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Volume 10, Number 19a -- May 3, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Teledyne-Continental Motors/Mattituck Services

THERE'S MORE TO INSTALLING AN AIRCRAFT ENGINE THAN JUST BOLTING IT IN
... and you'd be surprised at how often it's done incorrectly. Bad baffles, incorrectly set up fuel systems, and poor installations account for a significant number of costly problems with aircraft piston engines. It doesn't have to happen to you. Visit Teledyne/Mattituck Services online to find out what you really need to know to protect yourself and your aircraft's engine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/matt/avflash.

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

AIRPLANE SALES UP (ECONOMY IS UP?) ... FINALLY
Finally, there's some evidence the long-anticipated (and, perhaps, optimistically forecast) recovery in the aviation industry may have begun. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association's (GAMA's) first-quarter delivery and billing stats show healthy increases on both sides of the ledger for the full range of GA aircraft. Some cautious observers may be quick to point out that figures for last year were so deeply in the tank that these hopeful signs should be put in perspective. However, improvement is improvement and GAMA's figures do point to an overall 21.1-percent increase in billings and 9.7-percent increase in shipments over the first quarter of 2003. More...

...TAX BREAKS VITAL TO RECOVERY...
The perspective granted by recent history may offer a glimpse at just how "recovery" is relative. Compare Friday's figures with those of the first quarter of 2001 and you might want to put away the champagne in favor of a shot of scotch. The recent improvement compares with overall sales from the early 2001 boom by reaching a point that's 15.8 percent lower. There were 642 sales in the first quarter of 2001 compared to 541 in the same period in 2004, and billings are off by 35 percent (currently $2.38 billion vs. $3.64 billion in 2001). As tenuous as the good news is, GAMA President Ed Bolen said he hopes Congress will play a big role in maintaining the current momentum by renewing a key tax incentive. More...

...CONTROLLERS SEE THE TREND
Another way to gauge recovery (albeit unscientifically) is by the number of aircraft in the air. AVweb columnist Don Brown works at Atlanta Center (ZTL) and he says record-high traffic has caught everyone's attention there. "As far as the controllers at Atlanta Center can tell, the recovery is already here," Brown told AVweb. He said it's not uncommon for special events in the Southeast (like The Masters and Sun 'n Fun) to push the traffic count to around 10,000 operations per day. But on an ordinary weekday in late April, the count hit 10,175. "I believe it to be the first time ZTL broke 10,000 operations in one day without a special event occurring in our airspace," Brown said. More...

THE PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) IS YOUR BEST CHOICE!
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NORTHWEST CONTINUES CRUSADE FOR GA USER FEES
Northwest Airlines is suggesting one or two Minneapolis-area reliever airports could be closed or some 2,000 private aircraft owners could be charged to reduce the financial toll on airlines using Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The airline is the biggest customer of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which runs MSP and six GA airports in the Twin Cities area. The MAC is currently subsidizing operations at the small airports (the subsidy varies between $1.3 million and $7.9 million, depending on who's calculating it) with revenues from MSP. Northwest, as MSP's biggest tenant, claims the subsidies indirectly affect its bottom line and at a MAC meeting last week, the airline said it wants the subsidies to end. More...

...PILOTS PROTEST COST INCREASES
Of course, GA pilots in the area are opposed to the airline's position and AOPA President Phil Boyer was at the meeting, along with hundreds of potentially affected pilots. Boyer even met with Minnesota Gov. Tom Pawlenty on the issue. Boyer told the commission that Minneapolis' system of hub and reliever airports is a model and it shouldn't be dismantled "just because ... Northwest Airlines ... finds itself in economic difficulty -- again." He said the fee increases being pushed by Northwest would put rates well above the national average. More...

CPA MEMBERSHIP IS THE BEST $45 YOU CAN SPEND ON YOUR CESSNA!
With more than 12,000 active members, the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) is the world's biggest and best aviation "type club" for Cessna pilots and owners. Members receive a monthly magazine, a weekly e-mail newsletter, technical support by a full-time staff of A&Ps with tremendous expertise in all Cessna models, model-specific buyer's guides and systems courses, a group aircraft insurance program, and access to CPA's giant online knowledge bank and popular online member forums. Join by calling (805) 922-2580 and mentioning this AVflash, or by clicking here: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa/avflash.

TRIBUTES FOR RENOWNED PILOT
Tributes are pouring in for a respected aerobatic pilot who died in a crash in Florida on Friday. Ian Groom, 58, was practicing a flat spin, which he'd earlier said was his signature maneuver, but for unknown reasons his Su-31 didn't recover and crashed into the Atlantic about 2,000 feet offshore from Ft. Lauderdale. Groom was quickly recovered from the crash site but rescue workers couldn't save him. Groom was preparing to perform in the annual Air and Sea Show, which went ahead as scheduled. Saturday's air show was dedicated to Groom, and the Canadian Armed Forces Snowbirds flew a missing-man formation in tribute. Although Groom was best-known for his aerobatics career (in 2002 he set a world record flying 57 snap rolls in 26 seconds), he also helped others avoid accidents. More...

INSPECTOR WAKES DOZING 767 PILOT
An All Nippon Airways pilot is being tested for a sleep disorder after he nodded off twice on a March flight -- with a government flight inspector in the cockpit. In fact it was the inspector, on board for a routine review, who noticed the 50-year-old pilot was dozing about five minutes after the Tokyo-to-Yamaguchi-Ube flight reached altitude. The inspector told the co-pilot, who woke the pilot. A few minutes later, the pilot was back in dreamland and the co-pilot yelled at him to wake him up. "I was bathed by the sun and dozed off in spite of myself," the unidentified pilot is quoted as telling airline officials, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. More...

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MEIGS CLOSURE CITED IN AIRLINER SCARE
The closure of Meigs Field (for security reasons, remember?) has been implicated in an incident that gave a Chicago baseball stadium full of people a collective case of the jitters. The FAA is investigating whether an ATA Boeing 737-800 was dangerously (or illegally) low when it passed over U.S. Cellular Field on approach to Midway Airport on Thursday. According to CBS 2 Chicago, the closure of Meigs eliminated restricted airspace that had previously kept aircraft approaching Midway away from the stadium. Of course, that doesn't really explain why the 737 was, according to the FAA, just 700 feet AGL when it was still 6.5 miles from the runway. More...

FERRIS WHEEL PLAN SPARKS REVIEW
Pilots using busy Teterboro Airport (TEB) in New Jersey are used to sharing the crowded airspace with other pilots -- but with Ferris-wheel riders? A major amusement park proposed for an area just south of TEB would include a 400-foot-tall Ferris wheel that would encroach more than 100 feet into the navigable airspace 11,000 feet south of the runway, according to Bill Leavens, AOPA's eastern region rep. The giant ride would also penetrate the VFR Traffic Pattern Airspace climb/descent area by 66 feet for category C and D aircraft. Another proposal would also have pilots dodging an antenna farm not far from the amusement park, Leavens said. Fun, fun, fun. 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. Download your no-cost EX500 Training Software at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

HOLLYWOOD TO THE RESCUE OF SPACE PROBE
Some Hollywood stunt pilots are helping NASA ensure a three-year, $200 million experiment doesn't shatter on the floor of the Utah desert. Somehow, NASA designed an experiment that can withstand the rigors of launch, spend three years in space and survive re-entry, but might not survive a parafoil landing. The Genesis probe carries almost-pure silicon plates to gather solar wind particles, which (scientists hope) will give clues to the origins of the universe. The plates are fragile, so to soften the return to Earth when the probe releases a capsule full of them on Sept. 8, the plan is to grab the parachuting capsule in flight and lower it gently to the ground with a helicopter -- and they've been testing it. More...

FSS WORKER BIDS ON SYSTEM CONTRACT
Some people carry signs, others might launch lawsuits, but Jay Wade prefers a more direct approach to possibly saving his job. The 51-year-old Tennessee flight service specialist is launching a bid to take over the whole FSS system through the A-76 competitive outsourcing process now underway. To accomplish his goal, he'll merely have to convince the FAA that his company, Wade &Associates LLC, is more qualified to run the $500-million-a-year system than some of the biggest names in aviation technology and services, including Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Computer Sciences Corp., not to mention the existing FSS organization, which recently teamed up with Harris Corp. for a bid. Wade told Government Executive Magazine he has unique qualifications for the job. "This contract manager has personally done over 150,000 pilot weather briefings without a single weather-related accident, so I think I'm profoundly qualified," he said. More...

BUYING OR SELLING AN AIRCRAFT?
AvBuyer.com offers the complete solution when buying and selling aircraft. AvBuyer has listings of piston aircraft from around the world. Try AvBuyer.com today and experience fast, effective aircraft sourcing. Sign-up for the complimentary e-mail, "Alert," listing current aircraft for sale. For more information, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/avflash.

POST-9/11 PILOTS GET PUBLIC BENEFIT AWARD
When the skies were empty of civilian aircraft over North America on Sept. 13, 2001, some volunteer pilots took to the air on a unique medical mission. Last week Lifeline Pilots was honored with the National Aeronautic Association's Public Benefit Flying Team award in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Lifeline pilots, Lyle Clapper, Norbert Ptaszek, Ward and David Montgomery and Mark and Donna Turek, were granted special permission to fly live skin tissue and blood platelets from St. Paul, Minn., to medical centers in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Bethesda, Md. Lifeline Pilots normally flies financially distressed patients to distant medical care but the Sept. 13, 2001, flights "took our mission to a higher level," said Executive Director Keith Laken. More...

ON THE FLY...
NTSB wants rescue workers trained to recognize and disable ballistic airplane parachutes...
British group trying to get a Concorde flying...
Kalamazoo Air Zoo opened May 1...
Pilot preoccupied with injured passenger, missed dispatch's message on tornados...
EAA lobbies OMB on Sport Pilot rule. More...

NOT ALL AIRCRAFT HULL & LIABILITY INSURANCE IS CREATED EQUAL
Not all owners and renters are created equal. So customize your needs with the right insurance package from CS&A Aviation Insurance. Go online for a no-cost, no-obligation quote from CS&A's aviation professionals at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
As the Beacon Turns #76: Who Cares?
Remember some of those questions you were asked on your pilot knowledge test or even in the oral exam -- the questions that were totally irrelevant to what you really need to know to fly safely? They're still around, even in the exams for the airlines. AVweb's Michael Maya Charles has been having answers to such questions force-fed in his MD-11 ground school.

More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about Sport Pilot delays, the future of new aviation technology, Garmin's pricing policy and more. More...

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.

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...

HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
CrewCar and Consumer Guides have teamed up to offer hassle-free auto buying to the aviation industry! Next to your home and airplane, a vehicle is the most important item you will purchase. Don't go blindly into a dealership; look to CrewCar. CrewCar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value no matter the geography. The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards. For more information, visit CrewCar at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
From our brain burps file...

Tower: Fokker 170, hold position.

Fokker 170: Uh... I don't know how to do that.

(pause)

Manila Tower: [Airliner] 2, hold position. Fokker 170, continue approach, cleared to land. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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DON'T WISH YOUR AIRPLANE HAD ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES
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E-OX: A HIGH-QUALITY PORTABLE OXYGEN NEED NOT COST AN ARM AND A LEG
Join hundreds of pilots who have discovered you don't need to spend $600+ to get a high-quality portable oxygen system. With prices starting under $200, E-Ox is the ideal choice for pilots who don't do enough high-altitude flying to justify the expense and hassle of a bulky portable oxygen system, or who want a solid back-up for their aircraft's built-in system. E-Ox uses 100% medical-grade components and is light, compact, and slips easily into a flight bag or briefcase. Aeromedix offers one- and two-place systems with cylinder sizes from 36 to 680 liters. Custom-design your E-Ox system by calling Aeromedix's O2 system experts at (888) 362-7123 and mentioning this AVflash or by going online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

DAD COULD BE THE WINNER OF A NEW PIPER FOR A TWO-WEEK GREEK ISLES TOUR
Global Aviation is sponsoring a fantastic contest. Order a sterling silver, numbered aviation key for Father's Day (June 20), and Dad will 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, and to order Dad's key (or one for yourself), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/global/avflash.

STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE IN THE AIRSPACE
Have friends flying in? A business colleague in for a meeting? Will your aircraft partner be back in time for you to use the airplane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at a special monthly cost of $9.95. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.

GIVE DAD FUNCTION & BEAUTY IN A CHASE-DURER TIMEPIECE + A SPECIAL OFFER
Chase-Durer, makers of world-renowned watches, is offering their perfectly balanced, platinum-toned pen with gold accents for only $30 (regularly $90) with any watch purchase. Beautiful and functional timepieces for both men and women with Chase-Durer workmanship and quality. Order today in time for Father's Day (June 20) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur/avflash.

SPONSOR NEWS

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KITPLANES GOES TO THE PITTS — THE MODEL 12, THAT IS — IN THE JUNE ISSUE
Plus: Full reviews on moving map systems and EFIS systems; Part 2 on building a SeaRey amphibian; Canada's Caddy bushplane; plus updates on what's happening in the kitplane world. Order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/kitplanes/avflash

WE GET THE NICEST LETTERS: "THANK YOU FOR A BOOK THAT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD
by the 42-year old student pilot. Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook puts things I couldn't understand into terms anyone can understand." "My students love Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. It's the only textbook they really read and enjoy." "Awesome!" Order your copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/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 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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