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Volume 11, Number 9a -- February 28, 2005

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

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' (OF A SUNNY DAY)...
Rampant (and perhaps record-setting) rains in southern California have wrecked about one-third of the 2,650-foot runway at Santa Paula Airport, a busy, privately owned public-use GA field about 20 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Santa Paula is home to about 300 planes, many of them vintage. The banks of the Santa Clara River have been eroding since a five-day storm in January, and the (unusual for California) persistent periodic downpours have since made it worse. Last Tuesday, the overflowing river was cutting away at its banks and threatening hangars as well as the runway, and the airport closed. "Our effort now is to save what we've got left, with the hopes of repairing the damage and reopening this airport someday," airport director Bruce Dickenson, whose grandfather founded the airport in 1930, told The Los Angeles Times. More...

...AS MONEY TRICKLES IN...
On Saturday, officials announced they had secured a $6 million federal grant to be split between the airport and an erosion-control project. "This is all very good news," Rowena Mason, president of the Santa Paula Airport Association, told The Ventura County Star. "Businesses [at the airport] keep asking us whether they need to move. The flight school has temporarily left for Oxnard Airport. This has been devastating." The field is home to an aviation museum, 25 businesses, and about 100 workers. About $250,000 already has been spent on emergency repairs. More...

...CORONA AIRPORT RECOVERS -- IN TIME FOR MORE FLOODS
Meanwhile, Corona Municipal Airport, about 20 miles east of Los Angeles, reopened after a devastating flood last month, but had to close again as the water keeps coming back. "They just got done cleaning up the mud, repainting the taxiway and runway markings, fixing the gates, inspecting the buildings, restoring water and power, and reopening the airport to traffic," says local CFI Ron Rapp, when the flooding returned. Corona reopened for limited use over the weekend, but more rain was expected. "The upside is that if that airport wasn't on a floodplain, the way property values are, it would have been developed a long time ago," Rapp told AVweb. This year's trouble could have long-term implications. More...

PAYING TOO MUCH FOR LIFE INSURANCE?
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EVER CONSIDER LYING TO THE FAA?
Whatever your reason may be ... A man who lied on his FAA application for a Student Pilot certificate was sentenced to five months in prison by a U.S. District Court in Winston Salem, N.C., earlier this month. Tony Cox, 45, of Burlington, N.C., was sentenced on a felony count of falsifying the application by failing to disclose a prior drug conviction for possession of cocaine. The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated the case. The FAA assisted and provided key testimony in the trial and sentencing phase on implications for aviation safety from the offenses, the OIG said in a news release. More...

...DESPITE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM...
While it might be expected that felons can go to prison for aviation-related crimes such as selling bogus aircraft parts, many aviators presume that the penalty for lying on an FAA application would be the revocation of the certificate. However, Harry Hobgood, assistant U.S. attorney in the North Carolina case, said that pilots shouldn't be surprised that a lie could result in criminal charges. "Drug usage is a big deal to the FAA," he told AVweb. He said that Cox's omission was found in standard cross-checking of the application. "This was not a minor omission. This was about as egregious as it gets," he said. He said Cox had been in jail twice before on drug charges. More...

...PROSECUTORS WILL PROSECUTE
Since 1998, the OIG has won convictions in more than 150 cases related to aviation safety, with total fines assessed of more than $27 million. Those investigations generally fall into four categories: the illegal manufacture or distribution of aircraft parts that do not meet FAA standards; charges of falsifying airman or mechanic certificates; false statements regarding the condition of aircraft or filing false aircraft certifications; and shipping or allowing the shipping of hazardous materials by air without proper certification. The OIG lists a digest of its convictions online. Some examples from that list: A Texas pilot got three months in jail in February 2003 for lying about a past DUI charge on his airman medical application. More...

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CONDITION GREEN FOR GLOBAL FLYER
As of our deadline, conditions were looking good for a launch this afternoon for the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer from Salina, Kan. Veteran record-setter Steve Fossett aims to fly the long lanky aircraft solo around the world without stopping, a trip expected to take about 80 hours. Fossett completed a successful taxi test last week, described as a "dress rehearsal" for today's takeoff. The route -- subject to change, of course -- leads from Kansas, past Chicago and Gander, Newfoundland, then across the Atlantic. The route crosses Europe and heads southeast across the Persian Gulf, then across India, China, Japan, and the Pacific. More...

GA SAFETY RECORD REACHES NEW HIGH, AOPA SAYS
Last year's preliminary GA accident data from the NTSB shows the fewest GA accidents since record-keeping began in 1938 and the lowest number of fatal accidents since 1945, AOPA said last week. The number of GA accidents in 2004 dropped 8.4 percent compared to 2003, and the number of fatal accidents declined 11.4 percent, AOPA said. The numbers also improved for flying during instruction. There were 17 fatal instructional accidents in 2004, half the total of 2003. Total instructional accidents were down almost 12 percent. More...

POWERLINK™ FADEC CERTIFIED ON LIBERTY XL-2; IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR AIRCRAFT?
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AIRPORT VERSUS FAA
Apparently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is operating under a different set of fiscal rules than the FAA. The FAA objected when the management of Gerald R. Ford International Airport, in Grand Rapids, Mich., doubled their rent after a 10-year lease expired back in September 2002. The airport wanted the FAA to pay $50 per square foot for its 3,000 square feet of prime terminal space, which the airport said was the going rate. After two years of stalemate, the FAA has agreed to pay $274,000 in back rent, after the airport threatened to sue, the Grand Rapids Press reported on Thursday. The FAA will vacate the premises ... which now will be rented to the TSA, which had no problem with the rental rate. More...

FAA REVAMPS CVR/FDR RULES
The FAA on Thursday proposed new rules for aircraft that are required to carry a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) . New CVRs will be required to hold two hours of data instead of the current 15 to 30 minutes. Magnetic tape must be replaced with digital data storage, which is more durable and reliable. The FDR must record data more frequently and store 25 hours' worth of information. The CVR must have an independent backup power source good for at least 10 minutes. "Good data is often the key to deciphering what went wrong in an aircraft incident or accident," said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey. "Increasing the likelihood that recorders yield crucial data improves overall safety by giving us the chance to analyze these events." Implementation could cost the industry up to $420 million. More...

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LANCAIR FLY-IN AND CIRRUS ROAD SHOW
Not everyone can make it to the big air shows to check out the latest new airplanes, so Cirrus has packed one of its aircraft (minus the wings) into the trailer of a giant 18-wheeler and is taking it out to the nation's blue highways. The Cirrus Road Show launched in January and will continue through November, with stops in Stockton, Calif.; Knoxville, Tenn.; New Haven, Conn.; and lots more. Visitors can climb into the cockpit, check out the avionics and get a feel for the side control yoke. "If that's not enough, we can set up a demonstration flight for you at a nearby airport," Cirrus says. For pilots who already own a Lancair, or want to mingle with those who do, they can fly in to Scottsdale, Ariz., March 31-April 3. Owners will mix seminars with social events in the desert sun. More...

AIR SHOWS AHEAD ... SUN 'N FUN POSTS ARRIVAL INFO
Like gardeners with their seed catalogs, aviators wile away the gloomy winter hours dreaming of air shows to come. Sun 'n Fun is the traditional season opener. This year's event in Lakeland, Fla., April 12-18, is sure to bring sport planes out to play and "EAA's Sport Pilot experts will be available to help people fully explore this exciting new avenue of access to personal flight," according to an EAA release. Expect expanded coverage from AVweb. A full slate of workshops and forums, a night air show, a balloon launch, and the splash-in at Lake Parker are all set to go. The arrival procedures are online now, and a share-a-flight page is posted for those with a spare seat or in need of one. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (July 25-31) also has a new online rideshare feature, for travelers arriving by air or land. More...

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ON THE FLY...
NATCA responds to AVweb's story on the NY TRACON, in today's AVmail...
Metal fatigue blamed for 2002 breakup of China Airlines 747...
Software adds four light aircraft to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004...
Airborne salute to Gen. Paul Tibbets on CNN, 10 p.m. (ET) Tuesday...
Space Shuttle to resume flight in late May. More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: Feb 28, 2005
Reader mail this week about armed pilots, the Lycoming lawsuit, understaffing at N.Y. TRACON and much more. More...

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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
_______
COLUMNS
Motor Head #5: Is Franklin Gone For Good?
It isn't always true that the "best" products are the ones that succeed. Franklin engines are still loved by many, but it looks like there won't be any new ones. AVweb's Motor Head, Marc Cook, looks at what we'll miss with the loss of Franklin, checks out Japanese manufacturing and brings news on the rotary front. More...

SEE CLEARLY METHOD IMPROVES & STRENGTHENS VISION NATURALLY
The See Clearly Method does this without the risk or expense of laser surgery.  Developed by award-winning optometrists and research scientists, the See Clearly Method is based on the same principles and techniques used by thousands of pilots in WWII.  As one pilot states, "I never thought it was possible to actually improve your vision, but it worked. I tell other pilots that this is an effective way to improve your vision, naturally."  Call (800) 881-7934 for a no-cost informational video, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/seeclear/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...

ATTENTION, PIPER OWNERS & PILOTS
The new Piper Flyer Association (PFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national & regional events, an annual convention, seminars, and more. For less than a tank of fuel ($39.00 for a one-year membership), you can access the needed information to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from owning and flying your Piper aircraft. Join the Piper Flyer Association (PFA) today as they build the ultimate Piper association. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pfa/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
Somtimes they're a little busy...

Overheard inbound to EAA's AirVenture Oshkosh, 2003, where only the controllers on the ground speak and pilots respond by rocking their wings.

Controller: Bell Helicopter, Fisk Approach. If you read, rock your wings.

[pause]

Controller: Right... OK, I guess you really don't have any wings. Bell Helicopter, if you read, transmit.

Helicopter: I read you, Fisk.

Controller: Roger, enter left traffic for runway 36, welcome to Oshkosh. You've earned your wings today. More...

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ASA GETS "FIT" — THE FAA HAS RECOGNIZED ASA'S
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POWER FLOW STC INCREASES CESSNA 172N GROSS WEIGHT CAPACITY
Power Flow Systems, manufacturers of the Power Flow Tuned Exhaust, has received an FAA STC that increases the gross weight of C172Ns equipped with 0-320 engines. The only requirement is installing a cowl cooling lip and limiting flap travel to 30°. With the additional 100 pounds, owners can take on 15 more gallons of fuel, an extra passenger, or additional baggage. For full details, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/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
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