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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
SECURITY RULES CHANGED...
It's been almost a year since the federal government gave itself the power to, without any familiar due
process, lift the airman certificates of those deemed "security risks"
-- and now a whiff of civil rights has entered the picture. The FAA and
TSA have implemented a third-party appeal process for those who get
caught in the security dragnet. "It's in effect now," FAA spokesman Greg
Martin told AVweb. The new regulations, which were mandated by
the recently approved FAA Reauthorization Bill, ensure the
Transportation Safety Administration isn't the judge, jury and
executioner in deciding who gets to fly and fix airplanes in the U.S.
SO ARE APPEALS OF APPEALS...
Under the new rules, appeals of security-related revocations are heard
by an Administrative Law Judge. Formerly called Hearing Officers, these
judges preside over hearings and appeals involving government agencies.
If the affected airman disagrees with the judge's decision he or she can
appeal to the Transportation Security Oversight Board, a very powerful
group made up of the Secretary of Transportation, Attorney General,
Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Defense and a representative of
either the National Security Council or the Office of Homeland Security.
The new rules also ensure that those making an appeal will have at least
some idea of the charges against them. Under the original rule, the TSA
could refuse to provide the accused with details of the allegations if
the information, or the way it was obtained, was considered classified.
Again, it was entirely the TSA's call. The amended regulations require
the TSA, in consultation with the CIA, to prepare an "unclassified
summary" of classified evidence against an airman. More...
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.
"Pilots will die" as a result of a possible consolidation of automated
flight service stations, says a senior staff member at an AFSS he says
is sure to close. Robert Shields, the support specialist at the Boise
AFSS, said it's only a matter of time before his station, the smallest
in the country, is shut down in a wholesale reorganization and
downsizing of the AFSS system. "We are very concerned about what's going
to happen to our pilots here in Idaho," said Shields, who's been making
the rounds of the local media in Idaho, highlighting his concerns about
pilots trying to navigate Idaho's rugged mountains and violent weather
without knowledgeable briefers to help them. FAA spokesman William
Shumann said the FAA has no plans to close Boise but conceded a future
private contractor might. More...
THE FACE OF FATAL FIGURES
The federal motivation for change was made obvious when FAA head Marion
Blakey said of Flight Service late last year, "This is an area where the
FAA is actively looking at the private-sector option." The administrator
said, "It's costing $500 million per year ... $27 for every single
communication Flight Service has. We don't think that's efficient." But
AVweb more recently reported that -- in Idaho -- accident
statistics for the year showed a 38-percent increase, with 57 percent
more fatal crashes and 61 percent more fatalities when compared to
averages over the previous 11 years. That was with the insights
of briefers. The NTSB and FAA offered no explanation for the sharp
increase, but the state's aeronautic division performed an analysis and
concluded, "It's pilot error." More...
APPLES OR ORANGES? BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE
When it comes to insuring you, your airplane, and
your passengers, be sure that the coverage you buy focuses on
inclusions, not exclusions. AVEMCO believes in clear, concise and
comprehensive policies. As the only direct writer of general aviation
insurance in the industry, AVEMCO can help you ensure you're comparing
apples to apples. Call AVEMCO at (888) 241-7891 and mention this
AVflash, or visit them on the web at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avemco.
DON'T GET MAD, GET EDUCATED?
Long-time aircraft-owner-turned-A&P Mike Busch, co-founder of
AVweb and its managing editor from 1995 to 2002, has a new
venture -- he wants to help owners take more control of their aircraft
outside the cockpit. Busch will hold a series of weekend Savvy Owner
Seminars designed to help aircraft owners become more maintenance
... savvy ... and to give them the tools (figuratively) to become
directly involved in maintenance decisions. "Owners have a lot more
authority than they think they do," Busch told AVweb. The program
is designed to teach pilots "how to have a better-maintained aircraft
while spending less on maintenance." More...
VERSION OF TERRORISM
"Legitimate users have suffered very adversely over the years," watching
the number of aerodromes shrink by 90 percent, "the consequence of a few
illegal users abusing the system," said Christopher Read, manager of
Airpak Express, a courier service. To the cynics, it may sound like a
forecast for GA in the U.S., but in Jamaica the threat is not
terrorists, it's drug smugglers. It seems they're switching back from
boats to light aircraft as the conveyance of choice for getting cocaine
and marijuana to market. "[It's] something that we are very, very
concerned about," Carl Williams, Jamaica's top narcotics officer, told
the Sunday Observer. It's also got legitimate GA operators in a lather
(again), worried that increased security and even flight restrictions
will take their toll (again). More...
AEROSHELL GIVES YOUR AIRPLANE SHINE AND
AeroShell, a trusted name for oil and lubricants,
has a line of appearance products designed specifically for general
aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be purchased
in a convenient leak-proof bag designed for easy carrying and storage.
The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight
Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning
cloths. Order AeroShell Flight Jacket products at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell.
GA AND HEAVY-METAL MIX
Australia's embattled aviation regulator says any future major changes
will be preceded by a three-month training and education period. The
Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has been roundly criticized by
airlines, pilot groups and air traffic controllers for implementation of
sweeping changes to its airspace regulations in November that the groups
say allow light planes not under air traffic control to mix with
airliners near major airports. The changes have already caused a
"serious incident" involving a Virgin Boeing 737 and a single-engine
Tobago near Launceston. More...
DEATH FLIGHTS RAISE EYEBROWS
It's been a tough week on the Miami-to-London route. Passengers aboard
two Britain-bound airliners discovered to their horror earlier this week
that not all fatalities are caused by accidents. On Monday a 19-year-old
woman aboard a Miami-to-Heathrow Virgin Atlantic flight died just before
landing. No cause of death was immediately released. The day before, a
British Airways flight diverted to Halifax for a sick woman who later
died. After that flight resumed a male passenger became ill and died
just before the plane reached London. So far, the incidents are
considered to be a string of unrelated (other than the flight) events
amounting to horrible coincidence. More...
FLY THE RUST OFF
The latest in desktop simulators from ASA,
Instrument Refresher is specifically designed to help instrument-rated
pilots be fully prepared for their next Instrument Proficiency Check.
Build confidence in your instrument skills and get over the refresher
hurdle with 25 interactive flight lessons and the guidance of a
qualified and knowledgeable virtual CFII. Intercepting and tracking
NAVAIDS, holding procedures, and instrument approaches even
partial panel work won't be a problem when you prepare ahead of time
with ASA's Instrument Refresher! For more information and to order, go
TOPLESS WOMAN DISRUPTS FLIGHT
A Virgin Blue crew (insert joke here) elected to continue a Jan. 14
flight from Hobart to Melbourne, Australia, despite an apparently
deranged passenger's rantings that the flight would end in a 9/11-style
tragedy. What followed wasn't fatal but it was almost certainly painful
for those aboard. After initially being calmed by the cabin crew, the
23-year-old woman ended up taking her shirt and bra off, defecating in
her pants and subjecting her fellow passengers to a 50-minute tirade.
Although passengers told the Australian media they were "freaked out" by
the incident, the airline apparently didn't think much of it.
BEE AND DELMAR PLAN NEW LIVES APART
Two years after mothballing his famed Gee Bee R2 racer replica, air show
icon Delmar Benjamin spent five days last week at the wheel of a 27-foot
U-Haul truck moving his pride and joy to its new home at Fantasy of
Flight in Polk City, Fla., Jamie Beckett of The Flying Life
magazine this week told AVweb. After logging 1500 hours with the
Gee Bee, Benjamin is preparing his next project, which he refers to only
as "a more unique airplane than this one." Kermit Weeks, the visionary
owner of Fantasy of Flight, intends to have the aircraft flutter-tested
prior to doing any flying himself in the muscular mini. However, once
flutter testing is completed there is talk of Weeks and Benjamin flying
the R2 along with the yellow-and-black Z-model Gee Bee that Weeks
already owns and displays at Fantasy of Flight. More...
REGISTER NOW FOR THE 2004 GREAT LAKES INTERNATIONAL
Phil Boyer and Lane Wallace are among the
many prominent speakers slated to address the Great Lakes International
Aviation Conference, February 6 to 8 in Lansing, Michigan. In addition,
there will be over 150 breakout sessions for pilots, mechanics, FBOs,
and aviation enthusiasts. IA renewal and FAA Wings program are available
for those who qualify. The exhibit area will be filled with the latest
products and technologies. For more information call (248) 348-6942 and
mention this AVflash, or visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gliac.
American and United agreed to cut 62 flights a day at O'Hare to reduce
Public meetings are scheduled Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 on the
site for a new Texas GA airport...
Japanese airline grounded MD-80s
after engine cracks were found in five planes...
International Airport was evacuated after a "cutting instrument" was
An Air Midwest pilot said he was demoted for pointing out
Pilot error now blamed for Egyptian 737
New Zealand chopper pilot on trial for poaching.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Air Traffic Controller Attrition
The General Accounting Office found that most of the current air traffic
controllers within the FAA will be retiring within the next 10 years.
The FAA has done little to alleviate the controller workforce losses.
Meanwhile, many young and experienced military controllers are trying
very hard to get the FAA to consider them for these positions.
Private Pilot in 40 Hours -- It Can Be Done!
The FAA says you can get your first pilot's license in only 40 hours.
The FAA also says almost nobody does it that fast. Whether you want
bragging rights or you just need to keep costs down, it is possible to
get the flight time down close to 40 hours, as long as you have a plan
and the willingness to do a lot of preparation on the ground.
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/
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR
TimeSync's ScheduleMaster online aircraft scheduling
service offers advanced features such as standby scheduling and
notification of cancellations. ScheduleMaster helps your club improve
aircraft utilization and will make your members happy. You can also add
AccountMaster, an integrated billing system that works with Peachtree
and QuickBooks. For a no-obligation online demonstration, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Security at general aviation airports is a big concern for readers of
AVweb: We received almost 500 responses to our question about GA
security last week! The vast majority of you (59 percent) think that GA
security is already pretty tight. 120 respondents said their GA airport
is more secure than Ft. Knox, and 143 readers thought their airports
needed only improve security in specific areas. More...
BENNETT AVIONICS, THEY DISCOUNT THE PRICE NOT THEIR
Used avionics is Bennett Avionics' only business.
Find the avionic equipment to meet your aircraft's needs while leaving
enough money for avfuel! Bennett stocks a complete line of used avionics
that will add tremendous capability to your aircraft at a price that
make sense. Bennett also purchases used avionics equipment and will work
out an exchange for newer electronics. Bennett Avionics your
one-stop used avionics specialist can be found online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/bennett.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
As usual, we received dozens of great photos from AVweb and AVflash
readers this week. It was a tough call, but this week's winner is Susan
Birrell Post of Noblesville, Indiana. Her photo of the Indianapolis Air
Show last September shows us the crowds but keeps the airplanes front
and center, where they belong. Thanks for a great photo, Susan
we're sure you'll enjoy your AVweb hat! More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
MICROLIGHTS ON SALE! SALE ENDS JANUARY 31
These small, high-
powered lights are perfect for your flight bag, glove compartment,purse,
and briefcase. There's a model and color for every pilot, camper,
sportsman, and person on the planet! Save now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/photon.
AVIATION CONSUMER'S USED AIRCRAFT
What's the BEST plane for YOU to buy? You'll find out
in The Aviation Consumer's Used Aircraft Guide. The ninth edition
of The Aviation Consumer's famed and trusted Used Aircraft
Guide will pinpoint the plane that best fits your needs and your
budget. Order today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avconsumer/acuag.
FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS A PILOT'S DREAM COME TRUE!
WingX is a
Microsoft Pocket PC application designed by pilots for pilots using the
latest Microsoft .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.
SPORT YOUR NEW LEATHER FLIGHT BAG FROM PILOTMALL AND SHOW
Pilotmall.com has real leather flight bags that
are second to none. Plus there's a backpack model! Go online to order at
CHASE-DURER WATCHES COME IN STYLES FOR BOTH MEN AND
Truly in a class by themselves, Chase-Durer's
award-wining style and Swiss dependability make these chronograph
watches a wonderful gift for others or for yourself. Buy them at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur.
OFF THE PRESS! ROD MACHADO'S PLANE TALK
This book is
the pilot's choice, with 96 of Machado's most requested articles you've
seen posted at FBOs. Most accidents are attributed to human factors, but
how do you protect yourself? Rod Machado helps you think better in the
cockpit while he stimulates your brain with knowledge and he'll
keep you laughing, too. A great gift for any pilot, including yourself!
Order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado.
We Welcome Your Feedback!
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.
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Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
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