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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
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.
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.
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...
TOO CAN BE A WINNER WITH SCHEYDEN, AVIATION'S FINEST
"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.
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...
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
LIGHTSPEED HEADSET OWNERS! FEEL LEFT OUT?
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.
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
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...
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...
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.
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...
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.
WHAT COULD YOU DO WITH $100? IF YOU FLY REGULARLY, TAKE A
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.
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...
A Penn State aerospace engineering team has designed morphing aircraft
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...
fighter jets escorted an Air Canada flight to Vancouver International
Airport Tuesday. More...
NEW WINGX VERSION 1.4 FOR THE POCKET PC
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.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
#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...
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. Watch for
a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE
"SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW 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.
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...
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
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
MARV GOLDEN DISCOUNT PILOT SUPPLIES HAS EVERYTHING YOU
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
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.
MOM SOMETHING TO TICKLE HER FUNNY BONE & SHOW HER LOVE OF
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
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.
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.
MACHADO'S PRIVATE PILOT HANDBOOK THROUGH A STUDENT PILOT'S
"I took the exam yesterday and passed. It is all thanks
to Rod Machados 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."
FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE USUALLY SPEECHLESS; THEN THEY CAN'T
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.
We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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