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FAA, YOUR MONEY AND YOUR LIFE...
Despite the best efforts of the manufacturers to convince us to buy new
airplanes, the GA fleet gets older, on average, with each passing year
and that inevitably raises safety concerns. And where safety is an
issue, new regulations are not usually far behind. In this case,
however, the FAA seems to be aware of the negative potential (i.e.,
extra cost) of more rules and, instead, is suggesting a less intrusive
approach to keeping old airplanes airworthy. According to AOPA, the
agency has, in consultation with AOPA, type groups and other aviation
organizations, developed "best practices" guidance for maintaining older
GA aircraft. More...
This and other efforts to make airplanes safe have generally paid off.
Although equipment failures occur, most aircraft are operating normally
when they crash. Earlier this month, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told
AVweb the agency is making GA accident prevention a priority through
training and new technology. This year hasn't gotten off to a very
promising start, however. The FAA has set a "goal" of 374 fatal GA and
Part 135 accidents for 2003 and by the end of July there had already
been 299. By 2007, the FAA wants no more than 350 fatal accidents.
Apparently, the only way that will be achieved is if pilots set similar
goals, because human factors are by far the leading cause of aircraft
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Boeing could be betting its commercial aircraft division's future on the
new 7E7 (if it's ever built) and an aerospace industry lobbyist wants
the government to hedge those bets. John Douglass, CEO of the Aerospace Industries
Association, told the Associated Press the company shouldn't have to
go it alone in creating and selling a world-beater of an airliner. "I'd
like to see the government recognize and say that this is our
manufacturer, these are American jobs and we're going to do everything
we can to make this program successful," Douglass said. Now, Douglass
doesn't have an itemized list (yet) of everything the feds could do to
get the Dreamliner off the ground but he does suggest a public statement
of support for the project by the FAA would be a good start, followed by
a streamlined certification process. He stopped short of suggesting a
cash subsidy, a la France and Airbus, but ... More...
PREPARES FOR SUBSIDY PROGRAM...
But could this good old American know-how end up being stamped Made In
Japan? If Japan's three major industrial firms have their way, the
country could end up directly subsidizing their effort to build the 7E7
airframe in Japan. Mitsubishi, Kawasaki and Fuji are said to be lobbying
their government to declare the 7E7 a "national project" and thus make
it eligible for subsidies and loans. Parts of the 767 and 777 are made
in Japan under the same national project designation. An industry
insider told Reuters the government is almost certain to embrace the 7E7
as well. According to Reuters, only one American company is in the
five-way race for the contract to design and build the 7E7 airframe.
BOEING KEEPS DIVERSIFYING
Another 1,440 employees received layoff notices Friday, bringing the
total number of job losses to 35,410. The latest round of layoffs takes
effect October 24 and most of those affected are in the Puget Sound area
of Washington State. (Boeing has collected about 151 orders for
airliners this year; Airbus lists 236.) But even if Boeing effectively
bows out of the large airliner business by not pursuing the Dreamliner,
it could endear itself to millions worldwide (including us) with a
potentially high-flying product that has nothing to do with airplanes.
It seems Boeing researchers have devised a "better" anti-spam system
with some unique capabilities and the company has spawned a so-called
Baby Boeing spinoff called MessageGate. More...
AIRCRAFT TO BE FREED
Owners of aircraft grounded by the imposition of the Washington Air
Defense Identification Zone may soon be able to make a one-way flight
out of the restricted area. We've heard lots of opinions about the
hassle (and futility) of the ADIZ but lost in the controversy is the
plight of scores of owners of ultralights, homebuilts and vintage
aircraft that don't have communications gear required to fly in the
ADIZ. Short of hauling their aircraft on a truck to the nearest
unrestricted airfield, these pilots have had no choice but to stay
grounded since the ADIZ was imposed. It now appears EAA has convinced
the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to allow most of the
simpler aircraft to fly to friendlier skies. Those based at College
Park, Potomac Airfield and Hyde Field will not be allowed to take part.
YOU'RE ON THE NEW BLACK BOX
Big Brother or "guardian angel"? We'll let the ethicists decide that one
as an Albuquerque company releases its latest cockpit security device.
Management Sciences Inc.(MSI) has developed a flight data and cockpit
voice recorder that not only adds video, it can broadcast the goings-on
aboard an aircraft in real time to a ground station. "We're looking for
things that tell you what's happening before it happens," MSI VP Kenneth
G. Blemel told the Albuquerque Journal. "Its purpose is to be a guardian
angel." The company had already been looking at an improved black box
for airliners when it landed a $1.5 million contract to build the
Digital Download Flight Information Recorder for the Navy, which has
since ordered hundreds for use in F-18s. More...
ON THE MEND
The Mooney Aerospace Group is claiming victory in its effort to revive
the almost-defunct GA icon. CEO Nelson Happy said in a statement that in
the first six months of the year the company finished and sold eight
planes that had already been started before Mooney went bankrupt in
2001. With the addition of $1.35 million in parts and service, revenue
for the first half of the year totaled $4.5 million. Happy said there is
now an order backlog of 13 worth $5.4 million but it's not clear how
many will be all-new aircraft. More...
Seeing is believing and the dust raised by wingtip vortices is giving
them away in a unique test at Denver International Airport. NASA and the
FAA want to try predicting wake turbulence by listening for the wind it
creates. The Wake Turbulence Research Program (WTRP) has installed a
series of microphones at DEN and hopes to be able identify and
characterize vortices (and hence their potential danger to following
traffic) by collecting their sound signatures in varying conditions. But
first they have to know what they're hearing and that's where something
called the WindTracer Doppler Lidar comes in. More...
ONGOING COMMITMENT TO FLIGHT TRAINING Diamond Aircraft presented
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a $20,000 donation for their
scholarship fund. Embry-Riddle has purchased ten DA40 Diamond Stars for
their innovative Commercial Aviation Training Program (CAPT) in Daytona
Beach, and 35 DA20-C1s for the USAF Academy Introductory Flight Training
Program in Colorado Springs. The complete line of Diamond Aircraft is
available through Diamond Regional Distribution Centers. For further
information, or for the distributor near you, call 1-888-359-3220 and
mention this AVflash or go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond
DROWN OUT F-16S
What's louder than an F-16 in full burner? Well, besides an F-14, it's
the collective voices of Melbourne (Fla.) International Airport
neighbors protesting a military flight school next door. Residents near
the airport shouted out Aerogroup Inc.'s operation at Melbourne saying
the training provided F-16 pilots of the Royal Netherlands Air Force was
too noisy and dangerous. There is some question about who was actually
in danger, however. "We're still getting death threats over the phone,"
Aerogroup CEO Mark Daniels told Florida Today. The Dutch military
apparently decided not to risk an escalation of the fight and cancelled
a second training session. More...
Landing gear from crash-landed Airbus to get museum spot...
Australia's new air regs helped manufacturers compete on world
UAVs will help ensure a healthy wine harvest...
Fire operations closed B.C. airport to GA...
American military aircraft performed over Moscow Air Show...
Wings and Wheels event failed to attract crowds. More...
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Jeff Abernathy, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
Rules and information are at
As the Beacon Turns #67: Mr. Herrick's Great Adventure
After many decades, the National Air Tour is in the air again. Two dozen
vintage airplanes will caravan around the country, landing at airports
small enough that visitors don't have to watch from outside chain-link
fences. AVweb's Michael Maya Charles has a preview in this month's
All pilots are ambassadors for aviation, whether you want to be or not.
How you treat non-pilots and aviation novices will have a big effect on
whether you will get much support when someone wants to close your
airport or put more restrictions on your flying.
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Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature
Reader mail this week about prop strikes, navel gazing at the FAA,
contract towers and more.
Overheard on tower frequency at El Monte, Ca. airport, several years
Tower: "Cessna Nxxxx, say your location."
Cessna Nxxxx: "I'm over here!"
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VANTAGE AND SPIRIT AIRCRAFT PROPERTIES BEING SOLD
Visionaire Corporation's intellectual properties: trademarks,
drawings, flight test and performance data, marketing and customer
contact list, and tooling and molds from more than 12 years of research
and development for the Vantage and Spirit aircraft, are being sold. The
Vantage, is a six-seat, single engine, business class jet, and the
Spirit, is an experimental two-seat aircraft. The sale will be by sealed
bid, according to bidding procedures approved by the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri (Case No.
02-47804-293). Deadline for submitting a bid is September 18, 2003 at
01:00 p.m. (US Central Daylight Time). To receive a copy of the bidding
procedures as well as information on how to obtain a bid package
contact: Howard S. Smotkin or Janice R. Valdez
at 314 721-7011; or Michael Yeager
at 314 447-3200.RECOMMEND AVWEB & AVFLASH TO
FELLOW PILOTS AND/OR BEGINNING STUDENTS! Send them over to AVweb
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