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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
RHINEBECK AERODROME: CHANGES, DISCONTENT...
Last week's arrest of a longtime volunteer at Old Rhinebeck
Aerodrome, charged with the theft of an artifact that he says was
given to him 20 years ago, is just the latest episode in what has been a
rocky year for the nonprofit organization. The Aerodrome, a popular
attraction in upstate New York, features weekend air shows with vintage
aircraft (WWI era), a museum, and airplane rides. Early last year, a new
executive director was hired, but stayed less than 90 days. "That just
didn't work out," Jim Kick, the president of the board of directors,
told AVweb last week. Also, some longtime staffers were fired at the end
of the last season, and recently, several board members have resigned,
reportedly due to differences over the future of the organization.
SOME OF THE TRADITIONAL CREW...
"We are looking at resumes now to hire a new full-time director," Kick
said. Meanwhile, Tom Daly, director of air shows, has assumed many of
the executive duties. Daly said the Aerodrome needs to change with the
times. "Competition is stiff to attract the families on the weekends.
This has to be approached more like a business," he said. "When we get
our electric bill every month, those people are not as passionate about
old-time aviation as we are." Among some changes that brought friction
from staff and volunteers, Daly said, is restricted access at the field,
which he attributed to homeland security concerns. "There is now 24-hour
security, and people have to sign in and sign out." Also, the owners of
some private aircraft, who had long used hangar space for free, were
told to remove their airplanes so the space could be used for museum
HUNKERING DOWN FOR WINTER
Ken Cassens, a mechanic and pilot who had worked at the Aerodrome for 11
years and was building a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, was one of
the workers who was fired. Cassens said he was not given any reason for
his dismissal. "The board hasn't done anything except create problems,"
he said. "They want to micromanage the staff. They would question
everything we did, and it was never good enough." A part-time worker who
had been helping Cassens also was let go, and another staffer was laid
off for the winter, Cassens told AVweb last week. More...
AIRPORT: MONEY FORTHCOMING AFTER CRASH...
An accident last week at Danbury Municipal Airport in Connecticut came
on the heels of a recent local dispute about safety -- and money -- at
the field. As AVweb reported in December, the local city
council has balked at paying its $110,000 share of the $4.5 million the
FAA says it will cost to remove trees that pose a danger to pilots. Last
Wednesday morning, a 24-year-old flight instructor was seriously hurt
when his Piper Warrior apparently suffered engine trouble, crashed and
burned while turning back toward the airport shortly after takeoff. By
the end of the week, the mayor of Danbury had told AOPA that he would make sure the city pays its
share to keep the airport safe. More...
A DRAMATIC RESCUE...
According to early reports about Wednesday's accident, an air traffic
controller spotted smoke coming from the airplane shortly after takeoff.
The pilot, Edgar Wong, reportedly tried to return to the airport, but
didn't make it. "You could hear it sputter, and puffs of smoke were
coming out the back," Danbury Police Officer Robert Madore, who was
directing traffic nearby, told local reporters. "It came right down
...There was a boom, and then a huge cloud of smoke." Robert Hayner, a
worker at a nearby FedEx station, found the wreckage upside down in an
icy stream, and saw Wong struggling in the water. He waded in to help.
Al Orne, his boss at FedEx, joined him and the two pulled the man to
NEIGHBORS WORRY ABOUT SAFETY
The crash raised concerns among parents whose ground-bound children
attend a nearby private school. George King Jr., headmaster of Wooster
School, immediately sent out an e-mail to parents to inform them of the
crash and let them know no children were harmed, the News-Times
reported. The airport, which is in an area of rapid development, has
drawn complaints about noise for years, as dozens of new houses have
been built close to flight paths. John Katz, a trustee for the school,
told the News-Times the airport has to be a better neighbor. "It places
people in danger," he said. "It's busy and it's dangerous."
BACK OFF A BIT
With the reduction in the U.S. national threat level from "Orange" back
to "Yellow," most of the airspace restrictions that go along with that
have eased. And on Friday, the FAA also relaxed some restrictions that
have been in place since Sept. 11, 2001, including those near military
sites in Washington State, Hawaii, Utah, and Oregon, which should make
it easier for pilots to navigate and to fly into nearby airports. "This
is a good first step, but it's only a first step," said AOPA President
Phil Boyer. The restricted areas were reduced in size, but they were not
eliminated, "and pilots still have to beware," Boyer said.
READY FOR FLIGHT TESTS
Last Thursday in California's Mojave desert, the latest creation of Burt
Rutan's Scaled Composites team rolled out for its debut. Described by one reporter on the scene as "looking like the
product of an unnatural union between a glider and a Zeppelin," the
single-jet-powered, pressurized GlobalFlyer is designed to fly around the world
nonstop, without refueling, in about three days, carrying a solo pilot.
The craft makes it possible for American billionaire Steve Fossett, with
support from British billionaire Richard Branson, to pursue yet another
aviation record. Test flights will begin soon, with the record attempt
expected in either April or November of this year. Branson is acting as
reserve pilot, but made it clear that since part of the pilot's job is
to stay awake for 80 hours straight, he really hopes Fossett takes the
PILOTS NEEDED FOR EQUIPMENT TESTS
RTI International, a
research firm in Hampton, Va., needs pilots to help in a NASA-funded
experiment to evaluate the use of new display concepts in a general
aviation cockpit. The results will help produce procedures and
guidelines for the design and use of such display concepts, RTI said.
The experiment will replicate a typical general aviation flight in a
simulator that has flight characteristics similar to a Piper Malibu.
Pilots must have a current instrument rating. The tests begin next month
and continue through April 16. Pilots receive a $50 stipend.
TO DISCUSS GUNS ALOFT
The heads of aviation agencies in the European Union are scheduled to
meet Friday in Brussels to discuss the recent announcement by the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security that foreign airlines will be required
to place armed law-enforcement officers on flights to the United States
"where necessary." Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, spoke out
against the practice last Friday. "Putting armed air marshals on
airplanes isn't going to make an airplane more secure, it's going to
make it less secure," he said. "The fewer guns there are, the safer the
situation is." Apparently, some U.S. officials differ with that
FILES FOR TYPE CERTIFICATE
Aircraft Company, based in Opa Locka, Fla., has filed a Type
Certificate application with the FAA for the Safire Jet, the company
said last week. The step marks the first phase of the jet's
certification process, said CEO Camilo Salomon, as well as a significant
milestone in the aircraft's development process. Major assemblies and
components will begin arriving in the spring, Salomon said, to start
assembly of the first prototype. The six-place, twin-turbofan-powered
Safire Jet, priced at $1.395 million, is scheduled to make its first
flight this year, with deliveries beginning in 2006. More...
AIRCRAFT CARRIER STILL AVAILABLE
In case you missed it on eBay, you still have the opportunity to own a
(mostly) functioning aircraft carrier, if you have more than $6 million,
a place to park a 665-foot-long ship and can afford the three tons of
oil per hour it burns. As AVweb
reported last week, the decommissioned
carrier turned up on eBay and was reportedly attracting bids of
upward of $100 million. But according to Renming Cheng, a Norwegian ship
broker who set up the online posting, eBay, without explanation,
cancelled the auction and none of the hundreds of bids panned out. So
now it's back to the drawing board for him and two other brokers who are
trying to find a buyer for the historic ship to save it from the scrap
yard. A British
nonprofit group is also trying to save her. More...
HILTON SOFTWARE IS A PILOT'S DREAM COME TRUE! WingX is a
Microsoft Pocket PC application designed by pilots for pilots using
Microsoft's latest .NET technology. WingX enables pilots to perform
complex calculations while down at the airport and away from their home
PCs. Graphical weight and balance; route information with wind
calculations; an E6B page; sunrise and sunset times; medical and pilot
expiration date tracking; and FARs 1, 43, 61, 91, 119, 141, and 830; as
well as the Pilot/Controller Glossary at your fingertips! This is
amazing. See for yourself at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hiltonsoftware.
FAA will allow lower minimums with enhanced-vision systems...
Society's Air Sports Expo set for Feb. 5-7 in Atlanta, Ga....
remains of two Navy pilots returned to U.S. from North Vietnam...
FAA will run first course to certify amateur-built airworthiness
A strike on Thursday by Italian ATC stalled hundreds of
FAA has proposed an AD for some Garmin Mode S
BRS Parachutes named 10th fastest growing company in
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #72: Milestones of Time Travel
bragging about how many different kinds of planes he has flown, AVweb's
Michael Maya Charles likes to recount how many different decades are
represented in the planes he has had the priviledge to try. As you'll
read in this month's "As The Beacon Turns," every decade of the
twentieth century is represented. More...
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about commenting on the Air Tour NPRM, getting to
FSDOs, the Young Eagles and more. More...
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on
the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines
in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read! Sign up
today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
FLY INTO THE FUTURE
at the GREAT LAKES INTERNATIONAL AVIATION CONFERENCE On February
6-8 in Lansing, Michigan, the Great Lakes International Aviation
Conference will host a top-flight line-up of nationally known speakers
with break-out 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. For more information, call 248
348-6942 and mention this AVflash, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gliac.
All pilots, use caution for flocks of birds on and in the vicinity of
Tower: Skyhawk XXXXX, be advised there are
10,000 seagulls near the approach of runway 15.
Is that an official count?
Tower: Just a quick
Tower: Skyhawk XXXXX, be advised there are
10,435 seagulls near the approach of runway 15 ... and you're cleared
for the option. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL Is a Must-Read
Three years before Lindbergh's flight to Paris, the
U.S. Army joined the race to be the first to fly around the world. Many
countries had tried. All had failed. Most pilots had died. Could the
United States capture aviation's greatest prize? This hardcover book by
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IN THE WINTER, IT
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TURNS UP THE HEAT ON WINTER FLYING
Coming up in the February
issue of IFR Refresher: "Coordinate The Turns"; "A Blueprint for the
IAP"; "A Forecast for Icing"; "Expect the Unexpected"; "A Localizer With
a Twist"; and "Flight Rules in Review." If you fly IFR, IFR
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