|Volume 9, Number 28a||July 7,
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
START PROBE OF ADIZ-RELATED CRASH...
The pilot involved in the D.C. ADIZ flight plan-related fuel starvation
and subsequent encounter with trees last
week four miles from Martin State Airport in Maryland has recognized
his role in running out of fuel. "Ultimately, the pilot is responsible
for what happens," Dale Roger told The Baltimore Sun after he was
released from the hospital where he received stitches for a gash in his
head. But while Roger nurses the sore head (he and his two passengers
suffered only minor injuries) fingers are pointing in a myriad of
directions over Roger's one-hour-long wait for ATC to find his flight
plan. For one, although he did not declare an emergency, Roger did let
air traffic controllers know he was short of fuel 20 minutes before the
prop on the rented 172 stopped spinning. More...
NOT SO, SAY CONTROLLERS...
The mishap has prompted calls for the easing of the
Washington flight restrictions and some opining. AOPA's Warren
Morningstar told the Sun that lost flight plans are a common occurrence
and a mishap of some sort was inevitable: "Because of the inability of
the system to handle all the aircraft, it was only a matter of time ..."
Jim Crook, vice president of operations for the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association (NATCA), disagreed, saying, "I don't think they're [ATC
installations] understaffed." Meanwhile, David Wartofsky, who operates
Potomac Airfield within the
ADIZ questioned the rationale behind all the flight planning,
transponder codes and ATC attention. "Anyone can get a clearance within
the 30-mile ring, so why even ask them for it?" More...
COMPUTERS COULD SOLVE IT ALL?
And while the various constituencies discuss the human factors that led
up to this incident, a scientist at the University of California in
Berkeley has come up with a system he says keeps the pilot out of the
security loop. Edward Lee proposes somehow modifying the avionics and
flight-control systems of aircraft to cause them to steer clear of
restricted areas and prevent pilots -- or hijackers -- from overruling
them ... with control inputs, anyway. The system (which has drawn the
support of Boeing's
Phantom Works) would pinpoint the boundaries of restricted areas and
any attempt by the pilot to breach the so-called "soft walls" would be
met by active resistance from the airplane itself. The airplane would
simply refuse to cross that line in the sky. Lee, who is apparently not
a pilot, says he's surprised by the negative reaction of those who do
GETS AID FUNDS?...
It's the U.S.'s largest exporter and by far its largest aerospace
company, so when Boeing stamps its feet, the ground shakes under most of
us. Lately the Chicago-headquartered manufacturer has been attracting
the attention of critics who claim Boeing is drawing too much from the
government trough. The Citizens Against
Government Waste (CAGW) has formally asked the House Armed Services
Subcommittee to oppose a $21 billion deal for Boeing to lease 100
767 aerial tankers to the Air Force. The CAGW claims upgrading the
existing fleet of 127 707-based KC-135s would cost $3.8 billion and it
also points out that after leasing the 767s for 10 years the planes go
back to Boeing. The company is also (according to some) seeing some
extremely generous offers from states and towns as it dangles the carrot
of 1,000 jobs to be won by the location that will build its new 7E7
NOT ALWAYS APPRECIATED...
But there's apparently a limit to how much help the government can give
before it actually starts to hurt business. No doubt with the best of
intentions, the proposed 2004
Defense Authorization Act is laced with "buy American" provisions
that some of the major defense contractors, including Boeing, say could
make it harder for them to compete on the world market. The House
version of the bill would require that 65 percent of every plane,
bomb, truck or photocopier purchased by the Defense Department would
have to be made in the U.S. That's up from the current 50 percent. The
list of products that must be 100-percent domestically produced would be
expanded to include items such as ready-to-eat meals, tires and bomb
fuses. Defense contractors are afraid the provisions will prompt similar
protectionist moves in other countries, making it tougher for them to
compete there. More...
THE MARKETPLACE DECIDES
On the battlefield that the commercial airliner market has become,
Boeing notched two significant victories earlier this month. The company
sold 45 737s to All Nippon Airways and inked a deal with AirTran Airways
for 50 Boeing 737s and another 10 717s, worth a reported $4 billion. The
sales came after Airbus
beat Boeing, which has dominated the budget airlines, for contracts
with JetBlue and easyJet. AirTran's CEO said his deal could have gone
either way because Airbus's bid was neck and neck with Boeing's.
According to an Associated Press story, a week before the AirTran
contract was signed, Boeing's financial arm exercised options to buy
more than a million shares of stock in AirTran. More...
BIRTHDAY OUT OF THIS WORLD
Dick and Burt Rutan played gracious hosts to one of the most publicized
"surprise" birthday parties ever held June 28. Their Mojave, Calif.,
Scaled Composites headquarters was descended upon by an estimated 105
Vari Ez and Long Ez homebuilts there to help the brothers celebrate
their 60th (Burt) and 65th (Dick) birthdays. The gathering set a new
record for the number of canard aircraft to gather in that spot, last
won in 1988 when 82 planes made the pilgrimage to Mojave. The latest
gathering has been in the works for months and word first got out about
it in May. Those attending got an up-close look at the Rutans' Scaled Composites entry for the X-Prize, the White
Knight launch vehicle and the Space
Ship One spacecraft. More...
PACKS WORLDWIDE PUNCH
What some might consider the ultimate military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
(UAV) is on the Pentagon's drawing board. The Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle
(HCV) will be able to strike anywhere in the world within two hours of a
launch from within the continental United States. It will carry up to
12,000 pounds of munitions and be able to take off from a conventional
runway. Such a capability will give the U.S. an enormous advantage in
any conflict, anywhere in the world, according to the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA). More...
DO YOU REALLY
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don't fly enough high-altitudes to justify the cost and hassle of a
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to 3.4 hours duration. Available in 36- and 113-liter sizes. See all the
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EXPANSION A BLAST
A potential blast from the past interrupted the massive
expansion of Diamond Aircraft's European headquarters
last week. Employees were evacuated when workers digging the foundation
of the new 100,000-square-foot composite facility unearthed a couple of
unexploded World War II bombs. Diamond's factory, at Wiener-Neustadt
Airport in Austria, was the site of a Messershmitt ME 109 factory which
was bombed heavily during the war. After the bombs were removed, work
resumed on the expansion made necessary by overall demand and the
introduction of the DA 42
TwinStar and D-JET. Another
European manufacturer, EADS
Socata, is in expansion mode, too. More...
ISSUES URGENT AD ON R22 CHOPPERS
Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority has issued an
urgent Airworthiness Directive (AD) for Robinson R22 helicopters
after a failed rotor blade caused a fatal accident June 20. The AD
requires visual and eddy current inspections of the blades and a special
vibration warning placard in the cockpit. The FAA usually follows suit
with emergency ADs issued in other countries. Australia issued this AD
after an investigation showed the main rotor blade in the crash
helicopter failed at the inboard end of the bolted joint.
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If your airplane's props were serviced by T and W Propellers, of Chino,
Calif., they may need doing again and the sooner the better. An Airworthiness
Directive has been issued essentially ordering a recall of certain
props certified and returned to service by the company. The AD follows
investigation of a prop failure on a Beech Travel Air that determined
the prop was zero-timed by the company even though it had visible
corrosion and a four-inch crack. More...
SWEEP AEROBATIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Russians swept the top three places at the World Aerobatic Championships in
Lakeland, Fla., last week. Sergey Rakhmanin edged Svetlana Kapanina, who
held first place going into the final round of the four-round
competition and was trying to become the first woman to win the title.
Alexander Krotov completed the sweep. Robert Armstrong, of Athens, Ga.,
was the top American, placing fourth in a French-built CAP 231. He was
in second place through part of the competition. Pilots fly four rounds,
including freestyle, known compulsory and two compulsory rounds where
the routines are given to them just before takeoff. More...
NEW OREGON AERO
SEAT TO BE STANDARD EQUIPMENT IN RV-10 Oregon Aero has taken a
giant leap in seat comfort and safety with the introduction of its new
High-G Safety Seat. The highly engineered seat provides
maximum flexibility, safety and pain-free flying and will be standard
equipment in the front of Vans Aircraft four-seat RV-10 homebuilt,
expected to be introduced at AirVenture, July 29-Aug. 4. The seat
exceeded the FAAs 19G/1,500 lumbar load survivability test,
sustaining 23 Gs vertical and 26 Gs horizontal. The
seats sophisticated construction tilts forward for access to the
back and reclines to accommodate pilot preference for position and
comfort. The lumbar cushion is pilot-adjustable. Check out all of Oregon
Aeros products at AirVenture Booth 3037-40, or online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon
Dayton Celebration of
Flight underway, while festivities
ready across the country...
Fiat sold aerospace division to American equity firm and Italian
A fake bomb caused partial evacuation of LaGuardia...
Record total of 87 homebuilts in 1,000-mile EAA
AirVenture Cup Race. More...
Nearly fifty yars ago when I was a NAVCAD (Naval Aviation Cadet), one of
our classmates had an accident. One of the accident board members asked
him what he thought caused the accident.
His reply: "Well sir, I ran out of airspeed, altitude and ideas all at
the same time." More...
MARV GOLDEN IS
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AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Phil Marks this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
Rules and information are at
New Articles and Features on AVweb
CEO of the Cockpit #21: Let's Fix This Airline
Once again, AVweb's fictional CEO of the Cockpit holds court in a
high-flying bull session with fellow pilots and comes up with can't-fail
fixes for his fictional airline's finances.
Why Twins Crash
Mostly it's the usual suspects: fuel, weather and runway prangs. But
poor maintenance is a surprisingly big player, as Aviation
Consumer recently reported.
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature
Reader mail this week about the plane crash after ATC denied clearance
into the ADIZ, crashing into safe trees and more.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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GREAT PRICES ON GARMIN
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CAN'T ENSURE YOUR WON'T BE VICTIMIZED! Spatial disorientation is
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the case of the pilot of a Learjet which was taking off early one
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