The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
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COME AND GO
What happens when you close perfectly good GA airports that serve
hundreds of pilots and planes in a metropolitan area? Chances are you'll
have to spend tens of millions on a new one. Flying folks in Austin,
Texas, were horrified when both Austin Executive and Robert Mueller
Municipal Airport were closed in 1999 after the new Austin Bergstrom
International Airport opened. It didn't take state officials long to
realize they'd carved a big hole in their transportation infrastructure
by closing them and enacted
a law requiring a new one be built. Well, even in Texas, 700 acres
near good highways and away from people who don't want an airport near
them isn't that easy to find. State officials have identified
15 potential sites, including some existing airports, to put the
7,000-foot runway and attendant facilities. The cost? About $55 to $65
Although far more airports close every year than are opened, there are
jurisdictions that see the wisdom in keeping the flying fraternity safe
and happy. But as St. Augustine, Fla., officials found out last week,
expanding an airport into an existing neighborhood is about as popular
as expanding a landfill in the same direction. The St. Augustine-St.
Johns County Airport Authority is borrowing $5 million to expand the
airport into a residential area called Araquay Park. The authority
already owns 75 percent of the land there and hopes to pick up the rest
but about half of the remaining owners don't want to sell. "I've enjoyed
living here ... and I don't want to leave," Mary McElroy told The St.
Augustine Record. Over in Birmingham, Ala., the city council sees
airport expansion coming and is taking steps to make sure it doesn't end
up where it's not wanted. More...
PAWNS TO POLITICS
If there is any politician who knows how to close an airport, it's
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Now proponents of a privately funded field
in suburban Peotone are wondering if the mastermind of the destruction
of Meigs Field can stop their project before it's started. Daley doesn't
want Chicago's third regional airport in Peotone but those behind the
plan are trying to structure it so the powerful mayor can't scuttle it.
They plan to raise private money to build the airport, and Daley has no
official say in whether the state or federal authorities approve it.
However, Chicago Business says backers are anxiously awaiting the wily
mayor's move. More...
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FUTURE OF GA POWERPLANTS?
For now, the closest "new" technology that means anything to power GA is
an idea that's been kicking around for decades and with companies like
Boeing getting serious about it, an electric airplane, powered by a fuel
cell, is not only feasible, it might even be desirable for some
applications. As we've
reported previously, Worcester, Mass.-based Advanced Technology
Products (ATP) is at the forefront of this technology. We've tweaked,
we've tuned and we've wrung just about everything we can from the two
basic engine designs that power today's airplanes, but is electric power
poised to replace the pistons and turbines that now make us go? The
short answer is no, but ATP, along with its non-profit research partner,
the Foundation for Advancing
Science and Technology Education (FASTec), had already almost
completed their own E-plane when Boeing asked them to put together the
power package for its plane. More...
FROM THE GROUND...
But while ATP grapples with the problem of heavy batteries and
developing fuel-cell technology, NASA researchers have successfully
tested a model electric plane that leaves all that bulky stuff behind.
Staff at the Marshall Space Flight Center kept the 11-ounce
balsa-and-Mylar contraption flying by pointing an invisible laser beam
at it. The Laser Beaming Project, a joint effort of NASA's Marshall and
Dryden centers and the University of Alabama, aims the laser at a
photovoltaic cell that converts it to the juice the electric motor
needs. In last week's test, the plane was dropped from an elevated
platform and the light beam kept it circling 60 feet above. It was the
first time an "aircraft" had ever flown with laser energy from the
ground, although researchers did manage a similar feat using a
searchlight last year. More...
RUBBER TOWARD $10 MILLION
There's nothing new about rockets but when Burt Rutan starts looking
spaceward, you can bet there'll be something unconventional supplying
the kick. As AVweb reported last week, two companies, eAc and SpaceDev,
were in line to build the hybrid rocket that will push Rutan's SpaceShipOne to 62
miles high in the race for the $10 million XPrize. Rutan's Scaled Composites announced Friday
that SpaceDev won the contract. Both companies developed a rocket that
combines the function of liquid- and solid-fueled engines with safety
and reliability. The engines burn rubber, which is oxidized by nitrous
oxide, both of which are safe and easy to handle and won't react
spontaneously. And as we relentlessly seek new technologies to power our
passion, last week, some well-heeled travelers were undoubtedly wishing
the tried and true were just a bit more reliable when their Concorde
trip got complicated. More...
SITE UNDAMAGED BY ISABEL
The Wright Brothers went to Kitty Hawk for the wind but they would have
been blown away by conditions last week. The historic site of the first powered,
sustained flight escaped undamaged when Hurricane Isabel made landfall
on the Outer Banks. "There's a little bit of standing water. We fared
well," National Parks Service spokeswoman Mary Doll told AVweb. "Wright
Brothers (Memorial) really sustained no damage." She said a couple of
nearby airport runways were covered in sand washed in by the storm surge
but they were quickly cleared. There was also some building damage in
nearby communities. Of course, the hurricane played havoc with air
travel on the east coast. More...
DIVES TO AVOID FIGHTERS
Some Air Force fighters that might have been fleeing Hurricane Isabel
apparently narrowly missed a disaster of a different sort last
Wednesday. An American Airlines airliner on its way to St. Louis from
Oklahoma City dove to avoid a flight of three or four military aircraft
near Tulsa, according to airline spokeswoman Julia Bishop-Cross. "The
pilot took the plane off autopilot, the system went off again and
ordered a descent," she told The Associated Press. "He descended 50 to
100 feet, then saw three or four jet fighters, military aircraft." Three
flight attendants and two passengers were slightly injured. The plane
flew on to St. Louis. More...
JACKET PRODUCTS SHINE AIR FORCE ONE TO A SPARKLE AeroShell
Flight Jacket line of aviation appearance care products contributed to
the Centennial of Flight by completely refurbishing the original Boeing
707 Air Force One first flown by President Eisenhower. Seattle's Museum
of Flight was to repaint the aircraft, but with AeroShell Flight Jacket
products the aircraft was brought back to its original beauty without
new paint, saving the museum over $50,000. See what Flight Jacket
products can do for your aircraft. Buy the entire line at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell
OWNERSHIP RULES SET
It's been 18 years since Executive Jet revolutionized business-jet
ownership and now the FAA has caught up to the fractional ownership
industry with a set of regulations. The agency published a final rule
for the Regulation
of Fractional Aircraft Ownership Programs and On-Demand Operations
last Wednesday in the Federal Register. The new rule recognizes the
enviable safety and maintenance record that has evolved in the
fractional ownership industry. "By this rulemaking, the FAA establishes
safety standards to maintain the safety record of current fractional
ownership programs and to ensure that new fractional ownership programs
will also meet a high level of safety," the rule reads.
BROTHER LOOKING OUT FOR YOU
Big Brother is watching us, but JetBlue? The discount airline admitted
last week that it turned over personal information on a million of its
passengers to an Army contractor that used the information to find out
their Social Security numbers, financial histories and occupations. The
airline violated its own privacy code in doing so and officials
apologized Friday. "This was a mistake on our part and I know you and
many of our customers feel betrayed by it," CEO David Neeleman said in
an e-mail to the 150 customers who complained. The data was turned over
to Torch Concepts, which
said it was doing research on "airline passenger risk assessment."
Certainly not all risk comes from within the plane and the Bush
administration has recognized that to the tune of $100 million.
TAKE "SEARCH" OUT
OF "SEARCH & RESCUE" WITH A 406 MHz PLB FROM AEROMEDIX A 406 MHz
Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) should be an essential part of your safety
gear. PLBs greatly reduce the time it takes rescuers to reach an
individual in distress, and provides the very best chance of being
rescued in an emergency. A GPS-enabled PLB transmits precise coordinates
to within 100 meters, and reduces SAR notification time to as little as
five minutes! Aeromedix.com has great deals for AVflash readers on PLBs,
including the ACR GyPSI unit with GPS interface ($599) and the
Pains-Wessex Fastfind Plus with built-in GPS ($895). Call 1-888-362-7123
and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi
LSA COMPETITION -- FROM VIETNAM
As the new Light-Sport category gets closer to reality, U.S.
manufacturers are bracing for an influx of aircraft from Europe and
Australia but there's also a new player in that market. A Vietnamese
company has built the prototype of what it calls a "superlight"
aircraft. The Voice of Vietnam news service reports a two-place version
of the VAM 1 has been built by the Hoa Binh company and a four-place
model is in the works. The company claims it can match the quality of
foreign-built aircraft at 40 percent of the price The plane has a
30-foot wingspan and weighs 330 pounds. It is predicted to fly as high
as 10,000 feet and as fast as 90 mph. More...
Aircraft Spruce bought design rights to Cozy...Raytheon Aircraft
Services added two executives...Wright Family Fund donated $37,000 to
AirVenture Museum...Six Elder Statesmen of Aviation were honored...Four
crew died in loss of Russian supersonic bomber...Presidential TFR
expected over New York. More...
INSTRUCTORS! NON-OWNED INSURANCE AVAILABLE FROM AVEMCO Liability
insurance is a high priority for CFIs. Avemco offers the CFI Non-Owned
Aviator Series insurance program providing liability and aircraft damage
liability coverage for both bodily injury and property damage sustained
by others during instruction. This program also provides coverage for
the instructor's personal use of non-owned aircraft. The simplified
application process of the Aviator Series makes it quick and easy to
obtain the appropriate coverage. Contact Avemco at 888 241-7891 and
mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon
Turns #68: Under the Wire
Dealing with an engine failure in a
helicopter includes the same rule as in an airplane: Pitch for proper
airspeed. However, the margin for failure is much tighter in
whirly-birds, and even simulated engine failure can cause a real
emergency landing. AVweb's Michael Maya Charles just had
Reader feedback on AVweb's news coverage and feature
mail this week about the National Air Tour and the FAA Reauthorization
ATTENTION IFR PILOTS!
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Back in the 70's, BOAC (British Airways) flew into O'Hare Chicago and
their call sign was "Speedbird"...
O'Hare: Speedbird xxx slow to 200
Speedbird xxx: Sorry, running late, need to keep the speed
O'Hare: Ok, turn right 90 degrees and keep your speed
Speedbird xxx: Errr, how long would we be on that
O'Hare: Till you slow to 200.
Speedbird xxx: Roger,
slowing to 200 More...
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SUMMIT AVIATION IS
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SAFETY-THE JOURNAL OF RISK MANAGEMENT AND ACCIDENT PREVENTION
Highlights in the upcoming October issue of Aviation Safety
include: "Prime Time GPS", a look at the new reality and the future it
promises; "Which Way Is Up?", how to win the unusual attitudes battle;
"Cold, Hard Prep", a wish list for ensuring safe winter flying; "Mental
Trifecta", keeping yourself ahead of the aircraft; "Propeller Suicide",
small flaws can be big trouble; plus, accident reports maintenance
issues and real-life learning experiences in the October issue of
Aviation Safety. Order your subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avsafe
AEROX EXTENDS RANGE
CAPABILITIES WITH NEW OXYGEN SYSTEM Aerox's high-duration,
portable oxygen systems are designed for extended use during
high-altitude flights with Oxysaver oxygen-conserving nasal cannulas
conserving 75% of the oxygen previously wasted with standard cannulas.
Pilots as well as passengers can arrive alert and rested with Aerox's
portable oxygen systems. See all Aerox's models and accessories at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aerox
SINK YOUR TOES IN
THE SAND WHILE WATCHING AN UNEQUALED NORTHWEST SUNSET Pilot
Getaways magazine's Fall issue takes you to the Oregon Coast, where you
can sip espresso under the benevolent eye of Neahkanie Mountain. Or, if
the steamy Gulf Coast is more your style, take a flight to Dauphin
Island off the coast of Alabama. These destinations and many in-between
are featured in the newest issue of Pilot Getaways. Order your "keeper"
issues at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways
TWO NEW PRODUCTS
FROM SACRAMENTO SKYRANCH-THE GATS JAR AND REJEX The GATS JAR is
the only fuel analysis tester to separate non-petroleum contaminants and
thereby purifying water and debris from contaminated avgas and jet fuel
allowing extracted fuel to be put back into the aircraft and not on the
ground. REJEX is a thin-film polymer coating that reduces adhesion of
bugs, oil, grime and more to any aircraft surface and lasts for months.
See these and other fine products at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyranch
FRIENDS, FAMILY OR THOSE YOU MEET TO AVIATION WITH BE A PILOT
The Be A Pilot program has introductory FLIGHT LESSON
certificates for $45. For more information, or to obtain one of these
certificates as a gift, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/beapilot
ANNIVERSARY, FIRST-SOLO GIFTS AT PORT-TO-PORT AVIATION JEWELRY
No matter the occasion Port-to-Port Aviation Jewelry has the
perfect gifts from costume, sterling silver and 14k gold all at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/port
LOOKING FOR A GOOD FLY-IN,
SHOW OR EVENT IN YOUR AREA? LOOK TO AVWEB'S Calendar at http://www.avweb.com/events
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