The Internet's Aviation Magazine & News Service

Now Over 130,000 Subscribers
Volume 9, Number 21a (Amended)May 19, 2003

This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by …

LIGHTSPEED 20XL HEADSETS GET A MAKEOVER! The 20XL is back, and better than ever! The 20XL/2 brings back the popular model with a new, even smaller, battery box and the Aux Audio 3G input, at a new LOWER price of just $395. Get MORE LightSPEED for LESS at

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

The alphabets are cheering (and taking some credit for) a legislative package that would, among other things, restore charter operations to downtown Washington, get banner towers back in business over outdoor gatherings, smooth foreign flight student regulations and allow third-party appeals of security-related airman certificate suspensions. The Aviation Security Technical Corrections and Improvement Act was approved by the House Subcommittee on Aviation last Wednesday and still must be approved by Congress before any of this relief actually takes place. "Much of what the subcommittee characterizes as 'corrections' are actually vindications for EAA and many other general aviation organizations that have advocated reasonable, prudent security measures that are commensurate with security risks," said EAA's VP of industry and regulatory affairs Earl Lawrence. More...

While Congress is looking at relieving some of the burden on GA, the TSA and Secret Service have decided that a protective bubble of commercial-only airspace be put around President Bush as he hopscotches around the country supporting his tax-relief bill and beginning his re-election campaign. Friday, EAA said a proliferation of "pop-up presidential TFRs" littered the nation's airspace and the same day filed a formal complaint with the TSA, claiming the TFRs place "a growing hardship" on GA. "General aviation was repeatedly shut out of large blocks of airspace all over the country this week," said EAA VP of government affairs Doug Macnair." More...

GET OUR "BEST CLASS" RATES WITH ONLY 250 TOTAL HOURS Now through the Pilot Insurance Center a private instrument-current pilot with as few as 250 total hours may qualify for PIC's "Best Class" rates. PIC works closely with leading insurers to develop life insurance policies specifically designed for pilots. PIC offers full coverage policies with no aviation exclusions provided by A+ rated (A.M. Best) insurance companies. Compare and Save. For a quote call PIC today at 1-800-380-8376 or go online at

The enormously complicated task of creating the paperwork for a whole new class of aircraft took a major step forward last week. The quality-control language for the new light-sport category was completed during a consensus standard session hosted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The ASTM is facilitating the standards process for light sport in advance of the final rule expected from the FAA in July. Under the process, industry representatives provide input to the standards document and then get a vote in approving the final document. Further tweaking can be done later to ensure letter-perfect compliance with the new rule. The quality-control standards just passed can be used as a blueprint by manufacturers to set up their own programs. More...

One of the light-sport standards that is causing compliance problems is the relatively low top speed of 115 knots that is allowed. Plenty of kitplanes out there can do that without breathing hard and the challenge of many designers seeking Light Sport category compliance is to rein them in. Take, for example, the VM-1 Esqual, a new breed of super-fast-build from Spain that will be introduced by North American dealer Jabiru USA Flight Center at EAA AirVenture starting July 29. The Esqual's biggest engine option is a 120-horsepower Jabiru that will pull it to 200 mph -- even with the smallest engine offered, an 80-horsepower Jabiru 2200, it's still a shade fast for the light-sport rule. More...

TIME IS MOONEY! Speed is the "heart" when it comes to choosing an airplane. Mooney makes the fastest single-engine piston aircraft. The new Mooney DX models take the product line to an entirely new level of performance, comfort, capability and safety. Mooney meets all your needs as a pilot. Find out for yourself. Details and a dealer near you at

Chicago would be forced to reopen Meigs Field and never close it again under legislation now before the Illinois legislature. With help from AOPA, Rep. David Leitch (R-73rd District) has introduced an amendment to state Senate Bill 802 that would give Chicago additional powers to expand O'Hare International Airport. The amendment would require the city to "restore and reopen Meigs Field as an airport for public use." "The closure of Meigs Field adversely affects air traffic and airports throughout the Chicago region," the amendment reads. "Meigs Field, if reopened, would immediately serve a vital role for air transportation in this state ..." More...

Waterfront airports everywhere seem to be the targets of land- and tax-lusting politicians and even relatively uncrowded Canada has its battles. In the metropolis of Toronto, the aviation community fights a constant battle to remind the city and senior governments of the importance of Toronto City Centre Airport, which is on an island a few hundred yards from the downtown core. This coming Saturday and Sunday, the airport and several businesses there are taking part in Doors Open Toronto, an opportunity to show off the airport and explain its role in the Toronto transportation system. There has been a vigorous campaign by some airport opponents to close the airport and turn it into a park (sound familiar?) but so far the aviation community has been able to counter it. Far away from the bustle of the big city in Nelson, British Columbia, a similar if smaller-scale fight is brewing. More...

DO YOU WANT THE BEST HEADSET MADE BUT THE PRICE SCARES YOU OFF? For a limited time, Avionics West has the best price around for the BOSE X, the best headset made. For more too-low-to-advertise prices, call 805 934-9777 and mention this AVflash, or send an email to . You have a new GPS but haven't a clue how to operate it? Avionics West offers GPS training classes, GPS docking stations, training CD's and videos and manuals on most portable and panel-mounted units. Learn your GPS in the comfort of your home. Avionics West at

The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor program appears to have passed a major hurdle. The Pentagon has ordered 11 more Ospreys, at a cost of $817 million, giving life to a project almost killed after a series of high-profile incidents and fatal crashes in 2000. Since the crashes, which in 2000 killed 23 Marines, aircraft systems have been reworked and a new round of flight tests completed. The 11-plane order is a signal those tests were satisfactory. But while the Pentagon has renewed confidence in one "-22" program, the General Accounting Office is concerned the often-delayed program is moving toward the manufacturing stage too quickly and another, the F-22 Raptor program, is seeing cutbacks. More...

With a couple of drone engines supplying the power, the Eclipse 500 resumed flight testing Thursday, flying a 26-minute shakedown that Eclipse said went well. The Teledyne 382-10E engines are substituting for the yet-to-be-built Pratt and Whitney Canada PW610F engines that will go on production models. The drone engines will be used to complete aerodynamics and systems testing while the company waits for the Pratts. The last time the 500 flew it had Williams EJ22 engines on the back but the two companies parted company not long after Eclipse sent the test engines back. When new engines become available (expected in late 2004), Eclipse can move toward full certification, expected in 2006. Meanwhile, a bit closer to more wallets, the $128,000 Liberty Aerospace XL2 is on the brink of type certification for its two-place, high performance, FADEC-controlled piston-powered cruiser. More...

BE A PART OF THE FUN AND ADVENTURE OF AN INTERNATIONAL AIR RALLY The world's largest International Air Rally is being professionally orchestrated by Air Journey and the International Air Rally organization for July 19-26 in Ontario and Quebec, Canada with a total of $50,000 (CDN) in prize money! Aviators from all over Europe, Canada and the U.S., no matter what they fly, are invited to share the camaraderie and test their flying abilities while enjoying fantastic tourists attractions along the way. Come! Enjoy! Be a part of this event. U.S. residents find details at Canada and European residents go to

After they're trained to carry guns in the cockpit, airline pilots' next course could be on taking out a missile headed for their aircraft. The Homeland Security Department is calling for proposals from high-tech companies on how to protect airliners from shoulder-launched missiles and they're asking for at least two prototypes to be built. "This is a real breakthrough," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Associated Press. Schumer is cosponsoring a bill that would retrofit 6,800 airliners with anti-missile systems at a cost of $10 billion. But while airlines would get a free ride on their existing fleet, they'd have to pay the extra $1 million for the systems on all the new aircraft they buy and that's lit a fuse under some airline groups. More...

The FAA is rewriting the definition of "public aircraft" as opposed to civil aircraft but don't hope (or worry) that it's opening any loopholes. The rewrite is just to clean up the language and bring it in line with the Wendell H. Ford Aviation and Investment Reform Act (AIR-21), which was enacted in 2000.Owners of V-tailed Bonanzas must repetitively inspect fuselage bulkheads for signs of failure. Also, repetitive inspections of the empennage, aft fuselage and ruddervator control system become a one-time action with any subsequent repair and the setting of the elevator controls, rudder and tab system controls, cable tensions and rigging.Cessna 414A and 402C owners must inspect the wing spar caps for fatigue cracks, apply any necessary repair or replacement and incorporate a spar strap modification on each wing spar. More...

OREGON AERO HELPS SEAN TUCKER BE HIS BEST The success that world-class aerobatics performer Sean Tucker enjoys as a champion is due in part to the comfort he experiences with his Oregon Aero custom seat cushion system and helmet upgrade. They help Sean perform his best by eliminating pain, which helps maximize his concentration. "The Oregon Aero products are incredibly comfortable and easy to install," says Sean. "I highly recommend them for anyone. They will make flying more enjoyable." Check out all of Oregon Aero’s products online at

NavCanada, the private, non-profit company that supplies air traffic control and other aviation services in Canada, is raising its rates an average of 6.9 percent in August. The company announced Thursday that the ongoing airline slump, coupled with the war in Iraq and SARS, and an unpaid $43 million debt owed by Air Canada, now in bankruptcy protection, has combined to create a shortfall of about $176 million. "We've exhausted our ability to help ease the burden of the downturn on our customers," CEO John Crichton told a news conference. The company took over the services from the government in 1997 and, as it chopped overhead, rates were reduced. But after 9/11, rates were hiked and the latest increase will push them to their highest level. It's still a bargain, according to Crichton ... and some basic math. More...

Russian jet maker going public...
Young Eagles hit 900,000 flights...
New Phoenix tower is 335 feet...
AEA awarded $100,000 in scholarships to 23 students...
Lloyd Welch Pogue, aviation regulatory pioneer, died at 103.

Having just rolled out and made my way to the taxiway, I contacted ground control. The taxiways were very lengthy and one way. This would have added nearly a mile to my travel to the gas pumps which were only several hundred yards away. "Ground control, Cessna ***** at Alpha 6, can I "fudge" a bit and turn left to the pumps?" After a short pause, "Cessna *****, fudging approved." More...

SHOP VROTATE.COM FOR FATHER'S DAY GIFTS! Find that special Jeppesen and/or McGraw-Hill aviation book at VRotate. VRotate will beat Amazon or anyone else's deals! Order chart subscriptions through VRotate and never be without charts again! Chart subscriptions also make excellent gifts. All at

AVweb's AVscoop Award...

Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Jim Weaver, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to Rules and information are at

New Articles and Features on AVweb

The Pilot's Lounge #61: So You Want To Go Into Professional Aviation
AVweb's Rick Durden recently taught a class in aviation law, and with the help of many in the Pilot's Lounge, presented the students with ideas on how to succeed, keep your sanity, and maintain your principles in the wilds of the aviation industry.

Constant-Speed Props
Constant-speed props are usually found on high-performance aircraft, but most people don't realize the concept of varying the pitch of a propeller was suggested 30 years before the Wright Brothers flew. John Ruley discusses the history, repair, and alternatives to this staple of aviation.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

Remember, we are able to provide FREE access to AVweb+AVflash thanks to our fine sponsors so please try to patronize them whenever you can.


DIAMOND AIRCRAFT INTRODUCES THE NEW TWINSTAR Powered by Thielert Centurion 135-hp diesel engines, the Diamond Twinstar is economical to buy AND fly. To see this and other Diamond Aircraft models, go to their online brochure at For more information, go online

SUBSCRIBE TO FLIGHT EXPLORER AVWEB EDITION 4.02 FOR ONLY $9.95 A MONTH! The latest edition of this real-time flight tracking display of all IFR aircraft in-flight includes enhanced tracking of individual flights, surface overlays, terrain and elevation maps, and full screen mode for a larger picture on your PC. To subscribe at the AVweb subscriber rate of only $9.95 a month go to

CHASE-DURER'S WING COMMANDER CHRONOGRAPH HAS BEEN IMPROVED! The improved Wing Commander Chronograph has a sapphire crystal, is crafted from solid stainless steel with a new two tone heavy bracelet attached with solid end pieces and expandable buckle. A great value for only $299.00 and makes a thoughtful Father's Day gift. Styles for both men and women at

HE FLIES THROUGH THE AIR WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE, that daring young man in the flying machine! Inspiration for the song, and the "daring young man", are incorporated in Dave Higdon's photo gallery. Yes, you know Dave as an AVweb special projects editor. Go to Flying Machine Photo's site for a FREE download of some incredible wallpaper, plus you can order Dave's photos online to decorate or give as a special Father's Day gift.

SAVE $25.00 ON SCHEYDEN FLIP-UP SUNGLASSES FROM PILOTMALL TILL MAY 31ST! Scheyden Precision Sun Eyewear allows pilots' eyes to adapt effortlessly to changing light conditions. Scheyden frames are strong and light-weight titanium and provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. Pilotmall also offers top-quality flight bags, read the AVweb review, and save $25 on Scheyden sunglasses at

SAVE 15% ON SUMMIT AVIATION'S COMPUTERIZED AVIATION REFERENCE LIBRARY subscriptions till June 30! The Computerized Aviation Reference Library contains the equivalent of over 35,000 hard copy pages of Regulations, Advisory Circulars, FAA orders, Airworthiness Directives and other government publications ON ONE CD. Combined with a powerful search engine, and Summit’s exclusive tools, The Library enables you to find what you need FAST! Now through June 30, SAVE 15% on any subscription. PLUS, receive a Green LED pen-light FREE, while supplies last! Order at


RECEIVE A REBATE FROM TELEDYNE-CONTINENTAL MOTORS WHEN YOU BUY ORIGINAL For a limited time, every TopCare (TM) cylinder from Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM) comes with a direct rebate of up to $75. The best cylinders for your TCM engine are factory-original TopCare cylinders. State-of-the-art manufacturing standards ensure every cylinder meets exacting manufacturing and quality specifications. For technical information, rebate details, warranty features, and a dealer near you, go online to

YOUR AIRLINE CAREER STARTS AT PAN AM INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT ACADEMY Choose a training center: known worldwide as the leader in aviation training; has trained pilots for over 200 airlines; has a curriculum developed by the airlines; 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 anywhere else; and will deliver what they promise. All at Pan Am International Flight Academy. More information at

HEADLINES IN THE JUNE ISSUE OF IFR REFRESHER: Too Much Airplane, the need for a foundation of basic instrument skills upon which a pilot must build familiarity in type; Make GPS Work For You; Vows of ATC Marriage; Short Flight, Big Trouble; Best Speed To Fly The Bumps; and Cedar City ILS Runway 20. IFR student or long-time IFR pilot, you can't afford to NOT be an IFR Refresher subscriber. Sign up at

NEW PRODUCTS FROM SACRAMENTO SKYRANCH IN TIME FOR LOTS OF SUMMER FLYING! You know Sacramento Skyranch for their great maintenance books, now find two new products: The GATS JAR. The only fuel analysis tester to separate non-petroleum contaminants and thereby purifying water and debris from contaminated avgas and jet fuel allowing extracted fuel to be put back into the aircraft and not on the ground. REJEX. A thin-film polymer coating that reduces adhesion of bugs, oil, grime and more to any aircraft surface and lasts for months. See these and other fine products at

AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE'S JUNE/JULY ISSUE IS ANOTHER KEEPER! Articles include: "The Champ", how a fighter-bomber rose from parts to win the Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy; the XF-84H's thunder screech; NASA Goes Nuclear to the moons of Jupiter with ion engines; bits and pieces to reconstruct extreme simulators; the reason Russian MiG-15 pilots fought off F-86 Sabres; plus features and more. Subscribe at


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

Reader mail this week about flight schools in trouble, Camp David TFR, and more. _____________________________________
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.

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to Have a comment or question? Send it to

Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
AVweb's editorial team:

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

Let's all be careful out there, okay?

AVflash is now available in optional easier-to-read graphic format, which includes some photos and illustrations. If you prefer, you can continue to receive AVflash in text-only format. Simply follow these instructions and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.

Want to subscribe or unsubscribe? Review/update your AVweb Account? Forgot your password? No problem! Simply go to our friendly Member Services menu.

AVweb | Free Sign Up | Advertise | Help | Contact Us

Copyright 2003, Aviation Publishing Group. All rights reserved.