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Volume 10, Number 40a -- September 27, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Scheyden Eyewear

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

TSA'S TRAINING RULE RAISES MORE QUESTIONS...
As AVweb reported Thursday, the TSA on Sept. 20 issued what it calls an "Interim Final Rule" regarding the reporting and record-keeping requirements for flight training of foreign students. Reaction at first was a bit muted, but quickly grew to a crescendo of complaint by the end of the week as the alphabets got a better look at the rule and prepared to let loose on the 30-day comment period. AOPA's somewhat critical take on Tuesday, based on an "initial review," by Thursday had morphed into a full-scale attack. "Unless TSA clarifies that U.S. citizens are exempt, AOPA believes the rule could be interpreted to mean that, starting next month, they would not be able to complete flight training -- including flight reviews -- without first going through some type of TSA check," AOPA said in a news release. "It is absolutely essential that TSA clarify, in writing, that this rule does not apply to U.S. citizens." Much More...

...ALPHABETS DISSECT THE RULE...
Neither EAA nor AOPA believe it is the intent of the rule that U.S. citizens need to go through the background check and TSA application process -- but they also agree that the language of the rule is so confusing and unclear that they fear it could be interpreted that way. "When the players are gone, the rules remain," EAA's Doug Macnair, vice president of government relations, told AVweb on Friday. "It's good to be clear at the outset, so it's not subject to interpretation." Both EAA and AOPA also raised questions about the requirement for Certified Flight Instructors to register with their local FSDO. "Are they coordinating this? Will the FAA be ready to do that?" asked Macnair. AOPA said there are 86,000 CFIs in the U.S. "We don't think TSA appreciates [that]," AOPA said. For flight schools and instructors flying aircraft that weigh less than 12,500 pounds, the rule takes effect Oct. 20. More...

...MEANWHILE
The rule does state that U.S. citizens need only to prove their status to be exempted from the TSA check, by showing a passport or other identification, which the flight school must keep on record for five years. But the TSA's use of the term "candidate," which the TSA defines as "an alien or other individual designated by TSA who applies for flight training," seems to be causing confusion. Many of the rule's stipulations that appear to apply to any "candidate" for flight training probably refer only to aliens. AOPA said it has been assured by TSA Administrator Adm. David Stone that the agency's intent was to check foreign nationals who are seeking flight training, not U.S. citizens. Regardless, a slew of representatives from aviation industry associations, including NATA, GAMA, EAA, AOPA and others, will meet with the TSA on Thursday to discuss their issues and to seek resolution. More...

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NEW STUFF FROM YOUR FAVORITE AVIATION AGENCY...
A new program that took effect earlier this month allows Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) to expedite the renewal of special-issuance first-, second- and third-class medical certificates. The program, called AME Assisted Special Issuance (AASI), means that once an application requiring a special issuance (SI) for one of 20 specified conditions is reviewed and issued by the FAA, pilots then can go to their AME for a renewal, provide all the necessary medical reports, and if the condition has not changed, walk out the same day with another valid SI medical. The AASI program was implemented in 2002 for third-class SI medicals, and has now been expanded. More...

...AND SENATE MOVES TO MANDATE PHOTOS ON PILOT CERTIFICATES
...Just when you were getting used to your new laminated one. Legislation that would give the FAA six months to issue new pilot certificates with photo ID passed the powerful Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday and was sent to the full Senate, AOPA said last week. "AOPA has long advocated for such a move but believes that the six-month time frame for implementation is unrealistic," AOPA said in a news release. The bill would require the FAA to assign designees -- most likely aviation medical examiners -- to take official photos. "The task is still a daunting one, and our goal is to make sure that pilots don't face an inconvenience to have their pictures taken," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. More...

FREE SHIPPING ON RECONDITIONED 25XL HEADSETS THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30TH!
When new, these headsets had a list price of $599. Now, for a limited time, you can buy reconditioned LightSPEED 25XLs for $350 and get no-cost domestic ground shipping within the US on orders placed in September 2004. Most of these headsets come to us from pilots who have upgraded to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All have new ear seals and head pads and are upgraded and tested to current factory specifications. In addition, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day money-back guarantee, one-year warranty, and the LightSPEED emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. Go online for more information and to purchase a LightSPEED R25XL at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash.

HURRICANE SEASON, PART FOUR...
Early yesterday, Hurricane Jeanne battered the East Coast of Florida, the fourth hurricane in six weeks to affect the GA-heavy state, where the damage tally already is up to about $15 billion. Jeanne crossed the coastline near Stuart, with 120-mph winds, drenching rain and huge waves. The winds tore off rooftops and made missiles of debris left over from Frances, which tore through the same area just three weeks ago, damaging hundreds of airplanes and hangars. More than a million people lost power in yesterday's winds. Where electricity is out, obstruction lights on towers are also out, and many airports and towers are shut down. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, told the Associated Press it was the "first time ever that we know of" that two hurricanes landed so close in place and time. More...

...AS AVIATION BUSINESSES SEEK DISASTER RELIEF
To help with the recovery, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has collected contact information for aviation businesses hurt by the storms in Florida and neighboring states. NATA suggests that business owners in need of relief contact the Small Business Administration (SBA) at 800/621-3362, to see if they qualify for federal disaster assistance. The SBA Web site has information on how to apply for a disaster loan and an online list of disaster-recovery centers in Florida. For more information, contact Beth Van Emburgh at NATA, at bvanemburgh@nata-online.org. More...

OREGON AERO CUTS COCKPIT CLUTTER
Headsets, sunglasses, pencils, plotters, and checklists — Oh, my!  Keeping track of all your equipment and preventing clutter can be challenging for pilots.  Oregon Aero designs and manufactures a variety of bags for all your equipment.  Check out Oregon Aero's Single and Double Headset Bags with special external storage pockets.  Have a lot of stuff?  Oregon Aero's Heavy Duty Utility Bag holds two headsets and much more.  Every bag is shock-insulated and extremely durable.  All bags are custom-designed and sewn by Oregon Aero for quality you can rely on.  To view Oregon Aero's complete line of bags, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/bags/avflash.

A SUPERSONIC BUSINESS JET?
When rumors arose last week that Aerion Corp. has a supersonic business jet in the works, AVweb tried to track it down. The company is listed as a member at the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) Web site, under the Aerospace Design and Engineering category, based in Reno, Nev., and is headed by Brian Barents, the former CEO of Learjet and Galaxy Aerospace. A call to Aerion last week was referred to spokesman Jeff Miller, head of an independent PR company. Miller invited us to attend a press conference at NBAA's upcoming annual meeting in Las Vegas, Oct. 12-14, but declined to divulge or confirm any other information about the company or its plans until then. More...

NEW WILLIAMS ENGINES -- ONE READY, ONE IN THE WORKS
Williams International, of Walled Lake, Mich., has received the FAA Type Certificate for its FJ33-4A-15 turbofan engine, the company announced on Sept. 13. At the same time, the company said it is within a few months of completing the certification testing of yet another previously undisclosed new small turbofan engine, which it will unveil at next month's NBAA convention in Las Vegas. The newly certified FJ33-4A-15 weighs less than 300 pounds and has a thrust rating of 1,568 pounds. Most testing was completed over a year ago, Williams says, but it delayed the final certification program to incorporate its dual-channel, full authority digital engine control (FADEC), sensor suite, and software. More...

AEROSHELL KNOWS WHAT PILOTS WANT TO PROTECT & SHINE THEIR AIRCRAFT
AeroShell Flight Jacket products are specifically designed for general aviation aircraft.  The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning cloths.  To order the best in shine and protection, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

GIANT AIRSHIP GETS FUNDING BOOST
Airships seem to be getting a lot of attention lately, not only as a warm fuzzy way to advertise or give tours, but as a weapon of war. Last week, a blimp leased by the U.S. Army and loaded with sensors and cameras flew missions above the Maryland countryside, to test its usefulness as an airborne sentry post. Meanwhile, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced early this month it will invest $10 million to build a giant new airship, called Walrus, which would be capable of transporting 500 to 1,000 tons of military payload across 6,000 miles within four days. The ship would have a hull length of 600 to 1,000 feet, according to Aeros, an airship company that is working on the Walrus concept. More...

HUNDREDS EXPERIENCE SPORT FLYING AT POWRACHUTE EXTRAVAGANZA
The annual Powrachute Extravaganza, held in Columbus, Kan., Sept. 16-19, had a new theme this year as hundreds of powered parachute enthusiasts from across the nation gathered to fly, and showed an eagerness to learn more about the FAA's new Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft rules. EAA said it answered questions "nonstop" at its tent during the event, and EAA and many others led forums on the topic. On Saturday, more than a hundred powered parachutes took to the early morning air, and 80 of them launched in record time -- 11 minutes, 21 seconds. Instructors introduced hundreds of newcomers to powered parachute flight, EAA said, and Powrachute debuted a prototype totally enclosed PPC. More...

"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE"
"My airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs."  "General Aviation Modifications' (GAMI) injectors pay for themselves with the fuel savings.  A big bonus is how much smoother the engine runs."  "Customer service is just that — SERVICE!"  These are what GAMI customers have to say about GAMIjectors.  Go online to find out how to save fuel and time by buying injectors that pay for themselves at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.

X PRIZE LAUNCH SET FOR WEDNESDAY AT MOJAVE; CANADIANS ON HOLD
Following its successful test flight in June, the American Mojave Aerospace team, led by Burt Rutan and backed by Paul Allen, plans to launch its first official flight in pursuit of the $10 million Ansari X Prize on Wednesday. This week's launch will be followed by a second required flight, tentatively set for Monday. The public is invited to both launches -- gates open at 3 a.m., parking passes cost $20. For those who can't make it to Mojave, the launch will be broadcast live on the Internet starting at 6 a.m. PST on Wednesday, and AVweb will be on site to deliver coverage in our regular Thursday edition. In other X Prize news, the Canadian da Vinci Project, the closest team on Rutan's heels, has postponed the launch planned for Saturday (Oct. 2) in Saskatchewan. More...

ON THE FLY...
First Russian SparrowHawk gyroplane has flown successfully...
AirVenture Oshkosh will run Monday-to-Sunday in 2005, July 25-31...
Two Forest Service workers reported killed in air crash, found alive...
"Wing Nuts" on Discovery Channel about airplane-furniture business...
Hurricane Ivan left a half-dozen airplanes high and dry. More...

BUYING OR SELLING AN AIRCRAFT?
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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
CEO of the Cockpit #37: Pilot Lounge and Politics
It's the final push to the election, and politics have entered the sacrosanct world of the airline cockpit, and the not-so-sacrosanct pilot lounge. AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit reports on the latest gossip.

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 EXPO 2004 ADVANCE REGISTRATION SAVINGS!
Register for AOPA Expo by October 1 and save! AOPA Expo, held October 21-23 in Long Beach, California, has over 70 seminars, 525 exhibit booths, and 70 aircraft on display. Free general sessions host the top leaders in the aviation industry, from the leader of the TSA to the FAA Administrator and AOPA President Phil Boyer. Find out what's on the horizon for General Aviation at this year's Expo. Register today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopaexpo/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...

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

Reader mail this week about FAA budget cuts, Cirrus parachutes (and the pilots who use them), and more. More...

DISCOVER WHY HOMEBUILTS ARE THE HOTTEST SEGMENT IN GENERAL AVIATION
Subscribe to Kitplanes magazine and catch the building excitement. Each issue is packed with building, buying, and flying guidance; flight reviews; and much more. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/kitplanes/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
"Overheard this one while in the pattern at PBH..."

Pilot: Price County traffic, Experimental #### will be going down in the lake off the end of 01.

Unicom: Will notify Sheriff's department immediately. Hang on!

Pilot: ...........Uh, negative.........we're an Amphibian. More...

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THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T YOU?
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POWER FLOW NOW OFFERS C-172N WEIGHT INCREASE STC & AN EXHAUST SHINE KIT
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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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
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