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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
KEEPS GRAPHICAL TFR PROMISE
A year after promising them, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will
announce that real-time graphical depictions of current TFRs will be
available on the FAA Web site starting
today. Blakey is expected to make the announcement at AOPA's annual
meeting in Philadelphia. She made the promise at last year's AOPA Expo
in Palm Springs. Agency spokesman William Shumann said the new system
will give pilots complete, up-to-the-minute information on TFRs as they
are created. Michael Cirillo, the FAA's program director for air traffic
planning and procedures, told a media briefing Wednesday that the new
system is fully automated and will be refreshed every 15 minutes.
TO USE, HELP AVAILABLE
The new graphical TFR site is easily accessed by clicking on the
"Pilots: Graphic TFRs" section of the FAA homepage. The click will take
pilots to a national map where they can take their pick of TFRs that
might affect the flight they are planning. Clicking on the individual
TFRs brings up the map, with the TFR shown in red hash marks. There's a
layering feature that allows the user to zoom and add major highway and
airports, identify major metropolitan areas and place the TFR on a VFR
sectional chart. The graphics also include the textual NOTAM
descriptions (legal and plain-language) and the whole package can be
printed off for ready reference in the air. There is also a 24-hour help
WILDFIRES AFFECT AVIATION
Things have returned to "normal" in the skies over southern California,
if you can call flying through thick smoke and dodging fire-related TFRs
normal. As AVweb reported
on Monday, Californias ongoing battle with massive wildfires has
taken its toll on aviation operations. Things took a turn for the worse
on Sunday when a fire got within two miles of the FAA's Southern
California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and it was
evacuated. The facility, which covers a host of major airports and
dozens of GA airports, is the busiest in the country, according to the
FAA's William Shumann. "There were lots of delays but things are back to
normal in southern California," Shumann told AVweb. More...
BECOMES A PARKING LOT
The fires also affected terminal facilities on Sunday, as Los Angeles
International Airport officials opted to hold all takeoffs for about
half an hour and then only resume departures on a limited basis. Early
Sunday evening, FAA controllers at LAX were handling about half the
normal hourly arrival rate of 70 aircraft. The reduction in the number
of arriving flights was causing delays or cancellations in outbound
flights. According to The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires,
once takeoffs resumed, aircraft were assigned rather unusual procedures,
where they were climbing to an altitude of 5,000 feet or more over Santa
Monica Bay VFR with apparently no radar coverage. More...
AIRLINES CANCEL HUNDREDS OF FLIGHTS
As one would expect, the ATC facility change and the fires themselves
caused major headaches for the various airlines servicing the region.
Not waiting for LAX to ground their aircraft, many carriers opted to
cancel hundreds of flights in the region. As a result, the entire
nationwide route system was affected. At LAX alone, more than 250
flights were canceled. Citing dense smoke and impaired air traffic
control operations, Southwest Airlines cancelled a total of 152 flights
to and from Burbank, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange County/John Wayne, and
San Diego, while America West Airlines said most of its flights in and
out of the five airports were either cancelled or delayed.
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FLARES CAUSE COMMUNICATIONS PROBLEMS
Mother Nature can sure cause a lot of static when she wants to. In fact,
static was the only thing heard on a few air-carrier-based communication
systems on Monday, as a solar storm was blamed for interfering with
high-frequency communications. While the storm could last up to two
weeks, a powerful flare-up that hit earth yesterday morning was labeled
the "third most powerful solar X-ray flare on record, a remarkable X17.2
category explosion," according to The European
Space Agency. Although the first flare-up did not cause widespread
problems, the second event did disrupt some airline communications bands
and cellphones and even caused some difficulties for the firefighting in
California. The FAA's William Shumann said the agency's ground-based and
satellite systems have been unaffected to date. More...
DANGERS OF TELLING BAD JOKES
You'd think an airline pilot would know better ... especially after a
fellow employee had been brought up on
charges in Queens, N.Y., for similar behavior in August ... but an
Air France crew member was detained Friday after he allegedly made
remarks about the plane blowing up as his baggage was being screened at
New Yorks John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Associated
Press reports an alarm went off as the pilot's luggage was processed
through a screening machine. The pilot was called back to the station
for a second screening. As security officials were inspecting his bags,
the pilot allegedly joked about the plane blowing up, him blowing up and
the story ending up on the front page of The New York Times. The TSA
staffers were not amused. More...
BILL AMENDED AGAIN
A conference committee of the House and Senate has agreed to strip
language relating to the privatization of 69 FAA control towers from the
long-delayed FAA Reauthorization Bill but privatization opponents say
that's not the end of the debate. The bill, which should have been
passed in September, has been held up over the privatization clause and
it's still not clear how the latest move will affect its passage. FAA
spokesman Greg Martin said the new conference report will likely be put
in front of the House today and passage is expected. But passage by the
Senate is expected to take longer and Martin said a continuation of the
current temporary spending authority, which expires Friday, will almost
certainly be required. More...
NEW OREGON AERO
SAFETY SEAT IS STANDARD EQUIPMENT IN RV-10 Those who have
ordered an RV-10 homebuilt from Van's Aircraft will have the benefit of
Oregon Aero's new "High-G Safety Seat" as standard equipment in the
front. The highly engineered seat provides maximum flexibility, safety
and pain-free flying. The seat exceeded the FAA's 19G/1,500lb. lumbar
load survivability test and also tested to 26G's horizontal. The seat's
sophisticated construction tilts forward for access to the back and
reclines to accommodate pilot preference for position and comfort. The
lumbar cushion is pilot-adjustable. Check out all of Oregon Aero's
products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon
TO ADDRESS SPACE EXECS
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Norman Y. Mineta will
address the FAAs Commercial
Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) this morning.
Mineta is expected to discuss the departments interest in the
internationally competitive private commercial launch industry. FAA
Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation Patricia G.
Smith will also address the committee. More...
SEATS: DON'T GET MAD, GET EVEN?
Those who are regularly shoehorned into airliners may enjoy Ira
Goldmans new invention. Called the Knee Defender, the beeper-size
block of plastic supposedly allows passengers to prevent the seat in
front of them from reclining. Although the device has only been for sale
about a month now, some debate has arisen in online chat rooms and
federal officials are gauging the result of using the device in the air.
The discussion centers on whether the Knee Defender would cause
confrontations at the flight levels. More...
AND WHO WE PUNISH
Nathaniel Heatwole shook the TSA and airline community last week after
allegedly placing box cutters, bleach and clay in the lavatories of two
Southwest Airlines jets. Now, hes back hitting the books at
Guilford College. A news release from the Quaker school confirmed the
junior "has returned to his normal academic and campus life routines."
Twenty-year-old Heatwole, of Damascus, Md., was released without bail
Oct. 20 after being charged with taking a dangerous weapon aboard an
aircraft. His next hearing is set for Nov. 10. While he could face
prison time for the federal charges, Heatwole won't be punished by
Gilford College because he didn't violate Guilford's student conduct
code, Anne Lundquist, dean for student life, told the Associated Press.
OWNERS! CESSNA PILOTS ASSOCIATION HAS THE ANSWERS! When you
purchased your Cessna aircraft you did so by making sure it fit your
flying needs. Now, when you have a question or concern about your
aircraft don't go searching for answers. Your Cessna Pilots Association
(CPA) membership comes with experts who can answer any Cessna aircraft
question, plus seminars and publications (both print and online) that
are first-rate. A CPA membership will prove the most important part of
your Cessna ownership! http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa
TFRs are expected to sprout in Texas with President Bushs Crawford
Marco Island airport will host its own Centennial of Flight
Congress is investigating Boeings tanker leaser deal with the
Atlantas airport will now be called Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
The FAA published its final rule on Reduced Vertical Separation
First parachute-saved Cirrus flown to AOPA Expo...
Meet AVwebbers at AOPA Expo, Booth 502... More...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Skip Howe, this week's
AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com.
Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
expanded coverage of business/corporate aviation continues with
extensive coverage of NBAA's annual convention in Orlando.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Dick Lemons, of Kansas City, MO. His picture titled "different
View" certainly does provide us with a unique perspective of his flight.
The shot was taken of the spot-mirror on the rear "cabanes" of his 1915
Nieuport 11 replica. Youll notice another Nieuport (Dick Starks)
can be seen banking away in the mirror with the Missouri River can be
seen just below. Great picture, Dick! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
To check out the winning picture, or to enter next week's contest, go
QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
We received over 300 responses to our question last week on the
Concordes retirement. About one third (34 percent) felt the
Concorde was never economically viable and never should have entered
service in the first place, while 37 percent agreed its caused many
financial difficulties but they also felt the supersonic airliner is an
engineering marvel. About 12 percent of the respondents thought the
Concorde should have not been retired.
To check out the complete
results or respond to this week's question, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw
week, we would like to know your thoughts on panel-mounted GPS units.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
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PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE
LAUNCHES READER'S CHOICE AWARD & YOU COULD WIN! Plane & Pilot
magazine wants to know what electronic flight bag you like best and why.
Tell them and you could win an Ernst Benz First Flight Centennial
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WORRYING-WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE Do you have friends flying in
tonight? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner
get back before you need the plane? Find out where in the air they are
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We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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Today's issue written by News Writer Arturo Weiss:
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