|Volume 9, Number 27a||June 30,
This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by
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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At
STATES MEDDLE IN PILOT CERTIFICATION...
Look for the alphabet groups to switch their focus from Michigan to New
Jersey in the now-familiar battle to prevent states from getting into
the pilot-qualification business. Just as the Michigan House was giving
unanimous support to a bill that would repeal that state's criminal
background-check law, New Jersey legislators were passing a
law that would require, at their own expense, fingerprinting and
"background identity checks" for student pilots. New Jersey's already
mandates that pilots comply with a mandatory
"two-lock" rule. According to the Soaring Society of America (SSA), the
current legislation can be interpreted to cover introductory flights
(flown by CFIs) as well as regular flight instruction and will become
law unless Gov. James McGreevey vetoes it within the next 40 days. The
governor is available, online.
REVOCATION APPEAL PROCESS FLOATED...
Meanwhile, federal legislators appear to be taking no chances that the
insecurity rule" will be left solely in the hands of the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to administer. A few weeks
ago, the Senate and House passed their versions of the FAA
Reauthorization Bill establishing an independent appeal process for
pilots, instructors or mechanics who lose their certificates based on
security concerns raised by the TSA. Currently, it's the TSA that hears
the appeals. There's no guarantee that language will survive a joint
Senate/House committee review that must reconcile the differences
between the two versions of the bill. Just to be on the safe side, the
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has included the
appeal language in a bill of "technical corrections" to the Aviation and
Transportation Security Act, thus giving the measure a second chance if
it's lost in the FAA bill. More...
PAPERWORK UNDER MICROSCOPE
Your personal paperwork isn't the only object of the government's
security watchdogs. The FAA has announced it is going through its
aircraft registry, one plane at a time, to ensure that all the documents
are in the right place at the right time. Any registration that doesn't
meet requirements -- for any reason -- will be flagged as a possible
security threat and followed up on by the FAA. The solution for aircraft
owners is simple and that's to make sure that all the paperwork is
properly done, especially with ownership transfers and other status
changes. But AOPA also wants to make sure the FAA is not overzealous in
its review. "AOPA's concern is that aircraft owners not be branded
potential terrorists due to a clerical error or other innocent mistake,"
said AOPA VP Melissa Bailey. More...
FREEDOM TO DC...
The latest legislative attempt to broaden access to Ronald Reagan
Washington National Airport (DCA) has passed the committee stage.
Included in the Aviation
Security Technical Corrections Act of 2003 are provisions to allow
non-scheduled carriers back into the metropolitan airport. The bill has
been passed by the House
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and will go before
the full House, although no timetable has been set. Under the bill, the
Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service would develop a
security program for the non-scheduled carriers. An amendment also
passed that would allow non-commercial business aircraft into DCA under
an approved security process. More...
SAYS IT'S TSA'S CALL
Meanwhile, the FAA seems to be distancing itself from the whole DCA
debate. The agency has passed the buck on reopening the airport to
non-scheduled services. In a letter to NATA, the FAA said it's "not the
final authority on security concerns" and passed NATA's request to the
TSA. NATA had formally petitioned the FAA to lift the charter ban at
DCA. In its letter, the FAA said the Department of Homeland Security
calls the tune on such matters and the FAA just does the footwork.
Well, the test pilot came out of it unscathed, but the crash of a
cutting-edge unmanned prototype off Hawaii is a tragedy nonetheless for
test project and record-setting
aircraft. The solar-electric Helios
Prototype flying wing was destroyed when it crashed into the Pacific
Ocean in the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility off the island
of Kauai on Thursday. The propeller-driven craft was flown by a
ground-based pilot from the plane's owner, AeroVironment Inc., on a
checkout flight to test the fuel-cell system. More...
Adam Aircraft is next in a
lengthening line of modern designs to have chosen Avidyne's FlightMax
Entegra integrated flight deck for its push-pull A500T twin. The
Avidyne system (reviewed, June
15, by AVweb) features two 10.4-inch diagonal, high-resolution
sunlight-readable displays as pilot and co-pilot primary flight displays
(PFD). Each display has its own electronics for reliability and
redundancy running the solid-state air data and attitude/heading
reference system (ADAHRS). The screens will also show standard flight
instrumentation including an electronic attitude direction indicator,
electronic horizontal situation indicator, altitude, airspeed and
vertical speed. More...
GENERAL AVIATION'S HEALTH & SAVE MONEY IN THE PROCESS
Participation in Avemco's Safety Rewards Program will make you
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Management for Pilots" course produced by John and Martha King. After
completing the King course, further credits can be earned by completing
recurrent training that goes beyond the FAR minimums and that addresses
"real world" pilot problems. For complete details go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco
PROMPTS FLIGHT SCHOOL'S REFOCUS
A fatal crash involving one of its students has prompted a Florida
flight school to accelerate the closure of its primary flight-training
department. Gulfstream Academy of
Aeronautics will continue to offer advanced training to existing
pilots who want to work for the airlines but it's no longer taking
private, commercial, multi- and instrument-rating students. There are
about 20 students working on those ratings now and they will be sent to
other schools, with Gulfstream picking up any difference in cost.
Gulfstream President Mark Ottosen said the fatal crash two weeks ago
speeded up the plans. More...
SHOW HELPS KIDS
As air shows go, it's a big one -- but then so are the hearts of the
organizers. Van Nuys
Airport's Aviation Expo 2003 raised
$101,000 for more than 20 local nonprofit youth and service
organizations. Nature played a role by turning down the Southern
California heat to attract more than 385,000 people over two days. The
crowds were treated to a massive static display that included, along
with the military, vintage and commercial aircraft, a full-scale replica
of the Wright Flyer. There were also numerous aerobatic, military and
vintage flying displays. More...
WIN THE GETAWAY OF
THE CENTURY! AVweb and Pilot Getaways magazine have joined with
BuyItWright.com to bring you the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes. The
lucky winner will be a part of the Kitty Hawk activities on December 17.
Other prizes include special commemorative watches and more. Enter the
sweepstakes, secure VIP events seating, and purchase official Wright
products at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/100g
LAUNCHES SAFETY CENTER
A new safety and engineering center, with the power to stop a space
shuttle launch, will be in place before Atlantis blasts off as early as
next December, NASA announced Friday. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe
told a meeting of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the
Florida Press Association that the safety center will cover all programs
of the agency. "They can stop the mission or stop the operational
activity or slow it down or whatever else is necessary along the way
when they find ... really serious issues that need to be resolved," said
SAFE, FOR NOW
Warbirds and other surplus military equipment in private hands appear
safe, at least for this year, from the Bush administration's fixation
with destroying the historic items. Every year, the White House tries to
include, as part of the defense authorization bill, a section that would
require owners of warbirds and other ex-military equipment to
"demilitarize" the items at their own expense. The wording is found in
S. 1050 and H.R.
1588. It's generally agreed that means destroying them. But each
year, the Senate and the House, after prompting from the various
associations that owners of these things belong to, delete that section
from the bill. More...
EAA and Aeroplanner.com have combined to help you track presidential
Women In Aviation plan 15th annual convention in Reno in March...
Sailplanes in cross-country race to Kitty Hawk, ending July 4...
One of five flying Concordes was grounded by electrical fault.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Trevor Potts, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
When problems arise, pilots are trained to logically step through
checklists and quickly determine causes and actions. But beware the red
herrings: When dealing with complicated mechanical systems like
airplanes, the first culprit is not always the primary cause, as Michael
Maya Charles relates in this month's As The Beacon Turns.
Taking the "Search" Out of "Search-and-Rescue"
After years of bureaucratic delay, the FCC has finally approved the use
of 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacons in the United States starting July
1, 2003. For less than $1,000, you can now carry technology in your
flight bag or survival kit that will alert search-and-rescue agencies of
your identity and exact location within five minutes.
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