On The Fly...

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The CIA says a former Sydney Airport international baggage handler had links to al-Qaeda. It was reported by Australia's AAP that Bilal Khazal was employed as a baggage handler until a security review was carried out at the airport before the 2000 Olympic Games...

On Tuesday, Embraer announced it will build an airplane plant in Florida as part of an effort to become a defense contractor for the U.S. government. The company did not disclose the size of the investment, when the plant will be completed, or when it expects to win contracts with the U.S. government. The facility will be at the Cecil Commerce Center, formerly the Cecil Field Naval Air Station, an active military base until its closure in 1999...

The Flying Texas 200 Air Race culminated in a pass at the Bombardier 500 Indy Car Race last weekend. The top three placing teams in the air race flew a victory lap at the Texas Motor Speedway before the car race started. After landing at nearby Alliance Airport the winners were taken by helicopter to the track's Victory Circle for presentations. Dennis and Jeanette Hackler won the air race...

A five-year-old British girl was killed after being swept away by a helium balloon. The tragic accident happened when the girl became entangled in the mooring ropes of the balloon just as high winds swept into air show grounds. The balloon was about to be used for fun rides at a British military show being held at a base in Germany. The rest of the show -- scheduled through the weekend -- was cancelled...

New tests seem to confirm the possibility that Columbia was brought down by a piece of foam. In a test conducted June 6, a chunk of foam fired at high speed cracked a space shuttle wing panel. The 1.5-pound piece of foam caused a 3-inch crack in the reinforced carbon panel creating a gap of less than 1/10th of an inch between the panel and an adjoining seal...

The oldest Air France Concorde will be donated to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. It will go on permanent display at the museum's new companion facility, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The aircraft will make its last flight as it travels to its induction ceremony on June 12. The new museum will open to the public on December 15.