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DISPUTES FLIGHT SCHOOL SECURITY CLAIMS
Security Administration says Sen. Chuck Schumer is wrong about claims
that thousands of foreign nationals are getting flight training without
the required documentation and background checks. "Each and every
foreign national that applies for flight training at any FAA-certified
school anywhere in the world is checked by TSA prior to beginning that
training," TSA spokesman Jon Allen told The Associated Press.
reporters that there are 8,000 foreign nationals illegally taking flying
lessons in the U.S. Thats the same number used in an ABC News investigation that reached the same
conclusion as Schumer but in a less colorful manner. More...
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FORCE TO FLY AIRBUS
Anyone who thought the drawn-out battle
to choose the new generation Air Force tanker aircraft ended with the
Pentagons decision Friday to go with the Northrop-Grumman/EADS
consortium likely has another think coming. "This won't be pretty," Rep.
Norm Dicks, D-Wash., told The Seattle Times Saturday. "There will be a
firestorm of criticism on Capitol Hill, Dicks, whose Seattle-area
district depends heavily on Boeing for its economic well-being, warned.
Although the loss of the $40 billion deal is not expected to result in
any job losses at Boeing, the contract would have created up to 8,000
additional jobs and kept the 767 assembly line going well beyond 2012
when the last commercial 767 is finished. Its an election year in
which the economy is in trouble and protectionist sentiments have been
expressed by both Democratic presidential nomination contenders. Not
only that, the leading Republican contender is remembered as the
politician that killed the original contract awarded to Boeing in 2003,
so it would seem the tanker issue will have pretty long legs.
JOBS LOST BY WINNING TANKER CONTRACT
Not everyone associated
with the EADS/Northrop-Grumman victory in the Air Force tanker contract
is celebrating. The union representing workers at EADS Toulouse
factories claims the deal will cost French jobs because of the
consortiums commitment to build an assembly plant for the tankers
in Mobile, Ala. In 2006, EADS agreed to build a plant in China to win
contracts there and the CFDT union claims thats chipping away at
the French workforce. British unions are hailing the contract saying it
will secure thousands of jobs in plants that build major structures like
wings. And, of course, Mobile couldnt be happier about the
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TAX EXEMPTION AND COLORADO AIRCRAFT
Last week, the Colorado
House of Representatives passed by a vote of 65-0 House Bill 1261, which
exempts sales tax on new or used aircraft purchased out of state,
following the state's loss of Adam Aircraft. Adam's recent end of
operations cut 500 jobs and it is hoped the bill will encourage other
manufacturers and distributors to do business. The existing law "makes
it difficult, if not impossible, for aircraft manufacturers to locate in
this state," the bill's co-sponsor, Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand
Junction, told the Denver Business Journal. Buescher, who formerly ran
an aircraft maintenance company, said the current system encourages
sellers to move their aircraft out of state prior to official sale to
avoid sales and use taxes. More...
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PUSHES TERRORISM/UAV CONNECTION
Military experts are warning
that unmanned aerial drones could be very easily assembled and used by
terrorists to conduct aerial attacks ... but, for pilots, the warning's
wording may be more disturbing. "Sooner or later we're going to see a
Cessna programmed to fly into a building," Rear Admiral Chris Parry told
The Associated Press. The Rear Admiral went on to describe such
potential attacks as "cheap" and "about as difficult to detect as a
blackbird." The idea is not new. In 2003 six Hamas militants were killed
in an explosion while working with a remote-controlled aircraft intended
for use in an attack. Rear Admiral Parry is not counting on future
outcomes to always end similarly. In 2006 an informant told the FBI he
was aware of a plot to fit a model aircraft with explosives. The
military warns that use of such inexpensive, simple means of delivery
may continue to prove seductive to potential terrorists and even drug
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SPIRIT CRASH UPDATE
The B-2 Spirit "Stealth Bomber" that
crashed Saturday, Feb., 23, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was on
fire prior to the crash, according to a report cited by the Air Force
Times. The fire, which was reported shortly after takeoff, was followed
by an uncommanded and uncontrollable roll to the right. The aircraft
crashed between the ramp and taxiway at approximately 10:45 a.m. local
time, and not before both pilots had safely ejected. One of the pilots
suffered spinal compression and as of Thursday remained in the hospital.
The crashed aircraft, the Spirit of Kansas, a part of the 509th Bomber
Wing, had more than 5,000 flight hours. The remaining fleet is not
"grounded" but under a "safety pause," according to the Air Force -- the
aircraft could be called to service if tasked with a mission. During the
safety pause, six B-52s have arrived "to replace" the remaining three
B-2s in Guam. More...
CRASH AT EAA PANCAKE BREAKFAST
Two experimental aircraft
collided on the ground Saturday, at non-towered Arthur Dunn Airpark in
Titusville, Fla., killing at least three. At about 8:30 a.m., one of the
aircraft (a Velocity XL RG) landed, was attempting to land or was
performing a low pass when it struck the other aircraft (an RV-8) as it
taxied. Two occupants aboard the experimental Van's RV were killed.
After the impact, the four-seat Velocity canard cartwheeled for roughly
300 feet before coming to rest, inverted. Witnesses came to the aid of
that aircraft's two occupants, who suffered severe burns and were taken
to Orlando Regional Medical Center. One of those occupants had also
passed by the time of this writing. Both had suffered life-threatening
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PILOT'S BOSS IN COCKPIT DURING FLY-BY
As we reported last week, Ian Wilkinson, a senior Cathay
Pacific captain, was fired three weeks after he did a high-speed,
low-level pass over a Seattle-area airport in a new Boeing 777 he was
delivering from the factory. It wasnt the stunt that got him
fired, it was the fact that he didnt have permission to perform
the fly-by, something the airline occasionally allows for airshows. But
a story in Sundays Asian World News, reprinted by The Earth Times, raises the question of just how
much authority Wilkinson needed, since the chairman of the airline,
Christopher Pratt, was in a cockpit jumpseat for the whole performance.
The airline confirmed that fact but said Pratt, who runs one of the
biggest airlines in Asia, couldnt be expected to know that the
stunt wasnt authorized." "The chairman is not an aviator and
he was fully aware that the captain was in full command of the flight,"
an unidentified spokeswoman said. "There was no request or suggestion
from anyone in Cathay Pacific for the fly-by to take place. The decision
was entirely that of the captain in command." More...
THE FLY ...
FAA, airlines not monitoring parts supply closely
enough says OIG...
Plastic pilot certificates mandated for March 31,
Comment deadline on ADS-B is today. More...
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OF THE WEEK: AIR FLYTE, INC. (KBAF, WESTFIELD, MA)
"FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Air
Flyte, Inc. at KBAF in Westfield, Massachusetts.
heard of some pretty nifty things FBOs do to make their visitors feel at
home, but AVweb reader Bob Cipolli painted a unique and
inviting picture of this "new FBO located in the brand-new terminal
building at Barnes/Westfield." Bob writes:
lineman ready to park you as soon as you taxi in and roll out an actual
red carpet for every plane on their ramp. They even have cookies for my
dog when she comes with me to the airport. First class organization all
Red carpet? Dog cookies?? We have to agree,
Bob that's the very definition of "first class all the
nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.
actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one,
submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
TO PARADISE: CARIBBEAN FLYING ADVENTURES RESURRECTS THE CAYMAN
If your "bucket list" includes an international trip
over water to an exotic destination in your own airplane, then you need
to hear this AVweb podcast. The very popular Cayman Caravan was
just recently revived by Caribbean Flying Adventures as the "Cayman Islands
Fly-In." They just completed their first trip, involving 16 planes
ranging from a Cessna 172 to a Diamond TwinStar, and AVweb's Mike
Blakeney spoke with Jim Parker, President and Chief Pilot, to see
how it went. More...
OF THE WEEK: BUMPY LANDING AT LONDON CITY AIRPORT
have a soft spot for videos that make us a little nervous, but today's
"Video of the Week" selection (courtesy of AVweb reader Peter
Snoeckx made us sit up and take notice. There's a happy ending, but
this Swiss Air pilot has clearly had better days. In his defense, if you
turn up the volume, you can hear the wind howling, and he did, after
all, end up on the centerline. (Click through to watch.)
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Overheard at Santa Barbara, California. (I wasn't
paying attention at the beginning of this call, so I don't know the type
"Santa Barbara Clearance,
N***** at FBO, requesting clearance to
Clearance (deadpan and without
"I can't send you there ... ."
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a weekly
summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events
featured on AVweb, the
internet's aviation magazine and news service.
AVwebFlash team is:
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editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
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Comments or questions
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