

(SOME) GA AIRPORTS GAIN GROUND AS ECONOMIC ENGINES
Sometimes it feels like nobody (except pilots) loves an airport, but in fact plenty of folks out there appreciate that a bustling airfield creates jobs and even enhances quality of life. In Bogalusa, La., the city administration lobbied hard for years to convince not a reluctant public, not reluctant business, but a reluctant FAA that they wanted their airport to grow, and finally came home this month with $3.4 million. The tide has turned in Salt Lake City, as well, where momentum is building to develop the long-neglected No. 2 airport to attract corporate jets. And Albuquerque plans to invest a $3.13 million federal grant to expand the two runways at its Double Eagle Two airport, in hopes of attracting more general aviation traffic. More...

OPPONENTS ADAMANT AGAINST NAVY AIRFIELD IN N.C.
While some older, neglected airports may be getting a second look from their communities, the challenge of finding a site for a new airport is not getting any easier. In North Carolina, the Navy's effort to build a landing field in a rural county so its F/A-18 Super Hornet jet pilots can practice carrier landings has drawn opposition from every conceivable quarter, for every conceivable reason -- it would be noisy, it would take 33,000 acres of land off the tax rolls in a poor county, it would destroy wildlife habitat, it would endanger migratory birds (and pilots), and it would force family farmers off their land with inadequate compensation. So said a long line of opponents at a hearing in rural Washington County last Saturday. More...

CS&A WORK WITH YOU TO COVER YOUR INDIVIDUAL AVIATION INSURANCE NEEDS
CS&A combines one of the most knowledgeable teams of aviation insurance professionals with the industry's most respected aviation underwriting companies to find the right coverage for your aircraft's needs. Go online for a no-obligation quote at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

FIRST CONCORDE SET TO TRAVEL BY SEA TO SCOTLAND
The Brits just can't get over their love affair with the late great Concorde, and now they are looking forward to a final epic journey of one the sleek birds, bound for the National Museums of Scotland (NMS). The NMS announced on Monday its plan to transport G-BOAA, the first-ever Concorde to enter service, from Heathrow Airport to its final home at the national Museum of Flight, just outside Edinburgh. The complex 10-day plan calls for G-BOAA to travel via highway to the River Thames, then sail by barge to London, where it will make a dramatic final salute to the London public as it is lifted above deck outside the Houses of Parliament. The barge will then continue under Tower Bridge and out to the North Sea, where it will embark on the longest section of its journey, up the east coast to Scotland. More...

BRITISH BALLOONIST REACHES RECORD ALTITUDE, BUT FACES FAA FALLOUT
British adventurer David Hempleman-Adams may have set an altitude record Tuesday in Colorado when he reached 42,000 feet in his open-basket Roziere balloon, a hybrid gas/hot-air design, but in the process he ran into some flak from the FAA. It seems that although Hempleman-Adams maintained radio contact with ATC during the flight, the FAA says he should have made arrangements with them in advance before invading the flight levels. The record attempt will be verified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, which could take several months. 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.

ON THE FLY...
A man apparently committed suicide by jumping from a Cessna 172...
Cessna's Citation XLS has received FAA program approval...
Adam Aircraft appointed Joe Walker as president of the company...
NBAA posted online its report on the cost of restricting GA access...
Air Journey offers flying tours to Bahamas before or after Sun 'n Fun. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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BRAINTEASERS
Interactive Quiz #79: Let's Be Clear On This
The bedrock of air traffic control is the word "clear." Whether cleared for takeoff or cleared for an instrument approach, understanding the forces that this word unleashes clearly puts you in the accomplished pilot's seat.

More...

GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT AIRCRAFT FUEL BILLS BY 20 PERCENT!
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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/ More...

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AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Bird strikes — are they a nuisance or a genuine hazard in our airways? Take this week's poll to register your opinion. Plus: Results of last week's AVweb poll on aircraft storage costs. More...

WORRIED ABOUT BUSTING A REG? YOU SHOULD BE!
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AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Welcome back to "Picture of the Week," where AVweb readers take over the site to share their amateur aviation photos. This week's photos were a bumper crop, and we had to leave several amazing shots on the cutting-room floor. (If only there were room for all of them!) But one photo stood out as this week's winner — Robert Westwater's photo of the legendary Charles Lindbergh "before he became famous." According to Mr. Westwater, the photo came from his wife's great aunt, whose husband was a good friend of Lindbergh. More...

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SHOPPING DEALS

STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE
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WINGX FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS NOW 30% OFF — JUST $39.99
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FLYING MAGAZINE'S APRIL COVER WILL MAKE YOU DROOL
Bombardier's new super-midsized business jet, the Challenger 300, graces the April cover of Flying magazine. Details inside, coupled with: A report on Bendix/King Datalink Weather & the WSI InFlight System; The EC135, Melding Form and Function; Airplane Tax Deductions; and all the features you've come to expect and respect. Your subscription to Flying magazine is a monthly must-read. To order at SPECIAL AVweb subscriber rates, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.

REMINDER
All specials end at midnight March 31

GLEIM OFFERS MARCH SPECIALS & A NO-COST FAR/AIM WITH REFRESHER COURSES
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 Private Pilot and Flight Instructor Refresher Courses on the planet. Sign up for one of these courses and receive a no-cost FAR/AIM, a $21 value. All at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gleim/avflash.

FOR THE PILOT WHO HAS EVERYTHING — TAKE ANY VEHICLE FOR A SPIN!
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SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN STYLE!
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SPONSOR NEWS

"THANKS FOR ANOTHER GREAT BOOK" EXCLAIMS CFI OF ROD MACHADO'S PLANE TALK
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PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED APPROACH
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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

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Today's issue written by News Writer Mary Grady:
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