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Volume 9, Number 24aJune 9, 2003

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

The Michigan legislature may just back gently -- and inexpensively -- out of its controversial law requiring criminal background checks for student pilots. Michigan passed the law late last year and AOPA has challenged it, with enthusiastic support from the FAA and Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in federal court. Perhaps faced with the possibility that the feds will quash the law, Michigan legislators seem to be letting a bill that would repeal the background-check provisions pass through with little opposition. Only a couple of weeks after HB 4704 was introduced, it's been vetted by the Committee on Veteran Affairs and Homeland Security, and its opponents placated with a simple compromise. More...

While efforts abound to save the beleaguered banner-towing industry from "security concerns," what some might describe as a conservative Christian group came up with arguments to end the legislated TFRs imposed over Disney theme parks. The Virginia- and Carolina-based Family Policy Network launched a federal suit challenging the 3,000-foot, 3-nm no-fly zone because it hoped to share a message from above (so to speak) with those attending the Gay Day festivities held at (not organized by) Disney World in Orlando. "Government infringement of free speech rights cannot be based on speculation or mere possibilities," the group's lawyer, Brian Fahling, told the Associated Press. More...

And in what seems to be the never-ending mission of federal security forces to protect us from terrorists flying Cessnas, the Pentagon was to have conducted a live test of just such a scenario over Washington, D.C., last Thursday. Although we haven't heard how it all worked out, the idea was for a couple of F-16s to intercept two Civil Air Patrol 172s over D.C. while antiaircraft missile crews and other forces responded from their ground stations. Apparently the F-16s were to minimize their use of afterburners in the pursuit. This type of exercise is nothing new and there were at least two held in May, along with drills involving cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. The choice of the instantly recognizable Cessnas as villains and the resulting perceptions it might have raised rankled AOPA. 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

What some people might consider the ultimate personal aircraft is now being built under the watchful eye of its creator. Les Shockley, best known for making jet-powered trucks the feature attraction at many air shows, has come up with a jet kit for canard homebuilts, like Long EZs, Velocities and Cozy aircraft. Shockley said the adaptation of a General Electric T-58 helicopter turbine, which he calls the Shockwave 800+, weighs just 300 pounds and can be set up to provide a range of power, up to about 840 pounds of thrust. The engines cost about $30,000, plus installation (and a liability waiver), and Shockley said he believes the combination of jet power and the canard design is a good one. "I don't see any problem with it at all," he said. "I think it's a hell of a concept." Les is currently finishing up his own 2.5:1 power/weight jet/canard combination. More...

For those of us who prefer a more traditional approach, the latest spin from Liberty Aerospace is that it's nearing type certification on its XL2. The two-seat FADEC-equipped sport touring airplane has been undergoing spin tests recently as the last item on a long checklist leading to that coveted paperwork. In a letter to customers and prospective customers, Liberty CEO Tony Tiarks said test pilot Leo Janssens has spun the airplane 136 times -- some of those episodes have been caught on video, now available through the Liberty Web site. More...

Maybe, in a few years, Tiarks will be sending out news releases like this one from Cirrus. The Duluth-based company announced that the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) will hold a fly-in at Duluth June 13-15. "As many as 100 Cirrus aircraft are expected to fly in for this event and we are very excited to have so many of the kids home," said enthused company spokeswoman Kate Andrews. More...

NONIN FLIGHTSTAT MARKED DOWN TO $367.35 AT AEROMEDIX The Nonin FightStar, is the world's smallest and lowest-cost precision instrument for measuring oxygen saturation in the bloodstream. Think of it as a "hypoxia meter", perfect for in-flight use by pilots and passengers. Don't miss this opportunity to purchase the FlightStat at its lowest price of the season! Call Aeromedix at 888 362-7123 or view Aeromedix's complete line of pulse oximeters and other medical and safety products at

We can look forward to more accurate, longer-range weather forecasting if the National Weather Service's new computer system lives up to its billing. IBM has clustered 44 servers together to create a byte-crunching monster that can do 7.3 trillion calculations per second. Its ultimate capacity is expected to be 100 trillion calculations per second by 2009. All that math adds up to a system that can take weather measurements from all over the world and project them forward to forecast conditions hours and days ahead. And, whether you get your weather from DUATS or over your cellphone in the cockpit, it should mean a better, more accurate picture. More...

Canadian air traffic controllers are threatening "job action," but that won't affect pilots and travelers immediately. It's illegal for controllers to walk off the job. About the only leverage they have in the current contract dispute with Nav Canada is to cease training new controllers, which would eventually lead to a shortage of qualified controllers. That seemingly minute arsenal didn't stop the union boss from talking tough. "Our members have waited 30 months and their patience has run out," blustered Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Autoworkers Union, which represents the controllers. The last contract expired in March of 2001 and those 30 months since have not been kind to the privately run air traffic services company. More...

CS&A REPRESENTS OVER 40 MAJOR PROPERTY & CASUALTY UNDERWRITING COMPANIES including all major aviation insurance markets. CS&A Aviation Insurance is able to meet your needs for aircraft coverage and competitive pricing. A veteran CS&A staff of specialists have the knowledge to assure each client receives quality service and excellence in risk management. For a no-obligation quote, go to

If you'd like a glimpse ahead at future cockpit technology and wouldn't mind helping make it pilot-friendly, NASA and Lockheed Martin need you. You'll even get paid for it. The company is recruiting GA pilots to take part in a series of NASA Aviation Safety Program studies at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The studies center around the development of future glass-cockpit technology and advanced flight-deck concepts dealing with safety and automation. There is particular interest in pilot opinions on Synthetic Vision Systems, which use computers and GPS to create clear virtual views of the outside world regardless of weather. More...

The combustion heater fuel pump (model 91E92-1 or 91E93-1) in certain New Piper PA-34-200T, PA-44-180, and PA-44-180T aircraft must be inspected for leaks. If leaks are found, the pumps must be repaired or replaced.

The rudder torque tube and associated ribs must be inspected on various New Piper PA-31 models to check for corrosion. An inspection hole must be cut to accomplish the inspection. Comments on this NPRM will be received until Aug. 11, 2003.

An AD, effective July 28, 2003, requires owners of Pilatus PC-12 and PC-12/45 aircraft to inspect the front and rear pressure dome for damage and cracks and repair as necessary. More...

USE OF CLUB, PARTNERSHIP, SCHOOL AND FBO AIRCRAFT SHOULD BE SMART! Scheduling, accounting, reminder e-mails and more are available with Time Sync's Schedule Master program for aircraft utilization. For a FREE online demonstration go to

One of the best-known and most-respected ultralight pilots, instructors and sport aviation boosters died Thursday during a training accident in Alaska. Mike Jacober and his student Robert Pelkey were killed when the ultralight trike trainer they were flying crashed about two miles from the Birchwood, Alaska, airport. Cause of the crash is unknown. The wreckage of the trike was discovered by fellow instructor Rick Huggett. Jacober was owner of Arctic Sparrow Aircraft Inc and was recognized by many as one of the country's top ultralight pilots. More...

Well, we have to wonder if there's a 51-percent quick-build version of the new Boeing 7E7 on the drawing board. The Boeing exec leading development of the super-efficient jetliner told a meeting of Washington State's Snohomish County Economic Development Council last Wednesday that the company expects final assembly of each jet to take as little as three days. "We're trying to get as much of the work done before final assembly where we bring the airplane together in relatively complete pieces and put it together in a relatively short time," Mike Bair told the assembled business leaders and other dignitaries attending the luncheon. More...

BENNETT AVIONICS: UPGRADE YOUR AIRCRAFT WITH CONFIDENCE AND SAVINGS! Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business. Find the avionics equipment to meet your needs while leaving enough money for avfuel! Bennett stocks a complete line of used avionics that will add tremendous capability to your aircraft, for much less money than new. Bennett also purchases used avionics equipment and will work out an exchange for newer electronics. Bennett Avionics-your one-stop used avionics specialist at

3,000 attended AOPA Fly-In despite the weather...
Laid-off Illinois airline workers can apply for extended benefits...
Traffic, stock prices on rise for airlines...
1,208 airline screeners were fired because of background...
Women In Aviation named its 100 most influential.

An exchange overheard between departure control at a Canadian airport and a B727 pilot.
Pilot: Where's Annule?
Dep. Control: What is it ... an intersection or something?
Pilot: I don't know.
Dep. Control: Where did you see it?
Pilot: On the screens in the terminal. Lots of airlines go there but the flight's always cancelled.
Dep. Control: (Laughter) Welcome to Canada, Monsieur. "Annule" is French for "cancelled."
Pilot: Ah. Oui, oui.

BE A PART OF THE FUN AND ADVENTURE OF AN INTERNATIONAL AIR RALLY The world's largest International Air Rally is being professionally orchestrated 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! U.S. residents find details at and European residents go to

AVweb's AVscoop Award...

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

New Articles and Features on AVweb

CEO of the Cockpit #20: Don't Sweat the SEPs
That's Someone Else's Problems. Why get steamed over flyspeck mechanical glitches or boneheaded airline management when there's nothing you can do about either? AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit advises you kick back, grab some perspective and consider renting a sailboat in San Diego.

A Handle on Repairs
Owner-driven maintenance can mean swinging a wrench, but thorough inspections and involvement with the shop are often enough, as shown in this article from Aviation Safety.

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WIN THE GETAWAY OF THE CENTURY! AVweb and Pilot Getaways magazine have joined with to bring you the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes. The lucky winner will be a part of the Kitty Hawk activities on December 17. Other prizes include special commemorative watches and more. Enter the sweepstakes, secure VIP events seating, and purchase official Wright products at

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MOUNTAINSCOPE FROM PCAVIONICS IS A SAFETY ESSENTIAL With 17% of general aviation fatalities caused by controlled flight into terrain (CFIT), MountainScope is essential to display situational awareness of your surroundings in plain and 3-D views with pictorial warnings of dangerous obstacles or terrain. Overlaid onto the terrain are familiar aviation charting symbols to provide guidance to the closest airports, and navaids in case of emergency or disorientation. Flight Planning and Track Logging are additional features. For a demonstration and more details go to

PHOTON MICROLIGHTS OFFERS FATHER'S DAY/SPRING SPECIAL! Photon Microlights come in various colors and are the smallest—but brightest—lights for pilots and sportsmen...women too! On all orders of $30 or more save $5 till June 30. Order a red one for the airplane and a white one for reading those pesky small print menus. As a Father's Day gift order the Microlight Knife. Perfect! All at


ASA, AVIATION'S LEADING SUPPLIER OF EDUCATIONAL BOOKS & PILOT SUPPLIES offers aviation textbooks, books for pilots and mechanics, FAA test-prep guides, checkride essentials, FAA publication reprints, and an array of pilot supplies. Pilots from student to ATP, CFIs, flight engineers, and maintenance technicians will all find what they need in ASA's big online catalog at

ORDER FLYING MAGAZINE ONLINE. JULY, 2003'S ISSUE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: A Pilot Report on the Adam Aircraft A500, a pressurized piston twin due for certification and production later this year; Energy Management for Pilots; How to Fly Instrument Approaches; plus all the columnists and writers you've come to know and trust. Order at

DREAMFLYER PUBLICATIONS' BOOK, "MUSIC'S BROKEN WINGS: Fifty Years Of Aviation Accidents In The Music Industry" covers 1935 to 1985 analyzing 34 aviation accidents which affected many types of music. History is intertwined in each event while providing factual documentation to unravel the devastation that sometimes resulted. Complete with illustrations, photographs, statistics and accident reports. Details and to order at


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Reader mail this week about flying for business, the origin of GUMPS and more.

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