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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
LIMITS CUT FOR LIGHT SINGLES...
Sometimes a regulation sits in the FAA's in-basket for so long that when
they finally get around to issuing it, it looks new again. Such might be
the case with the FAA's Noise Stringency Increase for Single-Engine
Propeller-Driven Small Airplanes, which will amend Part 36 to cut the
allowable takeoff noise for light singles by up to 8 percent. The Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (NPRM) was issued Feb. 4 and comments will be received
until June 10. The rule sets the noise limit for light singles to range
from a minimum of 70 dBA for airplanes with a maximum takeoff weight of
1,257 pounds to 85 dBA for the heaviest singles. The new levels will
affect type certificates and supplementary type certificates issued
starting Nov. 4 ... and are based on criteria reached during a meeting
in Montreal nine years ago. More...
MUTED EFFECT ON MANUFACTURERS...
The FAA insists only the eardrums of airport neighbors, and not the
flying public, manufacturers or aircraft modifiers, will be affected by
the rule. "The FAA believes that this proposed rule would impose
minimal, if any, costs on supplemental type certificate applicants and
would impose no cost on type certificate applicants, because airplanes
in current production already meet the proposed noise standards," the
NPRM reads. Industry officials seem to agree. Lancair has certifications
pending but spokesman Mark Cahill said the company long ago adopted the
European noise standards as a marketing consideration.
The soon-to-be-created Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) class will not be
affected by the rule. EAA spokesman Earl Lawrence explained that Light
Sport Aircraft will not go through the regular certification process,
even though they will be delivered as complete aircraft. Because the
NPRM specifically includes only type certificate and supplementary type
certificate applications, LSA aircraft are exempt. LSA standards are
being set by an industry consensus process (with FAA oversight) and
manufacturers will swear an "affidavit of compliance" to those standards
to get manufacturing approval. Lawrence said there are currently no
noise limits but there might be in the future. More...
THE NEWLY CERTIFIED TWO-PLACE...
It's not uncommon for superlatives to be flying when a new airplane is
certified but Liberty
Aerospace spokesman Mike Fabianac says the FAA has bestowed a
coveted title on the company's new XL2. "Their primary concern is safety
and they told us this is going to be the safest GA airplane ever
produced," said Fabianac (we're looking forward to the mail incited by
that one). The XL2 is the first two-place light single to receive a type
certificate in over 30 years, Fabianac told us, and the first to be
certified with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), which
provoked even more exhaustive testing by the FAA. It took four years to
certify the airplane and the paperwork came through last Thursday.
Well, Volvo has proved that safety can sell, but airplane buyers also
look for performance. The XL2 fits an uncommon niche in that it only
seats two, an accommodation package usually reserved for trainers. The
Liberty folks reasoned that there were plenty of people who fly by
themselves or with only one other passenger on most of their flights and
might be attracted to a modern, relatively fast (150-mph cruise)
airplane that could carry them 500 miles at 27 miles per gallon (just in
case the wind stops blowing). By cutting out the back seats, Liberty was
also able to keep the price down to $140,000. So far, about 50 have been
BLAMES FAA FOR CRASH IN FOG
The family of a Texas doctor is suing the FAA for $25 million, saying
controllers gave Dr. George Swanson "bad information" just before his
Swearingen turboprop crashed in dense fog in Florida last November. The
suit alleges that Swanson, an experienced pilot, was flying much lower
than he should have been when the plane hit a wooded area short of the
runway at Craig Airport, near Jacksonville, Fla., last Thanksgiving. But
according to the NTSB
preliminary report of the crash, controllers had advised Swanson
that the weather was below minimums at Craig Airport (a quarter mile and
100 feet) and gave him alternates. Swanson tried the approach, anyway.
Members of Swanson's family apparently believe the FAA failed to
adequately warn the pilot that he was headed for disaster.
A Japanese newspaper has reported that Honda and Teledyne Continental
Motors (TCM) are close to a deal to produce piston engines for light
aircraft. But neither company is apparently willing to confirm or deny
the report. The Nihon Keizai newspaper said Honda and Teledyne are in
final negotiations on a 50-50 venture to market the engine in the U.S.
But Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith told Bloomberg News the report is
premature ... in spite of the fact the companies had been telling us to
expect an announcement before 2004. "Reports regarding the outcome of
the discussions are speculative," Smith said. The news article didn't
say where it got the information. More...
-- AN AIR FORCE AT WHAT COST?
Friday, an Indian air force MiG-21
crashed in a residential area near Jamnagar, killing at least four
people on the ground and injuring 14. The pilot ejected with minor
injuries. It was the second MiG-21 crash this month and at least the
30th in less than four years. Investigators haven't been able to find
two of the lost 40-year-old aircraft. At least 17 pilots have died.
Saturday's crash renewed calls to scrap the old jets, or to at least
properly train the pilots who fly them. The challenging MiG-21, with its
210-mph landing speed, is usually the first assignment for rookie pilots
coming out of training on much more docile aircraft, according to the
Times of India. More...
FLIGHTS AVAILABLE FOR SHUTTLE
Shuttle astronauts will have a Plan B if something goes wrong with the
spacecraft when it returns to service. The shuttle (it could be
Discovery or Atlantis) will be diverted to the International Space
Station (ISS) while a rescue mission is mounted using a second shuttle.
"We do plan to have a safe haven capability," Michael Kostelnik,
NASAs deputy associate administrator for both the ISS and shuttle
programs, told a conference on the future of the of the shuttle. "Though
a second vehicle would not be on the pad and primed to go." The crew of
the second shuttle would be trained for the rescue mission, if it became
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
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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)
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MIGHT BUY COMMANDER
of Bethany, Okla., could resume production this year if a buyout by Tiger Aircraft, of
Martinsburg, W.Va., is approved by shareholders. Tiger, which makes a
modern version of the Grumman model by the same name, has offered to buy
80 percent of the shares in Aviation General, the holding company that
owns Commander. Commander filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002. The
deal has to be approved by the 400 shareholders in Aviation General and
by the Delaware bankruptcy court. If it goes through, Tiger will have
added a heavier, more powerful, more luxurious and slightly faster
aircraft to its line. More...
SETS BUILDING LIMITS IN CRAWFORD
Until President Bush leaves office, anyone wanting to build or erect
anything more than 50 feet tall in his hometown of Crawford, Texas, will
not only need the normal building and zoning permits, he or she will
also require FAA approval. The purpose of the rule, finalized February
6, is to ensure that new construction doesn't get in the way of the
various low-level flight patterns the Marines and Secret Service have
worked out to make sure President Bush gets to his ranch in safety and
security. It's not only pilots that face restrictions in President
Bush's hometown. Now that the comments (all three of them) on the rule
have been received, read and pretty much discounted, the rule has been
ER, MEMORABILIA ON AUCTION
British Airways is getting rid of a huge inventory of useless parts and,
presumably, aiding a good cause. The airline has announced it will hold
a second auction of Concorde "memorabilia" from April 14 to April 17.
More than 150,000 spare parts, now considered collectors' items, will go
on the block in the four-day affair at Stoneleigh Park. Bidders will
also be able to take part online. Among the items for sale are
instruments, on-board computers, engines and parts, lights, sensors,
plates, knives, forks and spoons. More...
Australian pilot died after U.S.-owned civilian helicopter was fired on
FAA plane landed with one gear leg up, no one injured...
New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey challenged President Bush on FAA budget
Gulfstream 550 was awarded the Collier Trophy for technical achievement.
WINGX FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS NOW 30% OFF JUST
Hilton Software is now offering WingX, the leading
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WingX lets you do route planning with wind calculations it'll
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #71: "Fresh Annual" And Other Hooks For
The combination of a challenging national economy and fast-paced (but
not face-to-face) internet communication is causing more planes to be
sold in very poor mechanical condition with questionable -- if not
illegal -- documentation. AVweb's Rick Durden updates the old
buyer-beware maxim in The Pilot's Lounge.
The DreamLaunch Tour: Orlando and Greenville
Jamail Larkins is touring the United States as part of The DreamLaunch
Tour, a "barnstorming" effort to get youngsters in middle schools and
high schools thinking about careers in aviation. Every few weeks AVweb
will publish his travel journal, as well as the winning essays of
students from the schools he visits. Essay winners get a ride with
Jamail in a Cirrus SR20, bringing full-circle Jamail's aviation journey
that started with a flight at age 12 with the EAA Young Eagles program.
Jamail began the tour in Orlando, Fla., and Greenville, S.C.
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
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about Presidential TFRs, Honda jet engine claims,
funny airplane stories and more. More...
|HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION
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service and value no matter the geography. The service is provided
gratis and meets all the Consumer Guide dealership network
quality and service standards. For more information, visit Crewcar's web
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"While flying the Santa Monica VOR-A approach tonight, I heard SoCal
Approach: November XXXX say again type.
NXXXX: We're a Beech 19. You know, the little one.
Approach: Roger. So what you're saying is you're a little son of a
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT
Do you carry a first aid kit in your airplane or car?
AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first aid kits are packed with
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dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his long experience
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KITPLANES MAGAZINE'S MARCH ISSUE
"A Bush Pilot's Dream" is Canada-based Dream
Aircraft, a new face in kit manufacturing; "First-Time Builders"
guidelines; "Go-Stick Guidelines: Choosing A Prop"; "The Formula GT"
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insider offers a look behind the scenes at air racing; "Weight
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FINDING A BOOK THAT YOU MUST DEVOUR COVER-TO-COVER?
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We Welcome Your Feedback!
AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
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