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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
NEW YEAR, LOOKS LIKE THE OLD YEAR...
With the alert level stuck nationwide at Orange, airspace
restrictions were imposed in an effort to protect holiday events
around the country. Over New York City, a no-fly zone covered a five-nm
radius over midtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, from the
surface to 18,000 feet, and Temporary Flight Restrictions were imposed
over Las Vegas, Hoover Dam, and Chicago. The Department of Homeland
Security sent warplanes to patrol the skies above Times Square,
Pasadena's Rose Parade, and the Las Vegas Strip. On Monday, adding to
the jitters, an errant Mooney wandered down the East River -- violating
La Guardia's airspace -- and then flew a circle round Lady Liberty.
The TFRs may help revelers to feel safer, but AOPA prez Phil Boyer says they are unfair to GA
pilots. "Security-related TFRs usually single out general aviation
aircraft, which have never been used in a terrorist attack," Boyer said
yesterday, in a news release. "The restrictions are an additional burden
for pilots to carry. AOPA believes they should only be issued based on
credible threats -- not on a political need to be seen taking strong
measures." AOPA noted that in both New York and Las Vegas, air carrier
operations are not restricted from operating in the no-fly zones.
AIRLINE PILOTS DETAINED, FOREIGN SKY MARSHALS MANDATED
Two airline pilots from the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago,
flying for BWIA, were detained by the FBI last week after their
names reportedly appeared on a TSA "no-fly" list. In a statement, the
T&T government said it considered the detention "unwarranted,
unjustified and severely damaging, not only to [the pilots'] image and
reputation, but also to the national airline BWIA." The two pilots
reportedly were held in New York and Miami, and were cleared by the FBI
by last weekend, but were not allowed to return home until their names
were removed from the list. Meanwhile, on Monday, the Department of
Homeland Security decreed that it will require foreign passenger and
cargo airlines to carry armed sky marshals on certain flights into the
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2003 was a unique year in aviation. The Centennial celebrations --
bringing a moment's pause to reflect on 100 years of powered flight --
seemed to inspire the industry to look ahead with confidence to another
100 years of achievements aloft. And the year brought much more than
just nostalgia ... there was the destruction of Meigs Field, the
painfully slow progress of the Sport Pilot rule, the ongoing race to
build light jets, new developments in avionics and powerplants, and lots
more, from the last flight of the supersonic Concorde to the first
supersonic test flight of Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne. Take a quick trip
through the Year In
Review in today's Special News
NEW ONE JUST BEGUN
With today's edition, AVweb begins its tenth year of bringing the news
to your desktop. In the world of Internet publishing, that makes us one
of the grand old luminaries of the medium. We just wanted to take a
moment to thank all of you who come along for the ride, sending us your
pictures for Picture of the Week and your opinions for Question of the
Week, and deluging us regularly with your e-mails about the world of
aviation -- and how we report on it. It's always great to hear from you
... and we look forward to the next 10 years. More...
PILOTS TRIED TO HELP DOOMED AVIATOR
When New Zealand pilot Kelvin Stark, 58, found himself alone above the
Pacific Ocean last
week, with fuel-flow problems in the new PAC 750XL single-engine
skydiving plane he was ferrying to California, other pilots tried to
help, the New Zealand Herald reported Monday. In the dark, overcast
night, Stark reached out on 121.5 and found Capt. Steve Jacques, flying
a United 767 from Honolulu to Denver, who talked with him for about
three hours as Stark tried to troubleshoot the problem. "He had no
co-pilot, but at a push of his microphone switch he was getting the
support of many others," Jacques told the Herald. More...
COULD EXPLAIN BEAGLE-2 SILENCE
Just minutes after the British Beagle-2
lander touched down on the surface of Mars last Thursday, NASA's
orbiting Mars Global Surveyor snapped a picture of the landing site and
found a deep crater right in the center of the targeted area. "We'd have
to be incredibly accurate and incredibly unlucky to go right down this
crater, which of course would not be good news," project leader Colin
Pillinger told reporters on Monday. The tiny lander, about the size of a
bicycle wheel and weighing less than 75 pounds, could be damaged by a
rough or rocky landing. As days go by and no signal is received from the
lander, efforts are continuing but hopes of success are fading.
ADVENTURER HEADS FOR SOUTH POLE
OK, British pilot Polly Vacher had to turn back in the face of bad
weather last month, after flying her Piper Dakota to the Antarctic
peninsula. Australian pilot Jon
Johanson was stranded for days after landing at McMurdo-Scott Base
in need of fuel. He finally took off after gassing up from Vacher's
unused cache. And now Gus McLeod, 49, of Maryland, is on his way south,
having launched on Monday from College Park Airport, flying a modified
kitplane called the Firefly. McLeod intends to become the first person
to fly solo over both the North and South Poles in a single-engine plane
-- the same goal both Vacher and Johanson were trying to achieve.
OPPOSES OUTER BANKS MOAS
The U.S. Marine Corps has filed paperwork for two proposed military
operations areas (MOAs) that would force GA pilots flying near North
Carolina's Outer Banks into an area that the military considers unsafe
for its own pilots, AOPA said on Monday. "If the FAA permits these two
MOAs, they will have an unavoidable adverse effect on civil aviation in
the Outer Banks area," said Heidi Williams, AOPA's manager of air
traffic. "Besides some obvious safety issues, MOAs that are in constant
use, as the Marines envision these, become de facto airspace
restrictions for many GA pilots." More...
CITED AS POSSIBLE FACTOR IN FEDEX CRASH
The NTSB is looking into a pilot's colorblindness as a possible cause of
the crash of a FedEx plane in Tallahassee in July 2002, the St.
Petersburg Times reported last week. The first officer may have failed
to distinguish red lights in the Precision Approach Path Indicator
beside the runway, which should have shown that the Boeing 727 was
dangerously low, the newspaper reported, citing NTSB documents. The
cargo plane crashed one-half mile short of the runway and exploded in a
fireball. The three pilots on board escaped. The pilots have said the
lights never gave a red warning. More...
TRACON DEALS WITH SEWAGE LEAK
A busy Sunday morning at Houston's Terminal Radar Approach Control
facility, working the post-Christmas rush, took a turn for the worse
when staffers were faced with a messy, aromatic, and disgusting sewage
spill inside the building. Controllers continued to work, taking breaks
every 20 minutes to seek fresh air outside the facility. The FAA slowed
the workload with ground delays, snarling traffic throughout the region.
The sewage spill left 25 controllers reporting ill effects, including
lightheadedness, nausea and headaches, according to a news release from
the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). The TRACON
building has been troubled by flooding in the past, NATCA said. About
500 flights were delayed. More...
Study confirms long airplane flights can cause
Piper J3 and Schleicher glider collided in Arizona Sunday, four died...
Sunday, two gliders collided in South Africa, one pilot
Boeing said composite wings for 7E7 Dreamliner will be made
NTSB will assist in investigation of 727 crash in
Benin, Africa. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
BRAINTEASERS: Quiz #76 -- The Weather Outside Is Frightful
the age of Stormscopes, Doppler radar, and data uplink you'd think the
weather would get the message and behave. But no, pilots still need to
analyze the skies for themselves, with a little free help from flight
service. See how you weather these questions.
NEWS FEATURES: 2003
Year In Review
It was a year of firsts and lasts, summer dreams
and winter fears. Aviators launched new ideas filled with hope, and
watched in sadness as doors closed and airplanes flew for the last time.
But with 100 years to look back on, that rearward glance seemed to
inspire everyone to look ahead with confidence to another 100 years of
spectacular achievements aloft. AVweb presents a brief look at the top
aviation stories of 2003. More...
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK...
We received over 200 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Randy Hammonds, of Beaumont, Texas. His photo shows two buddies
pairing up for some aerial fun over southeast Texas. The flights
mission was to take a few pictures of this newly painted Yak, which is
owned and operated by Phil Sauter. Great picture, Randy! Your AVweb hat
is on its way.
To check out the winning picture, or to enter next
week's contest, click here.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK...
We received over 270 responses to our question last week on winter
flying. The majority (56 percent) of those responding indicated they
enjoy flying in all four seasons. About 15 percent said smooth air is
what makes winter a preferred flying season, while 9 percent claimed
engine performance was the major benefit. Nearly one-tenth (8 percent)
simply enjoyed flying over the white landscape, and of course, who can
To check out the complete results or respond to this
week's question, click here.
This week, we would like
to know your thoughts on the year 2003 in review. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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