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Volume 11, Number 14a April 4, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM)

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

RV8ING AROUND THE WORLD...
Some say that in a homebuilt, every flight is a test flight, and a California pilot is putting his RV-8 through the ringer. While thousands of fellow EAA members and other aviation enthusiasts are getting ready for the annual trip to Sun 'n Fun in Florida starting April 12 (of course, AVweb will be there with special coverage next Monday, Wednesday, Friday and the following Monday), Bill Randolph, of EAA Chapter 119 in Watsonville, Calif., should have arrived at or be close to Bali, where he'll visit his son on the final leg of his round-the-world trip. More...

...BUREAUCRACY SLOWS HIM DOWN...
Now, anyone in the surprisingly small club of those who've flown around the world will tell you that the flying is the easy part. It's getting permission to fly in countries that rarely see small private aircraft (let alone homebuilts) that can be the most time-consuming and stressful part of the journey. So far he's dealt with a put-out tribal chief in Senegal, had the Greek air force looking for him (they didn't find him), been surrounded by police and military in Cypress and waded through a quagmire of bureaucracy in India. Ironically, however, one of his most unpleasant experiences was just before leaving the good old U.S. of A., Shirley Randolph told AVweb. More...

...AN ELITE CLUB
Assuming he makes it, Randolph will be among a handful of people on the list kept by Earthrounders who've flown a homebuilt around the world. So far, Australian adventurer Jon Johanson is the only RV owner (on that list) to make the trip and he's done it twice, including a loop over the North Pole, in his RV-4. Randolph's successful jaunt would be another feather in the cap for Van's Aircraft, which makes the RV series of kit planes. (Experimentals -- originating from all manufacturers -- now make up about 10 percent of the GA fleet.) More...

PAYING TOO MUCH FOR LIFE INSURANCE?
If you are a pilot who currently has or is applying for a life insurance policy with anyone other than the Pilot Insurance Center (PIC), STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING! You are probably overpaying for your insurance or awaiting a higher premium once you are approved. PIC assures you the best policy at the best price from an agent who knows aviation and won't send your rate into a flat spin after underwriting. You have nothing to lose, and it might be the most profitable five minutes of your day. Call PIC at (800) 380-8376 and get an instant quote, or visit PIC at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife/avflash.

Pilot Insurance Center is an Official Sponsor of AVweb at Sun 'n Fun 2005

SAFETY RECORDS SET…
Maybe there's something to all this safety stuff after all. According to stats released by the NTSB, general aviation accidents and the accident rate were at their lowest level since 1938 in 2004 and there's even better news than that. "It's also the lowest number of fatal accidents [and] the second-lowest fatal accident rate -- ever," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of AOPA's Air Safety Foundation. Last year there were 1,614 GA accidents, 127 fewer than in 2003, and fatal accidents dropped from 352 to 312. Only 1999 had a lower fatal accident rate. According to the foundation, that makes 2004 "general aviation's safest year yet." More...

...COMMERCIAL STATS DOWN, TOO...
The broader picture seems to be following the same pattern, although one airliner accident is enough to skew the stats in the commercial category. Fortunately, there have been no crashes of large passenger airliners in the U.S. since 2001. In 2004, there was a single Part 121 accident involving an American Connection Jetstream 32 turboprop that crashed while on an instrument approach to Kirksville, Mo. There were 13 fatalities. There were a total of 101 non-GA crashes in 2003 compared to 123 the year before. Air taxis were safer, too. More...

...WHILE OTHER AREAS CATCH UP
While U.S. officials celebrated an improving safety record, a couple of Aero Kenya pilots were actively contributing to improving their country's stats. Capt. Kai Tinga and First Officer Mary Mukulu performed two emergency landings (one as a reaction to an onboard fire) in less than two weeks, but we won't likely get to hear about their second adventure unless they quit the airline. "You just want to blow this issue out of proportion," the Nairobi Standard quoted an unnamed airline official as saying, after the pilots were told not to comment. The pilots were flying Czech-built Let L-410 turboprops when they ran into problems. More...

YOUR HEADSET IS A KEY PIECE OF EQUIPMENT, SO CHOOSE THE PERFORMANCE
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OLDER BOEINGS NEED NEW INSULATION
Operators of 1,600 older Boeing airliners may have to fork out a total of up to $660 million (an average of about $400,000 per plane) to replace insulation in the cabin walls if they want to keep them flying beyond 2011. The FAA Friday issued a release proposing an Airworthiness Directive that identifies the transparent film on the insulation, called AN-26, as a potential fire hazard. The film was manufactured by Orcon Corp. between 1981 and 1988. The film apparently no longer meets fire spread standards, which Boeing attributes to age and contamination. Operators of Boeing 737s, the smallest of the affected aircraft (727, 747, 757 and 767 models are also affected) will spend 4,200 hours removing and replacing the insulation. It'll take almost four times that long on a jumbo. Boeing is working on another, less expensive solution. More...

FAA, NAATS REACH SEVERANCE DEAL RE FSS
While the future of the flight service station contract is anything but settled, employees who will lose their jobs in the eventual transformation of the system now know how they will be dealt with. The FAA and the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists have reached a reduction in force (RIF) agreement that the FAA calls a "generous compensation package" and the union calls "the least any terminated employee could ask." The deal gives displaced workers a week's pay for each of the first ten years of service and two weeks for every year beyond the tenth. It also gives them first crack at any FAA jobs that come open for which they are qualified for two years. As always, the devil is in the details and both sides got some significant concessions, according NAATS spokesman Mike Sheldon. More...

JA AIR CENTER, YOUR GARMIN SOURCE, IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE A NEW LOWER PRICE ON THE GARMIN GPSMAP 296 WITH TERRAIN — ONLY $1,495!
All the new aviation GPS units are in stock, including the GPSMap 296, iQue 3600A, GPSMap 96C, and GPSMap 96.  Also, JA Air Center stocks non-aviation Garmin GPS like the StreetPilot 2620, Quest, GPS V Deluxe, eTrex Legend C, GPSMap 60CS, GPSMap 76C, and the GPS 10 Deluxe GPS (Bluetooth compatible).  Established in 1965, JA Air Center prides themselves on being Garmin's largest avionics dealer.  With exceptional customer service and the finest Garmin avionics installations, JA Air Center is the place to purchase your next Garmin product.  Extensive inventory of all Garmin units and accessories.  Contact JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 and mention this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ja/296/avflash.

INDIA LOOKS AT REVAMPING ANCIENT REGS
India's civil aviation rules were written in 1937, two years before Igor Sikorsky first flew a helicopter, and they apparently haven't been substantially amended to include rotorcraft. The day after two senior Indian politicians were killed in a helicopter crash (apparently not an uncommon occurrence in India) Indian officials agreed they should revamp their regs -- and this time include rules for helicopters. "There is a need for more stringent control in civil aviation rules," air Marshal P.S. Ahluwalia, of the Indian air force, told reporters. He added the rules need to "spell out" operating restrictions for helicopters. More...

GRAND CANYON PILOTS GET QUIET INCENTIVES
Air-tour operators who use quieter airplanes in the Grand Canyon could be rewarded with more flights and routes under a long-awaited set of noise guidelines published last week in the Federal Register by the FAA. The rules set maximum noise levels for various types of aircraft and allow aircraft with greater seating capacity to make more racket than smaller planes. The goal is to have half of the national park free of noise 75 to 100 percent of the time. "We've been asking the FAA for years to do this," Steve Bassett, head of the U.S. Air Tours Association (USATA), told The Associated Press. More...

LANCAIR COLUMBIA 400 — NOW CERTIFIED TO FL250
The Columbia 400's twin turbochargers can now be put to full effect with the aircraft's recent certification to 25,000 feet.  With the added altitude to play with, the Columbia 400 gives pilots even more flexibility than before.  Set the throttle to 80% power and cruise at 235 knots — that's faster than any other piston-powered aircraft in production today. Or ease the power back and increase range to standard-setting levels.  A company official recently flew an unmodified Columbia 400 non-stop from Bend, Oregon to Fort Worth, Texas (a distance of more than 1,300 nm) while averaging 200 kts.  Find out what a Columbia 400 can do for you. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lancair/avflash

Visit Lancair at Sun 'n Fun Booth #MD-009A

DRIVER'S LICENSE MEDICAL URGED FOR REC PILOTS
The door was opened with the sport pilot regulations and now AOPA is asking that recreational certificate holders also be allowed to forego flight medicals. AOPA has formally applied to the Department of Transportation to make the medical standard for rec pilots the same as for sport pilots, namely a valid state driver's license. AOPA maintains that medical causes account for less than 2 percent of accidents and most of those wouldn't have been detected on a flight medical. The FAA, perhaps unwittingly, is helping AOPA's cause. More...

TURF WARS AT OSHKOSH AIRPORT
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has waded into a simmering dispute between tenants and the management of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Basler Flight Services complained to the department's Bureau of Aeronautics claiming a competitor, Orion Flight Services, is getting preferential treatment from the airport by getting time to pay back rent and because it hasn't lived up to a clause in its contract to build a 10,000-square-foot building to house all its business activities. But the bureau said other tenants -- including Basler -- have been cut slack by the airport in the past and the dealings with Orion aren't any different. Basler President Rod McNeil called the report "a farce." More...

RISK MANAGEMENT IS AN AREA OF AVIATION INSURANCE OFTEN OVERLOOKED
when purchasing aircraft hull and liability insurance.  CS&A Aviation Insurance specialists excel in risk management, which in turn gives their customers — you — the best insurance package for their individual needs.  Owner or renter, shop around and you'll find CS&A meets your insurance needs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/csa/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Bombardier withheld dividend payments...
Report sheds little light on Neil Groom crash...
CAP practiced tsunami drill in Hawaii...
Winnipeg Flying Club closed after 78 years...
Hail caused $2.1 million damage to Navy aircraft...
Malaysia facing pilot shortage. 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...

E-OX: A HIGH-QUALITY PORTABLE OXYGEN NOW IN NEW 2-, 3-, & 4-PLACE SYSTEMS!
Join hundreds of pilots who have discovered you don't need to spend $600 or more to get a high-quality portable oxygen system. With prices starting under $200, E-Ox is the ideal choice for pilots.  E-Ox uses 100% medical-grade components. It's light, compact, and slips easily into your flight bag or briefcase. We offer one- and two-place systems with cylinder sizes from 36 to 680 liters. Now offering 2-, 3-, and 4-place systems with flowmeters in cylinder sizes from 425 to 680. Custom-design your E-Ox system by calling Aeromedix's O2 experts at (888) 362-7123, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
As the Beacon Turns #88: Putting on the Wings
Some milestones in an aviation career have traditional recognition -- how many of you had your shirttail cut off after soloing? -- but far too often such events slide past because there is so much farther yet to go. AVweb's Michael Maya Charles has watched one young pilot work his way up through the aviation food chain, and Michael was proud to stand with him as he joined Michael's airline. More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: April 4, 2005
Reader mail this week about the ATC shortage, aging pilots, the new Marine One and more. More...

MODERNIZING YOUR KT76 DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!
Narco Avionics proudly announces that their plug & play line of digital dransponders now includes the new AT165/K Transponder, a competitively priced replacement for the mechanical KT76/78. Narco's line of plug & play transponders also includes the AT165, a replacement for the AT50 through AT155 and the AT165/KA, a replacement for the KT76A/78A. Coming Soon: Narco's AT165 Value Series, a cost-effective way to put a no-frills digital transponder in your panel. SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.

Visit Narco Avionics at Sun 'n Fun Booth #B-082

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...

EXPERIENCE FAST, EFFECTIVE AIRCRAFT SOURCING WITH AVBUYER.COM
AvBuyer.com offers the complete solution when buying and selling aircraft, listing business aircraft from around the world along with the most complete listing of piston airplanes in Europe. Try AvBuyer.com today and experience fast, effective aircraft sourcing — or sign up for the complimentary latest aircraft e-mail alert. For more information, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
Overheard while flying through Chattanooga, this exchange with approach control and an aerial photo operation...

Skylane 12345: Chattanooga we would like to take pictures of the Chockamauga Dam, one rolling to right and one to left.

Control: Approved. Maintain VFR.

Skylane 12345: Chattanooga, we need to climb to 10,000 to take a couple more.

(short pause)

Control: Approved, maintain VFR.

Skylane 12345: Chattanooga, we would like to shoot one more from the south.

(longer pause)

Control: DAM photo approved.

Unknown: Bet he wont ask again. More...

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SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE INFORMATION
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BECOMING A PILOT IS HUMANKIND'S WILDEST DREAM FULFILLED
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FLYING MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES THE 6,000th KING AIR
The 6,000th King Air is a model 200 of which nearly 2,000 have been built for business and personal flying. The current B200 is the best-selling model in the King Air lineup. Flying reports in their April issue on this aviation milestone and much more. Pick up your complimentary copy at Sun 'n Fun. For subscriptions at money-saving rates, go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash

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SPONSOR NEWS
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, stop by Power Flow's booth at Sun 'n Fun or go online 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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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