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Volume 11, Number 21b May 26, 2005

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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 NewsWire.

DCA TO REOPEN (SORT OF) TO GA...
GA will likely return to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) as early as this coming fall, but most of us won't notice. According to The Washington Post, those who purport to guard the capital from airborne threats don't want private aircraft landing there, and that's reflected by the onerous security provisions that will be imposed. According to the Post, all private flights will have to have an "armed law enforcement officer" on board and passengers and luggage will have to undergo security screening at one of a dozen designated airports before making the final leg to DCA. Word of the TSA directive, which was to have come by way of an interim final rule, according to the Post, came as Congress gets ready to discuss no less than three committee bills aimed at restoring GA access to DCA. More...

...INCURSION PILOT LOSES CERTIFICATE...
The TSA rule is coming down two days after the FAA took the rare step of issuing an emergency revocation of Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer's certificate -- the pilot in command of the Cessna 150 that breached the ultra-sensitive airspace around the White House on May 11. It also came two days after a Canadian-registered Cessna 340 breached the ADIZ, causing a brief evacuation of the Capitol. It was reportedly having communications problems after taking a lightning strike. In announcing the action against Sheaffer, the most severe sanction against a pilot, the FAA said that allowing him to continue to fly represented an "unacceptable risk to safety." Among the long list of sins the FAA says Sheaffer committed, it repeatedly notes that through much of the crisis, he let his passenger Troy Martin, a student pilot with 30 hours of training, do the flying. More...

...FASTER LETHAL RESPONSE EYED
The next step for security officials and legislators may be to make it quicker and easier to shoot down offending aircraft. Under the current setup, the Customs Blackhawk helicopter normally dispatched to warn away errant aircraft doesn't have the authority to shoot at them or even fire warning shots. The Department of Homeland Security is now considering whether to deploy Coast Guard aircraft, which do have firing authority, in the ADIZ intercept role. More...

LOOK TO THE PIEDMONT HAWTHORNE AIRCRAFT SALES TEAM
WHEN YOU'RE BUYING or SELLING YOUR NEXT AIRCRAFT

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THE PIPER JET…?
There's a never-say-die attitude and then there's New Piper CEO Chuck Suma. Crushed by the 9/11-spawned recession, staggered by the Lycoming engine recall and blown away by hurricanes, Suma told the Palm Beach Post in a recent interview that the company's next step is to join the increasingly crowded business jet (or would that be very light jet?) market. The remark was an aside in a detailed examination of New Piper's troubles of late, but given the numbers being tossed around by industry analysts, Suma's crystal-balling may seem strangely appropriate. More...

...ROLLS ROYCE PREDICTS 8,000 VLJS...
"Aviation, as we have seen it traditionally, is going away," FAA Chief Spokesman Greg Martin told the Salt Lake City Tribune. Rolls Royce predicts that more than 8,000 VLJs will be built in the next 20 years. The FAA, which has a significant interest in the potential of thousands of little jets mixing it up with airliners on the high-level airways, may be even more optimistic than Rolls Royce. It's saying 4,500 VLJs will be zipping between smaller regional and municipal airports by 2016, many of them as part of the much-hyped but still untested "air taxi" industry. Those are the sort of words that catch the eyes of manufacturers -- and critics. More...

...ADAM POISED TO PROFIT
Either way is fine with Adam Aircraft's Rick Adam. Now that the company's push/pull piston aircraft, the A500, has been certified, Adam is starting to talk about the future of the A700 jet project and Adam's place in the VLJ market. "Our plans are quite modest," Adam told the Tribune. "If we do nothing more than get a modest share of the existing market, we will be profitable. We are profitable at 60 planes [annually]." Adam's definition of modest could be open to interpretation. The Eclipse 500 and Cessna Mustang are two major players that will also be in the mix. More...

CLASSIFIEDS (UPDATED DAILY), PRODUCT/ADVERTISER INDICES, DEALERS AND
Brokers, Forums, NAAA Evaluator, Performance Database, Spec Sheets, Weather — all in Trade-A-Plane. Trade-A-Plane gives you the best of both worlds, in print and online. Order your subscription by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tap/avflash.

TAYLORCRAFT HEADS TO BROWNSVILLE
They were cutting-edge in 1935, and now "new" Taylorcrafts are on the vanguard of the light sport aircraft (LSA) category. Resumption of production of the venerable taildragger, which were churned out at the rate of 30 a day (yes, each day of peak production, according to the company) in 1946, was granted in 2004 and the new firm is planning a production facility in Brownsville, Texas, at the site of a former bus factory. Although the company can produce fully certified aircraft under the original type certificate, most Taylorcrafts meet the weight and performance standards for LSA so it's also planning to build S-LSA (factory-finished) aircraft for Sport Pilot ticket holders and sell them for near $60,000. More...

SENATE WANTS EVEN TIGHTER CORPORATE AIRCRAFT TAX RULES
There will be no free rides for anyone on company aircraft if the Senate's version of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act is passed. According to an analysis by the National Business Aviation Association, the Senate has imposed even tighter limitations on the write-offs companies can claim when their aircraft are used for "entertainment" purposes. The Senate bill proposes to amend the American Jobs Creation Act, passed last fall. Under the Jobs Act, companies were limited in their ability to deduct aircraft operating expenses for flights provided to "specified individuals" (e.g., executives) to the value imputed into the recipient's income. The Senate amendment expands the provision to all employees. The Senate bill also proposes changes to the way taxes are collected on jet fuel. More...

NO-COST AVIATION SAFETY COURSES!
The newest AOPA Air Safety Foundation online course, Mission Possible: Navigating Today's Special Use Airspace, is now available. This no-cost course uses night-vision video clips, exciting animation, and interactive flight-planning scenarios, all to help you better cope with the various types of special use airspace. Other new ASF online courses include Single Pilot IFR, IFR Adventure, Runway Safety, Say Intentions, and SkySpotter. Each no-cost 20-to-45-minute course qualifies for FAA Wings safety program credit and includes a graduation certificate suitable for framing. Sign up now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopa/asf/avflash.

SWARMS OF COMPUTER-CONTROLLED UAVS SEEN
While we periodically fret about the addition of single UAVs to the airspace, researchers at the University of Essex, in England, are working on computer modules that will enable the creation of flocks of UAVs that will be able to act as flying Web servers. Two types of systems are envisioned; one, the outdoor "Gridswarm," will use model aerobatic trainers that can fly 120 mph in bird-like formations while "performing parallel, distributed computing tasks using Bluetooth-connected Linux clustering software," according to the LinuxDevices.com Web site. There's also an indoor version. More...

PILOTS ASKED TO TELL ALL ABOUT SAFETY CONCERNS
Australian officials are asking two former pilots of Trans Air to go on record about their alleged safety concerns about the airline in the wake of a crash that killed 15 people on May 7. The Australian Transport Safety Board says the pilots are only willing to give off-the-record statements but those are worthless to investigators probing the crash. All aboard the Metroliner died when it crashed into a hillside while on approach in bad weather at an airport in Lockhart River. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is also interested in talking to the former pilots. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, authorities there are looking at possible links between a Metroliner crash there and several Airworthiness Directives issued by its Civil Aviation Authority. More...

IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE AVIATION WEATHER
— and more! WxServer works with virtually any internet-enabled phone and any nationwide wireless carrier to give you up-to-the-minute aviation weather information and satellite images. WxServer includes airport frequency listings and fuel availability, as well as quick-dial FBO links, rental cars, and taxis. SPECIAL OFFER: AVweb readers receive $10 off the regular annual subscription rates! Order for yourself or as a gift at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/wxserver/avflash.

RANCHER OFFERS FUNDS FOR AIRPORT EXPANSION
A part owner of the St. Louis Cardinals believes that if a small airport in Wyoming builds a longer runway, people will come to his nearby guest ranch in neighboring Colorado. In fact, David Pratt is willing to pay $1.11 million for improvements to the Dixon Airport as long as they include boosting the runway length to 7,000 feet from the current 5,500. Pratt wants to make it more convenient for guests to get to the ranch, many of whom face a 75-minute drive from the nearest large airport in Hayden, Colo. More...

TO THE COCKPIT, THE VERY HARD WAY
Some people just land on their feet. And for Kyle Martin it was a potentially devastating fall from a cliff that gave him a shot at being an Air Force pilot. The well-liked cadet at the Air Force Academy had everything going for him. He was second in his class, a potential Rhodes Scholar, and had a lifelong desire to be a pilot. Trouble was, he was six foot, five inches tall, an inch taller than the Air Force standard. His only hope at being a pilot was the granting of a waiver … and then fate stepped in. More...

LAKE AIRCRAFT IS LOOKING FOR A NEW OWNER DURING AIRVENTURE!
The Lake Aircraft series is the only FAA-certified single-engine amphibious airplane being produced in the world today.  The complete line of Lake Aircraft inventory and tooling — with FAA Type Certificate, STCs, engineering data, documentation, historical information, fleet support inventory, and manufacturing capacity — will be sold at auction during AirVenture 2005.  The auction will be held at 4:30pm July 27 at the EAA Aviation Center's Vette Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The inventory (in its entirety) will be sold as a comprehensive package to one able buyer for the purpose of resuming full production capacity. For additional information and a complete list of assets to be conveyed, call Higgenbotham Auctioneers at (800) 257-4161, or visit their web site (Higgenbotham.com) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hig/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Hearing scheduled in June on Pinnacle Airlines CRJ crash...
James Dean festival to go ahead despite airport concerns...
Boeing tanker prototype faces uncertain future...
Air traffic controller and wife died in plane crash...
Illegal aliens discovered after emergency refueling stop at Air Force base. More...

AVWEB'S 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 newstips@avweb.com. More...

MIKE BUSCH'S SAVVY SEMINAR IS COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU!
Sixteen additional dates and locations have just been added to Mike Busch's Savvy Owner Seminar calendar.  During the next 12 months, Mike will be offering his acclaimed weekend seminar in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Frederick, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Orlando, Houston, Memphis, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Salt Lake City.  Learn 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.

AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVFLASH
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/ More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
As the Beacon Turns #90: The Risk Takers
Risk can't be summed up with simple truisms like, "There are no old, bold pilots." A surprising number of pilot-induced accidents are caused by more-experienced aviators who have become complacent to the risks. AVweb's Michael Maya Charles ponders our flying risks in this month's As The Beacon Turns. More...

NEW AVIATION DIRECTORY FROM AvBUYER.COM IS SIMPLE, FAST, AND IT WORKS!
AvBuyer.com's new aviation directory lists hundreds of aviation product and service suppliers from around the world. The alphabetical listing makes it easy to find anything from avionics to weather. To buy (or sell), go to AvBuyer.com at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avbuyer/dir/avflash.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
They're auto-landing Harriers on aircraft carriers. Is it good or bad that the once prized skills of pilots are being passed over to machines? This week, AVweb wants to know what you think of push-button flying. PLUS: Results of last week's question about blame and the May 11 ADIZ incursion in Washington, DC. More...

GAMIJECTORS CAN CUT AIRCRAFT FUEL BILLS BY 20 PERCENT!!
Don't be grounded by sky-high gas prices; install GAMIjectors. Balanced fuel/air ratios make your aircraft's engine run smoother, cooler, and more efficiently. Order a kit online for your Continental or Lycoming engine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Uncle! We give up; we're waving the white flag. Please, go easy on us. Last week, we griped about the recent downturn in "Picture of the Week" submissions and pleaded shamelessly for our beloved reader-contributors to pick up the pace. We should have known we'd live to regret it. This week, submissions soared back up to over 100 photos, and our sad, beleaguered "POTW" staff has been poring over them in a hidden bunker, debating the relative merits of each one. (It's a tough and thankless job, but it beats working for a living.) After hours of deliberation and a few hurt feelings, we're turning over this week's top-prize AVweb baseball cap to Jakob Adolf of Madagascar, whose right-of-way dilemma gave us a chuckle. If you like Jakob's photo, wait until you see the rest of this week's batch — we had twenty contenders for the number-one spot, and even with an unprecedented nine photos in the full article, we're leaving out some tremendous photos that we just don't have time to show you. Thanks for the great turn-out. Keep sending us pictures, and we'll keep sharing 'em with the rest of the aviation world! More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.

SHOPPING DEALS  
AVEMCO TEAMS WITH PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) TO OFFER LIFE INSURANCE
Avemco, the only direct writer of property and casualty insurance for general aviation in the U.S., is sponsoring a Term Life Insurance Program underwritten by well-respected insurance companies that have products tailored to general aviation pilots. The Avemco Program will be administered by the Pilot Insurance Center, using PIC's unique criteria. This collaborative effort will make life insurance more widely available to pilots at the best possible rates. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco/avflash.
PILOTS — EVEN BIRDS HAVE TO WALK SOMETIMES!
No matter how many hours you log in the air, eventually you're going to be walking on terra firma. You can make walking, running, and even standing for extended periods dramatically more comfortable with Oregon Aero™ ShockBlockers™ insole inserts. Oregon Aero has put its expertise in eliminating pain and improving impact protection to work in creating ShockBlockers™. Oregon Aero™ ShockBlockers™ insole inserts offer 20% more shock absorption, double the supported area under the foot, reduce foot tissue damage by more than 50%, and reduce shock to the entire body compared to other sponge and foam inserts. Select the proper ShockBlockers™ insole inserts for more comfortable walking at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
MODERNIZING YOUR KT76 DOESN'T GET ANY EASIER!
Narco Avionics proudly announces that their plug-and-play line of digital transponders now includes the new AT165/K Transponder, a competitively priced replacement for the mechanical KT76/78.  Narco's line of plug-and-play transponders also includes the AT165 (a replacement for the AT50 through AT155) and the AT165/KA (a replacement for the KT76A/78A).  Coming Soon: Narco's AT165 Value Series, a cost-effective way to put a no-frills digital transponder in your panel.  SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99.  For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.
STOP WONDERING — OR WORRYING — WHERE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ARE!
Do you have friends or family flying in tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the airplane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of $9.95 a month. Go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
WHICH SIX-PLACE RETRACTABLE HAS THE BEST SAFETY RECORD?
How good are the new Garmin GPSs? Which low-cost ANR headset is most failure-prone? Only Aviation Consumer gives pilots full, unbiased reviews and evaluations of aircraft, avionics, gear, accessories, and much more. Subscribe to general aviation's most outspoken and respected monthly at a special money-saving price at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avcons/avflash.
SEE CLEARLY METHOD IMPROVES & STRENGTHENS VISION NATURALLY
The See Clearly Method does this without the risk or expense of laser surgery.  Developed by award-winning optometrists and research scientists, the See Clearly Method is based on the same principles and techniques used by thousands of pilots in WWII.  As one pilot states, "I never thought it was possible to actually improve your vision, but it worked. I tell other pilots that this is an effective way to improve your vision, naturally."  Call (800) 881-7934 for a no-cost informational video, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/seeclear/avflash.
COMMUNICATE, NAVIGATE, AND SAVE WITH COMM 1 RADIO SIMULATORS
Fly confidently by training with Comm 1 Radio Simulators — unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with ATC. Comm 1 also offers an interactive Navigation CD-ROM and a VOR/NDB Simulator to help you understand and visualize every flight. And Getting Around on the Ground will help you negotiate airports and runways wherever you fly. SPECIAL: Save $10 on the purchase of any combination of Comm 1 CDs or Navigation products, and save $20 with a purchase of three CDs at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
LONGER DAYS & WARMER WEATHER MEANS IT'S TIME TO GO FLYING!
If you do the bulk of your flying in the summer months, this is an excellent time to upgrade your aircraft's panel. Take advantage of Bennett Avionics' quality used avionics and professional service. You CAN have the equipment you need in time for all your summer trips, with Bennett Avionics. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett/avflash.
GOT A CRACKED CASE? LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE'S JUNE ISSUE EXPLAINS
how to detect cracks and what your options are if you find one. Some — precious few, actually — are considered acceptable, but most will need to be repaired. Also in this issue of Light Plane Maintenance: "Avionics TLC"; "Wheel Maintenance You Can Do Yourself"; and "How to Fix an Engine Breather." Order your subscription online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/lpm/avflash.
INSTRUCTOR PILOTS AND STUDENTS WANTED
VTS Inc.'s multimedia systems training software for the Seminole, Warrior, and Skyhawk is loaded with video presentations, sound, 3D animations, interactive system schematics, and simulations — all combined to create a virtual resource that far surpasses the pilot's aircraft information manual. This learning tool comes to life with the click of your mouse. For more information and ordering instructions, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vts/avflash.
AVWEB IS 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, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/readerpanel/avflash.
_____________________________________
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 Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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