TOO SLOW FOR NEXT-GEN PLANES?
A recent "General Aviation Technically Advanced Aircraft FAA-Industry
Study" says, "The traditional GA training system has inadequate methods,
[and] does not specifically include training to exploit the additional
safety opportunities of new technologies" found in so-called Technically
Advanced Aircraft (TAA). According to the study team, made up of FAA,
industry, insurance and safety group representatives, many pilots flying
these Technically Advanced Aircraft could use some upgrading. The study
focused on 11 accidents involving Cirrus 20 and 22 aircraft over the
past three years. More...
Technically Advanced Aircraft are defined by the study as "aircraft in
which the pilot interfaces with one or more computers in order to
aviate, navigate, or communicate." That includes a moving-map GPS or a
multifunction display (MFD) with terrain, weather and traffic depictions
tied to an autopilot. Primary flight displays, which add flight
instrument depictions to the MFD, were not included because they weren't
in general use when the study was started. The study found that while
all that wizardry provides increased "available safety" it doesn't do
any good for someone who doesn't know how to use it. Specific training
recommendations include scenario-based training focused on real-life
life problems like deteriorating weather, communications foul-ups, etc.
MAKING GOOD PLANES, MUCH BETTER
So, what about the often said (and written) opinion that TAAs lead to
cockiness, complacency and poor judgment in the cockpit? The study
recommends that TAA pilots be schooled on the limitations of the
equipment ... and themselves. It further recommends that training be
broken down into the "physical airplane" (basic stick-and-rudder
skills), the "mental airplane" (the coordinated use of knobs, switches
and screens) and risk assessment and management (decision-making). "TAA
training should make it clear that TAA systems do not replace the entire
IFR system and are not substitutes for good basic airmanship skills and
good aviation judgment," it reads. And the FAA suggests the glass panels
could be even better. (Click here for a
copy of the report.) More...
TAKEOFF WITH THE
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purchasing your life insurance from the Pilot Insurance Center. PIC
works closely with leading insurers to develop life insurance policies
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through the Pilot Insurance Center. Call PIC at 800 380-8376, or go
Working toward the "airplane in every garage" era, NASA and the FAA are
making progress on the Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS)
designed to make it easier for more people to fly from small airport to
small airport directly without relying on the airline hub system. At
least five North Carolina airports are being fitted with experimental
gear (including IMC-busting synthetic vision systems for small aircraft)
and every airport in the state is slated to get an Automatic Dependent
Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) setup. ADS-B uses a combination of
satellite signals and ground stations to relay ATC radar images and
provide appropriately equipped aircraft access to a real-time picture of
nearby traffic. More...
NASA SEEKS AIRPLANE IN EVERY GARAGE
The long-predicted (and never achieved) dream of door-to-door personal
flight remains realistic to some researchers. Mark Moore heads up NASA's
experimental personal aircraft research program and he claims the dawn
of the era of "personal aircraft vehicles" is not far away, with an
initial demonstrator coming in three to five years. With the help of
computerized controls and other technological aids, Moore told the
Raleigh News and Observer that people will be able to zip from place to
place in safety and comfort after five days of flight training in an
aircraft that costs not much more than a luxury car. More...
TOWERS SAFE, EFFICIENT SAYS OIG
Sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. The National Air
Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), which is in a pitched battle
with the FAA over the proposed privatization of VFR control towers,
recently asked the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to compare the
performance of 71 FAA-staffed towers, 69 of which are potentially on the
auction block, with the 189 VFR towers already in private hands.
Inspector General Ken Mead produced what amounted to a glowing
endorsement of the contract towers as cost-efficient, safe operations
that cost taxpayers about $173 million a year less to run than if they
were in government hands. Contract towers, according to
the OIG, have fewer staff and pay them less but they also manage to
make fewer mistakes than FAA-staffed facilities. More...
PICKS WILLIAMS POWER
Diamond has picked Williams International to power its single-engine
entry in the burgeoning personal jet market. A lone Williams FJ33-4 will
provide the ponies for the D-JET, which
is lumped loosely in an ever-increasing field of twin-engine mini-jets
dominated by the Eclipse 500, Adam 700, and Cessna Mustang, among
others. Adam has also picked the FJ33 for its twinjet while Eclipse and
Cessna have gone with Pratt and Whitney Canada's 600 series. The FJ33-4
pumps out 1,400 pounds of thrust flat-rated to 72 degrees F and is based
on the larger FJ44, which is already in use. Diamond said the advanced
development of the Williams engine fits with Diamond's "aggressive"
timetable for the D-JET, which includes a first flight next year.
SEARCH NO MORE!
AVIONICS WEST HAS GARMIN'S iQue 3600 PDA & PLBs Avionics West,
the online avionics dealer you've come to trust, now carries the Garmin
iQue 3600 color PDA with more features than any other PDA. And, Avionics
West has the lowest price anywhere on the iQue 3600! Avionics West also
carries 406Mhz Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) which should be a part of
everyone's emergency/rescue equipment when camping, or traveling in a
boat or aircraft. For more too-low-to-advertise prices on these items
and LightSPEED quality headsets, the schedule for the CNX80 and
GNS430/530 training classes call 805 934-9777, send an email to
go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avionics
FRACAS FRACTURES PARTNERSHIP
Which comes first, the expanded terminal or the runway? The issue vexing
relations between Ft. Lauderdale and Broward County came to a head last
week with the county ignoring an order by the city to stop working on
new buildings at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. County
lawyer Ed Dion said it will take a court order to change the county's
mind and now the city is threatening legal action. This project, we
remind you, is a partnership between the city and the county and it
shows the divisive power of commercial interests, jet noise and public
opinion. As part of the deal, the county originally agreed to build a
new runway on the south side of the airport (away from Ft. Lauderdale).
Nearby residents disapproved. More...
OF RUNWAY IN MILE-HIGH CITY
If it seems like everything out west is big, consider Denver
International Airport's new runway. Runway 16R/34L was christened by a
United Air Lines Boeing 777 last Thursday likely using a fraction of the
16,000 feet of pavement to take off for Chicago. The $166 million runway
is the longest commercial runway in North America and is 4,000 feet
longer than any of the other five at DEN. More...
EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT: DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT! Do you carry
a first aid kit in your airplane or car? AVweb's Brent Blue, MD, says
drugstore first aid kits are packed with mostly useless items. Dr. Blue
has assembled is own traveling medical kit for dealing with on-the-road
emergencies, based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor,
frequent traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. Dr. Blue's complete
first aid kit is now on sale at Aeromedix's site: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi
ON FINAL AT 3300-FOOT STRIP?
Canadian officials are wondering how an Air Canada Airbus A319 crew on a
perfectly clear August day appeared to set up to land at a tiny
municipal airport in British Columbia, instead of their real
destination. The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating the
incident in which the A319, with its gear down and flaps partly
extended, lined up for the 75-feet-wide by 3360-feet-long Runway 23 at
Vernon Regional Airport. The crew, which descended as low as 780 feet
over the city of Vernon, apparently realized its mistake and went
looking for Kelowna International, about 30 miles away. The flight from
Toronto carried 87 passengers and five crew. TSB spokesman Bill Yearwood
told the National Post, "The pilots descended low enough that, for all
intents and purposes, they appeared to be lost, and that's a concern."
PILOT" TAKES FINAL FLIGHT
The inspiration for thousands of "weekend pilots" through his columns
and books, aviation author Frank Kingston Smith died last Wednesday of
Alzheimer's disease. He was 84. Smith wrote columns for AOPA pilot,
Flying and Sport Aviation magazines and also penned the books "I'd
Rather Be Flying," "Weekend Pilot" and "Flights of Fancy." He wrote a
total of 16 books and more than 1,000 magazine articles and is credited
with coining the term "weekend pilot." More...
LOOKING FOR BIG FUN WITH A SMALL PRICE TAG? Theres nothing
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aircraft from OMF. This well-equipped aircraft can take you and a
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safety and German engineering that will make possible the lifestyle you
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the fully-loaded Symphony 160, call 1-866-OMF-1600 or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/omf
FAA widening seatbelt NPRM to include other affected
Brazen thieves made off with sensitive computers at
Lawsuit dismissed against FAA over fatal
Brig. Gen. Dwight Wheless was elected to third term as CAP
vice commander. More...
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Herman Simms, 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 contract towers, a new airport in San Diego,
FITS and more.
The Pilot's Lounge #65: One, Two, Three, Heave!
Tired of touch-and-goes in the pattern and begging friends to go for a
$100 hamburger? Need a challenge to re-energize your flying? Even
private pilots can tow gliders, although a commercial certificate will
let you do it for money. AVweb's Rick Durden lays out what it takes to
help those engine-less soaring birds.
Overheard en route out of Morristown, NJ (MMU) to Covington, KY
Departure Control: Continental ABC turn left heading 240
degrees and climb to 11,000.
Continental ABC, Simon says turn left heading 240 degrees and climb to
Continental ABC: Roger, left turn 240 and up to 11,000,
Continental ABC. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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TRACK IFR AIRCRAFT IN
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DREAMFLYER BOOK AND DREAMFLYER WILL PAY THE POSTAGE "Flying and
Learning the Basics for Every Pilot" and "Music's Broken Wings: Fifty
Years of Aviation Accidents in the Music Industry" are being offered
with the publisher paying the postage and shipping till September 30.
For more information on these publications and to order go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/dreamflyer
CONSUMER'S USED AIRCRAFT GUIDE The ninth edition of Aviation
Consumer's Used Aircraft will pinpoint the plane that best fits your
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AS THE OFFICIAL OIL OF THE RENO AIR RACES In addition, AeroShell
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AEROX EXTENDS RANGE
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AIR & SPACE
MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2003: "Fly Army!", How
a West Point alum assembled the largest collection of US Army aircraft
and goes on tour; "Giant Killer", Airbus moves up; "One Way Ticket From
Space", Inflatable reentry vehicles: reliable rescue craft or the next
extreme sport?; and "To Spin or Not to Spin", pilots still argue; plus
fantastic coverage of everything aviation and space. Order your
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