The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
A long-simmering feud over aerobatic flying near busy Hanscom Field,
just outside Boston, Mass., has reached a new level, as a group of local
residents is pressing a million-dollar lawsuit against several pilots
based at the airport, alleging that they are creating a noise nuisance.
One of the pilots named in the suit, Steve Pennypacker, told AVweb
yesterday that he and his partners are planning to sell their airplane,
as a direct result of the pressure. "Flying is just a hobby for me," he
said, "but my concern is that this can be used against other pilots.
It's a sign that intimidation has won out over rational discussion."
SET NATIONAL PRECEDENT...
Mike Goulian, a national aerobatic champion and president of Executive Flyers Aviation, is
also named in the suit, and faces tough choices. "It's going to cost us
at least $20,000 to $50,000 to fight this," he told AVweb yesterday.
"That's a big expense. The worrisome part -- besides the money, and my
future and my living -- is the precedent this can set for others
nationwide." Goulian said that pilots had been to meetings with
neighbors to try to find equitable solutions to their concerns. "We
thought we had some good ideas, and had been making progress," he said.
The lawsuit came as a surprise. He has no choice, he said, other than
"to just keep fighting it." More...
PILOTS SEARCH FOR LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS
This latest conflict at Hanscom, pilot Peter Schmidt told AVweb
yesterday, "has been a real wake-up call that it's time for the aviation
community to do something proactive." Schmidt, who flies a Pitts, has
formed the American Free Skies
Association to seek long-term solutions to such conflicts by
building bridges between pilots and the people affected by the airport.
Education can make a difference, he says. "Some of the people who are
bothered find the noise irritating because it scares them," he said.
"They hear changes in the engine noise and think the plane is going to
crash. Once they learn that what they are hearing is normal flight
training procedures, some of that can be allayed." Pilots need to be
educated as well, he said. More...
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On Tuesday, the FAA announced a major overhaul of its organizational
structure, with the aim of making the agency leaner and more efficient.
The new Air Traffic Organization (ATO) business structure will
consolidate the FAA's air traffic services, research and acquisitions,
and Free Flight Program activities, and focus on providing the best
service for the best value to the aviation industry and the traveling
public. "Today is the first phase of creating a true, performance-based
air traffic organization," said Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.
The ATO was developed under the guidance of Russell Chew, a former
American Airlines captain and executive who now serves as the FAA's
first chief operating officer. More...
WHAT EFFECT ON GA SERVICES?...
It's too early to say what the ultimate impact of these changes will be
on the GA pilot, FAA spokesman William Shumann told AVweb yesterday. But
initially, "pilots won't see any difference," he said. "They will still
be talking to the same people at air traffic control and at the Flight
Service Stations." Any changes that occur would be gradual, he said, and
won't begin until the initial in-depth analyses of the organization have
been completed. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said in Tuesday's news
release, "The ATO will bring about lasting change in how we manage our
air traffic services, systems and resources." But those changes "will be
invisible to the flying public," said Shumann. More...
MEETS MIXED REACTION FROM ALPHABETS
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association applauded the new
structure and staffing. "The FAA has put together an outstanding
leadership team and we look forward to working with them as they move
towards achieving their goals," said GAMA President
Ed Bolen. National
Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr was even
more enthused, calling the initiative "bold and smart" and COO Chew
"innovative and thoughtful." AOPA
President Phil Boyer was a bit more circumspect. "AOPA will be paying
close attention to the ATO," said Boyer. "We want to make sure GA
continues to have access to the system, that the FAA continues its
long-range work to develop new approaches where none currently exist,
and that funding for the new organization does not become
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BLAMES CREW IN WELLSTONE CRASH, SEEKS STRICTER CHARTER
The flight crew was to blame in the crash last year of a Raytheon
(Beechcraft) King Air 100 carrying Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone and
seven others, the NTSB said Tuesday. Neither icing nor crew fatigue were
factors, according to the board's findings. The flight crew failed to
maintain adequate airspeed on approach, stalled, and did not recover.
"This tragic accident ... points out the need for more aggressive action
to improve safety in the on-demand charter industry," said NTSB Chairman
Ellen Engleman. The crew members, according to the report, both had
shown below-average flight proficiency, and the charter operator had not
trained them properly. The King Air, operated by Aviation Charter Inc.,
was on a flight from St. Paul to Eveleth, Minn., when it crashed on
approach to the Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport on Oct. 25, 2002.
BILL, THE MONEY, THE PROGRAMS, THE JOBS...
In the Senate on Monday, Republican leaders tried to force a vote on the
stalled FAA reauthorization bill, but failed to garner enough support,
as their motion failed 45-43. Democrats, much to the satisfaction of the
Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), are standing fast for
guarantees that would restrict privatization of more control towers.
NATCA President John Carr called upon President Bush to work with
Congress to break the deadlock. "The administration ... has undermined
the will of the Congress and held up the FAA Reauthorization bill --
jeopardizing tens of thousands of jobs and critical air safety
functions," Carr said in a statement Monday night. More...
MEASURES FOR GA AIRPORTS
On Monday, the General Aviation Airport Security Working Group released
report on GA security to the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA). The goal of the Working Group, made up of representatives from GA
alphabet groups such as GAMA, AOPA,
EAA, NATA, NBAA, and more, was to develop guidelines for security at the
nation's GA airports. The group recommended that pilot certificates
should include photos, specific threats should be better disseminated,
the TSA should reward airports for terrorism-related convictions, and
federal funds should be allotted to build more hangars. Overall, the
report concluded that GA airports are so diverse, the best approach is
to proceed case by case, but outlined general practices that can be
WELL BEYOND THE COCKPIT
Crew resource management may be old news to pilots, but the concept is
now making waves in other industries where communication among workers
can mean the difference between safety and disaster, The (U.K.) Herald
reported Monday. Techniques that pilots use to help avoid accidents are
being adapted to reduce the risk of mistakes in hospital operating
theaters, nuclear plants, fire departments, and prisons, where teamwork
is critical. A CRM research center in Scotland has been working to adapt
aviators' methods to the medical professions. "The skills are about
recognizing the potential for human error, knowing your own limitations,
and the effects of fatigue and stress on your performance," Dr. Nikki
Maran told The Herald. More...
MEETS COMMUNIST CHINA
In Shanghai this week, businessman Li Linhai expects to take delivery of
his brand-new Robinson R-44 helicopter, the first light aircraft bought
for private use on the Chinese mainland. Li will fly his helicopter for
business trips and family visits, he told the China
Daily. Despite the high cost of flight training, about $241 per
hour, demand is growing, and another businessman has already placed an
order for the first private light airplane. China aviation authorities
are mapping out regulations on the application for the purchase of
planes and for takeoff procedures, according to China Daily, and the market for
light planes in China is projected at 10,000 in the next 10 years.
LOCATOR BEACON CREDITED WITH FIRST LOWER-48 RESCUE
A Cleveland man who got snowed in while camping in the Adirondack
Mountains in New York last week was rescued by a UH-1 Huey helicopter
thanks to the help of his personal locator beacon (PLB). The rescue
marks the first such use of a PLB in the contiguous United States. About
10 a.m. on Nov. 14, Carl Skalak, 55, was faced with frigid weather,
four-foot snow drifts and a frozen river that he had paddled in on. He
activated his beacon, and after being routed through various agencies,
the helicopter was dispatched to his coordinates with a medical team. "I
am profoundly thankful for all those who were willing to put themselves
in harm's way on my behalf," said Skalak. "Many terrific people worked
together to make this mission a success." The system worked just as it
was supposed to, said NOAA
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The Thunderbirds celebrated their golden anniversary in style...
pilots died in midair of C-180 and PA 28-181 in R.I. on
Fifth runway at Boston's Logan Airport got the go-ahead
The TSA this week issued security directives for air
An Osprey V-22 is in Nova Scotia to test de-ice and anti-ice
Congress members protested beer logos on NASM airplane
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
To Fly Again For The First Time
Building a painstakingly accurate
reproduction of a 100-year-old airplane is one thing -- figuring out how
to fly it, and not get killed in the process, is quite another. That's
the challenge faced by The Wright Experience team as they prepare for
the once-in-a-lifetime celebration of flight on December 17 at Kill
Devil Hills. More...
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Vess Velikov, of San Jose, Calif. His photo captures the unique
beauty a shiny the Pacific Coast Air Museums P-51D displays. This
picture was taken at Wings Over Wine Country Airshow. Great picture,
Vess! Your AVweb hat is on the way.
To check out the winning picture,
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
We received over 300 responses to our question last week on flying
personal jet aircraft. About 14 percent of those responding felt those
pilots transitioning to these aircraft should have previous turbine
experience, at least 1,000 hours flight time and a Commercial
certificate. About 31 percent felt some of these skills sets were
necessary, while 27 percent felt none were applicable.
To check out
the complete results or respond to this week's question, go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw
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SAFETY'S DECEMBER ISSUE FEATURES: "When Training FITS"; "Square
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BRINGS YOU THE FACTS! Why would a pilot who had lost an engine
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