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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
KINDER, GENTLER FAA
Imagine an FAA where friendliness, fair play and good "customer"
relations are the priorities. Visit your local FSDO in coming months and
the agency's brass is hoping you're in for a surprise. The FAA Office of
Regulation and Certification ("AVR") is pressing ahead with its new AVR Customer
Service Initiative to treat the pilots more like customers. Now, we
don't expect to see door greeters or free roses on Mother's Day but the
agency we sometimes love to hate has promised to try and make our visits
to its facilities a bit more pleasant, depending, of course, on the
TOOLS OF THE CUSTOMER-FRIENDLY TRADE
Well, since this attitude might be new to some employees, the FAA has
embarked on a comprehensive training program that has so far included
memos and checklists circulated to all staff. "The Customer Service
initiative enables us to better document AVR decisions; helps us to be
consistent and fair in application of our regulations; and promotes
earlier resolution of disagreements," reads one of the memos. But what
if an FAA employee is caught in a customer-relations situation without
being able to put his hands on the latest memo? The agency has issued a
Information Card, which among other things asks the employees, "Have
you considered the customer and FAA perspectives on this issue?"
MORE PILOTS LOSE CERTIFICATES TO SECURITY
Is there a nice way to tell a pilot his or her certificate has been
pulled? The FAA and the Department of Homeland Security are quietly
continuing a practice to bar pilots -- on the basis of "security
concerns" -- from flying our friendly skies. The Associated Press
reports that in July the Homeland Security Department directed U.S. and
foreign anti-terrorism entities to review crew lists for foreign
commercial flights using U.S. airspace. Sixteen pilots raised suspicions
and five have been denied permission to fly into the United States. The
agency, however, did not provide the reasons for the denials nor the
names of the affected pilots. More...
WANTS REAUTHORIZATION BILL DELAYED
The FAA hopes to have its Reauthorization Bill in place by the end of
the month despite a proposal by a senator to delay Congress' vote on $60
billion package by six months. John Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.) has proposed
a bill that would extend the funding authority of the agency for six
months so Congress can reconsider a section of the bill that would
permit the privatization of 69 so-called VFR towers. But a top FAA
official says he doubts Rockefeller's bill will pass. "We just don't see
that proposal having any support," Communications Director Greg Martin
told AVweb. "It's entirely too premature to suggest an extension is a
FURLOUGH THREATS REPEATED
If, as Martin predicts, the funding extension bill fails, then what
happens if the full Reauthorization Bill isn't passed by Sept. 30?
Another top FAA official is predicting thousands of furloughs and the
halting of dozens of airport projects. "It's not something we're
bluffing about," Woodie Woodward, the FAA's associate administrator for
airports, told a conference of airport directors in Tampa on Tuesday,
just before Rockefeller made his announcement. "It's a real dire
situation." Although it appears that essential core services would be
maintained, the furloughs would cut a broad swath through FAA offices
throughout the country. More...
CONTINUES TO FEEL SECS HEAT
Raytheon Aircraft Co., which may or may not be for sale, has come under
the Security and Exchange Commissions microscope lately, likely
compounding the headaches it's already enduring in the soft post-9/11
economy. In January, the SEC began to look into how Raytheon Aircraft
recognized revenues from 1997 to 2001. The investigation specifically
focused on the manufacturers regional aircraft business. The
SECs investigations -- the third federal inquiry for Raytheon Co.
since 2001-- focuses on a transaction in October 2001 in which Raytheon
took a $693 million charge on its 19-seat commuter aircraft business.
FEW REASONS TO VISIT PHILLY IN OCTOBER
Philadelphia may be home to several historic treasures, but aviation
will be the main draw next month. The city is playing host to a couple
of major aviation events that will surely draw in thousands of
enthusiasts. The Franklin Air Show, The Franklin Institute's newest
exhibit on aviation, opens to the public Oct. 18 after seven months of
intensive renovations. Aside from the Franklin Institutes exhibit,
the upcoming AOPA Expo will also make the headlines in Philly from Oct.
30 to Nov. 1. More...
INVESTIGATION RILES CRITICS
On September 2, 1998, Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic
Ocean, killing all aboard. Now, four years later, the FAA has yet to act
on recommendations by Canadas Transportation Safety Board (TSB)
NTSB to increase the length of time flight data and cockpit voice
recorders gather data. The Canadian agency also wants the so-called
black boxes to have independent power supplies. In this crash, both
devices stopped working six minutes before the crash, denying
investigators crucial information about the MD-11's final few minutes.
PAPER AIRPLANES TO LASER PROPULSION
While many engineers have spent countless hours and dollars trying to
design the next propulsion system, a South Carolina teenager has worked
with the basics -- namely a paper airplane and a lot of creativity -- to
come up with some ideas of his own. Apparently, its paid off, as
Hilton Head High School sophomore Ben Rosenberg has been invited for an
all-expense-paid trip to Japan to continue his work with laser
propulsion. Ben will get to work in the Tokyo Institute of Technology's
labs for two weeks with Takashi Yabe, a professor and chief laser
researcher, who is looking at ways to use lasers to propel spacecraft
and airplanes. More...
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RING OR NOT TO RING
The Australian and British governments arent taking any chances
with cellphones on airliners. The Aussie Civil Aviation Safety Authority
(CASA) has published an article calling for restricted use of cellphones
aboard airliners after tests in England determined cellphones caused
compass freeze, navigational instrument errors, communication
interference and false warning reports. In the latest edition of its
Flight Safety Australia magazine, CASA says that while a link between
electronic devices and in-flight incidents has been difficult to prove
in the past, evidence is increasing and is being supported by controlled
The National Air tour stopped in Wichita during its historic
Suspected human waste dropped from an airplane was found
stuck to a house...
Work began on revamping the Manassas, Va.,
airports aging runway...
Tampa welcomed the 12th Annual ACI-NA
Conference and Exhibition. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go
out to Tony Molina, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via
email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.
Say Again? #28:
ATC 203 -- IFR Flight Plan
Everybody who flies a flight IFR has
to file a flight plan. Even if it's just a pop-up clearance with ATC,
there's gonna be a flight plan somewhere. But pilots (and others) are
still not following the rules, and safety is being compromised. AVweb's
Don Brown continues his 200-series of online IFR "courses" with this
discussion of what should and shouldn't be in an IFR flight plan.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Karen Ness, of Munster, IN. Her winning photo -- appropriately
titled "Tails" -- was taken the first day of the National Air Tour,
which appeared at Karens home field (KIGQ) on Lansing, IL. The
pictured S-26 and other aircraft all participated in this historic
event. Great picture, Karen! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go to http://www.avweb.com/potw.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
We received over 100 responses to our question last week on The Two-Year
Anniversary of 9/11. When asked how has aviation recovered from the
tragic events of September 11, 2001, 39 percent of those responding felt
the airline dilemma was developing well before the attacks but 9/11 was
truly devastating, and still greatly affects, general aviation. About
one-third (30 percent) of our respondents felt the industry, as a whole,
has continued to suffer greatly after the attacks, while 13 percent felt
general aviation is fairing better than the airlines.
To check out
the complete results, please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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THE AVWEB EDITION OF
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DREAMFLYER BOOK AND DREAMFLYER WILL PAY THE POSTAGE "Flying and
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IF YOU FLY WEST OF
THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE, PILOT GUIDES ARE A NECESSITY! "Pilots
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MAGAZINE FOR THE ACCOMPLISHED PILOT Coming in IFR's October
issue: "You Can't Flunk Your IPC", tips to make your IPC more useful;
"Picture Yourself In A Hold", a mental exercise to visualize before you
panic and push buttons; "Go Missed Approach Wisely", where IFR pilots
tend to go wrong; "The SR22 As An IFR Plateform"; plus editor's notes,
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WAS A POTENTIAL
CATASTROPHE AVERTED ABOARD AN AIRTRAN DC-9 FROM ATLANTA? The
NTSB has released its report on the fire which affected AirTran flight
956 detailing how the flightcrew recognized an unfolding problem and how
they responded. Don't miss the story in September's NTSB Reporter. Order
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DON'T WAIT TILL
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RECOMMEND AVWEB & AVFLASH
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