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PILOT RULES IN EFFECT IN EUROPE
New rules for foreign pilots
and foreign registered aircraft in Europe came into effect on Saturday
and, depending on how member states of the European Union are
implementing them, could mean that your FAA, Transport Canada or other
pilot certificate or ratings are no longer recognized by the European
Aviation Safety Agency. EASA Part FCL homogenizes crew licensing
requirements in all EU states and essentially means that those who want
to fly in the EU have to prove competence and compliance with EU rules,
rather than just use the credentials of their home country. Depending on
the kind of flying involved, it can be a time-consuming and costly
endeavor to earn those flight privileges, particularly for IFR.
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SERIOUS INJURIES IN F/A-18 CRASH
Authorities are now sure there were no
deaths or serious injuries resulting from the crash of a Navy F/A-18 in
Virginia Beach, Va., on Friday. All residents of the apartment complex
struck by the flaming jet have been accounted for and only seven minor
injuries, many of them to rescue workers and bystanders after the crash,
occurred. Among those injured were the two crew members who ejected at
low altitude as the aircraft crashed, igniting a two-alarm fire. Five
buildings of eight apartments each were damaged by the post-crash fire.
Neighbors at the complex told news crews the jet came down in a nose-up
attitude. The flight carried an experienced instructor pilot in the rear
cockpit and a student up front. The pilots came down under canopy near
the wreckage and were taken to a nearby hospital. More...
DISMISSES EMERGENCY CALL (WITH AUDIO)
Tuesday April 3, the
crew of United Express Flight 5912, an Embraer 145 carrying 21
passengers, called controllers at Denver International Airport with an
emergency, and the response has come under investigation. The crew
initially called at about 8:30 a.m. with smoke in the cockpit. But
controllers at the airport have reportedly become leery of false
transmissions initiated by people on the ground. The controller
apparently misheard the aircraft's flight number and initially dismissed
the call's urgency. It was only after the aircraft landed and the
controller was called again by the crew of the aircraft that he alerted
rescue crews. By that time, five minutes had elapsed since the initial
emergency call. Once on scene, firefighters extinguished a fire behind
the instrument panel. The NTSB has turned over the investigation to the
FAA. AVweb has obtained audio excerpts from the pilot/controller
through to listen. More...
PARDUE KILLED IN BEARCAT CRASH
Well-known air race and airshow pilot Howard Pardue was killed Wednesday
when his F8F Bearcat went down on takeoff from Stephens County Airport
in Texas. Witnesses said the aircraft became briefly airborne before
crashing and catching fire. Pardue, 77, died at the scene.
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ADVANCES IPAD USE
The FAA currently has about 1,100 employees
-- from pilots to mechanics to lawyers -- using computer tablets, has
future plans for an app store, and now plans to broadly expand the use
of iPads within the agency, according to its tech group. The FAA
currently allows employees to use iPads to read and send e-mail or
documents, and does not allow the devices to be used to access FAA
networks. But that is scheduled to change. The FAA's manager of
Architecture and Applied Technology said that by 2014, the FAA plans to
allow workers the choice to replace laptops with iPads. It plans to
consider Android-based tablets as well. The FAA's own internal research
has found the devices useful in particular applications, improving
efficiency and costs, but also found it limited in other ways.
INSIDER BLOG: COCKPIT TECH CONVERGENCE
The futurists all said
one day soon, we would all have a single device that did everything from
phone calls to medical record retrieval. Is that why, asks Paul
Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog, he carries around a laptop,
an iPhone and an iPad on his business trips? At the AEA show last week,
he got the impression that airplanes have become merely 3-D conveyances
to fly around iPads. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
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FINDS SNAKE DOWN UNDER
Branden Blennerhassett, a 26-year-old
pilot for Air Frontier, Australia, thought he was flying alone in a
company Beechcraft Baron G58 out of Darwin Tuesday when he saw a head
pop out from behind the instrument panel. According to a local ABC news
affiliate that contacted Blennerhassett, the pilot quickly contacted a
controller to explain his concerns. "I'm going to have to return to
Darwin. I've got a snake on board the plane." Blennerhassett couldn't
identify the snake and didn't want to risk too much movement. He
imagined that could elicit a venomous bite. Unfortunately for him,
during the approach, things got a bit more intimate. More...
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HOMEBUILDER HAS BIG DREAMS
Could the future of Afghanistan
general aviation be the crumpled remains of a homebuilt trike? The first
aircraft ever built in the country made four test hops before being
damaged beyond repair in a crash landing. Sabir Shah, who had never been
in an airplane before, designed and built the aircraft using knowledge
gleaned from the Internet and materials obtained at the local market.
The result was a credible-looking weight-shift device powered by a
Toyota car engine attached to a handmade fiberglass body and supported
by a metal tube and fabric wing. Shah said he built the aircraft, which
took three years, because it was the only way he could ever see himself
being able to fly in his home country. There are no private flight
schools and few private aircraft in the perennially war-torn country. "I
believe that if you want something, you can get it," he told The Christian Science Monitor. More...
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The remote northern community of
Yellowknife, in Canada's Northwest Territories, has been proclaimed home
to the "Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport Worldwide" after an aviation
community effort to introduce girls and women to flying on March 10. Led
by Trinity Helicopters pilot Kirsten Brazier, volunteers got more than
400 girls and women up in the air for Women of Aviation Worldwide Week,
which is held annually the week of March 8 to coincide with the
licensing of the first female pilot, Baroness Raymonde de Laroche.
Defending champion Frederick, Md., placed second with 244 flights and
had to put others on a waiting list. Organizer Mireille Goyer told
AVweb in a
podcast interview a total of 1,104 girls and women got a taste of
aviation during events held in North America and Europe that day. More
important, she said, most of those who flew also got a taste for
aviation. "In fact, 92% of our feedback survey respondents said that
they would consider becoming involved in aviation as a result of the
experience," Goyer said. More...
The second Women
of Aviation Worldwide Week competition to see which airport community
can give the most women and girls their first flight in a small aircraft
was held a month ago, and the results are in. Organizer Mireille
Goyer explains to AVweb's Russ Niles how Yellowknife, in
Canada's Northwest Territories, unseated Frederick, Maryland for the
title and what it all means for aviation. More...
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
APRIL 9, 2012
Letter of the Week: Medical Exemption
I am a commercial, multi-engine,
instrument-rated pilot who now flies totally for recreational purposes.
I am a strong supporter of EAA and FAA's proposed
exemption [to Class 3 medical requirements]; however, I feel that
the aircraft limitations in it should be eliminated.
The focus of
this exemption should be totally on the pilot's medical fitness to fly
recreationally, not the type of aircraft he flies. Recreational flying
is recreational flying, regardless of the type of aircraft involved!
Many of us, including me, fly two-place aircraft whose power far exceeds
180 hp. My current one is a Yak 52, which also has retractable gear and
a constant-speed propeller. As the exemption currently reads, you would
be eliminating almost all of the IAC aircraft and warbird operators,
many of the thousands of Vans RV owners who employ the 200hp IO-360, and
countless numbers of other experimental aircraft. Virtually all of these
are recreational pilots. You would also be eliminating owners of
aircraft like the Cessna 182.
With respect to medical
certification, I consider myself as safe in my aircraft as would be a
pilot with lesser experience in, for example, a Cessna 172. If, under
the current third-class medical certification process, I am fit to fly
my aircraft, then under this exemption, I would certainly be as fit to
fly the same aircraft. Nothing about my piloting qualifications would
change, but I would be more fully aware of my medical condition and
those factors affecting it. Eliminate the aircraft restrictions from the
exemption, even if it means a tougher political fight with the
Click through to read the rest
of this week's letters. More...
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OF THE WEEK: ARROW AVIATION/EXECUTIVE AIR SERVICE (KDXR, DANBURY,
Some of our favorite "FBO of the Week" nominations
begin with an unexpected problem on a long trip. AVweb reader
Jerry Quint was on his way home from Sun 'n Fun when he
discovered our latest top-notch FBO Arrow
Aviation/Executive Air Service at Danbury Municipal Airport
(KDXR) in Danbury, Connecticut. Jerry provided the play-by-play of his
for fuel and to spend the night. I was immediately impressed with the
professional demeanor of the refueler, Mr. David Clark. When he
discovered that I was remaining overnight, he directed me to a
convienent tie-down and offered me the use of the pilot's lounge to
spend the night. After a lengthy search, he found a key to the shower
room. Joanie, who handles the office chores, answered all of my
questions and made me feel welcomed. Cliff Brown, a CFI, made sure I had
the codes to the doors, in case I wanted to leave the FBO after it
closed for the day. Additionally, Cliff introduced me to a Master A&E/IA
by the name of Karl Wiemer, who not only restores fabric-covered
aircraft but is an expert in chasing down oil leaks.
SkyCatcher had developed a leak on the way up from Sun 'n Fun, so he met
me the next day, after I had a delicious doughnut that Cliff had
delivered that morning before his early departure for a trip to Maine.
With cylinder pressure testers in hand, Karl checked for the possibility
of blow-by. After he determined there was no blow-by causing oil
leakage, we started the engine and found the oil was leaking out of the
oil filter where the filter and the rounded flange met. Several calls to
oil filter suppliers proved to be fruitless, and it was discovered that
the oil filters for SkyCatchers are only available at Cessna Dealers.
They are very expensive, and there is no authorized subsitute. The
nearest Cessna dealer was 40 miles distant, so Karl drove to retrieve
it. After his 80-mile trip, he installed the filter, and I was finally
on my way.
Of all the ten airports that I have visited in the
last two weeks, the folks at Danbury are head and shoulders above them
all. I am proud to recommend them for "FBO of the
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
And now for a slight departure from our usual
"Short Final" hijinks:
Many years ago, I heard a
radio exchange that, for me, illustrated the great resources and the
responsibilities we have as pilots. Climbing into the VFR corridor of
the New York TCA, I heard this on the frequency:
"Boston Center, American 123."
"American 123, Boston."
"Company has informed us they have a report of a possible
bomb on board."
"Roger, American 123.
What are your intentions?"
"We'd like to
return to Boston."
"Roger, cleared to
And that was it! No routing, no questions, no
altitudes. Later, they were given the winds and asked which runway they
would prefer. I can only assume there was a great deal of activity on
other frequencies to clear the sky for the jet.
My point is
we don't often dwell on the responsibilities of command when we take off
with our families and friends or of the great resources of the
ATC which are available if we need them. All it takes is a few words,
and, for some period of time, the world will revolve entirely around us.
Being ready and able to play our part if the time comes is as important
as any other flying skill, and for many of us, why we feel so good to
call ourselves pilots.
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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about the news should be sent
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