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TEN YEARS AFTER
One of the most astonishing chapters in U.S.
aviation history unfolded ten years ago when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
ordered a secretive raid on Meigs Field, sending heavy equipment in
under cover of darkness to carve massive Xs across the runway. At the
time, Daley claimed the move was necessary to protect the city "from
terrorism" but he soon admitted that it was the first stage of
fulfillment of a long-held dream to turn Northerly Island, the man-made
strip of land that housed Meigs, into an ambitious waterfront park.
Ironically, the only development of any significance has been the
repurposing of the terminal building into a nature center to anchor some
walking trails and a 30-acre patch of ground seeded to natural prairie
grasses. LiveNation also built a temporary stage to host concerts but
the park is a far cry from the urban Shangri La envisioned by Daley.
Meanwhile, a few stalwarts continue the fight to "save Meigs" although
there's no realistic expectation that aircraft will ever return, which,
according to the Chicago Sun-Times, happened with
the advance knowledge of senior officials of the Department of
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DELAYS ACTION ON LEADED AVGAS
A U.S. District Court Wednesday
dismissed a suit brought by Friends of the Earth that aimed to push the
EPA to decide whether emissions from general aviation aircraft are a
threat to public health, but did not dismiss the possibility of further
policymaking. The ruling found that the Environmental Protection Agency
does have discretion to make an endangerment finding regarding leaded
avgas emissions. But it also ruled that the EPA cannot be forced to make
an accelerated finding. AOPA said it hopes the ruling will allow general
aviation to transition away from leaded fuels based on a schedule
"driven by facts and policy, hopefully not by more lawsuits." The EPA is
not scheduled to make a decision before 2015. More...
Masimo Introduces a Pulse
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RECOGNITION SOUGHT FOR PILOTS
A Canadian group is trying to
get formal recognition for pilots as professionals in the same league as
doctors, lawyers and engineers. Tom Machum, president of the College of
Professional Pilots of Canada, told AVweb that if successful, the
College would set and enforce standards for commercial pilots and
provide needed input into regulations and laws that govern aviation in
the same way that the governing bodies of other professions operate.
"We're hoping that we can transform piloting from its current status
which is really kind of recognized as more of a trade into the true
realm of being a professional," Machum said. He said the overall goal is
to enhance safety by providing the framework for pilots to excel at
their jobs. If successful, it would be the first professional pilot
designation in the world. More...
PILOTS AS 'PROFESSIONALS'?
The College of Professional Pilots
of Canada has more than 1,000 members in its push to have piloting
recognized as a true profession like medicine, law, and engineering.
AVweb's Russ Niles spoke with College President Tom Bachum
about the rationale for the movement. More...
The Biggest Aviation
Show on the Planet ... Is Back!
The award-winning hit TV series The Aviators
is back for
an all-new third season showcasing everything from the F-22 and DC-3 to
LSA and balloons. We take you dogfighting in the Nevada desert, flying
with the USAF Thunderbirds, and look on as Mötley Crue frontman
Vince Neil learns to fly. Join our 10 million weekly US viewers and
countless more worldwide.
Watch The Aviators on PBS, iTunes,
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PANTHERA ROLLS (WITH VIDEO)
1000-nm, 200-knot, (predicted) all-composite Pipistrel Panthera rolled
onto the grass at Pipistrel's Slovenia facility and successfully ran
behind its 210-hp Lycoming for the first time Thursday. The aircraft is
highly anticipated by supporters and critics anxious to see if it will
live up to performance predictions and also come to market at a
competitive cost. A Pipistrel representative told AVweb Friday
that the aircraft's airshow schedule has not yet been set for 2013, but
the company aims to land the aircraft on U.S. soil as soon as possible.
For now, you'll have to be satisfied with video of the sleek aircraft's
trailing-link landing gear absorbing the Slovenian turf (backed by an
AC/DC soundtrack). More...
EXPECT DELIVERIES BY YEAR-END
Thursday, Eclipse Aerospace
earned an amended production certificate from the FAA, "authorizing the
final assembly, test, and certification of the new production Eclipse
550" jet, the company announced. Earlier this month, Eclipse powered up
the first truly new aircraft to roll out of its Albuquerque factory in
nearly five years. The amended production certificate grants the company
approval of its quality system, allowing it to produce, flight test and
grant airworthiness certificates to the aircraft it builds. New
production Eclipse 550 twin-engine jets should begin reaching customers
before year-end. More...
IMPULSE TO FLY U.S. THIS SPRING
The Solar Impulse team
Thursday announced plans for a multi-stop flight of its solar-powered
aircraft, HB-SIA, departing the San Francisco area's Moffett Field in
early May and concluding the trip in early July at New York's JFK.
Planned stops include Sky Harbor Airport, Ariz.; Dallas/Ft. Worth,
Texas; and Washington, D.C. One stop prior to D.C. has yet to be
announced. Organizers hope the U.S. flight will be the last before the
team embarks on a "zero-fuel round-the-world flight in 2015" with a new
larger airplane. Structural failure during testing is among the team's
previous setbacks. More...
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|Texas Steps into the Breach with Tower Closures||back to
TAKES OVER TOWER FUNDING
Texas will take over funding of air
traffic control towers at 13 airports that will lose them to the federal
government's sequester cuts. The state's department of transportation
made the decision on Thursday but it won't become official until the
Texas Transportation Commission ratifies it. The commission is meeting
in an emergency session next week to consider the move. That seems like
a formality, however. "Safety is the primary reason we felt a need to
take immediate action for the air travelers and business aircraft that
use these airports," Texas Transportation Commissioner Fred Underwood
said in a news release. More...
Over 21,000 Happy
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FALLS OUT OF AIRPLANE
Authorities have found the body of a
pilot who fell out of a Zenith 601 aircraft at about 2,500 feet over
East Brainerd, Tenn., just east of Chattanooga on Friday. The man was
not identified but the latest reports suggest he was an experienced
pilot who had recently purchased the aircraft and was being trained to
fly it by another pilot. "At some point during their flight, the canopy
on the aircraft malfunctioned and, as a result, one of the pilots was
ejected," Bradley Gault, a spokesman for the Bradley County Sheriff's
Office, told local media. More...
Parts Break; Weather Builds
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
APRIL 1, 2013
Letter of the Week: Jet Pilots Want To
Regarding the tower
closures: This is to the instructor who is worried about the effect
of the tower closings and his students mixing with jet and turbine
I have flown jets into and out of non-towered airports
for years. Except for a few that are single-pilot certified, jets are
crewed by two very proficient pilots who go extra diligent when in the
ATA. We make position reports to let everyone flying in the area know
where we are. We do not go blasting into an airport, as you
As long as you teach your students to remain alert, make
the necessary position reports, and not cut in front of speedier
traffic, they will survive with or without towers, and so will
here to read the rest of this week's letters. More...
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|Video from the Aircraft Electronics Association
ASPEN'S NEW ADS-B PRODUCTS
Demand for ADS-B
products continues to trickle upward, and everyone who is anyone in the
avionics business is developing or already selling ADS-B gadgets. Aspen
rolled out its first products at the Aircraft Electronics Association
show in Las Vegas, with an eye toward a range of solutions that rely on
the company's innovative Connected Panel system, an in-cockpit wireless
network that links up with tablet computers. In this video from the
show, Aspen's George Pariza gives AVweb a tour of the new
GARMIN TEAM X -- PASSION-DRIVEN PRODUCTS
Although they're not
the centerpiece of Garmin's booth at the Aircraft Electronics
Association show in Las Vegas this week, Garmin has made quite a ripple
with its announcement of seven new avionics products for the
experimental and light sport markets. In this video, Garmin's Jim
Alpiser explains why the company is so bullish on the experimental
segment and why Garmin carved out a segregated engineering team to
develop uncertified avionics, with more products on the way.
SANDIA AEROSPACE'S NEW COMPACT TRANSPONDER
manufacturerers are spinning out new ADS-B products by the week, they're
also creating some new sub-niches. One of those is for a simple, compact
Mode-C transponder since some kind of transponder will be needed once
the ADS-B mandate is in place. Sandia Aerospace recently added just such
a product to its well-respected line of avionics fans, integration
boxes, and encoders. At the Aircraft Electronics Association show in Las
Vegas, Sandia's Dennis Smith gave AVweb a video tour of the
company's new STX 165 compact transponder. More...
OF THE WEEK: AIR CARE AVIATION (W03, WILSON, NC)
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Air
Care Aviation at Wilson Industrial Air Center (W03) in Wilson,
AVweb reader Ron Horton had a great
experience there, as did several attending a recent
Flew into W03 (Wilson,
NC) along with two other planes to give rides to a local church through
the NC Baptist Men's Aviation wing. Gave rides to 90 passengers on a
beautiful Saturday. Guilford Mooring was running things at the FBO and
was most gracious to accomodate our three airplanes and a host of
first-time fliers ranging in age from 2 to 82. He kept everyone fueled,
shared the facilities, and welcomed the kids playing on the grass
between the FBO and the fence next to the ramp. His hospitality left a
very favorable impression on lots of locals who had never been to an
airport before. Based on conversations, there might be a few new pilots
from that group to add to the GA roster someday!
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...
In the hangar all day listening to our radio, I
heard several pilots ask our tower if they were closing. This was the
"Are you guys done
"Who do you mean me or the
done at noon, but the tower is going to be around for a long
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
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