|Volume 9, Number 27b||July 3,
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
SECURITY IN PRACTICE -- FUEL STARVATION...
A pilot who said he ran out of fuel while circling outside the Washington, D.C.,
ADIZ, waiting for ATC to find his flight plan and clear him to
enter, crashed four miles short of the runway on Sunday. The pilot and
his two passengers suffered minor injuries. The Cessna 172 went down
near Baltimore's Martin State Airport shortly after noon, according to
the FAA Preliminary
Report (scroll for Record 10). "The controller told me they couldn't
find me in the system," pilot Dale Roger told the Baltimore Sun, and he
kept circling for about an hour, waiting for an OK to enter the ADIZ so
he could land at Martin Airport. More...
FEARS ABOUT SECURITY-INDUCED DANGERS...
"Fuel management is the pilot's responsibility," AOPA President Phil
Boyer said in a news release on Monday. "But having said that, AOPA has
repeatedly warned FAA and the Transportation Security Administration
that the operational gridlock caused by the
ADIZ procedures would result in an accident, and now it appears that
this has happened." AOPA said it will file a Freedom of Information Act
request for the ATC and FSS audiotapes. AOPA had asked the FAA and TSA
to establish ingress and egress routes for the ADIZ, but on June 9, that
request was denied. "This response is not acceptable," said Boyer. "As
the accident clearly demonstrates, there is a serious safety-of-flight
issue that is being ignored." More...
RESTRICTIONS AFFECT AIRSPACE WORLDWIDE
The D.C. airspace is far from being the only victim of security
restrictions. In Florida, the World
Aerobatics Championships (WAC) underway in Lakeland ran up against a
30-nm TFR that sprung up Monday night during a campaign visit to Tampa
by President Bush. By working with the FAA and the Secret Service, and
with help from EAA, the WAC was able to obtain a waiver so the
competition could continue without interruption. In Europe last week,
French fighter jets almost shot down a civilian helicopter that wandered
over Lake Geneva, after a Swiss controller jokingly labeled the
helicopter as "al-Qaeda" on his radar screen. More...
BLASTS FAA ON COST OVERRUNS, PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS...
The FAA is years behind schedule on many of its projects, while costs
increase at rates that are not sustainable or affordable, the Transportation Department's Office of
Inspector General concluded in a report issued
last week. "Overall, the 20 projects we reviewed have experienced
cost growth of about $4.3 billion and schedule slips from one to seven
years," according to the report. "Moreover, FAA is just starting
complex, billion-dollar efforts ... If FAA does not exercise more
management control over its acquisitions, existing projects will be
further delayed, and new projects may not start as planned."
STARS, WAAS, DATALINK, AND MORE...
Among the projects critiqued in the report are satellite navigation
systems, weather systems for controllers, and new technologies to
prevent accidents on runways and taxiways. For example, STARS,
the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, is seven years
behind schedule, and its estimated cost has ballooned by 80 percent,
from $940 million to $1.7 billion. The estimated cost for implementing
WAAS, the GPS-based Wide Area Augmentation
System, has gone up a whopping 227 percent, from under a billion to
almost $3 billion, and it's five years behind schedule.
OIG SUGGESTS FIXES
The report found that since most of the projects reviewed do not have
reliable cost, schedule, or performance baselines, the "FAA cannot
effectively plan, manage programs, or meet expectations for improving
the safety, security, and capacity of the National Airspace System." The
agency must take steps to control costs, maximize the impact of each
dollar spent, and develop methods to hold managers and contractors
accountable for meeting performance goals, the report said. The OIG
performed its review from December 2002 through May 2003. The report
also recommended that the FAA update the cost, schedule, and performance
baselines for many of its major acquisitions, including STARS,
ITWS, LAAS, and WAAS at a minimum.
EMERGENCY BEACONS MAKE NATIONWIDE DEBUT
On Tuesday, personal
locator beacons (PLBs), which have been in use in Alaska since 1994,
became available to pilots in the lower 48 (see AVweb's
review). The small, easily portable beacons, which use satellite
signals to pinpoint location, have been credited with saving hundreds of
lives in Alaska. Boy Scouts in Waterbury, Vt., carried out the official
test of the technology on Tuesday, and were quickly located in the woods
by rescue crews. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) says lower-end units are available for $300 to $500, but a quick
Internet search this week found many prices from $599 to $1,200. Prices
are expected to come down as demand and production increase. Users of
PLBs must register them
with the NOAA. More...
AND BOEING, LOOK OUT: THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING
The 300-plus private and state-owned companies that comprise Russia's
struggling civilian aircraft industry must merge into a single entity
that can compete with Boeing and Airbus, Vice-Premier Boris Alyoshin
said last week in Moscow. The industry will draw up a plan this year to
detail how it will achieve that goal, Alyoshin told the Associated
Press. Alyoshin also said the Tupolev and Ilyushin companies are already
working on a merger, and MiG and Sukhoi will be privatized next year,
according to Pravda. Last year, Russia produced only seven civilian
aircraft, while Boeing built over 300. More...
FIGHTER REPLICA TO BE SOLD ON EBAY
Back in 1999, 13 Oregon pilots came up with a plan to build 14 identical
replicas of the Nieuport 11, working together as a team. This summer,
the whole fleet is finished, and the extra airplane will be auctioned off on
eBay sometime in August. The proceeds will be donated to the EAA
Willamette Valley Chapter 292 building fund. The Nieuport to be sold
will be on display before the auction at the Northwest EAA Fly-In, July 9-13 in
Arlington, Wash., and at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., July 29 -
August 4. For those not in on the bidding, you can get a taste of WWI
aircraft aloft every weekend in New York at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome --
and now there's a
free ground shuttle for pilots who fly into the nearby
Kingston-Ulster Airport (20N). More...
GROUPS UNITE IN U.K.
British groups representing more than 4 million people joined on Monday
to take a stand against airport expansion, the Guardian reported this
week. About 20 groups concerned with conservation and heritage, or that
target specific airports such as Gatwick and Heathrow, issued a joint
statement that said any further airport developments would seriously
damage the economy and the environment. The statement opposes any
expansion at any of the sites, arguing that the government has failed to
make a case that more air service is necessary. If the cost of air
tickets wasn't kept artificially low by government subsidies, growth in
air traffic would be contained, they said, according to the Guardian.
WATCH: REPLACEMENT OK'D FOR HARTZELL PROPELLERS
The FAA last week issued
a Final Rule regarding certain Hartzell propellers with aluminum
blades, revising an existing Airworthiness Directive. Affected aircraft
include models from Cessna, Piper, Beech and others (check the list).
The new rule permits the replacement of affected propellers with
Hartzell model "MV" series propellers as an alternative to the initial
and repetitive inspections of the affected props. The change was
prompted by type certification approval of the MV series propellers that
are direct replacements for the affected propellers, and Service
Bulletin approval to allow modification of affected propellers to the MV
type design configuration. The revised AD is effective July 31.
WE HAVE A PROBLEM..."
Mary Ann Stout, of Ormond Beach, Fla., got an unusual phone call last
Wednesday morning from her husband, Larry, who was out flying his
Experimental biplane, a Marquart MA-5 Charger. He was all right, he told
her, but the airplane had crashed into a tree and he was stuck. Mary Ann
called 9-1-1 and guided rescuers to the downed airplane, in a wooded
area near the Volusia County line, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Larry
was taken to the hospital shortly afterward, with minor injuries, but
injury to the Charger, according to the FAA's preliminary report, was
Jersey bill that would have required pilot background checks died
Finger took over on Tuesday as president of Sikorsky
Reno unlimited racers will fly at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh later
The World Aerobatic Championships
continue this week in Lakeland, finishing tomorrow....
Erwin, flying a Zenair Zodiac CH 601 XL, won the Schneider Cup 2003
seaplane race. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Stanley D. Lindholm, of Westlake, OH. His photo, titled
"Liftoff!" captures one of the most exhilarating moments in flight:
takeoff! This sharp picture was taken on June 15 at the Father's Day Fly
In, Beach City, OH. Nice picture, Stanley! Your AVweb hat is on
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 700 responses to our question last week on cellphone
use in airplanes. Approaching half (44 percent) of those responding felt
there might be some risk of interference when using cellphones in the
air but were not totally sure of that fact. About 28 percent don't see a
problem with their use and have done so on GA and airline aircraft
alike. Only 8 percent felt using cellphones in the air compromises
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 using anti-depressants
before flight. 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 Matt Seabright, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
AVweb's AirVenture 2003 Survival Guide -- Part One
AVweb presents an insider's guide to the hows, whys and wheres of EAA's
AirVenture 2003 at Oshkosh. AVweb columnist Rick Durden provides you the
benefit of his years of OSH experience with tips you won't find anywhere
else. This first part of a two-part series covers how to prepare for
your pilgrimage to Aviation Mecca, what to bring, where to stay, when to
go and what you need to know before you get there.
When it happens, it is loud, scary and embarrassing. But prop strikes
can range from minor to life-threatening, and your health and pocketbook
depend on determining how much inspection and repair is needed.
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