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The U.S. Air Force said this week it has unmanned aerial vehicles ready to deploy in North Dakota, but is being held back by the FAA's reluctance to open airspace access for the aircraft. The
military has asked for an area 35 miles wide by 45 miles long to be designated for UAV training. "We have six ... Predators in the state right now in boxes, waiting to be opened up and put into the
sky," Brigadier General Leon Rice said at a hearing on Monday, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
"Our limiting factor now is the training airspace for the crews." Hank Krakowski, chief operating officer for the FAA's Air Traffic Organization, said the airspace accommodation must be done
"deliberatively." The agency is concerned about allowing the unmanned aircraft to use the same airspace as civilian aircraft, he said. "These are unusual vehicles to enter in to the national airspace
system; they were designed for typically the war theater," Krakowski said.
The Air Force has proposed a three-layer restricted area for UAV operations in North Dakota. The bottom layer would be from 6,000 to 10,000 feet MSL, a second layer to 14,000 feet, and a third
layer to 18,000. When one section was being used by a UAV, civilian aircraft could still freely use the other two levels. Several transit areas are also included in the proposal.
The "see-and-avoid" technique in force for pilots above the Hudson River revealed its "inherent limitations" in the August 2009 midair crash that killed nine people, the NTSB said on Tuesday. "This
collision could have been prevented," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said. "While traffic alerts go a long way in helping pilots 'see and avoid' other aircraft, these technologies are not, in and
of themselves, enough to keep us safe. Strong operating procedures, professionalism, and commitment to the task at hand -- these are all essential to safety." The safety board cited both the
"see-and-avoid" concept and a Teterboro Airport air traffic controller's "nonpertinent telephone conversation" at the time of the collision as the probable cause of the accident. A synopsis of the
board's report, including recommendations to the FAA, is now available online; a full report will be posted at the NTSB website
in a few weeks.
The safety board added that contributing to the cause of the crash between a Piper Lance and a sightseeing helicopter were the ineffective use by both pilots of their aircraft's electronic advisory
system to maintain awareness of other air traffic, FAA's procedures for transfer of communications among air traffic facilities near the Hudson River, and FAA regulations that did not provide for
adequate vertical separation of aircraft operating over the Hudson River. As a result of the accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the FAA regarding changes within the special
flight rules area (SFRA) surrounding the Hudson River corridor, vertical separation among aircraft operating in the Hudson River SFRA, see-and-avoid guidance and helicopter electronic traffic advisory
systems. The FAA said on Tuesday it took "swift action" after the accident to enhance the safety of the air corridor. New FAA rules now in force for the Hudson River define separate corridors for aircraft flying locally and
those in transit.
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Big Aircraft, Big Budgets, Maybe Big
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has already set judgement on Airbus and Wednesday offered Boeing similar condemnations. Confidential sources told the Wall Street Journal that the confidentially
released report says Boeing received billions in funding from various state and federal agencies. In June, the WTO found that Airbus had received billions in illegal aid. Prior to seeing the WTO's
conclusion Boeing issued a statement that said its activities didn't "even approach the sheer scale of European
subsidy practices." Some numbers we've seen suggest otherwise, but the parsing the numbers (some funding is legal while other funding is not) is another matter. After the ruling's release, Boeing held
the line that it clearly partook in less wrongdoing. Meanwhile, European officials said the WTO's findings could force Boeing to forgo or repay billions in subsidies. (That may also be true for
Airbus.) How the ruling is ultimately enforced will effect how new planes are funded through development in coming years.
It has now been six years since the dispute was initiated. Now, with WTO rulings in for both Airbus and Boeing, both manufacturers are still pointing the finger at the other. Enforcement of the two
rulings is yet to be resolved, but will seek to provide clarification of fair international business practices and competition. Negotiations will determine which company (if either) has to repay how
much to what entity and how funding can be legally applied moving forward. In other words: both rulings may be in, but the outcome is yet to be determined.
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Fixed wing pilots can invest in engine monitors for careful observation of critical engine parameters, but another Bell Helicopter model now has a certified system that goes one step further; it
also monitors vibration. Aeronautical Accessories, Inc., (AAI) a Bell affiliate announced Wednesday STC certification of its Bell Helicopter Vibration Monitoring System (BHVM) for the 212 (Twin Huey)
Bell Helicopter. The system "provides drive train health and engine monitoring" to detect defects early. It helps diagnose faults in the main rotor, tail rotor drive system, engine accessory gearbox
and combining gearbox, according to AAI. The company says it will help 212 operators avoid larger problems and reduce costs associated with operational interruptions as it has already for Bell's "most
rugged and reliable" medium twin helicopter, the 412.
Bell markets the 412 as "the world's most rugged and reliable medium twin-engine helicopter" working from polar ice cap to desert. It can carry up to 13 passengers and offers the lowest seat mile
cost in its class, according to Bell. BHVM for the 212 is now approved by the FAA, Transport Canada and Brazil's aviation regulatory agency. AAI believes it will increase confidence for pilots, safety
for passengers and facilitate preventive maintenance.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is "deeply concerned" about language in the FAA's proposed rules
addressing pilot hours-of-service that suggest changes could be pending for Part 135 operations, the group said on
Wednesday. The FAA's proposal is aimed at fighting crew fatigue in Part 121 airline operations, but in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FAA states that "part 135 operations are very similar to
those conducted under part 121..." and that the Part 135 operator should "expect to see an NPRM addressing its operations that looks very similar to, if not exactly like, the final rule the agency
anticipates issuing as part of this rulemaking initiative." For the FAA to compare operations under Part 121 and 135 as "similar" is "ridiculous," according to NATA President James Coyne.
"Anyone who has any inkling of the vast array of operations that take place and geographic settings common within the Part 135 community would know better than to make this ridiculous comparison,"
he said. "The fact that the statement came from our aviation regulatory authority makes me wonder just how familiar the FAA is with the makeup of the Part 135 community and question the agency's
commitment to honoring the letter and spirit of rulemaking guidance that requires the FAA to consider the specific costs, benefits and regulatory alternatives that may be appropriate for different
types of operators." Coyne added that an industry committee worked with FAA staff several years ago to draft a comprehensive proposal creating a new regulatory system for on-demand operators, which
addresses concerns about pilot fatigue. "I hope the FAA will not scrap a comprehensive, well-thought-out proposal that could have been implemented years ago instead of allowing it to collect dust,"
Coyne said. "NATA supports the revised pilot flight, duty and rest regulations contained in that proposal and encourages the FAA to take action on it rather than trying to fit nonscheduled pilots and
operations into the rigid scheduled airline model."
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A twin-engine Dornier 17 that was shot down and crashed in the English Channel 70 years ago will be recovered, the Royal Air Force Museum said recently. The bomber was part of a large formation
that was intercepted by RAF aircraft in August 1940. The Dornier pilot successfully landed wheels-up on the sandbank, but the airplane sank. It began to emerge from the sand about two years ago, and
appears to be largely intact. "The discovery of the Dornier is of national and international importance," said Air Vice-Marshal Peter Dye, director general of the RAF Museum. "The aircraft is a
unique and unprecedented survivor from the Battle of Britain. It is particularly significant because, as a bomber, it formed the heart of the Luftwaffe assault and the subsequent Blitz."
The RAF Museum is now developing a recovery plan to protect the aircraft from any further damage and to provide for its long-term preservation. The museum said some material has recently been
removed illegally from the wreck site, although a number of items have been retrieved. Work to conserve and prepare the Dornier for display will be undertaken at the museum's conservation facility at
Cosford. Dye said the Dornier will provide "an evocative and moving" addition to the museum's exhibit about the Battle of Britain.
The National Championship Air Races are under way this week in Reno, Nev., and before the official races even started on Wednesday, a major
speed record was broken. Curt Brown flew his L-29 jet around the pylons on Tuesday at a rate of 543.568 mph, the fastest speed ever recorded at the races since they started, 47 years ago. Brown broke
his own record from last year by more than 5 mph. "I don't think I can ever go any faster than that, not in that airplane," Brown, a former space-shuttle pilot, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "It was a heck of a ride. That was a
bucking bronco." The races officially begin on Thursday and continue through the weekend, with six classes of competition from biplanes to jets, plus airshow performances by Michael Goulian, Greg Poe,
the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, and more.
The Unlimited Class generally offers the fastest racing, and this year 26 pilots will compete. The airplanes in that class include 12 P-51D Mustangs, a rare P-51A, three Hawker Sea Furies, two Yak
3s, two Grumman F7F Tigercats, and several other airplanes, including an ultra-rare German Fockewulf FW-190. The event also features a gathering of Lockheed P-38 Lightning aircraft. "This is the
largest gathering of P-38 aircraft since World War II, and it's happening right here in Reno," said Mike Houghton, CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association.
The first annual convention and fly-in for EAA members in Canada launches this weekend, Friday through Sunday, at the Ottawa/Gatineau Airport. The event has generated high anticipation, according
to EAA, and offers a wide range of activities, including food and social events, and a visit to Canada's National Museum of Air & Space, with a Battle of Britain fly-by featuring a Lancaster,
Spitfires, Hurricanes, and more. On Saturday, the Vintage Wings of Canada will present their popular annual airshow at the field. Admission, parking and camping is free to all EAA members. The event
website offers a detailed schedule as well as information for those planning to fly in and those looking for campsites or hotels.
EAA says it expects about 200 aircraft to fly in for this first convention, and will grow the event as demand dictates. "Both Vintage Wings and EAA feel that such an association will benefit both
parties, and will spawn greater and expanded roles for them as each year progresses," said Jack Dueck, a member of the EAA Canadian Council. Volunteers are welcomed for the event, and can sign up by
contacting EAA's Ron Wagner via e-mail, email@example.com, or by calling 920-426-6122.
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Charles "Chuck" Husick, a contributor to the aviation and marine publications at AVweb's parent, Belvoir Media Group, and a former executive vice president at Cessna Aircraft, died Sept. 13
at his home in St. Petersburg, Fla. An electrical engineer, pilot, and flight instructor, Husick had logged more than 6,000 hours in a wide variety of aircraft. "In his retirement, Chuck wrote
voluminously, and well, on a variety of aviation and nautical subjects, illuminating tough technical subjects for end users," said Tim Cole, executive vice president of Belvoir Media Group. "He was
tough and smart (and funny) and he was one industry titan who clearly appreciated the hard work of ferreting out the truth. His mentoring meant a lot to us."
Husick "played a vital role at Belvoir, providing crucial moral support to Aviation Consumer in the early days when our Consumer Reports-style reporting wasn't necessarily in favor,"
recalls Cole. "As a highly placed and well-respected leader in both the aviation and marine industries, Chuck's encouragement was especially helpful to editors and reporters who shared Chuck's
inquisitiveness and quest for meaning." Cole added that on a personal note, Husick was a valued source of support and encouragement. "I would often call Chuck for a sanity check when attempting to
find the correct path through one thorny issue or another. His counsel was always both sage and timely. When I told Chuck my son was interested in a career in engineering, his first response was to
set a lunch date. Then the former president of Chris-Craft Industries, who held senior positions at Cessna and in the Gemini Space Program, was only too happy to drive to my house to offer guidance to
a young man now toiling in the defense industry. Chuck was a gem, a prince, a legend. Whether at the helm of his sailboat or the controls of a Citation, Chuck Husick navigated life with an open mind
and a lofty spirit -- always extending the hand of friendship. We will miss him deeply."
Husick also worked as president of Narco Avionics and vice president of Narco Scientific, and served as chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Pete Bunce, president of GAMA,
remembers Husick as a "true leader." He was "part of an extraordinary era in general aviation," says Bunce. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those that he touched throughout
his life." Husick is survived by his wife, Louisa, two sons, and four grandchildren. His obituary is posted online.
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As UAVs carve their way into the airspace system, the services are always trying to grab up and restrict more airspace. In the latest installment of our AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli
says they need to get over this and figure out a better way to play nice with the world of civil aviation.
This security program is supposed to apply to large aircraft, but its impact could be widespread enough to affect even the smallest airports. Guest blogger John Hyle joins the AVweb Insider
to argue that we need to be paying closer attention to encroaching (and entirely unnecessary) government security procedures.
Over on the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli confesses he doesn't need a motivational speech to take the Cub out for a hop but it's sure nice to have an enthusiastic mechanic,
nonetheless. While he's at it, he has some less-than-maudlin comments on the 9/11 anniversary.
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We've asked questions about military UAVs and the rest of us before, but now the Air Force has specific ideas on how that airspace should be shared. In its proposal for a 1,200-square mile training box in North Dakota. Do you think military UAVs should be sharing the air
with civilian aircraft?
Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips
via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.
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This video comes from an airport security camera, believed to be at New York's JFK, where a 747 got momentarily loose from the crew and pushed a tug across the ramp. Yeah, we know
it's supposed to work the other way around.
AVweb reader Roger Vaughn discovered our latest "FBO of the Week" at Port Meadville Airport (KGKJ) in
Two weeks prior to Labor Day, I called Pennsylvania airports looking for parking and a rental car. No guarantees were made ... [until] I spoke to Mark at Port Meadville. He took my name and N-number
and said, "I'll take care of everything; have a safe flight." [On arrival at KGKJ] a voice came over the radio saying, "Follow me; I'm in a blue Blazer by the taxiway. ... When I got out of my
plane and met the voice on the radio, it was Mark, [who helped push our Cessna into] a brand-new hangar. He then gave us a ride to the FBO where he handed me the keys to a rental car, gave me
directions to the gate for accessing the hangars, and ... [let us drive] right up to the hangar to unload and depart for a relaxing vacation in a cabin by the lake.
I can't say enough about how attentive Mark was to our needs and the extra steps he took to make our visit an extremely pleasant one. Foul weather was looming for the first two days and then some
strong winds blew through prior to our day of departure. We never had to give our plane a second thought, knowing it was safe from the elements.
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
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You could win a PMA6000B audio panel from PS Engineering! All you have to do is click here to enter your
name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year so if you've already entered, you're all set.)
And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15
Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)
Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Friday, September 24, 2010.
Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on
AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." Want to see your photo on
AVweb.com? Click here to submit it to our weekly contest.
Picking a top photo was especially tough this week, but how could we resist this quiet moment from Anthony Nasr of Chico, California? The
Watsonville (CA) Fly-In and Air Show was "the first fly-in-and-camp-out experience for us," writes Anthony and if Anthony will forgive the pun, it looks as if at least one evening was
Did you think we were exaggerating about how tough it was to pick a winner this week?
We absolutely adore this shot from Buck Wyndham of Poplar Grove, Illinois, who writes, "This (very) early-morning scene at Pioneer Airport next to
the EAA Museum once again proves that there are just some things you'll only see at Oshkosh."
Speaking of air shows, Paul W. M. Oor of Nieuwegein, Utrecht (the Netherlands) seems to get around to his share of events during the summer. His
latest contribution brought a few smiles to "POTW" HQ. And Paul's description, "a young glider pilot explains modern technology to WWII crews," was a pitch-perfect fit to the aviation-themed SyFy
movie of the week we were already scripting in our heads ... .
Are they giving away photography lessons in Illinois or something? The state was especially well-represented in this week's batch of photo submissions. Jeffery Michael of Marquette Heights snapped this row of biplanes at the Galesburg (IL) Stearman Fly-In last week.
"I had to wait and hope this young buck would stay in position until the FedEx plane lined up for the shot," writes Charles P. Owen of Havana,
Kansas. "The photo was taken on the edge of the Tex Consolver golf course and the Pawnee Prairie Park, which borders the west side of the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport."
That's right, kiddos: There are people in the world who can golf, take photos, observe wildlife, and fly the pattern without ever getting in a car. Somebody needs to get the
Wichita tourism board on the phone and start printing brochures.
You'll find more reader-submitted photos in the slideshow on AVweb's home page. And they're pretty good, too, so you don't wanna miss 'em.
A quick note for submitters: If you've got several photos that you feel are "POTW" material, your best bet is to submit them one-a-week! That gives your photos a greater chance of
seeing print on AVweb, and it makes the selection process a little easier on us, too. ;)
A Reminder About Copyrights:
Please take a moment to consider the source of your image before submitting to our "Picture of the Week" contest. If you did not take the photo yourself, ask yourself if you are indeed authorized to
release publication rights to AVweb. If you're uncertain, consult the POTW Rules or or send us an e-mail.
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.
The AVwebFlash team is:
Publisher Timothy Cole
Editorial Director, Aviation Publications Paul Bertorelli
Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles
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