This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... LightSPEED Aviation
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
NEXT CAR COULD BE AN AIRCRAFT...
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. More...
POCKETS COULD MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
"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. More...
SUPPORT FOR WILDFIRES UNCERTAIN...
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. More...
TANKER NOT YET APPROVED...
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. More...
FIREHOGS THE ANSWER?
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. More...
TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM WHEN YOU'RE BUYING or
SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT|
Whether you're looking for that
"envy of many pilots" single (such as a Bonanza) or a workhorse
turboprop or multi-mission jet, Piedmont Hawthorne Aircraft
Sales does it all and has done so for over 65 years
boasting a professional sales/marketing team engaged in new and
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centers, and a VIP program for every customer at their extensive
network of 36 FBOs 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.
POSTS NORTH AMERICAN DISTANCE RECORD
A California 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. More...
PILOT, NEW INFORMATION, FIRED
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. More...
CREW SURVIVE DUCK STRIKE
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. More...
SUSPENDED FOR MISSING PILOTS
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.
|DON'T LET MOTHER'S DAY FLY BY WITHOUT REMEMBERING
You'll be a hero this Mother's Day when you give your
mother a gift from Oregon Aero that will make her flying experience
painless, safer, and quieter. Treat Mom to a painless Oregon
Aero Portable SoftSeat cushion that will fit in any
aircraft and make sitting more comfortable no matter how long
the flight. Flying will be quieter and pain-free with an Oregon
Aero Custom Headset Upgrade. Whether your mom 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.
SPORTSMAN 2+2, (OUR) FIRST FLIGHT
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.
AIRPORTS LOSE A ROUND
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. More...
AOPA AIRCRAFT FINANCING LOWER RATES AND EXTENDED
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.
TPA tower lost radio contact with pilots for 20 minutes
FAA is paying $9 million to soundproof three schools
New global weather data could prevent weather-related
aviation delays. More...
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 email@example.com.
FOR LOTUS NOTES USERS
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
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. More...
LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP FOR MIKE BUSCH'S INDIANAPOLIS
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.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Quiz #93 -- Thundering
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. More...
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/
|AVIDYNE'S CMAX APPROACH CHARTS TAKE SITUATIONAL
AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL|
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.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
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. PLUS:
Results of last week's question pitting glass-panel displays against
analog displays. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
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 own by submitting your
photo today. More...
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your
|PILOT GETAWAYS MAGAZINE YOUR FLIGHT PLAN
Pilot 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 to Petit Jean, Arkansas; back-country
flying in the Garden State; fly-in dining in Hampton, New Hampshire;
and bush flying into the Flying M Ranch, Oregon. A subscription to
Pilot 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|
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 Pilot DVD. Gain FAA
certification with the Sport Pilot Test Prep book or Prepware.
Learn whether to fly with the Weather to Fly DVD. Meet
the pilot record-keeping requirements in the beautiful and useful
Sport Pilot Logbook. For complete details about this new series
of Sport Pilot products, visit ASA's web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.
|WORRIED ABOUT BUSTING A REG? YOU SHOULD
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are now available. To find the Photon Micro-Light for your flying,
hunting, and outdoor needs, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon/avflash.
|"EVOLUTION AT THE SCOPES: AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL IS
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 Four-by-Fours: Fixed-Gear Four-Seat
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|AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY
AirSport Avionics is the only manufacturer
of Altitude Alerters that work by listening to everything your
transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Mode A (squawk
code) and Mode C (altitude). A double benefit! AirSport Alerters are
completely portable and don't require permanent installation.
SPECIAL: $100 discount on all models, with complimentary ground
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|COMMUNICATE, NAVIGATE & SAVE! FLY CONFIDENTLY BY
TRAINING WITH COMM1|
Radio 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 and a VOR/NDB Simulator to help
understand and visualize every flight. And "Getting Around on the
Ground" will help negotiate airports and runways. Order online and
save $10 on the purchase of any combination of Comm1 CDs or Navigation
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|FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE SPEECHLESS THEN THEY CAN'T
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|THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T
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|FEELING GUILTY? YOU SHOULD BE STUDYING & REVIEWING
You have every intention of doing so, right? You want
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We Welcome Your
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