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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PILOT/LIGHT SPORT IN EFFECT SEPT. 1
First there's the rule, then there's the reality. A longtime builder of
what will now be called Light Sport aircraft (LSA) says it will take him
at least six months to build a finished airplane that he's confident
meets all the criteria set out in the new Light Sport/Sport Pilot classification finally
announced on Tuesday. Sebastien Heintz, of Zenith Aircraft, told AVweb that even though
there are hundreds of Zenith 601 and 701 aircraft happily flying all
over the world, the paper trail and organizational structures necessary
to support them as factory-built, ready-to-fly aircraft will take his
company time to develop. "It will be at least six months. It would be
nice if it was sooner but I think realistically anything sooner than
that is not possible," Heintz said. However, he expects other
manufacturers, particularly Europeans, will be selling finished planes
Sept. 1, the day the rule takes effect. More...
SO ARE WOULD-BE PILOTS...
With the announcement only a couple of days old, Heintz has already
noticed a surge in interest. Light Sport/Sport Pilot is intended to
spark interest in aviation by people who previously thought it too
costly or time-consuming to pursue. Initial indications are that it's
worked. "There have been a lot more phone calls in the last few days,"
Heintz said. "There's initially some pent-up demand." He said he's
hopeful the interest will translate into airplane sales and is looking
forward to EAA AirVenture next week where would-be sport pilots can kick
the tires. "There is the potential to get more people involved in
aviation," he said. As the announcement was being made, Sport Planes
Ltd. was making plans to open 20 sales, training and maintenance centers
to meet the demand. More...
MEDICAL QUALIFICATIONS ALTERED...
Key among the provisions in the new rule is the driver's license as
proof of medical fitness. Essentially, almost anyone who has a valid
driver's license can legally fly an LSA. But there are caveats, some of
them legal, some of them moral. On the legal side, anyone who has been
denied a third-class medical will not be issued a Sport Pilot
certificate even if they have a driver's license. They must satisfy the
FAA that the medical condition that prompted the previous denial has
been fixed or is under control. But there's also the onus of
self-certification on the pilot. More...
A LITTLE FASTER, A LITTLE HEAVIER
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the aircraft were going to
be limited to 115 knots maximum speed and 44 knots stall speed (clean)
and 37 knots (with flaps). The final rule boosts the top speed to 120
knots and clean stall to 45 knots. The stall-with-flaps designation has
been eliminated. Also, the all-up weight limit has been increased to
1320 pounds from 1232 in the NPRM. Despite what seemed to be a rocky
road to enactment, according to an FAA fact sheet the rule itself appears to be
otherwise almost identical to the NPRM that was issued more than two
years ago by the FAA. More...
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HIKE PROPOSED FOR FAA
It looks like the FAA will be getting a small budget increase next year,
including funds to speed up the hiring of new air traffic controllers.
On July 15, the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Treasury and
Independent Agencies approved a $14 billion package for the FAA, up $169
million (a bit more than 1 percent, whehoo) over last year's figure.
About $3.5 billion is earmarked for runway and other capacity
improvements and, of course, there's money for security. Tucked in the
fine print is $7 million to hire and train new controllers.
RECOMMENDS BETTER ENFORCEMENT DATA
As Congress looks at the financial picture, the Government
Accountability Office (GAO) has been investigating whether the warnings,
reprimands and fines doled out by the agency for regulatory violations
have any effect on flight safety. The conclusion? It doesn't know and
neither does the FAA. The GAO looked at 200,000 enforcement actions
undertaken between 1993 and 2003 and found that 53 percent were handled
with a warning and about 18 percent resulted in no action at all. In the
relatively rare cases where a fine is recommended, the FAA's own lawyers
often reduce or eliminate the financial penalty if the alleged violator
can prove he or she is taking steps to prevent recurrence of the
violation. But just how all this paperwork affects the ultimate goal of
making the skies safer remains something of a mystery.
CALLS FOR HUDSON CORRIDOR CLOSURE, ADIZ-LIKE RULES
Pilots who've done it say there's no better way to see New York City but
a local senator wants to close the so-called Hudson River Corridor to
GA. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) claims New York City is being
shortchanged on security by the existence of the uncontrolled VFR
corridor and he believes the Big Apple deserves the same sort of GA ban
that Washington, D.C., has. "If they can do it for Washington, they can
do it for New York," he told a news conference. Now, we're not sure if
Schumer is envious of the 15-nm no-fly zone in Washington or the Air
Defense Identification Zone (neither of which has bagged a single
criminally minded pilot to date) but he's particularly upset with the
Hudson River Corridor (which he calls the Hudson River Approach).
PAPER TO PROTOTYPE IN LESS THAN A YEAR
A year ago, the newest entry in the mid-sized turboprop single market
was a paper airplane. Later this week, the prototype of the Epic LT will be flown to Oshkosh for its debut at
EAA AirVenture. The six-place composite plane had its first test flight
July 19 less than a year after Rick Schrameck, president of Aircraft
Investor Resources LLC, announced plans to build the aircraft. So far,
the company has orders for 16 planes and is now debating where to set up
shop. The prototype was built in Bend, Ore. (home of Lancair) but there
are two other states courting the company. More...
OREGON AERO'S NEW CATALOG FEATURES 500+ PAINLESS, SAFER,
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 (tm) 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.
MAN'S JET" FLIES
The maiden flight of the Aerocomp Comp Air kit jet took place at Merritt Island
Airport in Florida on Tuesday. Dubbed the "poor man's jet" (for those
poor enough to have about $600,000 to spend) the single-engine composite
plane was apparently docile and predictable in flight on Tuesday and a
second hop on Wednesday. In an unusual (and somewhat refreshing) move,
the company refused to take money from customers until after the first
flight. Now, according to the company Web site, prospective owners are
ringing the phone off the hook trying to get an early position.
DC-7 GETS NEW LIFE
The world's only intact, as-original DC-7 could take flight for the
first time in 33 years in early August. Legendary Airliners, a Florida travel club, hopes to
ferry the former Eastern Airlines passenger plane from St. Paul, Minn.,
to Miami after replacing a balky engine. The company had hoped to make
the flight in mid-July but the No. 4 18-cylinder turbocharged radial
engine wouldn't develop oil pressure or power. Legendary Airliners,
which operates another DC-7, had a rebuilt engine in stock and hopes to
have it installed this week. There are other DC-7s flying but what sets
this one apart is its original condition. "It's basically a museum
piece," said Legendary Airliners owner Carlos Gomez. More...
HILL AIRPORT GETS REPRIEVE
The immediate future of Horace Williams Airport in Chapel Hill, N.C. appears
secure after the state's General Assembly passed amendments to the
current budget requiring the airport to stay open until a suitable,
accessible replacement can be built, something not likely to happen
soon. The airport is owned by the University of North Carolina, which
wanted to close it to save money and expand the university. But a
groundswell of opposition has apparently saved it, at least for the time
being. Meanwhile, in California, politics of a different sort is marring
the redevelopment of a choice piece of real estate at Van Nuys Airport.
BREAKS OUT OF RJ MOLD
Bombardier has announced plans to break out of the regional jet mold
with a new airliner that can carry up to 135 passengers. In doing so,
the Montreal-based manufacturer will go head-to-head with Boeing and
Airbus for one of the most lucrative, if not glamorous, segments of the
airliner market. Bombardier spokesman Gary Scott told the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer in an interview at Farnborough the new jet will be
about 15 percent more efficient than the ubiquitous 737s and A320s that
now serve most of the 100- to 150-seat corner of the market. But while
Boeing faces a new challenger for its bread-and-butter 737, it's also
reporting encouraging news about its future marquee jet, the 7E7.
AEROSHELL EXCITES OSHKOSH CROWD & HELPS YOUNG EAGLES
AeroShell will once again be distributing the
Flying Cow Posters and selling Flying Cow T-shirts to benefit the Young
Eagles program. In addition, the AeroShell cow, Amoolia (a real
lady), will be making her appearances on Friday and Saturday from
10am-2pm outside Hangar D. She will be available for photos, and each
person will receive a commemorative photo compliments of Canon with all
proceeds going to the Young Eagles. So moosy on down to AirVenture Booth #4085 in Hangar D, pick up a
poster, buy a T-shirt, and say hello to Amoolia. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.
DRONE CONTROLLED FROM THE AIR
Uncomfortable with the idea of sharing the airspace with pilotless
aircraft controlled from the ground? How about drones controlled from
another aircraft? Boeing recently tested a system that enables the
weapons system operator on an F-15 to remotely pilot a modified T-33.
During the tests, the F-15 and its pilotless wingman went through a
range of war-fighting scenarios and the results were encouraging. "The
ability of manned aircraft to coordinate operations with unmanned
aircraft will provide new dimensions in survivability and mission
effectiveness," said Boeing spokesman Patrick Stokes. More...
AVIATION-RELATED PDA SOFTWARE
If you're a dedicated PDA user, we're sure you have some favorite
aviation-related programs. If so, Aviation Consumer would love to hear
from you for an article about PDA software. Send a note with comments or
tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. More...
Inexpensive drone deployed to Iraq...
Virgin pilot suspected of drinking pleaded guilty to lesser
Ducted fan replaced tail rotor in Bell tests...
Water bomber set down on a road after engine blew in Canada.
NON-OWNER (RENTER) PILOTS EXPOSED: PILOTS ARE HELD
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, or call (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or
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NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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know about? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest someone
else, too. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com.
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
#39: ATC 204 - IFR Flight Plan II
Want another good reason to be careful how you file your flight plan?
How about avoiding a midair collision? AVweb's Don Brown is back with
another in his "courses" on better ATC and pilot communication. This
month he's trying to figure out why some pilot wants to go to Kentucky
COMPLIMENTARY WEEK OF ADVERTISING ON
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.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
couple of weeks ago, AVweb asked the loaded question, "Are
professional pilots overpaid?" (About 2/3 of you said "no.") This week,
just to be fair to everyone in the aviation industry, we want to know
what you really think about the salaries of CFIs: Are
flight instructors overpaid? PLUS: Results of last week's question
on the looming Sport Pilot rules. More...
CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
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software editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your
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In addition to preloaded aircraft databases, the Budget Analyzer lets
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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.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Ah, happy coincidence! As we gear up for AirVenture 2004 in Oshkosh,
whose name should appear on the blind ballot for our "PotW" winner? None
other than H.G. Frautschy of the EAA, who took this week's winning photo
at Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh! Congratulations, H.G. not only did
you win a licensed AVweb baseball cap to wear around the field at
Oshkosh, but you also broke the streak of "PotW" winners from Michigan.
We look forward to seeing you in Oshkosh next week.
of Michigan: What happened, guys? Did you run out of aviation photos
this week? Not a single final-round contender from the unofficial
capital of "PotW" country? More...
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HEADING TO OSHKOSH? Don't Forget to:
|AEROMEDIX.COM ADDS AVWEB COLUMNIST JOHN DEAKIN'S BOOK TO
John Deakin's new book, Full
Throttle, tells his stories from flying goods back and
forth to Central America in a B-25 at the age of 19 to flying for Air
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|SUBSCRIBE TO IFR MAGAZINE NOW AND
IFR is the magazine for the accomplished
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SPECIALS FROM GLEIM PUBLICATIONS|
Gleim heats up July
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|FLYING MAGAZINE'S AUGUST ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS KITPLANE
Flying magazine's August cover shows
Van's RV-8 kitplane and includes a review of the last 50 years of
kitplane building just in time for AirVenture. If you plan on
attending AirVenture, stop by and pick up a
complimentary copy of Flying at Booth
#4151, or order your personal subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
FIND THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN GREG BROWN'S CLASSIC
The Savvy Flight Instructor! Sure, you
passed the challenging CFI checkride, but what about all those "other"
flight instructing questions, like: how to recruit flight students, how
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The Savvy Flight Instructor by Greg Brown, AOPA Flight
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|FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE USUALLY SPEECHLESS; THEN THEY CAN'T
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SAVING TIPS FROM LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE|
Even if you
don't want to get your fingernails greasy not to mention the time
commitment you can save money on your next annual by working with
the shop to prep the airplane for inspection. This includes getting the
documentation in order and cleaning the thing up so the inspector will
have an easier time of it. Look for tips on this and much more in the
July 2004 issue of Light Plane Maintenance. Order your
subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lpm/avflash.
|AVWEB IS GEARING UP FOR AIRVENTURE
2004 IN OSHKOSH!
If you plan to attend AirVenture, stop by
AVweb's booth #1007-08 and meet our editors. ou'll find a complete
schedule online at http://www.avweb.com/news/osh2004/187681-1.html.
Also, many of our advertisers will be
exhibiting. Print out our list to stop by and say "thanks" for bringing
AVweb and AVflash to you at no-cost. You can find our guide to AVweb
advertiser booths at Oshkosh here: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oshkosh.
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