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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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Site of the Minute
Featured Site:
A continuosly changing collection of links to our favorite aviation related web sites.
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Used Aircraft For Sale
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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.


Journalists in the non-aviation-trade media are invited to submit examples of fair, accurate, and insightful reporting on civilian general aviation. One-thousand-dollar awards will be presented in four categories: print, television/cable — news or short feature, television/cable — program length, and radio.

Submissions must have been published or broadcast between January 1 and December 31, 2003. Participants may submit up to three entries or series of entries, which will be judged by the Karant Awards Committee comprised of media and aviation experts. Previous cash award winners are ineligible. No entry fees apply.

Detailed rules and entry forms can be downloaded from the AOPA Web page Entries must be postmarked by April 15, 2004. Awards will be presented during AOPA Expo 2004 in Long Beach, Calif., October 21-23, 2004.


Air BP has announced the introduction of its new range of aviation piston oils – the Castrol Aviator range.

This exciting range of oils brings Castrol “Liquid Engineering” expertise to the light aircraft pilot in the USA, with latest technology, high performance oils, supplied in innovative, practical packaging.

These products were first approved in 1995 and have been marketed and used in Europe continuously since then. They are now available in the USA as a full range of monograde oils, Straight grades S65, S80, S100 and S120, and Ashless Dispersant grades AD65, AD80, AD100, and AD120.

Although no stranger to aviation, this launch brings the Castrol name back to the USA for piston oils, for the first time in several decades.

To learn more about Castrol Aviator, call 973-401-4338 or visit


Oklahoma Aviation has opened for business at Wiley Post Airport in Bethany as a Cessna Pilot Center, offering flight and ground instruction, aircraft rental and pilot supplies. The company has purchased two Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft, the youngest fleet of training and rental aircraft in Oklahoma, including a 2004 model.

As a Cessna Pilot Center, student pilots learn to fly using a national training program, “Computer Based Instruction,” which enables pilots to earn their licenses in 10 fewer flight hours on average than at other flight schools.

For more information, call 405-787-4568 or visit


Commander Aircraft, the Bethany, Oklahoma aircraft manufacturer that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002, has reached an agreement with Tiger Aircraft for an investment that will allow resumption of Commander production this year.

Tiger Aircraft, the Martinsburg, West Virginia, manufacturer of the four-place, single-engine Tiger airplane, will purchase 80 percent of Aviation General, the publicly traded holding company that owns Commander Aircraft. The agreement must be approved by more than 400 shareholders of the parent company and by the Delaware bankruptcy court handling the case. Commander Aircraft is once again taking orders. Visit to find out more.


As the final days of 2003 wound down, Husky A-1B sales turned upward, providing Aviat Aircraft with their best year over the past several years. “The initial drop-off in sales lagged behind the recession,” said Aviat President Stu Horn, “and now they are keeping pace with the recovery, if not exceeding it. Part of this is undoubtedly due to refinements in our dealer program along with a shift in owner expectations for the aircraft. It’s not just a bush plane anymore. The Husky is so versatile that it is now appealing to a much wider audience than the demographic for which it was originally created.”

Aviat Aircraft manufactures the Husky, Pup, and Pitts Special along with kits for the Eagle Biplane. For more information on the Husky, visit or phone the company at 307-885-3151.


Power Flow Systems has announced a $500 reduction in the cost of their STC’d tuned exhaust system for 180 hp Mooneys. The special sale price of $3,990 will last until the end of June.

Power Flow’s proven technology substantially increases the evacuation of exhaust gases from the engine’s cylinders, resulting in more efficient operation and enhanced performance numbers. In the case of the M20, models B, C, D, and G, owners can expect speed increases of up to 11 miles per hour. Rate of climb improves as much as 300 feet per minute, while the engine runs cooler and with lower fuel flows at the same speeds.
Earlier models of the Mooney may require an exhaust strap and support rod heat shields which are also available through Power Flow.

The company is currently developing an exhaust system for the 200 horsepower Mooneys and expects to complete certification by summer.
For more information, contact the company at 386-253-8833 or visit their website at


Riley has teamed with Certified Aviation Services, Inc. (CAS) to bring their customers the most experienced A&Ps and aircraft mechanics in the business. CAS has been in the aircraft maintenance business for 14 years and has a presence in eight of the largest airports in the Southwest.

These airports include such diverse locations as John Wayne, Burbank, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Reno, Ontario, Long Beach and San Bernardino. CAS is an FAA approved (Part 145) Repair Station and is an approved maintenance facility for 20 different FAR Part 121 carriers. The Riley/CAS teaming arrangement offers Riley customers a total of 64 trained aircraft specialists.

While most of the Riley modification work will be completed at their facility in Ontario, CA, the company will also use the services at its other locations to speed up the fabrication process. The Riley engineering department has been relocated to the Ontario office in order to work more closely with the production staff. Riley sales and marketing offices will remain in their Carlsbad location.

For more information, call 800-841-1115 or visit


The Southwest EAA Regional Fly-In will honor renowned aircraft designer Dick Van Grunsven during its event this spring, as the creator of the legendary RV series of aircraft kits will receive the fly-in’s President’s Award.

Dick Van Grunsven, founder of Van’s Aircraft, will be the Honored Guest at the 40th anniversary Southwest Fly-In, which will be held at the New Braunfels Airport (BAZ) on May 14-15, 2004. Past recipients of the event’s President’s Award include the late Tony Bingelis, Paul Poberezny, Charles Duke and the late Duane Cole.

Van Grunsven learned to fly in 1956 at the age of 16. He has logged 7,000-plus hours, 4,000 of it in homebuilts. He developed his first design, a modified Stits Playboy dubbed the RV-1, in the 1960s. His first original design, the RV-3, flew for the first time in 1971. Since then, Van Grunsven has design numerous other RV aircraft, including the most recent addition, the RV-10. Van’s Aircraft has also become the world’s largest supplier of aircraft kits, with more than 3,560 RVs estimated to be flying from airfields throughout the world.

For more information on accommodations and other services in the area, contact the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce at 800-572-2626 or visit


Meggitt’s avionics facility in Texas has been selected by Eclipse Aviation to provide the digital autopilot for its new Eclipse 500 aircraft.

The new autopilot will be a revolutionary flight guidance system based on modern technology which incorporates Smart brushless motor servos for high reliability, increased functionality and lower weight. It is expected to receive approval to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Technical Standard Order TSO-C9c (Automatic Pilots) by mid 2005.

Vern Raburn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eclipse Aviation, said: “Meggitt’s newest autopilot, which we flew in Meggitt’s demonstrator plane, convinced us that Meggitt has the expertise to deliver a great autopilot. The Meggitt digital autopilot, which will be featured in the Eclipse 500, will go even further, delivering functionality and performance to our aircraft that today can only be found in much larger aircraft.”

The contract includes on-site support services in the first year of production and in future years at prescribed build rates.

For more information, call 940-325-9406 or visit


Executive Twin Aviation has been developing and testing a new door seal for the Piper PA-28, PA-32 and PA-34 model aircraft for over a year. This testing was completed in September, 2003 and the new seal kit installation has been approved by the FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) and the FAA Manufacturing Inspection District office (MIDO) and has been issued a FAA-PMA for installation on the above aircraft with other brands to follow in the near future.

The new seal was developed from a special rubber compound that meets Military Specifications and FAA requirements for aircraft seals. The rubber compound developed for the seal has a memory, compresses, and conforms to the sealing surface providing a perfect seal. The seal comes with pressure sensitive adhesive that makes it easy to apply and bonds well with any metal surface painted or bare.

The new seal does not install on the door(s), but instead installs in the channel on the fuselage opening(s) which allows for complete closing and sealing of the doors. This provides for an air and water tight seal. A seal kit was also designed for the baggage doors which have had a history of leaking water.

Each seal kit contains detailed instructions, an engineering drawing for installation of the new seal, including instructions for adjustment of the door as well as removal of the old seal from the door(s). A tube of super glue is also provided to bond the cut ends.

Visit or call 405-755-2151 to learn more.


The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Class of 2004. Nomination deadline is April 16, 2004. Confirmed by the Texas Legislature in 1997, the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame honors the aviation heroes and pioneers of Texas who have made lasting achievements to the advancement of aviation.

Eligibility is open to any native Texan or Texas-domiciled business responsible for outstanding aviation achievement conducted within or outside the state. Nominees who are not native Texans or Texas-domiciled businesses are eligible for significant aviation achievements performed within the state.

The nominees selected for induction will be honored at the 6th Annual Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala on November 13, 2004. For more information and an application, contact the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame at P.O. Box 3099, Galveston, TX, 77552, or phone at 888-FLIGHT-8. Nomination deadline is April 16, 2004.


Aviation Technology Group, Inc. has selected Albuquerque, NM as the manufacturing site for its high performance, two-seat Javelin jet, ATG President George Bye announced.

ATG expects to employ more than 200 people in manufacturing and engineering as the company begins production of the Javelin in the next three to four years.

The New Mexico State Investment Council has approved a significant investment in ATG. The State Investment Council's action follows a recommendation from its Private Equity Committee during a meeting Tuesday January 20, 2004.

Bye said ATG is planning a 100,000 square foot production plant to be located at Albuquerque's Double Eagle II Airport, although the company may start out with a 10,000 square foot facility at Albuquerque International Airport. The City of Albuquerque is finalizing the details of an agreement with ATG.

ATG selected Albuquerque after a search that began in the late spring of 2003 and considered eighteen cities in thirteen states throughout the nation. Bye said, New Mexico's business climate coupled with Albuquerque's economic and physical assets offered distinct advantages over the alternative sites.

New Mexico's growing aerospace community, quality workforce and proximity to research labs were also compelling influences in ATG's final decision, Bye said. By developing the facility near Eclipse Aviation, ATG will be able to create important connections to aid in the manufacturing of the Javelin. ATG will have better access to similar suppliers, raw materials and the same type of skilled workers.

ATG's website is


John King was named the recipient of the prestigious 2004 Excellence in Pilot Training Award from the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).

“The award recognizes an individual or organization for outstanding contributions in safety, professionalism, leadership and excellence in the field of pilot training. The introduction of the Practical Risk Management For Pilots course in 2003 is an excellent example of John’s consistent and on-going drive for continuous improvement, not only in the realm of flight training but in the aviation industry overall,” stated James Coyne, President, NATA.

John commented, "Being selected by NATA for this award is a great honor that I will always deeply cherish. NATA’s commitment to better pilot training and a strong, vibrant industry will help keep aviation one of the truly vital businesses … and personal adventures … for generations to come.”

Consisting of over 2,000 companies that own, operate and service aircraft, the NATA is considered the voice of general aviation business. The award will be conferred during the NATA annual convention, May 18th – 20th in Las Vegas.

Visit or call 800-854-1001 to learn more.

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The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publications and the staff neither assume any responsibility for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising fom it
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©2001 Southwest Regional Publishing, Inc.