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Volume 10, Number 40b -- September 30, 2004

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

AIRCRAFT SPRUCE PUTS THEIR NAME ON TWO NEW AVIATION HEADSETS
SkyCom II is the next generation of Aircraft Spruce's Passive and Active Aviation Headsets. The Passive SkyCom II Headset offers unbeatable comfort, dual volume controls, stereo, headset bag, 2-year warranty, and 24dB of attenuation. The SkyCom II ANR Headset has all the features of the passive plus an additional 10-12dB of active cancellation, cell phone and auxiliary music input, and Auto Shut-Off. Both headsets are reasonably priced and available today. If you're in Corona, CA on October 2nd, stop by the 8th Annual Aircraft Spruce Open House for great deals on everything in the store. (Free shuttle from Corona Airport.) Call 1-877-4-SPRUCE for details, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/acspruce/avflash.

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

SPACESHIPONE 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 More...

...$50 MILLION FOR AN ORBITAL FLIGHT, VIRGIN GALACTIC AND MORE...
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...

...AS 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 LATEST WINNERS
"They blow my RayBans out of the water!" says Jason Downs. Visit Scheyden at AOPA Expo Booth #826-828.  Don't forget to register at the booth to win a pair of Scheydens!  A pair of Scheydens will still be given away every other week to a lucky AVweb subscriber, with a retail value up to $395!  The unique flip-up design has become the #1 choice of pilots who demand quality and function.  Handmade with Titanium (Ti) frames; quality lenses, a Rosewood case, and plush micro-fiber cleaning cloth are standard equipment.  For information and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.

ANOTHER 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 Miller. More...

...NO 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...

IN PRINT AND ONLINE, TRADE-A-PLANE GIVES YOU THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail) — including the web edition. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVflash, or by going online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

NATCA 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 scenario. More...

FRACTIONAL 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 LetsFly.org puts 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 own. More...

LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU’RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT
Whether you're looking for that "envy of many pilots" single — such as a Bonanza, a workhorse turboprop, or a multi-mission jet — Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft Sales does it all — and has done so for over 65 years, boasting a professional sales/marketing team engaged in new and pre-owned aircraft with more than 100 years of sales, support, and consulting expertise — turnkey assistance from acquisition, financing, or sales consulting to award-winning service and avionics centers, and a VIP program for every customer at their extensive network of 36 FBOs — always looking to purchase quality turboprop, mid-size, and large turbine aircraft.  One call to (800) 259-1940, or one click to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/phas/avflash.

AIR 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...

CANADA 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 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.

GA 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. More...

PSST: 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. More...

ATTENTION, RENTER PILOTS! DON'T BE MISLEAD BY COMPETITORS' ADVERTISING!
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 (888) 241-7891 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
AOPA asked the TSA to postpone the new alien flight-training rule...
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...

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...

IMPROVE AND STRENGTHEN YOUR VISION NATURALLY WITHOUT THE RISK OR EXPENSE OF LASER SURGERY
Developed by award-winning optometrists and research scientists, the See Clearly Method is based on the same principles and techniques used by thousands of pilots in WWII. As one pilot states, "I never thought it was possible to actually improve your vision, but it worked. I tell other pilots that this is an effective way to improve your vision, naturally." Call for a no-cost informational video(1-800-881-7934) or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/seeclear/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
The Savvy Aviator #10: Mechanicals On The Road
Nothing is 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.

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SKYWRITINGS
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 to ourselves.

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...

DIAMOND AIRCRAFT OFFERS PERFORMANCE, COMFORT, VALUE, UTILITY, & SAFETY
With Diamond Aircraft's models, you can choose from two- and four-seat aircraft, single- or twin-engine, and conventional or glass cockpits. Diamond's line-up includes the DA20-C1, DA40-180 Diamond Star (now being delivered with the G1000 glass cockpit), and Diamond's new twin-engine aircraft, the DA42 Twin Star. Call (888) 359-3220 for more information or to find a distributor near you, or visit Diamond online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.

AVWEB'S 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...

PILOT GETAWAYS IS JUST WHAT THE NAME SAYS ...
From Santa Barbara to Ocala, Florida — with stops all along the way!  See where you've been missing.  Order your personal subscription online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.

AVWEB'S 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 Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

SHOPPING DEALS  
SCOPED OUT NEW AVIONICS & FOUND THEM WAY ABOVE YOUR BUDGET?
By shopping for used avionics, you can afford those improvements and needed safety features for your airplane. Bennett Avionics is your used avionics specialist, with years of serving customers with quality products and professional service. Don't spend more than you have to on avionics; go to the Bennett Avionics experts at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.
STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!
Do you have friends or family flying in tonight?  A business colleague coming in for a 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 subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at a special price of $9.95 a month at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
SUBSCRIBE TO IFR MAGAZINE NOW AND SAVE
IFR is the magazine for the accomplished pilot.  Each issue is loaded with insightful articles to help you get the most from the system, your aircraft, and your know-how.  Order today for guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe!  If you fly the gauges, add IFR Magazine to your ground support team now.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ifrmag/avflash.
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 all, the introductory STC cost is only $300.00.  (This gross weight STC does not require the installation of the Power Flow Exhaust.)  Power Flow also has an exhaust shine kit for those of you smart enough to have a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System. For more information, go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
PHOTON MICRO-LIGHTS ANNOUNCES PRICE REDUCTION ON BEST-SELLERS!
Here on AVweb is the best micro-light on the planet, at a subscriber savings!  All colors of the Photon 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 Micro-Light for your flying, sport, and reading needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.
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 online and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
GIVE THAT OLD, BULKY, WORN-OUT FLIGHT BAG TO GOODWILL ...
Order a new all-leather backpack from PilotMall and save $10.  Style, convenience, and a savings of $10 on every one ordered at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall/avflash.
THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T YOU?
Then you went through the manual and came away frustrated and confused. Stop laboring to understand those manufacturers' manuals! For less than $40 (plus shipping and handling) you can better understand and operate most of the modern GPS units on the market with ZD Publishing's Pilot Friendly GPS Manuals. GPS operation is fun and rewarding when you understand how to get the desired results. These manuals will help you through all operations. Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zdpub/avflash.
CFIs — DISCOVER THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN GREG BROWN'S CLASSIC BOOK
The Savvy Flight Instructor. Sure, you passed the challenging CFI checkride, but what about all those "other" flight instructing questions like how to recruit flight students, how to keep them flying, how to optimize your pass rate on checkrides, and how to get students to return for advanced ratings? Find the answers in The Savvy Flight Instructor by Greg Brown, AOPA Flight Training columnist and 2000 Flight Instructor of the Year. AVweb EXCLUSIVE: Order your personally autographed book by author Greg Brown at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/paperjet/avflash.
HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FROM CREWCAR & CONSUMER GUIDES
Next to your home and airplane, a vehicle is the most important item you will purchase.  Don't go blindly into a dealership; look to CrewCar.  CrewCar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value no matter the geography.  The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards.  For more information, visit CrewCar at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
AEROMEDIX.COM ADDS AVWEB COLUMNIST JOHN DEAKIN'S BOOK TO SITE
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 America and later Japan Airlines, where he became the world's highest-time 747 Captain.  LIMITED-TIME OFFER:  Each copy of Full Throttle will be signed by John Deakin at no extra charge.  Order your copy by calling (888) 362-7123 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/jd/avflash.
COMM1 ANNOUNCES VFLITE GARMIN GPSMAP 296 INTERACTIVE GUIDE
The VFlite Garmin GPSMap 296 Interactive Guide is an advanced, self-paced digital learning program that provides training on all operational aspects of the Garmin GPSMap 296.  With the Garmin GPSMap 296 Interactive Guide you quickly get familiar with operations by leveraging a visual, hands-on approach.  It's the easy, proven way to get confident with all that Garmin's powerful new GPS has to offer.  Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
AFFORDABLE!  NOW THERE'S A CONCEPT EMBRACED BY ALL PILOTS!
VTS's Multimedia Systems Training Tools CD-ROM is designed and produced by pilots for pilots with the most interactive and thorough aircraft systems training software available on the market today.  This software is a teaching tool for CFIs and a comprehensive study aid for students and for aircraft owner/operators looking to sharpen and increase their aircraft systems knowledge.  For more information and ordering instructions, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vts/avflash.
ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HARDWARE!
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," "Hose Shop," "Starter Analyzer," "Metals ID using Field Methods," and much more. Whew! This is immense! For complete details and to order (in the U.S. only), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch/avflash.
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We Welcome Your Feedback!

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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

Fly it until every part stops moving.

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