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Volume 11, Number 25a June 20, 2005

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... JA Air Center

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

CARTERCOPTER CLAIMS TO BREAK MYTHICAL BARRIER...
... Along with the prototype. The staff at CarterCopter, in Olney, Texas, was busy on Friday afternoon preparing a press release about that morning's success -- they had finally achieved an aerodynamic breakthrough they'd been working on for years -- when news came in that the one-of-a-kind prototype gyrocopter had been destroyed in a crash. Pilots Larry Neal and Brad King were out on a test flight when something went wrong. "We don't know what it was," CEO Jay Carter Jr. told AVweb on Saturday. "Things happened really fast. It was like somebody slammed on the brakes. The nose pitched down and it started rolling to the left. Larry thought it was going inverted." The aircraft righted itself, and Neal and King were able to regain some pitch control just before they hit mesquite trees. More...

...AS COMPANY CELEBRATES ACHIEVEMENT
Despite his disappointment over the loss, Carter said he was "ecstatic" over the success of Friday morning's flight. "We exceeded a Mu of 1 for the first time in history. This has been our goal ever since we started flight-testing in 1998. ... History will prove out the significance of this." The "Mu-1 barrier" is an aerodynamic limit defined by a forward speed and rotor rpm combination that results in advancing (moving into the relative wind) blade tips reaching speeds of twice that of the aircraft. At the same time, the retreating blade tips experience zero airspeed (as they rotate away from the relative wind) on the opposite side -- the entire inboard portion of the blade sees "reverse" air flow. The predicament prevents rotorcraft from achieving high forward speeds. According to the company, the barrier was breached during normal flight-testing Friday morning, while collecting data on a newly developed speed controller for the rotor. More...

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TEEN'S 152 JOYRIDE RAISES SECURITY ISSUES...
Some folks in Fort Payne, Ala., learned a hard lesson last week -- if you surround your airport with a security fence but then leave the gate unlocked, well, you have not secured the field. A 14-year-old boy, driving a van he allegedly stole from his grandmother, arrived at the airport late last Wednesday night, apparently found the gate open, and went looking around. He came across a Cessna 152 unlocked with the key inside, and started it up. He told police later that he had no prior flight experience but was "driving around" in the airplane when he inadvertently found himself airborne. He landed once and took off again, this time flying a bit farther from the airport. More...

...AS THE UNEXPECTED PROVES INEVITABLE...
On his second landing, he landed hard, gave it some throttle to avoid the fence, then came down on the road outside the airport. The aircraft was damaged and the boy suffered minor cuts and bruises. Altogether his flight lasted less than half an hour. "It's a miracle the boy wasn't killed or someone else wasn't hurt or killed or that we didn't have significant property damage from the plane crashing somewhere else," Fort Payne Mayor Bill Jordan told the Times-Journal. "The last thing you think about is a 14-year-old stealing a plane from the airport." Airport manager Larry Noble Cowart told The Associated Press, "We've never had a problem before with planes being stolen, so I guess we have been a little lax in our security." More...

...AND ADIZ VIOLATOR GETS A BREAK
Meanwhile, the much-castigated Pennsylvania pilot who violated the Washington, D.C., ADIZ on May 11 and caused panic in the Capital has been cut a break by the FAA. Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer will be allowed to reapply for his pilot's certificate in 10 months, instead of the one-year restriction that was originally imposed, on the condition that he drop his appeal to the NTSB. In addition, "They asked me not to go out, in essence, and badmouth them," Sheaffer told LancasterOnline. Sheaffer, through his attorney, has said that he had tried repeatedly to make radio contact with authorities that day, but was unsuccessful, contrary to the FAA's initial report. More...

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FAA ISSUES FINAL CESSNA WING SPAR ADS
After much back and forth between the FAA and owners of affected Cessna twins, two final Airworthiness Directives about wing spars were issued last week. The final ADs require a spar-strap modification, but allow most owners up to 800 flight hours to comply -- that's four to eight years of flying for most owner-operators. The modification then is good for another 5,500 to 12,000 hours, with no further inspections required. The initial cost to comply is still high -- aviation columnist Mike Busch told AVweb he estimates it will cost $40,000 to $60,000 per airplane, and up to two months of downtime. More...

PLYWOOD PROVES DANGEROUS, AS BOMBS PROVE SAFE
A pilot in Alaska got into trouble last week when sheets of plywood strapped beneath the belly of his Cessna 206 caught fire, apparently due to heat from the exhaust. The pilot landed on a sandbar in the Skwentna River and escaped with minor injuries. Alaska is the only state where the FAA allows small planes to carry external loads. Meanwhile, a Marine Corps Harrier AV8-B jet crashed last week in a backyard in Yuma, Ariz., while carrying two tons of live bombs and ammunition. Nobody was seriously hurt, and the pilot ejected safely, but hundreds of residents were evacuated due to the jet's payload. More...

THE BOSE AVIATION HEADSET X DELIVERS AN UNMATCHED COMBINATION
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GOODYEAR BLIMP WRECKED IN FLORIDA
A Goodyear blimp crashed about 12 miles west of its base at Pompano Beach Airpark in Florida at about 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. Thunderstorms were reported in the area, and witnesses said heavy rains and wind buffeted the airship as it descended to the ground. The blimp knocked down some electrical wires, and about 1,400 people nearby lost power. The two crew members were unhurt and waited in the gondola briefly until rescue crews had secured the site. One witness reported hearing loud noises from the blimp before it went down. Other witnesses were eating dinner in a Red Lobster restaurant when the blimp sailed by. "It looked like it was trying to land in our parking lot," manager Maryann Clark told The Miami Herald. More...

HYBRID AIRSHIP NEARS COMPLETION IN OHIO
The Dynalifter, a hybrid airship that combines aerodynamic lift -- wings and body lift -- with aerostatic lift -- helium -- is under construction in Alliance, Ohio, and is expected to be finished later this summer, according to its builder, Ohio Airships. The 120-foot prototype is about 75 percent assembled and the company says it has funding for completion. The prototype is designed to carry a 1,000-pound payload, including a two-person crew, and will take off and land from a runway. No ground crew is required, as for a blimp. The Dynalifter could stay airborne for up to 10 hours, carry bulky payloads, and is cheap to build, the company says. The aircraft could be used for airborne advertising, border patrols and freight. More...

JOIN NAA AND CELEBRATE AVIATION'S PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
What a great time to join the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), the nation's oldest aviation organization — marking their 100th anniversary in 2005! NAA membership is a terrific value for any aviation enthusiast. You will receive two magazine subscriptions — Smithsonian's Air & Space and NAA's Aero — and access to aviation records, product discounts, and much more. Call NAA at (703) 527-0226 to become a member of the NAA family, or sign up online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/naa/avflash.

THE PILOTS WHO HELP, ASK FOR YOUR HELP
Legislation now in Congress would help protect volunteer pilots from liability concerns, and the folks at the Air Care Alliance (ACA), who are lobbying for the bill, are asking pilots and aviation organizations to write to their representatives in support. "It is also extremely important that actual volunteer pilots and leaders from these groups write their own letters explaining their personal reasons for supporting the legislation," the ACA says at its Web site, where more details and information about how to best support the effort are posted. The liability protection would also help make it easier for much-needed larger aircraft to participate in public-benefit flight missions. More...

NTSB SAYS GA SAFETY DATA FLAWED
The methodology used by the FAA to estimate hours flown each year by the GA fleet is inadequate, the NTSB said in a report released last week. As a result, the true accident risk for domestic general aviation operations has likely changed less during the years since 1985 than FAA data would suggest. An accurate and stable activity measure is needed to portray the accident rate accurately, which is critical to formulating and evaluating general aviation safety initiatives, the NTSB said. In its study, the board found that the number of active pilots and the amount of aviation fuel consumed may provide a truer picture of GA activity than the FAA's method of surveying a sample of registered aircraft owners. More...

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ON THE FLY...
Air Canada backs out of $6 billion Boeing order...
Cirrus Design's 2000th airplane rolled out Friday...
Two pilots convicted of flying drunk jailed, pending sentencing...
Bombardier Global 5000 set speed record from Chicago to Paris...
Four new RNAV routes charted in Charlotte, N.C., area...
Vickers Vimy delayed departure from Newfoundland to Ireland...
Former Boeing President Malcolm Stamper, 80, died Tuesday...
USPS will issue 10 stamps honoring classic American aircraft...
Daniel Webster College to offer online aviation MBA. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 news-savvy pilots might want to know about? If it caught your eye, it would likely interest someone else. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're part of our team. More...

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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Motor Head 7: Are We Making It Harder Than It Needs To Be?
For many years, FADEC electronic engine systems have been like glass cockpits in the low end of GA: just over the horizon. Well, glass is here, but FADEC is still not available in mainstream, certified aircraft. AVweb's Marc Cook has some thoughts about why that is, and why he still hasn't tried it, in this month's Motor Head column.

____
ATIS
Anti-Airport Activism
No matter what you say about politicians, you have to admit they can make live really tough on pilots and airports when they only listen to the voices of the anti-airplane and anti-airport crowd. A city councilman and pilot from Arizona offers suggestions on how to work with the people who make local decisions about your airport. More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
AVmail: June 20, 2005
Reader mail this week about the New York TRACON, airliner safety, volunteers to protect planes at EAA AirVenture and more. More...

ASA BRINGS YOU A LIFETIME OF HANDS-FREE COMMUNICATIONS
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 product, visit ASA's web site at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/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...

SKYGEEK.COM — THEIR PARTS FLY, BUT THEIR PRICES ARE GROUNDED!
SkyGeek.com offers a selection of pilot supplies from avionics, batteries, cleaners, coatings, and headsets to spark plugs, tires, and tubes at the lowest possible prices. SkyGeek guarantees that if you find any of their products advertised in print elsewhere at a lower price, they'll beat it! SkyGeek has a five-star top rating by Yahoo! Shopping. Call SkyGeek at (866) 464-4368, or go online to see for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skygeek/avflash.

SHORT FINAL...
Overheard this Fathers' Day...
A friend and local pilot thought his father (a years-ago pilot) would enjoy a chance again at the controls. So he arranged on Fathers' Day for his Dad to go up with an instructor. The "old man" brought it in for a squeaker. Here's what I heard on tower frequency:

Tower: Understand that was 'Senior' at the controls?

Instructor: Affirmative.

Tower: Well we certainly don't see them that nice very often. Thank you, sir, for showing us all how it's done.

Senior: Well, I may not be as good as I once was. But I'm as good once as I ever was. More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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LONGER DAYS AND WARMER WEATHER MEAN IT'S TIME TO GO FLYING!
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SPONSOR NEWS
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_____________________________________
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.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:sales@avweb.com.

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