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Volume 10, Number 03a -- January 12, 2004

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

OLD 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. More...

...DROPPING 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 projects. More...

...AND 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...

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DANBURY 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...

...AND 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 shore. More...

...AS 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." More...

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TFRS 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. More...

GLOBALFLYER 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 flight. More...

INSTRUMENT 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. More...

ATTENTION ALL CESSNA PILOTS AND OWNERS! If you are not currently a member of the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA), you could be missing out on important information and expert help with your aircraft. For more information on joining CPA, go to online http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa.

EU 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 assessment. More...

SAFIRE FILES FOR TYPE CERTIFICATE
Safire 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...

EBAY 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...

WingX FROM 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.

ON THE FLY...
FAA will allow lower minimums with enhanced-vision systems...
Soaring Society's Air Sports Expo set for Feb. 5-7 in Atlanta, Ga....
The remains of two Navy pilots returned to U.S. from North Vietnam...
FAA will run first course to certify amateur-built airworthiness reps...
A strike on Thursday by Italian ATC stalled hundreds of flights...
FAA has proposed an AD for some Garmin Mode S transponders...
BRS Parachutes named 10th fastest growing company in Minnesota. More...

NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #72: Milestones of Time Travel
Instead of 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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READER 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...

BUSINESS AVFLASH
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb’s 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/

More...

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SHORT FINAL...
All pilots, use caution for flocks of birds on and in the vicinity of the airport...

Tower: Skyhawk XXXXX, be advised there are 10,000 seagulls near the approach of runway 15.

Skyhawk: Roger. Is that an official count?

Tower: Just a quick count.

(pause)
Tower: Skyhawk XXXXX, be advised there are 10,435 seagulls near the approach of runway 15 ... and you're cleared for the option. More...

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_____________________________________
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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

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Today's issue written by News Writer Mary Grady:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#mgrady
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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