NewsWire Complete Issue
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation
LIGHTSPEED AVIATION INTRODUCES NEW LINE OF HEADSETS
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"The good stuff is coming."
Flying cars are back in the news this week, thanks to Nevada inventor Woody Norris, who is working on an ultralight helicopter called the AirScooter. Norris has won a prestigious inventors' award -- for his work in acoustics, not aviation -- and he and his flying machine were featured in Sunday night's "60 Minutes" show on CBS. Norris has developed a new four-stroke engine for his AirScooter, which has two
counter-rotating rotors, and he says it is stable and easy to control. A video clip at his Web site shows the single-seat AirScooter taking off vertically, maneuvering just a few feet above the ground
and returning to its launch site. An unmanned version is also in the works. Norris says AirScooters will be available for sale later this year at $50,000 apiece. "This stuff that we're surrounded by,
that we think is so cool is caveman. The good stuff is coming. The really good stuff is coming," Norris told 60 Minutes. Norris, who has 47 patents to his name, was awarded the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize this week for his work on focusing sound waves. He'll receive the award on Friday, during a
ceremony at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland.
"60 Minutes" also looked at the CarterCopter and the Moller SkyCar. The CarterCopter
prototype has been flying off and on for a few years, but was sidelined by a wheels-up landing and then by an in-flight fire. SkyCar inventor Paul Moller says his futuristic vehicle will fly like a
"magic carpet," but so far it has test-flown only while tethered to a crane. But it probably comes closest to the Jetson-style flying car that people imagine the future should bring. Michael Kanellos,
of CNET News, speculated last week that flying cars could be the next thing to attract
the attention -- and the assets -- of the high-tech billionaires and entrepreneurs who have been funding much of the new space industry. The Moller SkyCar is designed to land and take off vertically,
cruise at over 350 mph at up to 20,000 feet, and get 20 miles per gallon. Deposits of $10,000 and up are being taken for SkyCar delivery slots at the Moller Web site, with a projected certification
date of Dec. 31, 2006.
As Summer Fire Season Approaches
In states across the western U.S., wildfires are an inevitable part of summer, and aircraft are depended on to keep them under control. But with many operators facing tight budgets and a scarcity of
airplanes, concerns are already widespread that the firefighting capacity will fall short. The Oakland (Calif.)
Tribune reported this week that the federal fleet is in "crisis," with many airplanes still grounded by airworthiness concerns and others available only for limited duty. On Monday, the National
Interagency Fire Center announced that it has approved 10 tankers for service -- seven P-3 Orions, a DC-7 and two P-2Vs -- but will monitor them closely for signs of fatigue. California's fleet of 23
medium, fast-attack tankers could be partially grounded due to $7 million in state budget cuts. It's been proposed that the tankers will have to be grounded one day per week because there is no money
to pay the crews. The situation is exacerbated by a lack of military surplus aircraft due to demands of national security.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, a retrofitted 747 super-tanker is not yet approved to fly by the FAA, and may not be ready
for this summer. "We don't know how much it drops and how accurate it is," Rose Davis, spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center, told The Arizona Republic. The 747 can carry 24,000 gallons of water and retardant in four tanks, about eight times
what ordinary tankers carry. Critics worry that the airplane can't fly low enough to be effective, and the massive drops might be hazardous to firefighters on the ground.
One voice in the wilderness is trying to gain support for converting surplus A-10 Warthog fighter jets into "Firehogs." Ed Herlik, a Colorado
pilot, formed AeroTech Ltd. to work on converting the aircraft and training pilots. But first he has to convince the Pentagon to let them go, and so far that's been an uphill battle. The idea lacks
the powerful supporters it would need to make headway in state and federal government, according to The
Oakland Tribune. "There's unlimited money to fight wildfires after they start but none to develop air tankers that work," said Herlik. "Like modern combat, no amount of money will build an
effective system after the wildfires start. It's a lethal 'come as you are' environment."
|LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU'RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT
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Always looking to purchase quality turboprop, mid-size, and large turbine aircraft. One call to (800) 259-1940, or one click to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/phas/avflash.
A Nevada glider pilot has been quietly working away at breaking the North American distance record, with a flight of 1,212 miles in 13 hours and 17 minutes on April 3, breaking his own unofficial
record of 1,130 miles set eight days earlier. Gordon Boettger flew a 33-year-old Kestrel 17 sailplane along the rising wave of air on the downwind side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range during a lee-wave storm. He reached heights of 27,000 feet, and the canopy of the plane was sometimes covered in ice. Boettger, 37,
soloed in a glider at age 14, flew off aircraft carriers during eight years in the Navy and now flies MD-11s for Federal Express.
A New Zealand airline pilot has lost a round in court in his effort to return to the cockpit after his employer of 16 years fired him. According to the pilot, the airline unfairly used incidents in
his private life to get rid of him. The airline said that even though the Civil Aviation Authority found the man fit to be a pilot, that doesn't mean the airline can't decide he's not fit to be an
employee. The trouble began after the pilot was charged in two cases of assault against men his estranged wife had been seeing, and was cited for three off-duty flights he took in his private aircraft
without an airworthiness certificate. The pilot said the airline didn't even know about these events for five years, and they had no effect on his performance in his job. The pilot's lawyer said they
A medevac helicopter operated by CareFlight made a forced landing Monday morning after a collision with ducks in flight near Aberdeen, S.D. Three ducks broke through the windscreen and splattered
pilot Curt Smith with blood and broken glass. "It was just a big explosion and lots of wind," Smith told The Keloland News. "I had trouble to see what we were doing, the crew in the back became my
eyes." The crew helped direct Smith to a safe landing spot. With the changing seasons, birds are on the move. Tim Harris, airport wildlife officer at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, reported
Tuesday that he has observed flocks of both brown pelicans and geese moving north, in groups of about 40 to 50.
The search for two mature pilots from Pueblo, Colo., who set off on a pleasure trip in a red and tan 1954 Piper Tri-Pacer on April 7, has been suspended. Claiborne Courtright, 81, and William Duffy,
77, were last seen when they bought fuel at Kremmling, about 80 miles northwest of Denver. In 150 search flights, no sign of the airplane was found. "We just flat ran out of leads," Civil Air Patrol
spokesman Stephen Blucher told The Associated Press. "We had checked everything we could possibly
check." Both men were experienced pilots who enjoyed taking leisurely flights with no particular destination. The search will resume if more leads come in or if mountain snows melt, which could reveal
the missing plane.
|DON'T LET MOTHER'S DAY FLY BY WITHOUT REMEMBERING MOM|
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is a pilot or a regular passenger, she will love a gift from Oregon Aero and you, too. Only 17 shopping days left! Shop online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
At Sun 'n Fun 2005, AVweb had the pleasure of flying a Glasair Sportsman 2+2 ... that we didn't have to build. First impression:
excellent short-field and slow-flight performance with respectable cruise, and light, balanced controls with little adverse yaw ... but don't expect short people to have an especially easy time
getting in. The Sportsman is a capable, kit-built, two-seat high-wing with space for two big people plus two little people in back -- plus fishing rods and the grace to put you somewhere you can enjoy
them. The aircraft we flew was tugged by a 180-hp engine and a constant-speed prop, carried fresh fuel and two plus one pilots, wouldn't stall (without above-and-beyond persuasion), handily outpaced a
172, and would fly before the airspeed indicator pointed toward the first number. Welcome to the new generation of aircraft. Like most modern top-end aircraft, the Sportsman's controls are
well-balanced, and ailerons offer little adverse yaw and command roll right up to (perhaps through) a stall that wouldn't likely happen without premeditated malice. The range of performance was
impressive. The catch? Of course, you've got to build it. But for the manually uninspired, and those willing to accept those differences inspired by a production line, have a look at the Symphony 160. For our dollar, it flies (and looks) very similar to the Sportsman 2+2 ... if you can live without the work ... or the
truly personal touch.
A bill that would have allowed airports on state land in Arizona to get leases of 20 years instead of the current 10 failed last week in the state legislature. The bill's sponsors blamed pressure from
Luke Air Force Base, which is close to Pleasant Valley Airport near Phoenix. The Air Force has said that there is enough air traffic already, and it doesn't want the airport to grow. Meanwhile, the
airport's current lease will expire in two years, and the airport operator says he needs longer time frames to build his business, justify investments and qualify for federal funding. Local officials
have said they will probably renew the lease for another 10 years, but by then they will probably be ready to carve up the surrounding pasturelands for residential development -- and the airport
itself is likely to go next. Roy Coulliette has operated the airport for 30 years. "It's scary," he told the West Valley Independent Newspapers. "It doesn't give us a warm feeling. And it's not just us. The longer we wait the more airports the land department is going to close down. We're
pretty secure for the next year and 10 months, but in the meantime they could close down half the airports in Arizona."
AOPA AIRCRAFT FINANCING LOWER RATES AND EXTENDED TERMS
AOPA and MBNA are making aircraft ownership a lot
more affordable and flexible! New lower rates and an expanded financing offer that includes experimental and kit aircraft make the AOPA Aircraft Financing Program among the
most competitive in the industry. And to help make those monthly payments even more affordable, a 25-year term option is also available. Call 1-800-62-PLANE today for a rate
quote, or complete an online application at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopa/afp/avflash.
The tower at Tampa (Fla.) International Airport lost radio contact with pilots for about 20 minutes on Saturday. Communications were maintained with backup handheld radios...
The FAA is paying $9 million for soundproofing and air conditioning in three schools near Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport...
New globally wired weather data could help save up to $1.7 billion of the annual $4 billion cost of weather-related aviation delays.
Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to
It's come to our attention (thanks for the emails) that certain organizations in aviation use Lotus Notes for their email. Lotus notes does not show HTML email messages properly. The solution is for
the reader to change the delivery format from HTML to text. Here is the procedure:
1. Go to the profile URL: http://www.avweb.com/profile/
2. Login with your email address and password. If you do not know your password, there is a link just below the password box to send your password via email.
3. Select Email Subscriptions/Preferences.
4. Change the format from HTML to text.
LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP FOR MIKE BUSCH'S INDIANAPOLIS SEMINAR!
Mike advises that there's still space for a few more
aircraft owners in his Savvy Owner Seminar in Indianapolis on the weekend of May 14-15. Additional seminars are scheduled in Frederick, MD (October 22-23) and Long Beach, CA (December
10-11). Mike's seminar will teach you how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft while saving thousands of dollars on maintenance costs. For seminar details and to reserve your spot, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.
Quiz #93 -- Thundering Questions
What can be taller than Mount Everest, wetter than a sloppy kiss, and meaner than a tax audit? Yes, thunderstorms. ATC offers some help around these gorgeous beasts, but successful circumnavigation
depends on you.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs 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/
|AVIDYNE'S CMAX APPROACH CHARTS TAKE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO THE NEXT
CMax Approach Charts, which can be displayed on Avidyne's FlightMax EX500 or Entegra/EX5000 MFDs, provide geo-referenced approach charts and airport diagrams. CMax
reduces the amount of paper in your cockpit, and allows you to access critical chart data more quickly and easily. CMax overlays your flight plan and aircraft position for optimum orientation.
CMax even shows runway incursion hotspots and improves taxiway awareness, reducing the need for "progressives" at unfamiliar airports. With CMax, youll know exactly where you are on
the approach or on the field. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
Last week, AVweb pit glass-panel displays against the
analog variety, hoping to find out where our readers
stand on the issue.
What we learned is that there aren't many die-hard
fans of the analog panel out there. 11% of you
preferred the glass panel hands-down, while a
substantial 37% of respondents cited the glass panel's
superior reliability and situational awareness. 1%
of participants (only seven of you) thought that glass
panels are easier to learn and therefore superior to
analog because they reduce the risk of pilot failures.
A large segment of respondents (39% of you) said
you'd love to have a sampling of both analog and
glass-panel cockpit features if it wasn't such an
extravagant way to spend your cockpit budget.
Only 61 of you (12% of respondents) favored the
analog panel, with 24 readers citing the difficulty of
the glass panel to learn as a possible pratfall.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
Meigs is dead. Long live Meigs.
This week, AVweb wants to know where you stand (in
spring 2005) on the tearing down of Meigs Field.
Click here to answer
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to
This address is
only for suggested QOTW questions, and not for QOTW answers or
this form to send QOTW comments to our AVmail Editor.
Submit a Photo |
Current POTW Winner |
Past POTW Winners
Welcome back to AVweb's "Picture of the Week."
Several of you wrote to us at Sun 'n Fun to ask where last
week's pictures were.
Not to worry; we were only taking the week off to chase
down news at the Fly-In. Choosing a "POTW" is somewhat
time-consuming and difficult to do when most of our team is
on the road plus, we had the
Sun 'n Fun galleries to prepare for you last week.
But we're back to full strength this week with two
weeks' worth of great photos to share! Excited
yet? If not, then wait 'til you see Gavin Conroy's
prize-winning photo from the Classic Air Fighters show in
Blenheim, New Zealand.
What prize did Gavin win? Why, an official AVweb
baseball cap, of course! And you can win one of your
submitting your photo here.
Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of
readers who submit photos.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
Used with permission
of Gavin Conroy
"Fokkers in Echelon"
Gavin Conroy of
Blenheim, New Zealand returns with
another photo from the Classic Fighters 2005 air show
and this time he takes home a winning AVweb hat for his
submission. A big thanks to Gavin and everyone else
who sent fantastic pictures from this show.
here to view a large version of this image
Click here for a
AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our
POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up. Click on the links below to view
Used with permission
of Drew Coats
"Shrike Commander Over Arkansas"
In a week filled with great prop shots (!),
Drew Coats of the
submitted our favorite. The photo was
taken on an evening trip to Houston.
Used with permission
of William P. Lear Jr.
"Flashback of the Week"
William Lear Jr. of Port
takes us on this week's trip down memory lane.
Mr. Lear tells us this photo was taken at Whiteman
Airpark, California on May 29, 1946 nine days after
his first flight and four days before his eighteenth
"How I miss my very own P-38," he writes.
Lots of good photos came in during the
Sun 'n Fun hiatus. Here's a quick sampling:
with permission of
Charles A. Forsberg
"Stay Off Air Strip"
Chuck Forsberg of
Portland, Oregon reports
that no one was hurt in this recent crash. That sign,
however, just creates too good a photo opportunity.
with permission of Mark Sletten
of St. Jacob, Illinois sends us this
"early morning photo of a Beech 18 modified for
bombardier training" along with a portrait of
himself, equally geared up for training!
Pets 'n Planes
Another odd coincidence from the past
of weeks: LOTS of photos of people's pets
flowed into POTW Central while we were
away. Because we got so many and yeah,
because we're suckers for pets here's our top three:
Used with permission
of Keith Ruskin
of Westport, Connecticut
reminds us that "outdated approach plates
can be dangerous." Lucky for him, Oreo the Cat
is on the job, keeping Keith's records up-to-date.
Used with permission
of Jose L. Modrono
"Two Choppers for the Price of One"
Jose L. Modrono
of Caracas, Venezuela
writes to use from the Avila Heliport, where he was
shopping for "the proper rotorcraft." When Jose went
to snap a picture of this bird, he learned the hangar
guard dog was named "Chopper" and had to have him
in the photo. So, Jose which bird did you take home?
Used with permission
of George Graham
"Walter's First Flight"
And finally, George Graham
of SkyGuy in Wellston, Oklahoma
took his pug Walter on his first airplane ride in a Mooney
George tells us Walter has grown much more
comfortable on subsequent flights.
To enter next week's contest,
A Reminder About Copyrights: Please take a moment to consider the
source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest.
If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed
authorized to release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain,
send us an e-mail.
|Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
|PILOT GETAWAYS MAGAZINE YOUR FLIGHT PLAN FOR ADVENTURE|
Getaways magazine's March/April issue lives up to it's "getaways" name with a romantic retreat to Madden's Resort in Minnesota; outdoor delights in Colorado's Majestic Mountains; a weekend getaway
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Getaways gives pilots just want they want and need more places to fly and more things to do! Order your subscription today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.
|ASA MEETS THE NEEDS OF SPORT PILOTS|
ASA and Sport Pilot expert Paul Hamilton have introduced a new
line of products dedicated to the Sport Pilot the "Freedom to Fly" series. The Sport Pilot airman certificate provides a simple path to a pilot certificate and to a variety of aircraft
that people can own and/or operate inexpensively. Now more people will be able to experience the freedom to fly. Learn about all your flying options and what is right for you with the Sport
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|WORRIED ABOUT BUSTING A REG? YOU SHOULD BE!|
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|"EVOLUTION AT THE SCOPES: AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL IS CHANGING"|
The May issue of
Flying magazine reports on how the ATC system and its employees are changing to make ATC a very attractive career. Plus: "What to Do When the Engine Quits"; "Flying
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|AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING|
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|COMMUNICATE, NAVIGATE & SAVE! FLY CONFIDENTLY BY TRAINING WITH COMM1|
Simulators unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Comm1 also offers an interactive Navigation CD-ROM
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|FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE SPEECHLESS THEN THEY CAN'T STOP TALKING|
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|THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T YOU?|
Then you went through the manual and
came away frustrated and confused. Stop laboring to understand those manufacturers' manuals! For less than $40 (plus shipping and handling) you can better understand and operate most of the modern GPS
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|FEELING GUILTY? YOU SHOULD BE STUDYING & REVIEWING ...|
You have every intention of doing so, right?
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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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