The Aviation DataBase®


Your Connection to the 21st Century


System Requirements:

MS-Windows XP
Internet Data Transfer
Server Error
MS-Office 2000 Error
Tips and Tricks
MS-Word HyperLinks
Colors & Color Printers
Computer and Hardware
Software and Resource
Knowledge & Experience
The good news

Demo Data Files
System Background
Contact Sales
Technical Support

Prices & Order Forms
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Technical Support for
The Aviation DataBase

If you are a Subscriber; also see How to use this System.

MS-Windows XP:

For some time now we have had concerns that Windows XP would have some unpleasant surprises. Our System will work correctly when using ANY Operating System (Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, or 2000, Apple MacIntosh, IBM, Unix, Linux, etc.) That's because all you are doing is "scooping" data up from our Web Server -- Any Scoop will work !! The problem is; ease of use and functionally. Microsoft has always tried to make things easy for you, however, their latest trend is to limit your flexibility in order to make it easier. Therefore, we recommend Windows 2000 as having the most functionally and giving you the most control over your computer. Windows XP is at the other end of the spectrum; Microsoft makes a lot of assumptions for you that are sometimes difficult to change. If you are using Windows XP (or any other Operating System for that matter) and you find things that don't seem to be working right -- Just call as at 800-952-8844.

Internet - Data Transfer Concept:

The source of the confusion seems to be the use of the term "download". Like many terms in the computer (data processing) industry, "software" is another example, its use has grown to mean so many things that it is no longer precise. Without going into the origin of the word, it is now used to mean any movement of data across a network of any kind. "upload" and "download" are almost interchangeable. Commonly it is thought that "download" is from Server to Client or Big to Little; i.e. Business to Customer. Alternatively it is From Source To Requester (pull). "upload" is From Sender To Destination (push). Next; if you can see something on your computer screen, it has already been downloaded to you. The technical exception is a large PDF file. In some cases you may see the first pages on your screen while the download of the balance of the document is still in progress. If it hasn't been downloaded, you can't see it. Once you can see it, it is on your computer and you can do anything you want with it. More important, it is almost always already on your hard disk stored as a Tempoary File in the Windows System area of your disk. The exception is the data that is only stored in memory while it is displayed on your monitor; that is no longer common in MS-Windows operating systems. To save any data (downloaded file) that you can see, just select "File" in the upper left part of your screen and then "Save As". Netscape makes this process a little easier that MS-IE, but they both get the same result.

Server Error:

This System uses your Word Processor, typically MS-Word, to display data files (DOC or RTF). When things are set-up correctly, selecting (clicking on) a data file Link will launch your Word Processor and load the data file. In other words, your Browser calls and launches your Word Processor and then displays the data file. Netscape always handles this procedure correctly. MS-IE may, under some circumstances, miss-handle the load of MS-Word and report a "Server Error". This problem exhibits the following:

  1. Its not a Server Error, its an MS-Internet Explorer Error.
  2. Its a random error, it will be there one min. and not the next.
  3. It seems to occur most frequently on "re-visited" files.
  4. It can be very frustrating and annoying.


  1. Microsoft is aware of the problem and suggests that installing Service Release #2 for MS-Office 97 will fix the problem. We have researched this suggestion and found that it may help, but it is not a reliable solution; the error still occurs. Microsoft now has a Web Site dedicated to the support of Microsoft Office: The current service release is SR-2b and can be downloaded from the that Web Site.

  2. Right-Mouse click on the Link and select "Open in New Window". This forces MS to "re-think" its error and works about 30 to 50% of the time.

  3. Use Netscape: Its Free, Its Faster and the problem never occurs!! (See below)


MS-Office 2000 Error:

The Word Processor delivered with MS-Office 2000 has a Hyperlink "bug" that causes the application not to respect Bookmark Links created with earlier versions of Microsoft Word Processors (MS-Word 6.0c). Microsoft is aware of the problem.

The result is that our files (AD text files and others) with imbedded Hyperlinks will not "jump" to other places in the document when "clicking" on the Bookmark Links displayed with Word 2000.
The inter-document links (i.e. calls to the Web Server for a different document) function correctly.

In a recent conversation with Microsoft Technicians, we were assured that a fix to the problem would be "available soon"; probably with the first Service Release for Office 2000.

Microsoft now has a Web Site dedicated to the support of Microsoft Office: You should check this Web Site periodically for updates to MS-Office 2000.

The Word Processor in Office 97 does not have the problem.


Text Colors and Color Printers:

We use "Screen Colors" in the most of our text (DOC & RTF) data files to provide emphasis for some data elements:

BLUE: for some Headers, Titles and Appendices
AD 99-01-01: Hyperlinks to other Sections or Documents
TCM ASB 99-150A: Manufacturer's Service Information
CAUTION/WARNING: Highlight Safety Information
Repeat at intervals of...: Recurring AD Information
Supersedes 97-10-10: Superseded AD No.

Hyperlinks are always Blue and Underlined.
Other colors are just for emphasis.

Most Color Printers will print the document with the correct colors and most "Black Only" printers will print the document correctly, however, without color (colored words are printed in black).

We have now seen some printers that will not print the words that are displayed in color. They produce a "Blank Space" where the colored words should be. The following procedure gets around the problem:

  1. Save the Text file(s) to a convenient location
  2. Close your Internet connection (optional)
  3. Load MS-Word and display the file(s)
  4. Click on "Edit | Select all"
  5. In MS-Word 6, Right click, then "Font" and change color to "Auto"; In Word-97, you can use the Font "A" icon on the toolbar and select "Automatic"
  6. This process removes all colors from the document and returns the Font Color to the default, which is usually black. Hyperlynks are the exception, however, for a number of reasons, they are never in the body of a document.
  7. If you re-save the document, the colors are permanently removed.

The real solution is to determine why your printer is ignoring words shown in color, however, the above procedure will get the document printed correctly.


MS-Word HyperLinks: (Download the WLL) - (User of Hyperlinks)

HyperLinks ("Jump to" Commands) can be used in three general ways:

  1. "Jump to" a new location in the currently displayed document.

  2. Load a new Local Document and go to a specific location; typically the top of the document (text, html or graphic file).

  3. Go to a new URL. This involves an active Internet connection and the "Jump" goes to a Web Site; more typically a specific place and/or a specific file on that Web Site.

All kinds of Document Handling software use Hyperlinks. Specifically: SGML, HTML (and its new variants), most modern Word Processors, and many others. The problem is; they all use a different method (internal code and tags) to accomplish the "Link".

HTML is emerging as the standard, and is the defacto standard for all World Wide Web Browsers. However, it is not yet flexible or universal enough to meet all of our needs. Therefore, we need to use a Word Processor for most of our documents. The goal is to design around a Word Processing standard that has all of the features we need and is commonly available. And, although we don't like to push Microsoft products, MS-Word meets all of the requirements, including being found on about 80-90% of modern, business oriented personal computers.

Next, we must use the earliest version of MS-Word possible, so everyone does not need the latest version to use our System and display the data files. Fortunately that choice was easy; MS-Word 6.0 has all the features we need (HyperLinks being a special case) and, so far, all new releases of MS-Word are backward compatible with Word 6.0, i.e. Word 97 will correctly interpret Word 6 Links.
See MS-Office 2000 Error above.

Unfortunately, MS-Word 6.0 can not create, nor does it respect, HyperLinks as it comes "out of the box"; a special DLL (WLL) is needed.

If you are using MS-Word 6.0 and it does not show the word "Hyperlink" at the bottom of the "Insert" pull-down menu, you will need to install WORDHTML.WLL in the MS-Word startup subdirectory to make Hyperlinks work.

The MS-Word 6.0 primary directory can have several possible names: WINWORD, WINWORD6, WORD60, etc. Once you determine where to put the ".WLL" file, Click on the Link above and save the file in the MS-Word 6 "startup" subdirectory. The file is a compressed self-extracted EXE. In DOS, type the filename or with Windows Explorer, double-click on the filename to decompress the archive. (The EXE file can then be deleted).
Then display an AD file and test the HyperLinks.

Word 6.0 does not handle HyperLinks to graphic files as well as it could. That notwithstanding, if you "click" past the two Dumb Messages, the graphic should appear.

Use of HyperLinks:

This System uses HTML HyperLinks in the standard way and Word Processor (MS-Word) HyperLinks as follows:

  1. Although a lot of text is "highlighted" with bold colors, only the underlined text (this one is not) are Links. i.e. Service Bulletins shown in red are not Links.

  2. Since non-MS Word Processors not only do not respect the HyperLinks, in many cases, they obliterate the "Link Text" ; we do not put the HyperLinks in the body of any document.

  3. HyperLinks to Service Information, graphics and other support files can be found at the top and/or bottom of the displayed files.

  4. Where the file size is not dramatically effected, we will put figures "in-line" in a document file. When this causes the file size to approach half a megabyte, the figures will be Links.

  5. HTML Links typically require only a "Single Click", while Word Processor Links frequently require a "Double Click" and a pause while the file in found and downloaded.


Tips and Tricks:

If you are going to use this System to meet your day-to-day requirements for FAA Regulatory Data, we recommend the following approach to downloading and saving data files:

  1. If your Browser asks you for a "Download/Save" or "View/Open" decision: Select the View or Open Option.
    The Download is automatic. There are some rare exceptions to this, as some early Browsers won't let you view a file. Therefore, you must always download the file to a disk location from which you can view it later.

  2. Before you get too many files scattered around you disk, create the following Disk Directory structure on a petition (hard disk drive) on your computer with several megabytes of free space:
    • d:\faadata
    • d:\faadata\ads
    • d:\faadata\fars
    • d:\faadata\tcds
    • d:\faadata\advcir
    • d:\faadata\????? as needed.
      There is nothing magic about these subdirectory names, use any names that make sense to you. We recommend names of eight bytes or less so you won't have a mess if you stray from the Windows 32 bit world. (The lower case "d" is probably your C: drive.)

    In addition, or as an alternative to the above structure, you may want to create a subdirectory for each aircraft, or aircraft type, that you work on. Storing all data (ADs, SBs, TCs, etc.) that apply to that aircraft in a single subdirectory.
    i.e. d:\faadata\beech\V35 or d:\faadata\piper\N1234K.

  3. When you select a file to view, your Browser should launch your word processor (typically MS Word) and display the file in your word processor while your Browser is still active.

  4. If you decide to keep (save) the file, click on "File | Save As" in your word processor (Netscape) or in your Browser
    (MS-IE). Then, in the Save As dialog box, find "faadata\----" and save the file to the appropriate subdirectory.

  5. With this procedure, you can accumulate all the text files that you need in a logical directory structure that will allow you easily find them in the future.

  6. Although MS-IE is a perfectly good Browser, we recommend Netscape for a number of reasons. When your word processor is launched, Netscape will remain active in the background while the word processor environment is on the screen . This makes everything very obvious. When MS-IE launches your word processor, it is disguised in the Browser and the Browser environment is visible, making the file handling a little less obvious. Next: Netscape will leave the filenames alone (AD 98-15-01 remains "981501.RTF") while MS-IE frequently assigns a temporary filename:
    (TC A14CE.DOC becomes "m1234bx.tmp") since it is expecting to save the file to the Windows Temp directory. You may have to change the filename to something meaningful as it is saved when using MS-IE.

  7. There is a minor 'bug' in MS-IE that will, on occasion, miss-handle the launch of MS-Word (interestingly, Netscape handles the launch of Microsoft Word better that Microsoft's browser) that will block the file display; giving a Server Error message. No such error occurs on the server. The problem is in Microsoft Internet Explorer and its ability to successfully launch MS-Word and display the requested file. The problem is random and transient; suggesting a memory related bug. There are three solutions: 1) Use Netscape, 2) Right-Click and "download/save" the file to a convenient location and redisplay it with a word processor later, or 3) Back-out of MS-IE, get a clean restart of the browser, return to the file location and reattempt the display. The good news is; the problem is not common. The bad news is; it can be a real nuisance when you are in a hurry.

Note: We use Netscape as our default browser, its free and it makes life an lot easier. We only use MS-IE to test our System so we can tell you about MS-IE's idiosyncrasies.


The resources, facilities and knowledge required to use this System can be divided into several areas:

Computer and Hardware Requirements:

  1. A Personal Computer, (IBM compatible or Apple) capable of communicating on the Internet.
  2. A modem; required for an Internet connection.
  3. A "Page" printer (not dot-matrix) with graphics capability.
  4. Enough Hard Disk space to store downloaded files.
  5. A VGA or better monitor with at least 640x480 resolution.

Software and Resource Requirements:

  1. An Operating System that can support Internet communications. (e.g. Windows 95/98/NT etc.)
  2. A "modern" Web Browser. (e.g. Netscape, MS-IE, etc.)
  3. A Word Processor (Viewer/Editor) that can read and display Rich Text Format (RTF) files and DOC files.
  4. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides for World Wide Web access. (they all do!!)
  5. Internet connectivity software. Winsock or something like it. (This capability is now built-in to Windows and in some cases, is built-in to your Web Browser)

Knowledge and Experience Requirements:

  1. Basic knowledge of the Aircraft Industry and maintenance procedures. (Make - Model - Nomenclature, etc.)
  2. Knowledge of the FAA's data organization methods and naming systems. ("model", "series", etc.)
  3. Basic knowledge of how to use your computer and its Operating System (e.g. Windows 95, etc.)
  4. A fairly complete understanding of how to use your Web Browser and Word Processor.
  5. Enough of an understanding of your ISP's requirements and your Web Browser's capability to make consistent connections to the Internet and the World Wide Web.

The good news is: There are only 2 real requirements.

  1. Can you view Web Pages on your computer?, and
  2. Can you download RTF files and DOC files to your computer and view them in a Word Processor (viewer/editor)?

The other fifteen points above just provide a logical place for us to put "links" to useful information that you may need.

Aviation DataSource, Inc.
Denver, Colorado  Copyright 1992-04 All rights reserved
Phone: (800) 952-8844; E-Mail:


 The Aviation DataBase is a registered trademark of Aviation DataSource, Inc.
Copyright 1992-2013. Aviation DataSource, Inc. All Rights Reserved.