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Volume 10, Number 28b -- July 8, 2004

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

FIGHTING FIRES WITH RETIRED A-10s?
There's nothing like a little adversity to inspire innovation and a California company says it has part of the solution to the problem of aging large air tankers. Aero Tech Ltd. has been trying to convince California authorities and the U.S. Air Force to test A-10 attack aircraft as medium-sized air tankers. The company's Web site claims governments are wasting time and money continuing to convert 50- and 60-year-old designs into effective firefighting aircraft when the FireHog version of the venerable Warthog carrying about 1,550 gallons of retardant would provide a modern alternative. More...

...WESTERN GOVERNORS PITCHED...
Aero Tech has been promoting the A-10 tanker concept for almost 10 years but the recent grounding of 33 large air tankers by the Forest Service gave new impetus to the proposal and the company prepared a brief for western governors. One of the biggest stumbling blocks appears to be freeing up a couple of A-10s for testing. The brief to the governors notes that dozens of A-10s, in flying condition, have been donated to museums in recent years and there are about 200 in storage in Arizona. Aero Tech claims the cost of converting an A-10 to firefighting duty is about $3 million, which it says is less than the conversion cost of less-effective S-2T aircraft in California. More...

...LARGE AIR TANKERS BACK AT WORK
Meanwhile, the Forest Service wasted little time getting the five heavy tankers it now has back in its arsenal back to work. Within a few days of the P-3 Orions from Aero Union Corp. being given the go-ahead to fly, two of them were used to battle a blaze threatening a telescope in Arizona. The five turboprops will be dispersed throughout the Western U.S., with one going to Alaska, but they will travel where needed to fight fires, said Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Jo Simpson. Other air-tanker contractors are now anxiously awaiting their turns for airworthiness inspections that could allow them to get back into business. More...

NEW ANR HEADSET — BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED
LightSPEED Aviation introduces Panel Power headset! The new gray model boasts all their feature-packed benefits, including the new cell/satellite phone and music jack, along with a 6-point Limo connector — the standard panel interface for Cirrus and Lancair. Each comes with a padded headset bag and 5-year warranty. Try one on at LightSPEED AirVenture Booth #2023-2024, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/anr/avflash.

FUMING ABOUT GAS PRICES
The one state likely doing the highest percentage of general aviation flying per resident is also paying the most for general aviation fuel. "With the gas prices, oh, man, it's a sore subject," Matt Smith, of Anchorage's Aero Tech Flight Services, told The Anchorage Daily News. As often seems to be the case, Alaskans have been hit harder by gas-price increases than just about anyone. Aero Tech is currently charging about $3 a gallon for 100LL, up from about $2.50 in early May. However, while FBOs in populated areas of the state can expect the prices to fluctuate with world oil prices, bush pilots in outlying areas are bracing for a year of high fuel costs, possibly up to $4 a gallon. More...

...ALASKA LEADS, BUT NOT BY MUCH
Chances are avgas prices have gone up at your local FBO, too, but if you live in the central part of the U.S. you're probably paying less than elsewhere in the country. AirNav's report on fuel prices canvasses 3955 FBOs and the most recent tabulation reveals that the average price for 100LL in the central area was $2.70 a gallon. In some places it was as low as $2 while others were charging $3.75 a gallon. Alaska has the highest prices, ranging from $2.25 to $5.25 a gallon with an average of $3.18. Outside of Alaska, New England was listed as the most expensive place to buy avgas, with an average of $3.01 a gallon between extremes of $2.25 and $5.25. More...

OSHKOSH ATTENDEES! SIGN UP FOR A DAILY SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY
From Scheyden fan Quinn Lake comes this quote: "I have found these sunglasses to be very comfortable as well as good-looking. I have received many compliments about the design from friends and co-workers." Join the Scheyden fan club by signing up for a daily giveaway at AirVenture Booth #2003-04 (PilotMall), or go online to participate in the current giveaway offer at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.

RHODE ISLAND ROLLS BACK AVIATION TAXES
Airplanes and most of what keeps them flying will soon be less costly in Rhode Island after the state apparently thought better of its sometimes-confusing attempts to make aviation pay. Gov. Donald L. Carcieri signed legislation on Monday that will repeal laws that taxed aircraft sales and associated services. Although the taxes were never popular, they became even more of an issue last year when the state invoked a "user tax" that slapped seven percent on the cost of an airplane and associated services even if they were purchased out of state. It also could be applied to non-resident companies. The taxes will be repealed effective Jan. 1, 2005. The new law specifically exempts from tax "the sale, storage, use or other consumption of new or used aircraft and aircraft parts" according to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). More...

EUROPE URGED TO ADOPT U.S. REGS
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is urging the European Union to adopt a uniform set of standards for GA aircraft and it's recommending they mirror U.S. regs. GAMA Sr. VP of Operations Ron Swanda told the recent U.S./Europe International Safety Conference that without common standards for GA aircraft, trade and commerce could be hindered in Europe. Swanda said the model for such regulations already exists with the FAA's operating rules. "The U.S. accounts for approximately 80 percent of the world's GA aircraft and pilots and it contains geography and operating environments similar to every area of the world," Swanda told delegates. More...

SAVE YOUR SWEAT FOR YARD WORK, NOT LOOKING FOR PILOT SUPPLIES!
Marv Golden takes the time and trouble out of looking for everything aviation — from apparel, avionics, ELTs, GPSs, headsets, Jepps, and manuals to oxygen systems, watches, videos/DVDs, and much more. Marv Golden Pilot Supplies is the pilot's one-stop shopping spot with the best prices in the industry, at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/avflash.

AIRLINES SUE EACH OTHER OVER ESPIONAGE
It reads like something out of a cheap spy novel but a bitter lawsuit between two Canadian airlines may also be a window into the cutthroat competition that has developed between WestJet and Air Canada. In April, Air Canada launched a lawsuit accusing WestJet of gleaning confidential information about passenger loads from its Web site by using an access code reserved for employees booking themselves onto flights. Late last month, WestJet countersued, claiming Air Canada had hired private detectives to go through the recycling bags of a senior WestJet executive, collecting confidential shredded documents and then paying to have the paperwork reconstituted. More...

RESEARCHERS TURN DOWN JET VOLUME
Scientists at Ohio State University are working on a "mute button" for jet engine exhaust noise. Researchers Mohammad Samimy and Igor Adamovich have used high-voltage electrical current to change the patterns of exhaust turbulence, one of the main causes of engine noise. If they can turn it into a practical system, they'll give pilots the option of setting the volume on their engines based on where and when they're flying. Modern jet engines already have a mechanical version of the same theory. Zigzags cut in the exhaust nozzle direct the gases to control noise, but they also increase fuel consumption. More...

ATTENTION, AIRCRAFT CLUB MEMBERS! GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CLUB?
TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling service offers advanced features such as standby scheduling and notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve aircraft utilization and will make your members happy. You can also add AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree and QuickBooks. For a no-obligation online demonstration, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy/avflash.

CANADIAN TRAINING'S FAST TRACK, NOW ONLINE
Imagine dropping off your 16- or 17-year-old at camp and picking up a licensed pilot six weeks later. The Royal Canadian Air Cadets have been doing just that for hundreds of teens every summer for the last 50 years and now parents of a few of them can watch the miracle unfold via the Internet. Harv's Air Pilot Training School in Steinbach, Manitoba, one of about 10 contractors that provides the intensive training programs for the cadets, is plotting the progress of 16 cadet students as they work their way through the training. More...

A LITTLE LUCK GOES A LONG WAY
Luck was in the air for a few GA pilots over the past week as they walked, swam and were pulled away from some potentially disastrous circumstances. Probably the most public examples was Ramsay Shockley's unplanned swim in Jamaica Bay, New York, in front of thousands of beach-goers. Shockley, 25, was towing a banner with a Cessna when the plane developed engine trouble and he elected to ditch. He was picked up from the wing of the submerged plane by a passing jet skier. In Beirut, a student pilot and instructor put their Cessna 172 down on a crowded road after the plane had engine problems. 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 its 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™ Safety Seat); Specialty Products; and Equipment Bags. Complimentary copies are available by stopping at Oregon Aero's AirVenture Booth #3137-40, by calling (800) 888-6910, or by ordering online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.

94-YEAR-OLD TAKES THE PLUNGE
What George Bush can do, Steven Eastman, of Renton, Wash., did perhaps a little better. The former U.S. president made headlines around the world a month ago when he skydived on his 80th birthday. Eastman celebrated his 94th birthday on July 4 with a tandem leap from 12,000 feet. What's more, his son Hal and granddaughter Julie Pech joined him (we didn't see George W. shouting Geronimo with his dad). "I wanna do it again," yelled the elder Eastman after touching down at Harvey Field, in Snohomish. More...

ON THE FLY...
FAA, DOT buildings named after the Wright brothers...
A small plane crashed into two houses near Los Angeles on Wednesday...
The first European orders for Boeing's Dreamliner were announced last week...
Got a spare Cessna 210? Then EAA would like to hear from you...
Australia is issuing forge-proof pilot licenses to all its 30,000 pilots...
The FAA has tested a new fuel inerting system for airliners. More...

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. Stop by AirVenture Booth #1159-60 to speak with an AVEMCO professional, call (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or go online now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

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

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #7: Owner In Command
Every pilot understands the concept of "pilot in command," which places absolute responsibility and final authority for aircraft operation squarely on the pilot's shoulders. But what about when the aircraft isn't flying? AVweb's Mike Busch argues that aircraft owners need to accept absolute responsibility and final authority for the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft -- a concept he calls "owner in command."

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.

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...

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, we want to hear your opinion on pilots' salaries, so we're asking the question, "Are professional pilots overpaid?" Step up to the plate and share your opinion. PLUS: Results of last week's poll on joint-use airports, like those in the FAA's MAP program. More...

COMPLIMENTARY WEEK OF ADVERTISING ON ASO!
Selling your aircraft? Advertise it on Aircraft Shopper Online (ASO) for four weeks and get an additional week compliments of ASO. Your ad includes six photos, full specs, and a selling paragraph highlighting your bird's best features. Take advantage of this limited-time offer today: Call ASO at (888) 992-9276 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aso/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
AVweb readers continue to deliver the goods, even with a day off work and lots of distractions during the Independence Day holiday. In honor of Fourth of July barbecues and fly-ins, we wanted to make this a holiday-weekend-themed edition of "POTW" — and it almost is, though we just had to squeeze in a photo of the Concorde making its way to NYC. So microwave the last of your holiday leftovers, pull up a seat and check out these great "POTW" submissions from our readers. Philip F. Curtiss, an AVweb hat is on the way for your striking photo of Miss Liberty! More...

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SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN STYLE!
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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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