NewsWire Complete Issue
DCA Access, Banner Towers And More...
The alphabets are cheering (and taking some credit for) a legislative package that would, among other things, restore charter operations to downtown Washington, get banner towers back in business over outdoor gatherings, smooth foreign flight student regulations and allow third-party appeals of security-related airman certificate suspensions. The Aviation Security Technical Corrections and Improvement Act was approved by the House Subcommittee on Aviation last Wednesday and still must be approved by Congress before any of this relief actually takes place. "Much of what the subcommittee characterizes as 'corrections' are actually vindications for EAA and many other general aviation organizations that have advocated reasonable, prudent security measures that are commensurate with security risks," said EAA's VP of industry and regulatory affairs Earl Lawrence. The National Air Transportation Association is particularly pleased that the bill would force the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to allow non-scheduled charters back into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where they've been banned since 9/11. A DHS security program would have to be in place before the first flight. NATA joined EAA and the others in applauding the lifting of the ban on stadium banner towers, which was widely criticized as an economic, rather than a security, measure lobbied by major sports groups. The new bill also addresses one of the biggest beefs about the controversial law that allowed the TSA to lift the airman's certificate of anyone deemed a security risk. Under the new bill, U.S. certificate holders would be able to appeal the suspension to a third party. The bill would also smooth the procedure for U.S. flight schools to accept foreign students who have undergone a security check. The bill also would create a small-business ombudsman for the TSA to deal with the financial impact of security measures.
...President Gets GA-Free Zone
While Congress is looking at relieving some of the burden on GA, the TSA and Secret Service have decided that a protective bubble of commercial-only airspace be put around President Bush as he hopscotches around the country supporting his tax-relief bill and beginning his re-election campaign. Friday, EAA said a proliferation of "pop-up presidential TFRs" littered the nation's airspace and the same day filed a formal complaint with the TSA, claiming the TFRs place "a growing hardship" on GA. "General aviation was repeatedly shut out of large blocks of airspace all over the country this week," said EAA VP of government affairs Doug Macnair. AOPA was similarly unimpressed, noting that just about any other kind of flight activity can proceed normally under the TFRs and GA, along with air taxis and on-demand charters, have been targeted as some kind of threat. AOPA President Phil Boyer noted that ATC contact and squawking ATC-assigned transponder codes have been enough to satisfy security concerns in the past. "So what has changed? Is there a specific and credible threat?" Boyer wondered. Meantime, AOPA joins us in advising all pilots to keep an eye on the news to see where the president might be traveling and to always ask about TFRs that might pop up along your intended flight path ... and to steer clear.
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by …
Quality-Control Standards Approved...
The enormously complicated task of creating the paperwork for a whole new class of aircraft took a major step forward last week. The quality-control language for the new light-sport category was completed during a consensus standard session hosted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The ASTM is facilitating the standards process for light sport in advance of the final rule expected from the FAA in July. Under the process, industry representatives provide input to the standards document and then get a vote in approving the final document. Further tweaking can be done later to ensure letter-perfect compliance with the new rule. The quality-control standards just passed can be used as a blueprint by manufacturers to set up their own programs. The standards process appears to be winding down, with predictions that it will be essentially wrapped up in July, just in time for the FAA to announce the final rule at EAA AirVenture. Among the standards categories still under review are design, performance and engine specs and it's expected the balloting will be complete in July. The powered parachute standards are already complete. EAA VP Earl Lawrence, who chairs the standards process, said light-sport is a model for cooperation between government and industry. "Light-sport aircraft standards are a whole new way of establishing safe, consistent manufacturing standards for this category," he said. "Creating safe, fun aircraft in which people can have confidence is the goal of this enormous industry and FAA effort."
...New Planes In The Wings
One of the light-sport standards that is causing compliance problems is the relatively low top speed of 115 knots that is allowed. Plenty of kitplanes out there can do that without breathing hard and the challenge of many designers seeking Light Sport category compliance is to rein them in. Take, for example, the VM-1 Esqual, a new breed of super-fast-build from Spain that will be introduced by North American dealer Jabiru USA Flight Center at EAA AirVenture starting July 29. The Esqual's biggest engine option is a 120-horsepower Jabiru that will pull it to 200 mph -- even with the smallest engine offered, an 80-horsepower Jabiru 2200, it's still a shade fast for the light-sport rule. It meets all the other criteria, including the 38-mph, flaps-out stall speed. It might be faster to build one, rather than wait for the technical revisions, however. Esqual's designers claim the plane can be completed under the 51-percent rule in 500 hours or less by an inexperienced builder. The fuselage comes in one piece and the wings are together in the kit and include some pre-installed hardware. All the other parts are vacuum-molded and oven-cured. Finished, the Esqual has a wingspan of 29 feet, 10 inches and is 19 feet, 3 inches long. Engine options include a six-cylinder Jabiru 3300, a four-cylinder Jabiru 2200 and a four-cylinder Rotax 912. It can weigh less than 600 pounds empty and grosses out at 1,150 pounds.
GET OUR "BEST CLASS" RATES WITH ONLY 250 TOTAL HOURS Now through the Pilot Insurance Center a private instrument-current pilot with as few as 250 total hours may qualify for PIC's "Best Class" rates. PIC works closely with leading insurers to develop life insurance policies specifically designed for pilots. PIC offers full coverage policies with no aviation exclusions provided by A+ rated (A.M. Best) insurance companies. Compare and Save. For a quote call PIC today at 1-800-380-8376 or go online athttp://www.avweb.com/sponsors/piclife
Illinois Considers Law To Save Meigs...
Chicago would be forced to reopen Meigs Field and never close it again under legislation now before the Illinois legislature. With help from AOPA, Rep. David Leitch (R-73rd District) has introduced an amendment to state Senate Bill 802 that would give Chicago additional powers to expand O'Hare International Airport. The amendment would require the city to "restore and reopen Meigs Field as an airport for public use." "The closure of Meigs Field adversely affects air traffic and airports throughout the Chicago region," the amendment reads. "Meigs Field, if reopened, would immediately serve a vital role for air transportation in this state ..." The airport, on the Chicago waterfront, was closed March 31 when Mayor Richard Daley ordered city crews to dig large X's across the single runway. AOPA's regional rep Bill Dunn said the state's willingness to get involved shows the issue is bigger than just Chicago. Meanwhile, the city lost a round in court when it tried to have the temporary restraining order on further destruction of Meigs lifted. Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Maki refused to lift the restraining order, which is supposed to stay on until the next official hearing of the Friends of Meigs' (FOM) petition for a permanent restraining order. That hearing is May 23. FOM wants the judge to order disclosure of details of the meetings held to plan the strike on Meigs to see if they violate the state's open meetings laws. The city has so far refused to release the information.
...Waterfront Battles In Canada, Too
Waterfront airports everywhere seem to be the targets of land- and tax-lusting politicians and even relatively uncrowded Canada has its battles. In the metropolis of Toronto, the aviation community fights a constant battle to remind the city and senior governments of the importance of Toronto City Centre Airport, which is on an island a few hundred yards from the downtown core. This coming Saturday and Sunday, the airport and several businesses there are taking part in Doors Open Toronto, an opportunity to show off the airport and explain its role in the Toronto transportation system. There has been a vigorous campaign by some airport opponents to close the airport and turn it into a park (sound familiar?) but so far the aviation community has been able to counter it. Far away from the bustle of the big city in Nelson, British Columbia, a similar if smaller-scale fight is brewing. Pilots and aviation businesses at that waterfront airport are convinced the mayor and council of the city (pop. 10,000) want to shut down the single-strip facility and sell it off for industrial and commercial use. The airport's status is being reviewed year to year and it is no longer in the city's official community plan. According to the airport supporters' Web site, the airport is a vital Medevac facility, a search-and-rescue training and operations base and an essential transportation link for the relatively isolated mountain community. It's also one of the most beautiful little airports anywhere, with the city's historic downtown core a short walk from the tie downs. The airport boosters are looking for any support they can get to convince the city council of the airport's value, and there's strength in numbers. Nelson's a convenient stop for U.S. pilots heading for Alaska, after clearing customs in either Cranbrook or Kelowna. Stopping in for a breath of fresh mountain air may help keep the numbers up.
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 http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mooney
The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor program appears to have passed a major hurdle. The Pentagon has ordered 11 more Ospreys, at a cost of $817 million, giving life to a project almost killed after a series of high-profile incidents and fatal crashes in 2000. Since the crashes, which in 2000 killed 23 Marines, aircraft systems have been reworked and a new round of flight tests completed. The 11-plane order is a signal those tests were satisfactory. But while the Pentagon has renewed confidence in one "-22" program, the General Accounting Office is concerned the often-delayed program is moving toward the manufacturing stage too quickly and another, the F-22 Raptor program, is seeing cutbacks. In its review of the Osprey and 25 other major weapons programs, the GAO said the joint Boeing/Bell project "plans to enter full-rate production without ensuring that the manufacturing processes are mature." But Ward Carroll, of Naval Aviation Systems Command, disputed the GAO's concern, saying no decision on full-rate production will be made until after simulated battle condition tests are complete in 2005. "There's much oversight between now and then," he told Reuters. The GAO is also worried about cost overruns looming on the F-22 Raptor. The GAO says Lockheed Martin hasn't been able to efficiently build the first production aircraft and cost estimates keep going up. However, Lockheed spokesman Greg Caires said the report is wrong. "The costs are going down. And we can show that," he told Reuters. The Air Force has scaled back its Raptor purchase from 750 to 276 aircraft.
With a couple of drone engines supplying the power, the Eclipse 500 resumed flight testing Thursday, flying a 26-minute shakedown that Eclipse said went well. The Teledyne 382-10E engines are substituting for the yet-to-be-built Pratt and Whitney Canada PW610F engines that will go on production models. The drone engines will be used to complete aerodynamics and systems testing while the company waits for the Pratts. The last time the 500 flew it had Williams EJ22 engines on the back but the two companies parted company not long after Eclipse sent the test engines back. When new engines become available (expected in late 2004), Eclipse can move toward full certification, expected in 2006. Meanwhile, a bit closer to more wallets, the $128,000 Liberty Aerospace XL2 is on the brink of type certification for its two-place, high performance, FADEC-controlled piston-powered cruiser. In a letter to customers, Liberty President Anthony J.P. Tiarks said certification is expected in July and production could start in August. Tiarks said it will take about a year to build the first 50 planes that have been ordered and is urging buyers waiting for certification to get their deposits in now to avoid the flood of orders that might occur after the documents are finally signed. Tiarks also sheds some insight on the certification process itself, saying it's not for the faint of heart. "We have kept going, we have developed an aircraft that is fun, it performs and perhaps most important of all, it is safe," he said. "I believe the wait was worth it."
DO YOU WANT THE BEST HEADSET MADE BUT THE PRICE SCARES YOU OFF? For a limited time, Avionics West has the best price around for the BOSE X, the best headset made. For more too-low-to-advertise prices, call 805 934-9777 and mention this AVflash, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
After they're trained to carry guns in the cockpit, airline pilots' next course could be on taking out a missile headed for their aircraft. The Homeland Security Department is calling for proposals from high-tech companies on how to protect airliners from shoulder-launched missiles and they're asking for at least two prototypes to be built. "This is a real breakthrough," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Associated Press. Schumer is cosponsoring a bill that would retrofit 6,800 airliners with anti-missile systems at a cost of $10 billion. But while airlines would get a free ride on their existing fleet, they'd have to pay the extra $1 million for the systems on all the new aircraft they buy and that's lit a fuse under some airline groups. "Aviation security is a national defense function," said Debby McElroy, president of the Regional Airline Association. Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, said systems installed today would probably be obsolete quickly and that governments can't afford to "stay ahead of technologies which continually churn out new instruments of war." But John Pike, director of the defense policy group Globalsecurity.org, said a new generation of laser-guided anti-missile systems is under development and could be adapted to airliners. He also noted that to keep Americans safe, the entire worldwide fleet of 10,000 airliners should be equipped.
The FAA is rewriting the definition of "public aircraft" as opposed to civil aircraft but don't hope (or worry) that it's opening any loopholes. The rewrite is just to clean up the language and bring it in line with the Wendell H. Ford Aviation and Investment Reform Act (AIR-21), which was enacted in 2000.
Owners of V-tailed Bonanzas must repetitively inspect fuselage bulkheads for signs of failure. Also, repetitive inspections of the empennage, aft fuselage and ruddervator control system become a one-time action with any subsequent repair and the setting of the elevator controls, rudder and tab system controls, cable tensions and rigging.
Cessna 414A and 402C owners must inspect the wing spar caps for fatigue cracks, apply any necessary repair or replacement and incorporate a spar strap modification on each wing spar.
BE A PART OF THE FUN AND ADVENTURE OF AN INTERNATIONAL AIR RALLY The world's largest International Air Rally is being professionally orchestrated by Air Journey and the International Air Rally organization 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! Be a part of this event. U.S. residents find details at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airjourand Canada and European residents go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airrally
NavCanada, the private, non-profit company that supplies air traffic control and other aviation services in Canada, is raising its rates an average of 6.9 percent in August. The company announced Thursday that the ongoing airline slump, coupled with the war in Iraq and SARS, and an unpaid $43 million debt owed by Air Canada, now in bankruptcy protection, has combined to create a shortfall of about $176 million. "We've exhausted our ability to help ease the burden of the downturn on our customers," CEO John Crichton told a news conference. The company took over the services from the government in 1997 and, as it chopped overhead, rates were reduced. But after 9/11, rates were hiked and the latest increase will push them to their highest level. It's still a bargain, according to Crichton ... and some basic math. "... our charges [will] still be 28 percent below the old Air Transportation Tax they replaced," he said. The increase translates to about 65 cents on the price of a ticket between Ottawa and Toronto. South of the border, the rate hikes in Canada will undoubtedly become fodder for those fighting any chance that ATC could be privatized in the U.S. AOPA says a bill it's backing to privatization, and the fluctuating user fees that come with it, is making headway through Congress. The House aviation subcommittee approved the proposed legislation but it has to go through both arms of government and be signed by the president to become law. "AOPA has argued insistently that control of the nation's airspace must remain under the direct control of the government," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. Earlier this year, the FAA declared ATC to be a "commercial function," thus potentially open to privatization. But FAA officials, including administrator Marion Blakey, have repeatedly stated there is no intention to privatize ATC.
OREGON AERO HELPS SEAN TUCKER BE HIS BEST The success that world-class aerobatics performer Sean Tucker enjoys as a champion is due in part to the comfort he experiences with his Oregon Aero custom seat cushion system and helmet upgrade. They help Sean perform his best by eliminating pain, which helps maximize his concentration. "The Oregon Aero products are incredibly comfortable and easy to install," says Sean. "I highly recommend them for anyone. They will make flying more enjoyable." Check out all of Oregon Aero’s products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon
A Russian jet fighter company will float a $100 million initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange next year. Sukhoi jet maker Irkut said the initial offering will be done to establish a credit history. The Moscow Times said Irkut is one of a few aviation companies not controlled by the government, although the government does hold 14.8 percent of the shares...
Young Eagles hit the 900,000 mark in early May, well on its way to flying a million young people by the Dec. 17 centennial of the Wright brothers' first powered flight. EAA members voluntarily fly kids in their aircraft to introduce them to aviation and, perhaps, coax them into the air themselves when they're older...
Air traffic controllers wanting to move up in the world should transfer to Phoenix. Ground was broken on a new 335-foot tower at Sky Harbor International Airport last week. It will be almost twice as high as the old tower, built in the 1970s...
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) has awarded $100,000 in scholarships. A total of 23 students pursuing studies in avionics and related fields shared in the pool of money. The scholarships are sponsored by the AEA Educational Foundation...
One of the architects of the modern commercial aviation system died last week. Lloyd Welch Pogue headed the Civil Aeronautics Board from 1942 to 1946 and was the key U.S. representative at the Chicago International Civil Aviation Conference in 1944, which structured post-war international commercial aviation. He was 103.
SHOP VROTATE.COM FOR FATHER'S DAY GIFTS! Find that special Jeppesen and/or McGraw-Hill aviation book at VRotate. VRotate will beat Amazon or anyone else's deals! Order chart subscriptions through VRotate and never be without charts again! Chart subscriptions also make excellent gifts. All at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/vrotate
Having just rolled out and made my way to the taxiway, I contacted ground control. The taxiways were very lengthy and one way. This would have added nearly a mile to my travel to the gas pumps which were only several hundred yards away. "Ground control, Cessna ***** at Alpha 6, can I "fudge" a bit and turn left to the pumps?" After a short pause, "Cessna *****, fudging approved."
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Remember, we are able to provide FREE access to AVweb+AVflash thanks to our fine sponsors so please try to patronize them whenever you can.
DIAMOND AIRCRAFT INTRODUCES THE NEW TWINSTAR Powered by Thielert Centurion 135-hp diesel engines, the Diamond Twinstar is economical to buy AND fly. To see this and other Diamond Aircraft models, go to their online brochure at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/brochures/diamond For more information, go online http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond
SUBSCRIBE TO FLIGHT EXPLORER AVWEB EDITION 4.02 FOR ONLY $9.95 A MONTH! The latest edition of this real-time flight tracking display of all IFR aircraft in-flight includes enhanced tracking of individual flights, surface overlays, terrain and elevation maps, and full screen mode for a larger picture on your PC. To subscribe at the AVweb subscriber rate of only $9.95 a month go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fe
CHASE-DURER'S WING COMMANDER CHRONOGRAPH HAS BEEN IMPROVED! The improved Wing Commander Chronograph has a sapphire crystal, is crafted from solid stainless steel with a new two tone heavy bracelet attached with solid end pieces and expandable buckle. A great value for only $299.00 and makes a thoughtful Father's Day gift. Styles for both men and women at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur
HE FLIES THROUGH THE AIR WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE, that daring young man in the flying machine! Inspiration for the song, and the "daring young man", are incorporated in Dave Higdon's photo gallery. Yes, you know Dave as an AVweb special projects editor. Go to Flying Machine Photo's site for a FREE download of some incredible wallpaper, plus you can order Dave's photos online to decorate or give as a special Father's Day gift. http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flyphoto
SAVE $25.00 ON SCHEYDEN FLIP-UP SUNGLASSES FROM PILOTMALL TILL MAY 31ST! Scheyden Precision Sun Eyewear allows pilots' eyes to adapt effortlessly to changing light conditions. Scheyden frames are strong and light-weight titanium and provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. Pilotmall also offers top-quality flight bags, read the AVweb review, and save $25 on Scheyden sunglasses at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall
SAVE 15% ON SUMMIT AVIATION'S COMPUTERIZED AVIATION REFERENCE LIBRARY subscriptions till June 30! The Computerized Aviation Reference Library contains the equivalent of over 35,000 hard copy pages of Regulations, Advisory Circulars, FAA orders, Airworthiness Directives and other government publications ON ONE CD. Combined with a powerful search engine, and Summit’s exclusive tools, The Library enables you to find what you need FAST! Now through June 30, SAVE 15% on any subscription. PLUS, receive a Green LED pen-light FREE, while supplies last! Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/summit
RECEIVE A REBATE FROM TELEDYNE-CONTINENTAL MOTORS WHEN YOU BUY ORIGINAL For a limited time, every TopCare (TM) cylinder from Teledyne-Continental Motors (TCM) comes with a direct rebate of up to $75. The best cylinders for your TCM engine are factory-original TopCare cylinders. State-of-the-art manufacturing standards ensure every cylinder meets exacting manufacturing and quality specifications. For technical information, rebate details, warranty features, and a dealer near you, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm
YOUR AIRLINE CAREER STARTS AT PAN AM INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT ACADEMY Choose a training center: known worldwide as the leader in aviation training; has trained pilots for over 200 airlines; has a curriculum developed by the airlines; has the industry's largest fleet of all New Piper Aircraft; where the only goal is to get you hired at the airlines, sooner than anywhere else; and will deliver what they promise. All at Pan Am International Flight Academy. More information at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/panam
HEADLINES IN THE JUNE ISSUE OF IFR REFRESHER: Too Much Airplane, the need for a foundation of basic instrument skills upon which a pilot must build familiarity in type; Make GPS Work For You; Vows of ATC Marriage; Short Flight, Big Trouble; Best Speed To Fly The Bumps; and Cedar City ILS Runway 20. IFR student or long-time IFR pilot, you can't afford to NOT be an IFR Refresher subscriber. Sign up at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrref
NEW PRODUCTS FROM SACRAMENTO SKYRANCH IN TIME FOR LOTS OF SUMMER FLYING! You know Sacramento Skyranch for their great maintenance books, now find two new products: The GATS JAR. The only fuel analysis tester to separate non-petroleum contaminants and thereby purifying water and debris from contaminated avgas and jet fuel allowing extracted fuel to be put back into the aircraft and not on the ground. REJEX. A thin-film polymer coating that reduces adhesion of bugs, oil, grime and more to any aircraft surface and lasts for months. See these and other fine products at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch
AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE'S JUNE/JULY ISSUE IS ANOTHER KEEPER! Articles include: "The Champ", how a fighter-bomber rose from parts to win the Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy; the XF-84H's thunder screech; NASA Goes Nuclear to the moons of Jupiter with ion engines; bits and pieces to reconstruct extreme simulators; the reason Russian MiG-15 pilots fought off F-86 Sabres; plus features and more. Subscribe at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/smithson
FATHER'S DAY SHOPPING PROBLEMS SOLVED AT AVWEB'S SHOPPING DIRECTORY For everything aviation go to http://www.avweb.com/shopping/directory.html