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Volume 10, Number 34b -- August 19, 2004

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

LIGHTSPEED QFR SELECTED AS "GEAR OF THE YEAR 2004" BY AVIATION CONSUMER
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

CHECK, PLEASE: WHAT CHARLEY MEANS FOR INSURANCE...
For a group of folks that is about to write checks worth millions of dollars, aviation insurance underwriters we've spoken with are actually showing some optimism as the figures come in from Hurricane Charley's Florida rampage. "It's beginning to look like it's not as bad as we thought," said Avemco spokesman Jim Lauerman. "I think it will be the worst [damage total] since [Hurricane] Andrew [in 1992] but it won't match Andrew. It's certainly not an insignificant event." Out of almost 700 airplanes in the path of the storm that were covered by Avemco, so far there have been claims filed on fewer than 50. Rick Mallard, of Falcon Insurance, EAA's insurance carrier, said claims against his firm could run into the hundreds. More...

...NATURE'S CRUEL JOKE...
There are also some cruel ironies. Mallard said many airplane owners rushed to move their aircraft to "safer" areas only to have the storm shift suddenly eastward and put them in harm's way. Others found hangar space for aircraft usually left outside only to have the hangars collapse. Some owners weren't about to surrender to Charley without a fight. Greg Sterling, of AOPA Insurance Agency, said one of his staff heard of a married couple that "rode out the storm" in the hangar with their beloved Grumman. He said both the hangar and plane were slightly damaged but the owners were thankfully unharmed. Mallard said he believes there must have been tornadoes embedded in the storm to cause the level of structural damage he saw, including virtually new hangars reduced to scrap metal. More...

...RATES UNLIKELY TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY
Brimming with empathy, many of us would yet be lying if we didn't admit to wondering what this far-away (for a lot of us, anyway) disaster might do to our insurance rates. The quick answer is probably not much. Sterling (of AOPA) said he doubts there will be any directly related rate increases because the year so far has been better than average for claims. Both Mallard (of Falcon/EAA) and Lauerman (of Avemco) expect a slight increase in rates as a direct result of the Charley-related claims. "Don't forget, we anticipate things like this when we set our rates," said Lauerman. Retail-level carriers take out policies -- called re-insurance -- with international insurers against these types of catastrophes. "It spreads the risk," said Lauerman. In fact, Avemco has adjusters traveling from airport to airport. In a few cases, owners might hear from their insurance company first about damage to their planes. More...

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AROUND AND AROUND WE GO
Government warnings aside, there still are some people using airplanes for some very good things. Take, for instance, the King Air Foundation. Although the foundation's primary purpose is to commemorate the "world's most successful" business/commuter turboprop, and in particular the original aircraft used by Olive Beech, the foundation is planning a round-the-world trip to raise money for spinal-cord research and children's medical charities. Organizer Alex Major, who owns that original King Air, said flying it around the world is also "intended to spread goodwill for general aviation around the world." Actor Morgan Freeman has agreed to fly one leg of the journey and more celebrity pilots will be announced over the next year before the flight commences next fall. More...

...BY CESSNA 210...
Now, not all fundraising flights are carried out in cabin-class comfort, nor are their causes quite so mainstream. Dr. Edwin Galkin and Capt. Richard Sollner returned home to Manville, N.J., on Aug. 14 after a 27,500-mile circumnavigation in a Cessna 210. This was their second trip around the world in aid of sufferers of a disease that most of us have never heard of and affects only 400 people in the whole world. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) is a nasty disorder in which muscle is converted to bone if it's injured in any way. "Trauma, surgery, bumps, falls and intra-muscular injections can result in explosive new bone growth," according to the Flight For the Cure Web site. More...

...AND WITHOUT LEAVING THE GROUND
Mounting a round-the-world flight for charity takes organization, up-front funding, pilots and, of course, an airplane. Or does it? Some enterprising do-gooders in Sutton, England, have been circling the globe without ever leaving the ground. Using a homebuilt flight simulator, World Flight volunteers take the controls over a period of about a week in a virtual circumnavigation that raises money for Dreamflight, a group that takes seriously ill children to Florida theme parks for vacations. The next "trip" (flown by virtual pilots from all walks of life) leaves England Nov. 8 for a 35,000-mile journey that ends Nov. 14. More...

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SECURITY HITS HEADLINES ... AGAIN
With NBC's abortive attempt at undercover security breaches last week, the mainstream media is again casting about for GA security stories and (possibly to their discomfort) finding that security is better at small airports than it was a few years ago. The Burlington Times (near Philadelphia) took a look at the Flying W Airport and found perimeter fencing, security cameras and regular after-hours patrols by local sheriffs but still managed to work in a quote from the 9-11 Commission report that "major vulnerabilities still exist in cargo and general aviation security." Unfortunately for pilots, the illusion of security takes many forms (and often seems to have been granted higher value than "practical" security). More...

STANDARDS SET FOR SENSE AND AVOID SYSTEMS
One of the keys to mixing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with general air traffic is the ability of the drone to recognize and avoid unexpected traffic on its own. These Sense and Avoid (S&A) systems must be able to work on any and all aircraft because not everything flying has the transponders necessary for the TCAS-type systems. The first step in achieving this lofty technological goal has been made but we're probably a few years away from a certified system. According to UVonline.com, a group of industry representatives organized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the international standards organization, have come up with the technical and performance standards that would be required for such a system. More...

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GPS PIONEER RETIRES
Although we lament, and sometimes joke, about the snail's pace of technological advances in aviation sometimes, there have been some revolutionary advances that have become universally accepted in a relatively short time. GPS navigation has to be considered among them and one of the key players in its development is retiring. Gary L. Burrell is stepping aside as co-chairman and director of Garmin Ltd. "Over the past 15 years, I have had the rare and gratifying opportunity to help build a great organization whose products have helped improve the safety of aviation," Burrell said in a statement. More...

REPAIR STATIONS ISSUE COMMENTS ON DRUG RULE
Industry groups have lined up in opposition to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) they say will needlessly cost 22,000 companies money to have their employees tested for drugs. In formal comments to the FAA on the NPRM, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) says the FAA seriously underestimated the impact of the proposed rule when it said only 297 companies would be affected. "Thirteen aviation industry groups and companies endorsed ARSA's comments and joined as signatories," according to ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod. "The aviation world is clearly united in opposition to this unnecessary, costly and misguided FAA proposal." 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. Call (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or go online NOW at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

11 TFRS CHANGE TO NATIONAL SECURITY AREAS
Eleven TFRs will "disappear" over military installations over the next few months but that doesn't mean sightseers will be welcome in the future. According to AOPA, the TFRs are among 13 that were thrown up over important military bases immediately after 9/11. The Defense Department had wanted to make them permanent prohibited airspace but the FAA ruled against that in 11 of the 13 cases. The TFR designation will be removed on those 11 sites in favor of a National Security Area (NSA) designation that politely requests that civilian aircraft stay away voluntarily. The FAA does seem to think there's reason to permanently close the airspace (to civilians) over two military bases, however. More...

NAVY KEEPS UP FIGHT FOR NEW BASE
And you think your airport's got trouble with the neighbors ... The Navy says it won't give up its effort to establish a 30,000-acre base in North Carolina even though a federal judge has stopped it, temporarily at least, from buying up the necessary land. Judge Terrence Boyle turned down the Navy's request to keep acquiring land while opponents of the project challenge it in court. Navy spokesman Ted Brown told the Associated Press the decision was a disappointment but the Navy "will continue to pursue our case and we expect a favorable resolution." The facility, which would include an 8,000-foot runway and support buildings, will be used by Navy pilots to practice carrier landings. More...

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ON THE FLY...
The FAA will test solar-powered taxiway edge lights this winter...
The pilot of a fatal cargo plane crash in Kentucky can't remember what happened...
Owners of Rotax 912F, 912S and 914F engines will get new oil dipsticks. 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...

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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
____
ATIS
Thanks, Andy
Do we really have to sit still and take a pounding when an intense hurricane comes ashore? Or is it time to do something creative, like get out of the way?

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COLUMNS
Say Again? #40: Outside Looking In
After years trying to convince pilots and controllers to adopt safer habits, AVweb's Don Brown is feeling beaten down and jaded. He's quite ready to retire. By chance, he recently attended two events that lifted his spirits and gave him a bit more faith in humanity and aviation, and he tells the tale in this month's "Say Again" column.

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...

COMPLIMENTARY WEEK OF ADVERTISING ON ASO!
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AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Aviation insurance: What's in your wallet? PLUS: Results of last week's poll on LSA and the inevitable "first bad accident." More...

OPEN YOUR OWN ONLINE STORE IN THE MALL AT PILOT JOURNEY
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AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Weirdest "Picture of the Week" contest ever — or, at least, the weirdest one in while. You see, we normally sift through the week's entries without looking at your names, locations, or comments. This keeps the process fair and anonymous. As we go through the photos, we separate them into four categories:

  1. Hot dang! Lookit that!
  2. This kid's got potential.
  3. I bet there's a story there — better look at the comments and see what it is!
  4. What the heck does that have to do with aviation?!

We then go through the first three categories, reading comments and coming up with a potential line-up of four or five possible winners. Once we've got a solid line-up, we peek at the names.

That's how we did it this week — and the top photos all came from recent "POTW" winners! We hemmed and hawed, but — well, they're terrific photos! Too terrific to keep to ourselves, so here goes — it's our "Picture of the Week" All-Stars Show! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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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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