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Volume 10, Number 22b -- May 27, 2004

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

GULF COAST AVIONICS ANR II, VALUE & PERFORMANCE THAT'S HARD TO BEAT!
The GCA ANR II is the second generation of ANR headsets from Gulf Coast Avionics. This design was recently rated "Top ANR Under $500" by Aviation Consumer. Just two AAs provide up to 40 hours of operating time, and this is the only product at this price to include Auto Shut-Off and the Cell Phone/Music built-in interface. All this and more for the low price of $279! For additional information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/gca/avflash.

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

NTSB: IMPACT AFTER COMPLIANCE WITH ATC INSTRUCTION...
The FAA appears to be challenging an NTSB report that points the finger at air traffic control for a fatal accident in California two weeks ago. The NTSB findings on the crash of a Piper PA-44-180 near Julian, Calif., read: "The airplane descended to 5,200 feet in response to an ATC instruction. The airplane impacted trees on a 5,500-foot ridgeline ..." The two private pilots, who were at the time flying a training exercise for a flight school, died. FAA spokesman Greg Martin declined detailed comment on the report but noted the investigation is still underway and the FAA is helping. "I wouldn't reach any conclusions until the report is complete," he said. That could take about two months. More...

...CAPSTONE BEGINS TO LEVEL THE FIELD IN ALASKA...
Meanwhile, the life expectancy of some Alaska bush pilots is increasing thanks to a technological battle against the high accident rate there (2.5 times higher than the lower 48). The Capstone Project -- which has fitted aircraft operating in the mountainous, weather-ravaged and isolated area of southeast Alaska known as the YK Delta with GPS, the latest in weather-radar technologies and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) systems -- is credited with a whopping 40-percent reduction in plane crashes over the past three years, according to a report released last week. More...

...AND INCREASE RELIABILITY
While safety was the prime motivation of Capstone, it has had some operational benefits as well. For instance, the use of GPS instrument approaches at remote airfields has greatly improved the reliability of air service to those communities. "At villages where Capstone has created instrument approaches, the fraction of time weather makes air travel unavailable has been reduced by 50 percent," the report says. Company managers can also keep track of their aircraft in real time over the Internet by using a flight-monitoring function added in 2002. Likely one of the reasons Capstone has been such a success is that pilots seem to like using it. More...

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MICROLIGHT CONQUERS EVEREST
So, what would you do if the turbo-intercooled Rotax 914 engine powering your Pegasus Quantum trike, flying under a Pegasus XL wing, was so hard to start that it flattened two batteries before finally catching? Perhaps they were mildly hypoxic, but Angelo D'Arrigo and Richard Meredith-Hardy chose to fly that engine (typically capable of 115 hp) over the world's highest mountain -- towing a hang glider (a rigid-wing ATOS 2 from ICARO 2000) for good measure. In Tibet on Sunday, microlight pilot Meredith-Hardy hauled hang glider pilot D'Arrigo to the rarified air of Mount Everest and put on what must have appeared to be the world's highest air show for a group of climbers tackling the peak through the more conventional method -- on foot. But it's a show that almost didn't get off the ground, according to Meredith-Hardy's account of the adventure. More...

...EXTREME LOW TEMPERATURES AND HIGH DRAMA
Once the Rotax was running, it pulled the two aircraft up at a rate of about 450 fpm from the 12,000-foot-high base camp. There was a lot of circling involved in getting up to the height of Everest and enjoy the minus 40-degrees Centigrade temperatures. At times, Meredith-Hardy noticed that D'Arrigo was being "bounced around" by turbulence. As they approached the peak, the tow line broke and D'Arrigo was on his own. Without the hang glider in tow, Meredith Hardy said the aircraft "shot up" and he did three fly-bys of the peak, before an audience of about six climbers standing on the peak and four or five others inching up the final few feet. 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/biz.

ADAM "SELLS" 75 JETS
Is it Adam Aircraft's foothold in the potentially lucrative mini-jet market or just another one of those on-again, off-again deals that have seemingly marked the (so far) speculative and seemingly illusory air-taxi industry? Whatever it is, the Colorado-based plane-maker is crowing about a $150 million order for 75 of its A700 jets, which it claims it can start delivering in less than a year. The buyer is iFly, a Connecticut company put together by Donald Burr and Robert Crandall. But as AVweb's business publication BizAv notes, (subscribe here, free)there could be some significant details to overcome before the deal, the air-taxi company and the industry can launch with Adam jets. More...

CESSNA TWINS SPAR ADS WITHDRAWN ... FOR FURTHER REVIEW
The fix identified in two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking would have required the $70,000-plus addition of a spar strap to all affected Cessna 400-series twin aircraft. Now, the potential ADs that might have resulted in the grounding of a lot of aircraft have been withdrawn -- but that doesn't mean they've been cancelled. Bob Vila, president of the Cessna Twins Spar Corporation (no, the company name is not a coincidence) told AVweb the FAA, perhaps under the pressure of public outcry, is simply looking at other (hopefully less-expensive) options to fix the pesky problem affecting the main spars on the twins. The NPRMs put a lot of owners in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether their planes were worth that kind of investment. 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.

MOJAVE TO BECOME (ALREADY IS?) FIRST CIVILIAN SPACEPORT
It's (almost) being used as one anyway, but the Mojave Airport in California is close to getting government approval to become the first private spaceport. SPACE.com reports that the Mojave Airport Civilian Flight Test Center will be certified as a non-federal spaceport to handle horizontal launches of reusable spacecraft -- specifically, like Scaled Composites' hen-and-chick creation that reached an altitude of 40 miles after taking off from Mojave about 10 days ago. SpaceShipOne (the aforementioned "chick"), which launches from the mother ship White Knight (the hen), is the odds-on favorite to win the $10 million X-PRIZE for development of a reusable spacecraft without government funding, but Scaled's team isn't Mojave's only tenant harboring celestial ambitions. More...

FAA FACING BIG PROBLEMS, SAYS GAO
There's big trouble ahead for the FAA if it doesn't get a handle on its out-of-control budgets and terrible record on technology acquisition, and time is running out, according to a report by the General Accounting Office (GAO). But even the GAO is apparently out of ideas on how the agency should reinvent itself, because it made no recommendations in the scathing indictment of the FAA's looming crisis. Rather, it urges the FAA to become a "high performing organization" to address the increased demands on its services and the funding crunch that affects all arms of government. The GAO does, however, list four fundamental qualities of such organizations. 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 (and one for yourself), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/global/avflash.

SEE AND AVOID? A SKYFULL OF UAVS
Not yet, but it may not be long... While one arm of the government worries about how the FAA will cope with the existing air traffic load, another is spending $360 million to figure out how to squeeze scores of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into the mix. NASA, along with five companies that make remotely piloted and robotic aircraft, are undertaking a five-year study aimed at putting unmanned aircraft on the same airways and at the same altitudes as conventional planes so they can take on jobs like forest-fire surveillance, relaying communications and keeping watch on hurricanes. "The fundamental tenet is to preserve the safety of the airspace," said NASA project manager Jeff Bauer. More...

CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO BACK IN PRODUCTION
For those who missed its first run, Charlie Victor Romeo is returning to off-Broadway. The controversial and compelling play, which uses the final few minutes of cockpit voice recorder (CVR) conversations from crashing airplanes as its dialogue, has been revived and it may be even more poignant now. The show's initial run in New York ended before 9/11; it toured thereafter and served up some stark reality for the audiences, including AVweb's Pete Yost , who saw it in the tiny Collective Unconscious theater on New York's Lower East Side. More...

OREGON AERO PRODUCTS — PERFECT FOR FATHER'S DAY
Does the pilot dad in your family fumble around in the cockpit at night? Oregon Aero has a gift idea that will throw some light on the subject. Our FlashPoint™ Flashlight Holder mounts on a headset or helmet, providing a hands-free light source. Other gift ideas: Hand-sewn flight bags and painless portable cushion systems from Oregon Aero. Get more great Father’s Day gift ideas online at Oregon Aero's web site, http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Paris airport terminal may have to be torn down after roof collapse...
Eurofighter Typhoon plagued with systems problems...
Global warming blamed for flooded runway...
Sea-Tac's new tower may be too high, too close to runway...
Air New Zealand, Qantas flights almost collided over Indonesia. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
Say Again? #37: VFR In A Vacuum
Have you been turned down lately when you asked ATC for VFR advisories? Expect it to happen more and more often, especially when you and other pilots don't file a correct flight plan or use the proper phraseology. AVweb's Don Brown points out how the impending controller shortage will reduce the additional services ATC can provide.

More...

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR A $100 GIVEAWAY!
Take a moment to answer a few questions, and your name will be 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.

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...

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 QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
In July of 2001, the words of a controller may have directed a Russian passenger jet into the path of a DHL 757. The results were fatal. Two weeks ago, a PA-44-180 impacted ridge after complying with an ATC instruction to descend to an altitude below the ridgeline, according to an NTSB report. This week, AVweb asks: How often do you invoke your discretion to defer the suggestion of a controller in the interest of your own safety? PLUS: Results of last week's question on the dwindling supply of 100LL. More...

NEW BACKCOUNTRY REPORT ON AVIAT'S NEW PUP & WHERE IT CAN TAKE YOU
Only Pilot Getaways magazine combines the best in in-depth travel information with technical content on the aircraft that can get you there. This spring, Pilot Getaways features destinations around the country — from Martha's Vineyard to San Francisco, Texas, and North Carolina. Catch the thrill of the Kentucky Derby even after the event is over, or take a picnic lunch to a remote backcountry strip. Order your travel adventure subscription — or a gift subscription — at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotgetaways/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
All right, we confess: We were beginning to worry about the slowdown in reader-submitted "Picture of the Week" entries. But, thankfully, our worries were unfounded — AVweb readers turned out in force this week, with dozens of great new "POTW" contenders. The Golden Age of Reader-Submitted Photos is back! Don Laffranchi Jr. leads the pack this week, with a WWII-era winning photo that's sure to bring a tear to your eye. We won't be sending Don a recommissioned P-38 — but we do have the next best thing, an official AVweb logo baseball cap. To add one of these spiffy hats to your wardrobe, make with the clicky and send us your "POTW" contenders! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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

SHOPPING DEALS

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 special 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.

LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN YOU'LL BE LANDING
Sign up for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer, the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight. Your family simply enters the aircraft 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.

COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING FOR A LIMITED TIME, ONLY FROM USED AIRCRAFT GUIDE
Enjoy complimentary ground shipping on the ninth edition of Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide. The Used Aircraft Guide will pinpoint the plane that best fits your needs and budget, resulting in savings of thousands of dollars when you buy and thousands more when you sell. The Guide will also help minimize maintenance and operating costs. Order your copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/acuag/avflash.

COME INTO THE ELECTRONIC AGE & UNCOMPLICATE YOUR LIFE WITH FLIGHT LEVEL
FlightLevel is the premier electronic logbook provider for pilots of general and commercial aviation. No matter your level of proficiency, you need to keep that logbook up to date. FlightLevel is essentially the same as other computer logbooks — except FlightLevel does it better, quicker, and easier — even on your Palm Pilot and Pocket PC! Use the best for your important logbook entries. For a complimentary, no-obligation online demonstration go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fltlevel/avflash.

SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN STYLE!
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.

CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO GUARDIAN
CO Guardian has carbon monoxide detector models from portable units to panel-mount units. Each unit's solid-state sensors and temperature sensors (EMI-shielded to prevent radio interference) are built in the USA and FAA-certified. Go online to find the CO Guardian model right for your aircraft — and order in time for Father's Day (June 20) — at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/avflash.

FLYING CARPET: THE SOUL OF AN AIRPLANE BY NOTED AUTHOR GREG BROWN
Join Greg Brown in the cockpit of his Flying Carpet and share the struggles, triumphs, and crazy adventures of a pilot as he matures from fledgling to seasoned aviator. Some stories are harrowing, some are downright hilarious, and all of them will make you wish you'd been along for the ride. AVweb Exclusive: Order online for an autographed copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/paperjet/avflash.

FLYING MAGAZINE'S JUNE ISSUE IS TYPICAL "FLYING"
Starting with the new Cessna Citation XLS on the cover, Flying magazine's June issue covers articles on: That approach to landing; a look at Piper's new 6X and Saratoga with Avidyne's FlightMax Entegra glass cockpit; fractional ownership; and columns written by aviation's top journalists. Order your personal subscription (with AVweb special prices!) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.

REMINDER ... Specials Ending May 31

GLEIM'S MAY SPECIAL IS FLIGHT-BAG-SIZED ...
Gleim is offering the new Flight-Bag-size (7"x9") 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.

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.

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.

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.

SPONSOR NEWS

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.

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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.

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

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