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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
SLOW RETURN TO DC...
Pilots in the beleaguered Washington, D.C., area last week won a bit of
a victory from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FAA,
thanks to efforts by GA advocacy groups, when easier ingress and egress
procedures were decreed for several small airports near the Washington
Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) edges. The new procedures allow
aircraft operating into and out of Bay Bridge Airport (W29) and Kentmorr
Airport (3W3) to enter the ADIZ and fly directly to or from the airport
through a special corridor without filing a flight plan or contacting
air traffic control. Instead of obtaining a discrete transponder code
from ATC, specific codes have been assigned for flights into or out of
each airport. More...
AN ABORTED TRIAL LAST YEAR
The procedures had been the subject of a 60-day operational test last
year, but the test was suspended -- at around 45 days -- when the
"orange" terrorist alert kicked in last December. The procedures now
will be permanent, or as permanent as anything associated with the
Washington ADIZ. The changes are subject to review and could be
rescinded if there are too many violations, AOPA said. As for the
permanence of the ADIZ itself, that remains an open question. "AOPA
believes the ADIZ has outlived its usefulness and hopes it will be
rescinded," AOPA prez Phil Boyer said in a news release Friday. "But until that happens, the
new procedures should make operations at the edges of the ADIZ a little
less complicated." More...
IS "NEW" NO MORE...
The FAA, in an Advisory Circular published several weeks ago, has
eliminated the "New Technology" label from GPS navigation systems, which
means repair stations now can install the systems using simpler
procedures. The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) said in a news
release it is "extremely pleased" with the change, which it has
wanted for years. "AEA commends the [FAA] for modernizing their
installation criteria for one of the most common system installations of
light general aviation aircraft," the association said. Under the
previous Advisory Circular, installation of GPS equipment required the
use of approved data (under an STC or major alteration) because GPS was
a "new and unique" technology. More...
However, the FAA recognizes that GPS technology is now common and
considerable experience has been obtained in the installation of GPS.
The AEA cautioned that the revision does NOT mean that all GPS/WAAS
installations can be treated as "minor alterations," but rather allows
GPS/WAAS equipment to be installed using the same criteria that a repair
station would use for installing traditional navigation equipment. For
example, under the new guidelines, installation of GNSS (GPS/WAAS)
navigation equipment that only interfaces with an antenna, power,
ground, an external HSI/CDI with a single source selector switch, and a
left/right (deviation-based) autopilot would typically be considered a
minor alteration. More...
REVIEWING CHICAGO TRACON
An FAA team is working in the Chicago TRACON (terminal radar approach
control) facility in Elgin, Ill., this week to investigate a sharp
increase in errors and a record increase in delays. Twenty-four errors
involving violations of minimum spacing between airplanes occurred last
year at the facility, up from four errors in 2002, according to the
Chicago Tribune. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association says
the TRACON is understaffed. "It took the FAA over a year to realize the
magnitude of the problem," NATCA President John Carr said in a news release Thursday. The union says the TRACON has
only 75 full-performance-level controllers and 24 trainees, not enough
to manage Chicago's increasingly congested airways. More...
CRASH REPORT AND VIDEO
Pilot error caused a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 to crash at an air
show on Sept. 14 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, the Air Force said on Wednesday. (See AVweb's
NewsWire for in-cockpit video of the crash.) The pilot incorrectly
climbed to 1,670 feet AGL instead of 2,500 feet before initiating the
pull-down to the Split-S maneuver, according to the Air Force news
release. The pilot, Chris Stricklin, 31, apparently flew by mistake to
the MSL altitude used when practicing the maneuver at his home base,
Nellis AFB in Nevada, which is 1,000 feet lower than the Idaho field
elevation. The pilot ejected just eight-tenths of a second before
impact, after reportedly making an effort to steer the aircraft away
from the crowd of about 85,000 ... and now works at the Pentagon, in
Washington, D.C. More...
MEMBERSHIP IS THE BEST $45 YOU CAN SPEND ON YOUR
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 (805)
922-2580 or click http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa.
YANKS PILOT'S CERTIFICATE AFTER ERRATIC FLIGHT
The TSA may pull your certificate without reason and at a moment's
notice; it took the FAA a bit longer. According to FAA documents,
Pennsylvania pilot John V. Salamone on Jan. 15 allegedly made a reckless four-hour flight in his Piper Cherokee
while drunk. Last week the FAA took their own action and revoked
Salamone's certificate. John V. Salamone endangered the lives of others,
entered controlled airspace without contacting ATC, and forced air
traffic controllers to divert numerous aircraft, including a half-dozen
airliners, to avoid the Cherokee, the FAA said. Salamone can appeal the
action, but cannot keep his certificate during the appeal. Salamone, 44,
is president of a concrete company. The FAA said he had no prior
incidents or enforcement actions, according to CNN. More...
AND SEE WHAT A BULB COST
The light bulb only cost 77 cents, but without it, a "No Smoking, Fasten
Seat Belt" sign on a Comair flight was dark, and it stayed out for four
flights. What ensued, according to a report in Friday's USA Today, was a
four-year investigation, an inch-thick report, and a proposed $44,000
fine. (It's possible the proposed fine would not recover the dollars
spent through four years of investigation.) "It's not simply the fact
the light was out, but the follow-up actions required were not taken,"
FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told reporters. Nonetheless, the case
was settled after Comair replaced the bulb and agreed to pay the fine
... after it was reduced to $3,000. More...
PILOT BUZZ AND SUN 'N FUN
While much of the U.S. is griping and groaning its way through a
record-setting cold blustery winter, signs of spring are on the horizon.
The folks at EAA say they are working away "like elves helping Santa" in
anticipation of the sometime-this-year enactment of the FAA's new Sport
Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft rules. On Thursday, the elves said they have
posted a list of frequently asked questions about certification and
registration of various new light-sport aircraft. Meanwhile, Sun 'n Fun,
EAA's annual fly-in that kicks off the summer season in Lakeland, Fla.,
is set for April 13 to 19, and it's not too soon to start your flight
planning -- the NOTAMs are already online. More...
WORK TOWARD IN-COCKPIT WEATHER (SORT OF)
Among the many tasks that GA aircraft reliably take on, one that occurs
quietly behind the scenes is their work as scientific research
platforms. This winter, a high-flying ER-2 aircraft, which is a civilian
variant of Lockheed's U-2, and a Cessna Citation II have been working
out of Bangor, Maine, to help NASA scientists learn about the severe
Atlantic coast winter storms called Nor'easters. The researchers hope to
learn how to better predict the storms' behavior, to help improve
aviation weather forecasts and ultimately save lives. The Citation is
also carrying an experimental instrument that measures temperature,
icing and wind speed, which could help to increase the weather
information available to GA pilots in the cockpit. More...
LIMA FLIGHT TEAM DEPENDS ON OREGON AERO FOR PAIN-FREE
It was often painful for the world-renowned Lima Lima
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CALL FAILS, SUGGESTS BROADER FAILINGS
In Florida, two 911 calls from the witness of a plane crash near the
Venice airport somehow failed to initiate a search, and the wreck was
not found by rescue/recovery crews till 19 hours later. Cindy Toepfer
first called 911 immediately after the crash and "was first referred to
an 800 number for the Domestic Air Interdiction Coordination Center in
Riverside, Calif.," according to the Herald Tribune. When her call to
California for the crash she witnessed in Florida failed, Toepfer called
911 again, motivating the dispatcher to call Sarasota-Bradenton
International Airport; no inquiries were made in the Venice area. FAA
spokesman Chris White told the Tribune, "Local jurisdictions make up
their own requirements" on notifying the FAA. Two pilots died in the
Cessna 150. More...
A Bonanza crashed Thursday evening into a Farmington, N.M., police
In Bangkok Saturday, 672 skydivers set a world record for
a mass jump...
Jamail Larkins launched "barnstorming" tour Saturday
WWII aerial photos online archive stalled due to
FAA public meeting March 3-4 at Dulles to
discuss Cessna wing spars...
Gus McLeod is in Florida on his second
attempt to cross both poles...
President Bush on Friday signed
appropriations bill for FAA funding. More...
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #70: Do Humans Create Those Written
Every pilot has taken them -- and most have noticed
strange or at least confusing questions on those FAA Knowledge Tests.
Sometimes it seems like nobody official has even looked at those
questions in decades to decide if the questions are relevant. AVweb's
Rick Durden met the folks who actually are updating those old tests.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES
Reader mail this week about FSS privatization, the state of GA, some
potential problems with Sport Pilot and more. More...
CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
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Tower: Skyhawk xxx follow Baron on four mile final for
Skyhawk: Baron in sight.
Tower: Skyhawk you're 10 knots faster than the
Baron. Slow down.
Skyhawk: Yeeha!!! (Followed by
Tower: Right. I guess that's not
something you hear every day. More...
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