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LIDLE NY CIRRUS CRASH TRIAL BEGINS
Lawyers put forth opening
arguments Wednesday in a $50 million wrongful death suit against Cirrus Design over the October 2006
crash that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his instructor Tyler
Stanger. The two men were flying a Cirrus SR20 north along what was then
the New York East River Class B exclusion area on the east side of
Manhattan. The aircraft initiated a turn to the west to reverse course,
drifted over Manhattan, descended, and impacted the face of a 520-foot
apartment building at 333 feet above the ground. Lawyers arguing on
behalf of Lidle's widow, who brought the suit, said that the aircraft's
control system failed to provide adequate control throughout the
maneuver. "If you can't control the airplane, you can't be at fault,"
said prosecuting attorney Todd Macaluso. Lawyers for Cirrus offered a
different point of view, as has the NTSB. And a 2007 Cirrus mandatory
Service Bulletin, and other issues, may complicate the court case.
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ISSUES MAY AFFECT FAA FUNDING
With the FAA reauthorization
bill still tied up in Congress, ongoing uproars over the safety of the
aviation system may affect the final version, according to a recent Reuters report. Republicans see an opportunity to
push proposals to privatize more towers, consolidate facilities, and
give FAA management more control over running the air traffic system,
Reuters said. "Sleeping on the job, near misses -- those give me more
ammunition when I go into negotiations," U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla.,
the chairman of the House Transportation Committee, told Reuters in an
interview. Mica believes NATCA is too powerful, Reuters said, and he
might now try to add new provisions to the bill that would make it
easier to fire controllers who make mistakes. More...
CONTROLLER KILLED IN TOWER
The head air traffic controller at
EuroAirport, in Mulhouse, France, was found at 8 a.m., Wednesday,
stabbed to death on the 11th floor of the tower, outside of the control
room itself. The airport is located in northeastern France, near the
borders of Switzerland and Germany, and operates 70 flights daily, with
20 different airlines. It saw 4.3 million passengers in 2007. The
control tower is located in a "secure" area of the airport, where access
is restricted. The controller's body was found between the elevator and
a staircase that leads to the control room. Police say the victim, a
34-year-old father of one, had worked at the airport since 1998 and that
evidence suggests the attack may have been personal. More...
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BILL MAY PROTECT CALIFORNIA FLIGHT SCHOOLS
A California law
passed in 2009 that aimed to protect students from losing their tuition
if a school closes down now may exempt flight-training facilities that
don't collect up-front tuitions, NATA said this week. A bill providing the exemption
was passed on Monday by a state senate committee. "This, however, is
only the first step in getting relief for flight training into law,"
NATA said. The 2009 law imposed "burdensome requirements" on all
providers of flight training, NATA said, including annual fees and
numerous administrative chores, including a requirement to allow annual
audits. An extension was passed last year to allow flight-training
providers until July 2011 to comply, giving GA advocacy groups more time
to try to work out a long-term solution. More...
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OVERTURNS MAINE USE TAX ASSESSMENT
The Supreme Judicial Court
of Maine has ordered the state to repay a Massachusetts
aircraft owner about $26,000 after overturning a lower court ruling to
do with the state's controversial use tax. As we first
reported in 2007, Steve Kahn bought a Cirrus SR22 in 2003 and
registered it in his home state. He used it to visit property he owns in
Maine and for Angel Flight volunteer missions. After noting his tail
number in Maine, state authorities invoked the use tax, which
essentially levies sales tax on goods brought from outside the state and
used within it. In a split ruling, the majority of court panelists ruled
Kahn gets his money back, but that might not be the case for others
testing the use tax. More...
Meet the New Reletex
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small neuromodulating current which stops peristaltic waves in the
stomach, ceasing nausea and vomiting without drugs or side effects.
is available in 60- and 150-hour versions. O.K. for
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KIDS BUILD A PLANE
A group of students at Chevak High School,
located on the remote Alaskan tundra, worked together over the winter to
build a Rans S-6s Coyote II experimental aircraft from a kit, and flew it for the
first time on March 24. "The aircraft was beautifully built and was
obviously the pride of the aeronautics class at the school," John Davis,
a Designated Airworthiness Representative who flew in from Anchorage to
inspect the airplane, told the Alaska Dispatch. Ryan Walker, a teacher at the
school who is a CFI and A&P, bought the kit and guided the class as they
built the aircraft. The project, which was sponsored by Build A Plane,
Rans, and others, was
inspired by a similar project in nearby Hooper Bay, a Yu'pik Eskimo
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SUMMIT IN WICHITA
Kansas state officials, including Gov. Sam
Brownback, heard from about 160 aviation industry officials that
governments must play an active role in fostering aerospace. The forum,
held in Wichita on Monday, brought together most of the power players in
the Wichita-based businesses and the message was relatively consistent.
"We are not looking for a handout, but tax policies are important to our
business," David Coleal, the general manager of Bombardier Learjet in
Wichita, is quoted by The Associated Press as saying. Cessna CEO Jack
Pelton went a step further and suggested eliminating the corporate
income tax on money aircraft companies spend buying supplies and
services from other Kansas companies. More...
ON SMALLER BIZJETS CONTINUE SLIDE
Some aircraft brokers say
the price of used light and midsized jets has hit an all-time low and
despite whispers of a recovery are staying stubbornly in the basement.
"Basically, there are no buyers," Anne-Bart Tieleman, managing director
of GA Finance in Amsterdam, told the Financial Times. "You can buy an almost brand new
aircraft for 25-35 percent less than what you had to pay two or three
years ago." More...
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
Have you signed up yet for AVweb's
no-cost weekly business aviation newsletter,
Delivered every Wednesday morning,
AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, the products and the industry
leaders that make headlines in the business aviation industry, making it
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INSIDER BLOG: NO GOOD DEED CIRRUS DODGES A LEGAL
A Minnesota appeals court recently sided with Cirrus
in rejecting the claim of survivors of a pilot and passenger who said
the company was negligent in not training the pilot to recover from
inadvertent IMC encounters. But a dissenting judge disagreed, saying
that the plaintiffs had made the case. On the AVweb Insider blog,
Paul Bertorelli analyzes the case, which clearly shows how manufacturers
face liability exposure even when they try to do the right thing. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
Fly More for
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OF THE WEEK: AMERICA JET AT SLN (SALINA, KS)
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to America Jet at
SLN. As you've probably deduced, you can find them at Salina
Municipal Airport (KSLN) in Salina, Kansas.
Jeremy Phillips recommended the FBO after his visit a couple of
weeks back, when "the line and maintenance crew went out of their way to
make our trip the best one we ever had. ... They went out of their way
to make things really easy for us."
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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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
trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd
prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device),
there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete
instructions on making the switch, click
Navigate. Communicate. More...