The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
WHERE IS THAT $100 MILLION FOR GA?...
Last month, President Bush signed into law the FAA's four-year
reauthorization bill, which included, among many other items, $100
million in relief to GA businesses hurt by the airspace restrictions
following 9/11. But, in the words of one Washington insider, nobody
should start planning just yet how to spend his or her share of that
money. In the Byzantine morass that is our U.S. government, signing that
bill into law is not the final step. No, now that the money has been
authorized, it next must be appropriated, which is another complex and
lengthy process, whose outcome is by no means assured. Surprise,
Congress (unlike the rest of us) is still in recess, but will be back in
session Jan. 20. The appropriations process is high on the agenda, but
is nonetheless likely to drag on through the session, and even through
the summer. "We'd be lucky to get an appropriations bill passed by
October," Eric Byer, director of government affairs for the National Air
Transportation Association, told AVweb yesterday. And he
acknowledged that getting the money for GA will be an uphill battle.
"We've had a lot of good discussions with key members of Congress," he
said. "We have lots of support, but with the current fiscal situation,
it's tough." More...
AN UNCERTAIN BOTTOM LINE
It is a possibility that Congress could decide to appropriate zero
funding for GA, despite the provisions of the reauthorization bill. The
upside (no, not really) is that decision would maintain the perfect
zero-funding record held by all other GA relief bills that have wandered
in and out of Congress for the past two years, but have so far produced
no cash in the pockets of business owners. The only assistance
forthcoming to GA businesses has been through the Small
Business Administration, which offers loans for up to $1.5 million,
with terms of up to 30 years at 4 percent, for businesses hurt by the
terrorist attacks and aftermath. With the federal deficit inching toward
a record half-trillion dollars, prospects for change anytime soon seem
LIGHTSPEED ON THE
MOVE With LightSPEED's continued success and growth, they are
moving to a larger facility in Portland, Oregon. The move should have
minimal impact on their pilot customers. LightSPEED apologizes for any
inconvenience during this move and appreciates their customers'
patience. Should your travels bring you to the Portland area, please
stop by for a visit. For LightSPEED models and ordering information, go
SCARCE IN COCKPITS...
Heads of European aviation agencies will meet in Brussels tomorrow to
discuss whether they want to allow armed sky marshals on commercial
flights, but meanwhile, some U.S. pilots trying to go a step further --
carrying their own (approved) weapons in the cockpit -- are finding it a
slow and painful process. "The TSA program as it exists now sets up barriers for
pilots who want to participate," Brian Darling, spokesman for the Armed Pilots
Security Alliance (APSA), told AVweb yesterday. "The program
needs to be fixed." Only about 1,000 pilots have been trained so far,
Darling said, while about 100,000 airline and cargo pilots are eligible.
TSA PROGRAM MOVES SLOWLY FORWARD...
The TSA has apparently disqualified many pilots who apply. "The
screening is subjective," Darling said, "and in our view, many qualified
pilots are not being allowed into the program." Some pilots also have
complained about a lengthy and time-consuming application process, an
invasive psychological exam, and the requirement to pay their own travel
expenses to the training site, at a remote location in the New Mexico
desert. Pilots also pay their own room and board during the weeklong
program, while taking unpaid leave from work. The Air
Line Pilots Association, however, thinks the program is working just
fine, according to spokesman John Mazor. "We're very pleased with the
TSA program," Mazor told AVweb yesterday. More...
PUBLIC CALL TO ARMS CONTINUES
An opinion piece by John Lott, of the American Enterprise Institute, ran in the press in
various forms last week, on the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal,
the New York Post, and elsewhere. Lott argues that commercial aviation
needs more armed pilots, and quickly. "The Bush administration has done
what it can to discourage pilots from even applying for the armed-pilot
program," says Lott. And while pilots go untrained, "a cost-effective
backup layer of security" is lost, he says. "Air marshals can't do it
all." Meanwhile, the TSA has been adamant in defending its training
program, saying pilots are "off base" in their criticisms.
WIN A PAIR OF
SCHEYDENS, AVIATION'S FINEST EYEWEAR A pair of Scheydens will be
given away every other week to a lucky AVweb winner a retail
value up to $395! The unique flip-up design has become the choice of
pilots who demand quality and function in every aspect of aviation.
Handmade titanium frames, quality lenses, a Rosewood case, plush micro
fiber bag and cloth are standard equipment on all styles. For more
information and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden.
NEWS FINDS HOMELAND SECURITY'S WEAK LINK
That would be you, the general aviation pilot. Last night's "Eye
on America" report on the CBS Evening News made it clear that a
terrifying threat exists -- "Packed with explosives, small planes could
be devastating bombs" -- and that GA pilots just don't give a damn --
"vulnerability [is] the price for general aviation's freedom." The
report focused on airport communities, where it said, "There are no
fences, no gates, no security systems and no federal requirements to
have them." Though not cited as inspiration for the segment, Joe Byrd,
president of the board of directors at Lakeway Airpark outside of
Austin, Texas, told AVweb that CBS news anchor Dan Rather (not featured
in the report) keeps property roughly one-half mile away from the
airport community ... "as the crow flies." More...
FORCE ACADEMY FLEET GROUNDED
The U.S. Air Force Academy, at Colorado Springs, Colo., has grounded 45
of its aircraft due to safety concerns after inspectors discovered
"maintenance irregularities," the Air Force said on Tuesday. The fleet is maintained
by a contractor, Doss Aviation, and will remain grounded while Air Force
officials review and investigate discrepancies. The grounding affects
UV-18s, gliders, motorgliders, T-41s and Cessna 150s. Safety concerns
arose following the Jan. 2 engine failure of a UV-18 Twin Otter that was
en route to Florida to pick up cadets from a parachuting competition.
The Twin Otter had no passengers on board, and landed safely at Tinker
Air Force Base, Okla. More...
OWNERS ASK FAA TO RELAX INSPECTION DEADLINE
The T-34 Association
has asked the FAA to allow at least a year for any inspection program it
might mandate to check the structural integrity of wing spars in the
T-34 fleet. The request follows an FAA
order issued on Dec. 31 that requires Flight Standard District
Offices to perform a "special inspection" of all T-34s in their region
within 120 days. The order followed a fatal crash in Texas on Nov. 19, in which two men
died in a T-34 Mentor after the right wing separated during air-combat
maneuvers. This was the second accident in four years involving a T-34
wing failure in air-combat training, the FAA said. The type club said
that both accidents involved "aircraft being flown regularly and
deliberately outside the certificated envelope," and the T-34s are safe
if flown within their limits. More...
IMAGING SYSTEM OK'D FOR SOME
Monday it has achieved the first in a long series of planned FAA
certifications of its EVS-1000 Enhanced Vision System (EVS) for
helicopters. The Bell 212, Bell 412 and Bell 412EP helicopters have been
approved for FAA Supplemental Type Certificates for the installation of
the Max-Viz EVS-1000. The company says the product enables pilots to see
terrain and other potential obstacles through dust, rain, snow, haze,
smoke and total darkness. Max-Viz and its dealers currently hold
certifications for the Bell 212/412, CL-601, CL-604, Global Express and
Falcon 50. They also have STCs pending for the Falcon 900 series, the
Sikorsky S-76, the Pilatus PC-12, Lear 35 and Beech 200. No
piston-singles are yet on the list. More...
(TV) YOU MIGHT ENVY
The BBC on Monday debuted a new reality series called "Spitfire Ace," featuring four young pilots learning
to fly the famous World War II-era aircraft. The four-part series
follows four aspirants from diverse backgrounds to see if they have what
it takes to emulate the heroic achievements of their predecessors, the
pilots who defeated Hitler's Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. The
series also traces the history of the battle, which is credited with
saving Britain from a Nazi invasion, and reminds viewers of the meaning
of Winston Churchill's famous remark about the Normandy pilots: "Never
in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so
MISSION AIMS TO ATTRACT YOUTH TO AVIATION
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University announced on Tuesday it will
sponsor a 20-city national tour flown by Jamail Larkins, a
19-year-old ERAU student who is also a spokesman for EAA's Young
Eagles program. Larkins will fly a new Cirrus SR20, and his mission
is to get youngsters excited about careers in aviation. Larkins will fly
to a different city each week, where he will visit schools, make
presentations, and discuss aviation with students. Students will be
invited beforehand to write an essay answering the question, "How do you
envision the next century of flight?" The winning writer will be given
the opportunity to fly with Larkins in the Cirrus. More...
MEMBERSHIP IS THE BEST
$45 YOU CAN SPEND ON YOUR CESSNA! With more than 12,000 active
members, the Cessna Pilots Association (CPA) is the world's biggest and
best aviation "type club." At just $45/year, CPA membership is the
world's greatest bargain for Cessna pilots and owners. Members receive a
monthly magazine, a weekly e-mail newsletter, technical support by a
full-time staff of A&Ps with tremendous expertise in all Cessna models,
model-specific buyer's guides and systems courses, a group aircraft
insurance program, and access to CPA's giant online knowledge bank and
hugely popular online member forums. To join this remarkable
organization, phone 1-805-922-2580 or click here: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa.
A Yak-40 airliner crashed Tuesday in Uzbekistan, all 36 aboard
Pres. Bush yesterday proposed lunar base, retirement of Space
Solo flyer Gus McLeod to try again for South Pole, perhaps
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
What's New -- Products and Services
Each month, AVweb will
bring you a quick survey of the latest products and services for pilots,
mechanics and aircraft owners. This month we have an Ag Plane mod, a
flight timer, a new book and more. If you know of a new product or
service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.
LIMA LIMA FLIGHT
TEAM DEPENDS ON OREGON AERO FOR PAIN-FREE FLYING It was often
painful for the world-renowned Lima Lima Flight Team to fly long
distances for a performance. But the team now uses Oregon
AeroTM Complete Aviation Helmet Upgrades, Custom and Portable
Seat Cushions, and Oregon AeroTM Shock-Absorbing Insole
Inserts. Say members of the team: "We fly with Oregon Aero from head to
toe, and we are not only pain-free, but flying is also incredibly
quieter!" Check out all of Oregon Aero's products online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon.
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AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on
the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
We received over 100 pictures last week. Congratulations to this week's
winner, Shawn Wolk, of Winnipeg, Manitoba. His photo captures the true
essence of winter flying, as this bright yellow aircraft sets up for
landing on a snow-covered runway. This photo captured the first flight
on skis for a 1932 Pietenpol Aircamper, Canada's oldest flying
homebuilt. Great picture, Shawn! Your AVweb hat is on its way.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
We received over 200 responses to our question last week on
security-based airline cancellations. The majority (53 percent)
indicated the rash of flight delays might have been justified depending
on the reasons why this action was taken. On the other hand, 18 percent
felt the UK/US governments were justifiably acting in the name of
security, while 20 percent claimed there were totally unnecessary and a
pure knee-jerk reaction by the various federal agencies.
To respond to
this week's question, click here.
This week, we would like
to know your thoughts on security at your local general aviation
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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AEROSHELL KNOWS WHAT
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OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE
Do you have
family flying in? A business colleague coming in for a meeting? Will
your partner get back before you need the plane? Find out where in the
air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb
subscribers can sign up for Flight Explorer at the special price of just
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SAFETY OPENS DOORS TO SOME TOP TOPICS IN THE FEBRUARY
"Penalty Box" what to expect if you cross the
wrong line on the map; "Are You Cleared?" how to fly remote
airport IFR approaches without vectors; "Desperate, On Top"
benefit from lessons learned by John and Martha King; "Tricks for the
Garmin 430"; "Smart Preflights" five spots not to miss. Plus
accident reports, maintenance issues, and lessons learned along the way.
Order your Aviation Safety subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avsafe.
PUBLISHING PRESENTS HUMAN FACTORS & PILOT ERROR
This film, videotaped at an FAA Wings seminar, gives
specific reasons why a pilot's brain goes on vacation causing them to
overlook the obvious and stray from proficiency training procedures. For
more information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/safegoods.
MAGAZINE'S FEBRUARY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE ...
Revival" Piper's 6x has room without the price; "Fly the Air
Tour" celebrate aviation's golden age; "Sharing an Airplane"
update on an SR22 fractional ownership; Editor's Choice Awards;
and all the columnists you've come to know. Order your subscription
today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying.
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