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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
SPACE RACE UNDERWAY -- ORBIT...
California company that built the hybrid rocket motor that drove
SpaceShipOne, says it has just about completed its plan for a safe,
affordable launch system -- the SpaceDev Dream Chaser -- that could
carry six passengers into low earth orbit. CEO Jim Benson said he
believes the company can "quickly develop a safe and affordable space
transportation system based on existing propulsion technologies and
vehicle designs." While the initial target is the space tourism
market, SpaceDev says its project also could provide routine, safe and
affordable access to the International Space Station for NASA.
SpaceDev's plan calls for multiple manned suborbital test flights by
2008, and manned test flights to orbit by 2010. More...
BUY A TICKET TODAY FOR A SUBORBITAL RIDE...
Meanwhile, the race to get passengers into suborbital flight is
heating up. Aera
Corp. announced last week that tickets are
on sale now for seats aboard its Altairis rocket. The company says it
is on track to start launching from Florida's Cape Canaveral in
December 2006. The Altairis rocket launches vertically, lands
horizontally and can carry six passengers and one mission commander.
Tickets cost $250,000. Also, former X Prize contender Canadian Arrow
announced on Tuesday it is forming a new corporation, PlanetSpace, with a
U.S. partner and will be ready to carry passengers within two years.
It will also charge a quarter-million per seat. More...
ADVOCATES "BLITZ" WASHINGTON
Meanwhile, troops of "citizen lobbyists" arrived in Washington, D.C.,
this week to meet with their congressional representatives in search
of support for space exploration. The National Space
Society Legislative Conference took place Tuesday and Wednesday,
with training sessions followed by visits to the Hill. The "blitz"
precedes the 2005
International Space Development Conference, which begins today,
featuring sessions on space exploration, tourism, science, technology,
policy and business. Speakers include Burt Rutan, X Prize founder
Peter Diamandis and Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta.
If the wanderings of a Cessna 150 would disrupt the day of thousands
of people, and frighten them a bit in the process, could it happen in
any worse place than Washington, D.C.? Concerned about the lingering
effects of that scare on all those legislators and regulators, AOPA
took out full-page ads in yesterday's USA Today and in Roll
Call, an influential Capitol Hill newspaper, to spread the good word
that GA is not a threat. "Last week one pilot made headlines ... The
other 588,656 did not," says AOPA. Chris Dancy, AOPA spokesman, told
AVweb, "The ad is intended not to excuse or explain what
happened, but to help the non-flying public (and members of Congress)
to put the incident into perspective." More...
LASER "FENCE" READIES FOR DEBUT
Meanwhile, the new ground-based Visual Warning System around the D.C.
ADIZ is ready to deploy on Saturday. The system signals pilots who
intrude into the no-fly zone with low-level laser beams in an
alternating red-red-green light sequence. Any pilots who receive the
warning must immediately turn away from the signal and contact Air
Traffic Control. The lasers are eye-safe and non-hazardous at all
ranges, according to NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense
Command), which developed the system. Civil Air Patrol (CAP) volunteers flying
low-and-slow single-engine Cessnas have been working with NORAD in
test flights. More...
ADD CELL/SATELLITE PHONE INTERFACE TO YOUR LIGHTSPEED
Factory conversions are now available for
all active models of LightSPEED's XL and QFR series for only USD $75.
(No sales tax; return shipping included within the U.S.) Model
upgrades come with a 2.5mm patch cord that connects to most phones.
Check LightSPEED's online chart for phones they've tested. The Active
model upgrades also include an additional patch cord for a personal
audio device input. Call LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 and
mention this AVflash, or print out the online order/instruction form
to send in your headset for a speedy turnaround at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/cell/avflash.
AVWEB'S HALF-MILLION DAILY HITS TO WORK FOR YOU
AVweb users can now offer their aircraft, parts, and
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with our new and improved Classified Ads section. To better qualify
sellers and limit the number of non-aviation products on AVweb,
we've instituted a nominal fee for each listing. Discover our new
Classified section and get in on the ground floor of this exciting new
marketplace. Browse our listings and place your ad today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/classifieds/avflash.
CALLS FOR MORE AVIATION FUNDING
Aviation is not only an important part of the U.S. economy, it's
critical to the growth of the economy as whole, according to a new report released last week by the FAA's Management
Advisory Council. "Part of the productivity of virtually every sector
of the U.S. economy depends on the productivity of aviation," the
report says. The report calls on the White House and Congress for more
funding, no new aviation taxes, faster hiring of new air traffic
controllers and more investment in ATC modernization. As for the FAA,
it needs to streamline -- cutting its current nine administrative
regions down to three, contracting out all of its VFR control towers,
and consolidating TRACONs, the report says. More...
|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.
HONORED FOR SAVING LIVES
With budget cuts, the threat of looming mass retirements and an
ever-growing air traffic system, attention is drawn to how the skills
of an air traffic controller measure up when it comes to safety in the
court cases highlight the critical nature of controller/pilot
communications, and at
least one has saddled controllers with partial blame in an
accident (and saddled the FAA with the bill). But controllers also
save lives, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association's new "Medal of Safety" award. Monday in Washington,
D.C., 12 controllers who helped pilots (and passengers) avert disaster
were honored for their work. Ken Hopf helped a distraught passenger land a
Piper Malibu safely in Laconia, N.H., after the pilot became
incapacitated. Scott Dittamo was working the tower in Newark when
he spotted a 747 on short final with its gear up. His warning assured
a safe landing. Transcripts and audiotapes of the pilot-controller exchanges are
available online. More...
HAS DRINK AT ATLANTIC CITY
Sometimes the rules are there for a reason ... as the crew of a
Citation CJ2 discovered when they flew to Atlantic City's Bader Field
on Sunday afternoon, made one aborted approach, circled around to try
for the longer runway, then ran off the runway's end and plunged into
the (luckily) shallow waters that (practically) surround the downtown
field. The small airport, where the longest runway is 2,900 feet, is
off-limits to jet traffic. The four people on board escaped with minor
injuries and were fished from the water by boaters. The jet and its
four occupants are from Denmark, and were returning to Atlantic City
from a trip to Burlington, Vt. It was unclear if they were actually
headed for Atlantic City International Airport, about nine miles
inland from Bader Field, where the runways are up to 10,000 feet long.
The captain told the FAA that he was making a "routine touchdown" when
the brakes failed, Newsday reported. At least one witness said he saw
the tires smoking as the jet went off the runway. More...
AIRLINE CRASH DEBATED IN COURT
The 1999 crash of an American Airlines MD-82 in Little Rock, Ark., in
which 11 people died (including the flight's captain) is under debate
in federal court this week. A lawsuit by the captain's widow alleges
that the airport was negligent, because the approach light system that
the jet ran into was too close to the runway and too rigid, and the
overrun was less than half of the 1,000 feet it should have been. The
airport's defense is that the pilot's actions caused the crash. The NTSB found the probable cause of the accident to
be the flight crew's failure to discontinue the approach when severe
thunderstorms had moved into the airport area, and the crew's failure
to ensure that the spoilers had extended after touchdown.
NEW FAA TYPE CERTIFICATE -- FOR SYMPHONY 160
The FAA is never quick to hand out Type Certificates, but there seem
to be a lot of them coming along lately. Newest on the list of
good-to-go GA aircraft is the two-seater Symphony 160, built by Symphony
Aircraft Industries (SAI) of Three Rivers, Quebec. "Receiving the
Symphony 160's FAA type certificate is a significant milestone," said
SAI President Paul Costanzo. "The U.S. market is of great importance
for Symphony Aircraft Industries. With the FAA Type Certificate in
hand there are no more obstacles, and American pilots can start taking
delivery of their new U.S.-registered SA 160." More...
PILOTS EVEN BIRDS HAVE TO WALK
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foot tissue damage by more than 50%, and reduce shock to the entire
body compared to other sponge and foam inserts. Select the proper
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MAINTENANCE OUTSOURCED OVERSEAS
There's been plenty of talk about outsourcing maintenance work on
airliners, with concerns raised about quality control and oversight.
And recently there was a roundup of maintenance workers in North Carolina
with illegal immigration status, some of them from countries
considered possible sources of terrorism. But what about outsourcing
the maintenance work overseas? America West and JetBlue have some of
their maintenance done in El Salvador, according to a report in last
week's ABC11-Eyewitness News in Durham, N.C. Also,
Continental and Northwest send some of their planes to Hong Kong or
Singapore for maintenance work. More...
NTSB blamed FedEx crash on bad flying, inadequate
United F/As protest pension cuts in "(semi)naked
National Aeronautic Association launched new Web
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
From The CFI #7: Scenario-Based
With new, technically advanced aircraft becoming more
common in the air and at FBOs near you, many in the industry have been
asking if we need to take a new look at how we train new pilots.
AVweb's Linda Pendleton has certianly been asking, and she discusses
the kinds of scenarios that work and don't work in this month's From
The CFI column. 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/
DA40 DIAMOND STAR A FLEET FAVORITE
Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
University CAPT, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University,
and Utah Valley State College all have selected the
G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and
safety, the DA40 is the fleet favorite. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know who you hold responsible for the DC
incursion the pilots or the government? PLUS: Results of last
week's question on ADIZ and the incursion. More...
|ASO A BETTER WAY TO SELL YOUR AIRCRAFT
Finding aircraft share buyers can be hard FBO
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Wha? Where are all the pictures this week? Is everyone O.K. out
there? Not that we're complaining, but this has been the slowest week
for "POTW" submissions in well over a year. (If you don't count
Christmas, AirVenture, and Sun 'n Fun, when submissions typically
slack off.) Quite frankly, we're a little worried about our
photographer friends. Send us some pictures and check in! Thankfully,
those who did submit pics this week turned in some gorgeous photos
like our winning FJ-4B Fury pic from Rich Sugden of Wyoming.
Naturally, Rich will be covering his head this summer with an official
AVweb baseball hat for his efforts. Our other winners will have to
settle for the fleeting fame of being "POTW" contenders along
with the oohs and ahhs of a few hundred thousand aviation buffs who
read AVweb. More...
|Sponsor News and
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by
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CUSTOMERS RAVE ABOUT A SMOOTHER RIDE AND SAVING FUEL|
first ground runs were with the original injectors, then we installed
the GAMIs. I didn't need the EDM 700 to tell me I had spent my money
wisely. The motor is notably smoother and more responsive, with
mixture totally controllable." "I put my GAMIs in my 470 and love
them. I run LOP; couldn't before. My airplane uses less fuel on a trip
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|ASA BRINGS YOU A LIFETIME OF HANDS-FREE
ASA's new portable push-to-talk
switch works with any general aviation headset, intercom, and radio.
It features a low-profile ergonomic button, superior contact switch,
heavy-duty gold-plated plugs and jack, durable shield-coiled cord,
hook and loop mounting strap, molded strain relief, and a lifetime
warranty. Eliminate the distraction of picking up the microphone, keep
your focus on flying the aircraft, and modernize your interior with
the sleek functional design. For complete details about this new
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|SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the
PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives a real-time
picture of all IFR aircraft in-flight over the U.S. and Canada.
Whether you're tracking a friend or want to learn more about the
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|FED UP WITH BIG BILLS FOR ROUTINE AIRCRAFT
Subscribe to Light Plane
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|PHOTON'S WHITE FREEDOM MICRO NOW 2X
Photon, the first name in LED micro-lights, has a
new product for your flying, hunting, and outdoor needs. The
white Freedom Micro, already one of the brightest micro-lights
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|AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY
AirSport Avionics is the only manufacturer
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SPECIAL: $100 discount on all models, with complimentary ground
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|HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FROM CREWCAR & CONSUMER
Don't go blindly into a dealership when purchasing a
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The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership
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|CFIs DISCOVER THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN GREG
BROWN'S CLASSIC BOOK|
The Savvy Flight
Instructor. You passed the challenging CFI checkride, but what
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advanced ratings? Find the answers in The Savvy Flight
Instructor by Greg Brown, AOPA Flight Training
columnist and 2000 Flight Instructor of the Year. AVweb
EXCLUSIVE: Order your personally autographed copy of the book at
|AVIATION CONSUMER HAS GARMIN & LOWRANCE SHOOT IT
OUT OVER PORTABLE GPSs|
in the June issue. Also in this
issue: "The Diesel Dilemma" Diamond's composite twin
diesel-powered aircraft; "Hangar Tugs" Aviation Consumer
likes Northwest and Skyline; "T-34S Under the Gun" how the
industry might establish practical life limits for certain airframes;
"JPI's Data Blunder" owners steamed; and the Used Aircraft
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|THOUGHT THAT USING GPS WOULD BE FUN, DIDN'T
Then you went through the manual and came away
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EXPANDING ITS READER SURVEY PANEL|
If you're willing to
answer (very) brief questionnaires about aviation products and
services once or twice a month, please consider joining our exclusive
panel of reader advisors. We're currently seeking pilots at all
levels of experience in many different FAA regions. To apply,
We Welcome Your
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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