On The Fly...

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Steer clear of Cape Canaveral late this afternoon as the Air Force tries to launch an Atlas rocket. The Special Use Airspace will be activated from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. If the launch is scrubbed, they'll try again Tuesday during the same time period...

Maverick Jets Inc. claims layoffs announced Thursday signal growth for the company. Company spokesman Sandy Scott told Florida Today an undisclosed number of the 60 employees were let go so the company could contract production to another undisclosed company at an undisclosed location. Some of the employees are expected to get jobs at Liberty Aerospace, which is also at the Melbourne Airport...

As AVweb told you last month, AOPA is planning its big Fly-In with static displays, entertainment and seminars on a variety of topics. What we didn't tell you was the date. Circle June 7 on the calendar and be mindful of the prohibited airspace (P-40) in the area and what it's done to arrival procedures...

The makers of Airbus lost money in the first quarter but they're still predicting a profit by year's end. European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., the 80-percent owner of Airbus Industrie, lost $105 million over the three months, attributed to the decline in the U.S. dollar, fewer sales and whopping development costs of its A380 superjumbo. The company still expects to make $1.62 billion this year...

The air traffic control system has a couple of new bosses. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has named David B. (Bruce) Johnson as director of Air Traffic service and Linda M. Schuessler as deputy director. They're in charge of 24,000 people who run the control towers, TRACONs, en route centers and FSSs. Both started as controllers in 1974...

It could be months before the death toll of a strange accident over the Congo is known. Congolese officials simply don't know, or aren't telling, how many soldiers and their family members were sucked to their deaths when a cargo door opened on the Il-76 in which they were flying. Initial reports said 129, but some reports put the count as low as seven.

A replica of Howard Hughes' H-1 Racer will be at EAA AirVenture 2003. The Hughes H-1B hit 352 mph over a closed course in 1937 and crossed the country at an average 332 mph in 1932. The replica, built by Jim Wright, of Cottage Grove, Ore., set a world record for its class at 304 mph at Reno last year.