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REMOTE-CONTROLLED PLANE TERROR PLOT
26-year-old US citizen,
Rezqan Ferdaus was arrested Wednesday, charged with plotting to attack
the Pentagon and US Capital with plastic explosive-laden
remote-controlled aircraft. Reports state that an affidavit said
recorded conversations caught Ferdaus talking about using three remote
control aircraft like small kamikaze-drones by packing them with C-4 and
slaving their controls to GPS equipment. The plan allegedly involved six
gunmen divided into two teams. Authorities say those teams were to serve
to increase the death toll and chaos at the pre-selected impact sites in
Washington, DC. A multi-agency effort culminated in the delivery by
undercover FBI agents of fake explosives and weapons to Ferdaus' home,
allegedly at his request. More...
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CAUCUS BACK AT WORK IN D.C.
With Congress now back in
session, the General Aviation Caucus is playing a role in keeping GA
issues on the agenda. "I think we're ultimately going to be able to keep
user fees out of the FAA reauthorization bill," U.S. Rep. Sam Graves,
R-Mo., who co-chairs the GA Caucus in the House, told AVweb last
week at the AOPA Summit. He said three contentious issues need to be
worked out to get a full reauthorization bill through Congress:
essential air service, which subsidizes passenger service to small
communities; a labor issue that will affect whether airline employees
are allowed to unionize; and the actual funding. The funding has mainly
been settled, he said, but the other two issues are contentious.
Nonetheless, he was hopeful: "We had hundreds of issues out there that
we were able to solve
we're down to two," he said.
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FLIGHT CHALLENGE DOWN TO FOUR TEAMS
By Wednesday, only four
of the original 13 contenders were still in the running for the $1.65
million NASA prize purse in the Green Flight Challenge. The event, which
is ongoing in Santa Rosa, Calif., through the weekend, has eliminated
all the contenders except PhoEnix, Pipistrel-USA, Embry-Riddle
Aeronautical University's EcoEagle, and e-Genius. All met a noise level
no greater than 78 dBA at full-power takeoff, measured from 250 feet
away. "This is the dawn of electric flight, right here, right now," Mark
Moore, an aerospace engineer with NASA, told the Sonoma County Press-Democrat. "This is a Lindbergh moment."
FLYER NAVIGATES MOUNTAIN GAP
Wingsuit flyer Jeb
Corliss successfully flew through a narrow tunnel in a Chinese mountain
region on Saturday. The gap between two peaks, known as Tianmen Hole, is
just 96 feet wide and about 360 feet tall. Corliss jumped from a Red
Bull helicopter and landed safely with a parachute on a bridge. "That
was one of the greatest wingsuit flights of my entire life," Corliss
said. After navigating through the tunnel, Corliss had to continue
flying through the narrow mountain gap for about two-thirds of a mile
before he could safely open his chute. More...
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NOW HIRING IN WICHITA
Piper Aircraft will hold a job fair in
Wichita, Kans., next week, the company said on Wednesday. About 20
positions are open for engineers and designers, all of them based at the
company headquarters in Vero Beach, Fla. The company has already tried
to fill the jobs locally, Piper spokeswoman Jackie Carlon told
AVweb on Wednesday. "We always search first in Indian River
County and then the state of Florida, before looking elsewhere," she
said. "These are all highly skilled positions." Most of the new hires
will be put to work on the Altaire jet project, she said.
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ALL-AFRICAN MILITARY PLANE
The South African aeronautical
firm Aerosud announced this week the Ahrlac high-wing tandem-seat pusher
aircraft design, which may break new ground for South African aviation.
South Africa has produced light aircraft before and a quarter century
ago designed an attack helicopter, but the Ahrlac (short for Advanced
High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft) may be the first modern
all-African aircraft purpose built to fill roles that include military
operations. Aerosud plans to fly it for the first time next year. It
will be built with six underwing hardpoints that can carry weapons or
external fuel tanks. Aerosud has designed the aircraft for multi-role
capability by making part of the fuselage itself, swappable.
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TARGETS PHENOM WITH M2
In a move that caught most in the
aviation industry flat-footed, Cessna announced a new bizjet model late
Monday. The Citation M2 is said to bridge the gap between the $3 million
Mustang entry-level jet and the $7 million CJ series and it will compete
directly with the Embraer Phenom 100, offering a little more range and
speed. Cessna is putting the M2 on the market at $4.195 million, about
$500,000 more than the Phenom 100. "Operator feedback and owner insight
have indicated a market for a Citation with the size, speed and range of
the Citation M2. We expect to see customers new to the Citation family,
Mustang owners looking for a logical next step or CJ1+ operators who
want a new, more advanced Citation," said Scott Ernest, Cessna president
and CEO. More...
CHINA SUMMIT: AN EARFUL FOR GOVERNMENT
Parallel to AOPA
Summit in Hartford last week, AOPA China held its own first summit in
Beijing last week. More than 400 people attended the two-day event. This
year's AOPA China Summit was in the form of convention and focused on
the mission of providing prime opportunities for dialogues and
networking among the Chinese government, general aviation organizations
and industry members worldwide. Officials from Civil Aviation
Administration of China (CAAC), Air Traffic Management Bureau (ATMB),
Beijing City Government as well as a number of provincial governments
joined the convention and heard a straightforward message from Feng
Zhang, Deputy Director General of AOPA China. "The nation's airspace is
a public domain," Zhang said in his speech. "Therefore our government
should relax its control to allow the general public access to their own
sky. It is the authorities' duty to assist the people with better
utilizing our airspace by introducing favorable regulations, building
infrastructure and reducing taxes on aircraft purchases, etc." John
Sheehan, IAOPA's Secretary General, said he was impressed by Zhang's
direct and blunt public message. 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
Add AVwebBiz to your AVweb
subscriptions today by clicking
here and choosing "Update E-mail Subscriptions."
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: THIRD CLASS MEDICALS AND RECREATIONAL FLYING
and AOPA will propose to the FAA that the driver's license medical that
now applies to Sport Pilot certificate holders be expanded, and their
initial suggestion is that it be limited to the ability to fly
four-place aircraft (with one passenger) having 180 horsepower or less,
fixed gear, day VFR. What do you think?
Plus: On our way
out the door to the AOPA Summit two weeks ago, we was AVweb
readers what aviation issue they believe should be AOPA's top priority
as an organization. Click through to see the breakdown of answers.
Traditional Tactics Need a
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OF THE WEEK: ATLANTIC AVIATION (KGPT, GULFPORT,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Atlantic Aviation at Gulfport-Biloxi
International Airport (KGPT) in Gulfport,
AVweb reader John Hunt gave this
location a stellar recommendation:
Incredible service! You would think I was pulling up in a G450
the way they treated us. We were met at the line by two extremely
professional folks with a rental car, all paperwork filed out.
Additionally, when it was time to leave, all my bills were in order, the
plane was fueled, and they returned our rental car. I'd fly out of my
way to use the services of Atlantic at KGPT!
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...
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...