This issue of AVweb's
AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
X PRIZE FLIGHT, TAKE 1 OF 2...
The Paul Allen funded, Burt Rutan designed Ansari X Prize inspired
SpaceShipOne burned rubber (quite literally -- as a major component of
its fuel) and scrolled through mach numbers most of the way toward an
apogee of roughly 337,500 feet over Mojave, CA -- the altitude
yesterday quoted by on-location X Prize judge Gregg Maryniak. As with
June's public launch, the flight might not be described by anyone as
passenger-soothing smooth, and again, both pilot and craft returned
safely and with questions to answer. Mike Melvill (plus ballast
equivalent to two passengers) piloted yesterday's flight and set the
clock running on the launch window for a second -- to be flown no
later than Wednesday, October 13, at 8:34:04 a.m. in order to win the
X Prize payoff of $10 million. Yesterday's privately funded jaunt into
space wasn't without drama. While flying straight up and reaching the
end of the rocket's burn Melvill (and craft) entered a series of
oscillating rolls that peaked near 180-degrees per second ... and had
nothing to do with the earthquake felt on the ground during the
flight. Click through for an online image gallery and much
MILLION FOR AN ORBITAL FLIGHT, VIRGIN GALACTIC AND
Wednesday's flight was used as the launch pad for an even more
ambitious private space race. Hotel chain owner Robert Bigelow is
sponsoring a $50 million prize to the first team to put into orbit a
private spacecraft carrying five to seven people. Published reports
say Bigelow will put up at least half the money himself in an attempt
to develop vehicles that can dock with a new inflatable space station
he's developing near Las Vegas. NASA is reportedly helping out in the
development of the space station. Bigelow's announcement ran along
side news of a collaboration between Virgin Airways founder Sir
Richard Branson and the SpaceShipOne creators for a new commercial
space venture. More...
GOVERNMENT TRIES TO KEEP UP
Whether regulatory agencies can keep up to the light-speed pace of
commercial space development is another question. In a statement that
may have the Wright Brothers rolling over in their graves, FAA
spokesman Hank Price told AVweb that his agency needs Congress
to give it the authority to regulate passenger flights to space but
that appropriate legislation doesn't exist yet. A bill to regulate
passenger flights has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is
before the Senate but there's no word on how long it might take to
become law. More...
|THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE
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DAY, ANOTHER STORM
If they handed out awards for sheer resilience in the face of
adversity, The New Piper Aircraft Inc. would have to be considered a
leading candidate. After weathering all sorts of business challenges
(some not of its own making, i.e., the Lycoming crankshaft debacle)
the company now finds itself in a pitched battle with Mother Nature.
Sixteen days after Hurricane Frances damaged production facilities and
effectively shut the company down, Hurricane Jeanne scored a direct
hit on the Vero Beach company last weekend, likely postponing the
planned resumption of production by another two weeks. "We're
continuing to deliver airplanes and ship parts," said spokesman Mark
AIRPLANES, PARTS LOST
The two-week postponement on the resumption of production has more to
do with cleaning up than it does with any actual damage to the
facilities. Miller said that in the aftermath of Frances, production
facilities were being moved out of damaged buildings and into those
that had survived the first hurricane. Turns out they stood up to
Jeanne just as well and not a single airplane or component was
damaged. "We're clearing up lots of debris, though," said Miller. At
least the recent hurricanes do not appear to have had the kind of
impact the company's predecessor suffered in 1972, when floodwaters
invaded Piper's Lock Haven, Penn., plant. More...
SAYS UNFIT CONTROLLERS FORCED TO WORK
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is accusing
the FAA of forcing potentially medically unfit controllers to work
traffic at the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center. But the
FAA says the charge is nonsense and typical of the union's
over-the-top indictment of normal procedures at the agency. Pat
Forrey, NATCA's vice president for the Great Lakes Region, said in a
news release that three controllers flunked hearing tests and were
told they needed to be retested (at their own expense) by an
independent audiologist to maintain their medical certification. In
the meantime, they were to keep working because, the union says,
staffing levels are so low that the agency couldn't afford to lose
them. "In this case, the FAA dropped the ball, put safety at risk and
exposed itself as an agency in utter disarray," said Forrey. FAA chief
spokesman Greg Martin said the union is misrepresenting the situation
and noted the current collective agreement addresses this sort of
OWNERSHIP FOR LIGHT-SPORT AIRCRAFT
If you think of Citations, Hawkers and Challengers when you think of
fractional ownership, it's time to think again. A fractional ownership
program is coming to the far opposite end of the aviation spectrum as
together quarter-share ownership arrangements for three types of
Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA): the Zenith 601, Zenith 701 and the Zephyr.
"There is no other way someone can fly less expensively than this,"
said LetsFly.org CEO Eldon Corry. For as little as $900 up front, one
can be in the pilot's seat of an airplane he or she could eventually
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SHOW CRASH INJURES FOUR
Four people were injured in the crash of a Ford Tri-Motor replica at
an air show in Fullerton, Calif., last Saturday. The Bushmaster 2000,
a replica of the famed 1920s airliner, had just lifted off from the
Fullerton Municipal Airport when it began an apparently uncontrollable
left turn. Published images show it arcing over the crowd
before barely missing the ATC tower and crashing onto a street. The
pilot, Jay Yoshinaga, 45, of Gardena, Calif., was in fair condition
and passenger Anthony Albanese, 46, of Brea, was in critical condition
at last report. Reportedly, the plane was being flown on a
post-maintenance test flight. More...
JOINS WAAS WORLD
The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is coming to even the
farthest-flung (and most difficult to navigate) reaches of Canada,
thanks to a deal between the FAA and Nav Canada, the private company
that runs Canada's civil air navigation system. Nav Canada will build four ground stations (Winnipeg,
Goose Bay, Gander and Iqualuit) to refine GPS signals and give a
seven-foot lateral and vertical error margin on GPS approaches to
airports without standard ILS systems. More...
IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE
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FLIGHTS TO BE RESTRICTED AT O'HARE
General aviation's contribution to the effort to ease congestion at
Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is, as was feared, the
reinstatement of slot limitations and reservations. Although a new
rule has not been published (we couldn't find it as of Wednesday), the
National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) says that as of Nov. 1
only four GA operations per hour will be permitted at O'Hare between 7
a.m. and 9 p.m. The NBAA says the decision was reached at a meeting
last Friday between the FAA and Transportation Secretary Norman
Mineta. In an earlier press release, NBAA President Ed Bolen tied the
decision directly to the sudden closure of Meigs Field 18 months ago.
"Since the overnight destruction of Chicago's Meigs Field (CGX) in
2003, more than 20,000 annual aircraft operations were forced to
utilize Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) and O'Hare, the two
next closest airports to downtown Chicago," the NBAA said.
WANNA BUY A CRUISE MISSILE, CHEAP?
In what appears to be some backyard tinkering gone mad, a New
Zealander who claims to have designed a workable cruise missile for
$5,000 (about $3,500 U.S.) is now offering his services to the highest bidder. Bruce
Simpson attracted a lot of attention last year when he said he could
build a jet-powered, stealthy cruise missile that could carry a
22-pound payload 100 miles to within 100 meters of its target. What's
more, it would be built out of off-the-shelf items and "using
techniques that can be used in any suburban garage without raising
suspicion or curiosity of neighbors," according to his Web site. Well,
his tinkering caught the attention of the New Zealand government, who
put him out of the cruise missile business and forced him underground.
ATTENTION, RENTER PILOTS! DON'T BE MISLEAD BY
Analysis of actual claims
indicates that the most common risk to the renter pilot is damage to
the rented aircraft itself. Because of this, optional
Aircraft Damage Liability (ADL) coverage is recommended. A $95
policy will not protect you for damage to the rented aircraft. That's
why AVEMCO developed the Aviator Series packages so
renters have appropriate coverage by simply selecting the package that
best fits the flying they do. Contact AVEMCO for
competitive and comprehensive renter (non-owned) aircraft coverage
that offers protection from the most common renters' claims. Call
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AOPA asked the TSA to postpone the new alien flight-training
The Cape Girardeau (Mo.) Airport will be closed from Oct.
31 to Nov. 10...
The Southwest Regional Fly-In will expand to three
days in 2005. More...
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 email@example.com.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Savvy Aviator #10: Mechanicals On The Road
more exasperating to an aircraft owner than encountering a mechanical
problem while far from home base. AVweb's Mike Busch offers some tips
for dealing with such problems, and preparing for them ahead of time.
Why We Fly
A few weeks ago, AVweb asked (as our Question of
the Week), "Why Do You Fly?" One reader chose to respond by sending
the following extended answer, and we thought it was too good to keep
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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DIAMOND AIRCRAFT OFFERS PERFORMANCE, COMFORT, VALUE,
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With Diamond Aircraft's models,
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne made another successful launch into
the upper atmosphere on Wednesday morning the first of three
attempts at winning the Ansari X-Prize. Does SpaceShipOne have the
competition sewn up, or is there still a chance for a dramatic turn of
events? PLUS: Results of last week's question regarding our readers'
... um, reading habits. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Hey, is everyone feeling all right? Is there a pilot's flu going
around? Did you all skip work this week to drive out to the Mojave and
watch SpaceShipOne make its X-Prize run? We have to ask because
well, frankly, you didn't send us many pictures this week. And we like
pictures! Lucky for us, the ones you did send in like this
week's winning photo from Robert Bismuth of Seattle are pretty
eye-catching. See for yourself. More...
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
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|STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR
FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!|
Do you have friends or family
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meeting? Will your partner get the airplane back before you need
to take off? Find out where in the U.S. and Canadian airspace
they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb
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|SUBSCRIBE TO IFR MAGAZINE NOW AND
IFR is the magazine for the accomplished
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Order today for guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe!
If you fly the gauges, add IFR Magazine to your ground
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|POWER FLOW NOW OFFERS C-172N WEIGHT INCREASE STC & AN
EXHAUST SHINE KIT|
Cessna 172N owners, you can increase the
gross weight of your aircraft by 100 pounds with this new Power
Flow Tuned Exhaust System STC. To meet the STC's
requirements, your aircraft must have a cowl cooling lip, and the
flaps have to be limited to a maximum of 30 degrees. Best of
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weight STC does not require the installation of the Power Flow
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|PHOTON MICRO-LIGHTS ANNOUNCES PRICE REDUCTION ON
Here on AVweb is the best micro-light on the
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3 (except the IR & UV) are priced at only $17.95, with the covert
versions still only $2 more! Find the right model of Photon
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|FLYING MAGAZINE RECAPS AIRVENTURE, TAKES A LOOK
AT THE CIRRUS SR22-G2,|
shows what can happen to one young
man when he's inspired by the Navy's Blue Angels, and has the columns
you've come to trust and respect all in the upcoming October
issue. Don't miss an issue of Flying magazine. Order
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|GIVE THAT OLD, BULKY, WORN-OUT FLIGHT BAG TO GOODWILL
Order a new all-leather backpack from PilotMall
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|THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T
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|CFIs DISCOVER THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN GREG
BROWN'S CLASSIC BOOK|
The Savvy Flight
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|HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FROM CREWCAR & CONSUMER
Next to your home and airplane, a vehicle is the
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|AEROMEDIX.COM ADDS AVWEB COLUMNIST JOHN DEAKIN'S BOOK TO
John Deakin's new book, Full
Throttle, tells his stories from flying goods back and
forth to Central America in a B-25 at the age of 19 to flying for Air
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|COMM1 ANNOUNCES VFLITE GARMIN GPSMAP 296 INTERACTIVE
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|LOOKING TO FALL ASLEEP? READ THE AIM, NOT ROD
MACHADO'S PLANE TALK|
Since over 75% of all aviation
accidents result from human error, a comprehensive understanding of
risk management is essential to every pilot's health. How do we help
pilots be better risk managers? Have them read NTSB accident reports
and scare themselves without teaching much? Force them to listen to
dusty lectures about safety that put them to sleep? Or have them read
Rod Machado's Plane Talk, which will not only keep them
awake, but will also teach important lessons about human nature, risk,
safety beliefs, avoiding temptation, developing an aviation code of
ethics, and more in an entertaining format? Order Plane Talk at
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knowledge. For more information and ordering instructions, go to
|ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR
John Schwaner's The Mechanic's Toolbox +
Engineering Manual Companion has been a mainstay for mechanics
for years. John has revised and updated this publication and put it on
CD. The Mechanic's Toolbox Program contains everything
from "Ohm's Law for Mechanics," "Torque Wrench Extension Calculator,"
"Pressure Conversions," "Velocity Computing," and more to a Palm
operating system, including: "Alternator Charging System Checker,"
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We Welcome Your
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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