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Volume 10, Number 25a -- June 14, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)

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

SECURITY MANDARINS PONDER DC PANIC...
Pilot error has been ruled out and now the people who try to keep Washington, D.C., safe from terrorism will figure out among themselves what led them to scramble fighters and evacuate the Capitol last Wednesday for an airplane that never strayed an inch from its approved (and very well-documented) flight path. The King Air 200 carrying Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (a former fighter pilot) had a waiver to take Fletcher into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport so the governor could attend a memorial for the airport's late namesake. But before it landed, its arrival caused panic (see AVweb's prior coverage") ... perhaps an appropriate reaction to police officers at the Capitol building shouting, "one minute to impact." The pseudo drama began with a balky transponder that quit working shortly after the King Air left Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport early Wednesday afternoon. More...

...PILOTS "BY THE BOOK"...
GA flights have been banned into Reagan National since 9/11 but Fletcher's flight managed to attain a waiver. Doug Hogan, Fletcher's communication's director, speculated that despite the special circumstances of the flight and despite the failed transponder, ATC staff simply didn't tell anyone on the ground in Washington that the governor was on his way. "It would appear the air traffic controllers did not notify any of the other agencies about the situation," Hogan told the Associated Press. FAA spokesman Greg Martin told AVweb the FAA, along with other agencies involved in the security of Washington, D.C., will meet to discuss where the system broke down. Martin stressed the pilots were in no way to blame. "The pilots on the flight were by the book," he said. "The pilots did everything they were supposed to do; they had all the proper waivers and clearances." More...

...NEW AIRPLANE FOR THE GOVERNOR?
The positive side of all of this (depending, of course, on your viewpoint) is that Fletcher might end up with a new airplane. His King Air is a 1973 model, military surplus and the oldest of its type still flying, according to state officials who've been angling to replace it with something newer. This is the third time the transponder has failed (techs couldn't find anything wrong with it when it was previously snagged). The steering mechanism in the nose gear also failed earlier this year, causing the plane to veer off a runway. Now the Kentucky media has begun comparing their governor's ride with those of his neighboring counterparts. Apparently most nearby governors use King Airs but the oldest is Ohio's, which was built in 1980. More...

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.

FEEL THE NEED?
Remember when a kitplane was a piece of irrigation pipe and some Dacron? Well, now you can clear out the garage and put together a race-bred airplane from the folks who brought you the Nemesis F-1 racer (47 victories in 50 starts, 16 world speed records). The crew has translated their racing design into the NXT, a two-place speedster that will have its official unveiling at EAA AirVenture in late July. Designers and builders Jon and Patricia Sharp say the first of the kit-derived aircraft is ready for flight-testing and they hope to have it flying at Oshkosh. Others hope (some with good reason) that the aircraft will eventually run better than 350 mph at 20,000 feet. More...

...LANCAIR CERTIFIED'S 400 NO SLOUCH
For those who want speed but would prefer others to sniff the resin fumes, Lancair Certified gained certification for its turbocharged Columbia 400 at Sun 'n Fun and customer deliveries began a short time later. The first to fly away was Paul Duckett, a Missouri resident who put his deposit down in 1998. "Paul has been an incredibly patient man waiting for his airplane," said Lancair President Bing Lantis. Now, the 400 won't likely challenge the NXT in any race but it's no slouch, either. A Lancair 400 "pilot report" has been posted to the Lancair Owners and Pilots Association Web site, here. For Duckett's part, he decided (at 202 KTAS) not to push his new baby too hard on the trip home. More...

STAY AHEAD OF THE "PLAIN" FOR FATHER'S DAY
Don't wait until the last minute to get that special gift for your flying father. What could be nicer than to replace that beat-up old kneeboard he's been using since you were knee-high to a landing strut? Zuluboards are hand-crafted here in the U.S. of the finest materials. Clean, well-thought-out design features make Zuluboards a delightful departure from the ordinary aviation gift. Two styles, two fabrics, 12 colors. All orders are individually produced and shipped within 24-48 hours. Click through http:/www.avweb.com/sponsors/zulu/avflash.

GROUNDED PIPERS CLEARED FOR FLIGHT
It took New Piper about two weeks to find and repair a total of 49 aircraft that contained parts made from a faulty lot of heat-treated steel. Spokesman Mark Miller told AVweb on Thursday that the last of the bad parts had been replaced earlier that day and the entire fleet was again fit to fly. Meanwhile, there's no evidence the steel, which came from Certified Steel Treating in Los Angeles, made it into any other aircraft. Raytheon spokesman Tim Travis told AVweb it doesn't use the LA company and Cessna spokeswoman Jessica Myers said her company didn't use any of the steel, either. More...

LIMITED GPS NAVIGATION ALLOWED
The FAA took a step in the direction of satellite-based navigation last week when it allowed some airliners to use their GPSs to find their way across the country instead of flying routes defined by ground-based radio aids. Seven air route traffic control centers began accepting point-to-point air navigation flight plans for airliners using the high-level airways. By getting the high-level traffic off the increasingly crowded airways, the new system will allow pilots a lot more flexibility in avoiding weather and resolving potential conflicts and will also open up more potential routes. More...

FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL — IT'S NEW, AND IT'S AVAILABLE NOW!
The international news magazine no aviation professional can afford to be without is now available for download to your desktop, laptop, or tablet. If you do business internationally, you need information from right across the global marketplace. Flight International Digital brings you the latest news from wherever it's being made. To get your copy now, or for more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fltintl/avflash.

FSS A CELLPHONE CALL AWAY
If, like many pilots, you use a cellphone for FSS briefings when you do any cross-country flying, you should download this list and put it in your flight bag. As handy as they are, cellphones have some unique limitations that make them a pain to use with telephone features that were originally designed for the landline system. The universal FSS 800 number (1-800-WX-BRIEF) is one of those anomalies and may land you in the hands of a briefer in New York when you're calling from San Diego. (Not that we'd know anything about that.) More...

NTSB WANTS COLOR-BLINDNESS TESTS STUDIED
The NTSB is suggesting the FAA review its standards for color blindness in light of its investigation into the crash of a FedEx Boeing 727 in Florida in 2002. The NTSB found that the flying pilot, the first officer, had a color-vision deficiency that made it hard for him to tell the difference between the red and white lights on the Precision Approach Pathway Indicator (PAPI) system at Tallahassee Airport. The plane ended up clipping trees on approach. The first officer had an FAA waiver for his color blindness and now the NTSB wants the agency to revisit its policy on such waivers. 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.

MASS TYPE ARRIVALS SET FOR OSHKOSH
Flying to EAA AirVenture is always an interesting experience but it's more fun with friends. The "mass arrival" pioneered by Bonanza owners in 1990 has now spread to (at least) three other type clubs. About 80 Bonanzas are expected to arrive about 3 p.m. on July 25, while 42 Mooneys will land at 4:40 p.m. Up to 30 Piper Comanches are scheduled for 11 a.m. on the 25th and a similar contingent of Stinsons will come in on Monday the 26th at 11 a.m. More...

MAN JUMPS FROM CHOPPER
In the third instance of its type so far this year (just off the top of our heads), a man has committed suicide by jumping out of an aircraft. Last Thursday, an unidentified man leapt out of a sightseeing helicopter in the Grand Canyon. The pilot tried to stop him but the determined man got out of the chopper and fell to his death in rugged terrain near White's Butte, about 90 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Ariz. There were four other passengers on board the Papillon Airways helicopter. No names were released. More...

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.

THE NTSB'S X-FILE
The NTSB says it's analyzing the composition of red smears found on the fuselage of a Cessna Caravan that crashed mysteriously in Alabama in 2002. The red marks have become the focus of urban legend-type speculation on the cause of the crash. Some think the Mid Atlantic Freight plane hit a drug runner, others say a military drone was to blame and the theories escalate to meteor strikes, aliens and beyond. The NTSB is, however, conducting a more down-to-earth examination of about 20 items in the wreckage that might have caused the mysterious red marks. More...

OSHKOSH AWASH
If this keeps up, the float planes will be front and center at this year's Air Venture. A spell of heavy rain at Wittman Regional Airport has flooded runways and inundated the show grounds that will teem with people and airplanes in about six weeks. AVweb reader Eric Whyte reports that flooding closed the runways late last week. Come have a look at the nice photos he took of "Whitewater Road" and "Lake Pioneer." Should be nice and green for the big show... More...

PILOT GETAWAYS & KCAL 9 SHARE THE THRILL OF FLYING
Pilot Getaways magazine teamed up with avid flyer and television producer Joshua Chaiton to feature a segment on the adventure, accessibility, and affordability of personal aviation. "One of Pilot Getaways magazine's goals is to share the adventure of general aviation with people who may have thought flying was out of their reach," says "Pilot Getaways" publisher George Kounis. "This television segment captures a side of personal aviation not often portrayed in the media —­­ that flying a small plane is fun and gives both single travelers and families the freedom to visit thousands of great places that are both off and on the beaten track." For more on Pilot Getaways, and to view this TV segment, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/tv/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Fun read: Pilot of both compared an F-14 and a paraglider...
Robb Report named TwinStar "best of best" personal aircraft...
Cirrus "private jet" purchased by Chinese man...
Airline cuts throttle to save fuel...
Bush pilot saved passenger from flipped floatplane, two others died. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS...

Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest someone else, too. Drop us a line. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com.

More...

JOIN PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE FOR A WEEKEND OF FLYING FUN & EDUCATION!
Come to the Technology for Pilots Seminar Series. What better way to spend a day or weekend than talking about flying and learning more about how to be a better, safer pilot — and how to use the new aviation technologies? The first regional seminar will be at the Hilton Burbank Airport Hotel September 25-26, 2004. The program will include more than 25 seminars over the weekend and a social event on Saturday evening at the Million Air FBO, with many new aircraft on display. For more information and to register, call (310) 820-1500 ext. 118 and mention this AVflash, or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/seminar/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
The Pilot's Lounge #75: Preflight? Who Cares?
Recent AVweb columns have brought the question to the fore: Should a pilot perform a detailed preflight inspection, or is there such a thing as too much information? AVweb's Rick Durden has a thorough conversation about it this month in The Pilot's Lounge.

More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about shooting down drug smugglers, scrambling fighters for a governor, fire-fighting tankers, a pilot's dog and much more. More...

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 Edition 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.

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...

SHORT FINAL...
Pilatus: Tower, we think we just hit Rocky the Squirrel half way down the runway.

Tower: I thought I saw a pink mist down there. Is your plane OK?

Pilatus: Seems we're fine, but its not been a good day for Rocky.

Tower: Let's just hope Bullwinkle doesn't come looking...

(10 minutes later)

Airport 1: Taxi 31 for squirrel removal.

Unknown voice: Do you have an approved squirrel cage for that squirrel?

Airport 1: Uh... I'm afraid this is more of a shovel operation.

Tower: Cherokee ###, extend downwind. We're scraping up the squirrel. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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— 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. WxServer includes airport frequency listings, fuel availability, and quick-dial links to FBOs, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: 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.
NONIN FLIGHTSTAT MARKED DOWN TO $367.35 AT AEROMEDIX
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COMPLIMENTARY WEEK OF ADVERTISING ON ASO!
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LOW-CARB DIETERS! SAFE GOODS PRODUCTS ARE PERFECT FOR YOU!
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SPONSOR NEWS
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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
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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