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Volume 11, Number 8b -- February 24, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ...
Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft Sales

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

THE 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 Association. More...

...AND MORE DEBATE
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...

CLASSIFIEDS (UPDATED DAILY), PRODUCT/ADVERTISER INDICES, DEALERS AND
Brokers, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, Weather — all in Trade-A-Plane. Trade-A-Plane gives you the best of both worlds, in print and online. Order your subscription by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

SPACESHIPONE: 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...

...GENEROSITY, 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. More...

RECONDITIONED 25XLs AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED AVIATION
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 purchase an R25XL at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash.

YOUR 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...

...A 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. More...

OREGON AERO — FROM AERONCA CHAMP TO ZENITH ZODIAK
No matter which letter of the alphabet the name of your aircraft begins with, you can fly pain-free with an Oregon Aero™ Seat Cushion System. Oregon Aero makes painless, safer 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 upgrade process and find out how they make aviation seats painless and safer at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/photo/avflash.

FUTURE 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." More...

PILOT 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 LIFE INSURANCE
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.

STORM-RAVAGED 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. More...

BOEING 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...

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 for yourself, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.

YOUTH WITH WINGS
"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...

ON THE FLY...
GlobalFlyer launch postponed again, next window is March 1-3...
Cirrus now offers Flight Director in its PFD-equipped aircraft...
Diamond Aircraft named Paul Woessner director of N.A. fleet sales...
New England Aviation Expo set for April 9 in N.H....
China's first manned space launch was longest voyage of its kind...
New AlabamaAviator.com Web site features local news and info for pilots. More...

DON'T HAVE A LOW-LEVEL MONOXIDE MONITOR YET? NOW WITH 5-YEAR BATTERY!!
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.

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...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
BRAINTEASERS
Quiz #91 -- Lots To See and Avoid
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. 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...

AIRCRAFT PARTNERSHIPS NOW ON ASO!
Have an aircraft share you need to sell? Advertise it on ASO! For a limited time, Brief Ads (text only) are complimentary, and Comprehensive Ads (photos & specs) are subject only to a one-time $40 set-up charge. Take advantage of this special offer today! For more information, please call (888) 992-9276 and tell them you saw this AVflash mention, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aso/partner/avflash.

AVWEB'S 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. More...

FED UP WITH BIG BILL FOR ROUTINE AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE?
Subscribe to Light Plane Maintenance and join thousands of savvy general aviation owners who are saving big by doing-it-themselves! Each monthly issue has tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform legally and easily. Order now for big savings from the regular rates at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lpm/avflash.

AVWEB'S 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...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING
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ARMCHAIR FLYING DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!
Out There ... Flying! has released the first in a series of DVDs on flying in the Western States. Utah's Red Rock County, Volume 1 captures the spirit and freedom of backcountry flying. Host and pilot Jim Clark take you into the most rugged and remote airstrips in the U.S. for some high-adrenaline footage. Excellent entertainment and an introduction to this exceptional flying arena. SPECIAL: Purchase one DVD, and the second is at a 50% discount at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/outthere/avflash.
FLY THE NEW GULFSTREAM 450 COCKPIT IN FLYING MAGAZINE'S MARCH ISSUE!
Flying magazine takes you into the Gulfstream PlaneView cockpit in FlightSafety International's G550/450 simulator with enhanced vision system (EVS). Plus: How Garmin's G1000 glass cockpit system is revolutionizing new airplane instrument panels; 2004 Editors' Choice Awards; how winds aloft impact flying weather; and more. Order your subscription online and save at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
APRIL ISSUE OF KITPLANES GIVES YOU MORE AIRCRAFT BUILDING CHOICES!
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.
LET'S HOPE YOU NEVER HAVE TO USE A CO GUARDIAN CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
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ATTENTION, MECHANICS! SOFTWARE FOR YOUR HARDWARE!
John Schwaner's The Mechanic's Toolbox + Engineering Manual Companion has been a mainstay of 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 more. This is immense! For complete details and to order (U.S. only), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch/avflash.
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VTS Inc.'s software is loaded with video presentations, sound, 3D animations, interactive system schematics, and simulations — all combined to create a virtual resource that far surpasses the pilot's aircraft information manual. This learning tool comes to life with the click of your mouse. For more information and ordering instructions, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vts/avflash.
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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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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