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Volume 10, Number 34a -- August 16, 2004

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

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

CHARLEY HITS FLORIDA GA HARD
When deadly Hurricane Charley tore across the Florida peninsula on Friday, it drove right through what must be one of the highest concentrations of GA aircraft in the country. Newscast after newscast showed videos of trashed hangars and wrecked airplanes, a DC-3 belly-up in Orlando with its wings torn off, a crumpled red taildragger with its tail half-gone. At Punta Gorda Airport, right in the center of the storm's destructive trail through Charlotte County, at least 30 aircraft were destroyed. "So many were in unidentifiable pieces that an accurate count was difficult," said AVweb's Paul Bertorelli, who toured the airfield on Saturday. "Some aircraft were still securely tied down, but had been shredded by flying debris or the sheer force of the wind. One Piper Tomahawk remained tied down, but its tail had been twisted off." President Bush arrived Sunday to survey the damage ... and impose a TFR. More...

...BUSINESSES TORN APART...
Every building on the Punta Gorda (Charlotte County) airport was damaged, Bertorelli said. "A large steel hangar south of the terminal area collapsed entirely ... Aircraft of various sizes were scattered across the airport's broad terminal ramp area, and at least four had been blown into the terminal walls." Several rows of T-hangars were demolished, taking airplanes, cars and even a boat or two with them. At Eastern Avionics, a major avionics dealer, the roof of the sales office was damaged. Aircraft Depot, a local repair shop, lost both doors of its hangar and the aircraft inside were piled in a twisted heap. Power lines were down everywhere, and officials didn't know how long it would take to restore electricity. More...

...AS GA ASSESSES SWATH OF DAMAGE
At Lake Wales Airport, about 50 miles south of Orlando, all the hangars were virtually destroyed, contributing writer Tim Kern reported to AVweb yesterday. At Orlando Executive Airport, about 40 small aircraft were torn from their moorings, and Kern was told that no small aircraft on the field escaped damage. Kim Showalter, who with her husband, Bob, owns Showalter Flying Service, told the Orlando Sentinel that damage at the field was the worst since the flying service started in 1945. "We've had strong storms before but nothing like this," she said. At Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach campus, a dozen Skyhawks and a new Diamond were wrecked, Kern said. He also noted that an altimeter kept in his living room normally reads about 140 feet (set to 29.95). Left unadjusted during the storm the ground-bound unit topped out at 1020 feet. More...

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HURRICANE CHARLEY, THE IMPACT ON GA: EXPANDED COVERAGE
AVweb offers on-location accounts of Hurricane Charley's impact on GA from Aviation Consumer editor and AVweb Editorial Director, Paul Bertorelli. See also contributions from aviation journalist Tim Kern...

  • Paul Bertorelli's coverage of the damage at Punta Gorda.
  • Paul's image gallery. Warning: The gallery includes images of aircraft in severe distress. (If bent metal makes you ill, avert your eyes.)
  • Tim Kern's full account of the storm.
  • Tim's image gallery.
  • More...

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    NBC NEWSMEN AS TERRORISTS
    The news media took a lashing from GA last week, in a turnabout that ended with two NBC-TV reporters under arrest and GA advocacy groups in an uproar. The two reporters, "Middle-Eastern-looking" men working undercover, went to St. Louis Downtown Airport on Wednesday and asked about chartering a helicopter. (Recall last week's warning that helicopters may be the next object of terrorists' desires.) They were trying to find out whether anybody was paying any attention to the "Security Alert" that warned of terrorist interest in helicopters. The reporters showed driver's licenses from two different states as their I.D., and tried to pay with cash. The FBO staff stalled the pair and called police. Officers arrested the two men after a search of their bags turned up knives, various weapons ... and box cutters. More...

    ...RAISING ALPHABET IRE...
    The incident was made public nearly immediately when the American Association of Airport Executives sent out a notice to warn other airport operators that the same trick ("be on guard for trickery ... as well as terrorists"?) might be tried on them. That notice quickly cascaded across the Internet. On Thursday, GA advocates one after another not only lauded the FBO, but blasted NBC. AOPA President Phil Boyer scolded the network: "We hope this gives you -- and the other media who make a living by generating unnecessary fear -- ample reason to stop making GA a security scapegoat." James Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), chimed in: "NBC owes [the FBO operators] a huge apology ... It's harassment -- pure and simple, and inexcusable." From EAA's Earl Lawrence: "This undercover attempt at creating news is the equivalent of shouting 'Fire' in a crowded theater just to see if there are enough doors." It was also a comparatively benign test of a system that ... this time ... worked. More...

    ...AND A REMINDER TO KEEP WATCH
    Clarke Thomas, president of Fostaire Helicopters, told NATA how the episode unfolded: "We got a call from a prospective customer asking about a scenic flight. They wanted to know how close they could get to the St. Louis landmarks, and they said price was no object. That raised a red flag right away because any businessman is always concerned with price. When they arrived, they were carrying duffel bags and backpacks -- something else that is very unusual." Thomas's response proves the validity of the Airport Watch concept, said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Vigilant pilots and airport workers make the best security force because they know who does and doesn't belong at the airport. They can easily spot the things that just don't seem right." More...

    POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR AIRCRAFT?
    Congratulations to Liberty Aerospace on becoming the first certified piston-powered aircraft with PowerLink™ FADEC as standard equipment. PowerLink™ FADEC is now also available for several additional certified and experimental aircraft, including the A-36 Bonanza and VANS RV series. Find out how you can bring your aircraft into the state-of-the-art at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/fadec/avflash.

    ANOTHER DINOSAUR: AVIATION 80-OCTANE FUEL PASSES ON
    Owners of air-knocker airplanes with low-compression engines designed to run on 80-octane fuel will have to search for a new kind of juice soon. Kern Oil, the last standing producer of 80-octane aviation fuel, has stopped making the red stuff, AOPA reported Friday. While this development will come as no surprise to industry watchers, who wonder how long many of the low-volume products we consume will remain economically viable, it will be a pain in the neck for some aircraft owners. But for the unlucky few, there are alternatives (along with some specific operational practices) to consider. More...

    SILENT COCKPIT PROMPTED INTERNATIONAL SCRAMBLE
    A lack of communication between an airline crew and air traffic control that resulted in an airborne intercept has sparked an inquiry in Europe ... that and the scrambling of six military aircraft from three different countries, two each from the Netherlands, Germany and France ... plus a sonic boom from the Dutch F-16s, heard across much of the Netherlands. Authorities last week acknowledged reports that on May 1, a Spanish Air Europa 737 failed to respond to ATC inquiries for 20 minutes, prompting an international response in fear that a hijacking was in progress. The airline said last week that the crew was unaware they were being hailed (other reports said they heard the calls, but were unaware their flight was the intended recipient of them). Once the crew spotted the French fighter jets, communications were re-established and the 737 continued on to its destination. More...

    DA42 TWIN STAR CERTIFICATION: LOTS OF FIRSTS
    Diamond's DA42 Twin Star marks some significant milestones: First Aircraft Type Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); first piston aircraft to incorporate new propulsion, avionics, and airframe technology; first modern jet-fuel/diesel-powered twin-engine aircraft; and first certified application of the fully integrated Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. Visit Diamond online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

    THREE NEW TYPE CLUBS SPROUT
    New aircraft associations for owners of Pipers, Cessnas and Beechcraft have launched in the past few weeks. Trevor Janz, who together with Jennifer Julin founded the Piper Flyer and Cessna Flyer Associations, based in Wisconsin, told AVweb on Saturday they are excited about the project and have lots of ideas to serve their membership. "We plan to organize fly-ins, seminars, pilot proficiency programs and other events where pilots can just get together and hang out," Janz said. "We're taking as our model the American Bonanza Society, which we think does just a great job for their members." Also new is the Beech Aero Club, an international type club for devotees of the Beech Musketeer and its derivatives, the Sport, Super, Sundowner, Sierra, Skipper and Duchess. More...

    WHY DRINKING AND FLYING MUSN'T MIX
    In frustration that an allegedly intoxicated pilot who was caught flying in Pennsylvania last January couldn't be charged with flying drunk under current laws, the state legislature seems determined to come up with a remedy. The House has already introduced a bill to make drunk flying illegal, and now the Senate is working on another version that has stiffer penalties and sets a lower blood-alcohol limit. "It's one of the things that's been overlooked for years," State Sen. Mike Stack, sponsor of the bill, said in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Meanwhile, in Australia, the (sober) pilot of a Cessna 404 carrying six passengers was on approach to land when a (drunken) passenger tried to move into the co-pilot's seat. The pilot pushed him back, and the man was arrested after landing. More...

    NOT ALL AIRCRAFT HULL AND LIABILITY INSURANCE IS CREATED EQUAL
    Not all owners and renters are created equal. So customize your needs with the right insurance package from CS&A Aviation Insurance. Non-owned aircraft liability insurance forms are also available! Go online for a NO-COST quote at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

    X PRIZE CONTENDERS FORGE ONWARD
    A race for space wouldn't be very dramatic without some struggle and setback, and while the front-runners for the $10 million Ansari X Prize over at Scaled Composites have been humming along (with the substantial help of Paul G. Allen's substantial funding), the pack of challengers deals with daily trials -- and sometimes defeat. The low-tech Armadillo Aerospace team, in Texas, lost their vehicle in a test last Sunday when it ran out of propellant and fell 600 feet, smashing on impact. "$35,000 of rocket is now a whole lot of primo Armadillo Droppings," the team reported at their Web site. On Saturday, the Canadian Arrow team drop-tested its crew cabin, with better results. The cabin fell about 9,000 feet and gently splashed into Lake Ontario beneath a parachute. The group told MSNBC it needs about another $2 million in funding and four or five months more of tests to complete its space vehicle. More...

    NORTHWEST PROMOTING AVIATION HISTORY FOR TOURISM
    "We're beginning to see a great number of visitors who come to the Pacific Northwest just to go on a kind of 'aviation spree' at the museums along the I-5 corridor," Teri Thorning, director of Olympia's Olympic Flight Museum, told the Associated Press recently. About a half-dozen aviation-themed museums are expected to attract more than 800,000 visitors this year and more than a million in 2005. The list of attractions is growing, with new display halls, more aircraft collections and new buildings in the works. The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field gained cachet when it scored a Concorde for its collection, and opened a new $53 million wing this summer. More...

    AVIDYNE'S NEW CMAX™ APPROACH CHARTS TAKE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
    CMax™ Approach Charts, which can be displayed on Avidyne's FlightMax EX500 or Entegra/EX5000 MFDs, provide geo-referenced approach charts and airport diagrams. CMax reduces the amount of paper in your cockpit and allows access to critical chart data more quickly and easily. CMax overlays your flight plan and aircraft position for optimum orientation. CMax even shows runway incursion hot spots and improves taxiway awareness, reducing the need for "progressives" at unfamiliar airports. With CMax, you'll know exactly where you are on the approach or on the field. For more information, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

    ON THE FLY...
    One pilot died and one was hurt in Convair 580 crash on Friday...
    Real-life "The Terminal" man still lives at a Paris airport...
    Ultralight pilots must register by Sept. 1 for Sport Pilot transition...
    Germans are using a light airplane to lead migration of rare geese...
    FAA deadline for warbird pilots' new paperwork extended to July 2005...
    Belgian airline flight was scratched after a cat attacked the co-pilot. More...

    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 to newstips@avweb.com. More...

    PILOT GETAWAYS IS JUST WHAT THE NAME SAYS ...
    From Santa Barbara to Ocala, Florida — with stops along the way in Wisconsin and Colorado! See where you've been missing. Order your personal subscription online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.

    NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
    _______
    COLUMNS
    From the CFI #2: A New Way to Train
    It's a new world out there in the second century of flight -- one with new technology and new opportunities. But we're still training (and testing) pilots the same old way: Performing maneuvers to the Standards. In her second column, AVweb's Linda Pendleton talks about training pilots a new way, one that reflects real-world missions and prevents real-world accidents.

    More...

    READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
    http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

    Reader mail this week about trying to find "Southern Canada," President Bush's visit to Eclipse and more.

    More...

    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...

    INNOVATION — IT'S THE KEY BEHIND NARCO'S NEW DIGITAL TRANSPONDER AT165
    Narco Avionics, building on the tradition of the AT150 — the industry's workhorse ATC transponder — has introduced the all-new AT165, with some very exciting and innovative features. Narco's AT165 is competitively priced with some of the current popular manual transponders. Seeing is believing at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.

    SHORT FINAL...
    Heard on frequency during some nasty weather, a beech 18 night freight pilot offered a report about his current situation...

    ATC: Copy. Care to offer a PIREP?

    Beech: Sure. At 12,000 we've got lightning ... cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground ... so far, negative cloud-to-airplane-to-ground... More...

    Sponsor News and Special Offers

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