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Volume 10, Number 16c -- April 16, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Oregon Aero

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 to 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, Booth #A-040-042 — or check out all of Oregon Aero's products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

Oregon Aero — Official Sponsor of AVweb and Sun 
'n Fun 2004
Global 
Aviation — Official Sponsor of AVweb and Sun 'n Fun 2004
AVEMCO 
— Official Sponsor of AVweb and Sun 'n Fun 2004
Ryan International — Official Sponsor of AVweb and Sun 'n Fun 
2004

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

SUN 'N FUN TAKES OFF: NEW ARRIVALS, NEW AIRCRAFT
With the weekend on its way and the sun finally blazing down in all its Florida exuberance, Sun 'n Fun started to live up to its name yesterday as the clouds disappeared, Wednesday's relentless winds died down, and the sky filled with airplanes. "Move! Move! Move!" was the mantra on the tower frequency, as a breathless controller tried to keep the flow going, with arrivals and departures all crowding onto the same busy runway. "Taxi! Taxi! Taxi! As fast as you can without taking off!" And squeak-squeak, there's a little red taildragger touching down and racing by on its front gear, a "mixmaster" hot on its heels, a gallant (certified) Seawind going around, a Cirrus on short final, while a tall yellow crane plucks a sorry warbird by the tail from the grassy verge, where it ran afoul of the runway edge. "No rubbernecking! Move, move, move! YOU, doing the 360, don't EVER do that again!" More...

WIN A TRIP TO GREECE AND USE OF A NEW PIPER FOR A TWO-WEEK ISLES TOUR
You could be the lucky winner! Global Aviation is sponsoring a fantastic contest: Order a sterling silver, numbered aviation key and be entered in a drawing for an all-expenses-paid use of a new Piper Aircraft to tour the Greek Islands, plus airline tickets and hotel accommodations. For complete details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/global/avflash.

A 'NEW' ENGINE CERTIFIED
The first GA engine certified to run on unleaded automotive gasoline is a reality. Superior Air Parts officials told a packed Sun 'n Fun news conference their Vantage O-360 (aspirated) and IO-360 (injected) engines will happily sip mid-grade 91 Octane mogas. Keith Blockus, who was in charge of development of the engine for the Coppell, Texas-based company, said the 180-h.p. mill went through "one of the most documented test programs" ever conceived for an engine and they're confident in the longevity and reliability of the engine whether it runs on 100 LL, unleaded or a mix of the two. The revamped engine has a bit of a track record, however--it's a retooled, re-engineered and improved (says Superior) of the venerable Lycoming 360. More...

...WHERE IS BOMBARDIER?...
Now, Superior isn't the first to launch a certified autogas engine project but the most recent entrant in that market was conspicuously absent from the sunny grounds of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. Bombardier, which created a major stir at last year's AirVenture in Oshkosh with the introduction of its V-6 GA engines, was a no-show at Sun 'n Fun. Deadline pressures prevented us from contacting Bombardier for comment on the Superior announcement but we will be in touch. Meanwhile, Superior's PR data on the Vantage says its competitors (who have also been its bread and butter as a parts manufacturer for 30 years) have every reason to be concerned about the Vantage. More...

...TURBO, FADEC IN THE WORKS
Although it may look like a Lyoming 360-series engine, Superior claims its new engine is much different on the inside, where it counts. Blockus said they re-engineered just about every part of the decades-old design, improved materials throughout and made it breathe, oil and run better. Blockus said they decided to "stick to the basics" in offering only two versions of the engine to start. A full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system is on the drawing board as is a turbocharged version. Now that the engine is certified (production certification is expected by the end of the year), CEO Chuck Denman said the focus shifts to marketing. More...

YOU + AVEMCO'S SAFETY REWARDS PROGRAM = GENERAL AVIATION HEALTH
Find out more at Sun 'n Fun Booth #C-055-056. Your participation in Avemco's Safety Rewards Program will make you eligible for up to 10% credit on your Avemco premium, and you'll make a contribution to OUR industry's future. The Safety Rewards Program is designed to address risk management issues, starting with the "Practical Risk Management for Pilots" series of courses produced by John and Martha King. Additional credits can be earned by completing recurrent training that goes beyond the FAR minimums and addresses "real world" pilot problems. For complete details, visit AVEMCO's Sun 'n Fun Booth (#C-055-056) or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

STOP AND SMELL THE EXHAUST...
While the main fairway -- filled with exhibits and banners and tents, things to look at and things to buy -- is crowded with visitors, the low-key flight lines around the edges are where the true heart of the show is found. Here are the thousands of airplanes flown in by loving pilots and their families and friends, polished and pampered, many of them built or restored by hand, and each of them the pot of gold at the end of somebody's rainbow. Art Culver, a retired American Airlines pilot from North Carolina, spent 10 years building his sleek Seawind amphibian. "I can see why some people never finish," he said. "You just have to keep going and going, and not think about it, till finally one day you run out of parts, and you're done." More...

...FLYING JUST FOR FUN...
On the far side of the field, Ron Karwacky sits in the sun, sheltered from the wind by the fuselage of his polished aluminum 1952 Cessna 195. "I soloed in this airplane," he says. He bought the plane for $15,000 in 1983 and recruited a few friends to help with the restoration work. The beefy taildragger is great for cross-country flying, he says. It cruises at about 165, and he got to Florida from southern California in two days and 12 and a half hours of flying, with a 30-knot tailwind. Karwacky said he has about 1,900 hours total time, just about all of it in taildraggers, and he and his plane are both VFR-only flyers. "I fly for a hobby only," he said. He plans to retire soon from his career as a backhoe operator and relocate to Arkansas. "Well, I'll have to only half-retire if I want to keep the airplane," he said. More...

...AND GATHERING WITH LIKE-MINDED SOULS
Not every pilot that comes to Sun 'n Fun flies in, though. In the Type-Club Tent, four guys are hanging around the table assigned to the Ercoupe Owners Club. Thirty-two alleged Ercoupe owners have signed in so far on the clipboard. So how many Ercoupes are on the field, a visitor asks? They look at each other. "I think there might be one," says John Wright Jr. "I saw one over by the campground, seems to me," says John Wright Sr. Between them, the two own "at least seven Ercoupes ... two in the garage, one in the driveway, one in the hangar, and parts enough for three -- at *least* three," they say. But it was "too far to fly," as apparently it is for all but the most rare and intrepid Ercoupe owners. More...

RYAN INTERNATIONAL OFFERS 9900B TCAD AT NEW LOW PRICE OF $7,990
The 9900B TCAD (Traffic Collision Alerting Device) bridges the gap between TIS (Traffic Information System) and TAS (Traffic Advisory System). It provides real-time information that operates in any type of radar environment and is unaffected by the limitations of TIS, which operates only in select approach radar sites. The 9900B will interface with many manufacturers' Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) and offers a cost-effective upgrade path to the 9900BX (TAS) system. For more details, go by Ryan's Sun 'n Fun Booth (#D-071-072) or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ryan/avflash.

YOU ARE THE INSURANCE COMPANY
New owners of soon-to-be-certified (the same phrase was used in 2003) Seawind amphibs won't have to worry about getting their $300,000 aircraft insured. They'll be doing it themselves. Seawind, a Canadian company that hopes to produce certified versions of the distinctive homebuilt, is organizing an insurance cooperative among owners to keep those costs down. Sales manager Vince Parisi said there just isn't enough historical data for insurance companies to fairly assess the insurance premiums for a design like the Seawind so the company has opted for the self-insurance scheme. Under the plan, owners will put up a bond and pay initially high premiums. More...

CZECKING OUT THE CZECHS
One manufacturer attracting lots of attention on the exhibit line was the Czech Aircraft Works, or CZAW, a five-year-old company with American ownership, that builds American airplanes with American materials, but does it all in the Czech Republic with Czech workers. They were debuting the prototype of their first in-house design, a two-seat aluminum-hulled amphibian priced at $78,500 (for the first 50, at least) and designed expressly to conform to the FAA's potential Light Sport Aircraft rules. It first flew on March 11. Company president Chip Erwin was sitting in the airplane yesterday and growing hoarse from talking about it nonstop. "We should be ready to deliver by the end of this year," he told AVweb, and if the LSA rule isn't ready when they are, they'll deliver the airplane as an Experimental. "We have a seven-day build school," Erwin said. More...

COMPLIMENTARY STUFF & NEW PRODUCTS AT LIGHTSPEED'S SUN 'N FUN BOOTH
Get out your show map and put a big dot on Booth #D-051-053 to remind yourself to stop by LightSPEED's booth for your complimentary promotional gift. Sure, you'll have to demo a headset first, but do you really need another excuse to sit in our egg-ceptional listening booth? How about this — all LightSPEED headsets are now equipped with cell/satellite phone jacks! That should do it. See you at the show! The new cell/satellite jack feature is also available online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/avflash.

LANCAIR'S FASTEST AND MOST DOCILE -- HOW THEY DID IT
Today at Sun 'n Fun Lancair has received ceremoniously (or will receive, dependant on when you read this) FAA certification for their 310 hp turbocharged Columbia 400. What we knew, but were before today unable to share is that the madly capable, top of its class, 235 knot at 25,000 feet super cruiser may also prove itself the most docile aircraft of its performance class. Lancair Vice President of Engineering, Tom Bowen, explained the outboard wing cuffs designed to keep the ailerons flying while the inboard section of the wing is stalled, enlarged rudder (a visually imperceptible difference from the 350) and added ventral strake to add yaw stability and assure rudder authority should the pilot manage to stall the aircraft; and the reduced-area elevator designed to prevent deep stall entry at altitude. More...

SYMPHONY AIRCRAFT FUTURE GETTING CLOSER
The future of the Symphony aircraft line, which has been in limbo since OMF GmbH, the German parent company, declared bankruptcy in December, should be decided in the next week or two, it was announced at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday. "One way or another, the line is going to be re-launched by somebody, shortly," said Paul Costanzo, the former president of OMF Aircraft, which had just opened a factory in Quebec last September. The North American assets of OMF Aircraft are now up for bid, and Costanzo has formed a group called Symphony Aircraft Industries to try to buy the company and re-open at its former site. Forty-four orders are on the books, Costanzo said. More...

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT SHINES AT SUN 'N FUN WITH THE NEW DIAMOND STAR DA40-FP!
Diamond is showing its new Diamond Star DA40-FP at Sun 'n Fun Booth #MD-023B-024C. This fixed-pitch version of the popular DA40-180 Diamond Star addresses the requirements of high utilization operators. The FP has been designed to lower both acquisition and operating cost, minimize inspection and maintenance times, and maximize dispatch reliability. The cost savings relate mainly to the change of the powerplant with a carburated Lycoming O360A4D 180hp engine, driving a fixed-pitch metal Sensenich propeller. You have to see the DA40-FP to appreciate these, and many more, innovations. Go by Diamond's Sun 'n Fun booth, or visit them online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

PILOT INSURANCE -- EAA COURTS SPORT PILOTS, AVEMCO AFTER RENTERS
Paying for insurance is one of those necessary evils that all pilots hate (until they need it), but at least for this year, those insured by Avemco won't see their bills going up. So said company officials at a press conference at Sun 'n Fun on Wednesday. The company also has cut its rates on some of its renters' insurance policies by up to 8 percent. Avemco also said it is offering more options for renters, plus discounts for pilots who complete approved training courses. Meanwhile, the folks at EAA said this week they have an insurance plan all ready to go for sport pilots and owners of light-sport aircraft -- as soon as such things bloom into existence. More...

LUSCOMBE LEGAL BATTLES GETTING SETTLED
A six-year battle over the future of a 60-year-old aircraft design should be on its way to settlement. As AVweb previously reported, Renaissance Aircraft, of Cape Girardeau, Mo. has been locked in a bitter dispute with the Arizona-based Don Luscombe Aviation History Museum and its former president, Doug Combs over the type certificate for the venerable Luscombe 8F. On Thursday, an Arizona bankruptcy court was to decide whether a deal between Renaissance and the bankrupt Luscombe group would settle the differences and allow Renaissance to get on with producing a modern, souped-up version of the aircraft that some credit with bringing affordable aviation to the masses in the 1940s. "We're going to be all part of the same family, all working together," predicted Renaissance President John Deardon. "It's been a big waste of time and a big waste of money." More...

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 EX500 at Sun 'n Fun Booth #D-043-044, or download your no-cost EX500 Training Software at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

SUN 'N FUN GALLERIES -- HAVE A LOOK AROUND THE GROUNDS
Better weather at Sun 'n Fun Thursday (blinding sun) translated into many more images captured over the past two days: turbine Bonanzas (the conversion can costs three times more than the plane, but they sold very well for Malibu/Mirage line), a 700-plus-hp turbine Lancair (you'll know it when you see it), very rare and vintage biplanes, warbirds, ultralights, experimentals, Bruce Bohannon and his 380hp Exxon Flyin' Tiger (Bohannon expects this year to shatter his old record time to climb to 30,000 feet by attaining the altitude in well under 15 minutes) and much more... In other words, enjoy Gallery 1, Gallery 2 and Gallery 3... More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #4: Debunking TBO
Engine TBO (time between overhauls) seems to be one of the most misunderstood concepts in aviation maintenance. There are lots of TBO-related old wives tales that are widely believed by owners and mechanic alike, and they can cost owners a great deal of money. Mike Busch endeavors to clear up these misconceptions, and explain what TBO really means. 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.

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...

BUYING OR SELLING AN AIRCRAFT?
AvBuyer.com offers the complete solution when buying and selling aircraft. Listing business aircraft from around the world, along with the most complete listing of piston airplanes in Europe. Try AvBuyer.com today and experience fast, effective aircraft sourcing — then sign-up for the complimentary latest aircraft e-mail Alert. For more information, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/avflash.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

ATTENDING SUN 'N FUN?

Print out and take AVweb's advertisers list! Stop by and tell our advertisers how much you appreciate their support of your no-cost AVflashes. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/snf/avflash

SHOPPING DEALS

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-085-089 and order the best in protection, and shine from a company you know and trust (AeroShell) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT BUDGET ANALYZER
AirPower Software offers multiple software editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your preloaded information to address particular usage amounts and/or costs. In addition to preloaded aircraft databases, the Budget Analyzer lets you create individualized budgets via the "My Aircraft" selection, allowing you to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There are six editions: Lite (no databases); Piston; Turbo Prop; Helicopter; Jet; and Full (includes all four databases). Instant downloads are available on all software products. For complete information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/avflash.

WORRIED ABOUT BUSTING A REG? YOU SHOULD BE!
It's all too easy with today's tightened rules and enforcement. Join the smart pilots who trust Aviation Safety to keep them aware and in the air. Discover this informative, instructive monthly that sharpens your savvy and air readiness. Subscribe now for big savings from the regular price at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avsafe/avflash.

AIRSPORT AVIONICS CELEBRATES THE SUN 'N FUN FLY-IN WITH A SPECIAL OFFER
AirSport Avionics has a special price on their Portable Altitude Alerters 'til April 25th. Take $100 OFF any of the AirSport PRO or IFR Altitude Alerter models. AirSport Alerters work by listening to everything your transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Modes A and C. No Installation Required. Safety is affordable with AirSport Avionics! Details and ordering information at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport/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.

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. Countries that tried had failed, and pilots had died. Could the United States capture aviation's greatest prize? This award-winning 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.

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

AVIATION CONSUMER GIVES PILOTS UNCLOUDED REVIEWS OF PRODUCTS!
Aviation Consumer accepts no advertising. It is supported entirely by subscriptions. You get clear and unbiased reviews such as those in the May issue: Garmin's New 296; Aviation Consumer's Cylinder Survey; Tire Shopping 101; High-Performance ANR Headsets; Tanis Cabin Heater; and the "Used Aircraft Guide" highlights the Mooney 201. Be in the know with Aviation Consumer — order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/avflash.

PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED APPROACH:
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. ... It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states Fred Scott; "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book, you will establish your own personal standard operating practices for IFR, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. For more information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER?
Do you lack confidence? Take a look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for Flight Instructors. Gordon takes lessons from fifty years of flying and tells 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, it and tells you how to root out bad habits and techniques. To order go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/avflash.

_____________________________________
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