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Low-interest loans would be offered to Alaskan pilots if a new comprehensive aviation safety initiative by that state's
governor, Sarah Palin, is put in place. The loan program would act as part of a bill aiming to facilitate the purchase and cockpit installation of Capstone-compliant avionics aimed in part at
improving safety by providing highly accurate physical terrain and weather information to pilots in all weather conditions. Under an FAA-sponsored test program (in which commercial operators got the
gear for free) there was a significant and immediate drop in the number of accidents.
"Alaska has seven times more licensed pilots than the national average and the highest accident rate in the nation," according to the Alaska governor. The safety program involves a
multi-departmental effort that includes the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development. It's also key to the FAA's plans to adopt Capstone throughout the state, according to the
governor. The FAA is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the ground stations that make the system work but it will be up to aircraft owners to outfit their planes.
Two former Pan Am International Flight Academy instructors who say they alerted the FBI to the strange demeanor of convicted 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui when he was a student at the school are
upset that one of their colleagues was paid $5 million under the "Rewards for Justice" program and they received nothing. According to The Associated Press, Tim Nelson and Pat Sims both phoned the FBI independently when Moussaoui signed up for advanced
jet training when he was clearly unfit for the course. Instead, the money went to Moussaoui's instructor Clarence Prevost, who said he was suspicious of his student but didn't actually make the
It was, however, Prevost who was interviewed by the FBI and subsequently testified at Moussaoui's trial. "He was certainly there but he didn't call the FBI. I have no idea why he received the
reward," Sims told the AP. The pair were recognized by the Senate in 2005 in a resolution that commended their heroism and bravery. During the 2006 trial, Moussaoui confessed to being the "20th
hijacker" whose role was to command the hijacking of a fifth airliner to be flown into the White House. He later recanted the confession but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role
in planning the attacks.
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The lawyer for the first officer and only survivor of Comair Flight 5191 says he has withdrawn a controversial defense strategy in which the passengers who died on the flight were held partly
responsible for their deaths. They along with the pilot and a flight attendant died after the aircraft took off from the wrong runway at Lexington, Ky.'s airport in August of 2006. As part of first
officer James Polehinke's defense against the numerous lawsuits against him, his lawyer William E. Johnson wrote in the statement of defense that the passengers should have known that taking a
commercial flight from the airport was a perilous affair because of well-publicized construction on the runways. He also claimed they should have known that the air traffic control tower was
understaffed, that other airports in the area were considered safer and that flying in the dark is dangerous.
The striking assertions were covered as "contributory negligence" in the original filings and the details only came out after he was pressed for more details by plaintiffs' lawyers. The other
lawyers were stunned by the defense. "It was the most surprising affirmative defense I've ever seen," said trial lawyer David Katzman. But Johnson said the controversy is "old news" and he doesn't
intend to pursue that line. "After we looked into it more we found it is not a proper defense," he said.
Cessna Aircraft Co. said on Thursday it will move ahead with its Large Cabin Concept jet aircraft. The aircraft will have intercontinental range and will be the largest ever in Cessna's fleet. "I'm
ecstatic to announce we are extending the Citation line upward and grateful for the patience of the customers who have urged Cessna to add a large cabin Citation," said Cessna CEO Jack Pelton. The
company has been showing a mock-up of the concept since late 2006 and customer feedback will be incorporated into the final design, Pelton said. "We have invested a great deal of time in evaluating
this concept to determine a solid business case and involved customers very early in this program. We're confident our efforts will result in an aircraft that is right for the marketplace," he
The company promised to release more details of the program at a news conference on Feb. 6 in Washington, D.C.
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When he's not busy selling the world on the new 787 Dreamliner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Scott Carson will be flying his new Sport Cub S2. Carson took delivery of the light sport aircraft
last week at CubCrafter's manufacturing facility in Yakima, Wash. N846SC is painted red and white in honor of Carson's alma mater, Washington State University.
"I am really, really pleased with the plane and with the idea that somehow, for a short hour today, I felt like a kid again," Carson said after his maiden flight in the two-seater, which cruises at
about 0.13 Mach.
The Jan. 23 crash of a Polish air force air transport aircraft that killed all 20 aboard (including high-ranking officials) has
led Polish officials to ground its fleet of nine EADS CASA C-295M aircraft pending the results of an investigation. The crash aircraft had fewer than 500 flight hours and its data recorder has been
recovered. It clipped trees prior to crashing approximately 1 nm shy of the runway at Miroslawiec air base in northwest Poland. The crash occurred just after 7 p.m. local time. Weather at the time
included cloud bases near 300 feet with heavy rain in the area. It was the aircraft's second approach. An instrument landing system had yet to be introduced at Miroslawiec, a spokesman for the Polish
air forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Wies³aw Grzegorzewski, told the Polish Radio Information Agency. He added that the pilots knew that the ILS system was not operating at the base and were landing by
means of a precision approach radar. The pilots, according to the spokesman, were used to such conditions. The flight was returning personnel from a flight safety conference in Warsaw. Among those
killed were Col. Jerzy Pilat, commander of the Miroslawiec air base, and Brig. Gen. Andrzej Andrzejewski, commander of an air brigade based in Swidwin. The Polish government is recognizing the loss
with three days of national mourning.
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Despite earlier reports that suggested both engines had quit on the Boeing 777 that crashed on final approach to Heathrow last week, the engines were still developing power at impact, the United
Kingdom's Air Accident Investigation Board said on Thursday. The AAIB also said there was adequate fuel on board. The aircraft was on autopilot and stabilized on an ILS approach when the autothrust
system commanded an increase in thrust from both engines. "The engines both initially responded but after about 3 seconds the thrust of the right engine reduced," according to the AAIB. "Some eight
seconds later the thrust reduced on the left engine to a similar level. The engines did not shut down and both engines continued to produce thrust at an engine speed above flight idle, but less than
the commanded thrust." Investigators now are working to complete a detailed analysis and examination of the complete fuel-flow path from the aircraft tanks to the engine fuel nozzles.
The AAIB said it is "sensitive to the needs of the industry," including aircraft manufacturers that use similar onboard systems and the flight crews who fly them, and will issue more information as
soon as possible.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will open a new College of Business building this week at its Daytona Beach, Fla., campus. The $13 million, 54,000-square-foot facility will house ERAU's aviation
operations simulations lab, formerly located in the flight simulator building. Researchers use the lab to test various operational scenarios, such as what it takes to unload and reload a jet on time,
and then use this data to help operators maximize efficiency. Daniel Petree, dean of the business school, told AVweb that he is actively courting air taxi operators to the program.
"We'd love to have partnerships with them," he said. Airtran was the launch customer for the lab about three years ago, and currently Airbus and Boeing are using it to develop simulation models for
boarding their latest products, the A380 and the 787 Dreamliner. The new building is part of a $125 million expansion effort at the Daytona Beach campus that includes additions to the aviation complex
and several administration buildings. A residence hall and a fitness center were completed last year.
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When Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites unveiled the final version of their spacecraft last week, the impressive double-hulled design of the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft stirred up memories of
catamaran aircraft of the past. LiveScience turned up a photo of a Russian airplane model, apparently built in the late 1970s, that is eerily similar
to the Scaled design. The model shows a twin-hulled aircraft, in Aeroflot regalia, with four jet engines and a center wing built to carry a space shuttle aloft. We found other pictures of the design, called a Myasishchev 3M2, that look a little more
ungainly and less WhiteKnight-like, with up to eight jet engines, a single tail surface connecting the two empennages, and the shuttle mounted in the rear. According to LiveScience, the Myasishchev
design was considered scalable for use to deliver ships into orbit.
The Myasishchev official Web site's history page makes no mention of the catamaran design.
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Two Hillsboro (Ore.) residents and visitor from Israel were unhurt after the pilot of a Cessna 172 failed to check the depth of snow on the Beaver Marsh landing strip
near Chenult on Friday. The tracks in the snow tell the whole story.
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Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a report on interior shops. If you recently had an interior redone, the editors would like to hear from you, whether the experience was
good or bad.
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news
tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
If You Need a Tax Deduction, This is the Perfect Cause IRS- & FAA-Approved! Build A Plane (BAP) the non-profit organization helping children learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics by building real airplanes is in need of aircraft
donations. Any aircraft, or aircraft component, is valuable to a high school program. For complete details, call Katrina Bradshaw at (804) 843-3321, or
click here for the
In a week filled with stellar FBO recommendations, our "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Epic Aviation at KEVB in New Smyrna Beach,
According to AVweb reader Robert Edelson, Epic really stepped up to the plate on a recent visit, despite having their hands full with other pilots:
The self-service pump was inop, but they refueled me by truck at the same price. Furthermore, they changed by CHT probe and cleaned a partially-blocked injector plus moved and returned our plane to
its tie-down by tug, all for a time charge of one and half hours. They operate a busy flight-training operation, maintaining 20 aircraft, yet they graciously took the time to help me ... all for a
If you have bought or sold a high-performance single or private corporate aircraft anytime in the last, say, half century or so, you might have run across Phillip Carrell. Phil just celebrated 50
years on the job at Flightcraft Inc., one of the largest providers of private and business aircraft services in the Pacific Northwest. AVweb's Mike Blakeney wants you to meet Phil, as we pay
tribute to his career and contribution to aviation in this AVweb audio feature.
"That runway's too short for anything to take off from!" we've all heard the sentence, and maybe a few of us have even said it, but from now on, we'll have to make a slight
revision. The next time you hear someone talking about a short take-off, feel free to add, "Except, of course, for those Alaskan bush pilots doing STOLs in that video I saw on
AVweb." (Just be careful what tone you use if you're talking to the PIC, O.K.?)
Thanks to AVweb reader Ronnie Hughan for sending us the original video clip and YouTube user dynmicpara for the YouTube link:
Don't forget to send us links to any interesting videos you find out there. If you're impressed by it,
there's a good chance other AVweb readers will be too. And if we use a video you recommend on AVweb, we'll send out an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you."
On November 2, 2007, an F-15C with the 110th Fighter Squadron (of the 131st Fighter Wing) broke up while conducting an air-to-air training mission. This video, produced by Glenn Pew for AVweb, covers the military investigative board's findings.
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