AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 03a Monday, January, 13, 2003

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by PILOT INSURANCE CENTER, a pilot's best choice for low-cost life insurance: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife.

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_03a/complete/182280-1.html.

MUSTANG RUNS WITH PRATT & WHITNEY...
They share the same basic philosophy and their performance and capabilities are almost identical: Will Cessna's Mustang and the Eclipse 500 now share the same basic engine? Pratt & Whitney Canada announced Thursday it will build a new type of small, efficient turbofan to power Cessna's new entry-level Mustang, which is seen as a direct competitor to the Eclipse 500. Eclipse has also been negotiating with Pratt & Whitney Canada since parting company with Williams International, the original supplier of engines for the Eclipse. Williams was also in the running for the Cessna deal, according to a Cessna press release. More...

...ENGINE SERIES DESIGNED FOR MINI-JETS...
Cessna chose the PW615F to power the Mustang. The engine is flat rated at 1,350 pounds of takeoff thrust and has a dual-channel Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system. The PW600 series is a new family of engines being developed by Pratt & Whitney Canada specifically for the mini-jet market and can be built to thrust ratings anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 pounds. The company says the new engines have some 40 percent fewer parts than other engines it makes. More...

...ENGINE CERTIFICATION IN 2005
If Eclipse picks the new Pratt engine, it will set its development program back at least two years. Eclipse had hoped for FAA certification by the end of this year and deliveries in 2004. But Pratt & Whitney Canada only test-flew a 600-series engine for the first time last October and certification is planned for the end of 2005, a year before Cessna has said it can start delivering Mustangs. The other variable for Eclipse is cost. The financial terms of the Cessna/Pratt & Whitney Canada deal were not released but Cessna has pegged the cost of a Mustang at $2.3 million. Before the deal with Williams collapsed in November, Eclipse had promised to deliver their jet for $837,500. To our knowledge, Eclipse has not speculated on any price changes as the result of new engines. Stay tuned.

MOONEY ELIMINATES ANOTHER VP...
There's been another change at the top at Mooney Aerospace Group Ltd. (MASG) but CEO Nelson Happy said he believes there is stability ahead for the reorganized company. Jack Jansen, the senior vice president of operations at MASG's Mooney Airplane Company Inc., in Kerrville, Texas, was let go in December. Happy said the decision was an economic one. "We had to eliminate the position. There were too many salaries for such a small company," Happy told AVweb. Jansen joined MASG last March after similar stints at Piper and Mooney. AVweb contacted Jansen's home four times but he did not return our phone calls. More...

...PRODUCTION TO RESUME
While job security at the upper echelons of the company has been tenuous, there's been a rejuvenation of sorts on the plant floor, bolstered by strong fourth-quarter sales and the imminent resumption of assembly-line production. Happy said he's hired nine people in recent weeks and is well on the way to rehiring all the former employees laid off in recent years. There are now 160 employees. More...

CRASH PROBE FOCUSES ON MAINTENANCE
There had been elevator problems on the previous eight flights of a Mesa Airlines Beech 1900D that crashed on takeoff at Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, killing all 21 aboard. The NTSB said the flight data recorder showed the elevator hadn't worked properly since cables to the elevator tab were adjusted during maintenance the previous Monday. Therefore, the focus of the investigation has shifted to the Raytheon Aerospace LLC maintenance facility in Huntington, W. Va., where the maintenance was performed. More...

HOW LONG DO COMMUTER PLANES LAST?
As you squeeze aboard a commuter aircraft that started flying long before you did, ever wonder just how long an airplane like that can last? The youthful graduate students at Wichita State University hope to have an answer for you ... in a couple of years. The aerospace engineering students are taking a Cessna 402 with 20,000 hours on it apart piece by piece examining every part for cracks and other signs of wear. "Every airplane at some point will develop cracks," said Dale Cope, manager of the Aging Aircraft Research Lab's two-year project. Cope thinks there are thousands of commuter aircraft in the air beyond their projected service life. More...

PILOTS IN LEFT AND RIGHT SEAT IN SENATE
For the first time, two pilots are in command of their respective parties. Senate majority leader Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and minority leader Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) are both AOPA members, and Sen. Daschle has twice been the recipient of its Hartranft Award for his work on aviation legislation in the past. Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), also a Hartranft recipient, heads up the aviation subcommittee. AOPA President Phil Boyer said this Congress will make some key decisions that will affect all pilots and he's pleased to have "two of our own" in charge. More...

NTSB RELEASES FLIGHT 261 RECOMMENDATIONS
If pilots are experiencing problems in flight, airline dispatchers shouldn't try to talk them into continuing the flight -- and pilots shouldn't let themselves be talked into anything, either -- in a loose interpretation of the NTSB's recommendations resulting from the Alaska Airlines Flight 261 investigation. The NTSB is asking the FAA to issue a flight standards information bulletin to airlines telling them to train pilots to go by the book if they experience flight-control problems and not try corrective measures beyond those on the approved checklist. The NTSB also wants the FAA to make sure dispatchers and maintenance managers don't encourage the pilots of faulty aircraft to press on in the interest of flight scheduling. More...

EAA BACKS TFR-AFFECTED AIRPORT
EAA is hoping the FAA will give the long-suffering pilots based at the airport in Killeen, Texas, a break from the disruption that occurs every time President George W. Bush drops into his Crawford ranch. Such visits trigger a 30-mile TFR that comes within 700 feet of the north end of Killeen's Runway 1/19. That means all flight training involving pattern work must cease and it forces pilots to use Runway 1 for landings and 19 for takeoffs -- regardless of wind direction. More...

737 RUDDER FIX READY ... FINALLY
Almost 12 years and about $1 billion later, Boeing has rolled out its first Boeing 737 with an enhanced rudder-control system. Boeing 737 crashes in 1991 and 1994 were blamed on rudders that suddenly swung without pilot input. In both cases the aircraft rolled over and crashed. A total of 157 people died. U.S. operators have until November, 2008, to install the kit and foreign aviation agencies usually follow the FAA's lead. More...

"HISTORIC" AIRCRAFT UP FOR BID
It accommodates only the pilot, has never flown more than a couple of feet off the ground and, if you buy it, you have to sign a contract saying you'll never try to duplicate even the meager test flight. So, why would anyone pay $1 million for the SoloTrek XFV strap-on flying thingamajig? "It has a tremendous amount of historical value," claims Trek's CEO Michael Mosier, who put the ducted-fan device on eBay on Friday. More...

AD WATCH
If you thought your Bonanza or Baron missed a January, 2001, AD for the installation of missing rivets on the airframe, think again. The company has since discovered that not all affected aircraft serial numbers were included. A corrected AD has been issued by the FAA. More...

CORRECTION -- MANCHESTER, NEW ENGLAND
Through the power of words, AVweb Thursday relocated a New Hampshire airport to Manchester, England. The news writer has been dispatched on an all-expense-paid trip to the United Kingdom to gain an appreciation for the geographical, cultural and culinary differences between the two locations. The rest of the writers are now busy with creative relocations of Turks and Caicos...

ON THE FLY...
Online applications available for 50 Flags to Kitty Hawk...
GE workers set to strike Tuesday and Wednesday...
Malaysia ordered six A-380 super jumbos for $1.5 billion...
AirVenture theme ... wait for it ... the Wright Brothers centennial.

SHORT FINAL
More from our "How they handle the stress" file...

Part of the passenger arrival briefing from the lone flight attendant on a United Express O'Hare-to-Memphis flight.

"Please remove all personal items from the aircraft. Any items left on board can be found at my yard sale next Sunday."

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Paul Jacobs, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.

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New Articles and Features on AVweb

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COLUMNS
As the Beacon Turns #59: Working Out
Sometimes you can get your morning workout in your airplane rather than at the club. And if you work hard at perfection, and analyze every detail every time, your skills grow much faster. As AVweb's Michael Maya Charles writes, it's good to stretch your aviation muscles once in a while with a couple dozen challenging landings.

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THE SYSTEM
Slam Dunk at the Marker
There are times when, either for a challenge or for an emergency, you really don't want to take the time for a full 10-nm final approach. As Doug Rozendaal wrote in IFR magazine, there are two ways to cut it shorter -- take a quick intercept turn at the outer marker, or do a highly modified procedure turn.

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Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about CNN Coverage of Air Midwest 5481, Don Brown's Column, yakking about the Yak story, and much more.

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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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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

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

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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