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Volume 10, Number 36a -- August 30, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)

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

SOURCE DISPUTES ALARMIST STORY ON GA "THREAT"...
A story in Thursday's Boston Globe that warned in great detail of a neglected "small-plane terrorism threat" has drawn a response from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) -- the Washington think tank whose staff is quoted in the Globe as the basis for the story. "The Globe story is incomplete and does not take into account a broad range of findings that are still under development," CSIS spokesman Jay Farrar said in a statement posted on the CSIS Web site. The CSIS said its report is not yet finished, and "personal statements made before a study's completion ... do not place into context the full range of threats against the transportation system of the United States." More...

...CITING "DIRTY BOMBS" AND STADIUM TARGETS...
The Globe story quoted CSIS staff who said that Al Qaeda is known to have considered the use of small aircraft and helicopters for attacks on U.S. soil, and that sports stadiums are a "perfect target" for a Cessna 172 loaded with radiological material and explosives. "The no-fly zones over these stadiums are loosely enforced," the story says, quoting a CSIS staffer. An FAA official quoted in the story said that GA security efforts were dropped because they "would have cost too much." A TSA spokesman said, "These [small] planes aren't a focus for us. .... We don't have unlimited funds to deal with everything." More...

...AND AOPA RESPONDS
AOPA was quick to dash off a letter to The Boston Globe's editors, denouncing the story as "irresponsible," and noting that numerous GA security programs have been implemented since 9/11. Next time the Globe reports about GA issues, it should consult AOPA, the letter said. AOPA President Phil Boyer also responded to the story in an interview on a Washington, D.C., radio station, WTOP. Boyer told listeners that that most GA aircraft are operated in much the same way as other forms of personal transportation, like cars. "There's the general aviation airplane in which the pilot and the passengers know each other," Boyer said. "That's the norm." More...

FAA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS ARE ON THE RISE!
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased over 150% — all requiring legal counsel. That's why pilots are enrolling in the AOPA Legal Services Plan for affordable, dependable legal protection when they unwittingly violate FAA rules. The AOPA Legal Services Plan provides protection in a variety of situations where you might need legal support. Plus, the Plan gives you unlimited consultation on most aviation matters covered by the Plan, annual review of key aviation documents, and one no-cost half-hour consultation with an AOPA Legal Services Plan panel attorney regarding aviation-related matters not otherwise covered. Affordable protection every time you fly, for as low as $26 annually. Enroll in AOPA's Legal Services Plan before you need it! Call (800) USA-AOPA (800-872-8672) or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopalegal/avflash.

NATCA INTENSIFIES PUSH FOR HIRING...
With growing impatience, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) last week stepped up its call for more hiring, saying that it's not only a matter of a looming shortage -- many facilities already are understaffed. "We need action," said NATCA spokesman Doug Church in a news release Thursday. "In most locations, we cannot afford to wait on staffing any longer." Among the examples cited: Nashville Tower, authorized for 46 controllers, where 37 are certified and up to 14 controllers are expected to retire by the end of this year; Dayton Tower, where only 35 of 53 authorized controllers are certified; and Des Moines Tower, where only 24 of 34 authorized controllers are certified. More...

...AS BUDGET CUTS THREATEN TO SHUT DOWN TRAINING CENTER(S)?
We warned last month that it was happening, but amid all the angst over controller shortages, it seemed implausible that the FAA would actually yank its funding from a training center that churns out up to 70 percent of its en route controllers ... but that's what happened. The air traffic controller training center at Flying Cloud Airport, in Eden Prairie, Minn., will close down this fall, after the FAA decided to divert all of its training funds to Oklahoma City, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Thursday. The program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College had previously received up to $2 million a year from the FAA. The program graduates about 100 students a year, and employs 17 faculty and staff, including 12 former air traffic controllers. All 17 will probably have to be laid off, the school told the AP. 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.

SMALL PLANE CITED IN CHENEY TRAFFIC CONFLICT
An unidentified small private plane has been blamed as the cause of evasive action taken by Air Force Two, a military aircraft carrying Vice President Dick Cheney, early this month. The small aircraft came within 700 vertical feet and .44 mile (don't miss the decimal point) horizontally of Cheney's aircraft, setting off a traffic alert in the Air Force Two cockpit. Air Force Two was en route to White Plains, N.Y., at 7,500 feet when the conflict occurred, near Bridgeport, Conn., on Aug. 7. The FAA said Friday the event would not normally warrant an investigation, but because the vice president was involved, a report was sent to the Air Force. More...

SECURITY IN PRACTICE
As Russian investigators piece together what happened in last week's dual airline crash -- now officially labeled as a terrorist act -- U.S. officials, jittery over the intensifying campaign season, continue to scrutinize aviation activities. In Cleveland, Ohio, organizers are scrambling to get a waiver so they can go ahead with a planned air show this weekend after a stadium sports event was scheduled nearby. The FAA said that means no flying. If the show has to be cancelled, organizers said, the event is likely "doomed" for the future. Meanwhile, NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is getting used to a post-9/11 reality -- it may someday have to shoot down a passenger plane. More...

COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING IN AUGUST
Here in the Summer doldrums, Zuluworks wants to put a little sparkle in your eye. If you've been on the fence about purchasing a Zuluboard, now is the time. Through the rest of August, Zuluworks is offering complimentary ground shipping throughout the Continental U.S. And if that doesn't snap you out of your warm weather funk, well — you may have a chronic condition. Order now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zulu/avflash.

EXHIBITORS FLOCK TO SPORT AVIATION EXPO
The first U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, scheduled for Oct. 28-31 at Florida's Sebring Regional Airport, is drawing enthusiastic participation, EAA said last week. Extra exhibitor slots are being added, after the original allotment of 70 sold out, EAA said. The event will bring together Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) and kit manufacturers, component providers, dealers, flight schools, mechanic services, parts suppliers, insurance providers and others with possible business interests in the new world of Light Sport Aircraft. Several types of eligible LSAs, including fixed-wing, weight-shift trikes and powered parachutes, will be on static display, and flight demos will be continuous during the event. EAA reminds ultralight pilots of the Sept. 1 deadline to register for transition to the Sport Pilot certificate. More...

SCHWEIZER AIRCRAFT ACQUIRED BY SIKORSKY
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., of Stratford, Conn., announced on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Schweizer Aircraft Corp., a family-owned company based in Elmira, N.Y., that produces sailplanes, light helicopters, agricultural airplanes, reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). "Schweizer Aircraft is a great strategic fit for Sikorsky, providing us with proven leadership, a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, and immediate access to the light helicopter and UAV markets," Sikorsky President Steve Finger said in a news release. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. More...

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER
— and now much more! WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone and any nationwide wireless carrier. WxServer gives you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information such as the NEXRAD, METAR, TAF, and satellite images. WxServer includes airport frequency listings, fuel availability, and quick-dial links to FBOs, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates, and CFIs can sign up for the WxServer Referral Program at no charge! 10-Day No-Cost Trial. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

FLY-IN FOUNDER DIES AFTER SAVING BROTHER FROM WRECK
Jim Londo, 60, of Everett, Wash., whose family helped found the Arlington Fly-In, died recently after a dramatic final flight. Londo and his nephew were passengers in a Cessna 185 flown by Londo's brother Bob on Aug. 21, when they went down in mountains 10 miles south of Toutle, Wash. The initial accident report cites weather of "1SM BKN001 OVC008." The Cessna caught fire on impact. Jim Londo, who was badly hurt and was himself burned over more than 60 percent of his body, dragged his unconscious brother from the burning wreck. They called for help with a cellphone, but rescue crews were unable to find the crash site. Jim Londo and his 16-year-old nephew, whose arm was broken, waited all night for help to arrive, as Bob, 47, who suffered first-degree burns to his face and legs, walked for hours through dense woods, leaving a trail of wreckage to find the way back. Rescuers arrived on the scene in the morning, but were unable to save Jim, who was lost to his injuries. More...

WILDFIRES, SMOKE ... AND AIRCRAFT LEFT ON THE GROUND
A new policy in Alaska that allows forest fires to burn unfettered unless structures are threatened has some aviation operators upset. "It's been a hot and dry summer here, great flying weather," R.D. Rosso, owner and chief pilot of Denali Air, told AVweb last week. "But I've lost more flying days to smoke this year than I ever lost to weather." Rosso said he's already been grounded about eight days out of the short summer flight-seeing season at Denali National Park, and that represents up to 100 passengers a day, at $240 apiece -- a substantial loss for a seasonal business. "If they can't fly today, it's not like they'll come back tomorrow," he said. "They're gone." About 100 separate fires are burning, and fewer than 10 percent are being fought by fire crews. More...

DON'T BLINDLY RENEW YOUR AIRCRAFT'S INSURANCE WITHOUT SHOPPING
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WOW -- RED BULL AIR RACE BLASTS INTO BUDAPEST
Eight sporty aircraft zooming over -- and under -- downtown Budapest at speeds up to 250 mph drew hundreds of thousands of spectators on Aug. 20, Red Bull says. Flying a track above the Danube River, the racers were required to fly between inflated pylons, underneath a bridge -- twice -- plus execute half and full rolls, and knife-edged and vertical flight. U.S. flyer Kirby Chambliss squeaked to a win at just under a minute and a half for the course. Red Bull says the huge turnout was boosted by holding the race on St. Stephen's Day, a national holiday in Hungary, and by the participation of Hungarian flyer Peter Besenyei, a three-time Aerobatics World Champion who is a national hero in his home country. More...

ON THE FLY...
TFRs over New York this week for Republican National Convention...
Society of Experimental Test Pilots to meet Sept. 15-18 in L.A....
NBAA has six new scholarships for dispatchers and schedulers...
Flying-car update: NASA, Boeing, say it's 25 years away. 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.

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...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_______
COLUMNS
CEO of the Cockpit #36: Happier Times?
A meeting with a bunch of retired pilots inspires AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit to remember days gone by, and some of the great pilots he flew with. It doesn't make for very "P.C." stories, but they had some great times back in the jet-set days.

________
TRAINING
The Cessna, The Sky ... and the Cartoonist: Chapter One -- Introductory Flight
All pilots once were student pilots, a situation rife for guffaws around the flight club. John Ewing is a story-teller, former Disney animator, artist, and American now living in New Zealand. John documented his flight training in words and cartoons, and this month AVweb brings you the first chapter in his book.

More...

MIKE BUSCH ANNOUNCES SPECIAL NEW YORK SEMINAR ON OCTOBER 2-3 ...
If you're an aircraft owner in the northeast U.S. and missed Mike's terrific Savvy Owner Seminars in Memphis and Harrisburg, you now have another chance. A group of aircraft owners in the Albany, N.Y. area have persuaded Mike to fly out and conduct a seminar for them on the weekend of October 2-3. Since this is a special "group purchase," the cost per attendee should be substantially lower than usual. With the agreement of the Albany group, this seminar is now open to any aircraft owner who wishes to attend. Other seminars are scheduled for Seattle (Aug. 21-22); Denver (Sept. 18-19); and Long Beach, CA (Oct. 24-25). To register, get seminar schedules and details, or receive Mike's no-cost monthly e-newsletter, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.

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

Reader mail this week about the great threat to the North, security in the bush, spin training, and much more. More...

AVWEB'S 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...

TRACK ALL IN-FLIGHT IFR AIRCRAFT IN REAL TIME!
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SHORT FINAL...
Brown Field, south of San Diego has an 8,000-foot runway offering multiple intersection departures for smaller aircraft (and multiple exits for larger ones)...

Experimental: Brown Tower, experimental ###, holding short of 26R on Bravo. Running late and ready to go.

Tower: Experimental ### hold short landing traffic ... Citation on four mile final.

Experimental: Hold short 26R, ###.

Tower: Experimental ###, can you make room over there on Bravo for the Citation coming off the active?

Experimental: We'll pull off into the run-up area, ###.

Tower: Thank you.

Experimental: Yup. But if there's anything else we could do ... like if they decide their limo needs shining ... please find someone else. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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FROM DOUG RITTER & AEROMEDIX: A KNIFE YOU CAN BET YOUR LIFE ON!
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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

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

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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