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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
MORE CHANGES AT MOONEY...
Allen Holding Finance Ltd. has paid $4 million to buy the stock of
Mooney Airplane Company (MAC) from its parent company, Mooney Aerospace
Group Ltd. (MASG), MASG announced on Tuesday. MASG President J. Nelson
Happy said the sale took place because MASG's secured debenture holders
declared their notes in default. "As a result, the MASG board accepted
the offer to purchase all of Mooney Airplane Company's stock by Allen,
and the sale was completed last Friday morning," Happy said in a news
release. "The board of MASG deeply regrets that the sale of Mooney
Airplane Company's stock was made necessary," he added.
PRODUCTION GOALS RAMP UP
"This [sale] will allow us to achieve our business plan, and should
remove all doubts about Mooney's financial stability," Barry Hodkin,
MAC's chief operating officer, said in a news release Tuesday. The
three-year business plan, approved last month, calls for Mooney to sell
more than 70 airplanes in 2004 (we didn't really need one, but hey, if
their goal is 70 ...). The goal is more than twice Mooney's 2003 volume.
It also calls for new product features, wider sales presence, additional
employees and improvements in production over the next three years.
Hodkin said he expects FAA certification in August of two new models,
the Bravo GX and the Ovation2 GX, both with Garmin G-1000 glass-panel
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COMPOSITES ANNOUNCES FLIGHT TO 100 KM...
Burt Rutan plans to launch SpaceShipOne on its highest flight yet on
June 21, and in an unusual twist for the once-secretive project (and
generally secretive company), not only is the launch being announced in
advance ... but you're invited to come to Mojave and see it for
yourself. At the Scaled
Composites Web site yesterday, the company announced that "Everyone,
especially children," is welcome. You can even bring your RV and your
dog (on a leash), but don't bring your airplane -- the Mojave airport
will be closed to transient aircraft starting several days before the
event. The flight plan calls for SpaceShipOne to reach an altitude of
100 kilometers, the height specified by the X PRIZE, but Rutan is billing this flight as a test
SEE IT FOR YOURSELF
Scaled.com lists extensive details of what the public can expect at the
Mojave Civilian Aerospace Test Center on June 21. "White Knight [the
carrier aircraft], with SpaceShipOne slung underneath, will taxi by
right in front of the public viewing area. A few minutes later, you will
see it take off." The kids might want earplugs for that. "You can see
them circling overhead as they climb. It takes the pair of mated
vehicles roughly one hour to reach 47,000 feet ... That is where White
Knight releases SpaceShipOne. ... [It] glides for a few seconds, then
the pilot lights the rocket and you'll be able to see flames and a
rocket exhaust trail for about 80 seconds." Bring binoculars for a
better view. With unprecedented verbosity, Scaled.com goes on ...
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND...
While the X PRIZE celebrates the urge to explore, a few stories this
week remind us all that aerial adventures come with real risk ... and
sometimes a terrible price is paid. South African pilot Alan Honeyborne,
34, who was flying around the world in an ultralight, was killed last
Friday when he crashed into a lake in central China. The Cape Argus news reported that Honeyborne told his
flying partner, Ricky de Agrela, 42, by radio that he had lost a wing
and was going down. The flyers were reportedly on their way to Wuhan
after being diverted from their original destination by bad weather.
They had launched a href="http://www.safreedomflight.com"
target="_blank">Freedom Flight 2004 last December, to honor the
abolition of apartheid in their homeland 10 years ago. The flyers also
raised funds for the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town.
MUSTANG PILOT DIES OF INJURIES
During an air show on Saturday, pilot Don Hinz was performing a fly-by
in a Commemorative Air Force (CAF) P-51C Mustang when he reported a
problem. Unable to return to the field, Hinz managed to avoid nearby
houses and power lines, but the aircraft hit the ground hard, and both
wings were torn off. Hinz died Sunday of his injuries. The accident took
place during the Wings of Freedom Airshow at the Red Wing Regional
Airport in Minnesota. Hinz, 60, of Woodbury, Minn., had played a major
role in the fundraising, educational, restoration and outreach programs
of the P-51C Mustang, and had worked to bring the aircraft and the
message of the Tuskegee Airmen to the public, the CAF said in a news
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TO REMEMBER D-DAY BY SHOOTING DOWN PRIVATE PILOTS?
French officials have said they will shoot down private pilots who stray
into restricted airspace during this weekend's 60th anniversary D-Day
events in Normandy, the Daily Telegraph reported Monday. At least 16
heads of state and 1 million visitors are expected to attend the
ceremonies. The region will be protected by an array of radar
installations, AWACs aircraft on patrol, remote-controlled drones, two
squadrons of Mirage 2000 fighters, lots of anti-aircraft missiles, 50
military helicopters, 9,000 troops, 10,000 police, at least two aircraft
carriers offshore, plus an unknown number of submarines. Our advice:
Don't fly in that airspace. More...
GA'S WORTH WITH MARKED MONEY
If every general aviation dollar was somehow flagged as it traveled
through the economy, do you think GA would get more respect? Monty
Walford isn't trying to take Rodney Dangerfield's schtick, but he thinks
the answer is a definite "yes." Walford, owner of Shreveport, La.- based
J & M Aircraft Supply, thinks GA gets pushed around more than most other
multibillion-dollar industries -- especially since 9/11 -- and has come
up with a way to show off its clout. Walford's message, "General
Aviation Made This Payment Possible," is printed on all his company
checks (click for
large image), and his message is getting noticed. "Think of all the
places I send checks each week -- they go to buy shipping boxes, to pay
UPS, taxes, and freight," Walford told AVweb. More...
SR20 RECEIVES EUROPEAN CERTIFICATION
The European Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) has certified Cirrus Design's
SR20 for import to the European Union, Cirrus announced on Tuesday. The
certificate was awarded to Cirrus officials at a private meeting in
Brussels by members of the EASA. "EASA certification of Cirrus's first
production model, the SR20, will help us expedite development of
market-specific products that address the wants and needs of the
European customer," said Dale Klapmeier, executive vice president of
product strategy. "The European market plays an integral role in the
long range strategic growth of our company." More...
PLANE REALITY TV
A crew of aviation archeologists excavated a World War II airplane in
London over the weekend, digging beneath a paved road near Buckingham
Palace. Parts of a Hurricane's engine and control panel were found as
the airplane's pilot, Ray Holmes, now 89, watched and live TV cameras
rolled. Holmes saw the German bomber heading for the palace during the
Battle of Britain in 1940, but he had run out of ammunition. "What goes
through a young pilot's mind as he confronts the Germans?" asked the TV
host. "Nothing particularly," answered Holmes. "Except he just has to go
and have a bash at him. That's all." So Holmes rammed into the enemy
plane, which crashed at Victoria Railway Station, then bailed out of his
own disabled aircraft. More...
SAYS: WE DON'T NEED NO ATC
While air traffic controllers worry about who will take over when they
all retire, NASA this summer is working on an alternative scenario --
let those pilots control themselves. The "Autonomous Operations Planner"
being tested at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and Ames
Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., feeds collision-avoidance info
directly into the cockpit and lets pilots choose their own path through
the sky. During a test later this month, airline pilots and researchers
will be at computer workstations flying simulated aircraft into a
mock-up of the Dallas-Fort Worth airspace. The pilots will use the
experimental autonomous flight management system to plan their own
routes to "safely and seamlessly fit into the traffic flow," NASA said
in a news release. More...
AD REQUIRES SOFTWARE UPGRADE
Owners of a popular brand of Mode S transponder must ensure they're
running the proper software. The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for Garmin GTX 330 and 330D
Mode S transponders after it was discovered that, under certain
circumstances, they don't always reply to the interrogation pulse of
another aircraft. "The inaccurate replies could result in reduced
vertical separation or unsafe TCAS resolution advisories," the AD says.
The fix is to install Software Upgrade Version 3.03, 3.04 or 3.05. The
transponders are installed in hundreds of different types of aircraft.
THE NEW ASA AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY AND
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Instantly know the disposition of the aircraft you are about to fly,
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Caravan that crashed in January, killing 10, was 1,000 pounds
Rep. John Mica called TSA "a Soviet-style centralized
Hungarian pilot Zoltan Veres (unofficially) broke roll record...
Air marshals ask Congress to let them blend into the crowd...
Memorial dedicated to AA Flight 1420 at Little Rock...
An airplane hit a house in Minnesota Tuesday night, four died...
A House bill would deny certain tax deductions for corporate jets...
Be A Pilot is launching its annual Father's Day campaign...
AOPA's annual fly-in and open house this Saturday in Frederick, Md.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
What's New --
Products and Services
This month, AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for
pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you a new instrument
training book, GPS mapping software for PDAs, LED flashlight conversion
kit and much more. If you know of a new product or service other AVweb
readers should hear about, please send
us a note.
"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.
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
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a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE
"SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
As a general rule, spectacle wins the ribbon in our "Picture of the
Week" contest. Catch a tremendous stunt in progress or snap a photo of a
pristine aerial formation, and you're a contender. But action isn't the
only element of a good photo color, composition, humor, and
historical significance all factor into our "POTW" choices. Did we
mention composition? Sometimes a well-planned shot of the simplest scene
can steal the show. If you don't believe us, check out this week's
winning photo from Steve Hughes of Washington state. Steve gives new
meaning to the the term "vanishing point" (using only five aircraft) and
takes home a coveted AVweb baseball cap! More...
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Flying can be a dangerous business. Sometimes recognition of that notion
heightens our vigilance and helps keep us safe. This week, AVweb would
like to know how many friends you've lost to flying. PLUS: We report on
last week's question, "Does ATC always know best?" More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
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Terrific Ideas for Father's Day at
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AERO PRODUCTS PERFECT FOR FATHER'S DAY
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KUDOS FOR MIKE BUSCH'S "SAVVY OWNER SEMINAR" ...
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ECKALBAR'S BOOK ATTRACTS RAVE REVIEWS
Flying High Performance Singles and Twins is 400 pages
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