NewsWire Complete Issue

July 17, 2005
By The AVweb Editorial Staff

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IFR Magazine

AirVenture 2005 -- This One Should Be Special...

Whet Your Appetite For EAA's Big Show At OSH

EAA AirVenture's 53rd annual gathering is almost here, coming up July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis., and it is shaping up to be a pretty amazing event. "This is a year that should not be missed," said EAA President Tom Poberezny, "not only because of the variety of aircraft, but also because in some cases these airplanes will never be together again anywhere, at any time." Among the highlights is a truly outstanding collection of show aircraft, including Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne, its mothership White Knight, and GlobalFlyer, plus the first public flight demonstrations by the Eclipse 500 jet and the Cessna Mustang, and the debut of the HondaJet. At least nine vintage tri-motors will gather from around the world, including several Fords, a Junkers, and a Dornier amphibian, for a one-of-a-kind reunion. Then there's the warbirds. An array of rare World War II bombers will include a B-24 that hasn't been seen at Oshkosh in over 10 years, along with five B-17s and a few B-25s. EAA also said it is keeping admission fees the same as last year, and adding more activities for visitors. EAA members get discounts of up to 50 percent. If you'll be there the first two days, Monday or Tuesday, and you're a spectacular tailgater, the Food Network wants to hear from you. Their production staff is also looking for pilots flying in from the New York City area or Philadelphia who would like to be part of the show. EAA has more information.

...New Products And New Airplanes...

Oshkosh is where the industry players old and new show off their latest products. This year, we'll check out Innodyn's "twinpack" turbine, wireless headsets and the latest avionics upgrades, including a new handheld from Garmin that may cause minimalists to consider tossing entire panels. We'll track down the mysterious (Bombardier) V300T engine, now being exhibited by Aircraft Engine Services, who have assured us they will answer all our questions about the status of the V220 and V300T piston engines at their booth. Aviation's newest birds, the Light Sport Aircraft, will congregate in their own special LSA Mall across from the Vintage Barn. About three dozen LSAs will be on display and will participate in a daily fly-by. On Wednesday, the Lake amphibian line of aircraft goes on the auction block, live at Oshkosh.

Cessna's Mustang jet took its first flight in April and the prototype will make a fly-by and then be on display at their tent. ATG will be showing its two-seat Javelin sport jet, which is supposed to be up and flying any day now. Czech planemakers Evektor will have the North American debut of their new VUT-100 Cobra multipurpose all-metal five-seat airplane, which first flew in November, and is aiming for FAA type certification in 2006. Designer Steve Culp is flying in from Louisiana with two 1916-era Sopwith Pup reproductions to show off at Aeroshell Square. Lancair and Lightspeed have promised new announcements. Lots of new designs still in the planning or mock-up stage are sure to be showcased on the field -- we'll track them down and bring you the latest.

...And AVweb Is There For You -- At Oshkosh Or At Home

There is way more going on at AirVenture than we can fit here, but AVweb staffers will be on the field, as ever, covering every square foot of the sprawling show to bring the latest news to your inbox as it happens. If you're in Oshkosh, come visit us at Booths # 1007-1008 in Hangar A. AVweb writers, editors and contributors will be there daily, along with experts from our sister publications Aviation Consumer, Kitplanes and IFR Magazine, ready to chat with our readers -- the schedule is posted online. And if you can't be there, following the news from home with our coverage including special issues Wednesday and Friday, plus image galleries, is the next-best thing. And don't forget to visit our excellent sponsors, whose loyal support brings you AVweb news and features twice a week, year-round, for free.


JA Air Center invites you to "pit stop" at our newest location at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport (KDKB) on your way to and from this year's show. We offer full FBO services as well as big discounted fuel prices for EAA members. As an added bonus, if you stop on July 22, 23, or 24th, you can preview the new Garmin GPSMap 396 (estimated July 31, 2005 delivery). Plus: If you purchase fuel, we will update select Garmin Portable GPS databases at no charge (July 22, 23, & 24th only). For more, contact JA Air Center at (800) 323-5966 and mention this AVflash, or order online at
Visit JA Air Center at AirVenture Booths #2088-2089

Franklin/Younkin Crash Investigation Underway...

Cause Unclear In Masters Of Disaster Tragedy

Few details have been forthcoming so far regarding last week's fatal "Masters of Disaster" air show crash, as Canada's Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation. Bobby Younkin, 46, and Jimmy Franklin, 57, died in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on July 10 during a performance in front of 20,000 spectators, when their two aircraft collided in midair. Although the pilots have said that as much as 90 percent of their "Masters of Disaster" show is unchoreographed, Kyle Franklin, who has long participated in air shows with his father, told the Canadian Press last week that the accident occurred during a "planned maneuver" that the team had performed many times. "We're still trying to figure out what happened," he said. "I'm still trying to piece it together myself -- what exactly went wrong." Younkin's son Matt said it's unclear which airplane didn't see the other one. "It was just one of those freak things. There's nobody to blame, because it just happened," he told The (Fayetteville) Morning News. Kyle added that he plans to continue flying. "It's what I love. I have no intentions of really getting out of the air show business. It's in my blood." Canada's Department of National Defence also is taking part in the probe because the crash happened at a military airport.

...Unique Show Wowed Even The Jaded Aviation Press...

Franklin, Younkin, Jim Leroy, and Les Shockley came up with the concept called the "X-Team Masters of Disaster" in 2002. Younkin in his big biplane Samson, Leroy in his Pitts and Franklin in his jet-powered Waco all took off together and filled the sky with noise and smoke as Les Shockley's jet trucks belched fire and fury (and handily outpaced the aircraft) on the ground as pyrotechnics warmed the crowd with a heat that was tangible. An AVweb reporter at Oshkosh last year wrote that "the unplanned acrobatics in the sky seem to bring the planes heart-stoppingly close to each other, and the sky soon goes IFR from the smoke." The show made quite an impression: "If Masters of Disaster comes to an airshow near you, pay whatever the admission charge is ... drop anything you are doing and come to see them," AVweb wrote. "We promise you that the Masters of Disaster will rock your world, and may change the way you look at airshows in the future."

...As Stellar Performers Are Remembered

Franklin, of Neosho, Mo., and Younkin, of Rogers, Ark., had both been flying in air shows since they were teenagers and had close to 70 years of experience between them. Franklin had learned to fly while sitting on his father's lap. When home alone at age 12, he arguably started his career when he snuck out and soloed. Shortly after, he taught himself aerobatics and began his 38-year formal air show career at age 19. In 1999, he became the first to add a jet engine to his 1940 Waco biplane, on which his son Kyle also performed as wingwalker. He also flew for several movies, including The Rocketeer. Younkin was a third-generation pilot. He learned to fly at the age of 16, and flew his first air show in a Decathlon at age 18, later adding multiple (more commercial) aircraft less familiar to the air show stage. He trained with Duane Cole, and showed a knack for aerial grace and showmanship. Aside from the Decathalon and his biplane Samson, Younkin flew aerobatics in a Learjet 23 and a Twin Beech that belched thick smoke from its twin radials while arcing gracefully through the sky. The popular flyers had booked a busy schedule through 2005, including performances at Oshkosh. Instead, funeral services for Younkin will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at the First Baptist Church of Fayetteville, 20 East Dickson Street in Fayetteville, Ark. A joint memorial hangar reception honoring the lives of both men will be held at the Arkansas Air Museum at the Fayetteville Regional Airport at 12:30 p.m. today.

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Lycoming Crankshaft Update

More information is trickling in about Lycoming's latest crankshaft recall. Most of the 1,100 aircraft affected are Robinson helicopters, AOPA says, as well as late-model Cessna 182s, some Piper models, and a scattering of other aircraft, including some Commander 112s. A proposed FAA Airworthiness Directive that was expected to be out by Friday so far has not been published. The crankshaft problem first surfaced in early 2002 when Lycoming recalled some 400 crankshafts used in TIO- and LTIO-540 engines. By late 2003, Lycoming broadened the recall to some 1,800 airplanes total; that recall program was concluded in 2003. It was believed at the time that only the high-horsepower versions were at risk. Note: The latest recall covers roughly 1200 crankshafts -- not 2,000, as originally reported -- some known to be installed in factory engines, some as replacement parts. Lycoming was able to complete its 2003 program ahead of schedule, and sought to appease inconvenienced owners by covering costs of alternative transportation, insurance, fees and interest. The repaired engines came with a one-year warranty. The cost of the 2003 recall to Lycoming was $35 million.

Flush Times For Aviation Workers

Got experience working on aircraft? Cessna wants you in Wichita ... and Lancair wants you in Bend, Ore. ... and Mooney wants you in Kerrville, Texas. Cessna already has hired 1,000 workers this year and is looking for 400 more. The pool of local workers is just about exhausted, The Wichita Eagle said last week, so Cessna is going on the road with a recruitment drive. Mooney recently hired 50 workers and added a second shift, and more jobs are still open. Lancair hired 165 workers in the first six months of this year, and still has openings, too. "These are good jobs with excellent benefits," Lancair spokesman Ron Wright told, and some are open to entry-level applicants. "We recognize that not a lot of people will come to us with experience working with composites and assembling complex aircraft, so we've developed an excellent training program to help new employees get up to speed," Wright said.

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AVweb Classifieds

Gear Glitch Spawns Impromptu Air Show

It took 10 tries, but in the end a couple of guys zooming at 90 mph down the runway in the back of a pickup truck used a pole to hook the down, but not locked, gear of a malfunctioning Cessna Centurion 210 and lock it into place so the pilot could land safely. "Everyone kept their cool, everyone worked well together," said Griff Malleck, owner of the FBO whose mechanics were test-flying the aircraft when the problem showed itself. "All's well that ends well." The mechanics had taken off from McCook (Neb.) Regional Airport on Wednesday afternoon after working on a reported oil leak from the flaps and gear. When the gear wouldn't lock into place, the plan was hatched to let mechanic Jeff Williams, a race-car driver, take the pickup down the runway while Jeff Polly, owner of a tire store, and crop-duster Toby Cox kneeled in the back with a fiberglass pike pole taken from a fire truck. Malleck told The McCook Daily Gazette that the mechanics took off with full fuel and so spent some time aloft trying various ways to troubleshoot the gear problem before agreeing to the pickup-truck idea. They were lucky, Malleck said, that the wind was right down the runway and they had experienced crews in the plane and on the ground. Malleck said he had seen an effort like this on television, and decided to try it as a last resort.

Grass-Roots Effort Lobbies For Glenn Curtiss Park

Aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss is known for having built the ubiquitous "Jenny" that trained a legion of American pilots, but he did much more than that, and now a group of local citizens is working to buy the site of his laboratory in upstate New York and turn it into Glenn Curtiss Memorial Park. Curtiss' often overlooked feats include design of the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic, development of the aileron, pioneering work on amphibious aircraft, building the P-40 and the C-46 Commando, and setting many early aeronautical records. Curtiss' laboratory was on the south shore of Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes Region. The 11-acre lakefront site has been appraised at $1.35 million, and supporters say if they can't raise the funds to buy it, it will be sold to commercial developers.

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

Glider Pilots Plan Round-The-World Flight

Just when you think all the great aviation firsts are behind us, a group of Czech pilots announced they have a plan to circumnavigate the world in a glider, and could have an aircraft ready to do it as soon as next year... that is, if financing to the tune of about $200 million (U.S.) is forthcoming. Vladislav Zejda, 43, who holds more than 50 world gliding records, says the route is still in the works, but a flight across the Himalayas seems to be best. The whole trip would take five or six days (which means average speeds above 150 mph), according to a report in last week's Prague Daily Monitor. "We are cooperating with domestic and foreign experts on the project, for instance, with NASA and renowned aircraft producers," Zejda said. We're working under the assumption that they'll be landing a few times.

Emergency Crew Misses Emergency Landing

Most pilots like to think they will never have to make that call for the crash truck to meet them on the runway, but we also like to think that if we ever do call, they'll be there. For Greg Stanton, of Rogers, Ark., all those hopes were dashed last Sunday when the cockpit of his Piper Saratoga filled with smoke shortly after takeoff. He declared an emergency (specifically asking for rescue vehicles) and headed back to the Rogers airport, watching the oil pressure drop. He touched down safely. On the roll-out, though, "I noticed there weren't any trucks," Stanton told The Benton County Daily Record. "I noticed the bay doors of the fire station were closed. At that point I was starting to wonder, 'Where the hell is everybody?'" Everybody, it turned out, was a crew of two in charge of staffing the airport fire station, and they were in downtown Rogers picking up a part for their ambulance. "It was a fluky incident," Fire Chief Wesley Lewis told The Record. There was also some miscommunication among the tower, the dispatcher and the emergency crew, Lewis said, and by the time it was straightened out the airplane had landed. Lewis said officials are assessing that system to see if the airport crews can instead be in touch directly with the tower.

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On The Fly...

Garmin taking orders now for GPSMAP 396 handheld ready to ship soon, with terrain warning and satellite weather ... it plays music, too...

Lawsuit challenges FAA's OK of $11 billion makeover plan for Los Angeles International, charging the Environmental Impact Analysis is inadequate...

The security rule that prevented passengers from leaving their seats within 30 minutes of Reagan Washington National Airport has been rescinded...

A medical helicopter with four on board, including one patient, crashed while trying to take off from a hospital roof in Valparaiso, Indiana, on Thursday afternoon. There were no serious injuries...

Extra Aircraft is unveiling its new aerobatic EA-300LP with a redesigned cowling for improved engine air flow and other refinements...

New King Schools program, Practical Risk Management For Takeoffs and Landings, qualifies pilots both for the FAA WINGS program and Avemco Safety Rewards...

Budget cuts threaten historic Full Scale Wind Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center...

Observers say FAA seems unlikely to allow cellphones in flight.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Drop us a line. If it caught your attention, it will probably interest someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

Selling your plane at AirVenture? Tell buyers how to find you with EAA's Aircraft-for-Sale Locator Service, sponsored by ASO. Buyers at AirVenture can use the Locator to view your ad and then head out to your aircraft on the airfield. To be included, simply post an ad on ASO. EAA members receive two weeks of complimentary advertising during July with the purchase of any monthly ASO ad. Join the world’s largest aircraft sales event. For details, visit

Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:

AVmail: July 18, 2005
Reader mail this week about GA security, using a parachute, NATCA vs. FAA and more.

New Articles and Features on AVweb

From The CFI #8: Musings of an Old CFI
AVweb's Linda Pendleton has been teaching people how to fly for decades, and remembers fondly how flight instruction used to be. But before you go accusing her of living in the past, she's got strong opinions on how things need to be different in the age of technically advanced aircraft -- and what parts of past training experience that need to be rediscovered.

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Visit Narco at AirVenture Booth #2115

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Short Final...

The price of progress...

I had been through the area five days before, controllers stated that they were having intermittent reception on my transponder. I later left their area and had no further problems on the flight. Just to be sure, I had a mechanic check it out, and he found no problems. Five days later, through the same Evansville, Indiana control area, the same problem reared its head...

Controller: Cessna 12345, I am not receiving your transponder.

Me: I don't understand that. I had the same problem with you last week and I had the unit inspected with no problems.

Controller: Well that's peculiar. In that case, maybe it has something to do with the 1950's technology equipment built in the 1970's held together by 1990's duct tape we're using on this end. Come to think of it, it's probably us.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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Do you have something you've been dying to say to our editors, contributors, or staff?  Many of them will be on hand at AirVenture 2005 — plus a few expert consultants from our sister publications like Aviation Consumer and Aviation Safety.  To make our staffers easy to find, we're locking them down to one-hour booth shifts.  So if there's someone you've been dying to talk to, just print out this schedule and bring it with you to the show:
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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.

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Freedom, independence, responsibility.

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