The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PILOTS TO BREAK JETLINERS...
While the NTSB has yet to issue its final report on why American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in New York in
November 2001 after its vertical tail surface broke off, killing 265
people, the board recently released a report by an aeronautical engineer
that suggests the design of the Airbus A300-600's flight-control system
could have played a role in the accident. The report, by Prof. Ronald Hess of the University of
California at Davis, focuses on whether pilot-induced oscillations
(PIOs), resulting from control-system characteristics, could have been a
factor in the crash. More...
SENSITIVE POINTS ABOUT SENSITIVITY...
In his report, Hess notes that the "pedal/rudder sensitivity of the
A300-600 at the airspeed at which the AA 587 accident occurred is the
highest of all comparative transport aircraft." For example, compared to
the Boeing 767, the A300-600 pedal/rudder sensitivity is seven times
greater, and it is 10 times greater than the preceding models in the
Airbus series, the A300-600B2 and B4, Hess reports. "The sensitive
nature of the rudder/pedal system is a plausible candidate for a control
system property conducive to a PIO," the report says. "One has a very
powerful aerodynamic surface ... activated by one of the most powerful
muscles in the human body, commanding a pedal/rudder system that is
considerably more sensitive than that of any comparable aircraft," the
report says. The report is still under consideration by the NTSB.
MD-80 ENGINES SCRUTINIZED, DRAMATIC IMAGES RESURFACE
In recent weeks, the MD-80 fleet worldwide has been hampered by reports
of engine cracks. In Japan last month, 17 of the airliners were grounded
after engines of two aircraft vibrated, and the flights were aborted.
According to CBS news, Chicago, American Airlines discovered similar
cracks in engines on some of its MD-80 planes. "Routine airline
maintenance procedures don't usually ... reveal cracks of this nature,"
Mary Frances, with Americans maintenance program, told CBS news.
The concerns resurrected the tale of a McDonnell-Douglas DC-9-80 (a
precursor of the MD-80) that blew its nose wheels and broke its tail off
during a test flight in 1980. In that case, the engines survived, but
other damage was extreme. See AVweb's NewsWire for video, an event
summary and NTSB records of the event. More...
AIRPORT SECURITY: THE WAR OF PERCEPTION...
An ABC affiliate TV station in New York City, apparently unaware of the
bashing unleashed by the GA community upon CBS after
that network aired a segment critical of security at small
airports, took its own stab at the issue last Thursday. WABC-TV ran a
story based on its "months-long Eyewitness News investigation" headlined
"Security Practically Nonexistent at Many Small
Airports." The story begins: "Call it a case of airport insecurity.
Open gates, no guards, no fences, airplanes within easy reach."
Reporters visited 15 of the more than 100 small airports within 75 miles
of midtown Manhattan. At some of these airports, which the report
doesn't identify, reporters say they found fencing in disrepair, and at
least one airport they were able to drive right up to hangars full of
airplanes without being stopped or questioned by anyone.
The WABC story did mention that perhaps a small aircraft is no more
dangerous than a truck or a car packed with explosives. Yet some of the
"porous" airports housed larger charter planes, WABC said. And the
report noted that the Department of Homeland Security has made
recommendations for improvements at small airports, but it has issued
"virtually no security requirements for general aviation." Of course
that failure to issue "requirements" could tie in with the reluctance to
find billions of dollars to implement them. In fact, despite the lack of
requirements, extensive security precautions have been implemented at
thousands of GA airports nationwide, and that trend is likely to
THE DEEPER REALITY
The implied but unarticulated subtext of the WABC story, as well as the
recent CBS network report, is that small airports and small airplanes
are lacking in intrinsic value to society, and thus present an
unnecessary threat. Yet a tragic story from Hawaii last week showed that
people do value the services based at these kind of airports -- after an
air ambulance crashed, killing the pilot and two paramedics, the crew
members were widely hailed as heroes. The thousands of small airports across the
country provide a base for such critical services -- firefighters and
search-and-rescue units, police and news helicopters, ambulances and
cargo planes -- which we've yet to see mentioned by any of these
"airport insecurity" reports. More...
TOURS OF SMITHSONIAN AIRCRAFT NOW ONLINE
If you haven't yet had a chance to visit the Smithsonian's new
Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport, in Virginia, now you can view a
few historic aircraft and cockpits in detail on the
Internet. The cockpits of the Concorde, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the
SR-71 Blackbird and more can be viewed in seamless, intricate detail
from any vantage point. Exterior shots of the J-3 Cub and a Monocoupe
110 can be rotated to view the airplane from either side, front or back,
and anywhere in between. The high-resolution digital photos were shot
last year as the aircraft were moved into the new facility, and before
they were put on exhibit, a rare opportunity existed to access the
aircraft before they become inaccessible. More...
AWOS? JUST CALL ON YOUR CELLPHONE
In a nifty new service for pilots, a quick toll-free phone call can now
connect you to any AWOS in the U.S. -- if you don't mind having to
listen to a short advertisement before you get to the weather. The
service, aptly called "anyAWOS," is a new product offered by Mackinac
Software. One of the co-creators of the system, Bill McUmber, told
AVweb: "Although my company is a software company, I am an active
IFR pilot and thought it would be useful to be able to check conditions
on the fly -- hence this system." After dialing the toll-free number
(877-any-AWOS, or 877-269-2967), callers can enter any three-digit
airport ID and -- after choosing from a list of possible matches, and
listening to a word from their sponsors -- they will be connected to
that airport's AWOS or ATIS. 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/avflash.
JET SHEDS PARTS OVER FLORIDA
A modified Gulfstream II flying as a Shuttle Training Aircraft for NASA was 13,000 feet
above Florida recently when parts of its thrust reverser went missing
and splashed into the Banana River. The reversers are part of a retrofit
that helps the GII mimic the Shuttle's steep descent profile. An
astronaut and two pilots were on board when the parts fell off in early
December, and the crew aborted the mission and made a safe landing, Florida Today reported on Saturday. NASA's fleet of
four modified GIIs was grounded after the incident and the fasteners for
the reversers were beefed up. After that, test flights checked out OK,
and the fleet was back to normal by Jan. 12. More...
AIRPORT $ECURITY, TIGHT AS A SIEVE
A 19-year-old man, apparently intending to score a free trip aboard a
Delta flight from LA to Atlanta last month, successfully bypassed two
checkpoints and then successfully boarded an airliner without a ticket.
Security cameras showed that he got past the initial checkpoint by going
through an unguarded roped-off area, then walked through the metal
detectors. At the gate, he waited until the gate agent was distracted,
then sauntered onboard. Other passengers saw what he had done, and after
he went into the restroom they alerted the crew. The man, who was from
Decatur, Ga., is a convicted burglar and had violated his probation,
authorities told the Los Angeles Times. He was arrested but no weapons or
bombs were found, and the plane was OK'd for departure within an hour.
BRIGHTER THAN THOUGHT
STARS is brightening the lives of controllers all over the country, and
not just in the handful of places AVweb and several other media
outlets mentioned in stories last week. The Standard Terminal Automation
Replacement System has been installed in 13 airports since the
successful full deployment of the system in Philadelphia last June. "We
got a lot of systems out last year," Rebecca Trexler, of FAA Public
Affairs, told AVweb. Two prototype systems in Syracuse and El
Paso were also upgraded to full deployments, bringing the total number
of STARS systems in use to 16. More...
YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH ENGINE CYLINDERS
Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on
owner experience with engine cylinders. If you've bought an overhaul
recently, let us know how the jugs are holding up. Log on to www.aviationconsumer.com and click the "Surveys"
button. We'll take care of the rest. More...
Pax at LAX down last year by 2.25 percent, lowest level in 14
Fundraising pilot to land at 100 airports in one day for Angel
A seven-foot panel from a FedEx MD-10 wing fell into a parking
Radar at Chicago TRACON was down for 13 minutes Wednesday...
Jean Ross Howard Phelan, a founder of Whirly Girls, died at 87...
Jerome Lederer, former NASA director of flight safety, died at
Pilot Gus McLeod, headed for South Pole, landed Friday after icing
Researchers found homing pigeons follow roads to navigate.
MIKE BUSCH'S SAVVY SEMINAR COMING TO MEMPHIS, VAN NUYS,
HARRISBURG, & OSHKOSH!
Ever had "sticker shock" when you got
the bill after an annual? Frustrated when problems still aren't fixed
after several tries? Flabbergasted by the stratospheric cost of parts?
Intimidated by mechanical problems far from home base? Ever felt a shop
had you "over a barrel"? Spend an illuminating weekend with Mike Busch
AVweb founder, writer, teacher, pilot, aircraft owner, and A&P
mechanic at one of his Savvy Owner Seminars. He'll share his 40
years of aviation experience, help you become more maintenance-savvy and
empowered, and teach you how to get better maintenance while saving
thousands of dollars. For complete seminar details plus dozens of Mike's
maintenance articles, visit Savvy Aviator Seminars at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash,
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #73: All Glass
Ready to climb into the age of the glass cockpit, AVweb's Michael Maya
Charles is looking forward to learning his next new airplane type. It
turns out to be an interesting and -- hopefully -- "best of both worlds"
combination of two other planes he's flown: the DC-10 and MD-11.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about terrorists (and non-terrorists), stupid
pilot tricks and more. More...
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/
CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
AirPower Software offers multiple software
editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your preloaded
information to address your particular usage amounts and/or costs.
Changes can be made to an individual preloaded figure or across the
entire layout as needed. In addition to the preloaded databases of
aircraft, the Budget Analyzer also lets you create your own
individualized budget via the "My Aircraft" selection. This allows you
to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There are six
editions: Lite (no aircraft databases included); Piston; Turbo Prop;
Helicopter; Jet; and Full (which includes all four aircraft databases).
Instant downloads are available on all software products. For complete
information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/avflash.
From our, "There's a right way, and then there's other ways,"
Tower: Cessna XXX cleared to land
Cessna: Cleared to land 20.
Cessna XXX can you land and hold short 31-13.
Cessna: You bethca.
XXX is that a roger.
Cessna: ...Roger. Land and hold
short 31-13. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
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/avflash.
NAVAL RESERVE FROM 9 to 5 to MACH
Fast-forward your career and life. Veteran pilots and
NFOs can serve in the Naval Reserve. Earn benefits and rewards training
on the most sophisticated combat and transport aircraft in the world,
including F-18 Hornets, EA-6B Prowlers, E2C Hawkeyes, and H-60 Sea
Hawks. Click here to learn more: http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/navalreserve/avflash.
PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE
Cassette tapes to help you
be a better pilot such as "Are You Ready for an Emergency,"
"Managing Your Fuel Supply," "Getting the Most Out of ATC," and more
are available now. Order your selections today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avconsumer/paut/avflash.
COMM 1 ANNOUNCES INTERACTIVE NAV & VOR/NDB SIMULATOR
Comm 1 Radio Simulator programs contain
comprehensive tutorials and fully interactive two-way radio exchanges
with ATC which you can experience from the safety and privacy of
your computer. Build skills and confidence on the ground while saving
money and aggravation. Select the programs right for your flying needs
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE
Do you ever wonder why you lack confidence? Take
a look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for Flight
Instructors, where Gordon takes lessons from fifty years of flying
and tells you HOW to be more capable and confident in your own flying
and how to teach more effectively. This is not a
question-and-answer book, but a guide to what you actually do and think
when you are in the cockpit, and it tells you how to route out bad
habits and techniques. You will never understand the depth of this book
until you read it. To order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/avflash.
IFR MAGAZINE IS A SAFETY MUST-READ!
include: "All Geared Up and Nowhere to Go" walks through the
decision-making process with the gear-up, at night, in IMC; "Pitch Your
Paper Plates" trial-by-IFR and report on Control Vision's Pocket
Plates; "IFR in the Thick Of It" a better way to analyze wx
conditions; "Radar Contact, Now What?!" what the controller is
really saying; plus, editor Paul Berge shoots himself in the foot in
"Remarks," the "Briefing" page, and the ever-popular "On the Air." Stay
informed and safe with a subscription to IFR Magazine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrmag/avflash.
UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF YOUR AVIONICS WITH ELECTRONIC FLIGHT
Train at your own pace with Electronic Flight
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140/KFC 225 Autopilots. Self-paced, media-rich, interactive, FAA
Wings-accepted CD-ROM training at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/efs/avflash.
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