AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 03b Thursday, January 16, 2003

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by PAN AM INT'L FLIGHT ACADEMY'S AIRLINE CAREER DEVELOPMENT for personalized training and solid value: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/panam.

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At: http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_03b/complete/182335-1.html.

DIAMOND JOINS THE JET SET
Diamond Aircraft has entered what has become a crowded field. The company announced Wednesday it will have its own single-engine mini-jet in the air in 2004 and start delivering it in 2006. "This is a natural progression for us," said Peter Maurer, Diamond's North American CEO. The D-Jet, as it is currently known, will carry five people at 315 knots on 34 gph. Cabin altitude will be 8,000 feet at 25,000 feet. Diamond is projecting a price of "well under" $1 million U.S. More...

...ENGINE STILL UP IN THE AIR...
Despite its lofty performance predictions, Diamond isn't revealing the one piece of information that can make or break that data. Like Eclipse, Diamond hasn't settled on an engine for its jet, although it would appear an off-the-shelf design will be used. "The powerplant will be selected on the basis of proven technology and demonstrated reliability," a Diamond press release stated. More...

...ECLIPSE INTRIGUED
Over at Eclipse, the vice president of marketing was intrigued by the latest in the flurry of competitors. Dottie Hall apparently hadn't heard about the D-Jet until contacted by AVweb but said it just confirms what Eclipse has been saying all along: that a jet for less than $1 million is not only possible but popular. "It's good for the customer and good for the market," she said. "Of course, the single engine [on the D-jet] makes it easier." More...

FSDO FOLLY...
FAA officials harassed a Missouri pilot for no good reason, causing stress that was cited by the NTSB as a factor in a fatal accident, and then failed to properly investigate charges related to the crash, DOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead reported this week. The report, undertaken at the request of Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt, cites "evident bias and deficiencies in FAA's investigation" following the December 1999 crash that killed Joe Brinell, former College of the Ozarks director of aviation, and five others. More...

...THEN, FAA'S INVESTIGATION "GAVE RISE TO THE PERCEPTION OF BIAS"...
The NTSB's June 2001 report concluded that the crash resulted from pilot error under adverse weather conditions; however, it also cited in its investigative findings "pressure induced by others -- FAA inspector." Brinell's widow asked for an investigation into the FAA's treatment of her husband. While the FAA cleared itself in an internal probe, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) ultimately launched its own investigation and found fault with the agency. More...

...AND OIG RECOMMENDS FAA SHOULD TAKE ACTION AGAINST STAFFERS
"This is the third investigation we have completed over the last three years involving fatal general aviation accidents and alleged improprieties on the part of FSDOs," says the OIG report. "In the two prior cases, we found that FSDO personnel were remiss in carrying out their regulatory duties. Our findings in this investigation are consistent with those of the previous two cases." The DOT report recommends that the FAA should exercise disciplinary and administrative action against the supervisor and inspector in the Kansas City office, including demoting the supervisor. More...

NTSB GETS NEW INTERIM CHAIRMAN
President Bush on Tuesday appointed John Hammerschmidt to the vice chairmanship of the NTSB, and he will also be acting chairman until a replacement for Marion Blakey is nominated by the White House and approved by the Senate. Carol Carmody's term as vice chairman was set to expire on Saturday. Blakey left last year to take over as FAA administrator. More...

AT NEW PIPER AIRCRAFT, ANOTHER 150 PINK SLIPS
New Piper Aircraft cut another 150 jobs at its plant in Vero Beach, Fla., the company said this week. "This keeps the company profitable and allows us to avoid cutting into our future product programs," company spokesman Mark Miller said. The reductions were made across the board in office and assembly-line jobs. Recalls by aircraft engine manufacturer Textron Lycoming slowed production, leading to the need for cuts, Miller said. More...

TERRORISM AND YOU: SECURITY CONCERNS WON'T GO AWAY
Think back for a moment, if you can, to the pre-9/11 world of aviation. Airport fences, identification cards, prop locks, TFRs and background checks did not loom large in the pilots' world. Today, with a possible war on the horizon and terrorists still at work, it doesn't take much to reboot the public's jitters. When a man stole a motorglider in Germany last week and threatened to fly it into a building in downtown Frankfurt, that was enough to set off a flurry of U.S. news reports about the still-unmitigated dangers from all those buzzing little aircraft on unsecured airfields. More...

BREAKING NEW GROUND IN THE SKY
In a century when women in aviation are still scarce -- holding about 6 percent of pilot certificates -- and minorities are underrepresented as well, a black woman starting her own aviation company may be a first. Avisys, owned by Tara Wright, a former airline pilot, offers charter flights out of Sacramento, Calif., in a Cessna Grand Caravan. "I don't view myself as a pioneer, although I know other people do," Wright told The Sacramento Observer. "Although that isn't my primary driving force, I'm glad that I'm able to give young people a role model." More...

THE EVER-ELUSIVE RUNWAYS OF CHICAGO
Expanding an airport is never easy -- neighbors, environmental concerns, evaporating funds, all manner of obstacles appear -- but even so, O'Hare International Airport seems to have fallen into some kind of infinite whirlpool of hurdles and holdups. Congress went home last year without getting around to authorizing money for the expansion, but well, maybe, it will get off the ground pretty soon ... or maybe not. Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin reintroduced the spending bill on the first day of the new session last week, and it might get acted on soon, as a leftover. More...

GREAT WHITE WHALE TO FLY INTO OSHKOSH
The most voluminous air cargo carrier flying in the world today, Airbus's A300-600ST "Beluga," will make its first visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this summer. The Beluga, designed as a successor to the "Super Guppy," is a highly modified Airbus A300 jetliner. "We are excited about welcoming the Beluga to Oshkosh for the first time," said EAA President and AirVenture Chairman Tom Poberezny. "This massive airplane is unlike anything else in the world." More...

ON THE FLY...
Two died Saturday when a C-182 and Hellcat collided in Arizona...
A Concorde returned to Paris after takeoff on Sunday when nose stuck...
NTSB report on Alaska Airlines Flight 261 is now available online.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Jim Holbrook, of Panama City, Fla. His picture titled " Free As A Bird" captures the fun of light-plane flying. This simple form of recreational flying is what sets it apart from the high-tech cross-country machines. Great picture, Jim! Your AVweb prize is on the way.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
We received over 1000 responses to our question last week on GA airport security. So far, the majority (88 percent) of our respondents feel that no additional security measures need be implemented at GA airports because events like those seen in Germany last week aren't a serious security concern. Only two votes indicated that security guards and/or law enforcement should patrol GA airport ramp areas. Also in the minority, only 2 percent of those responding felt all ramp access gates should be locked, forcing people to check in at airport businesses or with law enforcement prior to entry.This week, we would like to know your thoughts on airport curfews.

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Thomas Borchert, 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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AIRMANSHIP
Silicon Visualization
One of the "new age" paths to success is to visualize where you want to be and how you're going to get there. Let's cut through the tie-dye and figure out a way to use these computers to help us make a real airplane flight more successful.

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COLUMNS
Eye of Experience #62: What's Wrong with Attitude Instrument Flying?
Are pilots learning the safest way to fly on instruments? Or are they issing a piece that long ago was the standard -- how to fly WITHOUT the attitude indicator? AVweb's Howard Fried has seen many students come and go, and he says partial-panel training is only part of the story.

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

Reader mail this week about the blue ribbon report on airtanker safety.

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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SPONSOR NEWS

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PATTY WAGSTAFF: A SATISFIED OREGON AERO CUSTOMER SINCE 1990.
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PURCHASING & EVALUATING AIRPLANES IS A MUST READ
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FIND THE RIGHT VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT FOR YOUR VALENTINE. _____________________________________
We Welcome Your Feedback!

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 Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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