NewsWire Complete Issue

January 23, 2005
By The AVweb Editorial Staff

This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)

If you have or need life insurance, compare and save at the Pilot Insurance Center. You will receive the best policy at the best price. Don't overpay for life insurance just because you are a pilot. Pilot Insurance Center specializes in providing pilots — from student to ATP — with premium rates that are not available through other agents. A+ RATED CARRIERS – NO AVIATION EXCLUSIONS – Fast and Easy Application Process. For a complimentary quote, call 1-800-380-8376 or visit

FAA Goes After "Hero"...

Crime And Punishment

No good deed goes unpunished, it seems, although we'd be surprised to see the FAA throw the book at Jeremy Johnson. Johnson, battling high winds and rain, used his private helicopter to help rescue a southern Utah family from a massive flood that washed away their home and most of their possessions last week. Then, he offered rides in his Robinson chopper over the flood-ravaged area for a $100 donation to the family, raising for them $5,000 in the first four hours and $20,000 total over two days. That was after ferrying supplies, taking an explosives expert to a blockage in the river to blow it up and basically flying his tail off for a week to help his neighbors. But while his community is hailing him as a hero, the FAA is alleging he broke a couple of rules in the process. "I'm afraid they're going to suspend my license," Johnson told The Associated Press. One of Johnson's alleged crimes is that he failed to give the FAA seven days' notice before offering rides in the helicopter. FAA officials are also questioning whether his spur-of-the-moment kindness qualified as a bona-fide charity. As for carrying the explosives expert and his explosives to the river jam (at the request of emergency officials), the FAA's Hazardous Materials Division is reviewing that move's legality. FAA spokesman Allen Kantzer confirmed that Johnson could face "as little as a reprimand or as much as a revocation of his license." Regardless of what officialdom thinks of his activities, Renae Ludwig, whose daughters Johnson flew to safety from the flood, has her opinion. "He's my angel wings. I'm just overwhelmed by everything. I can't believe what he's doing."

...While Convicted Felon Wants Money Back

Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania pilot who used his aircraft to cause a series of potential disasters claims the punishment meted out is too harsh. John Salamone was jailed for up to 23 months (he's appealing) and also forfeited his Piper Cherokee for an allegedly drunken spree over Pennsylvania and New Jersey a year ago that forced evasive action by six airliners and some close encounters for a police helicopter. Now Salamone wants the $34,000 selling price of the plane that a judge ordered him to forfeit to the Montgomery County district attorney's office. Salamone's lawyer, Joseph P. Green Jr., claims the forfeiture amounts to double jeopardy because Salamone had already been sentenced to prison for reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe. During the trial, prosecutors said the airplane was contraband used in the commission of a crime and therefore subject to forfeiture. No word on when either appeal will be heard.

JA Air Center is the place to purchase your next Garmin GPS product. With an extensive inventory of all Garmin units and accessories, JA Air Center is Garmin's largest aviation dealer. JA Air Center provides exceptional customer service and the finest Garmin Avionics installations. Contact JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 and mention this AVflash, or order online at

Near-Space A Crowded Place…

X Prize Also-Rans Still In Hunt

The all but empty reaches of near space could get noticeably more crowded in coming years if all who plan to exploit its potential get their projects off the ground. Although Burt Rutan and Paul Allen's Mojave Space Ventures claimed the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the first privately funded effort to reach 100 kilometers in altitude (twice in two weeks) last October, that didn't end the race for near space. Since then other groups involved in the X Prize competition have continued to work toward repeating the feat. The Canadian da Vinci Project was trying to give the Mojave team a run for the big prize but equipment delays prevented their planned October launch of a giant balloon as a first stage and a rocket for the final push. In early December, the team announced completion of the massive helium-filled balloon that will carry the rocket Wildfire to 70,000 feet. The launch is still on hold, however, and no date has been announced.

...Other Efforts Emerge...

Two companies not involved in the X Prize competition have recently ramped up their efforts to get into space. founder Jeff Bezos has started building a testing facility in Texas for his Blue Origin company. Blue Origin has been doing design work in Seattle for several years on its relaunchable liquid-fueled spacecraft, which it hopes to launch in seven years. The Texas facility will include an engine test stand, fuel and water tanks and offices, according to The company is also hiring, according to its own Web site. Another dot-com mogul, John Carmack, of id Software, has created Armadillo Aerospace. The small but apparently determined Armadillo crew has already tried test firing an engine component, although it wasn't terribly successful. Armadillo posts semi-regular progress reports (warts and all) on its Web site that should be interesting to the technically minded. We'll wait for the launch...

...And The Air Force, Too

Any of these private companies that actually get hardware into sub-space may have to dodge military devices. The Air Force is planning to launch unmanned aircraft that will exploit the altitudes above 65,000 feet for simple tasks like communications relay within the next year. Helium-filled balloons (sound familiar?) would likely get that job. But over the next decade, more sophisticated aircraft could do reconnaissance and other battle-support work. "This is not a passing fad or fancy," Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf told Reuters. Leaf also stressed there are no plans to put weapons on the aircraft. Rather, they will most likely function as electronic relay, sensing and broadcast stations, augmenting existing systems and creating localized communications and intelligence-gathering capabilities. Leaf said there are about 10 concepts under review and he noted that something called the Near Space Maneuvering Vehicle is to be tested in Oregon within weeks.

The most respected new aircraft on the market all choose Continental engines.  Bring your aircraft up to speed with a genuine Continental engine.  Select from factory-new, factory-rebuilt, or factory-backed overhauls by Mattituck.  Add value to your aircraft and the peace-of-mind that you're flying behind the best — Continental. For further details, go to

Adam Aircraft Goes Radio-Silent?

The silence from Adam Aircraft is deafening. Last October the company predicted the first customer delivery of an A500 before the end of December. AVweb has contacted Adam officials at least five times in the past three weeks for a routine follow-up on progress for the company's innovative A500 inline piston twin and first-to-fly (to AirVenture Oshkosh) A700 very light twinjet. In every conversation with an Adam official this year, AVweb writers were asked to call back, and did ... each time. Now, a published report (which an Adam official also refused to discuss) that certification of its push/pull A500 piston twin is off the rails and that that's slowing progress on the A700 jet's development has apparently leaked. On Jan. 21, Aviation International News ran a story concerning the delays. According to the AIN report, the piston plane's certification has been delayed and, because about 65 percent of the A500's parts are also used in the jet, that's pushed the anticipated certification of the jet from this coming December to "early next year." If you've had firsthand experience with Adam Aircraft, AVweb would like to hear from you. Adam has our phone number...

Second Cirrus Crash In Week Kills Three

The second crash of a Cirrus SR22 last week has killed three people near Hood River, Ore. In both accidents, it is unclear whether the aircraft's full-plane parachute system had been deployed. Pilot Paul Linck, 41, of White Salmon, Wash., and passengers Brook Campbell, 26, of Stevenson, Wash., and 34-year-old Chris Jones of Hood River, died when their plane crashed on a ridge about five miles from Hood River. As AVweb told you Thursday, a Georgia man died when his SR22 crashed into a house in Coconut Creek, Fla. The three men killed in the most recent crash were on a night flight from Salem, Ore., to Hood River. Linck cancelled his IFR flight plan shortly after departure. News reports didn't mention whether the plane's emergency parachute had been deployed. In the earlier Florida crash, the parachute was found spread over the ground but it's not clear if the pilot deployed it or it was released on impact. The two crashes came as Ballistic Recovery Systems, which makes the Cirrus parachute, announced that 18 more lives had been saved by pilots pulling the handle. Three of those crashes involved Cirruses and at least six people were involved.

Is your aircraft what is commonly referred to as a "50-yard airplane" — it looks good from 50 yards away, but when anyone gets closer they realize it needs some major help? Combine your annual, new paint, and an interior at the Devine Airport Group. Quality work and excellent service, all at one location in Devine, Texas. See the Devine Attention to Details at

More Problems With TSA Instructors' Course

Some of the CFIs who managed to successfully complete the TSA's online security-awareness course (we heard from many readers, especially those on dialup, that the course was frustrating to take because the questions took so long to load) were faced with another complication. They couldn't print the completion certificate that was supposed to be the proof that they took the course. So AOPA convinced the agency to accept a tried-and-true (if decidedly low-tech) method of proving compliance. "Much like an endorsement, instructors can now make an entry in a logbook or other permanent record to show they've completed the required training," AOPA spokesman Rob Hackman said. The logbook entry should read, "I certify that I received security awareness training, as required by 49 CFR part 1552, on the date indicated above. I also certify that any alternate security awareness training program I used to comply with 49 CFR part 1552 meets the criteria in 49 CFR 1552.23(c)," and be signed by the CFI. Instructors not comfortable with a logbook entry (after all, you can't frame it and hang it) can download completion certificates from AOPA's Web site. There are different forms for independent and flying-school-based instructors.

More Plastic For Your Wallet

In the next two years, the FAA wants all pilots to trade in their paper certificates for the (allegedly) more terrorist-proof plastic model unveiled in 2003. Initially, the agency was going to let the paper editions be replaced by the natural attrition of wear and tear and when pilots got new ratings or certificates. But AOPA says the agency is now working on a rule requiring replacement of the paper pilot certificates within two years (five years for other types of airman certificates). But even that may be an interim measure. The agency is still working on getting photos on the certificates but it's hung up on the mechanism for actually getting the pictures taken. (We understand cameras work well for that ...) Among the procedural suggestions is that medical examiners be issued digital cameras to snap photos (... of your face) as part of the examination routine. In the meantime, pilots have to carry their driver's license with them. Getting a plastic certificate is as easy as ordering one online for $2. You can save yourself the two bucks if you tell the FAA you want your social security number removed from your certificate for privacy or security reasons. And no, we didn't ask.

Whether it's smoke in the cockpit or a fire in your office, hotel, or home, the EVAC-U8 escape hood provides 15 minutes of breathable air to help you get to safety. The EVAC-U8 has a patented DuPont Kapton hood that protects your head, face, and eyes from temperatures up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, plus an active air-purifying filter to remove carbon monoxide and other toxic gases. Priced as low as $59.95. Call (888) 362-7123, or order online at

New Landing System Lowers Minimums

Juneau and Palm Springs might seem worlds apart but they're both a lot easier to get to thanks to a GPS-based instrument landing system developed by Alaska Airlines and approved by the FAA. The Required Navigation Performance (RNP) system uses on-board transmitters and GPS signals to allow pilots much lower minimums when landing at airports with narrow approaches surrounded by mountains. The system was first put into use at several Alaska airports with their notoriously poor weather. But clear, dry, CAVU Palm Springs? Apparently not always. Earlier this month, low valley cloud accompanying a rainstorm (!) at Palm Springs caused Alaska to cancel, delay or divert 24 flights. Other airlines were similarly affected, including Calgary-based WestJet's maiden run to Palm Springs. The winter-weary Canadians ended up at LAX instead. When the weather is down at ILS-less Palm Springs, the new system allows Alaska flights to operate to 250 feet and three-quarters of a mile.

Getting Started Young -- On A Stack Of Cushions

Some people wait until the time is just right before taking flying lessons. For Michael Barry, of St. Augustine, Fla., it was just after he turned 11. The fifth grader needs about a half dozen cushions to help him see over the panel and reach the pedals of the Florida Aviation Career Training Cessna 152 but his stature hasn't kept him from taking off and practicing basic flight and navigation skills. He's not quite landing on his own yet but instructor Donna Tostevin told the St. Augustine record Barry could join a special club of pilots at the airport. She said at least three local kids have earned their driver's licenses and soloed on the same day. Michael's dad Ron said flying is all his son wants to do now and he aims to be a commercial pilot. Teaching (very) young people to fly may be more popular than you imagine. AVweb was recently contacted by Cleo Chamberlain, an instructor who has developed a flight training program for young people.

AOPA's Pilot Information Center has a dedicated staff of medical specialists who can answer your basic medical questions or guide you through the appeal process following a denial of medical certification. AOPA's web site allows you to research medical questions, has detailed guidance about many medical conditions, and includes AOPA's TurboMedical interactive medical application planner as well as a comprehensive listing of medications allowed by the FAA. For the best information available about your medical questions, call the Pilot Information Center at (800) USA-AOPA, or go online to

On The Fly...

Yet another reason to wait for the bar cart. An EPA study says drinking the water on an airliner is getting riskier. The study found bacterial contamination in the water on one in six airliners, up from one in eight six months ago...

AOPA members took only three days to match a $25,000 pledge by the organization to help AirServ International deliver humanitarian aid to areas hit by the tsunami in South Asia. By Friday, members had donated $27,000 and $25,000 was matched by AOPA. Of course, donations are still welcome...

Pilot groups in Texas are pressing the state to close illegal dumps near Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The open landfills are attracting thousands of birds and creating a hazard, say the groups...

It was a record-setting year for Delta Airlines but it can't survive many more. The airline lost $5.2 billion last year, far more than American's measly $3.5 billion in 2002…

Both pilots survived the midair collision between two Australian Air Force Roulettes demonstration aircraft on Friday. One pilot ejected and the other was able to land his damaged Pilatus PC-9. The team will perform for Australia Day celebrations this week in Canberra.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to

"The first ground runs were with the original injectors, then we installed the GAMIs. I didn't need the EDM 700 to tell me I had spent my money wisely. The motor is notably smoother and more responsive, with mixture totally controllable." "I got my GAMIs in my 470 and love them. I run LOP; couldn't before. My airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs!" Check out GAMIs for your airplane at

New Articles and Features on AVweb

The Pilot's Lounge #83: Which Emergencies Should We Practice?
The general-aviation accident record shows that we've been crashing (and sometimes dying) for the same reasons for many years now. But our training and checkrides don't seem to reflect those issues. AVweb's Rick Durden suggests ways to make sure we practice the most common emergencies, in this month's Pilot's Lounge column.

IP Trainer and Instrument Refresher: An IPC Simulator as FAA/Industry Training Standard (FITS) products, finding them more convenient and accessible, less expensive, and more relevant to today's pilots. These are the only desktop flight simulators to achieve this FAA endorsement. IP Trainer is for the not-yet-instrument-rated pilot, covering every facet of instrument flight training. The Instrument Flying textbook is included to complete an integrated flight and ground training program. Instrument Refresher: An IPC Simulator is for the instrument-rated pilot who wants to practice maneuvers required for instrument currency, could use some occasional dual instruction, and wants the ability to refine skills before taking an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC). Order online at

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

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 on avionics than you have to; go to the Bennett Avionics experts at

Short Final...

Overheard, one beautiful sunny day in southern California. I wasn't clear on exactly what the miscommunication was, either...

Twr: Helicopter N123 are you heading southeast after takeoff?

N123: Negative, request south towards San Diego.

Twr: There are mountains in the way...


N123: ...which explains our use of an aircraft today.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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

including all major aviation insurance markets.  CS&A Aviation Insurance is able to meet your needs for aircraft coverage and competitive pricing.  A veteran CS&A staff of specialists have the knowledge to ensure each client receives quality service and excellence in risk management.  For a no-obligation quote, go online at
What a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization — marking their 100th anniversary in 2005! NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast. You will receive two magazine subscriptions — Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero — and access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call NAA at (703) 527-0226 to become a member of the NAA family, or sign up online at
Narco Avionics is proud to announce the introduction of the AT165/K Transponder, a digital plug-and-play replacement for the old mechanical KT76A/KT78A. 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 King KT76/KT78. WINTER SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information on these innovative Narco Avionics products, go to
Do you have friends or family flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the airplane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of $9.95 a month. Go to
Subscribe to the monthly magazine dedicated to keeping IFR-rated pilots ready for anything! IFR Refresher polishes your proficiency, challenges your knowledge, briefs you on changing regs, and keeps your decision-making skills sharp. Order today for guaranteed savings for as long as you subscribe.
Save 10% on the Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial, and Instrument/Commercial Complete Pilot Kits. Plus: Save 20% off Gleim's Online Ground School! Great deals on great training at
Fly confidently by training with COMM1 Radio Simulators — unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. COMM1 also offers an interactive Navigation CD-ROM and a VOR/NDB Simulator to help understand and visualize every flight. And Getting Around on the Ground will help negotiate airports and runways wherever you fly. Save $10 on the purchase of any combination of Comm1 CDs or Navigation products, or $20 with a purchase of 3 CDs at
in the March Kitplanes issue. Plus: "Lancair Legacy FG"; "First Flights and Lessons Learned"; "Balancing a Three-Blade Propeller"; "Sebring 2004: First Impressions"; and "Culp's New Pup." Dreamer or builder, you can't afford to miss an issue. Order online at
Do you ever wonder why you lack confidence? Take a look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for Flight Instructors, and Ways to Improve the Precision, Safety and Confidence of Rated Pilots — wherein Gordon takes lessons from fifty years of flying and tells you HOW to be more capable, safe, and confident in your own flying — and how to teach more effectively. This is not a question-and-answer book, but a guide to what you actually think and do when you are in the cockpit. It also tells you how to root out bad habits and techniques. You will never understand the depth of this book until you read it. Order at
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.

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to Have a comment or question? Send it to

Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
AVweb's editorial team:

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

Fly it till everything stops.

AVflash is now available in optional easier-to-read graphic format, which includes some photos and illustrations. If you prefer, you can continue to receive AVflash in text-only format. Simply follow these instructions and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.