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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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2001 Aviation Events Calendar
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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. Emails or disks and digital photos receive preference.

Taos Aviation Services (TAS), located at Taos Regional Airport (SKX), New Mexico, has recently expanded its Fixed Base Operations (FBO) business. In addition to hangar, tie down, aviation and jet fuel services, TAS now offers a Cessna-172XP single engine rental airplane and flight instruction. The C-172XP has a 195 horsepower engine and constant speed propeller for better high altitude performance. The flight training offered, under the tutelage of local CFI’s Jim Van Namee and Ferdinand de Souza, are student, instrument, and commercial pilot instruction. In addition, flight reviews, refresher and mountain flying instruction are also offered. A pilot supply shop, a satellite of the Albuquerque Pilot Shop, formerly located at Coronado Airport, will also be located on site. The shop will be in operation by July 2002. Tim Wooldridge, owner of TAS and Rio Grande Air, said, "I want to offer the community a total aviation package here in the Taos area. Expanding the FBO will help do this and provide more services to the local and visiting pilots." Contact Taos Aviation Services at 505-737-0505 for more information.

On May 1, engineer Jim Ross, with a crew from Anaheim, California, set up the first Plane Pocket in the Southwest.
A plane in a pocket? For pilots who don't have a hangar, putting a plane in a "pocket" may be the only reasonable alternative. Now Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport can offer visiting pilots an elegant and effective shade structure to cover their aircraft.
Each Plane Pocket is equipped with a solar powered front lift that the pilot can activate just like opening a garage door.
Jim Ross is no stranger to hot sun and high winds. Ross, who is one of the world's leading authorities on building structures over water, carefully designed the Plane Pocket to withstand winds of 110 MPH and more. The attractive shelter is anything but delicate as suggested by its artful design. Made of heavy gauge steel and weighing over 1500 pounds, the sturdy but beautiful Plane Pocket will brave the elements for many years. For more information, call toll free 866-PLANE-POCKET (886-752-6376) or visit

WSI Corporation has selected SANDIA Aerospace to manufacture its new in-flight Pilot Weather Advisor system. The new service uses satellite technology to continuously broadcast real-time weather information direct to the cockpit of any WSI aircraft equipped with WSI’s system. WSI and SANDIA Aerospace made the joint announcement at the recent Aircraft Electronics Association's national meeting in Palm Springs, California.
SANDIA Aerospace is an Albuquerque based company established in 1997 to design and manufacture specialty avionics equipment found in many general aviation aircraft. In addition to their own designs, SANDIA Aerospace has provided engineering design services for other avionics manufactures. "SANDIA Aerospace has tremendous experience and an unrivaled reputation for quality in the avionics industry," said Lynne Wilson, Executive Vice President for WSI’s Transportation Business Group. "We are looking to really leverage SANDIA’s expertise in the FAA certification process, and we are proud to let our customers and avionics dealers know that they can depend on a quality leader like SANDIA to provide installation and customer support, along with a full range of warranty and repair services."

The Federal Aviation Administration, ABQ FSDO, recently approved the expansion of the Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) School on the ENMU-Roswell campus. The expansion project was made possible through a statewide voter approval of the $500,000 general obligation bond in November of 2000.
In addition to hands-on training utilizing a wide variety of aircraft, students can now take advantage of four new smart classrooms to advance their AMT training. The expansion also includes four dual instructor offices and a secured resource room. The existing building was remodeled to include a computer technology information lab, fifth classroom, program director office, reception area, and a larger commons area. The women's bathroom was also renovated to comply with ADA regulations. An open house for the new facility will be held in September.
With the expanded facility, the AMT program anticipates an increase in its FAA approved capacity from 90 students to 110 students by the start of fall semester. The ENMU-R Aviation Maintenance Technology program is the only Part 147 training program in New Mexico. Compared nationally with other AMT schools, ENMU-R’s tuition costs are remarkably low, while maintaining Part 147 high standards. Financial aid and on-campus housing is available. For more information about the program, call 1-888-AV8-ENMU.

GATTS Inc., General Aviation Training and Testing Service, Inc., is very excited about the future. They believe General Aviation is here to stay and in fact, believe it will become more vigorous in the months and years ahead. Consequently, they now have four strategic locations nationally to better serve their customers: Houston, Texas, Scottsdale, Arizona, Louisville, Kentucky, and of course, the original facilities and their headquarters in Manhattan, Kansas.
In addition to the original "Seven Day Instrument Rating," they offer a three or five-day instrument refresher, and a three day commercial certification course. You can train in their aircraft or yours. For more information call GATTS at 888-778-6676 or visit

The newly released mountain flying video "How to Fly the Eagle Country" features aerial footage shot in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. The video covers basic subjects, including tips on ensuring the pilot and aircraft are prepared, mountain weather, flight planning, and mountain maneuvers. Contact JPVideo for more information 505-670-2845.

America’s Aircraft Engines of Collinsville, Oklahoma, has introduced the new Eagle IV-EX, a 360-cubic-inch engine based on the Lycoming O-360 and IO-360, for Van’s RV-series aircraft and other homebuilts. These are brand-new engines assembled from scratch using all new and improved Superior Air Parts components, incorporating a stronger crankcase, balanced oil system, thrust face lubrication, dynamically-balanced VAR steel crankshaft, improved induction system air flow, computer-optimized camshaft lobe design, and other design improvements. While the engine is experimental, all its components are FAA-PMA approved.
America’s Aircraft Engines is one of only six engine shops across the country approved by Superior Air Parts to produce Millennium-certified engines carrying the Millennium logo. Besides providing Millennium-certified engines, the company has its own line of overhauled engines, thus providing owners a wide range of overhaul options. For more information, contact America’s Aircraft Engines, 888-371-1371,, or visit their website at

Aviation Technology Group, Inc (ATG,) an Englewood, Colorado based manufacturer of the Javelin Executive Jet and the proposed Homeland Defense Interceptor announced a strategic production partnership with Luscombe Aircraft Corporation of Altus.
"The new 120,000 square foot Luscombe production facility, high quality production engineering staff guided by John Daniel, and the great support from the Altus community and the State of Oklahoma led to our decision," said George E. Bye, President of ATG. "Further, the strategic production partnership with Luscombe brings efficiencies to assembly costs that are very attractive for both companies," Bye said.
The $1.88 million Javelin’s top speed of 0.92 Mach and certified altitude of 51,000 feet puts the Javelin in a class by itself. With climb rates as high as 14,000 feet per minute, the jet offers high-power performance for the light jet, pilot/owner target market. The HDI fully equipped for airpace patrol will cost only $4.5 million each, versus $26.0 million for the F-16.

Western Skyways’ new facility will have a significant impact for the region as well employing 100 people over the next 5 years with a $2.75 million boost to the local economy the first year and $6.6 million a year projected over the next 5 years. "The Aerospace Park is a super nice, new space situated airside at the Montrose regional airport. We share the strip with avid aviation advocates. We feel right at home here and know our aviation customers will too."
Western Skyways is located at the foot of the San Juan Mountains, in Western Colorado and customers will also be able to enjoy world-class recreation including skiing, fishing, hiking, biking and golfing if they choose to stay over while their engine installation is being performed. Leis reports "Within a days drive of the facility is Mesa Verde and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Parks, plus Telluride, Crested Butte, Blue Mesa Reservoir …you know… just the best recreation Colorado has to offer. After a few days of play, our customers will be able fly home with their brand new, precision built Gold Seal“ or Millennium Engine — “what a deal!”
For more information on Western Skyways, call 800-575-9929, fax 970-249-4155. You can also visit them online at, or in person at 21 Creative Way, Montrose, CO, 81401.

Diamond Aircraft announced their newest design, a four seat, retractable gear twin engine aircraft, by displaying the actual prototype at the recent Berlin Airshow. The new aircraft, designated the DA42 "TwinStar," complements Diamond’s current 2 and 4 seaters and is designed for flight-training as well as personal and business use. The new twin offers familiar Diamond characteristics including dual control sticks, all composite construction, low stall speed, excellent performance, and low fuel consumption. The TwinStar is powered by a pair of turbocharged diesel Thielert Aircraft Engines that are designed to operate on both automotive diesel and Jet A1 fuel. This engine recently received JAR-E certification and has been testing in Diamond’s DA40 TDI, which is slated for European certification later this year.
Projected performance offers over 1400 mile range, useful load of over 900 lbs. plus full fuel, a sea level climb rate of over 1700 fpm, and 180 ktas cruise at 9 gph total. The projected base IFR price is under $360,000. First flight is scheduled for September 2002, with initial deliveries in early 2004. For further information on Diamond Aircraft, call 888-359-3220, or visit

The OKIE DERBY, sponsored by the Oklahoma Chapter 99s, is the world’s largest proficiency air rally. Not only is the Derby fun for the pilots, it also test their piloting skills and knowledge of the capabilites of the airplanes they fly.
Competitors, gathering Wiley Post Airport, are flying in from Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, as well as from Oklahoma. Many of the teams will be Collegiate teams, which gives an additional competive spirit to both verteran and first time racers. The race course, which is not to exceed 225 miles, will be revealed at a dinner the night before the race. Scores will be determined by matching the actual performance in time and gasoline consumption against the pre-flight estimates.
The Derby was begun to generate funds for aviation scholarships – $18,000 has been awarded since 1990. The Derby entry fees only account for a part of the scholarship fund. The Oklahoma Chapter 99s relies on friends and supporters of aviation and education to help achieve their goals. Many sponsors donate $99 in keeping with the organizations name.
For more information about the OKIE DERBY, you may phone Carol Sokatch, 405-840-1156.

The unveiling of the USU Wright Flyer is scheduled for August 24 at the Logan-Cache Airport. The event will include aviation booths, gliders flights, and local aircraft on static display. The goals of the event are to involve the community in the project, raise awareness for next year’s aviation centennial, and raise funds to take the Flyer on tour. Utah State University (USU) engineering and aviation technology students, with assistance from the College of Engineering and the Space Dynamics Laboratory, have designed and are constructing a futuristic replica of the Wright Flyer. They are building the flyer as if the Wright Brothers were alive today using state-of-the-art composite materials. Visit for more information.

Mooney Airplane Company, Inc. announced that it has reduced the price of the Eagle2, Ovation2, and Bravo by an average of $90,000. These new prices represent an average 20 percent price decline for the three Mooney models. The company also announced the complete equipment lists and options pricing, the customer support program, and details of the manufacturing re-start at the Mooney facility in Kerrville, Texas.
"We are very pleased to announce what we believe are the largest across the board price reductions in general aviation history," commented Roy Norris, Chairman and CEO of Mooney Aerospace Group, Ltd. He added, "When we first began working to acquire the Mooney assets, we believed that there was potential for significant cost reductions throughout the operation. Through the work of our operations, engineering and finance teams, we are realizing significant savings and are passing those savings to our customers. These are new, long-term prices for fully loaded aircraft with IFR avionics and autopilot. No smoke. No mirrors."
"In the near term, we anticipate manufacturing roughly 100 airplanes per year," commented the recently appointed Mooney Airplane Company President and COO, Jack Jansen. He added, "Our team is in a position to focus extraordinary attention on these 100 key customers."

Control Vision Corp.’s Anywhere Map division announced release of Anywhere WX Version 1.25 today, with addition of a new approach to delivering METARs to aircraft in flight, as well as significant enhancements to both the navigation and situation awareness tools in the mapping portion of the product.
Anywhere WX has delivered NEXRAD radar imagery to General Aviation cockpits since its introduction last September. This latest version of the software includes METARs as a user-selectable option with the NEXRAD image. Receiving a complete map of US NEXRAD plus a regional snapshot of METARs takes place in about 30 seconds using either of the links offered, AirCell’s Guardian 1000 or the Globalstar Satellite Phone.

The expanding workforce at Adam Aircraft Industries, Inc. is flying high in the face of sluggish employment figures and the economic downturn. The 132-member staff of the Denver-based aircraft manufacturing company has grown over 30 percent in 2002, already exceeding company growth expectations for the entire year. The workforce surge comes on the brink of a major milestone for the company with the inaugural flight of the first factory-built A500 aircraft–a 250-knot, pressurized, centerline thrust, twin–just days away.
The staff has not only increased in numbers, but in depth of experience and talent as well. Most notable are four additions to the company at the managerial and executive levels in sales and marketing, including: Chris Finnoff to the position of Executive Vice President of Adam Aircraft Industries, and CEO and President of Adam Aircraft Sales; Pat Finnoff as Vice President of Marketing; Greg Klingler as Vice President of Customer Care; and Jan D'Angelo as Sales Manager for a territory that spans the U.S. from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic coast as well as Europe.

The Hawk 4 gyroplane has been included in a new Imax film entitled "Straight Up! Adventures in Vertical Flight." Filmed for the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum and set to premier this fall, the film is directed by David Douglas and is produced and distributed by SK Films Inc. to IMAX and other giant screen theaters worldwide. Director Douglas and crew recently filmed the Hawk 4 over locations near GBA’s Flight Operations Facility in Buckeye, Arizona. For more information, we invite you to visit SK Films web site by clicking here on "SK Films." In the picture above, SK Film’s helicopter photographs the Hawk 4 performing an ultra short takeoff. The USTOL (ultra short takeoff and landing; under sea level standard conditions, as short as 25 feet) Hawk 4 provides operators with takeoff distances unimaginable to operators of fixed wing aircraft.

The Great Western Freedom Fly-In and Rotorcraft Round-Up has been renamed the Ken Brock Freedom Fly-In. As an airshow performer, stunt pilot for film’s and movies, and as a aircraft manufacturer, Ken Brock was probably the most visible of all gyroplane pilots. Ken was not only a past president of the Popular Rotorcraft Association, but was also the president of the PRA’s Chapter One since it’s inception.
Last year, Ken was called home by the Big Gyroplane Pilot in the Sky after an accident in his T-18 (Ken’s favorite airplane).
The fly-in, hosted by PRA Chapter One, has been held annually for decades at El Mirage Dry Lake bed, near Victorville. The dry lake bed is smooth and a natural runway, six miles long and a mile wide. El Mirage is truly a place where you can fly free. This was important to Ken, and why we left "Freedom" in the new name. Please join us at El Mirage, September 27-29, 2002 to celebrate both Ken’s life and our freedom to fly.
For specific information on the Ken Brock Freedom Fly-In call 714-898-4366 or visit For general info, visit J
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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.