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OPENS AIRSPACE FOR GA
China's low-altitude airspace will open
up for civilian use over the next five years, the State Council and the
Central Military Commission announced this week. "This is the beginning
of a new chapter in China's general aviation development," Martin Lin,
China president of Textron, told the Financial Times. The new rules will
allow aircraft flying below 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) to take off and
land without the hard-to-get prior approval that is required today.
Aircraft flying from 1,000 to 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) will be
required to file a flight plan but also do not have to seek prior
approval from authorities. Within days of the announcement, a wealthy
village had announced plans to buy 20 aircraft for training and tourism.
"We've waited so long for the low-altitude airspace to be opened," said
Zhou Li, manager of the Huaxi Village tourism company. The village
already owns two helicopters, which will begin to offer tourist flights
next month, Zhou Li told Xinhua.net. More...
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CAN OPT OUT OF TSA SCREENING? MAYBE NOT
Wednesday, news broke
that Congressman John Mica had on Nov. 5 sent a letter to more than 150
airport managers suggesting they adopt private security -- but that
would not remove the TSA from the equation. Mica appears headed to chair
the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Thanks to an
older law he helped write, airports can opt not to use the TSA for
security screening, but, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, the airports would
have to use the TSA to hire, oversee and pay the "private" screeners.
This week, a San Diego man made national headlines when he refused both
the pat-down or to subject himself to the TSA's full-body scanner. He
was escorted to an exit and then told that if he left without submitting
to the screening he would be sued. American Airlines pilots have heard a
request from their union to opt out of full-body scans, and
AVweb's Glenn Pew sat down for an interview with an ExpressJet
Airlines pilot whose decision to opt out of the screening may cost him
his job. Click
here to listen. More...
ADOPTS FATIGUE LIMITS FOR TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT
A new rule adopted by the FAA this week stops short of
requiring "life limits" for transport-category aircraft, but in practice
that may be the result. The rule requires manufacturers to set a "limit
of validity," the number of flight cycles or hours that an airplane can
operate before it must be subjected to additional inspections for
fatigue damage. Once those limits are determined, the FAA must approve
any extension of the limit. Operators may choose to retire older
airplanes rather than submit to more time-consuming and costly approvals
and maintenance schedules, according to the Dallas Morning News. Deadlines to set the limits
vary from 18 months to five years away. "We've addressed the problem of
aging aircraft with numerous targeted regulations and 100 airworthiness
directives over the years," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "This
rule is a comprehensive solution to ensure the structural safety of
today's airliners and the airplanes of tomorrow." More...
at No Cost on Your Mobile
Search for aircraft (hourly updates). Find companies, products, and
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directly to their web sites. With our web and mobile editions, you can
view all of our ads at no cost, all the time! Call (800)
visit us online
F-22 FOUND, "PILOT STILL MISSING"
The wreckage of an F-22
lost Tuesday may have been found 100 miles north of Anchorage, but as of
Wednesday evening the Air Force could not account for its pilot. The
missing aircraft was part of the 3rd Wing at the Joint Base
Elmendorf-Richardson. A report from the Wing's public affairs office
Wednesday evening said the wreckage had been found but the pilot was
"still missing" and "finding the missing pilot is our top priority." The
mishap aircraft had been part of a two-ship of F-22s and had finished a
training sortie. The pilot, whose name had not been released at the time
AVweb went to press, had previously undergone Arctic survival
training, according to the Air Force. Details about the events leading
up to the mishap are few. More...
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TWIN NOW FAA-CERTIFIED
The FAA has issued a type certificate
for Tecnam's P2006T light piston twin, the company announced this week.
The four-seat aircraft, powered by two Rotax 912S 100-hp engines, is
aimed mainly at the training market, as well as flying clubs, private
owners, air taxi, and surveillance. The airplane was certified in Europe
last year and already about 50 copies have been delivered. The company
says it has another 100 orders in hand. "We have now accelerated
production to meet this unprecedented demand and we are now delivering a
Tecnam P2006T every five days," said Paolo Pascale, managing director
for Tecnam. The company has eight dealers in place in the U.S., and
plans to gain Canadian certification next. The Rotax engines can run on
either avgas or auto fuel. More...
Researchers from Harvard University have
developed and tested specific, patterned, nanostructured materials that
reject supercooled water droplets before that water can freeze to a
surface. When supercooled droplets hit smooth surfaces, the researchers
found they spread out and freeze. That was not the case when the Harvard
team applied the same tests to nanostructures created with patterns that
reduced the surface area to which the water could adhere. Perhaps
counterintuitively, that involved adding texture to the surface on a
microscopic level. With their most successful tests, the researchers
found a supercooled droplet would initially hit the surface, and spread
out, but instead of freezing, the droplets that hit the nanostructured
pattern would then retract back into a sphere and simply bounce off.
Do You Have What It Takes to
Be a Safe Pilot?
Challenge yourself with the Air Safety Institute Safety Quiz,
underwritten by the AOPA Insurance Agency.
Quiz Topic: VFR Cross-Country Planning
If your last glance at FAR Part 91 was two years ago during a cram
session for a flight review, odds are you're a little fuzzy on some of
the details. The rules on supplemental oxygen use, for instance. Or the
speed limit in Class C airspace. Or those pesky ELT battery replacement
intervals. Or ... heck,
why not just take the safety quiz and
find out what you're forgetting?
GOES DOWN UNDER
Private aviation is looking better all the
time, especially for those who like to travel in comfortable clothes.
Separate reports from different parts of the country suggest the TSA is
ready to get down and dirty in the name of security and is conducting
full-contact pat-downs of passengers' genitals and buttocks. Owen JJ
Stone, a radio personality known as Ohdoctah, appeared on the Alex Jones
talk show in Austin, Texas, Tuesday and said a TSA airport screener put
his hand inside his sweat pants and ran it around the full circumference
of his body, pausing at everything along the way. Meanwhile, in Orlando,
a Missouri man wearing shorts had a similar experience. Stone said he
was told it was a new rule that applied to those wearing baggy clothing.
At many airports, the alternative is a full body scan, which is supposed
to take a "for their eyes only" peek under the clothing of those who get
the extra security treatment. Well, apparently some of those machines
have hard drives that will save at least 35,000 images, as recent
visitors to the federal courthouse in Orlando are discovering.
PILOTS RESIST NEW TSA PROCEDURES
Leaders of two unions
representing pilots at US Airways and American Airlines have advised
their members to decline to be screened by new
advanced-imaging-technology full-body scanners and request a pat-down
instead. "No pilot at American Airlines should subject themselves to the
needless privacy invasion and potential health risks caused by the AIT
body scanners," wrote Dave Bates, president of the Allied Pilots
Association, which represents 11,000 pilots at American, in a letter to members. The new scanners produce ionizing
radiation, which can be harmful to health, especially when added to the
high doses of radiation that pilots already are exposed to on the job,
Bates said. Mike Cleary, president of the US Airways pilot group, said
the TSA procedures are "blatantly unacceptable," and the alternative
pat-down procedure also has problems. Cleary said the pat-down process "has already
produced a sexual molestation in alarmingly short order."
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OF THE WEEK: FLYING W AIRPORT (N14, LUMBERTON, NJ)
AVweb reader Tim Stevens has a great
destination FBO (and airport) to tell us about this week Flying W Ranch
Restaurant and Golf Course at Flying W Airport (N14) in
Lumberton, New Jersey:
Northeast Raider formation team is based there, and they provide the
locals an air show every weekend all summer. ... [You can also expect a]
car show annually and a cool bar overlooking a airplane-shaped pool. Fly
in and get a lift to the adjoining golf course, [and] the hotel and
catering facility are second to none. Worth a visit.
Keep those nominations
coming. For complete contest rules, click
AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in
the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here
next Monday! More...
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YEARS AND NOW 15 GRAND GIVEAWAYS ... IT'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AN IFLY 700
GPS FROM ADVENTURE PILOT
Win an iFly 700 GPS from Adventure Pilot as
we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! 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
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.)
entries is 11:59pm Zulu time Sunday, November 28, 2010.
(That's a couple of days later than our usual Friday deadline,
because of the Thanksgiving holiday.)
Click here to read the contest rules and enter.
OF THE WEEK: AVWEB'S FLYING PHOTOGRAPHY SHOWCASE
With the craziness
of back-to-back shows in Atlanta (NBAA) and Long Beach (the AOPA Summit)
behind us, it's time to delve into our bag of user submissions and play
catch-up. We've got lots of great photos to share with you over the next
couple of weeks, so buckle up as we plow full steam ahead into cache of
reader-submitted pictures. And to kick things off, Zane Jacobson of Portland, Oregon has a
simple yet evocative image that immediately caught our eye and landed
this week's top honor. More...
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
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prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device),
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Navigate. Communicate. More...