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Volume 11, Number 33b August 18, 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.

GREEK CRASH MYSTERY: THE EVIDENCE, SO FAR...
On the day of its final flight last week, the pilots of a Helios Boeing 737-300 that crashed near Athens, killing all 121 aboard, reportedly contacted air traffic control to say that a problem with the aircraft's air conditioning system would keep them at 16,000 feet. The aircraft later climbed to 32,000 after the crew radioed its last transmission -- that the problem was solved, according to the New York Times. Last December, three aboard the same aircraft suffered injury when a pressurization problem at altitude (due to an improperly sealed door) led to an emergency descent to 11,000. Last week, passengers on the flight's previous leg reportedly complained of an air conditioning problem -- the cabin was unusually cold. Speculation that the aircraft again suffered depressurization on its final flight have been followed by coroner's reports that some passengers and crew (co-pilot and one other crew member) were still breathing (though perhaps unconscious) upon impact. However, the supposed text message sent from the aircraft indicating "The pilots have turned blue. Farewell cousin, we're frozen" has been revealed an admitted hoax. More...

...CREW, PASSENGERS ALIVE; FLIGHT ATTENDANT AT CONTROLS?
Among the most important pieces of evidence missing is the body of the aircraft's captain -- his is one of three bodies missing. Meanwhile, a Macedonian news service is reporting that at least two flight attendants remained conscious and one, who had some private pilot training, tried to land the plane. Greek air force pilots sent to intercept the flight reportedly noted movement in the cockpit, while the co-pilot was slumped over the controls and the captain wasn't visible. And the coroner reports thus far that at least 20 of the 121 people aboard were alive when the plane went down. Hampering the investigation is severe damage to the already-retrieved cockpit voice recorder (the flight data recorder is apparently in better shape) sent to France for evaluation. More...

...HYPOXIA CAN AFFECT ANY PILOT
So, what's all this mean to GA pilots? If nothing else it serves as a good excuse to remind ourselves about the potential dangers of hypoxia and realize that it doesn't just happen at the flight levels. AOPA has a comprehensive list of references on the insidious condition and its prevention, along with the reminder that it's something we have to plan around if we fly above 10,000 feet during the day or above 5,000 feet at night. But it's not just altitude that can induce hypoxia, as a quiz on AOPA's safety site reveals. More...

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SINO SWEARINGEN PREDICTS TC BY END OF 2005...
With the bizjet focus squarely on the emerging very light jet VLJ (or entry-level, as Cessna prefers) market, a San Antonio company has been working in its shadow for about five years. But Sino Swearingen burst into the spotlight earlier this week with the announcement that its SJ30-2 light jet (13,500 pounds) is essentially one step away from FAA certification. In a news release, company President Gene Comfort said the plane was issued final Type Inspection Authorizations (TIA) and that means type certification is virtually guaranteed by the end of the year. More...

...FIRST IN 35 YEARS?
Comfort said the accomplishment is particularly noteworthy because Sino Swearingen is a new company and, as such, is the first to bring a clean-slate design through the certification process in 35 years. The company claims the six-passenger (single-pilot) aircraft has a range of 2,500 nm at 447 KTAS (514 mph). It has a high-speed cruise of 486 KTAS (560 mph.) It also has a 12-psi cabin pressurization system that will maintain sea-level air pressure up to 41,000 feet. Comfort said the company's certification efforts accelerated dramatically with the involvement, 30 months ago, of new CEO Dr. Carl Chen and Alfred Baumbusch, senior VP of operations. More...

THE SJ30-2 IS THE WORLD'S FASTEST LIGHT BUSINESS JET
Not only is it fast; it has intercontinental range — 560 mph and over 2800 sm range. The SJ30-2 is the most advanced light business jet in the sky today, the perfect package of speed, range, and good looks. For details, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/sino/avflash.

FOURTH CRASH IN EIGHT MONTHS AT CENTENNIAL
The fourth fatal plane crash in eight months at Denver's Centennial Airport is prompting calls for an investigation into the safety of the field and has spurred politicians to address the safety of the MU-2 (involved in two of the four accidents). But while politicians and aviation officials concede that the facility has had a run of bad luck, they insist there is nothing inherently unsafe. "Nothing we have indicates it is a dangerous airfield," said NTSB investigator Aaron Sauer. "It is a busy airfield with a lot of aircraft coming in and out." Sauer was at Centennial to investigate the crash of a Cessna 425 that was on an instrument approach when it went down last Saturday, killing all four aboard. More...

CHINESE GA BOOM
China's main flying school has ordered 42 Cessna 172s as part of a major expansion. The Civil Aviation Flying University of China (CAFUC) wants to increase the number of students trained from 600 to 1,000 a year. The CAFUC is the primary training facility for airline pilots in China and the country's burgeoning civil aviation industry has resulted in a shortage of pilots. The private sector is also becoming involved, with PanAm Flight Academy setting up a school in Beijing. As we reported two weeks ago, Diamond Aircraft will soon start building DA40 light singles in China to service a predicted boom in general aviation. More...

LEARN TO FLY — INSIDE! THIS WEEK ON WINGS TO ADVENTURE TELEVISION
You get a close-up look at Simcom and the high-tech simulators which really do feel like flying. Host Tom Gresham checks out an R44 helicopter and the new glass-panel Mooney, and he drops in on a classic airport cafe — all in stunning high-definition. Wings to Adventure airs at 2:30pm Eastern on the Outdoor Channel. For more, and to suggest other stories the WTA crew should consider, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/outdoor/avflash.

AN AIRPLANE FOR MARTIANS
A Virginia company is pinning its future on an out-of-this-world airplane. Aurora Flight Systems recently started building a plant at Manassas Regional Airport to build aircraft designed to fly over Mars. The hang-glider-like aircraft is the first intended to fly in the atmosphere of another planet and its mission is to take photos that have been hitherto unavailable to scientists studying the red planet. All of the photos of Mars to date have either been low-resolution images taken from an orbiter or high-resolution images from a vehicle on the surface. More...

YACHT RESCUES DITCHING VICTIMS
A 55-foot pleasure yacht became a rescue ship off Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., last Saturday when a Piper Navajo was successfully ditched in the Atlantic about six miles from shore. The Spindrift was able to rescue all six people aboard, including an eight-month-old baby. The plane was on a flight from the Bahamas to Ft. Lauderdale when the pilot radioed a distress call, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told The Associated Press. Walter Long, a captain on the yacht, said the unidentified pilot did "a great job" on the ditching. "He made a perfect water landing," said Long. "If it wasn't for him, they'd all be dead." More...

ANNOUNCING TRAFFIC ALERT WITH DIRECTION FOR ONLY $1,795.00!
True Flight announces Traffic Alert. Coming Soon: You will be able see the direction, relative altitude, and distance of aircraft within five miles of your current position. This is just a small sample of what our portable flight displays do that separate us from the competition. Compare our FL210 flight display to anything else on the market, and see why, when people compare, they pick us. For more information, go online for a video demonstration at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/true/avflash.

HANGAR RENTS TRIPLE?
Aircraft owners at a Pittsburgh-area airport say they're being forced out of their hangars by a tripling of rents. The rent for hangar space for small planes at Allegheny County Airport is going from about $550 a month to almost $1,600 a month in a move that pilots claim is an attempt to force them off the field. "I think, in summary, they're trying to push us out," Mooney owner Harry Neel told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It's a massive increase." But county officials say FAA policy is behind the rent hikes, which take effect Oct. 8. More...

A NEW APPROACH FOR CHEW
Russ Chew went from the left seat of an airliner to the hot seat as the FAA's new chief operating officer but AOPA hopes a little time in a Cessna 172 last week will help him make the massive decisions that will shape the future of airspace management in the U.S. over the next couple of decades. Chew flew a GPS-WAAS approach in AOPA President Phil Boyer's 172 during a visit to AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md. "I think he was amazed at how much more stable the WAAS needle is compared to an ILS," Boyer said. "A WAAS approach is even easier to fly than an ILS." More...

MANY NO-COST ASF AVIATION SAFETY COURSES ONLINE!
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ON THE FLY...
Opponents of O'Hare expansion want 45 days...
U.S.P.S. has issued 10 stamps featuring significant aircraft...
Nepal determined to strike Eurocopter's claim of Everest flight...
Medevac pilot won praise for landing stricken aircraft without causing injury. 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. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part. More...

TOP STUNTWOMAN/WINGWALKER THANKS OREGON AERO
Your feet may never have to pull three to four Gs like Teresa Stokes', one of the world's top stuntwomen/wingwalkers, but you'd be glad to have a pair of Oregon Aero® ShockBlockers® Insole Inserts if they did. Stokes, who wingwalks on Gene Soucy’s Showcat, says, "When I'm wingwalking, I don't walk very far, but my feet get tired fast because I take my Gs standing up. ShockBlockers® Insole Inserts keep my feet feeling as though I'm weightless! Thanks, Oregon Aero." Oregon Aero® ShockBlockers® Insole Inserts offer 20% more shock absorption, double the supported area under the foot, reduce foot tissue damage by 50%+, and reduce shock to the entire body compared to other sponge and foam inserts. Select the ShockBlockers™ Insole Inserts for your needs and enjoy more comfortable walking, running, and standing. Go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/STOKES-05/avflash.

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
Say Again? #53: Radio Realities
Radio communication was invented over 100 years ago. You'd think we'd be able to do it better by now, but people tend to get sloppy. And sometimes the "professional" pilots are the worst. Until we get more controllers or fewer aircraft, AVweb's Don Brown says we have to start talking better.

More...

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...

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AVWEB'S QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know how much attention to pay to hypoxia in the cockpit. Sure, it depends a lot on the performance of the aircraft — but it depends just as much on the performance of the pilot. And some of the contributing factors are well out of your control. How much concern do you grant hypoxia when you fly? PLUS: Results of last week's question on mid-air collisions. More...

ATTENTION, CESSNA OWNERS AND PILOTS
The Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) provides parts locating, tech support, a monthly member magazine, online forums, national and regional events, an annual convention, seminars, and more. For less than a tank of fuel ($39 for a one-year membership), you can access the needed information to expand your knowledge and get more enjoyment from owning and flying your Cessna aircraft. Join the Cessna Flyer Association (CFA) today as they build the ultimate Cessna association. The CFA is now located on the Waupaca Municipal Airport (PCZ) in Waupaca, WI — just 35 miles NW of Oshkosh. Join at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cfa/avflash.

AVWEB'S PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
AirVenture 2005 is behind us, and the photos are starting to roll in. Whether you attended Oshkosh or not, we've got thrilling air show photos, beautiful paint jobs, a couple of serene moments, and even an exciting crash that you can walk away from. This week's winner (among stiff competition, we might add) is Dick Lemons of Kansas City. Dick submitted several great photos, but we're sending him an Official AVweb Baseball cap for his shot of the Kansas City Dawn Patrol. (Remember: Everyone who submits a photo gets a shot at one of these nifty hats!) More...

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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SHOPPING DEALS  
LOW-COST DIGITAL REPLACEMENT TRANSPONDERS!
Narco Avionics proudly announces the availability of their all-new Value Series plug-and-play line of Digital Transponders. The Value Series is designed for the cost-conscious owner. Narco's Value Series line of plug-and-play transponders includes the AT165/VS (a replacement for the AT50 through AT155), the AT165/KA/VS (a replacement for the KT76A/78A), and the AT165/K/VS (a replacement for the KT76/78). Coming Soon: Narco's AT165/C and AT165/C/VS, plug-and-play replacements for the ARC (Cessna) RT359A/RT459A. SPECIAL: Purchase an AT165 and get an AR850 for $99. For more information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/narco/avflash.
SEE WHAT ATC SEES AND THEN SEE WHAT THEY DO WITH THE INFORMATION
The AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer is the PC-based graphical aircraft situation display that gives you 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 system in action, Flight Explorer has the information you want for just $9.95 a month. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
DISCOVER WHY HOMEBUILTS ARE THE HOTTEST SEGMENT IN GENERAL AVIATION
Subscribe to Kitplanes magazine and catch the building excitement. Each issue is packed with flight reviews; building, buying, and flying guidance; and much more. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/kitplanes/avflash.
AIRSPORT AVIONICS OFFERS A $100 DISCOUNT & COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING
AirSport Avionics is the only manufacturer of Altitude Alerters that work by listening to everything your transponder and encoder are reporting to ATC, both Mode A (squawk code) and Mode C (altitude). A double benefit! AirSport Alerters are completely portable and don't require permanent installation. SPECIAL: $100 discount on all models, with complimentary ground shipping. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airsport/avflash.
COMM1 RADIO SIMULATOR
Receive a complimentary Communications Reference Card with the purchase of any Comm1 Radio Simulator. Fly confidently by training with Comm1 Radio Simulators — unique, interactive CD-ROMs designed to teach pilots how to communicate safely and professionally with Air Traffic Control. Available in VFR, IFR, and Clearances on Request versions, Comm1 Radio Simulators let you experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics. Practice talking to ATC from the safety and privacy of your desktop. Order now for this special gift from Comm 1 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.
ROD MACHADO BOOKS, TAPES, AND CDs AVAILABLE ON AVWEB!
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FLYING MAGAZINE FLYS THE CESSNA 206 AND SHOWS OFF A NEW DE-ICING SYSTEM
The August issue of Flying magazine also reports on "Metal Fatigue: Invisible Predator"; "The Lure of the Bush Pilot Mystique"; a "Learning IFR" series; and all the columnists you've come to respect and rely on. Order your personal Flying magazine subscription at special prices online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
SPONSOR NEWS
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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. 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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