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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
AGING FLEET AND FAA ACTION -- CESSNA TWINS...
The FAA on Sunday issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that requires
more frequent inspections for wing-spar cracks on twin Cessna 402C and
414A models that have not already been modified with spar straps.
Undetected cracks could result in the loss of a wing in flight, the
FAA said. The Emergency AD was prompted by two recent incidents of
cracked spars in 402C aircraft -- each with more than 20,000 hours
time in service. Cracks were found in the wing spar of a 402C flown by
a commuter airline on Feb. 11, after the pilot reported that a
45-degree yoke deflection was required to keep the airplane level.
"Maintenance personnel who inspected the failed spar said it was a
miracle that the wing did not fail in flight," technical analyst Mike
Busch wrote in a report to members of the Cessna Pilots
The FAA's handling of the Cessna twins spar issue has been a bumpy road, with a string of ADs already out, and
concern from some
owners' groups over cost and practicality. Bob Vila, president of
the Cessna Twins Spar Corporation (CTSC), says the AD
could extend to all Cessna twins, and raises issues important to all
owners of aging aircraft. "CTSC believes that the FAA, in the interest
of better knowledge of aging aircraft/fatigue issues with the Cessna
400 aircraft, should fund a neutral third party such as the National Institute for Aging Aircraft (NIAR) to
conduct a Cessna 400-series study," Vila said in written
comments he sent to AVweb yesterday. More...
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AT OSH
Make space for EAA AirVenture on your calendar if you want to
touch a real spaceship. EAA and Scaled Composites are promising
unprecedented access to SpaceShipOne and its mother ship White Knight
as the Ansari X-Prize winning combination settles in for the full week
of the annual convention in Oshkosh starting July 25. "We want the
public to be able to come up and touch it," said Mike Melvill, who
became the world's first private astronaut in SpaceShipOne last year.
Melvill said it will not only be the first such opportunity, it will
be the last. "It will be the first, only and last appearance," he said
in a teleconference held with reporters Wednesday. More...
INNOVATION ... AND REALLY GOOD MARKETING
The aircraft will overnight at Madison July 24 and make a scheduled
arrival (most likely early afternoon) at AirVenture on opening day.
Melvill said they'll do several passes and possibly an afterburner
climb before touching down. It's not known if any flights will be held
during the show but Melvill promised to make a similarly splashy exit
the following Sunday. The space plane may share center stage with
another Scaled creation that (hopefully) will have set another
impressive record by then. Poberezny said there have been talks with
Steve Fossett to have GlobalFlyer at this year's AirVenture.
RECONDITIONED 25XLs AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED
When new, these headsets had a list price of $599.
Now, for a limited time, you can buy reconditioned 25XLs for
$350. Most of these headsets come to us from pilots who have upgraded
to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All have new ear seals and head pads
and are upgraded and tested to current factory specifications. In
addition, they are backed by LightSPEED's 30-day money-back guarantee,
one-year warranty, and the LightSPEED emphasis on customer
service and satisfaction. Go online for more information and to
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AGE, HEALTH, ABILITY, AND CERTIFICATE...
While the Age-60 rule presumes that pilots become less safe
with advancing age, recent research suggests that youth comes with
dangers of its own. The part of the brain that inhibits risky behavior
does not mature until age 25, according to a study by the National
Institutes of Health. "We'd thought the highest levels of physical and
brain maturity were reached by age 18, maybe earlier -- so this threw
us," researcher Jay Giedd told The Washington Post. The research has been cited
by lawmakers in efforts to restrict the driving privileges of young
people. Driving accidents are the greatest cause of accidental death
in ages 16 to 24. More...
HIGHER STANDARD FOR PILOTS?
Pilots who have suffered head injuries and are being evaluated for a
return to flight duties should be held to a standard above what is
considered average in the general population, a new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia suggests.
"Military aviators score significantly higher on standardized
intelligence tests than the average person," said researcher Daniel
Orme, who tested more than 5,600 U.S. Air Force personnel over a
five-year period. To be safe, aviators should be held to a performance
standard based on what is average for the pilot population. Orme's
database could be used to establish "norms" for pilots, and could also
be used by the FAA when evaluating commercial pilots, he said.
|OREGON AERO FROM AERONCA CHAMP TO ZENITH
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Seat Cushion Systems for every type of aircraft, from older production
aircraft like the Champ to new homebuilt models like the Zodiak and
even jets. You can send or bring your seat to Oregon Aero, where it
will be upgraded by hand by a skilled and experienced staff. Want see
how Oregon Aero does it? Visit them online to see photos of the
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VLJS DRIVE ENGINE MARKET
With the production of thousands of Very Light Jets looming in the
next few years, manufacturers of parts for the fleet are gearing up to
supply the demand. Pratt
& Whitney Canada (PWC), in Quebec, is building production lines
capable of cranking out its PW600F turbofans at the rate of 1,000 per
year, The Hartford Courant reported Monday. The Eclipse
500 and the Cessna Mustang both are using variants of the engine, and
together will need about 4,800 of them. "The market for this engine is
very strong, and we need to gear up to be able to provide it," Mario
Modafferi, director of the Pratt Engine Center, told The Courant.
"This engine's going to take over the world the way the PT6 did."
SURVIVES OVERNIGHT IN SNOW CAVE
Scott Thurner, 57, of Milwaukee, was flying his Cessna 172 from
Laughlin, Nev., to Paonia, Colo., last Wednesday when he crashed in
rough terrain about 30 miles from Montrose, Colo. He had reportedly
descended to stay below clouds and found himself in a canyon with no
way out. Thurner was unhurt, other than minor cuts and bruises, and
survived a 30-hour wait in the cold by putting on all the ski clothes
from his suitcase and digging into the snow. "He called the first
little snow cave Motel 6. Then he dug a bigger one and called it the
Holiday Inn," Civil Air Patrol pilot Mark Young told The Montrose Daily Press. More...
AVEMCO TEAMS WITH PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) TO OFFER
Avemco, the only direct writer of
property and casualty insurance for general aviation in the U.S., is
sponsoring a Term Life Insurance Program underwritten by
well-respected insurance companies that have products tailored to
general aviation pilots. The Avemco Program will be administered
by the Pilot Insurance Center, using PIC's unique criteria. This
collaborative effort will make life insurance more widely available to
pilots at the best possible rates. For more information, go to
FLORIDA AIRPORTS RECOVERING
Airports near Vero Beach, Fla., are recovering from last year's
hurricanes, TCPalm.com reported last week. St. Lucie
International sustained $30 million in damages and curtailed
operations for about six weeks, but still showed an increase overall
in operations for 2004 from the year before. "Our business and
corporate traffic continues to increase," said Airport Director Paul
Philips. Damages at Witham Field came to $10 million and about $21
million at Vero Beach Municipal, and both airports showed a drop in
overall operations for the year. Some flight schools are still working
out of trailers, and twisted wreckage from destroyed hangars remains.
SELLS OFF AIRCRAFT PLANTS
Boeing has sold its commercial aircraft-manufacturing plants in
Wichita and Oklahoma to Onex, a Canadian-based investment group, for
about $900 million, Boeing announced on Tuesday. The plants will
continue to produce structures and parts for Boeing, including the 787
Dreamliner. Onex will invest over $1 billion in Kansas and Oklahoma in
the next few years, said Seth Mersky, an Onex managing director.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Alan Mulally said in a news release,
"Boeing will benefit from lower procurement costs and the
Wichita/Tulsa operations now can grow by winning new business with
other customers." Boeing also announced that it has sold its Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power business to Pratt &
Whitney for $700 million in cash. More...
"We want to show the youth of America that they can dream big dreams,
and they can start right now," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said as
the FAA signed a partnership agreement with 20-year-old Jamail
Larkins to promote career opportunities in aviation and aerospace.
"Jamail didn't wait for his career in aviation to take off," Blakey
said. "He took off with it." Larkins, a student at Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University, took his first flight with the Young Eagles at
age 12, and soloed two years later in Canada. He will work with the
FAA's educational outreach initiatives throughout the country to
attract children and young adults to aviation careers. (Underdeveloped
cerebral risk-taking inhibitors notwithstanding ...) Meanwhile, Utah
pilot Jared Aicher, 33, is planning a flight around the
world that will include at least 400 Young Eagles introductory
flights for children in 64 countries along the way. More...
GlobalFlyer launch postponed again, next window is March
Cirrus now offers Flight Director in its PFD-equipped
Diamond Aircraft named Paul Woessner director of N.A.
New England Aviation Expo set for April 9 in
China's first manned space launch was longest voyage of its
New AlabamaAviator.com Web site features local news and
info for pilots. More...
DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE MONITOR YET? NOW WITH
Low levels of carbon monoxide can be
extremely hazardous in aircraft because the effects of CO and hypoxia
are cumulative. A small CO leak may be an early warning sign of
an impending life-threatening problem. Don't take chances!
With its digital readout that displays CO concentrations as low as 10
parts per million, the CO Experts Model 2004 from
Aeromedix.com is by far the most sensitive carbon monoxide
detector you can buy. Now includes a 5-year battery.
Order today by calling (800) 362-7123, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Quiz #91 -- Lots To See and
On a recent episode of the hit reality show, "This Old
Control Tower," the host dodged weather, scanned for traffic, and
wrestled a live TRSA. See how you'd handle reality on this flight.
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Cue the "X-Files" theme music: This week, AVweb wants to know if
you've ever seen a UFO and if so, what did you think it was?
PLUS: AVweb readers' verdict on the Lycoming verdict.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
A couple of weeks ago, when we at AVweb were grousing about low
turnout for our "Picture of the Week" contest, you were all on
vacation! Right? At least, that's how it seems looking through this
week's batch of pictures. For the first time in recent memory, there
were more pictures taken from planes than pictures of planes submitted
to this week's contest. Beautiful landscapes dominated the submissions
this week, so we're showing you the top three airplane pictures first,
then offering you three bonus pictures with our favorite locales.
(Even so, we had to leave out some great photos of Liberty Island and
the River Thames that just wouldn't fit.) Congratulations to Jud
Phillips of Nashville, who will receive an official AVweb baseball cap
for being our Number One "Picture of the Week." More...
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|TRACK ALL IN-FLIGHT IFR AIRCRAFT IN REAL
Is your friend's Beech airborne? Need a list of all
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|AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT &
AirSport Avionics is the only
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WINTER SPECIAL: $100 discount on all models, with
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|ARMCHAIR FLYING DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN
Out There ... Flying! has released the first
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Rock County, Volume 1 captures the spirit and freedom of
backcountry flying. Host and pilot Jim Clark take you into the
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THE NEW GULFSTREAM 450 COCKPIT IN FLYING MAGAZINE'S MARCH
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Gulfstream PlaneView cockpit in FlightSafety International's G550/450
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|APRIL ISSUE OF KITPLANES GIVES YOU MORE AIRCRAFT
Sonex has a motor glider and an all-metal
aerobat. The Nexus Mustang is the result of designer Dick Eaves's
improvement of the venerable Midget Mustang. Separating fact from
fiction in the world of kit aircraft engines. The 2005 Engine
Directory gives the latest on available conventional and alternative
engines. What to expect from engine balancing. Results of a direct
comparison between Lycoming and a converted Subaru to power an RV-6A.
And: How to build a powered tow hook for $10. Dreaming or building,
you need Kitplanes every month. Order and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/kitplanes/avflash.
HOPE YOU NEVER HAVE TO USE A CO GUARDIAN CARBON MONOXIDE
But if you do, you'll be glad you put a CO
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|ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR
John Schwaner's The Mechanic's Toolbox
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including: Alternator Charging System Checker, Hose Shop, Starter
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For complete details and to order (U.S. only), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch/avflash.
|SKYHAWK, SEMINOLE, & WARRIOR MULTIMEDIA SYSTEMS
VTS Inc.'s software is loaded with video
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