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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
FROM THE CHARLOTTE CRASH
When an Air Midwest Beech 1900D crashed in Charlotte, N.C., in January
2003, killing all 21 aboard, the loss of pitch control on takeoff
brought it down, the NTSB said in its final report on Thursday. The loss of control was
the result of incorrect rigging of the elevator control system and a
center of gravity that was substantially aft of the certified aft limit.
But the underlying causes were poor maintenance practices, inadequate
training of mechanics and a lack of oversight by the FAA. "This accident
shows how important it is for everyone involved in the safety chain to
do their jobs properly," said NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman-Conners.
TRAINING, FAA NEED IMPROVEMENT...
The NTSB issued a list of 21 safety recommendations directed at the FAA.
The FAA should specify that all critical flight systems must pass a
functional check before they are signed off, the board said. Procedures
for on-the-job training of mechanics need to be beefed up and clarified.
Maintenance workers must scrupulously follow proper procedures -- if
they had done so, the improperly rigged elevator would have been caught
and corrected, the safety board said. The NTSB also found that the FAA
was well aware of serious deficiencies in Air Midwest's
maintenance-training program but failed to deal with them. For its part,
the FAA notified the mechanics who worked on the plane that they didn't
violate any federal regulations, The Charlotte Observer reported.
RE-LEARNING WEIGHT AND BALANCE
The NTSB also said the weight averages used by air carriers to calculate
weight and balance are inadequate. The airlines need to collect current
and specific data that takes into account seasonal and regional
differences to develop better estimates. Further, systems should be
created for collecting actual weight data for each flight instead of
relying on estimates. Pilots of small aircraft already know how to get
accurate weights, of course -- you ask passengers to step onto a scale.
But people don't always like to do that, so airlines don't like to ask
them. "There is a passenger dignity issue involved," said David
Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association. More...
FAA, HERE TO HELP
The FAA has published a new Advisory Circular (AC) that for the first time
provides guidance to aircraft owners, operators and technicians on the
thorny topic of how to obtain FAA field approvals for aircraft
alterations. The 35-page document is the FAA's attempt to clarify and
standardize its policies and make that information available to the
public. The Aircraft Electronics Association called the AC "a
significant step forward in standardization of the field approval
process," but also said some details are vague and subject to
misinterpretation, and that it places an administrative burden on the
YOUR INPUT ON STREAMLINING...
The FAA is well aware that its mounds of regulations can accumulate over
time into something of a twisted morass. So it is asking for input from the aviation community for
help in deciding where it should amend, remove or simplify its regs.
"Getting public comments is a necessary element of our effort to make
our regulations more effective and less burdensome," the FAA said in its
request for comments, published last Wednesday. Commentators are asked
to limit their remarks to the three regulations they consider most
urgently in need of review, and list them in priority order. This is the
first review that includes 14 CFR Chapter III, the regulations governing
commercial space transportation. More...
DIS-DUPLICATING, DE-CONFLICTING, AND ETC.
The FAA said its goal is to identify regulations that impose undue
regulatory burden; are no longer necessary; or overlay, duplicate, or
conflict with other federal regulations. The FAA will review the issues
addressed by commentators and will publish a summary that indicates,
where appropriate, how it will adjust its regulatory priorities.
Comments will be taken until May 25, and can be filed online. The Docket Number
is FAA200417168. Parts 125 and 135 of the regs are already
in the midst of a regulatory review, so any comments on those parts
should be directed to that rule-making committee, the FAA said.
IN CONGRESS WOULD MANDATE NO-FLY ZONES
EAA raised the red flag Friday to warn of an amendment to the Homeland
Security Act of 2002 titled, "Secure Existing Aviation Loopholes Act."
The document includes a section titled "Security Requirements For
General Aviation" and its measures would place additional restrictions
on general aviation beyond what is already under consideration by the
TSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On Feb. 11, Rep. Edward J.
Markey (D-Mass.) proposed the bill (H.R. 3798 that would require the DHS to establish
no-fly zones around nuclear plants and chemical facilities for the
duration of any high threat levels, including level orange or above. The
zones could also be implemented anywhere else the DHS might designate,
at any time it deems appropriate. The bill would also require all GA
airports to complete "vulnerability assessments" and develop a plan for
addressing those vulnerabilities. More...
GLASS COCKPIT FLIES IN HONDAJET
The folks at Honda might not like to talk much about their little jet,
or its little engines -- which it plans to manufacture under a recent deal with GE -- but everyone else in the
aviation world sure wants to talk about them. On Friday, Garmin announced that its G1000 integrated avionics
system is onboard and flying in the experimental HondaJet. The jet is
equipped with a three-panel configuration of the G1000 system -- a
10-inch multifunction display flanked on either side by 10-inch primary
flight displays, Garmin said. The jet is currently undergoing 200 hours
of additional flight-testing at Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro,
N.C., Garmin said. More...
MOST MEMORABLE AVIATION RECORDS OF 2003
A radio-controlled model plane, the intrepid Flyin' Tiger and the
ubiquitous Steve Fossett were among the most memorable aviation
record-setters of 2003, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) said on
Thursday. The model airplane TAM-5 became the first aircraft of its type
to cross the Atlantic Ocean, traveling 1,882 miles from Newfoundland to
Ireland in under 39 hours. Bruce Bohannon pushed his homebuilt Flyin'
Tiger to 47,067 feet for a piston-engine altitude record in Texas.
Fossett zoomed coast-to-coast in a Citation X in under three hours,
averaging 726 mph, then made the same trip the next day in a turboprop
Piaggio Avanti, setting another record at 546 mph. More...
SHOULDER HARNESS AD EXPANDED
Improper installation of a spring may mean that some shoulder restraints
installed in some Cessna aircraft will not restrain. The FAA has added
10 more serial numbers to its long list of Cessna airplanes affected by
a proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) regarding
shoulder harnesses. The 10 additional numbers belong to Model TU206D
aircraft. Because of the change, the FAA is also extending its comment
period on the proposed AD until April 9. The FAA estimates this proposed
AD affects 75,329 Cessna airplanes in the U.S. registry that have
Cessna-designed, add-on shoulder-harness assembly accessory kits for the
pilot/co-pilot seats. To comply, owners must have the shoulder harness
inspected, and if a retainer spring is found, it must be removed.
DIAMOND ENGINEERS REDESIGN DA40 PANEL TO OPTIMIZE FORM
AND FUNCTION Diamond's DA40 is the platform for the first
certified installation of Garmin's new integrated glass panel. The G1000
offers better situational awareness by rolling the functions of
conventional panel-mounted instruments into two 10-inch
sunlight-readable displays, including digital audio, a WAAS-capable IFR
GPS, VHF navigation with ILS and VHF communication, 8.33-kHz-channel
spacing, Mode S, solid-state attitude and heading, a digital air data
computer and optional weather and terrain data all hooked up to a
Bendix/King KAP two-axis autopilot. The jet-style, laser-etched
polycarbonate overlay adds the final high-tech touch. For more
information on the DA40 and Diamond Aircraft's other innovative aircraft
designs, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.
PILOTS SEEK SUPPORT FOR LIABILITY RELIEF LEGISLATION
The folks with the Air Care Alliance are putting out a call to all
volunteer pilots who fly for charitable causes to support a bill now in Congress that would provide "Good
Samaritan" liability relief. Letters from pilots and face-to-face
meetings with representatives are a vital tool in gaining support for
the bill, the Alliance says. At its Web site, the Alliance has posted detailed suggestions for finding your Congressional
representatives, what to talk to them about, and how to lobby for their
support. If enacted, this legislation would address concerns about
limited, high cost or unavailable liability insurance for public-benefit
QUESTIONS TSA'S REPAIR-STATION SECURITY CONCERNS
The TSA held a meeting Friday about security at repair stations --
and the stand taken by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) was
that not only has the TSA failed to show that there is any problem with
repair-station security, but the effort to improve it might actually
make it worse. "We are concerned that, while the current risks may be
small, the process of publicly developing new -- and, some would say,
unnecessary ---security mandates may actually create new threats and
vulnerabilities," ARSA legislative counsel Christian Klein told the TSA.
"We wonder whether the TSA, by raising these issues and drawing
attention to perceived security gaps, is not potentially creating a
greater problem than it is solving." More...
NONIN FLIGHTSTAT MARKED DOWN TO $367.35 AT
The Nonin FlightStat is the world's smallest and
lowest-cost precision instrument for measuring oxygen saturation in the
bloodstream. Think of it as a "hypoxia meter" that warns you when you're
becoming hypoxic and measures precisely how much supplemental oxygen you
need to avoid impairment to your pilot skills. Aeromedix also carries
Nonin's full line of prescription-only pulse oximeters for medical use.
Aeromedix is one of Nonin's largest distributors, and nobody beats their
pulse-ox prices. Order by calling (888) 362-7123 and mentioning this
AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
Aviation Foundation of America seeks support to stop
Entry kits now available for cross-country air races...
AirVenture to open a new homebuilt camping area and headquarters...
Liberty Aerospace won a 2004 Aerospace Industry Award...
Nine died in a Super King Air 200 crash in Bosnia last Thursday.
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/
AVweb's Business AVflash this week sneaks a peek at the draft that may
become a formal outline for regulated general aviation security. Some
new jets are rolling off the line at Cessna while business aviation
celebrates its "safest" year and a close look at GAMA's annual numbers
may show reason for economic optimism. Sign up and read the latest...
UPDATE YOUR FLIGHT BAG WITH AN ASA FLIGHT
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
#78: Props Driving Engines
If your CFI (or mechanic) instructed you never to let the propeller
drive the engine, or never to run the engine "oversquare," it's time for
a reality check. AVweb's John Deakin addresses a few more of these
engine myths that started back in the days of radial-engines.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about the Army's Comanche helicopter, the scenic tour
NPRM, and more. More...
From our "Fans of Business AVflash" file:
re: Business AVflash Volume 2, Issue 4 -- February 25, 2004.
You referred to "East Overshoe, Wyoming" in your articleabout the TSA.
East Overshoe is in Connecticut. The town you're thinking of is Medicine
Breath, Wyoming. More...
MAGAZINE'S SPRING REVIEW
Just like in every issue, Pilot
Getaways' Spring Issue leads you to some aviation-friendly
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international airport in San Francisco, a WWII-themed hotel in Texas
even a gravel bush strip in the California mountains. Don't miss
out on the best information for flying with your airplane. Subscribe
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WINGX FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS NOW 30% OFF JUST
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CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
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AVIATION CONSUMER'S USED AIRCRAFT
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YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT
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We Welcome Your Feedback!
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Let's all be careful out there, okay?
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