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Volume 10, Number 14b -- April 1, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... IFR Magazine

IF YOU LOVE THE CHALLENGES AND REWARDS OF FLYING THE GAUGES ...
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

"SMART DRUGS" ON THE WAY
A new generation of, uh, performance-enhancing drugs -- nicknamed "V!agra for the mind" -- is in the works, and drug companies already are looking at pilots as a potential market. According to a report in theage.com, some in the industry are predicting these so-called "smart drugs," which dramatically improve memory, could be on the market in five to 10 years. "If [the drug] proves safe and effective, it could ultimately be used by people who want to learn a language or a musical instrument or even in schools," said Tim Tully, a professor of genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. More...

...ALZHEIMER DRUG SHOWN TO BOOST COCKPIT PERFORMANCE...
Scientists already have experimented on pilots with drugs available today, to see if they can make us better, more alert and more responsive. Of particular note is a test done at Stanford University in 2002 with donepezil, which is widely used to ease the memory loss of Alzheimer patients. It found that pilots taking donepezil performed better in tests in a Cessna 172 simulator than those given a placebo, and that the drug-taking pilots were particularly superior at landing and maintaining a scan of the panel. More...

...AS "GO PILLS" FUEL MILITARY PILOTS
Of course, drugs in the cockpit are nothing new. U.S. Air Force flight surgeons frequently supply amphetamines to pilots for long flights and in demanding combat situations -- a practice not without controversy. Also known as "speed," and, in the military, as "go pills," amphetamines are considered essential by some in the military to maintaining a top-notch fighting force. Their use was not publicly well-known until the drugs were implicated in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan in 2002, in which an American F-16 pilot mistakenly dropped a laser-guided bomb on Canadian soldiers, killing four of them. 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 addition, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day money-back guarantee, one-year warranty, and the LightSPEED emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. Try all the LightSPEED models at Sun 'n Fun Booth #D-051-053, or go online for more information and to purchase an R25XL — http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash.

ALCOHOL AND AIRCRAFT
Britain has set strict blood-alcohol limits for airline and air traffic personnel, changing a longstanding law that simply made it illegal for them to work if they were alcohol-impaired. Pilots, cabin crew and controllers now will be breaking the law if found with more than .02 percent alcohol in their systems, which is the lowest point at which tests are reliable. Mechanics could theoretically nip down to the pub for lunch and still legally do their jobs, however. Their limit is set at .08 percent, the same as the legal driving limit in Britain. The government explained the difference by saying that mechanics aren't required to react to emergencies with the same speed as flight crews. More...

...LAWS NOT THE ONLY ANSWER...
Now, the law can only do so much to keep impaired people earthbound, as authorities in Pennsylvania found out in the now-infamous case of pilot John Salamone. Salamone, you'll remember, lost his certificate and surrendered his medical after allegedly flying erratically in Philadelphia International's busy airspace. On Tuesday, a judge said Salamone will stand trial on charges of risking a catastrophe and reckless endangerment. He won't be charged with flying drunk, though, although his blood-alcohol level was allegedly twice the legal limit for driving, because Pennsylvania has no law against flying drunk. Some officials, however, have said the case raises even bigger concerns than a lack of sobriety laws, because it revealed troubling flaws in the emergency-response system. More...

...AND YET ANOTHER AIRLINE PILOT DETAINED
As the British put the official seal on their new alcohol limits, an Aloha Airlines first officer was detained after allegedly trying to go to work with what the Associated Press is reporting as a blood-alcohol level of .182. That's about the level reached by a 180-pound man who drinks eight 12-ounce beers in one hour. The unidentified pilot, who was scheduled to fly from Oakland to Hawaii on Saturday morning, was detained by police after a security screener allegedly smelled alcohol as he passed through the checkpoint. The pilot has been suspended pending the investigation. 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.

LEGISLATION WOULD MANDATE MISSILE DEFENSE FOR AIRLINES
A bill that would promote the development of defenses to protect commercial aircraft from shoulder-launched missiles was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill, H.R. 4056, would require the FAA to speed up certification of anti-missile systems at the same time it encourages the government to take steps to stop the proliferation of the portable weapons. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, told CNN the government might require missile-defense systems as standard equipment on new airliners. The bill would ask the president to pursue international treaties and agreements to stop the spread of the cheap, easily concealed launchers. More...

EGYPTIAN AIRLINE BANNED FROM FRANCE
France banned Egyptian carrier Luxor Air after the pilot of an MD-83 flew low and off course while on approach to the Nantes Airport last Sunday. The plane reportedly descended to about 660 feet over the city, below the level of some of the taller buildings, and was about a mile off course. The aircraft landed safely on its second attempt, and none of the 104 passengers or 10 crew members were hurt. The crew reportedly rushed to leave Nantes quickly afterwards. France's Civil Aviation Authority is investigating the incident. Luxor Air is a small, privately owned company. More...

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SUICIDAL MAN JUMPS FROM STEARMAN
A suicidal man, who asked for a ride in an open-cockpit biplane for his 88th birthday, jumped to his death Monday near San Diego. Joseph Harold Frost, who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, got out of the Stearman despite the best efforts of pilot Willis Allen to restrain him. The elderly passenger removed his safety belt and stood up in the seat in front of Allen, who tried to wrestle him back to safety. Allen also pitched the plane up to try and force Frost back in his seat. They were about 300 to 400 feet above the ground, on approach to Gillespie Field, when Frost managed to jump. "I think that was Dad's idea, to go out in a flash of glory," his son, Robert Frost, told CNN. More...

NAVY REVIEWS FLIGHT OPS AFTER CRASHES
The Navy has ordered a review of its flight safety and maintenance operations after it lost about $150 million in hardware last week. Four fighters -- three F/A-18 Hornets and an F-14 -- were destroyed in separate incidents. All crews ejected safely, although two pilots suffered minor injuries, and no one on the ground was hurt. The F-14 Tomcat went into the ocean two miles off the West Coast near San Diego, about 11 a.m. local time on Monday. Also on Monday, a Hornet crashed in an unpopulated area near Chattanooga, Tenn. Last Wednesday, an F/A-18 ditched off the South Carolina coast, and another crashed during takeoff on Friday at Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina. 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 with jet-style, laser-etched polycarbonate overlay to add the final high-tech touch. To see for yourself, stop by Diamond Aircraft's Sun 'n Fun Booth (#MD-023B-024C) or go online for more information on the DA40 and Diamond's other innovative aircraft designs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

SPACE TOURIST HAS SCIENTIFIC AGENDA
The next space tourist doesn't intend to just kick back in the weightlessness for a week. Gregory Olsen is a New York scientist who made his fortune with optics inventions. He's packing a bag full of infrared sensors with him to do some research of his own during his $20 million visit to the International Space Station. "I feel this is a way of paying back," said Olsen, who told the Associated Press he will use his high-tech gear to analyze pollution in the Earth's atmosphere and research the health of agricultural systems on the ground. His eight-day adventure is scheduled for April 2005, but could be moved up to this October. Like the two preceding space tourists, Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth, Olsen will ride a Soviet Soyuz rocket to the space station. More...

YOUTH CHARGED AFTER BOGUS RADIO CALLS
An Australian youth might be looking for a less dangerous pastime after he was charged last week with making hoax radio calls to aircraft and the tower at Perth Airport. Scott Bradley Pike, 19, of the Perth suburb of Lynwood, was charged with a single count of using a transmitter in a way likely to interfere with radio communications. The Australian Federal Police allege Pike made bogus radio calls on radio control frequencies over two days earlier this month. The transmissions were allegedly purported to be from aircraft seeking clearances to enter controlled airspace, land and cross active runways. The police also allege some of the calls contained threats to the safety of aircraft. Pike will be back in court in April. 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.

ON THE FLY...
Arthur Hawkins, former WWII ace and Blue Angel, died at age 81...
Foolproof system needed to prevent friendly-fire deaths, pilot says...
Site found for airmail pilots monument, at stamp collectors' hq. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS

Say Again? #35: Lessons Unlearned
The National Airspace System has lots of redundancies; and some would say that takes more effort than is necessary. Why fly on airways when direct can be faster? Why read back the entire clearance or radio frequency change when you can just give your callsign? AVweb's Don Brown tells of a time when a perfect storm of at least 11 separate, small errors built up to bring two planes mere feet from each other at high speed.

More...

MARV GOLDEN DISCOUNT PILOT SUPPLIES HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED
Marv Golden Discount Pilot Supplies is your one-stop pilot shop for everything from avionics to watches. APRIL SPECIALS: The new Sennheiser HME 100MG (Michael Goulian) limited edition headset is ready for shipping; orders are being taken for the new Garmin 296 with shipping late April; and purchase any Icom standard transceiver and receive a complimentary alkaline battery pack. For all your pilot supplies, plus Mother's and Father's Day gifts galore, visit Marv Golden online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/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. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ 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. Visit Shell at Sun 'n Fun Booth #C-085-89 and order the best in protection and shine from a company you know and trust (AeroShell) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
AVweb wants to know which air shows you'll be attending in 2004. Plus: Results of last week's question on bird strikes and wildlife hazards in the air. More...

GET IMMEDIATE NO-COST ACCESS TO MORE THAN 75 OF AVIATION CONSUMER'S
acclaimed Used Aircraft Guides plus reviews of hundreds of aviation products when you enter a money-saving subscription to Aviation Consumer today. As an Aviation Consumer subscriber, you'll have unlimited no-cost use of the ratings-packed aviationconsumer.com archives. Aviation Consumer has been helping pilots buy smart for more than 30 years. Don't wait any longer to start your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/avflash.

PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
Beautiful landscapes, historical aircraft, exciting aerobatics — just some of the things you won't see in this week's "Picture of the Week." Why? Because we had too many good photos to squeeze them all in! And if you're enticed by the photos we had to pass over, just wait until you see the ones that made the cut — especially this week's contest winner, a breath-taking Cougar photo by the Netherlands' Captain H.J. van Gasteren. More...

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FLIGHTMAX EX500 WITH INTEGRATED DATALINK-TRAINING SOFTWARE NOW AVAILABLE
Avidyne's FlightMax EX500 provides the best value MFD/Datalink solution available for G.A. And it's the easiest to use. To prove it, Avidyne has put together a new FlightMax EX500 trainer which allows you to "fly" user-defined flight plans and retrieve "datalinked" graphical weather and TFRs all along the route — and randomly access virtually all pages and functions of the EX500, just as you would on the real product. See the FlightMax EX550 at Sun 'n Fun Booth #D-043-044, or download your no-cost EX500 Training Software at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

SUBSCRIBE TO FLIGHT EXPLORER AVWEB EDITION 4.02 FOR JUST $9.95 A MONTH!
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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.

COMM 1 ANNOUNCES INTERACTIVE NAV & VOR/NDB SIMULATOR TRAINING PROGRAM
Comm 1 Radio Simulator programs contain comprehensive tutorials and fully interactive two-way radio exchanges with ATC — which you can experience from the safety and privacy of your computer. Build skills and confidence on the ground while saving money and aggravation. Select the programs right for your flying needs by visiting Sun 'n Fun Booth #C-061, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.

GLEIM OFFERING "AVWEB ONLY" SPECIALS & SUN 'N FUN DISCOUNTS
Gleim Publishers is offering during April a 15% discount on the 2004 FAR/AIM and their flight bag, plus 10% off all Pilot Kits. Check out Gleim's online Private Pilot Refresher and Flight Instructor Refresher Courses. All course students receive a no-cost 2004 FAR/AIM, a $21 value. Stop by Gleim Publishers' Sun 'n Fun Booth (#B37-38) for show discounts — and tell them how you appreciate their AVweb special deals. Gleim's April AVweb deals can be found at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gleim/avflash.

SUCK, SQUEEZE, BANG, BLOW, MAKE IT GO WITH POWER FLOW EXHAUST SYSTEM!
Your Cessna, Mooney, Piper, or Grumman airplane deserves a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System. Power Flow guarantees your plane will repay you by performing better than you ever expected! For those who already have the Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System, order your exhaust shield! Go by Sun 'n Fun Booth #A-044 to see the real deal — Power Flow — or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.

THE NEW PHOTON FREEDOM MICRO-LIGHTS ARE IN STOCK AND READY TO SHIP!
Photon's NEW Freedom Micro is the easiest to use, most powerful full-featured micro-light available. Intuitive single-button operation, increased water resistance, convenience, and rock-solid reliability with a full-range brightness control and five safety modes. No cockpit or home should be without a micro-light. SPECIAL: Order the Freedom Micro at $19.95 and receive a no-cost hands-free Photon clip (a $4.95 value). See Photon's Freedom Micro (and other Micro-Light models) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.

SPONSOR NEWS

ROD MACHADO GETS THE NICEST LETTERS FROM THE NICEST PEOPLE — CUSTOMERS!
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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. To see all of CO Guardian's models, stop by Sun 'n Fun Booth #D-060, or go online to find the CO Guardian model right for your aircraft at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/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

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Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
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