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Volume 9, Issue 47aNovember 17, 2003

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

BUSINESS AVFLASH REMINDER
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST twice-monthly Business AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the business of aviation. Business AVflash is a must read! Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/. More...

GARMIN'S 196 GPS HAS THE MOST UTILITY AMONG AVIATION HANDHELDS! WAAS-capable, the Garmin 196 has advanced mapping and logbook capabilities offering more utility as a cross-platform navigator than any aviation portable on the market. On land the GPSMAP 196 can navigate along roads or waterways. For details on the 196 and other Garmin GPS models stop go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/garmin

CLEARED TO BE BUSTED
Managers of two of three Washington-area airports closed to transient traffic since 9/11 say flight service staff and even air traffic controllers continue to steer unauthorized flights in their direction, causing security alerts and landing pilots in hot water. The DC-3 airports -- College Park, Hyde Field and Potomac Airfield-- are within the 15-nm Flight Restriction Zone around Washington and are closed to all aircraft except those based at any of the three and flown by a specially screened pilot. Yet, incredibly, FAA staff continue to approve flight plans to two facilities have even vector unauthorized flights to one of them, according to airport managers. FAA spokesman William Shumann said he'd heard nothing about those types of incidents but will check into it. College Park manager Lee Schiek said he'd love to get a call from Shumann or anyone else at the FAA. More...

...FSS, ATC BOTH INVOLVED...
At Hyde Field, manager Stan Fetter said no unauthorized flights have actually made it into his airport but it's not for lack of trying. Fetter said he gets at least a dozen calls a week from people asking for information about fuel availability and the like and he has to politely remind them that his facility is off limits to them. "At least one or two a week will say something like, 'Gee, I just got off the phone with flight service, had a 20-minute briefing and filed a flight plan in there, and they didn't say a thing about that,'" Fetter told AVweb. Fetter stressed that it's always the pilot's responsibility to ensure he or she follows the rules, but the FAA also has a role to play in preventing airspace violations. It can't help that charts do not plot the ADIZ because of its "temporary" nature. More...

...CONFUSION REIGNS, BUT THERE'S HOPE
At Potomac Airfield, manager David Wartofsky shared with AVweb a security incident that raised an entirely new set of questions. A Connecticut doctor was intercepted in restricted airspace and escorted by a Blackhawk helicopter to Potomac. Once on the ground, it was clear the good doctor was no threat and, as far as the authorities were concerned, he was free to continue his trip. Trouble was, the surgeon wasn't among the DC-3-based group of pilots allowed clearances to fly out of those three airports. Wartofsky came to the rescue by finding a cleared pilot to take the errant pilot out of the sanitized zone. Wartofsky said it's an example of the bizarre circumstances that surface daily but he's also confident things will get better. More...

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EAA WANTS AIR TOUR NPRM REWRITE
EAA is demanding a full rewrite of proposed rules that would govern air tour operators. AVweb originally told you about the rules in our premiere Business AVflash issue and now Earl Lawrence, the vice president of government affairs, told AVweb the more he and his staff look at the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the National Air Tour Safety Standards, the more he believes the FAA should just start with a clean sheet of paper. He said other industry groups are rapidly reaching the same conclusion. "There seems to be agreement across the board that this wasn't well done and needs to go back for a rewrite," he said. He said EAA hopes to work with other groups in trying to force major amendments and AOPA wants all pilots to have a crack at commenting. More...

...PILES OF PAPER, LITTLE SAFETY IMPROVEMENT...
Lawrence said, "They're going to get stacks and stacks of paper that they're not going to have time to go through, anyway." For the average pilot, the only impact will come if they offer their services and airplane for a charity fundraiser. The rule boosts the required experience from 200 to 500 hours; Lawrence said he can't figure out why. He said it could be argued that a 200-hour new pilot, with recent training and experience, is safer than an older pilot who flies sporadically but has amassed the time over decades. "There doesn't seem to be any justification for [the minimum hours increase]," he said, but fatal accidents from 1983 to 2000 peaked for student and private pilots with 50 to 350 hours, according to the research of Gold Seal Instructor, author, teacher, and pilot Dr. Paul A. Craig in his book, The Killing Zone. That aside, EAA is also looking into how the rules might affect its own Ford Trimotor and B-17 flight operations at AirVenture. More...

...RULE "GROUNDS AIRPLANES"
Most of the proposed regulations will affect businesses actively engaged in "air tour" activity. As Business AVflash reported last week, Part 91 operators will have to upgrade to either Part 121 or Part 135 status to continue offering air tours and it's estimated by the FAA that 700 Part 91 operators will simply stop doing it rather than put up at least $11,200 it's estimated the new certification will cost them. "Grounding airplanes is not an increase in safety," said Lawrence. He also noted that of the 11 accidents cited by the FAA as justification for the rule change, nine involved Part 135 carriers. "They have not demonstrated the safety need or the improvement that will result from this change," he said. More...

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BOTTLE TO THROTTLE -- AS ONE PILOT IS PUT TO THE TEST
A London newspaper put a retired RAF transport pilot in a simulator after a night on the town (click "More" below) following an incident involving three British Airways crew members whose alleged partying left their passengers with the hangover. The 55 passengers were transferred to other flights after the pilot, first officer and a female flight attendant were suspected to have been drinking before showing up late to take the flight from Oslo to London. Someone reported the trio to Oslo police and the flight was cancelled. The actions are supported by the results of the London paper's experiment: one part drunken retired RAF transport pilot, one part simulator ... shaken, not stirred. More...

STILL DEAL-MAKING FOR FAA BILL
The battle over the FAA Reauthorization Bill's privatization language has reached a sort of desperate deal-making stage but there's no guarantee the latest gambit will work. A week after the White House refused to endorse a one-year moratorium on air traffic control privatization, a bipartisan group of senators has asked FAA Administrator Marion Blakey to put a similar guarantee in writing. Senate Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Trent Lott (R-Miss.) joined Commerce Committee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Democrats Jay Rockefeller, of West Virginia, Byron Dorgon, of North Dakota, and Fritz Hollings, of South Carolina, in signing the request letter. Conspicuously absent was Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), whose anti-privatization amendment on the original bill helped create the current stalemate. More...

DETERMINED FLIGHT SCHOOL RISES AGAIN
Aviation business people who think they've had it rough since 9/11 might pause to consider the plight of the North American Institute of Aviation in Conway, S.C. They might also note the never-say-die attitude of the flight school, which has certainly had more than the usual share of post-9/11 misery. "Hopefully we see the light at the end of the tunnel with this facility," owner Benjamin Creel told The Sun News as he presided over the groundbreaking for a new $1.2 million school. You see, the former building burned down 18 months ago. But the academy captured worldwide media attention a year ago when a former student tried to take a handgun aboard a plane in Sweden. More...

GIVE AEROSHELL SHINE AND PROTECTION TO THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE'S AIRCRAFT AeroShell, a trusted name for oil and lubricants, introduces a line of appearance products designed specifically for general aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be purchased in a convenient leak-proof bag designed for easy carrying and storage. AeroShell's Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight Jacket cleaners and polishes, along with the application pad and cleaning cloths. AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be ordered for holiday giving at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell

RVSM MAY NOT BE SAFE
Squeezing more planes into less space (and using technology to keep them apart) may not be as safe as proponents of Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) claim. Peter Ladkin, a computer scientist specializing in "dependable systems" at Germany's University of Bielfeld told NewScientist.com that reducing vertical separation from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet doesn't leave much wiggle room for pilots who have to take evasive action when their collision avoidance systems go off. In fact, he claims Eurocontrol, the pan-European air traffic control organization, ignored several incidents and accidents involving sudden altitude changes when it compiled its safety research. Eurocontrol officials deny Ladkin's claim, saying the ability of modern aircraft to maintain their height precisely keeps them safely separated. More...

MEIGS' LOSS BOOSTS MIDWAY NUMBERS
The GA traffic diverted from Meigs helped push the comings and goings at Midway to record heights, even though there is supposed to be an airline slump going on. Almost 31,000 flights were recorded at Midway in October, the most in 13 years and up more than 10 percent from last year. According to controllers at the suddenly busier airport in Chicago, Midway has picked up part of the traffic that used Meigs before it was turned aircraft exclusive by the city last March. The loss of Meigs isn't the whole story, however, and is not even the biggest cause of the increase, according to the FAA. More...

CESSNA MAINTENANCE SOON TO GET EASIER?
Some manuals that support Cessna aircraft stretch 10,000 pages long, and some aircraft models are attached to as many as ten of them. For Cessna, updating one of those manuals is no small task, but a software company is hoping their efforts will make sense of the mess all those pages can make for pilots and mechanics, too. Cessna, working with Arbortext software, plans to offer customized manuals and catalogs so that pilots, field service personnel, and mechanics can quickly locate relevant information among pages or megabytes of the irrelevant. More...

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ON THE FLY...
Christie's Concorde auction helped raise $3.8 million for children...
Four survived Learjet crash near St. Louis...
Air Canada bailed out by son of Hong Kong billionaire...
FAA said Alaska accident rates are down, fatalities increase...
Avid Aircraft closed Montana plant, might move to Midwest...
Three senior NASA officials to command safety center...
Andrew Grant the millionth Young Eagle, gets to fly with Yeager. More...

AVWEB'S AVSCOOP AWARD...
Congratulations and an AVweb hat go out to Michael Davies, this week's AVscoop winner. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. Rules and information are at http://www.avweb.com/contact/newstips.html.

More...

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READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week about the Washington ADIZ, the most-overpaid workers, and more.

More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
COLUMNS
As the Beacon Turns #70: We Aim to Please
Pilots take pride in completing a flight -- especially if there is a bit of a challenge to make it something other than routine. But as AVweb's Michael Maya Charles tells us, when we try to please everyone -- especially those who don't know how dangerous it really can be -- we're not really doing right by them nor by ourselves.

More...

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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. http://www.avweb.com

Letters to the editor intended for publication in AVmail should be sent to mailto:editor@avweb.com.com. Have a comment or question? Send it to mailto:newsteam@avweb.com.

Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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