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Volume 12, Number 20b
May 18, 2006
 
Noise 
Reduction from LightSPEED Unrivalled Noise Reduction with LightSPEED Headsets
"The audio quality equals or exceeds any headset I've tried." -- Bing Lantis, President of Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. Experience what thousands of pilots already have: the best noise reduction technology and audio quality in the industry. LightSPEED's widely popular headsets reduce unwanted noise while providing outstanding audio performance. With their lightweight design, you may even forget you're wearing them. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). View the 60-second video clip!
 
GA's Next Great Engine Manufacturer? back to top 
 
International Air Rally
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

THIELERT'S NEW 230 HP DIESEL AIRCRAFT ENGINE
Monday, Thielert Aircraft Engines announced at the Berlin Air Show intent to produce a new liquid-cooled turbocharged diesel-burning, FADEC-controlled single-lever-power 230 bhp engine, the Centurion 3.2. The engine is targeted for air-time in late 2007. Frank Thielert, CEO and founder of Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH, said his goal was to offer a complete piston engine product line with, "New engines and engine integrations [that] will enable us in [the] future to cover the entire spectrum of piston aircraft engine technology." Those products -- the 150 bhp Centurion 1.7 (powering many Diamond DA42 Twin Star aircraft and burning 5.6 gph in economy cruise), the coming 230 bhp Centurion 3.2, and a 350 bhp Centurion 4.0 -- are supported by 111 service centers currently spanning 97 countries. The addition of more service centers is a company priority, as is Thielert's intent to make its 350 hp 4.0 available for multiple Cessnas. More...

 
Sino Swearingen's SJ30-2 Business Jet 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. Click here for details.
 
The Next Space Age back to top 
 

SPACE TOURISM: SPACEPORT PROPOSALS PROLIFERATE
Although a passenger-carrying commercial spaceship has yet to fly, four serious proposals to develop spaceports for the tourist trade in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are under review by the FAA, The Associated Press reported on Sunday. New Mexico already has a deal with Virgin Galactic to build a spaceport, expected to open in 2009. Texas has submitted two proposals -- Blue Origin, a space-tourism company, plans to develop a 165,000-acre site near El Paso and begin flight tests around 2012. A second Texas port would be on the Gulf Coast. The Oklahoma proposal, also pending FAA approval, would be sited at a former Air Force base that already has a 13,500-foot runway. More...

DOLLARS FOR DEVELOPMENT
States have plenty of economic incentive to push for the ports, according to the AP. Most are sited in desolate regions with little competition for development and a desperate need for jobs. A study commissioned by New Mexico predicted that its proposed port could bring in $750 million and create up to 5,800 jobs by 2020. Besides the launch infrastructure, the ports will require training facilities, luxury hotels and other services for passengers. The spaceports also can be designed to attract tourists beyond the few well-heeled flyers, generating even more jobs and revenue. In an effort to compete, the Mojave, Calif., airport recently asked the state for an $11 million loan to help build a hangar complex and terminal for space tourism -- a proposal that met with some resistance. More...

AIRSPACE COMPLICATIONS FOR PRIVATE SPACE LAUNCH
Although most of the proposed spaceports are in remote areas, AOPA has expressed concerns about airspace being closed down for frequent launches, especially at the Oklahoma site, which is currently used as a municipal airport. "For three hours during each launch ... 16 Victor airways could be closed. When combined with the two nearby military operations areas, a launch could severely limit the options for GA aircraft transiting across the entire state of Oklahoma," said Heidi Williams, AOPA director of air traffic services. The New Mexico site is also a concern, AOPA said. More...

 
Zaon XRX 
from Aircraft Spruce Aircraft Spruce Carries the Zaon XRX Collision Avoidance System
PCAS XRX is the world's first and only stand-alone portable device to sense aircraft direction from within the cockpit. XRX displays "3-D View" quadrant bearing information as well as relative altitude and range -- all from inside the cockpit and without the need for external antenna arrays. The detection window is scalable with a maximum range of 6 NM and altitude of ±2500 feet. The tiny unit is only 3.9" wide, 3.6" deep, and 2.7" tall. For more information, call 1-877-4-SPRUCE or visit online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

EXCEL-JET -- A SPORT-JET'S FIRST FLIGHT
Excel-Jet, of Colorado Springs, Colo., flew its single-engine Sport-Jet for the first time last weekend, logging almost four hours in the air. "The Sport-Jet is proving to be very stable, quiet, and with excellent control harmony and feel," according to test pilot Ron McElroy. Takeoff rolls were less than 1,800 feet from the 6,000-foot-elevation airfield, designer Bob Bornhofen said. "Rotations are smooth at 65 knots, and Sport-Jet literally flies off the runway around 70 knots. Climb rates are almost 2,000 fpm," Bornhofen said. The tests were flown at less than full power, "so the real performance is still to come," he added. The company took delivery on the FJ-33 Williams engine less than two weeks before the first flight. More...

NEW LIFE, NEW JOB FOR PARIS JETS
Every so often we're reminded that there's nothing new under the sun -- or in the sky. A four-seat jet was developed by the French back in the 1950s. Refurbished models of the MS760x Paris Jet, complete with glass Chelton cockpits, now are being offered on the fractional market in Canada. JetSet Fractions, based in Burlington, Ontario, has 20 of them on order, and is selling shares at $60,000 for 25 hours per year -- monthly fees and hourly operating costs, of course, are extra. The twin-engine jets will cruise at 400 mph at 25,000 feet, JetSet says. A few of these jets have been trickling into the U.S. market in recent years, sometimes marketed as time-builders for VLJ owners who can't wait to take delivery on their new jets. More...

 
Teledyne-Continental Motors, Inc. Give Teledyne-Contential Motors (TCM) FOUR Minutes Of Your Time ... and you could win a new engine. Register for TCMLink.com's Aviator ServicesTM and you could win a Continental or Lycoming replacement engine for your airplane. Aviator Services offers exceptional levels of TCM engine owner support. There are no costs for signing up. Just follow the prompts. In a few minutes you'll be an Aviator Services member with a chance to win a new heart for your bird. Sign up by July 20th for your chance to win. For complete details and to sign up, go online now!
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

BERLIN AIR SHOW SHOWCASES GA
The Berlin Air Show opened Tuesday at Schoenefeld airfield, featuring what has become Europe's biggest exhibition of GA aircraft. General Aviation Avenue continues to expand its space for corporate, personal, and sport planes, and this year over 1,000 exhibitors from 40-plus countries will show 300 airplanes. The show also attracts commercial and military exhibitors, as well as rotorcraft. Just prior to the air show, an international conference was held on the situation of GA in Europe. Topics included navigation and air traffic control, new technologies, and the economic impact of the GA sector. More...

AVIATION FUEL: IN ALASKA, GAS PRICES HURT PILOTS
People who live in Alaska are accustomed to paying more for lots of things, but the price of avgas has been rising so steeply that it's having an impact on operations. Some fuel prices at Anchorage have almost doubled already this year, the Kenai Peninsula Clarion reported this week. "This is going to change the landscape of who is flying and who is not," Tim LaPorte, of Iliamna Air Service, told the newspaper. Prices of 100LL vary widely across the state, with some remote areas actually selling at some of the lowest prices. In isolated Homer, for example, fuel arrives on a barge just once a year, so 100LL was selling there recently at $3.93 while Anchorage was charging $4.49. Other airports, where fuel arrives weekly, have seen price hikes up to 20 cents per week. More...

 
New 
Bags from Zuluworks Zuluworks Adds Three New Bags to Its Line-Up!
Introducing the Oryx Roller Office, the Topi Shoulder Pack, and the Mongoose Essentials Bag. Whether you're just going up for a quick spin or setting out on a week-long adventure, Zuluworks has all your bag needs covered. Prices starting at $29.95. To see the complete line and order direct, visit the Zuluworks web site.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

UND FLYERS FIRST IN COLLEGE COMPETITION
Twenty-nine teams competed last week in the National Collegiate Flying Association's annual Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, hosted at Ohio State University. More than 400 students and 100 single-engine airplanes converged in Columbus to test their skills with short-field and power-off landings, message drops, E6B calculations and more. First-place honors went to the University of North Dakota. Embry-Riddle Prescott placed second and Western Michigan University finished third. The competition consists of 11 events -- four flying and seven on the ground -- that test a variety of piloting skills, with a special emphasis on safety. More...

POLITICS AND AIRPLANE CRASHES
The list of famous musicians killed in airplanes is a familiar one -- from Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper to John Denver -- but it seems politicians also have an unlucky record with GA flying. "It's push, push, push. We think we're so important and this admiring throng is waiting for us, we fly through thunderstorms and fog and whatever, thinking we can get there," former Sen. Lauch Faircloth, of North Carolina, a crash survivor, told The Twin Cities Pioneer Press. The list of politicians who have survived small-airplane crashes includes Senators Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Ted Stevens of Alaska. Among those who died are Sen. John Heinz of Pennsylvania, in 1991, Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan in 2000, and Sen. Paul Wellstone, of Minnesota, in 2002. More...

 
In Aircraft Insurance, There Is an Option -- Go Direct to Avemco
Many insurance agents say they represent "all the markets," implying once you call them you needn't bother with any other aircraft insurance provider. What these agents don't tell you is that there is an option -- Avemco. Avemco is the ONLY direct writer of general aviation insurance in the country and the only insurance company you can contact directly to purchase insurance. You always have an option with Avemco, offering mid-term premium discounts, storage options, credits for training, same-day service, and multiple payment options. Call (888) 241-7891 or go online.
 
News Briefs back to top 
 

CONTRACT DEADLINE LOOMING, NATCA EXPANDS PUBLIC OUTREACH
The clock is ticking for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), which is facing a June 5 deadline for Congress to take action, or else the FAA's contract will be unilaterally imposed on air traffic controllers. The union already has taken its case to the public via TV ads, but last week the union started a face-to-face campaign. At airports around the country, controllers handed out leaflets to the flying public, asking them to lobby their congressional representatives to support bills that would help NATCA's cause. The union told flyers that if Congress doesn't act, one in four controllers -- nearly 4,000 total -- could retire next year upon reaching their eligibility date, leading to staffing shortages and flight delays. More...

FLIGHT EXPLORER ADDS IFR ROUTES
Flight Explorer, the popular flight-tracking software company, announced an upgrade in capabilities this week with the release of Professional Edition 6.1. The new version offers extended route analysis and display capabilities and additional weather information, the company said in a news release. Beyond flight tracking, the system incorporates multiple data feeds, dynamic weather overlays, situational alerts and predictive weather and air traffic tools. For IFR flight planning, Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs) and Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STARs) can be displayed. Decoded Terminal Forecasts are now available. More...

 
The 2006 New Piper Mirage Offers Serious Sophistication
Avidyne's Flightmax Entegra Integrated Flight Deck is standard equipment on the New Piper Mirage. Three flight displays, moving map, Garmin GNS 430, autopilot, color radar system, and dual Air Data/Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) combine to provide serious sophistication for a higher level of confidence. Click here for complete information on the New Piper Mirage.
 
News in Brief back to top 
 

ON THE FLY...
Cessna pilot caused a scare in Florida with transponder hijack code...
FAA revoked the operating certificate of American Air Network...
Month-old fire-bomber crashed in Saskatchewan, killing its pilot...
"Frankenstein" jet saves taxpayers $30 million...
Boeing denies it will take part in Japan's SST project...
Deadline near for nominations for NAA Public Benefit Flying Awards.
More...

PODCASTS
Coming, Friday: Check AVweb.com tomorrow and every Friday for feature interviews with the names making news in general aviation.
Online Now: Find exclusive interviews featuring Cirrus Design's Alan Klapmeier, FAA administrator Marion Blakey, and more. AVweb's Podcast index, is available online -- pick and choose your particular interets, or subscribe free to AVweb's podcasts and receive them automatically for listening on your computer, iPod, or while traveling with any MP3 player. You'll hear things you won't find anywhere else. More...

AVWEB'S NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
What have you heard? There might be something to it. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, don't be shy. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Our best stories start with you. More...

 
FAA-Approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) from ASA
Attention, flight instructors! Wouldn't it be nice to renew your flight instructor certificate from the comfort of home? ASA's FAA-approved Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) provides everything you need to renew your flight instructor certificate for 2 more years. Features over 11 hours of professional DVD presentations, supported with internet-based evaluation and course tracking. You don't need to be online for the entire duration of the course. For complete details, visit ASA's web site.
 
Features back to top 
 

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
BRAINTEASERS
Quiz #107: SIGMET/AIRMET Savvy
Slam into a developing thunderstorm that shakes your dentures loose and you'll appreciate the significance of a good weather briefing. Or you can circumnavigate that learning step and test your severe weather planning skills here.

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...

 
Bonanza & Baron Owners: Learn to Save Thousands on Maintenance
The 10,000-member American Bonanza Society is sponsoring a weekend-long Savvy Owner Seminar by maintenance expert Mike Busch November 4-5 in Mobile, Alabama (BFM), including a TCM factory tour. Seminars are open to all GA aircraft owners! In one information-packed weekend, Mike teaches how to save literally thousands on maintenance costs, year after year. For details and to reserve your space, go online.
 
Your Favorite FBO's back to top 
 

FBO OF THE WEEK: MARTINSVILLE AIRPORT AUTHORITY

Nominate an FBO |Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to MARTINSVILLE AIRPORT AUTHORITY at KMTV, Martinsville, VA.

TED GULLIA wrote in to say, "FOR THE LAST 3-4 YEARS, I PLAN MY N-S TRIPS WITH A STOP AT MTV. ALTHOUGH I STOP 4-6 TIMES A YEAR (2-3 TRIPS, ONCE EACH WAY) I AM GREETED AS IF I WAS THEIR BEST CUSTOMER. I FLY A CHEROKEE ARROW SO MY FUEL PURCHASES HARDLY COMPARE WITH THE HEAVY IRON."

Keep those nominations coming.

Click here to nominate your favorite FBO and here for complete contest rules

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBO's in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

More...

 
Pursuing Excellence
How do you become a great pilot? Not just an average one or a good one, but a great one? By continually improving and by raising the bar in your flying! Learn the secrets by reading the new book by AVweb columnist Michael Maya Charles. Order online.
 
QOTW back to top 
 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Engines: With the rising cost of fuel, fears (founded or not) that 100LL may one day dry up, and production problems hitting long-established manufacturers, how do you feel about diesel piston-engines? PLUS: Results of last week's question on the U.K. report on UFOs. More...

 

AVWEB APPRECIATES YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR SPONSORS,
WHO BRING YOU TODAY'S NEWS AND FEATURES AT NO COST TO YOU

It's Not What You Know But Who You Know That Can Save You Money!
Avionics -- next to your airframe and engine(s), avionics are the most expensive items you will purchase for your aircraft. Don't spend more than you need to! Before you buy anywhere else, call Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295, or visit Bennett online. You'll be glad you did!

DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University CAPT, Empire Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, and Utah Valley State College -- all have selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the DA40 is the fleet favorite. For more information, click here.

Your #1 Source for Cessna Aircraft Parts -- CessnaParts.com
CessnaParts.com offers exceptional service and support to Cessna Aircraft owners and operators. With competitive discounts on everything for Cessna Single- and Multi-Engine aircraft, which means savings to you! Go online and see for yourself!

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. Sign up.

Light Plane Maintenance Magazine Saves Owners Big Money!
With your subscription to Light Plane Maintenance, you will join thousands of savvy general aviation owners who are saving big by doing it themselves! Each monthly issue brings tips and techniques for maintenance procedures you can perform yourself, legally and easily. Order online for big savings from the regular rates.

Better than an IFR Refresher, This Manual Is Real-World Flying!
With Rod Machado's Instrument Pilots Survival Manual, private pilots can learn: mimicking pro pilot thinking strategies; developing IFR self-talk skills; managing cockpit resources; planning for unanticipated changes; a three-step instrument scan; IFR charting secrets; insights into flying GPS approaches; and techniques for avoiding thunderstorms and handling icing conditions. Pilots claim, "You can't find some of this information anywhere else!" Order online.

Comm1 Radio Simulator -- Special Offer to AVweb Subscribers
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. Experience real flight situations through high-quality audio and graphics from the safety and privacy of your desktop. Also Available: VFLITE's Garmin GPSMap 396 Interactive Guide. Order online.

Aviation Consumer's May Issue Springs With:
"Three-Way Trainer Flyoff" -- Diamond's Katana is still the one to beat; "Why 100LL Won't Go Away"; "Scratched Glass a Problem?" -- don't expect miracles with glass-restoring products; "Garmin's GMA347" -- a new replacement box; "Piper Super Cub" -- best utility aircraft going; "X-Plane Flight Sim" -- computer geeks will get the most out of it. Plus: A wrap-up of all the flight sims Aviation Consumer has reviewed. Don't spend money without the unbiased truth. Order your subscription online.

 
POTW back to top 
 

PICTURE OF THE WEEK
One of our favorite mathematical principles is starting to kick in this week:  As time approaches summer in the U.S., the number of submissions to our "Picture of the Week" contest increases dramatically.  The number tipped back over 100 this week — with the most variety we've seen in "POTW" entries all year long.  In fact, there were surprisingly few sunset photos or air show photos (our two most popular types of entries) this week.  And that explains why we couldn't resist naming Frank Santoro of Missouri this week's top winner. Frank's clever captioning would've made him a contender on any week, but in this batch of light-hearted and widely-varied photos, his "portable autopilot" seemed to sum up the fun-filled spring fever that's making the rounds on many airstrips and here in our own offices.  Congratulations, Frank — we'll be sending you an official AVweb baseball cap in the next couple of days.  (Your autopilot will have to get his own.) More...

 
Names Behind The News back to top 
 

AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by news writer Mary Grady (bio).

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

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

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

Freedom, independence, responsibility.


--BoUnDaRyCavflashM637D051806T10--