NewsWire Complete Issue
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Compromise Offered On Contract Towers...
Politics and airplanes may both be about the art of compromise but opponents to expansion of the contract tower program say a White House olive branch is covered in thorns. Rep. Peter DeFazio and Rep.
James Oberstar have written their colleagues urging them to turn down the administration's proposal to drop a clause in the FAA Reauthorization Bill that allows the privatization of 69 FAA-run towers.
The problem is, that section also guarantees that the other 94 percent of the air traffic control system will stay in government hands through the four-year term of the bill. "This change would not
solve the problems that have been raised," the letter reads. The bill has been stalled on the privatization issue since Congress resumed sitting after Labor Day. The FAA's current funding legislation
runs out Sept. 30. The White House had earlier threatened a veto if the privatization language was dropped and the FAA has warned that furloughs will be issued and airport projects halted if the money
tap is turned off on Tuesday. Oberstar and DeFazio say a short-term funding extension could be granted, if necessary, so that "an acceptable reauthorization bill can be passed."
The compromise was offered on the eve of a formal hearing on the safety of the contract tower program. On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Aviation examined a recent report by the Department of
Transportation's Inspector General Ken Mead, which stated that contract towers are much less expensive to run than government-staffed towers and report fewer errors. During testimony, the validity of
the safety statistics in both FAA and contract towers was challenged by National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President John Carr. He said the Inspector General's report itself recognized weaknesses in the data because error reporting in both types of towers is voluntary
and there are no standards and methods established to verify the reports. The value of the safety comparisons is also challenged by the General Accounting Office (GAO), which reviewed the report at
the request of Oberstar. The GAO said there were "several potential limitations" with the safety data. "Comparisons of operational errors among types of air traffic control facilities ... cannot be
used alone to provide valid conclusions about safety ..." the GAO summary says in part. It also says the data can't be used to draw conclusions about which type of tower is safer. Of course Mead had
his chance to defend the report and FAA Administrator Marion Blakey was also to be on the witness stand, but we were unable to get their testimony before our deadline.
What has always made the privatization legislation unusual is that it exempted two VFR towers in Alaska. Fingers immediately pointed at Rep. Don Young, who, as a representative of that state, is also
the chairman of the powerful Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which incorporates the Aviation Subcommittee. Young did little to dispel accusations that he'd cut a side deal to maintain
FAA service in Alaska when he appeared on a television show last week. In an interview on a show hosted by the American Association of Airport
Executives, Young appeared to cite his own personal safety as justification for exempting Merrill Field, in Anchorage, from the privatization clause. Young failed to return AVweb's request for comment
prior to publication. However, Young told the interviewer that the airspace around Merrill Field is complex, with heavy military traffic from a nearby Air Force Base, airliners on their way to and
from the international airport and floatplanes using Lake Hood. "We decided at that time to leave it as it is (under FAA staffing) until we can find out there's a better way to do it," he said in the
broadcast. He said the top-floor hotel room he normally occupies when he's in Anchorage is on the departure path from Merrill Field. "... Every morning I look out and there's one coming right at me.
It's an interesting experience and I want to make sure everything is done right in that field." NATCA was buoyed by Young's assessment. "We are pleased to see that Chairman Young continues to uphold
the position that only FAA-controlled towers should be in charge of the complex airspace around his home district," said NATCA spokesman Doug Church. "We would add that the airspace around the other
69 towers on the White House chopping block is also highly complex and should continue to be handled by federal controllers as well."
ATTENTION IFR PILOTS! YOUR FULL MOTION SIMULATOR HAS ARRIVED! Flight Level Aviation offers the only full-motion flight simulator available
for insurance approved recurrent training to piston single-engine IFR pilots. Flight Level Aviation's instruction is customized in one-or two-person classes. There are no pre-set syllabus or
audiotapes. Your individual needs are met with training in the full-motion simulator, ground school and in flight. SPECIAL AVWEB OFFER: Mention this AVflash to save $25 when two pilots sign up for
full-motion simulator training as a pair. Complete details at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flav
First With FADEC...
Aircraft certifications are rare enough in this day and age, not to mention those that incorporate a major technological shift. Liberty Aerospace entered the history books earlier this week as the
first manufacturer in the world to gain a Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for their Liberty XL2 two-place piston single with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). The aircraft flies Continental's IOF 240, a
125-hp FADEC-equipped engine. "There's a degree of relief," said Liberty President Anthony Tiarks. "It's nice to be the first." Full certification is expected soon. All that's left is for FAA pilots
to put the trim two-place touring plane through its paces and match the results of 132 knots on 5.5 gph reported by Liberty pilots. "We've been told it takes four to five weeks," said Tiarks. Liberty
test pilots have spent the last four months wringing out the airplane, including 160 spins from every imaginable configuration. Tiarks said that because there is so much new technology and material in
the airplane, the FAA-mandated testing was rigorous and thorough. In addition to FADEC and the combination of composite and aluminum construction, the XL2 incorporates some unique features, such as
the finger-controlled brakes. Tiarks said the brake system helps avoid landing accidents caused by touching down with the brakes on and is among dozens of safety-related innovations. He also noted
that the plane has been crash-tested to higher standards than other new designs.
There's nothing new about FADEC itself. Tiarks said that about the only jet aircraft still in the air today without it is the notoriously demanding Concorde and it will be out of service in a month.
With respect to power adjustment, the Liberty will be something like a jet. The Teledyne Continental (TCM) PowerLink system replaces all the dials and knobs with a single lever. Power is expressed on
a jet-like scale. While the pilot worries about the percentage of power he or she would like to tap, computers create the optimum combination of fuel and air to carry out his or her wishes. Quite the
pitchman, TCM President Bryan Lewis said FADEC moves the care and feeding of a piston engine "beyond folklore to precise digital control" and said it was long overdue. Tiarks said production will
begin as soon as the type certificate is signed. He said it will take about a year to clear the initial backlog of 55 orders, and full production is expected to be up to 240 airplanes a year. He said
the modular design of the aircraft, with its easy repair and maintenance, is attractive to flying schools, but Liberty always had getting from A to B in mind during development. It will carry a
payload of 603 pounds 600 miles at 132 knots, using about 5.5 gph. "Hopefully, it's a plane for all times and all people," he said.
The rest of us could learn a lesson in air-crash survival from a couple of Minnesota tots. Three-year-old Lily Pearson and her big sister Grace, 4, defied monumental odds in surviving a plane crash
that killed their mother Kathryn Pearson and uncle Charlie Erickson last Aug. 28. The Beechcraft twin piloted by Erickson went down in fog near Grand Marais, Minn. The girls were thrown from the
plane. "They have no explanation as to how the girls survived," their father, Toby Pearson, told reporters in a news conference. But while sheer luck seems to have been a major factor, the girls
themselves can claim some credit because they applied many of the same survival procedures drummed into student pilots. The older girl took charge of her sister and, after realizing the adults were
dead, took steps to protect her. First, she kept them both away from the fire and the smoke. Then she found shelter in the remains of a seat and, right by the book (which neither could read) the pair
waited by the wreck until help arrived about five hours later. "I protected her," said Grace. Their father said he called the reporters and camera crews into the hospital to say thanks to the rescuers
and hospital personnel who helped save the girls. He was particularly appreciative of the actions of the unnamed rescue pilot who went looking for the downed plane in the fog. "It was nothing short of
heroism," said Pearson. Grace is back home but Lily remains in the hospital undergoing skin-graft surgery and breathing with the aid of a tube.
The ad suggests something nothing less than revolutionary but, alas, Cessna's gussied-up 172, the SP model, doesn't really fly "fuel free." What it does, however, is fly on free fuel, the first $3,500
worth, anyway. The company's latest incentive supplies new owners with a fuel card that works at any FBO accepting Multiservice Fuel cards. The cards stop working after two years or at $3,500,
whichever comes first. Assuming you can use the full $3,500 within the two years, it amounts to a 1.8 to 2.1 percent discount on the purchase price of the airplane, which ranges from $165,000 for a
base model (with standard leather and a few other goodies missing on the plain-Jane Skyhawk) to $195,000 with air and all the electronics. The offer applies to all SPs currently in stock and those scheduled for delivery in 2003.
The final frontier may be coming to a museum or science center near you in the next five years. General Motors, Space Day Foundation, and Lockheed Martin have joined forces to sponsor a
12,000-square-foot traveling exhibition on the whos, the hows and, perhaps most important, the whys of space exploration. "SPACE: A Journey to Our Future"
lifts off at Seattle's Pacific Science Center Nov. 22. It will be in Seattle until May 9 before heading off for a tour of up to 15 U.S. cities. "We hope this exhibit will help inspire the next
generation of dreamers and explorers," said Dr. Adena Williams Loston, of NASA, which created the exhibit in conjunction with Clear Channel Exhibitions and the National Science Teachers Association.
The massive exhibit will give visitors the chance to touch pieces of the moon and Mars, ride a lunar module simulator to a surface facsimile of the moon and visit a simulated scientific base on Mars.
There will also be state-of-the-art audiovisual presentations of past exploits as well as live performances and child-friendly interactive displays. "Our exploration of space is an absolute
necessity," said former astronaut Gene Cernan. "This exhibit could be the spark that lights the imagination of a future astronaut or a scientist in the space program." There's plenty for everyone to
see and do but there's an educational emphasis for ages nine to 17.
LIGHTSPEED HEADSETS ARE FIRST TO: Give you over 30 hours of battery life on just two AA batteries; Give you intelligent auto shut-off;
Integrate a music/cell phone jack conveniently located on the control box; and Offer customers a trade-UP program so they can always keep current with the best LightSPEED products and accessories.
Thousands already know what headsets are first...LightSPEED at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed
Well, the Windy City failed to live up to its name and so did the Wright Flyer. The Wright Redux Association's replica of the first real airplane couldn't
break the surly bonds of a Chicago lawn last Saturday, despite three attempts. "The Wrights flew into a 25-mph wind. I think we could have flown if we had that," said Mike Gillian, pilot of the
replica. Wind speeds on the lawn of the Museum of Science and Industry were estimated at just 5 mph and the faithful replica of the primitive
engine just didn't have the power to compensate. Of course the Wrights, tenacious as they were about achieving their goal, probably wouldn't have left it at that and Wright Redux hasn't ruled out
another attempt, possibly in October. Regardless of that outcome, the wood-and-fabric replica is headed for a display inside the museum. The Wright Experience, builders of the replica that will
(hopefully) fly on Dec. 17 at Kitty Hawk, have undoubtedly taken notice of the Chicago experience and will keep praying for the typically blustery conditions of the Outer Banks.
An airspace dispute of a different sort is brewing off the windy coast of Maui as the FAA prepares to clamp down on what it claims is a hazard to operations at Kahului Airport on the Hawaiian island.
The agency is planning to cancel a waiver that allows kiteboarding, or kitesurfing, within five miles of the airport. Local officials are afraid the ban will
chase away tourists and eliminate up to 100 jobs now dependent on the dramatic sport. By tacking into the stiff marine breeze on what looks like a small surfboard, a rider can jump off a wave and then
pivot the sail so it becomes a wing. Some of the best kitesurfers can turn that initial jump into a soaring flight more than 100 feet above the waves and, according to the FAA, it's somewhere they
shouldn't be without a landing clearance. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa is stepping in and asking state officials to help him fight the decision. We've seen how those things go, but the agency types are not
entirely without sympathy in this case. They're planning to rescind the waiver on Oct. 15, three days after a major competition in the affected area is scheduled to end.
The TFR that early Tuesday set an ADIZ for the Class B airspace surrounding New York City from the surface up to but not including 18,000 feet also closed down all operations (except commercial
carrier traffic flying into LaGuardia) within seven nm of the U.N. through 4:30 p.m. yesterday. The wording was passed on to weather briefers with the usual moment's notice and appears to have never
made it to the FAA's Web site, but area pilots -- for the most part -- took it in stride. A call to the manager's office at non-towered Lincoln Park airfield tucked under the ADIZ in New Jersey was
fielded by an individual who preferred not to be named (go figure), who offered, "The bottom line with the TFR is that it sucks, but it shouldn't stop you from flying. People are moving in and out
today." At Republic field on Long Island, which operates with a control tower just inside the eastern boundary of the ADIZ, Assistant Airport Manager Shelly LaRose said business continued pretty much
as usual with pilots receiving clearance and codes from the tower. New York-area pilots arguably fared better than ground-bound motorists -- the city's FDR drive (the highway that borders the east
side of Manhattan and passes nearby and under the U.N. building) will have one section closed all week.
AFFORDABLE FLIGHT. LOOKING FOR BIG FUN WITH A SMALL PRICE TAG? Theres nothing better than the Symphony 160, the two-place, high wing,
single engine aircraft from OMF. This well-equipped aircraft can take you and a passenger, plus full fuel and baggage, wherever you want to go, and make getting there part of the fun. It has the
sporty good looks, comfort, safety and German engineering that will make possible the lifestyle you want. The Symphony 160 makes flying fun again. To discover more about the fully-loaded Symphony 160,
call 1-866-OMF-1600 or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/omf
Australia's charter and passenger carriers are urged to provide input on changes proposed on air regulations that apply to
them. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has revamped Part 121b, which covers charter and scheduled service in aircraft bigger than 5,700 kg. (12,500 lbs.)...
Two men have been arrested in the brazen theft of computers from Sydney Airport. A few weeks ago, men dressed as technicians made off with computers from the customs area. Although the
computers contained all sorts of sensitive information, it appears the alleged thieves were only interested in the hardware for resale...
Rotorway International announced the sale of its 700th Exec. 162F kit helicopter. A cattle rancher from Australia will now spend his evenings and weekends
piecing together the little chopper and eventually use it to wrangle cattle...
A backward illustration in the maintenance manual for the Beech 1900D is being studied as a possible contributing cause to two crashes of the popular commuter plane in the past year. The FAA is
now looking into the possibility in connection with a crash that killed 21 people in Charlotte, N.C., last January and a crash that killed two last month off Cape Cod. Control issues were cited in
Tickets for the final scheduled flights of the Concorde are selling fast. Would-be history makers snapped up a
third of the 450 seats available on the last four legs of British Airways' London-to-New York service. Prices are about $6,000 one-way...
A Canadian crew flying a specially equipped Twin Otter rescued a sick man from the South Pole last Sunday. A little spring twilight helped the pilots, from Calgary-based Ken Boreck Air, make an
uneventful landing in temperatures hovering around 60 F. The unidentified patient has a bladder infection and is now being treated in hospital.
AVweb's AVscoop Award...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Pete Connors this
week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to
email@example.com. Rules and information are at
The 2003 National Air Tour: A Travelog (Part 1)
As previously reported in AVweb, the National Air Tour is being re-created, 75 years after the first time. Dozens of antique airplanes are barnstorming the country, and getting warm welcomes
everywhere they go. AVweb's Brent Blue is helping out and sends this first report.
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's winner, Wynn O. Jones II, of Schofield, Wisc. The winning photo, titled "Red Radial" takes us back to
yesteryear, when bi-planes sporting big radial engines ruled the day. While jets and turboprops are exciting to watch, few things match the unique sound of a big radial. Great picture, Wynn! Your
AVweb hat is on the way.
*** THIS WEEK'S WINNERS ***
Due to privacy issues, AVweb does not publish e-mail addresses of readers who submit photos.
Click here to view a medium-size version of this image
Click here to view a large version of this image
AVweb continues to receive a large number of excellent images for our POTW contest. Here are some of the runners-up. Click on the links below to view a larger version.
"Ready for lift off"
*** PREVIOUS RESULTS ***
We received over 100 responses to our question last week on the pending FAA Reauthorization Bill. The vast majority (75 percent) of those responding felt the ongoing delays of this legislation are a
result of the usual play of politics on Capitol Hill. Less than one-tenth (8 percent) mentioned the need to understand how the legislative process works, while only 3 percent expressed any interest
with this bill.
To check out the complete results, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw.
*** THIS WEEK'S QUESTION ***
This week, we would like to know your thoughts on federal funding for aviation. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond.
Have an idea for a new QOTW? Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note, this address is ONLY for suggested QOTW questions, and NOT for QOTW answers.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of
our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
LIMITED TIME ONLY!
SHIPPING PAID ON ORDERS OF PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATES Sharpen your judgments
and readiness with these audio programs such as: Are You Ready For An Emergency;
Managing Your Fuel Supply; and Getting The Most Out of ATC. Order your Pilot's
Audio Update selections online and receive no-cost ground shipping at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avconsumer/paut
PRACTICE NAVIGATING AND
TALKING TO ATC ON YOUR PC WITH COMM 1! Comm 1 has added an interactive
multimedia AvTutorials navigation training software to their line of
high-quality aviation educational products. These are effective and engaging
training tools for both navigation and radio communications, the two toughest
skills for most pilots to learn. SPECIAL: $10 discount on each additional CD
with the purchase of two or more Comm1 or AvTutorial navigation training
products. Save up to $50.00 when you buy all 6 CD-ROMs! Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1
UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF YOUR
AVIONICS WITH A SPECIAL EFS 10% DISCOUNT! Train at your own pace with
ElectronicFlight Solutions' CompleteLearning(tm) Avionics Software Library
including Garmin GNS 530/430, Goodrich SkyWatch & Stormscope, Bendix/King
IHAS Traffic and Terrain, S-TEC 55X and Bendix/King KAP 140 / KFC 225
Autopilots. Self-paced, media rich, interactive, FAA Wings Accepted CD-ROM
training. To take advantage of this special till October 31 and more information
go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/efs/index.htm
PLANE & PILOT
MAGAZINE GIVES OPPORTUNITY TO WIN GREAT GA PRODUCTS in their "Win These"
prize drawings. In October's "Win These" giveaway, enter to win: an $895
Wireless Merlin, a wind instrument that gives present, peak and average wind
direction/speed; a Bose Aviation Headset X; or navAero's Tactical Pilot
Awareness Display (T-Pad 800, for short), worth $995. Log on now tohttp://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/index.html
ATTENTION CURRENT POWER FLOW
TUNED EXHAUST SYSTEM OWNERS & WANT-A-BES! Save $50 with the $200
introductory price on the new Exhaust Fairing for Cessna 172s AND Power Flow
will pay postage for AVweb subscribers ONLY! Those wanting to order the Power
Flow Tuned Exhaust System for their aircraft to save money and improve
performance can order with Power Flow paying the UPS ground shipping, a $75
value. Both offers available at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power
AVWEB SUBSCRIBER ONLY
OFFER FROM BUTTERFIELD PRESS! Order "Choosing Your Homebuilt-the One
You'll Finish and Fly!" during September at a special sale price of $15.95 and
receive a 14-page Avionics Report on GPS handhelds, panel-mounts and
multi-function displays, a $10 value with your order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/butterfi
ORDER EITHER 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
U.S. postage and shipping. More information on these publications and to order
go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/dreamflyer
SEPTEMBER SPECIAL FROM
HOWARD FRIED All Eye Of The Examiner books reduced $2.00 each, and a
$5.00 discount on both "Violation" and "Fay Gillis Wells-In the Air and On the
Air". Don't delay at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/fried
NOLLY PRODUCTIONS BUNDLES
TWO OF THEIR BEST SELLERS AT A FANTASTIC PRICE Two Nolly Productions
Career Path videos presenting professional development instruction for the
advanced professional pilot are being offered for $74.99, a savings of over $24
AND Nolly will pay U.S. domestic postage. "Supercharge Your Scan" is essential
for any pilot wanting to brush up on a rusty instrument scan. "Successful
Simulator Training" stresses study skills, how to prepare for ground school, the
oral and the checkride, develop your memory, and maximize the value of every
simulator minute at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/nolly
CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION HOST
BEACH BOYS, TEMPTATIONS & AARON TIPPIN This six-day Celebration,
December 12-17, at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North
Carolina, is designed to commemorate the last century of flight, celebrate the
achievements of aviators throughout history, and inspire the next generation of
aviators. Secure VIP events seating, purchase commemorative collectibles and
apparel, and enter to win the Getaway of the Century sweepstakes at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/100g
USE PROVEN COVERT
TECHNOLOGY TO READ CHARTS, MAPS AND MENUS! Photon's latest innovation,
the Micro-Light 3, gives a choice of three levels of brightness, strobe and a
handy one-minute auto shutoff feature with a water resistant case. Or, choose
the Micro-Light Covert 3 that adds an extended bulb shield to reduce glare and
eliminates all peripheral light. Great for reading in any situation in order not
to disturb anyone or attract attention. Find these and many other Photon
Mircrolight models at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon
MAINTENANCE IS YOUR TICKET TO UNDERSTANDING MAINTENANCE If your engine
is fuel-injected, you really should know how the system works. In the October
issue of Light Plane Maintenance, you'll find a detailed article on the workings
of the Bendix RSA ignition system presented in terms that a non-mechanic can
easily understand. Subscribe now. What you don't know can cost you! http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm
THE MORE AVWEB/AVFLASH GROWS THE
MORE WE CAN DO FOR YOU! Forward today's AVflash to a fellow pilot and
introduce them to AVweb and AVflash. We thank you...and they will too! http://www.avweb.com/profile _____________________________________
We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service.
Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be
sent to mailto:email@example.com. Have a comment or question? Send
it to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.
Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on
marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team: mailto:email@example.com.
Let's all be careful out there, okay?
AVflash is now available in optional easier-to-read graphic format, which includes some photos and illustrations. If you prefer, you can continue to receive AVflash in text-only format. Simply follow
these instructions and AVflash will continue to arrive as it always has, in text format.