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Volume 10, Number 25b -- June 17, 2004

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

PACIFIC COAST AVIONICS' ANR II — VALUE & PERFORMANCE THAT'S HARD TO BEAT!
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

FAA MAY RAISE ATC RETIREMENT AGE...
On Tuesday, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told a Congressional panel that the maximum retirement age of 56 for air traffic controllers might need to be raised, to help deal with an unprecedented avalanche of retirements. More than 7,000 controllers, almost half the workforce, are expected to leave in the next nine years, as the cohort of workers hired in the early 1980s -- after President Ronald Reagan fired more than 12,000 striking controllers -- reaches retirement age. "At Congress's request," Blakey told the House Aviation Subcommittee, "we are preparing regulations that would permit a controller, under certain conditions, to remain in the workforce beyond the mandatory separation age of 56." More...

...AS NATCA CALLS FOR ACTION NOW...
Ruth Marlin, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told the panel that raising the retirement age will not solve the problem -- it's time now to start hiring at least 1,000 new controllers. The FAA's plan to collect more data before taking action will only make things worse, she said. "We can do yet another round of studies and reports but the answer is plainly in front of all of us," Marlin said. "The FAA must immediately begin hiring and training the next generation of air traffic controllers to prepare for the inevitable shortage. And Congress must provide the FAA with resources to do so." More...

...AND TRAINING ISSUES ARISE
George Ebbs Jr., president of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), testified on Tuesday that the government's training program for new hires in Oklahoma City is redundant and unnecessary, and also asked that training rules be relaxed to allow candidates who already have a college degree to advance more quickly. If ERAU could send its graduates directly to on-the-job training, Ebbs said, "the FAA could realize significant savings in both time and expense. " Ebbs also said that an accelerated program for college graduates could enable ERAU to train an additional 600 controllers per year. More...

TRADE-A-PLANE, THE WORLD'S LARGEST AVIATION RESOURCE
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SUMMER'S HERE, AND AIRVENTURE IS NOT FAR BEHIND...
With the onset of summer, the big show at Oshkosh is just six weeks away, and this year promises to be an interesting one in the wide-open spaces of Wisconsin. Though the buzz over new jets has eased off a bit as the trek to certification proves long and slow, and insurance requirements for the owner/pilot loom high, interest seems to be picking up as some of the players start inching closer to that finish line. Still, the only example of a light jet flying with its (destined for) production engines is the Adam A700. Eclipse says it is working on three copies of its first certification flight-test aircraft, all of which will feature Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines. First flight of its prototype is expected by the end of the year, Eclipse says. More...

...AND KIT JETS, TOO...
It seems already like ancient history, but among the first in this crop of light jets to ever bolt into the sky was the Maverick Jet, a twin-engine kitbuilt that was flying at Oshkosh three years ago, back when some of the current contenders weren't even mock-ups yet. The Florida-based company has been selling copies that are assembled at its Build Assist Center, and may try to certify the airplane for production. Meanwhile, the folks at Aerocomp Inc. told AVweb yesterday they'll be flying their new eight-place, single-engine kitjet within a month (going over our notes, you might not want to hold them to that time frame ... but it likely will get done), and plan to have it on exhibit at the show. More...

...AND MORE, MORE, MORE
While Diamond won't have its single-engine D-Jet ready, it will be showing off its DA42 Twin Star, making its North American debut at Oshkosh with a fresh European certification. EAA says it expects a record number of exhibitors to show up this summer with new technology, both in the cockpit and in aircraft design. Of course, fingers are crossed that the federal bureaucracy will loosen its grip on the Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft final rule and let it fly at Oshkosh, but after so many trip-ups and delays, nobody is making any predictions on that. Finally, if you're flying in, it's not too soon to start planning -- the NOTAM is available online. More...

THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST WINNERS
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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.

PILOTS ON ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS GAIN AME SUPPORT
Aeromedical certifying authorities -- such as the FAA's Office of Aviation Medicine -- should begin to study and license pilots on anti-depressant medication, the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) said in a position paper published last month. The proposal is "stunning," says Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) Dr. Brent Blue, who said he has tried for years to get medicated pilots licensed. "The appearance of this paper was an unexpected triumph of rational thought in pilot certification," he told AVweb yesterday. The paper proposes that aeromedical certifying authorities remove the current absolute prohibitions that bar pilots from flying while taking anti-depressants. The 10-page proposal, Blue said, would allow a test group of pilots to fly under the watchful eye of psychological specialists, AMEs and perhaps aeromedically trained psychiatrists. More...

WOMEN'S AIR RACE TO START (AND END) IN WICHITA
In a first for the annual Air Race Classic, this year's route will start and finish in the same place. The race will launch from Colonel James Jabara Airport, Wichita, Kan., on June 23, and cover 2,200 nautical miles above Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Missouri, returning to Wichita by June 26. Each aircraft is flown by a team of two female pilots. Each plane is handicapped based primarily on horsepower and design. The winners are determined by how well the planes exceeded their handicaps in ground speed. Altitude, wind, pilot skill, weather and aircraft condition are among the factors that influence the final score. More...

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MOONEY AEROSPACE GROUP FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY
Mooney Aerospace Group Ltd. (MASG), the former parent company of Mooney Airplane Co. (MAC), filed last Thursday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in Maryland. MASG sold its interest in MAC to an investor earlier this month, so the filing has no impact on the aircraft manufacturer, based in Kerrville, Texas. In court papers, MASG listed liabilities of $65.5 million and no assets. "The bankruptcy doesn't affect the airplane company," said J. Nelson Happy, president of MASG. "What we were able to do was lift these major financial issues away from the manufacturing operation." Unfortunately, that may not be the notion conjured in an aircraft buyer's mind when he or she hears Mooney and bankruptcy. More...

9/11 SHOOT-DOWN ORDERS, THE FAA, AND 20/20 HINDSIGHT
Today, the 12th and final public hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (known as the 9-11 Commission) will examine the immediate response to the attacks by the FAA and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). One focus of the hearing is expected to be how the decision was made to scramble fighter jets and whether to empower those jets to shoot down the hijacked airliners. An early version of a report to be made public today, according to The New York Times, says a better response from NORAD might have enabled the fighter jets to reach one airliner and shoot it down before it hit the Pentagon. The FAA's response on 9/11 also is harshly criticized, the Times said. 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.

AIR FORCE ACADEMY FLEET BACK IN THE AIR
Officials at the U.S. Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday cleared 45 aircraft to return to service; the aircraft had been grounded in January and again in April for safety concerns. The Academy says it has resolved all issues about the safety of the fleet. Affected aircraft include: TG-10B\C\D unpowered gliders and TG-14 motor-gliders, T-41 and Cessna 150 single-engine aircraft, and UV-18 Twin Otter jump-platform aircraft. Changes made to address the maintenance issues included a detailed nose-to-tail audit of all aircraft components, improved documentation procedures, and modified maintenance contracts to allow for stronger contractor oversight. More...

SIX COMPANIES NAMED IN LAWSUIT FOLLOWING WING SEPARATION
The June 2002 crash of a modified Piper Malibu that lost a portion of wing and crashed outside Orlando, Fla., killing all three aboard has resulted in a wrongful-death lawsuit naming six separate companies. The suit claims the aircraft design and manufacturer were deficient, as was the autopilot, the turbine (conversion), and work performed on the aircraft prior to the fatal flight. As a result, New Piper Aircraft Inc., Rocket Engineering Corp., Honeywell International Inc., Pratt & Whitney Canada, Jetprop LLC., and Naples Air Center Inc. have all been named. The NTSB's report states the aircraft was cruising at 26,000 feet and averaging 230 knots -- convective SIGMETS for nearby areas listed tops above FL450. More...

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ON THE FLY...
World Ballooning Championships underway in Australia this week...
Scuba divers in Australia want to sink a MiG jet as a reef...
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome opens for the season Saturday...
Two Qantas pilots charged with reckless operation of an aircraft...
24 Hamilton Sundstrand props affected by Airworthiness Directive...
Zeppelin-NT of Germany delivered its first airship on Saturday...
Boeing won U.S. Navy contract for up to 100 submarine-hunting aircraft. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS...

Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about? 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.

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CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT BUDGET ANALYZER
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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...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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BRAINTEASERS
Quiz #82 -- Navigate Through Turbulent Times
Smooth skies are the stuff flying dreams are made of, but bouncing past a thunderstorm or trailing in the wake of a low-flying whale can shake you awake. Cinch your seatbelts and see how you'd rate these turbulence encounters.

More...

THE NEW ASA AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY AND COMPLETE
The NEW ASA Aircraft Flight Log provides the operators of individual aircraft an easy-to-use method of keeping track of detailed items pertaining to the care and use of their airplanes. Inspections, VOR/ELT checks, oil changes, and simple squawks are all easy to find without digging through a stack of maintenance logs. Instantly know the disposition of the aircraft you are about to fly, simply by checking your ASA Aircraft Flight Log. Available now for $9.95 from ASA at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Aviation lawsuits — keeping us safe, or making aviation unpalatable and (even more) expensive? This week, AVweb wants to hear your opinion on aviation litigation. PLUS: Results of last week's question on the usefulness of TFRs. More...

OREGON AERO'S NEW CATALOG FEATURES 500+ PAINLESS, SAFER, QUIETER PRODUCTS
Oregon Aero's latest four-color catalog is the biggest ever produced, containing more than 500 products and information about the company, its people, and customers. The catalog has color-coded product segments for easy reference. Product sections include: Seat Cushion Systems, including portable cushions; OEM Seats (the High-G (tm) Safety Seat); Specialty Products; and Equipment Bags. Complimentary copies are available by calling (800) 888-6910 and mentioning this AVflash; or by ordering online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
We predicted it, and it came true! No, not the results of NBA Finals — the flood of "aircraft at sunset" pictures that arrived at AVweb headquarters following last week's themed edition of "POTW." While the photos are spectacular, we can't run sunset photos all the time — so this week we've opted to supply three completely unrelated images for your ogling pleasure. For his walk down memory lane with two airplanes, a classic Corvette, and a camera, Dr. Edward E. Boas Jr. takes home "POTW" honors. This means Dr. Boas will be receiving a coveted AVweb baseball cap — just in time for baseball season! (Hmm, we'd better get back to making predictions ... .) More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

MARV GOLDEN SHOWCASES NEW PRODUCTS WITH SPECIAL JUNE SAVINGS
Fly the skies with: The new line of Seiko flight chronographs; MG Golden Eagle line of headsets featuring cell phone interface — super-lightweight with ANR technology and fantastic pricing; Vertex's Navigation Transceiver with super-high capacity Nimh battery at a special price; and Lowrance's color GPS Airmap 2000c can be pre-ordered for July delivery. You'll find all this at your one-stop pilot shop, Marv Golden! Online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/avflash.
SUBSCRIBE TO IFR REFRESHER NOW AND SAVE!
You worked hard for your IFR ticket. Now protect it. IFR Refresher is the monthly that polishes your proficiency, challenges your knowledge, briefs you on changing regs, and keeps your decision-making skills sharp. Order today and you'll enjoy guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrref/avflash.
TRACK ALL IN-FLIGHT IFR AIRCRAFT IN REAL TIME
Is your buddy's Beech airborne? Need a list of all flights bound for your airport? Curious about how many aircraft are cruising above FL400? The AVweb edition of Flight Explorer gives you a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight over the U.S. This informative service is yours for just $9.95 a month. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
PHOTON MICRO-LIGHTS ANNOUNCES PRICE REDUCTION ON BEST-SELLERS!
Here on AVweb is the best micro-light on the planet, at a subscriber savings! All colors of the Photon 3 (except the IR & UV) are priced at only $17.95, with the covert versions still only $2 more! Find the right model of Photon micro-light for your flying, sport, and reading needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.
CFIs — FIND THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN THE SAVVY FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR
You passed that challenging CFI checkride, but what about all the other flight instructing questions?: How do you recruit flight students? Once you have them, how do you keep them? How do you optimize your pass rate on checkrides? And how do you get students to return for advanced ratings? Find the answers in Greg Brown's classic book The Savvy Flight Instructor. Greg Brown knows the answers, as an AOPA Flight Training columnist and 2000 Flight Instructor of the Year. Order your autographed copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/paperjet/avflash.
RENTERS! CARRY AN ALTITUDE ALERTER WITH YOU ON YOUR NEXT FLIGHT
AirSport Avionics is the only manufacturer of completely portable 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). Plug it in for your flight, then take it with you when you return the airplane's keys. Security never felt as portable as it does with AirSport. JUNE SPECIAL: 10% online discount at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport/avflash.
THE BEST RESOURCE FOR PILOTS — GLEIM PUBLICATIONS & SOFTWARE
Gleim Publishing, the most trusted name in training, is offering a 10% discount on Test Prep software and a $6 discount on the Pilot Handbook. Offer ends June 30, so order today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gleim/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 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall/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.
FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE USUALLY SPEECHLESS; THEN THEY CAN'T STOP TALKING
It starts with Be A Pilot, the national learn-to-fly program sponsored by the General Aviation community. Since 1997, over 200,000 people have registered to take their first lesson at one of the 2,114 flight schools nationwide. Give the gift of flight. Register for a low-cost $49 first flying lesson at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/beapilot/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
NON-OWNER (RENTER) PILOTS EXPOSED: PILOTS ARE HELD FINANCIALLY LIABLE
for losses involving rented or borrowed aircraft. You rent an aircraft on a beautiful day to fly around the patch for a couple of hours. It's time to land, and you get caught in a crosswind. The aircraft is damaged. Fortunately you are okay, but the airplane is in bad shape. Who is responsible for the plane's repair expenses and the FBO's lost revenue? Far too often, it's YOU — uninsured renter pilot. Get the comprehensive coverage you need by calling AVEMCO today. For as little as $215 annually you can have liability and aircraft damage (hull) coverage. Call (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or go online now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.
AVIATION CONSUMER IS EXACTLY WHAT THE NAME SAYS!
Informed consumers buy wisely. If you are shopping for any aviation product, don't make a move without Aviation Consumer. The July issue features: Garmin's GNS530 vs. Garmin's CNX80; Choosing Slick or Bendix Mags; Why Paper Won't Die; Sport Pilot Miasma; Dual-Pump Company Demise; Pressurized Plane Shopping; plus the Robinson R22 featured in the "Used Aircraft Guide" and much more. To be a wise aviation consumer, sign up for your "Aviation Consumer" online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/avflash.
FOR WOMEN ONLY? I DON’T THINK SO!
Women ask if Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook was written for women because "we finally understand engines and electrical systems!" (Their words — not ours; no letters, please!) Rod drew the illustrations to be clear and educational. (These are not just pretty pictures.) Students claim they can understand VORs in 30 minutes by only looking at the illustrations! They ask, "Why do other books make everything so complicated?" (We don’t know.) A mechanic claimed the engine chapter was better than the text he read for a basic A&P school course. Another A&P said this chapter was a wonderful review for him after a six-year hiatus. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
DO YOU LOVE AVIATION & PROUD TO BE A PILOT?
You worked hard to get that ticket. Don't be shy; show your pride with a Carprop on the front of your vehicle! Just two screws to mount, and you're on your way to having fun and showing your special talent. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/carprop/avflash.
PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED APPROACH:
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the book. ... It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states Fred Scott; "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book, you will establish your own personal standard operating practices for IFR, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings, and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. For more information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.
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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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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