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SW Aviator Feb/Mar 2001
SW Aviator Magazine is available in print free at FBOs and aviation-related businesses throughout the Southwest or by subscription.
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Airshows, Fly-ins, Seminars
2001 Aviation Events Calendar
The web's most comprehensive database of Southwest area aviation events.
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A continuosly changing collection of links to our favorite aviation related web sites.
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SWAV Update
Aviation related news from around the Southwest

Do you have news items of interest to the Southwest’s general aviation community? Submit them to: Submissions will be run as space permits and may be edited for length and style. E-mails or disks and digital photos receive preference.


Carolina’s Café at Belen-Alexander Airport, NM, is now open Thursday - Monday from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm. Fly on down, see what the homemade soup or stew of the day is, as well as the homemade dessert of the day. (ed note: Who actually eats green chile cheese pancakes, and why are they on the menu?)

SkyDive NM’s trial landing zone next to the airport and inside the traffic pattern will no longer be used. They will continue to use the drop area three miles south of the airport.

For more information, call Alexander Aero at 505-864-3888.


Approach Systems Inc., a manufacturer of aviation electronics products, announces the availability of the Spider Hub Intercom Wiring Solution. The Spider Hub replaces the outdated, time consuming intercom wiring with a fast, “Plug & Play” hub and cable system making intercom installs and upgrades fast, cost-effective, and safe.

The Spider Hub Intercom Wiring Solution uses the latest technologies to interconnect avionic components with a central hub and high quality, professionally manufactured Milspec Tefzel cables, and connectors. The Spider Hub Intercom Wiring Solution is compatible with the Garmin, Bendix/King, PS Engineering, and other popular intercoms. The Spider Hub retails for $89 and the intercom connecting cables cost $49. Each station (Pilot, Co-Pilot, passengers) is $39. Simply order the lengths and the appropriate intercom cable, plug them in and you are done. The cables are terminated on both ends including the headphone and mike jacks.

The Spider Hub Intercom Wiring Solution can be purchased direct from Approach Systems or from any of its authorized dealers.

For further information, visit the company online at, or call Approach Systems at 801-802-8079.


Over 180 Commemorative Air Force (CAF) pilots have been returned to flight status following a temporary flight suspension issued by the board of directors of the CAF. The directive, made effective Oct. 29, 2003, called for all CAF pilots to participate in a formal safety review before being returned to CAF flight status.

The safety review, initiated as the result of two accidents involving CAF airplanes in 2003, included a thorough examination of the organization’s flight operations and maintenance procedures. According to CAF officials, most of the pilots are expected to be certified to fly again by the end of the year with normal flight operations back in place well before the airshow season begins. “The safety review has been well received by our pilots. They recognize its importance in reinforcing safety in all we do,” Bob Rice, president of the CAF said. “Safety must be and is an essential element of our corporate culture.”

Plans also call for a committee appointed by the board of directors to address long term safety procedures within the organization. Examples of these procedures include safety meetings held within the CAF units, distribution of safety articles and posters to all CAF pilots, evaluation of the pilot selection process and determining the role of the unit flight evaluation board.

The CAF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft. Based in Midland, Texas, the organization has over 10,000 members and operates a fleet of over 150 World War II aircraft. There are 336 pilots certified to fly CAF airplanes.

For more information, contact Tina Corbett at 432-563-1000, ext. 2231.


As the popularity of retired military aircraft grows, the need for competent training becomes a necessity – and now you can get it. Aces High Las Vegas has been established to provide quality jet warbird training designed to enhance confidence, competence, and flight safety. Their training program mirrors a USAF fighter transition course and starts with comprehensive ground training and takes you through your qualification for an L-39.

Lt. Col. Fred “Spanky” Clifton is a career USAF fighter pilot. This 4000 hour fighter pilot brings you the Jet Experience with his L-39C Albatros. The L-39 basic and advanced jet trainer was developed at Aero Vodochody in Prague, Czechoslovakia by chief designer, Jan Vleck. It is used for all training purposes in the former Warsaw Pact countries and other countries in the world. Designed with the inexperienced student in mind, the aircraft in rugged, simple, and easy to fly. The flight controls are light to the touch and the feel is very trim-neutral. On average, student pilots solo the aircraft after approximately 12 hours of dual instruction.

For more information, call 702-271-3768 or visit


Pressure from key members of Congress and AOPA’s Washington, D.C., staff has forced the U.S. Forest Service back to the table to discuss the future of backcountry airstrips in central Idaho.

The Forest Service had wanted to close four airstrips, Dewy Moore, Mile-Hi, Simonds, and Vines, located in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, but is required by law to obtain the approval of Idaho’s Division of Aeronautics before any such closure. The state denied approval. So instead, the Forest Service planned to restrict access at the four strips to “emergency use only.”

The Idaho Division of Aeronautics contacted AOPA for assistance. In written comments to Wilderness coordinators, AOPA told the Forest Service that restricting access to the airstrips violated the intent of Congress when it passed the Central Idaho Wilderness Act (public law 96-312).

AOPA then learned that, despite having received several hundred written comments that favored by nearly 4-1 keeping the airstrips open, the Forest Service was still planning on closing the airstrips for all but emergency use.

At that point, AOPA turned to Idaho’s members of Congress including Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho), Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho), and Congressman C.L. “Butch” Otter (R-Idaho) to help convince the Forest Service of the need to preserve the backcountry airstrips.

As a result of this pressure, the regional Forest Service Office has approached the Idaho Division of Aeronautics to discuss possible alternatives for the airstrips.

“Without AOPA’s assistance to take this issue to the highest levels in Washington, D.C., I doubt we would have made it this far,” said Idaho Aeronautics Director Bob Martin. “AOPA’s commitment to backcountry airstrips really came through for us.”

To learn more, visit


With the continually changing nature of Federal Aviation Rules and Regulations, no pilot can afford not to have up-to-date information.

The new AIM/FAR 2004 provides updated information about new security rules for GA, fractional ownership regulation, pilot background checks, and more.

Ask for it at your favorite bookstore, or order online at


Adam Aircraft has selected the computer-based, interactive, multimedia avionics training program from ElectronicFlight Solutions Inc. to help pilots transition to the new twin-engine A500. Sent to A500 owners and pilots prior to aircraft delivery, the avionics training software will allow the pilot to become proficient with the installed avionics before beginning the hands-on training.

“We are excited to have ElectronicFlight Solutions as a part of our avionics training program for Adam Aircraft owners,” stated David Thompson, Adam Aircraft Flight Training Manager. Adam Aircraft employs advanced computer-aided design and manufacturing, using advanced composite materials, resulting in a high-performance aircraft at attractive prices. Adam Aircraft has development and manufacturing facilities in Englewood and Pueblo, Colorado. The A500 twin piston aircraft is approaching FAA certification, and a follow-on A700 light jet is currently in the flight test development phase. To learn more about the company, visit

ElectronicFlight Solutions, Inc. offers the ElectronicFlight CompleteLearning™ Avionics Software Library of computer-based training products to the general aviation and corporate marketplace. Their Software Library includes Autopilot, GPS, Traffic, Terrain, and Weather Awareness technologies from leading manufacturers including Honeywell-Bendix/King, Garmin, L-3 (Goodrich), S-TEC, Avidyne, and others. Check out all of ElectronicFlight’s products online at, or call 303-604-0075 to learn more.


The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) will host its 43rd Annual Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday, July 17 in Dayton, Ohio. Founded in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964, the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s mission is dedicated to honoring America’s outstanding air and space pioneers.

Four legends of aviation will be enshrined during the formal ceremony, where they will join the roster of the 178 men and women previously so honored by the NAHF. Often referred to as “the Oscar Night of Aviation,” this black tie dinner gala draws an audience of hundreds of aerospace, defense, government and industry leaders, as well as NAHF members and previous enshrinees.

The enshrinee Class of 2004 consists of former Apollo astronaut and nuclear energy expert, William A. Anders; America’s first officially licensed woman pilot, the late Harriet Quimby; pioneering flight test engineer and pilot, the late Jack L. Ridley; and air show headliner and three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, Patty Wagstaff.

Advance reservations to the NAHF 43rd Annual Enshrinement Ceremony can be placed by calling 937-256-0944 ext. 10. Seats are $125 per person. The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. To find out more about the NAHF, visit


A fleet of more than 240 NOTAR® system-equipped helicopters has amassed some 500,000 flight hours around the world in missions ranging from law enforcement and air medical service to corporate and offshore oil transport.

The helicopters are built by MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) and the NOTAR system fleet includes MD Explorers®, MD 600Ns®, and MD 520Ns®.

The high-time aircraft — with more than 12,000 hours — is an MD 520N operated by the Phoenix Police Department. The first MD 520N was delivered to the Phoenix Police on Oct. 31, 1991.

Only helicopters from MDHI feature the patented NOTAR system for anti-torque control. Because the NOTAR system eliminates the exposed tail rotor found on conventional helicopters, there is no chance of catastrophic contact with people or the surrounding environment. And with fewer moving parts, the system is simpler and less costly to maintain. What’s more, the nature of the technology — no spinning tail rotor — means that it is naturally quiet.

Other MDHI products include the MD 500E® and the MD 530F®. For more information, contact Kyle Davis, 480-924-0690, or visit


Starting January 10, Flying M Air, based at Wickenburg, AZ, will be offering its helicopter rides and tours in its Robinson R22 helicopter and a leased 4-seat R44 helicopter.

The helicopter being leased is a 2000 Robinson R44 Raven. Like Flying M Air’s R22, it is in near-new condition, meticulously maintained, and outfitted with up-to-date avionics. The R44 is owned by California-based DeWitte Enterprises. It was available in Wickenburg on a limited basis last year, piloted by DeWitte’s chief pilot and flight instructor, Tristan Charney.

The lease is Flying M Air’s way of testing the waters for expanded flight services. If things work out this season, the company will purchase a larger helicopter next autumn and will expand services to offer longer tours to Sedona, Laughlin, and other points, as well as air taxi service to Scottsdale and Sky Harbor.

You can learn more about Flying M Air on its Web site,


Hundreds of aircraft representing every era and style in the 20th century will be among the magnificent machines on display at the 14th Annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show on Sunday, April 25, in Half Moon Bay, California. Fly-ins are welcome.

More than 2,000 flying, driving, and working machines from all over the West Coast will be on display. Aviation displays will feature a spectacular array of showplanes including stylish homebuilts, classics from the 40’s and 50’s, and a special display of meticulously restored warbirds.

Hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Spectator admission is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 5-14 and 65+, and free for kids 4 and under. Half Moon Bay Airport is on Highway 1, 20 miles south of San Francisco and 5 miles north of Highway 92. For information, call 650-726-2328 or check


Aerotech Components, Inc., of Reno, NV, has introduced the “Clear View” CV-700 Pneumatic Test Kit. The kit provides the proper tools and information for testing aircraft gyro instrument and de-icing systems from a shop air supply. The dangerous situation of testing aircraft systems with a running engine and spinning prop has been eliminated.

“Vacuum” and “Pressure” pneumatic systems can be checked for proper operation in less time than it takes to remove the engine cowling. Test the system, locate the problem, and replace bad components before installing the next air pump!

For more information, contact Aerotech Components, Inc. at 775-329-4028, or visit


Vantage Plane Plastics has broken ground for a new facility at the Alva Regional Airport (AVK) in Alva, Oklahoma. Several state and local dignitaries were present to participate in the ground breaking and provided words of support and encouragement to the company and its leadership.

Newly appointed Division Vice President, Scott D. Brown, addressed those in attendance with heartfelt gratitude and visions of growth. Among the items discussed was the announcement of an agreement with Luscombe Aircraft Company to become their production manufacturer of interiors, an agreement which has been in the works for several months. Next he announced to all in attendance that an agreement which is being worked out with Mooney Aircraft Company had been just that morning authorized for release. Under the agreement, Vantage Plane Plastics would become the only factory authorized manufacturer of interior and exterior Mooney replacement parts.

Clearly, this young and aspiring business is making its mark on general aviation and the ground breaking ceremony is one of many mile stones it will achieve. Readers who want to learn more about Vantage Plane Plastics and its parent company can visit


Don't get caught in a situation where you don't know how much weight is on board your aircraft. With this passenger scale from Sporty's, you can take the guesswork out of pre-flight planning and make sure your weight and balance calculations are precise.

The digital Passenger Scale uses four AAA batteries and can measure weights up to 300 pounds. The Passenger Scale can be easily stored in your aircraft. It measures 9.5" x 9" x 1.75", and weighs less than two pounds.

Order from Sporty's at 800-SPORTYS or at 

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