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PUTS PASSENGERS ON ACTIVE DUTY
"Aggressive intervention has become the societal
norm," the Flight Safety Foundation's Bill Voss told the Atlanta Journal
Constitution, about a passenger's action to subdue would-be terrorist
Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, on Christmas Day. Abdulmatallab succeeded in
burning himself and not much more when the lives of 278 passengers were
at stake. That is perhaps thanks to fellow Northwest Fight 253 passenger
Jasper Schuringa. Shuringa told CNN, "I basically reacted directly." Shuringa said
it wasn't a matter of thought, "I just went over there and tried to save
the plane." Shuringa used his hands to extinguish the fire
Abdulmatallab's actions had created. He was quickly joined by crew and
other passengers who took the suspect to first class, stripped him and
searched for explosives. "We just did it. There was nothing to talk
about," passenger Syed Jafry said. The men now join the ranks of
passengers like those of United Flight 93 who were aware of the threat
and were ready to act. While authorities worldwide tighten security
measures, stories of active intervention initiated by the final line of
defense -- the passengers -- become more common.
Read the Wall Street Journal's profile on Umar
PASSENGER "NO THREAT"
Authorities say a Nigerian man who
locked himself in the bathroom of Northwest Flight 253 on Sunday, two
days after the same Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight was the target of a
bombing attempt, apparently had a good reason to be there. The
unidentified businessman reportedly became ill on the flight and had
made several trips to the lav, arousing the suspicion of perhaps
twitchier-than-usual passengers and crew. When the door didn't open for
about an hour on his last visit, crew broke down the door and dragged
him out, which might also explain his less than courteous response to
them. After reporting a "disruptive passenger" the crew made a hurried
landing and the man was arrested. The rest of the passengers and their
bags were rescreened and finally it was determined there was no danger.
The suspect in Friday's bombing attempt is alleged to have put together
components of the device in the bathroom. More...
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FLIGHT DELAY/DEPLANING RULES COMPLICATED BY
The Department of Transportation
has made rules that require airlines to let passengers off of an
airplane that hasn't gone anywhere for three hours, but practical
application of those rules may be difficult. Passenger rights groups
support the rules, but given the choice of arriving late or not arriving
at all, most passengers say they would rather arrive late, American
Airlines spokesman Tim Smith told Statesman.com. Three hours at the gate
is one thing, but after three hours on a taxiway an aircraft can either
be accessed by mobile stairs or it can go back to the gate where some or
all passengers could exit. Regardless, if the aircraft is in the queue,
it would lose its place and further delay passengers willing to continue
with the flight, plus add cascading delays for passengers waiting for
that jet, elsewhere. But... .
interview with Anjum Malik of FlyersRights.org
Business Aviation Will Help
Companies Not Only Survive
But Prosper During the Current Financial Crisis
To be your most productive, and your most efficient, you must keep
flying. Because in so doing, you will emerge from these times even
stronger than before. And you will replace the uncertainty that
surrounds many, with the confidence and courage to light the way for
TO STAY IN RED
Coming off a very volatile two years ravaged
by world economic woes and steep fuel prices, the International Air
Transport Association (IATA) is predicting more losses in 2010, in spite
of predicted upticks in travel and a forecast that business jets may
rebound for 2011. IATA recently bumped its projection of a $3.8 billion
loss for 2010 by 47 percent -- the organization now predicts a $5.6
billion loss. If true, that will fall back-to-back with the $11 billion
loss forecast for 2009. That loss has hit business aviation, too.
"General aviation ... has taken an unnecessary pummeling," former FAA
head Marion Blakey told Reuters. Blakey stood by predictions that demand
for business jets should pick up in 2011, a sentiment echoed by Pratt &
Whitney President David Hess. "Utilization is up," Hess said. But an
increase in passenger traffic at the airlines and increased utilization
in the business aviation world aren't expected to beat out high fuel
costs. "Airlines will remain firmly in the red in 2010," IATA CEO
Giovannin Bisignani said in a statement. As for the bizav world: While
the fall may be over, "that's not the same as a recovery," the Teal
Group's Richard Aboulafia recently told Reuters. More...
AEROSPACE PLANS TO SELL JETS IN 2010
expects to complete upgrades to 28 jets acquired as the assets of the
former Eclipse Aviation and it plans to start selling them as early as
next spring. Mike Press and Mason Holland Jr., the two investors behind
the new Eclipse Aerospace LLC, have now hired 60 employees and are back
in business in Albuquerque. Eight Eclipse 500 Very Light Jets are
currently in the care of the new company, receiving upgrades to their
avionics and de-icing systems to the tune of $149,000 each. And Eclipse
Aerospace has earned FAA approval for a pilot training program that
takes place in the aircraft, as opposed to the simulators used by the
former Eclipse Aviation. They've also earned FAA and EASA approval to
put owners, operators and repair station personnel worldwide through a
maintenance training curriculum. More...
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787 ON WALL STREET
Boeing has released documents for airlines
that show an increase in the 787 Dreamliner's maximum allowable takeoff
weight by 9.25 tons, sparking critics to speculate the number may
account for increased girth -- as opposed to increased capacity. Boeing
generally doesn't disclose empty weights while its aircraft are still in
development/testing, but that hasn't stopped some analysts from
speculating the worst and using that speculation to help drive down the
price of Boeing stock. "The 787-8 appears to have evolved from a
once-elegant composite design to one saddled with carbuncles of heavy
titanium added throughout for strengthening," wrote Morgan Stanley
financial analyst Heidi Wood. The analyst then downgraded Boeing stock,
according to the LA Times. That happened in spite of the 787's chief
project engineer Mike Delaney's comments that the jet's weight has been
stable for about two years, that it will meet its range and payload
targets, that it will deliver the promise of a 20% increase in fuel
efficiency, and that it has increased its payload capacity due to
confirmation of its structural strength. More...
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
REALLY IS 50
A slip of the digit resulted in our story
on the 50th anniversary of the Piper Cherokee adding 10 years to its
still-youthful design. The first one rolled out in 1960, not 1950, as we
misstated in the original story. Thanks to the legions of AVweb
fact checkers who took time from their holiday celebrations to point out
the typo. More...
DECEMBER 28, 2009
Letter of the Week: Flight Service
Closures Will Hurt
I'm a flight service specialist at St.
Petersburg, Florida and am directly involved in day-to-day operations.
In your article,
[Lockheed Martin spokeswoman] Jan Gottfredsen claims that because of a
"13% reduction in call volume, combined with efficiencies gained
with a new communications network," there will be a seamless
transition. I must question this contention.
Lansing, Nashville, and St. Petersburg answer collectively up to 2,500
calls per day. The traffic of the Eastern Service Area flight service
stations exceeds that of the other two service areas. These four
facilities are dedicated entirely to briefing pilots. The 3
"hub" facilities conduct all of the inflight (radio)
functions, flight data and NoTAM functions. Typically, in the Eastern
Service Area Hub, only a half dozen or so people are briefing; the rest
are required to perform inflight, flight data and NoTAMs for the eastern
United States. Admittedly, Lockheed is massaging the staffing schedule
to compensate for the loss of briefers, but where are the additional
people coming from?
Click through to read the rest of Rob Stultz's letter
and others from this week's mailbag. More...
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VICTORY FOR AIRLINE PASSENGER RIGHTS?
Department of Transportation announced new rules for ramp delays last
week, but are they as tough as they seem? AVweb's Russ Niles
spoke with Anjum Malik of FlyersRights.org about the rules and
the group's next move. More...
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Overheard on a flight from Brest to Toulon in
"Control, didn't you forget
Female Voice from Control
"Sorry, sir. I really did forget you."
"No problem. I have one like that at home, too."
Jan Evensvia e-mail
THE AVWEBFLASH TEAM
AVwebFlash is a weekly
summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events
featured on AVweb, the
internet's aviation magazine and news service.
AVwebFlash team is:
here to send a letter to the
editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not
intended for publication.)
Comments or questions
about the news should be sent
Have a product or service to advertise
on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's
If you're having
trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd
prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device),
there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
instructions on making the switch, click
Navigate. Communicate. More...