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The folks in San Diego need a new airport, but where's it going to go? A
study group met last week and found objections for every one of the 16
sites proposed -- except military bases, not all of which were really
feasible, and the ocean, the Union-Tribune reported. Building runways on
the ocean may seem far-fetched, but this is far from the first time it's
been suggested. In California, a company called Float Inc. worked on the concept for
more than 10 years, with funding from the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency and the Navy, but never tested a prototype. In Japan, a
runway was built several years ago and test
flights were successful, so it seems to be possible at least on a
limited basis. More...
SO FAR IT'S FLOUNDERING
In San Diego, the 32 members of the airport study group found obstacles
at every site -- immovable mountains, or too many people, or
environmental conflicts. They also wanted the airport to be convenient
for people to drive to, without being too close to where those people
actually live, which sounds great if you can make it work. While they
couldn't find anything really objectionable about the ocean site, the
trouble is that it's never been done. The Japan project worked, but
after testing it
was abandoned and the runway was disassembled. A few parts became
fishing parks, another is a floating parking lot, and most of it was
OMF Aircraft says it will offer Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc. (BRS)
whole-aircraft emergency parachute systems as a factory-installed option
on the two-place Symphony 160 and the diesel Symphony 135-TDI, and as
standard equipment on the four-place Symphony 4 now in development. BRS
announced it expects to have the necessary Supplemental Type
Certificate to offer the chutes on the two-place aircraft for first
customer deliveries as soon as December. Certification of the Symphony
4, including the BRS parachute system as a standard equipment, is
expected by OMF near the end of 2004 or early 2005. OMF is concurrently
developing a diesel version of their two-place aircraft and will offer a
BRS parachute system as an option on that model as well.
CIRRUS ACHIEVES A MILESTONE
The biggest customer for BRS so far has been Cirrus Design, which was the
first manufacturer to include the chutes as a standard feature on all of
its aircraft. On Thursday, Cirrus announced that it has built its
1,000th airplane, within four years of its first delivery. That
milestone secures the company's place as the fastest-growing GA
manufacturer in the industry, Cirrus said. Headquartered in Duluth,
Minn., Cirrus now employs more than 800 people, and churns out two
airplanes a day. That should increase to three a day within a year, the
company said last week. "We have gone from producing nine planes in 1999
to production of 450 planes planned for this year," said David Coleal,
chief operating officer. More...
THEY MEANT, NOT WHAT THEY SAID (RHODE ISLAND TAXES PART
AVweb told you last week that the little state of Rhode Island had
enacted an "emergency regulation" that could slap a 7-percent use tax on
transient aircraft ... but despite what the
regulation says, that is not what it means, according to a Rhode
Island tax official. The regulation is intended only for residents of
the state, or businesses based there, who bought their aircraft out of
state, and hangar it out of state, but then fly it in Rhode Island
(remember, Rhode Island is only about 40 miles across). "The regulation
does not apply to non-commercial aircraft purchased by the user while a
non-resident of this state ... and thereafter brought into this state,"
Robert Geruso, R.I. assistant tax administrator, wrote to AOPA. Geruso
said the regulation will be rewritten -- and clarified -- next month.
B1900 CRASH, CHARLOTTE B1900 CRASH
The pilot of a Colgan Air Beech 1900 that crashed into the ocean
off Cape Cod last Tuesday had declared an emergency and reported a
problem with "runaway trim," according to preliminary reports. The pilot
tried to return to the airport at Hyannis, Mass., but in less than two
minutes hit the water at a 30-degree nose-down attitude, at 250 knots.
Both pilots were killed. The NTSB said that during a routine maintenance
check at Barnstable Municipal Airport the day before the crash, the
airplane's two twin-tab actuators and a forward-elevator trim cable had
been replaced. The accident reminded some of another fatal B1900 crash.
QUIETER, GENTLER SONIC BOOM
Flight tests last Wednesday proved that modifying the shape of an
aircraft can reduce the intensity and noise of a sonic boom, Northrop
Grumman has announced. The new technology could eventually make it
possible for supersonic jets to fly from point to point over land,
instead of being restricted to transoceanic hops, like the Concorde ...
and to be much
uglier. A team from NASA, Northrop Grumman, and the Pentagon flew an
F-5E with a modified nose section at NASA's Dryden Flight Research
Center at Edwards Air Force Base, in California. The test aircraft has a
specially shaped "nose glove" and added aluminum substructure and a
composite skin on the underside of the fuselage, and has designers
dreaming of aircraft that may precipitate reworking the term "sonic
TO FACE SENATE HEARING ON TANKER LEASE
Boeing is under scrutiny, and the heat is about to intensify on
Wednesday, when a
hearing will be held by the Senate Commerce Committee about the
planemaker's $21-billion leasing deal with the U.S. Air Force for 100
B767 aerial refueling tankers. A report
issued last week by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that "the
proposed transaction would essentially be a purchase of the tankers by
the federal government but at a cost greater than would be incurred
under the normal appropriation and procurement process." The Seattle
Post-Intelligencer reported Friday that Boeing may have had improper
access to information about Airbus's competing proposal for the tanker
denied that allegation. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a longtime
vocal critic of the lease -- which he has termed "corporate welfare"
for Boeing -- will preside over the hearing. Boeing has already been in
trouble for "industrial espionage" this summer. More...
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As hard as we try to see signs of a robust economic recovery on the
horizon, the news stubbornly continues to be mixed. United Air Lines
announced last week that its emergence from bankruptcy protection will
likely be delayed until next year at the soonest, instead of later this
year as it had hoped. But on the upside, Delta Air Lines announced last
week it will recall 250 pilots furloughed in April. Delta will lay off
700 flight attendants this week, but that's not as bad as the 1,050
layoffs originally planned. Airbus and Boeing say they are seeing a
renewal of interest from Asian airlines as they put the SARS crisis
behind them. Some orders that were put on hold have been reinstated.
Does it all add up to better times ahead? We'll have to wait and see.
Think how things have changed at your favorite airport since 9/11.
Fences where there didn't used to be fences, proplocks, barbed wire, ID
cards, and more. Yet last weekend, officials at Gerald R. Ford
International Airport, in Grand Rapids, Mich., were shown how easily all
of that can be circumvented by a man with a mission. Chad Robert Oliver,
21, was arrested after he allegedly climbed a 10-foot fence and boarded
an empty Comair jet parked with its door open and its ladder down at
about 3 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. The suspect
took a seat toward the rear of the jet, and was detained by crew members
until airport police arrived moments later. His motivation, however,
appears to have been (relatively) benign -- he seems to have been trying
to get to New York to visit Howard Stern's radio show.
Families of victims in Sen. Wellstone's crash settle for $25
Air Force computers allowed sales of banned parts
About 50 stranded people are living at Moscow's
Angel Flight America
Stratoliner, Dash 80 and Concorde arrive at new NASM Dulles museum.
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New Articles and Features on AVweb
CEO of the Cockpit #23: Flight Bag -- Early Retirement
AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit still has a few good years left in the
cockpit, but his bag has run out of time. This bag has seen it all --
from the first indoc training with the airline up through two major
wars, and all the people and places in between.
A Roll In The Sky With A Navy SNJ
There aren't many opportunities for a low-time pilot to fly one of these
famous planes, but with a taildragger endorsement and the right
connections, Rob Guglielmetti got to try some aerobatics in this WWII
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 will be sold for both aircraft. 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, email: email@example.com or Janice R. Valdez, email:
firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 314 721-7011; or Michael Yeager, email:
email@example.com, phone 314 447-3200.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Scott Bristoe, this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
Rules and information are at
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature
Reader mail this week about presidential protection, Australia's
revamped aviation regulations and more.
Control: Continental XXX give me a good rate please through
Continental XXX: Well sir, we are doing
Controller: Could you make it 3000 fpm?
Controller: Oh ... do you not have speedbrakes?
Yes sir, I do, but that is for MY mistakes, not for YOURS!
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