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Volume 10, Number 41b -- October 7, 2004

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LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU'RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

X PRIZE -- THE END OF THE BEGINNING?
With the X Prize in the bag, the question is, what happens next? Still to come is the official handing-over of that $10 million check, scheduled for Nov. 6 at the St. Louis Science Center. Burt Rutan told the media that he plans to use some of that cash to pay bonuses to every Scaled Composites employee. The X Prize Foundation hopes to keep the two-dozen-plus runner-up teams motivated to stay in the race by hosting an annual X Prize Cup in New Mexico, offering multimillion-dollar prizes for fast turnarounds, passenger counts, maximum altitude and fastest flight time. On Monday, organizers announced they have secured the first major sponsor for the event, International Fuel Technologies. More...

...AS THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THE FEARLESS
That's not to say the success of space tourism is assured. From the start, the FAA has emphasized that its primary responsibility when it comes to regulating private spaceflight is to protect "the uninvolved public" on the ground and in the air. Although Rutan's system seems simple and stable enough to assure safety, the scary "rolling" moment in last week's flight reminded everyone that the endeavor remains a risky one. Fears exist that a live-on-camera accident could have a Hindenburg-like effect on the future of private spaceflight. Case in point: Of the almost 190,000 Web users who responded to a CNN online poll this week, 82 percent said space travel is not yet safe enough for the general public. See also AVweb's coverage of Monday's flight, the X Prize Cup and at least one free ticket to space (our report was published Monday afternoon). 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.

UNION HITS FAA OVER CHICAGO STAFFING
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) says the FAA is "stretching the margins of safety" at Chicago-area airports by implementing a controversial report on operations at the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). Last January, the agency sent in an investigative team in response to a major spike in operational errors at the facility (from seven to 24 in a year). The so-called Tiger Team spent a month reviewing operations and concluded that the TRACON is operating safely and is adequately staffed. What it needs, the report says, is more supervisors, which is "preposterous," according to union officials. "The (people that work there) are just looking at this thing on the bulletin board and shaking their heads," NATCA spokesman Ray Gibbons said in a teleconference attended by AVweb on Monday. More...

...MORE SUPERVISORS HIRED
FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said additional supervisors are needed to help rejigger shift schedules and staff deployment at the TRACON. He said the investigators found instances where there were relatively few controllers on position during very busy times and more on position during relatively slow periods (recall the recent letter sent to AVweb regarding the disposition of controllers ... and NATCA). He said it's not just a matter of drawing up a new schedule because shift starting times are part of the collective agreement with the union. "I wish we could say that we could fix these things overnight, but we can't," said Molinaro. Molinaro also said the facility has evolved its own set of operating standards over the years and the agency wants to re-establish standard procedures there. NATCA President John Carr told the teleconference the solution is to hire more controllers. More...

THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST WINNERS
"They blow my RayBans out of the Water!" says private pilot Jason Downs. Visit Scheyden at AOPA Expo Booth #826-828. Don't forget to register at the booth to win a free 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. Scheydens are handmade of Titanium (Ti) frames with 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.

QUEST AIRCRAFT UNVEILS NEW BUSH PLANE
Quest Aircraft, of Sandpoint, Idaho, is unveiling its new single-engine, turboprop, 10-place utility aircraft this week. The new airplane, called the Kodiak, will feature Pratt & Whitney's PT6 turbine engine, landing gear designed for unimproved airstrips, 19-inch propeller ground clearance, 29-inch main tires, and short-take-off-and-landing (STOL) performance that beats any aircraft currently in its class, spokeswoman Julie Stone told AVweb yesterday. The company operates with a staff of 40 in a 27,000-square-foot facility built in October 2002. Stone said the first flight of the Kodiak will occur later this month. Tom Hamilton, formerly of Stoddard-Hamilton Aircraft, is Quest's CEO, and Bruce Kennedy, former CEO of Alaska Airlines, is chairman of the board. More...

...WITH A MISSION...
According to a story posted by the University Presbyterian Church of Seattle, Wash., the Kodiak was originally designed as a missionary aircraft, and more than $7 million has been raised to help produce it. Stone said that the aircraft is "of interest to the mission field," but has also attracted interest from many backcountry operators in Alaska. Quest is structured as a for-profit company, Stone said. The Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) of Redlands, Calif., has raised about $5.5 million for Quest -- which is to be repaid by the delivery of aircraft. In a September 2003 financial statement, the MAF's auditor says an additional $20 million would be needed to produce the aircraft, but the MAF has not committed to provide those funds. More...

...AS ATG SHOWS OFF JAVELIN JET
In Olympia, Wash., on Tuesday, Aviation Technology Group (ATG) for the first time opened the hangar doors to show the press the prototype-in-progress of its two-seat Javelin Jet. "The wings are on, and the engines are in," ATG spokeswoman Sara Newton told AVweb yesterday. "The landing gear is just about ready. First flight is expected by the end of the year." The company held the unveiling in an effort to stave off building skepticism, sending the message that, "yes, since we are a new company, here's something we can show you just to give you what it looks like in its raw state," Newton told The Albuquerque Tribune. The company, based at Colorado's Centennial Airport, is planning to manufacture the jet in Albuquerque. 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.

PANEL FINDS AIRPORT FIRE DEPARTMENTS INADEQUATE
A working group that has been studying FAA standards for airport fire departments has found they are inadequate to save lives and to deal with the searing flames that occur in plane crashes, USA Today reported yesterday. The FAA working group, formed three years ago, says many airports need more fire trucks and more flame-retardant foam. The fire departments also should improve their response times in reaching downed aircraft and train firefighters to go into burning jets to get passengers out, the group says, according to USA Today. More...

FAA RULES AGAINST PILOTS AT TEXAS AIRPORT
Investigators with the FAA's Southwest Region this week found that officials at Addison Airport, in Texas, didn't violate any federal rules when they spent airport-improvement funds to build a concrete plant and give a half-million-dollar incentive to a corporate tenant to build a new hangar, The Dallas Morning News reported on Tuesday. Pilots at the airport have complained that their hangar-rental fees have increased while grants intended for airport improvements were misspent. In May, AOPA joined their side and pressed for the FAA audit. But the FAA this week said the airport was within its rights to spend the money as it did. "We don't agree," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president. More...

LONG FLIGHTS FEEL SHORTER WITH A COMFORTABLE SEAT
Sitting in an airplane is more comfortable with the Oregon Aero™ Portable Universal SoftSeat™ Cushion System. The pain is gone no matter how long you sit. The cushion design shifts your hips and pelvis into the proper, pain-free position and works with any existing seat. Visco-elastic foam "reads" body temperature and pressure to prevent the burning sensation of ischemia or "hot spots." The portable cushions can be used in private and commercial aircraft, cars, boats, even wheelchairs. You'll have a perfect fit every time. Fly pain-free with Oregon Aero! See the Portable Universal SoftSeat™ online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/soft/avflash.

PARK FLYOVERS RAISE NOISE CONCERNS
Complaints about noisy overflights above Muir Woods National Monument, just north of San Francisco, are on the rise, the Marin Independent Journal reported on Monday. Visitors and workers at the park say seaplanes and helicopters flown on aerial tours are increasingly disrupting the serenity of the redwood forest. "It seems like people are getting wealthy with these tours, but it's ruining the experience for those who come to Muir Woods for solace," Thomas Martell told the Independent Journal. Local operators said there have no been no recent changes in routes or the number of flights, so they couldn't explain the uptick in complaints. "We try to be a good neighbor," said tour owner John McLelland. Another operator speculated that maybe a change in air currents is affecting the perception of noise. More...

ASTRONAUT GORDON COOPER DIES
On Monday, astronaut Gordon Cooper Jr., 77, died at his home in Ventura, Calif. He was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. "He truly portrayed the right stuff, and he helped gain the backing and enthusiasm of the American public, so critical for the spirit of exploration," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "Gordo was one of the most straightforward people I have ever known," recalled fellow astronaut John Glenn. "What you saw was what you got." Another of the "Original Seven," Wally Schirra, added, "We seven were bonded like brothers, maybe even closer if that's possible." The youngest of the original seven astronauts, Cooper's Mercury flight set a U.S. endurance record at the time, and he became the first astronaut to sleep in space during his 34-hour, 22-orbit mission. More...

PROTECT & SHINE YOUR AIRCRAFT WITH A NAME YOU KNOW & TRUST — AEROSHELL
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.

ALASKA AIRMEN RAFFLE OFF A SCOUT
For $50, you can take a chance on winning your very own brand-new American Champion Scout, and at the same time support the Alaska Airmen's Association. The group will sell only 5,500 tickets, so you can calculate the odds you get for your investment. The 180-hp 2005 Scout comes complete with a 70-gallon long-range fuel system, a metal belly, GPS, a cabin heater, deep pile carpet, and even a Velcro map pocket. Not to mention 31-inch tundra tires, for those gravel-bar landings. Tickets went on sale Oct. 1, and will be sold until they run out. The drawing is set for May 15, 2005. Tickets can be ordered online at the Alaska Airmen's Web site, or call 1-800-464-7030. The Alaska Airmen is a nonprofit group established in 1951, and started the annual aircraft raffles five years ago. More...

CLARIFICATION
We apparently misunderstood the intent of a gathering of female helicopter pilots in Washington, D.C., next April 28-30. The pilots are there to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Whirly-Girls. We called it a convention but that takes place in conjunction with HeliExpo each February. More...

THE NEW ASA AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY AND COMPLETE
The new ASA Aircraft Flight Log provides the operators of individual aircraft an easy-to-use method of keeping track of detailed items pertaining to the care and use of their airplanes. Inspections, VOR/ELT checks, oil changes, and simple squawks are all easy to find without digging through a stack of maintenance logs. Instantly know the disposition of the aircraft you are about to fly, simply by checking your ASA Aircraft Flight Log. Available now for $9.95 from ASA at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Pilots warned to beware of Mt. St. Helens ash and eruptions...
Black Sky: Reaching for the X Prize, tonight at 9, Discovery Channel...
Astronaut Mike Melvill will speak at AOPA Expo, October 21. 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...

SUBSCRIBE TO PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE & GET ISSUE AFTER ISSUE
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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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BRAINTEASTERS
Quiz #86 -- Restrictions and Procedures
There are three reasons for getting the instrument rating: safer flying, lower insurance rates, and swaggering rights in the pilot's lounge. To retain the right to preen, you need to review a few IFR procedures. 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...

ATTENTION CESSNA OWNERS & PILOTS
The new Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national & regional events, an annual convention, seminars, and more. CFA's staff has over 90,000 hours of combined flight experience. For less than a tank of fuel ($39.00 for a one-year membership), you can access the information you need to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from owning and flying your Cessna aircraft. Join the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) today as they build the ultimate Cessna Association. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.

AVweb STILL Needs a Few Good Subcribers for the AVweb Readers' Panel
AVweb is forming a Readers' Panel to assemble a group of subscribers to answer a question or two each month. If you would like to join this panel and express your opinion on products and services, please go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/readerpanel/avflash.

Even if you answered our call for volunteers on Monday, please take a moment to sign up again. A data glitch caused us to lose some of your answers, and we want to make sure no one who wants to participate is left out!

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Controllers. If you've been reading AVweb recently, then you've seen that there are some differences of opinion regarding what controllers do all day and whether or not a shortage is imminent. Were you appalled by Jane Doe's letter to AVweb? Were you appalled by NATCA President John Carr's public response? Register your opinions in our "Question of the Week." PLUS: Results of last week's question about the X Prize. More...

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
What does it take to beat seven gorgeous sunsets, six Red Knights, four adorable kids, three beautiful girls, two P-38s, and one natural wonder? This week, it took a stunning in-cockpit photo from John Rippinger and Scott Sayre of the Lima Lima Flight Team. Despite some stiff competition (see above), John scored an official AVweb baseball cap for his winning contribution. The next time you see Lima Lima in action, break out those ultra-zoom lenses and tell us if he's wearing it in the cockpit! 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  
LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW WHEN YOU'LL BE HOME
Sign up for the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer.  It's the PC-based service that provides a real-time picture of all IFR aircraft in flight. Your family simply enters your N-number to track your flight, be alerted to delays, and get updated ETAs.  AVweb Edition Flight Explorer costs just $9.95 a month, a small price for such big peace of mind.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
SUBSCRIBE TO AVIATION SAFETY NOW AND SAVE!
You spent thousands to earn your license. Now you can safeguard it for just pennies a day. Aviation Safety helps pilots stay ready for the realities of today's demanding flight environment with instructive articles to keep your decision-making skills sharp. Subscribe now and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avsafe/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.
BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES, CONGRATULATIONS, OR "JUST 'CAUSE" GIFTS
Chase-Durer timepieces are thoughtful gifts with function and beauty — and very appreciated.  SPECIAL: A perfectly balanced, platinum-toned pen with gold accents for only $30 (regularly $90) with any watch purchase.  Beautiful and functional timepieces for both men and women, with Chase-Durer workmanship and quality.  Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur/avflash.
PHOTON 3 MICRO-LIGHT ON SALE DURING OCTOBER
As we "fall back" on the clock, the nights come sooner.  Don't be caught in the dark.  The Photon 3 Micro-Light — among the world's smallest and brightest lights — is being offered at a 15% discount through October at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.
FLYING CARPET: THE SOUL OF AN AIRPLANE
You've enjoyed Greg Brown's stories in Flight Training and AOPA Pilot. Now read the book! Join Greg in the cockpit of his Flying Carpet for all the struggles, triumphs, and crazy adventures of a pilot as he matures from fledgling to seasoned aviator. Some stories are harrowing, some are downright hilarious, and all will make you wish you'd been along for the ride. Not only will pilots love this book, but after reading it your friends and family will finally understand why you fly. AVweb EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Order your autographed copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/paperjet/avflash.
FARs CAN CHANGE ON ANY GOVERNMENT WORKING DAY
Summit Aviation's Computerized Aviation Reference Library saves you time and energy by keeping track of changes in hundreds of handbooks, advisory circulars, and FAA regulations — all on a single CD-ROM that organizes, formats, and makes information accessible! Updates are available from twice a year to every two weeks. SPECIAL: Complimentary U.S. shipping at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/summit/avflash.
FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE USUALLY SPEECHLESS; THEN THEY CAN'T STOP TALKING
It starts with Be A Pilot, the national learn-to-fly program sponsored by the General Aviation community.  Since 1997, over 200,000 people have registered to take their first lesson at one of the 2,114 flight schools nationwide.  Give the gift of flight.  Register for a low-cost $49 first flying lesson at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/beapilot/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
INNOVATION — IT'S THE KEY BEHIND NARCO'S NEW DIGITAL TRANSPONDER AT165
Narco Avionics, building on the tradition of the AT150 — the industry's workhorse ATC transponder — has introduced the all-new AT165, with some very exciting and innovative features.  Narco's AT165 is competitively priced with some of the current popular manual transponders.  Coming Soon: Plug and Play KT76A Replacement.  Seeing is believing at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.
GUARDING AGAINST KILLER CARBON MONOXIDE DOESN'T COME AT A HIGH PRICE
CO Guardian has carbon monoxide detector models from portable units to panel-mount units.  Each unit's solid-state sensors and temperature sensors (EMI-shielded to prevent radio interference) are built in the USA and FAA-certified.  Go online to find the CO Guardian model right for your aircraft at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cog/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.
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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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
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.

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