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Volume 10, Number 44b -- October 28, 2004

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

LIGHTSPEED AVIATION INTRODUCES NEW LINE OF HEADSETS
LightSPEED's new LightFlight L-1 ultra-lightweight aviation headset weighs in at only 0.5 ounces but is a heavyweight in features. Their in-the-ear technology attenuates 35-45dB of noise and features the same standard features as their premium headsets: High-fidelity stereo speakers, electric mic, cell/satellite phone and music input, carry case, and a 3-year warranty. Orders are being taken now for shipping in December. Retail price is $429 USD. For more information and to place an order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/L1/avflash.

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

FAA FACES SAFETY ALLEGATION
A Michigan pilot claims he's being persecuted by his employer for rejecting an airplane he considered unfit to fly. Chris Gottwald told AVweb he's been kept off the flight schedule and assigned menial office tasks since May when he told his superiors he wouldn't fly a King Air that had propeller-control problems. But while such pilot-management tussles may be all too common in the cash-strapped world of commercial aviation, Gottwald doesn't fly for some tin-shack terminal commuter line. The operator he claims is trying to pressure its pilots to fly unsafe airplanes is the FAA. More...

...PROPS WOULDN'T REVERSE...
Gottwald said that when he landed the King Air at Hulman Field in Terre Haute, Ind., last May 13, the props wouldn't go into reverse. With up to 9,000 feet of runway in front of him, the lack of reverse thrust wasn't much of a concern, but it wasn't the first time the props had acted up. Gottwald said he'd experienced at least two uncommanded pitch changes on King Air props previously, one while taxiing and another in which one propeller went to a virtually flat-pitch setting while he was on short final. "It caused a tremendous amount of yaw," he said. When the props wouldn't obey his inputs at Terre Haute, he'd had enough. "I didn't know what the props were going to do," he said. More...

...TAKEN OFF FLIGHT SCHEDULE, PILOT SPECULATES WHY
The FAA launched an investigation and immediately took Gottwald off the flight schedule. He's been "working" at a desk job ever since. "I don't have any office duties. I look at reports, file miscellaneous forms and I study flight manuals. I'm just supposed to keep myself busy," he said. He still gets paid his full salary of just under $100,000 a year. Gottwald said the FAA wrapped up its investigation in June but still won't tell him when to expect a decision. FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said no date has been set for the decision and, in the meantime, she can't comment in any detail. She did say that FAA maintenance standards, um, meet FAA maintenance standards and that FAA flight operations have an outstanding safety record. 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.  A pair of Scheydens will 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.

DIAMOND DELAYS TWINSTAR DELIVERIES
Sometimes when you're on the leading edge you have to put up with a little turbulence. Diamond Aircraft says it has delayed (to individuals) the first deliveries of its innovative diesel-powered DA-42 TwinStar because an adequate support network won't be in place for the Thielert diesels in time. "We have to be able to provide service for those customers," Diamond's North American CEO Peter Maurer told AVweb. While the company had hoped that first deliveries would be made by the end of this year, they've been put off for at least a year. "It's quite realistic that in 2005 there will be Thielert deliveries," he said. Fleet customers (who presumably will have trained service personnel) will get the Thielert aircraft as scheduled. Diamond designed and built the diesel twin in 2002 and it was certified in Europe earlier this year. It made its North American debut at EAA AirVenture last July and the company claims it's redefining fuel-efficiency standards for light twins. More...

...THE AVGAS ALTERNATIVE...
But while many potential customers are drawn to the technically advanced TwinStar, the launch hiccups have shown Diamond that there's also a market for something a little more conventional. Earlier this year, the company flew a Lycoming 0-360-powered version of the TwinStar and is accelerating its development. In fact, said Maurer, he expects the avgas version to be ready about the same time as the diesel and at the same price. "We'll introduce both aircraft and let the customer decide," he said. The gas-powered TwinStar uses more fuel but also has noticeably better performance than the diesel. More...

...CUSTOMERS "UNDERSTANDING"
Maurer said early-position diesel customers are naturally disappointed that they won't be getting their airplanes when they expected but most have been understanding. "Anybody that's acquiring leading-edge technology expects and is very tolerant of teething problems as long as they're dealt with effectively," Maurer said. He said Diamond is committed to the diesel program because the company believes the time is coming when 100LL will be phased out. "The future in fuel is jet fuel or mogas," he said. "We're looking to that future but we're not going to go into it blindly." More...

IN PRINT AND ONLINE, TRADE-A-PLANE GIVES YOU THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
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BRAIN IN A BOWL FLIES SIMULATOR
Someone once said he could teach a monkey to fly but researchers at the University of Florida have taken it a quantum leap further. The biomedical team says it has a dish full of about 25,000 rat neurons that can keep a PC flight simulator on the straight and level. "It's as if the neurons control the stick in the aircraft, they can move it back and forth and left and right," Professor Thomas DeMarse told Wired News. Now, the researchers aren't explicitly looking to replace pilots with rat neurons ... at least not yet. More...

FLIR SYSTEM TARGETS GA
A system that's helped fighter and attack aircraft pilots see better for decades could soon be coming to a GA panel you recognize. Forward.Vision, a division of Aercomp Inc., has developed a relatively low-cost (under $20,000) forward looking infrared system (FLIR) for general aviation. It's been selling them to homebuilt owners for the last couple of months but company spokesman Pat Farrell says several major manufacturers are interested in a certified version. "They are some of the biggest OEMs you would recognize," Farrell told AVweb after a successful showing at AOPA Expo last week. We might hope that one would endeavor to take on the certification hurdles. The Forward Vision system uses an infrared camera to peer through smoke, haze and precipitation, with varying degrees of clarity. 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) or a workhorse turboprop, or 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.

RUDDER INPUTS BLAMED FOR 587 CRASH
The NTSB has blamed the first officer's "unnecessary and excessive rudder pedal inputs" for the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Belle Harbor, N.Y., on Nov. 12, 2001. In its final report, released Tuesday, the NTSB said the vertical stabilizer separated from the Airbus A300-605R after the first officer "inappropriately manipulated the rudder back and forth several times" after hitting the wake turbulence of a Boeing 747. The extreme movements exceeded the design loads of the vertical fin, which separated -- 265 people died, including five on the ground. The NTSB also cited peculiarities with the aircraft's rudder-system design and elements of American Airline's pilot-training program as contributing factors. More...

TAX BILL QUASHES BIZJET PERK?
Possibly one of the nicest perks of corporate air travel has been quashed in a provision in a corporate tax bill signed into legislation by President Bush last week, and it could put a damper on the bizjet and fractional-ownership industry. While alphabets and manufacturers lauded a provision in the bill that extended the delivery dates on airplanes qualifying for deferred depreciation to the end of 2005 (a perk worth about $250 million) another measure was slipped in at the last minute. That measure drastically decreases the tax deduction corporations can claim when their aircraft are used by officers and employees of the corporation for personal business. According to Forbes Online, the provision, tucked in during the final Senate-House conference on the bill, will save the government $2.2 billion. More...

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EPIC, WHY NOT US?
Epic has announced its intention to produce a (very light) jet (download the press release, here) with an expected cruise 35 knots faster than it's "older" turboprop sibling on which it is based, for a higher fuel burn and an extra $150,000 in base price -- perhaps simply proving the practicality of the turbine. Recall the Epic LT. Announced one year before its debut, the $1.2 million Epic LT -- a six-place, all-carbon-fiber experimental turbine -- is currently going through its flight-test paces and expects to offer full-tanks, full-load flying at 350 knots. The jet will use most of the same major airframe components. If history is any indicator, expect it (springtime) soon. More...

THE NEW HEADSETS AT AOPA EXPO: FORGET ANR
At least two companies, LightSpeed Aviation and Aloft Technologies, have set aside over-the-ear headset ANR technology with in-ear technology products, driving sound with hearing-aid speakers and dampening it with ... replaceable ear plugs. A third, the Panther CATS system (which is similar, but not as new) takes a mold of the user's ear, making the sets individual-fit perfect -- but multiple-user exclusive. All three units look very much like fancy earplugs at the end of some wire (excluding the tiny boom mics). So there's a marketing challenge for the arguably superior products: It's not likely to come in comfort (we've tried them all) or noise dampening, and it might take some talent to convince pilots that what appear much like earplugs on a string should cost more than $400. More...

FLYING RENTED OR BORROWED AIRCRAFT?
There's only one thing worse than paying to repair an aircraft — knowing you might not have had to. Avemco Insurance Company offers one of the most comprehensive Renter's Insurance policies in the country.  For as low as $95 covering basic liability — or $155 providing basic liability and $1,000 worth of Aircraft Damage Liability — there is no reason not to have this coverage. Avemco's policy includes loss of use, Civil Air Patrol coverage, and more.  Liability coverage up to $1,000,000 and Aircraft Damage Liability coverage to $150,000 are available.  To bind coverage today, contact Avemco by calling (888) 241-7891 and mentioning this AVflash, or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Pilot landed safely after 172 cut three major power lines…
Dudley Hill, founder of Hill Aviation, died at 85…
Finn Air pilot pleaded guilty to preparing to fly while drunk…
Airport might make way for new bus lane…
Garmin G1000 flight training devices were ordered. 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...

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'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 #11: Ignition TLC
Mags and spark plugs don't need a lot of maintenance, but they do require some and it's often neglected. You may get away with such neglect for a while, but eventually it'll bite you.

More...

SUBSCRIBE TO FLIGHT EXPLORER AVWEB EDITION 4.02 FOR $9.95 A MONTH!
The latest edition of this real-time flight tracking display of all IFR aircraft in-flight includes enhanced tracking of individual flights, surface overlays, terrain and elevation maps, and full-screen mode for a larger picture on your PC.  To subscribe at the AVweb member rate of just $9.95 a month, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know which very light jet is your pick to be a major force in the marketplace. PLUS: Results of last week's pilots-vs.-controllers question. More...

AVIDYNE CERTIFIES XM DATALINK WEATHER SOLUTION
Avidyne has received a Technical Standard Order (TSO) approval for the XM WX Satellite Weather and Heads Up Technologies XM receiver interface for their FlightMax® Entegra display systems.  Avidyne is the first company to certify XM satellite weather interface for the piston-single through very-light-jet market.  For complete details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Californian Kendall Mauldin takes home top honors in this week's "POTW" contest — with a SpaceShipOne photo we kinda wish we'd taken! Great job, Kendall — we're sending you a nifty AVweb baseball cap as a token of our appreciation. If you want an AVweb cap of your own, send us your best amateur aviation photos. Funny, exciting, serene, or as downright strange as this week's bonus picture, your photo is sure to bring some joy and mirth to our workday. So what are you waiting for? Submit! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS  
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MODERNIZING YOUR TRANSPONDER DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!
Narco Avionics is proud to announce the introduction of the AT165/K Transponder, a digital plug-and-play replacement for the old mechanical KT76A.  The all-digital AT165/K is competitively priced with the current crop of mechanical transponders.  Also available is the AT165, a plug-and-play replacement for the Narco AT50, AT50A, AT150, or AT155.  Coming Soon: The plug-and-play replacement for the Cessna RT-359A.  FALL SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99.  For more information on these innovative Narco Avionics products, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.
SAVE ON THE MAGAZINE THAT SAVES AIRCRAFT OWNERS BIG MONEY!
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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.
ORDER AN ONLINE COURSE JUST LIKE YOU WOULD A BOOK!
It's the wave of the future, and it's being brought to you by Gleim Publications.  Gleim Publications, the company you depend on for all your training books and supplies, is offering online courses for: Private Pilot; Instrument Pilot; Commercial Pilot; Flight/Ground Instructor; and Fundamentals of Instruction.  SPECIAL INTRO OFFER: Save 25% on each online course now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gleim/avflash.
ALWAYS DREAMED OF BECOMING A PILOT? NO WONDER — IT'S HUMANKIND'S
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HAVEN'T ORDERED YOUR FLYING SUBSCRIPTION? LOOK WHAT YOU'RE MISSING!
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SPONSOR NEWS
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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.
IF YOU ARE 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 does Rod 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?  NO! He has them read Rod Machado's Plane Talk, which not only keeps them awake, but will teach important lessons about human nature, risk, safety beliefs, avoiding temptation, developing an aviation code of ethics, and more — all in an entertaining format!  Order Plane Talk at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
TO EVERY PILOT WHO WANTS TO FLY WITH AGGRESSIVE CONFIDENCE AND
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ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HARDWARE!
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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
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