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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
While millions watched on Dec. 17 as the EAA's Wright Flyer struggled
along its rail and failed to get aloft, only a few people were present
on Dec. 3, when the aircraft successfully left the ground and flew for
more than 100 feet. "We had video of that flight, and hoped to show it
at the site on Dec. 17, but it didn't work out," Ken Hyde told AVweb on
Saturday. Viewers who caught the Discovery Channel's coverage saw the
video, and now a QuickTime version is posted at Hyde's Wright Experience Web site
so everyone can see what they didn't get to see on the 17th -- a show of
powered, sustained, controlled flight, the way it was done 100 years
Back home in Virginia after the Outer Banks trip, Hyde found some notes
written by Wilbur Wright, which eerily predicted the experience of
Hyde's team. On May 5, Wilbur wrote that he and Orville were working in
secret, and "so far we've not been subjected to the slightest
disturbance from the press." On May 23, the brothers invited reporters
to Huffmann Prairie to view their progress. But the weather was
uncooperative: "Light rain, wind too anemic," Wilbur wrote. "The result
... a run down the track and a flop onto the ground. Only three of the
four cylinders firing properly. Many were disappointed." Hyde's team had
the same troubles on Dec. 17 -- light wind and a misfiring cylinder --
and a disappointed audience. "It was spooky when I read that," Hyde
MORE TO COME
The EAA's Wright Flyer -- the one that everyone saw on the 17th -- is
now back in Virginia and will be heading for Dearborn, Mich., in a few
weeks, to its permanent home at the Henry Ford Museum. It will never fly again. A second
copy of the airplane was sponsored by the late Harry Combs, and has been
donated to the National Park Service for static display. But Hyde also
has a third copy in the works, and plans to use that aircraft to
continue his flight-testing program. "The engines and propellers are all
done, and the rest should go together pretty quickly," he said. He plans
to continue working with his experienced flight-test crew, and return to
the Outer Banks with the Wright Flyer, sometime soon. More...
With this year's busy holiday travel season coinciding with high
security alerts, AOPA
is reminding GA pilots to fly with extra care. "Think about how your
flight looks to security officials on the ground," said AOPA's Andy
Cebula. He advised pilots to avoid loitering near facilities such as
powerplants and water supplies that might cause concern. "We want to
avoid any more temporary flight restrictions like the one issued for
Chicago," Cebula said. "Given the heightened alert status, GA must be
extremely careful not to give officials any reason to clamp down."
LIGHT AIRCRAFT NAMED AS THREATS ABROAD...
A report yesterday in London's The Mail on Sunday newspaper -- that two
light planes loaded with explosives had been seized by authorities at a
Saudi Arabian airport -- was later denied by authorities. According to
The Mail, the aircraft were discovered near Riyadh's King Khalid
airport, and were intended to be used in a suicide plot to ram a Western
airliner, most likely from British Airways, and blow it up as it taxied.
"A Saudi security official confirmed that the story ... was not true,"
the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported yesterday, according to
Reuters. "The official said neither the British Foreign Office nor
British Airways are able to confirm such information," the SPA said.
ACCIDENTS CLAIM LIVES
Sixteen people died last week in four GA accidents in the West. Tuesday
evening, a medical helicopter from Santa Rosa, Calif., hit a mountain in
bad weather, killing the pilot and two nurses on board. Also on Tuesday,
a Lear 24B bizjet flying from California to Idaho crashed in the Mojave
Desert, killing both pilots. On Wednesday, a Piper Seneca hit a mountain
while trying to land near Avalon, on California's Santa Catalina Island.
All three adults and two children on board died. On Thursday afternoon,
a Beechcraft Bonanza crashed shortly after takeoff from a North Las
Vegas airport, killing all those on board, four adults and two children.
The pilot had declared an emergency and said he would try to return to
the airport, according to news reports. More...
REPORTS STRONG GROWTH IN 2003
Systems, of South St. Paul, Minn., said last week it has set a new
company record for revenues. Sales totaled $6.5 million in 2003, up 29
percent from the year before. The company attributed the increase to its
new general aviation products and to a growth in sales of parachute
systems for recreational aircraft (up 36 percent). BRS delivered 466
parachutes to Cirrus Design, and expects to sell even more to the
company next year. "We also believe that research and development is an
integral part of the growth strategy for BRS and will continue to play
an important role in the company's success," said CEO Mark Thomas, in a
news release. More...
RECORDERS RECOVERED FROM 727 CRASH
On Saturday, both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data
recorder were recovered from the 727 that crashed into a building and
then plunged into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff on Thursday
from the tiny West African country of Benin. The airliner, operated by the Lebanese-owned
Union des Transports Africains (UTA), was carrying 151 passengers and 10
crew bound for Beirut. Twenty-two people, including at least one of the
pilots, survived. Early reports suggested that the airplane may have
been overloaded, and it seemed to be unable to retract its landing gear.
HONORS TEENAGE WEBMASTER
Steve Holzinger, a 19-year-old from Marlton, N.J., says it was "a dream
come true" when he was named the youngest-ever Airshow Fan of the Year
at the annual convention of the International Council of Air Shows, held earlier
this month in Dallas, Texas. Holzinger drives up to nine hours in a day
in his 1986 Chevy Blazer to visit air shows, in between his college
classes and his job at KMart. Armed with a camcorder, he's collected
hundreds of hours of video, and uploaded thousands of clips to his
four-year-old Web site, "Steve's Airshow World." More...
PIONEER HARRY COMBS DIES
Harry Combs, who was honored earlier this month in North Carolina as one
of aviation's top 100 pioneers, died Tuesday in Phoenix, Ariz.
Combs, 90, was a former president of Gates Learjet and founder of AMR
Combs, a national chain of corporate aircraft service centers. "He was a
very dynamic individual -- a perfectionist, really, in everything he
did," Jim Greenwood, a former Wichita, Kan., aviation public relations
executive and a friend of Combs, told the Associated Press. When the
president of Gates Learjet was killed in a car accident in 1971, Combs
stepped in to rebuild the failing company, leading one of the most
dramatic corporate turnarounds in U.S. history. More...
AIR MARSHALS ADDED IN AUSTRALIA, U.K.
Qantas will begin carrying up to six armed air marshals on flights
between Australia and Singapore, the Australian government said on
Friday. The deal had stalled over who would pay for the seats, and was
settled when the government agreed to pay corporate rates. The program
will cost the government about $7.5 million (U.S.) per year. The United
Kingdom also said on Saturday that armed marshals will begin to be
deployed on some flights, and will be dressed as ordinary passengers.
ZEALAND PILOT, NEW AIRCRAFT, LOST AT SEA
On Friday, a ferry pilot en route from Hawaii to California ditched in
the mid-Pacific after reporting a fuel problem, and was killed. Kelvin
Stark, 58, of Tauranga, was ferrying a brand-new Pacific
Aerospace Corporation PAC 750XL plane to Oakland. It was the first
of the $1.7 million aircraft to be sold overseas, according to
Saturday's New Zealand Herald. Stark radioed for help, and Coast Guard
rescuers were sent to the scene, but he never emerged from the cockpit
after the ditching. The aircraft was intended to be used as a
demonstration plane, and then be delivered to a customer who planned to
use it for skydiving. More...
AVEMCO-KING PRACTICAL RISK MANAGEMENT COURSE FOR WINGS PROGRAM
Plus, most pilots will be eligible to receive the full 10%
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program. Since the start of the Avemco Safety Rewards Program there has
been an increasing awareness of the importance of risk management
training for all pilots. Avemco is a leading pleasure and business
general aviation insurer in the U.S. For more information on this
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As of Saturday, the Beagle lander on Mars had not yet sent a
A dead man was found in an AA wheel well at JFK Airport
Famed DC-10 Capt. Al Haynes raising funds
for daughter's medical care.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #69: In 2004, We Resolve
2003 was, in some
ways, a great year for aviation; and in other ways, it was pretty sad.
But we're already thinking about 2004. AVweb's Rick Durden has assembled
his quick list of things his fellow pilots in The Pilot's Lounge have
resolved to accomplish in the next year. More...
START YOUR NEW YEAR
OFF RIGHT WITH GREAT LAKES CONFERENCE RESERVATIONS! Pilots and
maintenance technicians from around the world will be attending the
Great Lakes International Aviation Conference, February 6-8, in Lansing,
Michigan. This Conference will host a top-flight lineup of nationally
known speakers and breakout seminars, hands-on displays, discussions,
and an extensive maintenance program. The exhibit area will be filled
with the latest products and technologies. IA renewal and the FAA Wings
program are available for those who qualify. Your reservation card will
be sent in the mail by calling 248 348-6942 and mentioning this AVflash,
or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gliac
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES
AVmail: December 29, 2003
Reader mail this week about security
level Orange, the attempted replication of the Wright Brother's flight,
Enola Gay protestors and more. More...
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We Welcome Your Feedback!
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