The Internet's Aviation Magazine & News Service

Now Over 130,000 Subscribers
Volume 10, Number 21a -- May 17, 2004

Email this AVflash to a friend

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

GENERAL AVIATION WELCOMES ZULUWORKS
Q: What happens when a 15-year product designer from the bicycle and outdoor products industries starts taking flying lessons? A: GA pilots get a better kneeboard, the Zuluboard! The Zuluboard comes in two models. They're stylish and far more functional than other boards. Each one is individually handcrafted by the designer himself. Check 'em out at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zulu/avflash.

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

FIRE POLITICS VS. FIRE SAFETY?...
Despite two reports saying that large air tankers may be unsafe to fly, federal and state representatives are mounting pressure on the FAA to get 33 grounded heavy fire-bomber aircraft in the air in time for the forest fire season. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Thursday he and other members of the House Resources Committee are meeting with the FAA on Tuesday to ask the agency to do an "emergency review" of the planes. "I think you saw bipartisan support to get these tankers flying," Walden told the Bend Bulletin. That may mean quickly passing legislation to give the FAA the authority to certify the highly modified aircraft, many of them decades-old ex-military planes. More...

...SAFETY CONCERNS RAISED IN 2002...
This week's controversy erupted from an April 23 NTSB report on the crashes of three air tankers (two C-130As and a PB4Y2 Privateer) in the 2002 firefighting season. It said "no effective mechanism currently exists to ensure the continuing airworthiness of these firefighting aircraft." But an earlier report (finished in December 2002 and apparently ignored for the 2003 firefighting season) commissioned by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management paints an even more disturbing picture of the state of the large tanker fleet and suggests the government's penny-pinching ways have created a culture where unacceptable risk is taken for granted. More...

...PLANE OWNERS SLAM "SHODDY" NTSB REPORT
Of course, the people whose livelihood depends on flying these airplanes don't agree with the reports and say they are needlessly being put out of business. "We have a maintenance program that exceeds the airlines," Neptune Aviation CEO Mark Timmons told The Missoulian. "What we have here is a very shoddy research paper by the safety board and most of the people who have read it are horrified." Timmons said the NTSB only looked at the practices of one company involved in the 2002 crashes (Wyoming-based Hawkins and Powers) and extrapolated the findings to the whole industry. "In doing so, they presented a report with all sorts of fallacies and incorrect information," Timmons said. At least one U.S. company, Air Tractor, could benefit. More...

POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR AIRCRAFT?
Congratulations to Liberty Aerospace on becoming the first certified, piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/fadec/avflash.

TECHNOLOGY ADDRESSES ATC STAFFING CRISIS?
Most of us have heard about the potential for a staffing crisis in the air traffic control system as Reagan-era controllers reach retirement age, but could technology supply part of the solution? A few days after controllers mount their annual legislative conference and "Hill visits" in Washington, D.C., NASA's Langley Research Center will unveil a technology-based system that might (one day) put some air traffic control decisions in the cockpit. The Distributed Air/Ground Traffic Management system allows pilots to "plan their own routes and safely and seamlessly fit into the traffic flow," according to a NASA press release. Researchers and pilots will use simulators to show the system to reporters at a news conference May 20 but a live test of the system is planned for June. More...

...CONTROLLERS TAKE THE HILL
Today and Tuesday, hundreds of air traffic controllers are in Washington for their annual show of lobbying strength, and their message this year is that a staffing crisis is fast approaching. In a news release, the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA) says the controller shortage is an accepted reality throughout the federal agencies involved. "We must act now to hire and train more controllers to avert a looming shortage," NATCA said. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D.-N.J.) brought that message to his constituents in a news conference last Thursday. More...

THE PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) IS YOUR BEST CHOICE!
Don't pay more for your life insurance coverage just because you fly. Compare Pilot Insurance Center's rates to any other insurance organization, and you will find what thousands of pilots have discovered: The Pilot Insurance Center (PIC) is your best choice for life insurance. A+ RATED CARRIERS. NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS. Quick and Easy Application Process. Call 1-800-380-8376 and mention this AVflash, or visit online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/avflash.

"FIRST" PRIVATE MANNED SPACEFLIGHT A SUCCESS
Since we've been visiting space for more than 40 years it's almost hard to believe that this kind of "first" was still open. Last Thursday, Mike Melvill went into the record books as the first pilot to take a privately funded aircraft into space. The 62-year-old test pilot rode Scaled Composites' rocket plane SpaceShipOne to an altitude of 40 miles (211,400 feet) after being dropped from its mother ship, the White Knight, over the high desert just east of Los Angeles. He then glided the unique craft to a landing at Mojave Airport. "Watching the blue sky go completely black was the highlight of my career," Melvill told reporters. More...

SOME BENEFIT FROM WASHINGTON SECURITY
We all know about the effect of the seemingly permanent security measures imposed on GA airports in the immediate area of Washington, D.C. But all that lost business had to go somewhere and several area airports -- just outside the ADIZ -- are booming. Take Frederick, Md., for instance. According to the Gazette newspaper, revenues have almost doubled since 9/11 and traffic is up 20 percent. Compare that to Washington Executive/Hyde Field, where revenues are less than 10 percent of pre-9/11 levels, said manager Stan Fetter. But rather than knuckle under, Fetter said the airport is actually expanding, building new hangars in the hopes of attracting pilots who don't mind dealing with the transponder, communication and security measures imposed on them. Meanwhile, federal authorities cracked the door a little on the operations of the little-known agency charged with keeping the skies over D.C. clear of unauthorized aircraft. 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.

DIAMOND TWIN, WITH G1000, CERTIFIED
The first "aircraft-level" certification for Garmin's G1000 glass cockpit system is a reality -- in Europe -- as is the first diesel-powered twin. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) conferred type certification on the Diamond DA42 at the Berlin Air Show. It was the newly formed EASA's first new aircraft certification. The G1000 system comes standard in the DA42 and is what Garmin calls the "first truly integrated, all-glass flightdeck in this aircraft class." You don't have wait in line to buy a TwinStar to get the G1000, however. More...

RAYTHEON SETTLES SUIT, MOONEY SETTLES IN
Raytheon has settled a pending lawsuit by its shareholders out of court. The company, which maintains the suit was without merit, nevertheless agreed to pay $210 million in cash and $200 million in stock to stop the class action suit. The deal has to be approved by the courts. Raytheon said it expects its insurance carriers to pick up $75 million of the tab. Raytheon said it is "pleased to put the uncertainty of the class action litigation behind it" and that the decision is "in the best interests of its shareholders." In the meantime, Mooney Airplane Company is moving ahead with a three-year business plan the company says has been endorsed by its employees and groups representing the owners of about 8,000 aircraft. 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.

AIRPLANE TAX BREAK PASSES SENATE
Perhaps the single most important factor in the aircraft business's tenuous recovery (according to some) appears to be headed for an extension. The Wichita Eagle is reporting that an extension of the bonus depreciation tax incentive for airplanes is part of a tax package that has been passed by the Senate. Bonus depreciation allows businesses to depreciate large purchases (like airplanes) much faster in the first year, thus reducing the net cost of the purchases by reducing the company's tax bill. More...

STATE MAY FUND REPLACEMENT HANGARS
In an uncharacteristically generous move by a state aviation official (and one that might get him in trouble with colleagues in other states) John Roeller is trying to convince the Florida Department of Transportation to pay $3 million for hangars to house planes displaced when a Tampa-area airport closes in October. Pasco County is selling Tampa Bay Executive Airport to an unnamed developer and owners of the 100 or so airplanes there have until Oct. 1 to find them new homes. The hangars would likely be built at the three closest publicly owned airports at Zephyrhills, Clearwater and Hernando Airport. "That's our effort now, to try to scrape up money to fill that gap," said Roeller, the state DOT's representative for the Tampa area. Just because he's asking doesn't mean he'll get the money, however. More...

NOT ALL AIRCRAFT AUDIO PANELS ARE CREATED EQUAL
PS Engineering is general aviation's audio specialist, and they proven it product after product. PS Engineering's PMA8000 is not only a complete audio panel system, but will also act as the control head for their next generation of in-flight entertainment systems and is designed to be a direct plug-and-play replacement for Garmin's GMA340. For complete details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ps/avflash.

BOEING FLOATS ANOTHER 747 IDEA
Boeing has served (tentative) notice that it's not quite ready to surrender the jumbo market to Airbus. The Chicago-based plane-maker is floating the idea of an "advanced" and slightly stretched version of the 34-year-old 747 that would seat 450 passengers on long-haul flights. Airbus's super-sized 380 will seat 550 on two decks and has already attracted 129 firm orders. Boeing has been trying to find interest in a revamped 747 for almost a decade (the last renovation of the design was the 400 series in 1989) without success. The "A" model would potentially make use of currently vacant space for conference rooms and other amenities. But its biggest advantage might be its (relatively) small size. More...

ON THE FLY...
A Harvard student says his award-winning project is the first step toward a flying motorcycle...
Delta Air Lines pilots have agreed to help keep the airline's biggest planes in the air this summer...
The Professional Helicopter Pilots Association will host its first Human Factors Safety Conference...
EAA has posted the AirVenture NOTAM online...
Pilots are flocking to Haifa, Israel, for the country's annual fly-in...
A cargo pilot was killed Friday when the MU-2 he was flying crashed. More...

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN
RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER — AND NOW MUCH MORE!

WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone, and any nationwide wireless carrier. WxServer gives you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information such as the NEXRAD, METAR, TAF, and satellite images. Now WxServer includes airport frequency listings, fuel availability, and quick-dial links to FBOs, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: This month, AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates, and CFIs can sign up for the WxServer Referral Program at no charge! 10-day No-Cost Trial. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
The Pilot's Lounge #74: Getting The Rust Off Without Declaring Bankruptcy
If it has a been a winter without much flying, you're probably itching to jump into the plane. But if you want to do it safely, you'd better do some work to get back in the game. AVweb's Rick Durden has found ways to keep the cost of refresher training down, and put fun back in your practice.

More...

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

Reader mail this week about the start of firefighting season, housing developments at airports, FSS privatization and more. More...

TAKE TO THE AIR THIS SPRING, WITH PILOT GETAWAYS MAGAZINE
Pilot Getaways magazine's latest issue brings you places to explore around the country. Fly to a day at the beach in Martha's Vineyard; sample the biergartens of Fredericksburg, Texas; take a sunset tour of San Francisco; or head for a backcountry strip on a lake; and much more. Pilot Getaways has expanded again, with technical content on aircraft that will get you where you want to go. Subscribe today for the best in aviation travel information at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotgetaways/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
Everybody's a critic...

Overheard on a busy training day while joining the traffic pattern at Caldwell airport, N.J...

Tower: Cessna ###, traffic at your one o'clock and 1,200.

Cessna ###: We've got a Piper flying an extremely tight pattern ... or a go-around.

Tower: Piper ###, traffic, a Cessna, at your five o'clock and 1,300.

Piper: We've got a Cessna flying and extremely wide downwind ... or landing somewhere else. More...

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-balance calculations; 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 no-toll 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.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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

SHOPPING DEALS

Terrific Ideas for Father's Day at
AVWEB'S SHOPPING GUIDE

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.

LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN YOU’LL BE HOME
Sign up for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. It's the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight. Your family simply enters your N-number to track your flight, be alerted to delays, and get updated ETAs. AVweb Flight Explorer costs just $9.95 a month. A small price for such big peace-of-mind. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.

DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT — DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled his own traveling medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would cost more than $500 to duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale from Aeromedix for $333. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

LONGER DAYS AND WARMER WEATHER MEAN IT'S TIME TO GO FLYING!
If you do the bulk of your flying in the summer months, this is an excellent time to upgrade your aircraft's panel. Take advantage of Bennett Avionics' quality used avionics and professional service. You CAN have the equipment you need in time for all your summer trips, with Bennett Avionics. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/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.

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 — or sign-up for the complimentary latest aircraft e-mail "Alert." For more information, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/avflash.

IF YOU LOVE THE CHALLENGES & REWARDS OF
FLYING THE GAUGES, DON'T MISS IFR MAGAZINE

Each issue briefs you on what you need to know to fine-tune your technique, sweet-talk the system, and bust-proof your ticket. Order now and save big at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrmag/avflash.

SPONSOR NEWS

A BRAND NEW AIRCRAFT — FOR THE COST OF A SECOND CAR!
OurPLANE Fractional Aircraft Ownership is the #1 world leader in offering brand-new Cessna, Cirrus, and Raytheon aircraft at a fraction of the cost of sole aircraft ownership. No hassles, no responsibilities with these brand-new aircraft — including the glass-cockpit Cirrus SR22 and Cessna 182T. Lowest-cost aircraft ownership — GUARANTEED! Locations throughout California, Texas, New York, Minnesota, and Connecticut. Call (877) 775-2631 and mention this AVflash, or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ourplane/avflash.

DON'T BUY A NEW AIRCRAFT WITHOUT CHECKING WITH CS&A'S INSURANCE PROS!
Check with CS&A Aviation Insurance professionals now for complete insurance packages with the best coverage and prices in the industry. Get a no-cost, no-obligation quote online from one of CS&A's top aviation specialists. Check with the pros before you go — at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

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.

AVIATION CONSUMER'S JUNE ISSUE REPORTS ON:
The best aircraft tires; how the new ProxAlert R5 traffic alerter stacks up; know what to look for in an insurance company; satellite radio for under $250; online flight planners; and the "Used Aircraft Guide" reviews the Commander 112/114. If you are looking for unbiased reviews and reports, Aviation Consumer is the magazine for you. No advertising, just straight talk. Order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/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

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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

AVflash is now available in optional easier-to-read graphic format, which includes some photos and illustrations. If you prefer, you can continue to receive AVflash in text-only format. Simply follow these instructions and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.


Want to subscribe or unsubscribe? Review/update your AVweb Account? Forgot your password? No problem! Simply go to our friendly Member Services menu.


AVweb | Free Sign Up | Advertise | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Aviation Consumer | IFR Magazine | Aviation Safety
Light Plane Maintenance | IFR Refresher | KITPLANES


Copyright 2004, Aviation Publishing Group. All rights reserved.
--BoUnDaRyCavflashM238D051604T79--