|Volume 9, Number 26b||June 26,
The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At
WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T: MOONEY RESTRUCTURES...
Last week, Mooney Airplane
Company announced a new financial restructuring deal that may help
balance the books. President Nelson Happy said the agreement gives
Mooney "less debt and more cash," as investors recognized the company
needed more working capital and less debt. Specifically, the company
changed the holdings of convertible debentures, which are basically
credit notes, into share holdings, therefore making the investors
interest more of an ownership stake. More...
NEW STC FOR THE CESSNA 206H...
This week, Soloy Corporation
announced FAA certification of the Soloy Turbine Pac-powered Cessna
T206H/206H. The Washington-state aircraft modification company has
already delivered more than 60 turbine 206G model conversions over the
past few years. The company claims the new package offers a host of
improvements over its last mods. More...
RAYTHEON SCRAPS THE STARSHIP
While things seem to be looking up at Mooney and Soloy, Raytheon is
preparing to eliminate the remains of a failed project. The company is
planning to scrap the 40 remaining Starships in its fleet. The
canard-design, twin-turboprop pushers were built from 1988 to 1995. It
also owns the three planes built as prototypes. While the airplane's
debut initially made for a lot of hoopla and head-turning, its sales
were dismal. More...
THE PILOT OUT OF FLYING...
While unmanned aircraft, for obvious reasons, are an increasingly
popular option for the military, drone builders are now expanding their
horizons to the civilian market. This became apparent at last week's
Paris Air Show, a venue traditionally known for exhibiting the best
specimens of manned aircraft. With the success of drones -- like the Global Hawk --
in recent military conflicts, the recent buzz seems to concentrate on
the use of this technology for commercial purposes. More...
HOW SAFE ARE THEY?
So, how safe would our skies be with a fleet of unmanned aircraft flying
around? The U.S. government has asked NASA to research advanced
collision-avoidance technology. You may remember AVweb's recent
reporting on this program, which detailed this equipment and the role it
may play in future development programs. More...
BATTLES STATE LEGISLATURES
State governments seem hell-bent on adding a hefty price to the cost of
flying and AOPA has recently stepped up its fight against such measures.
For starters, the Ohio House has inserted a previously deleted measure
into its version of the state budget that would hike the registration
fee for general aviation aircraft a whopping 800 percent. AOPA President
Phil Boyer called on Ohio Gov. Bob Taft to exercise his line-item veto
and eliminate the drastic jump. "That pilot has been paying about $12 to
register his single-engine four-seat aircraft," said AOPA President Phil
Boyer. "He's now going to have to pay $100; exactly the same as a major
airline would for a 747 or an Airbus 340." More...
SMALL AIRCRAFT JOIN WILDFIRE FIGHT
The wildfire season is upon us and small aircraft are playing a more
prominent role in putting them out. Because of the rash of accidents
involving heavier firefighting aircraft last year, this season will see
more use of smaller, single-engine airplanes fighting the blazes. This
is mainly due to the U.S. Forest Service's and the Bureau of Land
Management's restrictions on several larger models of fire tankers,
including the C130A. The Baltimore Sun reported the big iron will have
to carry 15-percent lighter loads to reduce wing stress. A fleet of
Single Engine Air Tankers (SEAT) will take up the firefighting slack.
JOSE AIRPORT CURFEW CHALLENGED ... AGAIN
What do Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and the San Jose SaberCats have in
common? They are combatants in the ongoing battle against San Jose's
airport curfew. Ellison won his battle, but Horta LLC, which owns the
Boeing 727 used to shuttle the arena football team, is just starting its
fight. It has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Jose to allow the
use of the jet during the restricted hours of 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
City Attorney Rick Doyle claims the plane is louder than any aircraft
allowed to use the airport during the curfew but Horta's attorneys
dispute that and want permission to use the jet during the season, which
runs from February to June. More...
CREW GUIDES CARGO PLANE TO SAFETY
A U.S. Air Force crew's quick action may have prevented a South Pacific
ditching by the crew of a Canadian cargo aircraft. The Kelowna Flightcraft Convair 580
was on a delivery flight from the company's base in Kelowna, British
Columbia, to Palmerston North, New Zealand, when the crew, two Canadians
and a Kiwi, realized they were far off course. On the last leg of the
flight, from Pago Pago in American Samoa, the crewmembers realized
something was out of sync when their navigation gear said they were over
New Zealand but there was nothing but deep blue sea under them. That's
when the Air Force came to the rescue. More...
BATTLE FOR BOEING'S BUSINESS
Now that Boeing has a name for its new jet -- the Dreamliner -- the race
is on to build a manufacturing facility for the ambitious project. To
date, about 24 states have submitted bids to host the new assembly
plant. All kinds of incentives -- from tax breaks to favorable zoning --
are being offered with the hefty proposals. The deadline for submittal
was Friday the 13th, but Boeing declined to say how many states had
actually submitted proposals. "Now the hard work for us begins," Mike
Bair, senior vice president of the 7E7 Dreamliner program, told the
Associated Press. More...
PILOTED MISSING AFRICAN 727
As the mystery of a missing African airliner lingers, more details of
its disappearance, and a U.S. connection, are surfacing. The missing
plane has been the subject of an international search since it vanished
after departing Angola on May 25. The last known flight of the Boeing
727 was recorded shortly after it had been repossessed from Angola Air,
which failed to make payments on the jet, according to the South African
news service News24. A Florida family now claims a relative of theirs
was the pilot hired to retrieve the aircraft. According to them,
51-year-old Ben Padilla had been contracted by a Miami-based firm to
repossess the jet. They discount suggestions the aging airliner was
stolen for criminal purposes. The family fears the jet crashed somewhere
in the African continent. Stay tuned...
Friends of Meigs is asking for pledges to support future legal
Eight pax were injured while evacuating a B-757 in Tampa...
Officials claim pirate radio is affecting ATC communications in
A replaced SFAR will renew expired certificates for armed-forces
NASA is planning on reinstating shuttle launches in the 1Q of 2004.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 90 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Jim Parker, of Lutz, Fla. His photo, titled "VW Convertible" is
certainly one of the most unusual we've seen so far. If you're wondering
what the structure is hanging from the aircraft's wing, just take a look
in the background. You'll notice a "convertabalized" VW van sitting on
the ramp. This is what happens when aircraft and automobiles hit. Great
picture Jim! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to
**Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of
readers who submit photos. More...
QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 300 responses to our question last week on the Paris
Air Show. The largest group (39 percent) of those responding felt the
American boycott of the event was necessary and it was time for the U.S.
industry to show its collective power. Following behind, 30 percent
thought the holdout did the U.S. more harm than good, while 4 percent
felt the American aerospace industry's image was tainted in the process.
To check out the complete results, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on cellphone use in
airplanes. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to email@example.com. Note, this address is
ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Read Meban, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
Say Again? #25: Beating the System
The more pilots try to beat the system, the more work controllers have
to do to keep everybody safe. AVweb's Don Brown had a recent difficult
week when Atlanta ARTCC was understaffed, under-radared, and
overstressed. This kind of week will only become more common as both
traffic levels and ATC retirements increase, unless everybody goes back
to following the rules.
Set Up For Success
Sure you fly the gauges. The trick is to flow the entire panel with a
procedure in mind. (This article originally appeared in the July 2002
issue of IFR
Magazine and is reprinted here by permission.)
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