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Volume 10, Number 18b -- April 29, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Trade-A-Plane

SINCE 1937, TRADE-A-PLANE IS THE AVIATION MARKETPLACE
Since 1937, Trade-A-Plane has been the aviation marketplace and the world's largest aviation resource. There's no better way to buy and sell than Trade-A-Plane — with Product/Advertiser Index, Dealers/Brokers Listings, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, and Weather. Online and in print, order your subscription today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

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

WHO'S PUSHING PRIVATIZATION?...
The head of the union representing flight service station workers says he's afraid the privatization of the FSS system might become a political football. Wally Pike, president of the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), told AVweb there are indications the government might ram the deal through before next November's election. He said the FAA has been sticking to a December 2004 to March 2005 timeline for making a decision on privatization but he's recently been told by senior FAA officials that it could be moved up to October, less than a month after all the bid information from would-be contractors is due. "The October date is especially troublesome because it wouldn't give them (FAA) adequate time to review the proposals," said Pike. More...

...FAA ON "HE SAID, SHE SAID"...
The official line from the FAA is that nothing has changed on the timing of any privatization decision. FAA spokesman William Shumann told AVweb that the selection will take place sometime between December and March. Also, at Senate hearings last week, Department of Transportation Inspector General Ken Mead said the determination will be made "by March 2005." He also said privatization won't be considered unless the government can save at least $478 million over five years by doing so. (Of course, there may be different views on the definition of "$478 million saved.") In the meantime, bidders will be busy telling the FAA how they'd run a modernized FSS system while saving all that money. More...

...RAYTHEON RUNS INTRIGUING AD
Just to add some intrigue to the process, Raytheon ran recruitment ads for flight service specialists and air traffic control specialists in a San Diego newspaper. The ads, run by Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC, say the company is "anticipating the following opportunities at a variety of locations throughout the United States." AVweb contacted the company about the ad but press-relations staff were unable to comment on it by our deadline. Meanwhile, NAATS' Pike says he, too, wants to know more about the advertising. 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.

JAPANESE ORDER LAUNCHES 7E7
With U.S. airlines increasingly looking elsewhere for aircraft, Boeing decided to do the same in its quest for customers for the 7E7 Dreamliner. The strategy paid off with the largest single order in the company's history (and not from a U.S. company) on Monday and the official launch of production of the new airliner. All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced it would purchase 50 Dreamliners, worth $6 billion if the airline paid full price for them (they rarely do). The price was not disclosed but analysts quoted by various news outlets all said ANA almost certainly got a hefty discount to be the launch customer of Boeing's first new jet in more than a decade ... and that a launch at 50 orders may be a bit out of the ordinary. More...

...SOME JOBS GO OVERSEAS
But it's not only customers that are coming from overseas. More than a third of the aircraft's components are being built offshore (notably in Japan, surprise, surprise) and that's set an undertone of grumbling to the jubilation in Washington State, where the aircraft will be assembled. "It's unfortunate that they didn't trust us to do more of the assembly," said Jerald Beal, a shop steward for the Machinists Union Local 751. "We're not really sure how this is going to play out in the end." Company spokesman Todd Beckler said Boeing "has not addressed job creation." More...

LIGHTSPEED HEADSET OWNERS! FEEL LEFT OUT?
Are you feeling left out because your LightSPEED headset doesn't have the new cell/satellite phone jack? Cheer up -- the factory conversions are now available for all active and passive models of the XL and QFR series. Passive Upgrade: $50, Active Upgrade: $75. Model upgrades come with a 2.5mm patch cord that connects to most phones. Check LightSPEED's online chart for phones they've tested. Adapters are available. The Active model upgrades include an additional patch cord for personal audio device input. Call LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 and mention this AVflash, or print out the online order/instruction form to send in your headset for a speedy turn-around at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/cell/avflash.

AROUND THE WORLD: A GYROCOPTER'S START, VACHER'S FINISH
Well, at least Warrant Officer Barry Jones is a realist. "I know it won't go smoothly, nothing ever does, but that's part of the adventure," Jones, a British Army helicopter pilot, told a news conference before setting off on a round-the-world flight in an open-cockpit gyrocopter. He'll cover more than 25,000 miles (including long stretches over water) on the flight, which he expects to take three and a half months. The flight will take him to 25 countries and, if he makes it, will set several records, including one for the lightest aircraft to do the circumnavigation. "I would be lying to say I wasn't nervous," said Jones. As Jones was getting ready to launch, fellow Brit Polly Vacher was returning from her epic adventure in a comparatively luxurious Piper Dakota. More...

MEDIA KEEPS PUSHING AVIATION RECOVERY
Like an overdue train, we keep craning our necks trying to see if economic recovery for the aviation industry is just around the corner. But rather than wait for it to pull into the station, some media outlets can't wait for that whistle to blow. Florida Today recently devoted a big chunk of its business section looking for signs of hope. It found some in the avionics industry (Avidyne and Rockwell Collins are both doing well with their glass cockpits) but the best New Piper could say is that more people are visiting its showrooms. Certification of the Liberty XL-2 also made it as one of the paper's signs that recovery is imminent. Although things do seem to be looking up for the airlines, at least one analyst believes observers are looking at the wrong data in making their predictions. Boeing economist William Swan told CNN that load factors, often cited as the primary indicator of airline performance, are "an absolutely worthless indicator of what's going on." More...

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT ANNOUNCES DIAMONDFEST 2004
In conjunction with the London (Ontario, Canada) AirFest International Airshow, June 24-26, Diamond Aircraft is inviting all Diamond owners to the factory for seminars, training, updates, and tours. For more information (and to reserve your VIP privileges), call (888) 359-3220 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

CAMPAIGN TFRS ESCALATE CONCERN
The FAA says it's working on ways to adequately warn pilots of "pop-up" temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) that will become much more common as the election campaign goes into full swing. It's expected that no-fly zones for GA will accompany not only President Bush, but Vice President Dick Cheney, Democratic contender John Kerry and whomever his running mate will be. "This is something we've really been struggling with," said FAA spokesman William Shumann. He said the agency has been working on the issue since long before the campaign started in earnest. He said the FAA is cooperating with various aviation groups to try and get the word out, but not everyone is getting the message. Take, for instance, the plight of Thomas Colacurcio, who thought he was taking a short hop last month from Medina Airport in Ohio to another airport to buy discounted fuel. More...

RETINAL PROJECTION SHOWS PROMISE
Forget about your instrument scan, how about a device that scans your instruments directly onto your retina? Microvision has sold the first of its Nomad retinal laser-projection systems in the civilian market (to Honda, to help mechanics fix cars faster) and it's likely only a matter of time before they end up in more cockpits (having previously been on display at Oshkosh AirVenture). The system offers many of the features of a heads-up display but instead of projecting information on a screen, a scanning laser actually puts the pictures and text right into your eye. Images from a computer or other visible source (like a primary flight display or multi-function display?) are processed into an image fed through a monocle and the result is superimposed over the regular field of vision. The system has already been tested on pilots and is also being used by the Army's Stryker Brigade in Iraq. More...

OREGON AERO: MAKING GENERAL AVIATION FLYING PAIN-FREE
More and more people involved in general aviation are learning first-hand how Oregon Aero products are making flying incredibly comfortable. Many commented at the recent Sun 'n Fun fly-in about how the Portable Universal SoftSeat™ had eliminated seating pain on both short and long flights. Others reported on how Oregon Aero Headset Upgrades had not only eliminated headset pressure pain but also had markedly improved intelligibility and transmission clarity, all factors in safer flying. See all that Oregon Aero has to offer the GA community online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

METICULOUS RESTORATIONS ON VERY LIMITED DISPLAY
While some aviation museums struggle to keep the lights on, money isn't a factor for the Flying Heritage Collection in Arlington, Wash. Billionaire owner Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) will soon open the collection, in a limited way, to showcase possibly some of the rarest and most meticulously restored vintage aircraft anywhere. Everything from the thread count in a restored JN-4D Jenny's wing fabric to the precise paint formulation on the collection's P-51 have been matched exactly. The collection also boasts some extraordinarily rare artifacts, including a manned version of the German buzz bomb, and many have been restored to flying condition. More...

NTSB: AGGRESSIVE CONTROL, POOR BRIEFING CONTRIBUTED TO CRASH
The NTSB says over-control by the pilot and inadequate preflight briefing contributed to the crash of a Challenger 604 test aircraft at Wichita in October of 2000. The plane was rigged to be aft-heavy to test the pressure-feel simulator. During the takeoff run, the NTSB report says, fuel rushed to the rear of the tanks, adding to the unbalanced state. The plane stalled twice after takeoff and crashed in flames after 10 seconds in the air. The pilot and an engineer died the crash and the co-pilot died 36 days later. More...

WHAT COULD YOU DO WITH $100? IF YOU FLY REGULARLY, TAKE A MOMENT
to answer a few questions and have your name entered into a contest to win one of three $100 prizes. This interactive, online survey is being conducted by East/West Consulting for an aviation client. Your responses are confidential, and you will NOT be contacted regarding your comments. To thank you for your participation, all respondents will be entered into a drawing in which three lucky people will win a cash prize of $100 each. Go online now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/eastwest/avflash.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT ERCOUPE ... OWNERS
Our repetition of the most prevalent myth surrounding the innovative (to spare our server we dare not say quirky) Ercoupe resulted in a torrent of sometimes-angry e-mail. Our apparently pathetic attempt to explain how we got into the mess made even more 'Coupers upset so, here, from Ed Burkhead, of the Ercoupe Owners Club, is how an Ercoupe really lands in a crosswind: "The key to the Ercoupe gear is the same as the key to virtually all tricycle gear planes. A moving vehicle is directionally stable if the front wheels have natural castering (when you're not actively steering) and the rear wheels are laterally fixed. If the vehicle gets catawampus, the rear wheels resist lateral pressure. The front wheels caster and don't give lateral pressure. Thus, the vehicle straightens out. More...

ON THE FLY...
A Penn State aerospace engineering team has designed morphing aircraft wings...
A record-setting balloon flight won't land the pilot in the FAA's bad books...
One glider pilot died, another parachuted to safety after their aircraft collided...
Local authorities in Texas rejected the three leading sites for a new GA airport...
Canadian fighter jets escorted an Air Canada flight to Vancouver International Airport Tuesday. More...

NEW WINGX VERSION 1.4 FOR THE POCKET PC RELEASED!
WingX Version 1.4 builds upon an already solid software solution for the Pocket PC by offering over 240 predefined aircraft models; graphical ramp, taxi/runup, and flight fuel weight-and-balance calculations; user-defined routes; and more. For example: WingX now has AC61-65D endorsements (great for CFIs); NWS Contractions; and local toll-free FSS numbers — in addition to FARs 1, 43, 61, 91, 119, 141, 830, and the Pilot/Controller Glossary. WingX has a powerful E6B, now with wind chill calculations. WingX will remember expiration dates, too. For a limited time, WingX is just $39.99 — 30% below regular price. Take a look at screen shots and download the demo at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hiltonsoftware/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
Say Again? #36: Spring is Sprung
Time once again for the weather to bring nasty thunderstorms into your favorite airspace. Some planes have long had on-board radar, and recently we've started to see NEXRAD radar on those GA glass-cockpit displays. This spring, AVweb's Don Brown finally has NEXRAD available on his radar scope. But keeping us out of thunderstorms never is that easy, is it? 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. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ 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!" These are what GAMI customers have to say about GAMIjectors. Go online to find out how to save fuel and time by buying injectors that pay for themselves at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to hear your thoughts on the "Boeing comeback." Chime in with your opinions on the new 7E7. PLUS: Results of last week's poll on the much-anticipated Sport Pilot rating. More...

FED UP WITH BIG BILLS FOR ROUTINE MAINTENANCE?
Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance and join the thousands of savvy GA owners who are saving big by doing-it-themselves! Each monthly issue brings you tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform yourself, legally and easily. Order now for big savings from the regular rates at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Last week, we had fewer-than-usual submissions to our "Picture of the Week" contest and concluded that all our readers must have been out of town for Sun 'n Fun. Looks like we were right! This week, we're flooded with your snapshots from the Fly-In. There were some real contenders in the batch, but we had to award "POTW" honors to Tim Averett of Winter Haven, Florida. His shot of Dr. John Nordt's Ryan PT22 captures the spirit of the fly-in perfectly. Congrats, Tim — the coveted AVweb ball cap is yours! And the rest of you, keep those pictures coming! Even if you don't win a cap, you'll get some "ooh"s and "aah"s from the AVweb staff. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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. CURRENT 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 in 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.

TRACK ALL IN-FLIGHT IFR AIRCRAFT IN REAL TIME!
Is your buddy's Beech airborne? Need a list of all flights bound for your airport? Curious about how many aircraft are cruising above FL400? The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer gives you a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight over the U.S. This informative service is yours for just $9.95 a month. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.

GIVE MOM SOMETHING TO TICKLE HER FUNNY BONE & SHOW HER LOVE OF FLYING
For Mother's Day, the Carprop is perfect! The 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 — but when parked, the propeller goes horizontal so it doesn't interfere with the license plate numbers. For the pilot or enthusiast who has everything, the Carprop is perfect! APRIL SPECIAL: Complimentary sunglasses with any order placed online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/carprop/avflash.

SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN STYLE!
During the month of April, 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.

SPONSOR NEWS

LAZY BUZZARD GOES RACING!!!!
Lazy Buzzard has decided to send his pilot racing. Come late summer, the Lazy Buzzard Pitts Special will be tearing around the pylons at the Reno Air Races. Check out the site to see the Lazy Buzzard airplane and other great stuff!! Watch for Lazy Buzzard at air shows throughout the year. Be a part of it all and support Lazy Buzzard in his quest for Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness and Speed. Online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lazybuzzard/avflash.

TRAINING STARTS HERE!
Learn all the information you need to ace the FAA Knowledge Exam right from your home TV or PC DVD player with the Virtual Test Prep series from ASA. Presented in an easy-to-follow curriculum with on-screen quizzes (consisting of actual FAA exam questions) and up to 10 hours of quality instruction, Virtual Test Prep meets all home-study requirements and will leave you with a true understanding of the knowledge presented — ultimately making you a better and safer pilot! For more information and to order online, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.

ROD MACHADO'S PRIVATE PILOT HANDBOOK THROUGH A STUDENT PILOT'S EYES
"I took the exam yesterday and passed. It is all thanks to Rod Machado’s excellent book. Over the past 10 years, I've accumulated a library of academic text books costing thousands of dollars. However, the $35 I paid for Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook was the best money I ever spent. I especially like the use of graphics and diagrams and mnemonics. The writing style is simple, clear, and to-the-point. I can't wait to start flying. Thank you for writing this wonderful book."
http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/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 flight schools nationwide. Give the gift of flight. Register for a low-cost $49 first flying lesson at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/beapilot/avflash.

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We Welcome Your Feedback!

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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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