AVflash Vol. 9, Issue 05b Thursday, January 30, 2003

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by Teledyne Continental Motors, a leading supplier of piston engines for general aviation aircraft: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm.

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At http://www.avweb.com/newswire/9_05b/complete/182548-1.html.

FAA FALLS ON HARD TIMES...
Money's tight all over, and as the U.S. House and Senate wrangle over the latest version of a budget bill for 2003, the cash deficit could translate to staff cuts for the FAA. Last week, the Senate passed a $390 billion "omnibus" budget bill, lumping together all the departments and agencies -- and it shortchanged the FAA's operating budget by $30 million. The House is expected to lobby for even less spending overall, and the end result -- due sometime next month -- is not likely to be brimming with good news. The Senate bill would give the FAA more than $7 billion for operations, but another cut of $200 million is expected before all is said and done, AviationNow reported this week. More...

...DESPITE EFFORTS AT COST CUTTING
In its budget proposal, the FAA offers reductions of $149 million for security tasks transferred to the TSA, and additional savings of $111 million, mostly from eliminating (through attrition) about 400 jobs in Air Traffic Services. The agency proposes to cut funding altogether for a few programs, including $2 million for the Mid-America Aviation Resource Consortium and $6 million for contract tower cost sharing. Mandatory increases for raises and new hires total $398 million. The budget also promises to establish a performance-based operation for air traffic in 2003, with a chief operating officer at its head. More...

MIDAIR SPURS COLLISION OF PERCEPTIONS...
Five people died last Friday when a Cessna 172 and a twin-engine Piper PA-31T Cheyenne collided above a Denver neighborhood. Six people on the ground were slightly hurt, and a house was destroyed after it was hit by the Cessna and caught fire. Over the weekend, Denver Mayor Wellington Webb asked the FAA to review the local flight patterns to be sure they are safe. AOPA representatives worked to explain to the media that the chance of a person on the ground being killed by a falling airplane is about 1 in 50 million ... favorable, when compared to the odds of being struck by lightning or falling fatally down the stairs. More...

...AS PILOTS DEFEND AIRSPACE...
Local pilots also defended aviation safety to The Denver Post. A spokeswoman for the Colorado Pilots Association told the Post that midair collisions are very rare, and stricter regulations would not have prevented Friday's accident. Also, keeping the skies wide open for pilots (both accident aircraft were operating under VFR) actually keeps them safer, said Eric Jensen, president of the pilots' group, because giving them more space lessens the concentration of aircraft. "If you sit around the pilots' lounge talking about what worries people, midairs are not No. 1," Jensen told the Post. More...

...AND THE DETAILS OF THE ACCIDENT EMERGE
Both pilots involved in the collision were talking to air traffic controllers, according to an NTSB update released Monday. Both pilots were flying VFR and had requested flight following. One controller was providing basic radar services to both pilots. Shortly before the crash, the Piper pilot, Leo "Lee" Larson, 57, had been issued a traffic advisory that the Cessna was at 12 o'clock and 1 mile. The reported visibility at the time was about 10-15 miles and the clouds were broken and scattered from 6,000 to 14,000 feet MSL. More...

CASH IN HAND, LANCAIR RAMPS UP
The Lancair Co., of Bend, Ore., confirmed last Friday that it has (finally) closed on a $55 million financing deal with Malaysian investors. With 173 outstanding orders for its Columbia certified aircraft, the company has plenty of work to catch up on. "Our every effort is now directed at the re-start of manufacturing and delivery of the Columbia aircraft," Lancair President Bing Lantis said in a news release. "We will steadily increase production to and beyond a rate of one aircraft per day." More...

TEXAS CONSIDERS OLD AIRPORT FOR NEW AIRPORT SITE
Okay, see if you can follow this one: In 1999, Robert Mueller Municipal Airport in Austin, Texas, was closed down, theoretically in favor of using all that airport space for development. But oddly enough, it turns out the airport provided space for lots of pilots and their airplanes, who now had no place to go. The state legislature subsequently decreed that central Texas had to find a spot for a new general aviation airport ... but expressly excluded Mueller as a possible site. State representative Ron Wilson, of Houston, has never accepted that logic, and in the current session he has introduced a bill that would allow Robert Mueller to be the new airport. More...

AS AIRLINES SINK, CARGO TAKES THE LEAD
A few years ago, when airlines were booming, lots of underused regional airports were eyed as potential reliever hubs. Now, with air travel in a perpetual slump, some savvy planners are looking to cargo as the wave of the future for jobs and development. Regional airports in Southern California, which unlike LAX or SFO have room to expand, are actively courting cargo carriers, the Los Angeles Daily News reported this week. Air cargo traffic (thanks for shopping online with AVweb's sponsors) in the region is expected to triple by 2025 and will provide 100,000 jobs, the Daily News said. More...

AD WATCH
A proposed Airworthiness Directive would apply to various New Piper PA-23 models, and would require repetitive inspections of the flap control torque tube. The proposal stems from several reports of damage found in the torque tube, which could result in failure of the flap operating system. A proposed AD for Raytheon Beech models with V-tails would revise a current AD that requires inspections and modifications of the ruddervators. The revision would add a repetitive inspection of the fuselage bulkheads and change other inspections from a repetitive to a one-time action. Earlier this month, the FAA issued a correction to its recent AD for Bonanza and Barons; now, here is another correction, this time to clarify that an earlier AD has been nullified. More...

YOUR VERY OWN FLYING CAR!
Just in case you don't already have one in your garage -- right next to your household robot and your raygun collection -- you can log on to eBay this Friday and partake in a bidding war for the prototype Moller Skycar. It may be worth pointing out that you need to be a certified bidder, and ready to pay around $2 million ... which is what the company expects the auction will bring. For that, you get a one-of-a-kind "flying" machine, complete with command software, double-redundant stability system, fly-by-wire controls and eight unique Rotapower engines. More...

ON THE FLY...
FAA ordered Beech 1900 elevator checks, weight study of commuter pax...
A pilot died Friday when his twin Beech hit a house in California...
Ending 50 years' closure, Taiwanese 747 flew in Chinese airspace...
Aviation Law Conference set for Feb. 10-11 in Miami, Fla....
FAA's Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award given to John Boothe of N.C.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK

*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***

We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Justin Moore, of San Antonio, Texas. His photo, titled "Cessna 195 crosswind landing," is a beautiful shot of a classy airplane on touchdown. Jim McIrvin flew this Cessna 195 in for a landing at the San Geronimo airport. Great picture Justin! Your AVweb hat is on the way.

To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw.

AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK...

*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 600 responses to our question last week on personal jet aircraft. The majority (43 percent) of our respondents felt that these types of airplanes are great for those who can afford these aircraft, but a moot point for the others who can't. The second most popular response -- as indicated by 27 percent of those responding -- indicated that these new aircraft models are always a good sign for industry. Only 2 percent of our respondent base felt that this is the wrong time to introduce these jet aircraft to market.

To check out the complete results go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.

*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***

This week, we would like to know your thoughts on the new TSA rule regarding airmen certificates. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond.

Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to qotw@avweb.com. Note, this address is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers.

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AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to [AVSCOOP WINNER], this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.

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New Articles and Features on AVweb

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BRAINTEASERS
Quiz #64 -- So You Want to Get an Instrument Rating
Whenever there's a low overcast or reduced visibility at the local airport and CAVU a few miles away, the non-instrument-rated pilots often sit around the pilots' lounge and talk about this and that while waiting for the weather to improve. But in the back of each pilot's mind there's a thought that begins with, "If I had an instrument rating ... " What is it that keeps pilots from getting instrument rated? Is it the lack of time, money, confidence, knowledge about the privileges and responsibilities of the instrument rating or the training required? This quiz encompasses those privileges, responsibilities and training requirements for obtaining and utilizing an instrument rating in the United States. All questions assume that the pilot has an airplane single engine land rating on a private or commercial pilot certificate issued by the FAA.

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CAREERS
Climbing the Ladder: Making the Step from Piston Driver to Airline Pilot
Nearly every pilot harbors some small dream of flying for the airlines, cruising along in the Flight Levels as a member of a crew in a state-of-the-art machine. Those who choose to pursue that dream are faced with a number of unusual trials along the way, and the rewards, while plentiful, aren't always what you would expect.

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Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature articles:
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about the TSA's new super powers, and humor about the Super Bowl.

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Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS

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AVIATION SAFETY AVAILABLE ONLINE!
Read the current Aviation Safety issue or search the archives and links to the Web's best sources for aviation information. Subscribers to Aviation Safety will enjoy full and fee-FREE access.

FLIGHTLEVEL, PRODUCERS OF THE BEST IN LOGBOOK SOFTWARE, HAVE A SPECIAL offer for AVweb subscribers only! Purchase the FL 2003 and Palm or Pocket PC combination and receive a $20 discount. Offer ends on February 20.

VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL FROM PILOTMALL
PilotMall.com, distributors of fine quality flight bags, is offering a $10 discount on their Classic Bags through February 28. Buy your Valentine something useful and very elegant.

PORT-TO-PORT JEWELERS OFFERS 15-PERCENT DISCOUNTS ON HELICOPTERS, HEARTS and Wright Flyer jewelry in time for Valentine's Day giving.

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REMINDER...

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO ORDER YOUR POWER FLOW TUNED EXHAUST SYSTEM & SAVE $250! Power Flow Systems will increase their price $250.00 for Cessna C172 and C177 aircraft effective February 1. Power Flow Tuned exhausts come with a unique, 60-day MONEY BACK satisfaction GUARANTEE. For more information, call 877-693-7356 and mention this AVflash, or visit Power Flow online.

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SPONSOR NEWS

A CHECKLIST FOR LAUNCHING YOUR AIRLINE CAREER
Choose a training center that is known worldwide as the leader in aviation training; that has trained pilots for over 200 airlines; that has a curriculum developed by the airlines; that has the industry's largest fleet of all New Piper Aircraft; where the only goal is to get you hired at the airlines, sooner than possible anywhere else; and that will deliver what they promise. All this is Pan Am International Flight Academy's Airline Career Development program. Go online for more information.

AEROSHELL "FLIGHT JACKET" POLISH PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE at Shell's E-store. AeroShell's FlightJacket product line consists of exterior and interior polishes, protectors and cleaners. Shine your aircraft with AeroShell outside and run the inside right with AeroShell oil and lubricants.

OREGON AERO IN COCKPIT WITH BRUCE BOHANNON.
Bruce Bohannon flew with an Oregon Aero customized seat cushion system and an upgraded helmet and headset when he set four world records in the Exxon Flyin' Tiger. Bruce says of Oregon Aero's seat cushion system, "To fly more than 19,000 miles in 81 hours without squirming in the seat ... PRICELESS! ... I have never experienced such comfort." Regarding his Oregon Aero upgraded helmet and headset, "My new liner has cured the minor annoyances caused by the hard liner not fitting. The new soundproofing has cut the cabin noise in half, which is not only protecting my hearing, but allowing me to hear the engine better, which is safer! The headset upgrade gives greater comfort and sound levels since Oregon Aero worked its magic!" Check out the hundreds of Oregon Aero products online.

WITH FLIGHT EXPLORER A LIFE IS SAVED!
Kevin Sell, President of the Volunteer Pilots Association, tells how Flight Explorer, the online aircraft tracking system, saved a life. Go online for the complete details. You too can subscribe to Flight Explorer.

AVEMCO DELIVERS THE BEST SERVICE, VALUE AND COVERAGE AVAILABLE in aircraft insurance today. Avemco has been serving aircraft owners and pilots -- both owners and renters -- since 1961. Contact Avemco today at 888-241-7891 or go online for a no-obligation quote.

RYAN OFFERS THE LATEST IN COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEMS!
Ryan International's 9900BX Traffic Advisory System (TAS) features a range of over 20 miles and an audible position alerting feature: "Traffic! 6:00 o'clock! Low! One Mile!" The 9900BX TAS will be on display at Heli-Expo in Dallas, Texas, February 9-11, at Booth #2321. Come by at Heli-Expo to learn more about flying with the Ryan 9900BX, or visit them online.

SUMMIT AVIATION'S COMPUTERIZED REFERENCE LIBRARY SUPPLIES THE FAA'S Flight Standards Office with its CD-ROM Aviation Reference Library to be integrated into FAA's Online Aviation Safety Inspection System (OASIS) program for Aviation Safety Inspectors worldwide. See why Summit's Reference Library, with over 1,000 aviation documents, can help you too.

RECURRENT TRAINING CENTER FOCUSES ON GENERAL AVIATION PILOTS
Receive professional recurrent training without the high cost found at centers that cater to business and airline training. Recurrent Training Center trains in the classroom, simulator, and in the air. Go online to become a better and safer pilot.

NTSB REPORTER'S JANUARY ISSUE TELLS WHAT INVESTIGATORS FOUND when a PA-32-300 never got higher than 300 feet even though the pilot did his pre-takeoff checks and the engine sounded strong and smooth on takeoff. However, just after liftoff, the airplane began porpoiseing, and started wallowing left and right. What went wrong and what lesson could you learn from this pilot's experience? Order your subscription online.

"FLYING ON THE GAGES" IN NOT A DRY, BORING INSTRUMENT TRAINING MANUAL It is a book of tips, tricks, and technique for any instrument pilot that is an easy read to give you a leg up if you are new, and a refresher if you are not. Brian M. Jacobson, writer for several aviation magazines, wrote this book in the practical style of his magazine articles. Order your copy online today.

TRANS-PLATA'S PORTABLE CONVERTERS ARE UNLIKE OTHER simple "resistor-in-a-box" converters, since they are completely microelectronic to produce very little heat. For details on all Trans-Plata's quality models go online.

THE "BE A PILOT" PROGRAM COULD BE THE ANSWER FOR YOUR FLIGHT SCHOOL
Finding new student pilots is not happenstance. Success is marketing your flight school and that's where the Be A Pilot program helps. For more information go online. If you know someone who would like to fly send them to the Web site for an introductory flight lesson certificate!

FOR VALENTINE'S DAY, OR ANY GIFTS, LOOK TO AVWEB'S SHOPPING DIRECTORY. _____________________________________
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.

Let's all be careful out there, okay?

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