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MIGRATION GROUNDED OVER PAID PILOTS
aircraft-led annual pilgrimage of whooping cranes from Wisconsin to
Florida has voluntarily suspended operations after a pilot raised
concerns that the flights may run afoul of federal regulations. The
problem is that ultralight pilots are not allowed to be compensated for
their work and Operation Migration pilots, who fly ultralights, are
compensated for theirs. The group's annual efforts use an ultralight
aircraft to guide locally bred whooping cranes across the country to the
birds' traditional winter migration destination. Once there, the birds
mix with more experienced birds that guide the return. An attorney for
the group -- which has operated for more than a decade -- says its
pilots don't want to knowingly violate FAA regulations and are seeking a
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2012 "EVENT" WILL FOLLOW 2011 FATAL CRASH
The Reno Air Racing
Association announced Wednesday that it is enlisting safety experts and
will formulate new procedures to guide an event this Sept. 12-16 that is
yet to be called an air race. The group is still waiting for various
approvals and permits from the FAA and Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority
following the fatal crash of a modified P-51 Mustang, Galloping Ghost,
at the Air Races, on Sept. 16 last year. Without racing permits, the
association still plans to hold an event but, according to association
president Mike Houghton, if racing is not allowed, the 2012 event will
be the last. The need for permits is not unusual, but they aren't the
only hurdle. More...
OF THE WEEK: SHOULD THE RACES GO ON?
The group that runs the
National Championship Air Races in Reno says there will be at
least one more gathering at Reno-Stead Airport, but it's up to the
powers that be to decide the form it will take. If you were pulling the
strings, what would it look like?
Plus: Last week, we
asked AVweb readers ; click through to read
what AVweb readers had to say on the subject. More...
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WILL CLOSE WICHITA PLANT
Boeing will close its facility in
Wichita, Kans., by the end of next year, the company said on Wednesday, putting 2,160 employees out of
work. "The decision to close our Wichita facility was difficult," said
Mark Bass, a Boeing spokesman. "We recognize how this will affect the
lives of the highly skilled men and women who work here." Over the last
five years, programs in Wichita have come to a close or are winding
down, the company said, and now defense budgets are declining and there
is no new business on the horizon to justify future investments. The
plant is the base for the company's B-52 and 767 international tanker
programs and also provides support for flight mission planning and
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WWII WRECK FOUND OFF FLORIDA COAST
A group of divers
accidentally found the mostly intact wreckage of a World War II-era
aircraft lying upside down on the sandy sea bottom off Jupiter, Fla.,
late last month. The airplane has been tentatively identified as a
relatively rare Curtiss Helldiver SB2C. "There is only one left in the
world that flies," said Randy Jordan, the dive-boat operator who found
the wreck, which appears on video to be in nearly intact condition.
"Nobody knew it was there, we just stumbled upon it," he told the local
CBS12 news. "It's like finding a treasure."
AIRPLANES BECOME ART IN TUCSON
Six retired military airplanes
have been transformed into "monumental works of art" for the Pima Air &
Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz., the museum announced this week. The
"Round Trip" exhibit, set to open on Jan. 28, will feature former Air
Force aircraft that had been stored for years in desert "boneyards."
Aircraft used as canvases include four DC-3s, a Beechcraft C-45 (a
military version of the Beech 18), and a Lockheed VC 140 Jetstar (a
1960s-era twin jet used for military transport). The cockpit from a
Boeing C-97 also was used as a canvas for the show. More than 30 artists
from around the world took part in the project. More...
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|USAF Drone Contract a Different Kind of Bidding
DESIGN A FINALIST FOR UAV PROGRAM
The U.S. Air Force is down
to two designs for its next drone project -- one from a military
contractor, and one from a class of seniors at the Air Force Academy,
the Air Force Times reported this week. The 2008 design by the cadets is
still in the running because it's so simple and should be cheaper to
produce, said Steve Brandt, a professor of aeronautics at the academy.
"The cadet design has survived a lot of subsequent development and is
still pretty much in its original form," he said. The design is "stable
and sleek," according to the Times, with a 24-foot wingspan and two T-38
engines. Cadets are still involved with the project, managing the
wind-tunnel tests for the design. More...
AVEMCO OFFER CFI INSURANCE PLAN
The National Association of
Flight Instructors (NAFI) and Avemco have teamed up for an insurance
program that targets the specific needs of instructors. The program will
offer CFIs greater flexibility in designing a policy that meets their
specific needs in terms of limits and even specific aircraft coverage.
"We have been working hard over the last year to find improvements in
non-owned aircraft insurance, including professional liability coverage,
for our members. We believe that as of today, the new NAFI CFI Insurance
Program, available exclusively to NAFI members, is a much improved
plan," said Jason Blair, Executive Director of NAFI. More...
LOBBY CELEBRATES EMBRAER CONTRACT
A report from Florida suggests Hawker Beechcraft was
out-politicked in its failed
bid for a $1 billion contract to supply the Air Force with light
attack aircraft. Sunshineslate.com says an aggressive effort by Florida
Gov. Rick Scott along with other state, federal and municipal leaders
resulted in the selection of Embraer's Super Tucano over Hawker Beech's
Texan II. Embraer will assemble the Super Tucanos in Jacksonville,
creating about 50 jobs. Meanwhile, Hawker Beechcraft has attracted some
after-the-fact attention from a Kansas congressman who wants the Air
Force to explain the decision. More...
AVWEB'S BUSINESS AVIATION NEWSLETTER
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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
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Visit the AVbuys
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F-106 CORN FIELD BOMBER, CONVAIR DELTA DART
an unusual story. The jet you're looking at is an F-106 Delta Dart. A
storied interceptor in its day, it was built to exceed an Air Force
requirement for 1.9 mach and continuous flight at 57,000 feet. It did
both. And in December 1959, it set a speed record, of 1,525 mph, or
about 2.3 mach, while flying at 40,000 feet. Its pilot at the time,
Major Joseph Rogers, claimed the record might not be accurate. He was
still accelerating, he said, at the time. But this particular jet is
famous for a different reason. More...
GOT AN OILY HANGAR FLOOR? THIS STUFF CAN SPRUCE IT UP
us dream of a gleaming gray expoxy-coated hangar floor illuminated by
the glare of bright lights. But most of us actually have oil-stained
concrete, dingy from years of abuse. If your floor is stained badly, a
product called ReKrete can help improve it. Aviation Consumer's
Paul Bertorelli demonstrates the product in this brief video.
OF THE WEEK: WALKER AVIATION (HENRY TIFT MYERS AIRPORT, TIFTON,
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Walker
Aviation at Henry Tift Myers Airport (TMA) in Tifton,
AVweb reader Cres Wise wrote in to explain
who the FBO's owner went far above and beyond to help a traveling
My student and I
were on a night cross-country (on a Friday night). On our third taxi
back, we had a flat nose tire. The FBO was closed for the day, but there
were phone numbers. Within a short time, Mr. Walker came and got our
airplane back to the ramp. But then he opened up the facility and took
care of us like family. He was over and above friendly and gracious. The
next morning, his staff assisted our mechanic. The cost: zero dollars.
The service: Priceless!! I'll be back to buy gas on future trips (during
normal business hours).
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 twice-weekly summary of the
latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on
world's premier independent aviation news resource.
AVwebFlash team is:
Jeff Van West
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