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Volume 10, Number 19b -- May 6, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation

SPORTY'S AND LIGHTSPEED TEAM UP TO BRING PILOTS MORE OPTIONS
LightSPEED headsets are now available at Sporty's Pilot Shop — just in time to offer the QFR, XL, and 3G series headsets, all equipped with the new cell/satellite phone feature. Order by calling Sporty's at 800-SPORTYS (776-7897) and mentioning this AVflash, or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/sp/avflash.

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

CIRRUS OVERTAKES SKYHAWKS
While last week's first-quarter production numbers showed that GA manufacturing is creeping out of its recent doldrums (though still far from its peak), the data also revealed some subtle shifts taking place in the industry. "This is a historic day for Cirrus," company spokesman John Bingham told the Duluth News Tribune on Saturday -- for the first time, Cirrus Design produced more single-engine four-seaters than any other manufacturer. With 105 shipments, Cirrus outpaced, by 16, the venerable Cessna Aircraft Co. "There's a huge sense of determination to build on this," Bingham said. "We know we've still got three more quarters to go." More...

...AS FRACTIONAL FLEET GROWS...
One of those customers for Cirrus aircraft is OurPlane Inc. , of London, Ontario, a fractional-ownership company that is about to launch its 13th and 14th locations, at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and at the Flying Cloud Airport near St. Paul, Minn. "We just ordered 10 new Cirrus SR22s in March," OurPlane CEO Graham Casson told AVweb yesterday. "We're seeing tremendous demand for these airplanes. They're easy to fly, and they're very comfortable to fly. The SR22 is a fantastic airplane, and we plan to order more next year." Casson added that his Cirrus aircraft have an "impeccable" safety record, which he attributed to the high safety standards and currency protocols the company requires of share owners. More...

...AND TRAINING RACES TO KEEP UP
With some recent accidents and a less-than-spotless safety record for Cirrus, training has become a front-burner issue, with all those new airplanes coming into the market with advanced avionics and systems. The FAA's answer to these changes is called FITS, for FAA/Industry Training Standards, and a curriculum based on the SR22 was its first project. Some in the industry have raised concerns about the FITS concept, saying it will cost pilots more, it could allow insurance concerns to drive training requirements, or could even lead to the FAA's mandating type ratings or recurrent training for pilots of single-engine aircraft. The FAA says FITS will cost less and make training more efficient by focusing on real-world needs. More...

THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST WINNERS
"The quality is superior to any pair of sunglasses I have ever had. The lenses are so natural. And to flip them up — oh, Heaven!" Jake Garn, USN/USAF/Astronaut, Shuttle Discovery Mission STS 51D, and owner/pilot of a 1948 Navion.
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. Handmade titanium frames, quality lenses, a Rosewood case, plush micro-fiber bag and cloth are standard on all styles. For information, and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.

NAVY STUDY: NEW LASIK PROCEDURE WORKS BETTER
A Navy researcher who has been studying the effects of eye surgery on vision for 10 years reported this week that new wavefront-guided procedures used with Lasik eye surgery are producing improved results. "While conventional Lasik is good, we're finding that wavefront-guided Lasik yields sharper and higher-quality vision, and higher patient satisfaction compared to conventional Lasik," said U.S. Navy Capt. Steve Schallhorn, M.D., the director of Cornea and Refractive Surgery at the Navy Medical Center in San Diego. "By reducing dependence on glasses and contact lenses in active duty personnel, [Lasik] enhances combat readiness and improves performance," Schallhorn said. More...

...AS 20/20 RESULTS RISE TO 97 PERCENT
Most significant with the new procedure, Schallhorn said, is the improved quality of vision, fewer problems with halos and glare, better night vision and higher patient satisfaction. With conventional Lasik, 88 percent of 908 patients tested at 20/20 vision or better six months after the procedure. By comparison, 97 percent of 34 patients using the wavefront-guided Lasik achieved 20/20 vision or better. Schallhorn reported his findings at this week's annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, in San Diego. Schallhorn is part of a Navy program that provides Lasik services to Navy and Marine Corps personnel. The Federal Trade Commission has published an online guide, "Basik Lasik," offering tips to those who might be considering the surgery. More...

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FAA SAYS NO TO BIGGER N-NUMBERS FOR NOISE WATCHERS
The FAA has turned down a petition from the Massachusetts group "Stop The Noise" asking for two-foot-high N numbers under airplane wings, AOPA said yesterday. The FAA said the current 12-inch-high numbers on the fuselage were mandated after much deliberation and discussion, and there is no compelling reason to change that decision. "Stop The Noise has shown that it's willing to sue pilots even if the pilots are operating in full accordance with regulations," said AOPA Director of Regulatory and Certification Policy Luis Gutierrez. "This petition was just a thinly veiled attempt to make it easier for the group to go after other pilots." More...

TOWER COMPANY DROPS SUIT NAMING PILOT'S WIDOW
As AVweb told you recently, the widow of a pilot who crashed into a telecommunications tower in Quebec was sued by SpectraSite, a U.S. company that operated the tower. Now, SpectraSite has withdrawn that suit and issued a statement to clarify its position. "SpectraSite's suit was filed due to a misunderstanding that led us to believe the suit was the only means of preserving our ability to protect the interests of our shareholders," CEO Stephen Clark said in a news release last week. "In accordance with applicable Canadian law, SpectraSite has taken action to dismiss the estate of Mr. Gilbert Paquette [the pilot who died] from its suit" but to seek its share from the pilot's liability insurance. More...

ATTENTION, AIRCRAFT CLUB MEMBERS! GETTING THE MOST OUT OF 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.

FIREFIGHTING FLEET FACES ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
With summer fast approaching, so is wildfire season, which (along with record-breaking heat) is already blooming in southern California. The pilots who fly firefighting aircraft are well-aware of the accidents noted recently by the NTSB in which aging aircraft failed under the stress, and the industry has come up with its own "White Paper" to address the problems of how to fly safely. Called the SAFE initiative, for "Strategic Aerial Firefighting Excellence," the plan calls for replacing the current heavy air-tanker fleet, but says that could take 10 years. Meanwhile, the initiative calls for better monitoring of aircraft structures and suggests that contractors will need a two- to three-fold increase in hourly rates to cover investments in new aircraft. According to the report, the current heavy air-tanker rate is approximately $4,000 per flying hour. More...

LIVERMORE AIRPORT EXPANSION UP AGAINST OPPOSITION
It's a classic, if sad, tale of airports in America: Livermore Municipal Airport in northern California, about an hour east of San Francisco, was built in the wide-open spaces of the valley back in 1965. Popular with pilots, the airport today is bursting at the seams, with 180 names on a waiting list for hangar space. But the once-open spaces now are packed full with housing developments, and the neighbors not only oppose expansion, they want the airport and its noise gone altogether. The debate has reached the status of a "feud," according to the Oakland Tribune, which reported Tuesday that the two camps respond with distrust and derision to each other's comments at public hearings. More...

GO TO MARV GOLDEN FOR ALL YOUR PILOT NEEDS — AVIONICS TO WATCHES!
Marv Golden Pilot Supplies is the pilot's one-stop shop for everything aviation. MAY SPECIALS: Great deals on the Lowrance Airmap 500 and 1000. Check out the new Vertex VXA-300 Transceiver and the Marv Golden MG Golden Eagle line of headsets. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/avflash.

WATCH FOR QUICK-SPROUTING CAMPAIGN TFRS
Just when you thought TFRs couldn't get any messier, the presidential campaign season heats up along with the summer weather. This week, President Bush and friends are on a bus trip through the Midwest, so watch for complex and quick-changing TFRs as the motorcade swings into Iowa and Wisconsin tomorrow. To help avoid those unsettling stares from F-16 pilots off your wingtip, EAA, AOPA and AeroPlanner offer online flight planning for their members, and the FAA has bundled all its TFR notices onto one handy page. Check early and late and often, is the universal advice. More...

SILLY PILOT TRICKS, PART ... (WE'VE LOST COUNT)
It must be something in the air, but this week brought in a slew of reports about pilots giving in to temptation -- doing things that are enticing, but forbidden. In Australia on Saturday, a sightseeing pilot flew her two-seat Skyfox Gazelle underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a no-no, and now faces up to two years in jail. In Saginaw, Mich., a school principal was mortified on Friday when two helicopters landed in his schoolyard without warning -- apparently carrying real-estate developers checking out some nearby property. And in Gilbert, Ariz., a homeowner is indignant that a neighbor is flying his helicopter regularly from his backyard -- but nobody else seems to care. More...

YOU WORKED HARD FOR THAT IFR TICKET; NOW PROTECT IT!
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ON THE FLY...
B-17 "Aluminum Overcast" damaged in gear malfunction at Van Nuys...
All three aboard survive Brooklyn, N.Y., rooftop heli crash, video online...
Delta Air Lines to recall 1,000 pilots from furlough...
Qantas passenger found a tree frog stowed away in salad greens...
A pilot for Singapore Airlines fired, exiled after union protest...
Pratt & Whitney completed first run of Eclipse 500's PW610F turbine...
"Hoot" Gibson broke 100k-closed-circuit speed record at 238.14 mph...
Turbo Commander 840 crashed in Mexico, seven died...
NORAD will conduct training flights in Washington, D.C., today...
EAA's Southwest Fly-In May 14-15 at New Braunfels Airport in Texas. 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...

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.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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MAINTENANCE MATTERS
AvGas vs. AutoGas
Wanna start an argument among other aircraft owners where passion will ring louder than logic? Either bring up lean-of-peak mixture settings or ask whether you should use autogas in your engine. John Ruley dissects the issues of autogas and introduces research (and problems) that didn't exist only a few decades ago.

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WHAT'S NEW
What's New -- Products and Services
Each month, AVweb will bring you a quick survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners. This month we have a voice checklist, camera fittings, aviation humor books and more. In some cases, AVweb has actually examined the product; in other cases, we are just letting you know it exists. If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.

More...

PACK UP AN AEROSHELL FLIGHT JACKET KIT BAG AS THE PERFECT GIFT FOR DAD!
Or buy for one for yourself. AeroShell Flight Jacket products have been named the "Official Aviation Polish and Cleaners for the Reno Air Races" and are available for Dad's special day. The Flight Jacket Leak-Proof Kit Bag is packed with a complete package of AeroShell Polish and Cleaners, ready for gift-giving. AeroShell, the name you trust for all your aircraft lubricant needs. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Focus your peepers on AVweb's "Question of the Week" — we want to hear your opinions on LASIK eye surgery. Is it really a miracle, or do you have doubts? PLUS: Results from last week's poll on the "Boeing Comeback." More...

NAVAL RESERVE — FROM 9 to 5 TO MACH 1.5!
Fast-forward your career and life. Veteran pilots and NFOs can serve in the Naval Reserve. Earn benefits and rewards training on the most sophisticated combat and transport aircraft in the world, including F-18 Hornets, EA-6B Prowlers, E2C Hawkeyes, and H-60 Sea Hawks. Click here to learn more: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/navalreserve/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
More amazing photos continue to roll in from AVweb readers! (Quite a few of you had your cameras at Sun 'n Fun, didn't you?) This week's "POTW" selections range from triumph (the SnF 2004 balloon race) to tragedy (a tornado) — but when all was said and done, David Collier of Indianapolis walked away with this week's winning baseball cap. Or flew away with it, as the case may be. In an RV-8. Enjoy this week's photos, and don't forget to send us more! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

WHAT COULD YOU DO WITH $100? IF YOU FLY REGULARLY, TAKE A MOMENT
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WINGX FOR THE POCKET PC NOW HAS OVER 270 AIRCRAFT MODELS!
WingX Version 1.4 for the Pocket PC now has over 270 predefined aircraft models; graphical ramp, taxi/runup, and flight fuel weight-and-balancecalculations; route planning with the latest FAA database of airports and navaids; and more. WingX 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 on sale for $39.99 — 30% below regular price. Take a look at screen shots and download the demo at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hiltonsoftware/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.

BUYING OR SELLING AN AIRCRAFT?
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PRICELESS PEACE OF MIND FOR JUST $9.95 A MONTH
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AIRSPORT ALTITUDE ALERTERS OFFER 10% DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING
AirSport Avionics is the only manufacturer of Altitude Alerters that work by listening to everything your transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Mode A (squawk code) and Mode C (altitude). A double benefit! AirSport Alerters are completely portable and don't require permanent installation. MAY SPECIAL: 10% discount on all models with complimentary ground shipping. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport/avflash.

GLEIM'S MAY SPECIAL IS FLIGHT-BAG-SIZED ...
Gleim is offering the new Flight Bag size (7" x 9") FAR/AIM for only $9.95, a savings of $6! Be prepared for your checkride with Gleim's Flight Maneuvers books (containing all the information needed for the practical exam) at a 10% discount! These Gleim books contain a copy of the PTS and Oral Exam Guide, plus all the maneuvers you need to pass! Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gleim/avflash.

PHOTON MICRO-LIGHT 3s AT NEW LOW PRICES + COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING
Check out new low pricing on the entire selection of Photon Micro-Light 3s! If you've been waiting to get your hands on a Photon 3, this is your chance. The Photon 3 gives you a brilliant key chain-sized light with three levels of brightness, three beacon modes, and a convenient auto shut-off mode. Prices start at only $17.95, with complimentary U.S. shipping! Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.

GIVE DAD SOMETHING TO TICKLE HIS FUNNY BONE & SHOW HIS LOVE OF FLYING
For Father'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! MAY SPECIAL: Complimentary sunglasses with any order placed online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/carprop/avflash.

SPONSOR NEWS

IF YOU ARE NOT AN IFR MAGAZINE SUBSCRIBER, YOU COULD BE MISSING THESE
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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER?
Ever wonder why you lack confidence? Take a look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for Flight Instructors, where Gordon takes lessons from fifty years of flying and tells you HOW to be more capable, safe, 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 also tells you how to root out bad habits and techniques. You will never understand the depth of this book until you read it. Order your copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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