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Volume 10, Number 36b -- September 2, 2004

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

FAA FIRM ON AIR SHOW RESTRICTIONS...
An FAA spokesman says the agency will stand firm on a decision to ban civilian pilots from flying at the Cleveland National Air Show on Friday evening. FAA representative Tony Molinaro told AVweb the agency has no choice but to ban the flights because of a Cleveland Indians game scheduled for Jacobs Field on the same evening. The air show happens once annually. The conflicting game is one of 162 the Indians will play this year (missed games will be rescheduled). The air show attracts 60,000 to 100,000 fans. The Indians averaged 21,358 fans per home game, last year. (How's the math working for you, Cleveland?) Alas, Public Law 180-7 prohibits flights below 3,000 feet within three nautical miles of a Major League game and prohibits the FAA from issuing waivers. "[The law] really doesn't give the FAA that much latitude," Molinaro told AVweb. The agency will allow military performers during the twilight presentation but air show organizers have rejected the compromise and are considering a court challenge to the FAA decision. More...

...AOPA FIGHTS RESTRICTIONS...
Meanwhile, AOPA has been pulling strings in Washington trying to find a way around the law, which was enacted last January. AOPA President Phil Boyer insists the air show could be accommodated within the law, but the FAA isn't budging. "This air show has a history going back to 1929 and has been a very popular Cleveland event for the past 40 years," said Boyer. "It would be a real shame if it were to die because of an overly restrictive interpretation of the law." More...

...BANNER TOWERS SAY "I TOLD YOU SO"
Steve Phillips has nothing against the Cleveland National Air Show but he's hoping the FAA sticks to its guns … keep reading. Phillips, of Philadelphia, is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of banner towers and promotional hot-air balloon pilots effectively grounded by the same rule that is causing problems in Cleveland. He said the legitimate concerns of the banner-towing and balloon companies were ignored when the law was enacted and he's hoping the public outcry over the air show will result in Congress' revisiting the issue. "I hope they go ahead and cancel this thing so we can get some kind of rational process in place [to resume stadium overflights.]" Phillips was particularly critical of what he said was AOPA's lack of action to prevent the law from being enacted. More...

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A NEW ERA FOR U.S. GA...
So, did you feel any different on Wednesday morning? Was the grass a little greener, the sun a little brighter? Well, it might not have been a cosmic event, but for pilots and the aviation industry, the world changed significantly on Sept. 1. The Light-Sport Aircraft/Sport Pilot rule came into effect and Earl Lawrence, EAA's VP of government relations, told AVweb that general aviation took a giant turn for the better. "This is really the day that it's real," said Lawrence. Time will tell just what that means. More...

...CHANGES COME SLOWLY...
In practical terms, not many people were directly affected by the Sept. 1 enactment of the rule. For those few, however, the change could be significant. Anyone with a pilot certificate who has let his or her medical lapse, for whatever reason, can now legally fly (VFR only) a plane meeting the LSA standards. The rule does not help those who have lost their FAA medical, however. The medical problems that prompted the lifting of the medical must still be addressed and signed off by an FAA examiner before flying Light Sport or any other kind of aircraft. While there won't be any "new" LSA certificated aircraft for some time, thousands of existing planes became eligible for the new classification on Wednesday. More...

...LONG-TERM BENEFITS HUGE
EAA's Lawrence told AVweb the real impact of the new rule won't start to be felt until about six months from now, when the standards and policies spawned by its enactment start coming into play. Although manufacturers and groups representing sport-aviation interests have been meeting for two years to create the manufacturing, maintenance and flight-training infrastructure necessary to support the new aircraft class, none of it could be finalized until the rule became a reality. Lawrence said there should be a number of "firsts" over the next six months (first flight-test examiner, first LSA-certificated airplane, etc.) and then over the next three years the industry will fill in behind them. More...

ADD CELL/SATELLITE PHONE INTERFACE TO YOUR LIGHTSPEED HEADSET!
Factory conversions are now available for all active models of LightSPEED's XL and QFR series for only $75USD. (No Sales Tax; return shipping included within the U.S.) Model upgrades come with a 2.5mm patch cord that connects to most phones. Check LightSPEED's online chart for phones they've tested. The Active model upgrades also include an additional patch cord for a personal audio device input. Call LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 and mention this AVflash, or print out the online order/instruction form to send in your headset for a speedy turnaround at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/cell/avflash.

PRESIDENTIAL PLANE DAMAGES RUNWAY
We've grown used to a presidential visit closing aviation facilities but the effect is usually temporary. Las Cruces (New Mexico) International Airport closed one of its three runways indefinitely after George W. Bush's entourage left an indelible mark. A C-17 accompanying Air Force One created ruts more than 2,500 feet long when it backed up to get in position for takeoff there last Thursday. Damage is estimated at $1 million. (Oops.) Airport Manager Theresa Cook told AVweb that the president's travel team was warned that the asphalt runway (in the middle of a Southwest summer day) might not handle the weight of the planes in the entourage. More...

NEIGHBORS OPPOSE RESCUE CHOPPER BASE
Depending on the circumstances, the sound of a helicopter can be among the most welcome or most obtrusive sounds and that is the dichotomy facing civic officials in rural Bedminster, N.J. The State Police want to move a rescue helicopter from Newark to nearby Somerset Airport in a bid to better cover the emergency needs of that growing area of the state. But neighbors and some civic officials object to the plan, saying the chopper operations will bother them and their livestock (yes, they have livestock in New Jersey). Meanwhile, airport officials hundreds of miles away in Lantana, Fla., have apparently made up their minds on the future of a helicopter flight school labeled a public safety hazard for its proximity to the town. More...

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RUNWAY INCURSIONS DOWN
The FAA says the runways of the nation are a safer place to be thanks to its program to reduce runway incursions. At a news conference Tuesday, Administrator Marion Blakey said there's been an overall drop of 20 percent in runway incursions over the past five years and the number of serious near-collisions has dropped 50 percent. "We're moving in the right direction," Blakey told the news conference. The statistics are likely cold comfort to the crew of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 747 that had to abort a landing at LAX Aug. 19. More...

NEW SYSTEM TRACKS PILOTS' MEDICAL HISTORY
The FAA is modernizing its flight medical process, but we'll let you decide if that's a good thing. Integic Corp. has been given a $12 million contract to continue the work it did to computerize the application system. The previous contract created an "automated and secure system for electronically submitting, managing and processing medical certification applications," according to Government Computer News. Presumably, one of the goals was speeding up the process. The next phase of the project is to put all the information gleaned from those applications to use. Under the new contract, Integic will enhance the system "to monitor and manage the healthcare histories of a broader population of pilots and to conduct real-time data mining for unique healthcare concerns among pilots." 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.

B-17 COMING BACK FROM THE DEEP
A wealthy aircraft collector (is there any other kind?) is going to great lengths, and depths, to add to his inventory. Don Brooks, of Douglas, Ga., is mounting an ambitious operation to recover the wreck of a B-17 on the bottom of a lake in Labrador in northern Canada. "There's very few B-17s remaining," Brooks told the Tacoma News Tribune. "I think it's a worthwhile project to preserve the heritage of our country's aviation history." The plane in question was on a Christmas Eve delivery mission in 1947 when the crew made a forced landing on frozen Dyke Lake. None of the seven aboard were hurt and they were rescued two days later. The plane was abandoned (we just report it) and fell through the melting ice the following spring. More...

EX-PILOT TACKLES CHANNEL
In the eyes of the FAA, George Brunstad is a decade too old to fly an airliner but that didn't stop him from making a transoceanic crossing of a different sort. The retired American Airlines pilot, from Ridgefield, Conn., became the oldest person to swim the English Channel last Saturday. Brunstad celebrated his 70th birthday the Wednesday before the swim, which he completed in 15 hours and 59 minutes. Brunstad, through his swim, raised more than $11,000 for Haitian orphans and said thinking of the kids kept him going. More...

ATTENTION, RENTER PILOTS! DON'T BE MISLEAD BY COMPETITORS' ADVERTISING!
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ON THE FLY...
If you think you or your airplane might be in Hurricane Frances' way ... move...
NAA last week named the winners of its five Public Benefit Flying awards...
Two Embry-Riddle staff died in midair collision while practicing aerobatics...
Controllers hot under the collar over climate control at Bedford, Mass., tower...
Women In Aviation sponsor scholarships to members...
Cargo flight security standards ironed out. 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...

AOPA'S STEVE ELLS RATES MIKE BUSCH'S OWNER SEMINAR "INVALUABLE" ...
Steve Ells, AOPA Pilot's West Coast Editor and a career A&P/IA, recently attended Mike Busch's "Savvy Owner Seminar" in Seattle. Here's what Steve had to say: "Mike Busch has a wealth of knowledge and can save you a ton of money on maintenance while keeping your airplane safe and ready for stress-free flying. I found his seminar invaluable — and I'm an A&P!" Mike will be giving just two more seminars this year: One in Albany, NY the weekend of October 2-3 and the other in Long Beach, CA on October 24-25 (immediately following AOPA Expo). You'll need to register pronto to get in on either of these seminars, so visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.

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...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #9: Don't Go Overboard
Engine problems are serious and need to be fixed promptly. But don't overreact. If one cylinder goes south, there's seldom a need to replace the other five, or to "major" the engine before its time. More...

GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT AIRCRAFT FUEL BILLS BY 20 PERCENT!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices; install GAMIjectors. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
We all know what constitutes a VFR flight, right? This week, AVweb reader Steve Biddle challenges our assumptions with an interesting question about VFR about the cloud cover. PLUS: Results of last week's question about spin training and Sport Pilots. More...

BUYING OR SELLING AN AIRCRAFT?
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AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Once again, AVweb readers have come through with some terrific entries for our "POTW" contest. Notable trends this week: Lots of beautiful landscapes were submitted, along with six or seven "bad weather" photos. In fact, Justin White's shot of lightning over the KICT (Kansas) terminal barely edged out a stiff competitor for this week's number one slot. Congratulations, Justin — your AVweb baseball cap is on the way! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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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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