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READER SURVEY RESULTS: MIXED SUPPORT FOR TOWER
Although some pilots think closing towers at small
general aviation airports may negatively impact flight safety and
convenience, nearly half of them -- about 45 percent -- say they support
the closings anyway and not even one in five believes the towers should
remain open. And by overwhelming margins, AVweb readers told us
that the FAA should be expected to trim its budget to reduce federal
spending and that advocacy groups like AOPA shouldn't pressure the FAA
to keep towers open at low-traffic airports where they simply aren't
needed. These are some of the findings from AVweb's reader survey
last week on the hot-button issue of closing control towers to meet
budget requirements under congressional sequestration.
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CLOSING CRITERIA DETAILED
If the tower at the local airport
was supposed to be closed but wasn't it's because someone convinced the
FAA that closing it would pose a threat to national security. At least
24 towers that would normally have been closed under the mathematical
limits set by the agency before sequestration took effect (fewer than
150,000 movements and fewer than 10,000 airline operations annually)
were spared the budge axe and Government Executive Magazine posted a list of four main criteria that interpret
national security in a variety of ways. More...
TOWER CLOSURES BY THE NUMBERS
The FAA will close 149 federal
contract towers beginning April 7, in response to sequestration's budget
cuts, the agency announced Friday. The newly revised list is online here (PDF). The agency says closures will be
phased in over a four-week period. At least 38 states are affected.
Florida is one of the nation's most populous states and it also stands
to hold the crown for most closures, served with 14 fewer towers unless
changes are made before early May. The FAA says economic impact and
threats to national security were considerations as they decided which
towers to close. Some of the nation's most populous states hold top
spots for the most closures, but one from that group will see very few.
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CONTROLLERS AT SNF
Although the tower at Lakeland Linder
Regional Airport in Florida is on the FAA's list for closure (so is
Wittman Regional's in Oshkosh) the facility will be manned as usual by
FAA controllers through Sun 'n Fun. Under the sequestration closure
plan, Lakeland is among 149 towers being closed due to sequestration
cuts and was to be shuttered on April 7. But the big show starts April 9
and FAA controllers will be on the job the day before as traffic floods
into the area. "Contrary to popular belief, the issues in Washington,
D.C. will not deter the aviation community from coming together to share
the thrills and excitement of the 39th Annual SUN 'n FUN International
Fly-In & Expo," says a rather jubilant news release from SNF President
John Leenhouts. More...
The Best We've Ever Made
Bose was the first to introduce active noise reducing headsets to
aviation more than 20 years ago, forever changing the way pilots fly.
Today, we continue to set the standard with the Bose A20 Aviation
. The headset provides acclaimed noise reduction, with a
comfortable fit and the clear audio you expect from Bose. It also
connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and priority switching.
BIG PUSH INTO THE EXPERIMENTAL/LSA MARKET
Although sales of
avionics for certified aircraft have been in the doldrums, Garmin
International seems to be bullish on the experimental and light sport
markets, introducing this week no fewer than seven new products for that
segment, all with sophisticated capability and eye-opening low prices.
Garmin's flagship product, the G3X EFIS, will get a new low-cost and
lighter ADAHRS system and a new engine indication product that will drop
the price of the complete package to $4375. Sweetening the deal will be
additional modules for the G3X, including an integrated autopilot with
similar capabilities as the popular GFC 700 certified system, an
angle-of-attack system for stall awareness and a hard-mount remote ADS-B
receiver based on the GDL39 portable product. More...
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FILES LAWSUIT TO HALT USAF TUCANO CONTRACT
Beechcraft announced that it has filed suit in Federal Claims Court "to
contest the U.S. Air Force's decision" to move forward with a $427
million contract awarded to Embraer/Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). The
Air Force has twice selected the Embraer/SNC Super Tucano over
Beechcraft Corporation's AT-6 for its Light Air Support program, but
Beechcraft's maneuverings have so far blocked performance of the
contract. Beechcraft's new lawsuit aims to halt execution of the
contract "while the Government Accountability Office (GAO) continues to
review Beechcraft's protest." More...
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AIRLINE PILOT REMOVED FROM COCKPIT
Jernnard is being held on $1 million bond after being found in the
cockpit jump seat of a US Airways flight at Philadelphia International
Airport, Wednesday, posing as an Air France pilot. Jernnard was found by
the flight's crew at some point during the boarding process. When
questioned, he identified himself as a 747 pilot for Air France,
according to CBS news. Jernnard held a valid ticket for the flight to
West Palm Beach and was wearing a white shirt with an Air France logo
and a jacket with epaulets. Jernnard reportedly became irritable when
asked for identification and the crew called police to the gate.
BANDIT GAINS BOEING MENTOR
A 57-year-old Boeing project
manager named Jonathan Standridge has decided to take a personal role in
the rehabilitation of convicted airplane thief 21-year-old Colton
Harris-Moore, aka the "Barefoot Bandit." Harris-Moore is serving a
seven-year sentence for crimes related to the boats, cars and airplanes
that he stole or took on joy rides. Pending charges may extend the term.
Standridge told The Associated Press that his motivation in helping
Harris-Moore stems from a second chance granted to him when he was
young. Standridge says he believes that chance gave him a brighter
future. "That is what I'm passing on to Colt," he said.
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OF THE WEEK: BAXLEY MUNICIPAL AIRPORT (KBHC, BAXLEY,
AVweb's latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to
Baxley Municipal Airport (KBHC) in Baxley,
AVweb reader Robert Inman recommends adding
it to your Sun 'n Fun flight plan:
This facility has been completely remodeled with an emphasis on
pilot efficiency and comfort. The young manager, Tyler Beach, is as
pround as can be as he gives you a tour, including two bedrooms for
those who might get stranded there by weather all at no charge.
There are a brand-new ramp, self-service pumps (although Tyler helped
pump the fuel, and the cheapest fuel in Georgia. This is a great
place to stop on your visit to Sun 'n Fun!
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...
BAD ELF'S NEW GPS MODULE
like the iPad have decent on-board GPS receivers, they aren't
necessarily the most robust in hanging onto a position fix. As a result,
a number of companies make portable remote GPS units that Bluetooth
position fixes into the tablet. In this AVweb video, Aviation
Consumer's Larry Anglisano reviews a new product from Bad Elf called
the GPS Pro. Besides basic GPS, it also includes datalogging.
TOTAL ECLIPSE FLIGHT DEMO
Eclipse is touring
the country with its Total Eclipse, a factory re-do of the original
EA500. But the airplane is a good stand-in for new production airplanes,
which will be called Eclipse 550s. AVweb recently took a flight
demo in a Total Eclipse and prepared this video report.
I don't remember the exact date, but I overheard
this conversation with ATC about 35 years ago. Those were the days when
we had the old surplus DGs and transponders were not required near busy
terminals. Weather was clear, but a cloud layer had formed over the
airport and trapped some students on top.
"Tower, this is Cessna 123, and I am
"Roger. Can you tell me your last known
"Yes. I was just west of Ft.
Lauderdale, but I can longer see the ground."
you have a transponder?"
"O.K. Turn to a heading of
"I don't have that
"What does your heading indicator
"O.K. Turn to N."
"Roger. Now turn to
and now we will steer you to a VFR airport so you can
Cal W. Tax
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