The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
IT A RIDE OR AN AIR TOUR?
The FAA should withdraw its proposal to impose new regulations on
air-tour operators, EAA said last week, and start over. "The very
foundation of this proposal is so flawed," EAA said in its 15-page comment, filed on Thursday, "... [the FAA
should] re-evaluate the data and rewrite the proposed rule to more
appropriately reflect any legitimate safety concerns." The FAA's Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, published last October (also available online here), would require sightseeing tours that now
operate under Part 91 to be certificated and to comply with new rules
regarding low-level flight, visibility and over-water ops. The NPRM also
proposes new rules to cover flights during charitable events. The
proposed rules would affect sightseeing flights including those
conducted by flight schools, flights in unique aircraft such as EAA's
B-17 bomber and Ford Tri-Motor, and vintage-aircraft flights around the
SAFETY RECORD IS DISPUTED...
EAA said the safety statistics cited by the FAA fail to prove that there
is any problem. "Nearly all of the accidents referenced in the NPRM
occurred during operations that were either being conducted under a Part
135 certificate or were otherwise in violation of existing and adequate
regulations," EAA said. "This leads us to believe that compliance and a
lack of enforcement of existing regulations is at the heart of any
notable safety deficiencies rather than a need for changing the
regulations themselves." Already more than 1,800 comments have been
filed to the NPRM docket, and the comment period extends until April 19.
FAA SEEMS DETERMINED
During an "online public meeting" conducted on the topic
earlier this month, hundreds of e-mails were exchanged between concerned
pilots and FAA staff. In the meeting, FAA spokeswoman Alberta Brown said
the FAA is likely to be flexible on some parts of its NPRM, but not on
others. "We may consider not regulating you under Part 135," she said.
"We will likely not be willing to let you continue to conduct unlimited
air tours with 200-hour private pilots. Additionally, consistent with
the NTSB recommendations, the FAA is not inclined to maintain the
current 25-mile exception." Brown said the FAA is concerned not only
with accidents that have already occurred, but with trying to prevent
future accidents. More...
PILOT INSURANCE CENTER (PIC) IS YOUR BEST
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AIRCRAFT FACE REGULATORY HURDLES
When the FAA published a rule a couple of weeks ago declaring
invalid all the alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) it had
previously OK'd for dealing with T-34 wing-spar concerns, it left the
fleet up in the air, so to speak. Would the new rule, which takes effect
today, mean that the airplanes would have to be grounded? It seems that
many will, because although the FAA had approved one revised AMOC by
last Thursday, and at least two more are in the pipeline, the shops that
are authorized to do the work are already backlogged. "These backlogs
could lead to significant delays in scheduling and extended down time
for aircraft owners," said AOPA's Luis Gutierrez. More...
CESSNA WING-SPAR AD APPEARS INEVITABLE...
Meanwhile, Cessna twin drivers are also facing the prospect of a
complicated, $70,000-per-aircraft Airworthiness Directive affecting their 400-series
models. During a two-day meeting earlier this month with owners and
industry reps, the FAA "made the case for potential structural problems
with the twin Cessnas' wing spars," according to AOPA's Luis Gutierrez, "and justified the agency's
moving forward with developing the directives." As proposed, the ADs
would require an estimated 485 man-hours' work costing up to $70,000 per
aircraft. That could ground much of the fleet of nearly 1,500 Cessna
401, 401A, 401B, 402, 402A, 402B, 402C, 411, 411A, and 414A aircraft and
cost more than many of these aircraft are worth, AOPA said.
WORRIES PERSIST OF MORE TO COME
According to the Cessna Twin Spar Corp., an owners' group, the
400-series AD is only the tip of the iceberg. "We have been assured by
Cessna and FAA personnel (speaking off-the-record) that ALL twin Cessna
models will soon be affected by similar ADs," according to the group's
Web site. At the meeting, the FAA said it has no information that
indicates an unsafe condition exists in other models. However, the FAA
said it "is aware that Cessna is evaluating the adequacy of other
models' spars, [and] FAA will evaluate Cessna's data when it is
submitted." The PowerPoint presentations from the meeting are
available online. More...
FADEC NOW STANDARD EQUIPMENT IN LIBERTY XL2|
Now available as
standard equipment in the FAA-certified Liberty XL2,
Teledyne-Continental Motors' PowerLink FADEC improves fuel economy by up to 15-20% versus
standard injected engines while reducing pilot workload and improving
overall engine operation. PowerLink FADEC is also TC'd for the Lycoming
IO 360, as well as STC'd for several models of the Beech Bonanza.
Contact Teledyne-Continental today to find out how you can bring your
aircraft into the digital age. Go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/fadec/avflash.
TO HEAR FROM GA ON DCA ACCESS
The U.S. House tomorrow will hear testimony from GA industry folk who
are hoping to secure access to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
has been off-limits to non-scheduled operators since 9/11. The National Business Aviation Association's
President Shelley Longmuir will be there, as will NATA President James
K. Coyne. The hearing, which will be held at 2 p.m. at Signature Flight
Support at DCA, is being held by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by Rep.
John Mica (R-Fla.). Also on the agenda is the continuing impact on GA
operations of TFRs. More...
ANTENNA TECHNOLOGY COULD IMPROVE TRACKING CAPABILITIES
A new method for embedding antennas in the load-bearing structures of
composite aircraft wings could lead to antennas as large as the surface
area of a wing, which would be able to detect slow-moving ground targets
beneath dense foliage. That task had previously been impossible with
conventional antennas. The antenna could also simultaneously track
air-to-air missile threats. Northrop Grumman Corp. said last Thursday it will
work with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop the
technology. The five-year, $12 million effort could benefit unmanned
aerial reconnaissance systems such as the Air Force's Global Hawk.
A BRAND NEW AIRCRAFT FOR THE COST OF A SECOND
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AIM TO RAISE $100,000 FOR ANGEL FLIGHT EAST
Tomorrow, two pilots in Virginia plan to take off and land at 100
airports in their state within 24 hours, to raise $100,000 for Angel Flight
East. The record flight will begin and end at Dulles Airport, with
landings at all 67 public-use runways in Virginia and selected military
and private fields on the circuit. The trip will cover about 1,500
nautical miles and take 16 to 18 hours. Two Marine Corps pilots, Charles
"Lindy" Kirkland and Robert "Blitz" Krieg, will fly a brand-new
Centennial Edition SR22 compliments of Cirrus Design. Angel Flight East,
a nonprofit organization, provides free air transportation for those in
need of medical treatment far from home through its volunteer fleet of
pilots and aircraft owners. More...
PLANES OK AFTER MIDAIR
Two Cessna 185 float planes collided over Vancouver Island on Friday,
but both were able to land safely. Both aircraft were on patrol for
Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, but they were operating
from different bases and communicating on different frequencies.
According to Bill Yearwood, of Canada's Transportation Safety Board,
"One aircraft was exiting Nanoose Bay when the other aircraft appeared
in front of it in a steep bank." The float of one plane hit the tail of
the other. "The pilots were able to maintain control of the aircraft,"
said Yearwood. "They established radio contact and assessed each other's
damage in flight, and then proceeded to their home bases."
ISSUES TYPE CERTIFICATE TO NEW ZEALAND UTILITY AIRCRAFT
Corp. (PAC) announced last week it has been issued a Type
Certificate from the FAA for its PAC 750 XL single-engine piston
airplane, the first passenger aircraft to be designed and manufactured
in New Zealand. Targeted for the skydiving industry, the airplane has
generated interest among operators for a variety of uses, and PAC says
it has options to deliver 260 of them. The 750 XL is a fixed-gear,
low-wing utility plane powered by a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-34 rated at
750 hp. It has a 4,400-pound useful load and a high-lift wing. The
company says it can carry 17 fully equipped skydivers to 12,000 feet in
about 12 minutes, and sells for about $1 million. More...
MARINES DIE IN CITATION CRASH
Four Marines died Wednesday night when their UC-35D aircraft, a military
version of a Cessna Citation Encore, crashed on approach to Miramar Marine Corps
Air Station, near San Diego. The plane crashed about 8:45 p.m.,
about a mile and a half east of the airstrip, and burned. The crew
didn't report any problems prior to the crash. They had been on a
routine training mission to Grand Junction, Colo., and were on their way
home. The aircraft was reportedly making an instrument approach, and
there was fog in the area. It was the first deadly crash on the base in
more than 20 years. The crash will be investigated by a military board.
IN AVIATION CONFERENCE WRAPS IN RENO
Women in Aviation
International (WAI) wrapped up its 15th annual conference Saturday
night, closing as usual with a banquet and the distribution of dozens of
scholarships and grants for flight and maintenance training. This year's
largesse totaled over $400,000. More than 2,000 people came to the
conference in Reno, Nev., in search of career opportunities, guidance,
or just inspiration and camaraderie. At the opening session, Secretary
of the Air Force Dr. James Roche got a standing ovation when he
announced the U.S. Air Force will distribute information to its
personnel about WAI and its programs. More...
FDR found from crash 10 years ago that killed two African
A Bangladesh airline pilot was attacked by a stray cat in the
China may build its own airliners to meet demand of 2,400 jets...
FAA grounded Air East, operator of a Learjet that crashed in
Northwest CEO said airlines subsidize private pilots, AOPA to
Lancair said its new equipment will double production capacity...
NATA's 2004 Convention set for May 18-20 in Las Vegas...
SafireJet to debut cockpit/cabin mock-up at NBAA convention in
Air Care Alliance annual meeting set for April 30 - May 1 in Palm
IN CASE OF FIRE, AN EVAC-U8 ESCAPE HOOD FROM AEROMEDIX CAN
Whether it's smoke in the cockpit or a fire in
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EVAC-U8 has a canopy made of DuPont Kapton that protects your head,
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HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #30: Spring Cleaning
After being grounded due to a medical condition, AVweb's Ceo of the
Cockpitreturns to the flight line and finds himself a bit behind in his
approachplate updates. This reminds him to go back and clean out the
mental cobwebsaround all key pre-flight procedures. More...
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
Reader mail this week about the de-ice debacle, C152 sport planes, age
vs.accident rates and more. More...
WINGX FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS NOW 30% OFF JUST
Hilton Software is now offering WingX, the leading
Pocket PC Aviation product, for 30% off. Hilton Software has just added
AC61-65D (endorsements) and NWS Contractions to their document database
WingX already provides fast access to FARs 1, 43, 61, 91, 119,
141, and 830, as well as the Pilot/Controller Glossary. WingX does
graphical W&B calculations with over 200 pre-defined aircraft models.
WingX lets you do route planning with wind calculations; it'll even tell
you how much the wind is helping or hindering your progress! WingX has
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is due or when your BFR expires? Let WingX keep track of these dates and
many more. Hilton Software is pleased to offer WingX to you for just
$39.99 thats 30% below the normal price. The demo is free
download it now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hiltonsoftware/avflash.
From our gender issues file...
During an IFR training flight, while
getting vectored to the ILS-35, on a heading of 090...
(female controller): Cardinal XXX, turn left heading 350 to
intercept, cleared for the approach... Sorry for the bad vector, if you
go through the localizer, continue left turn to 330 to
Cardinal XXX (male instructor): No problem, it was a
perfect turn on...
... to the final approach course I mean!
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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TOO CAN BE A WINNER WITH SCHEYDEN, AVIATION'S FINEST
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CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
AirPower Software offers multiple software
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SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN
During the month of March, Pilotmall.com is offering a
complimentary soft leather ID holder with a stamped airplane on the
cover (a $19.99 value) with any order of Pilotmall's quality leather
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NEW PHOTON FREEDOM MICRO IS A POWERFUL FULL-FEATURED
The NEW Photon Freedom Micro incorporates
LRI's new "freedom" circuitry to provide many of the same functions
already available in the Photon 3 microlight, but with an all-new
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THE PILOT WHO HAS EVERYTHING TAKE ANY VEHICLE FOR A
Carprop is a free-spinning propeller mounted on the
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SQUEEZE, BANG, BLOW, MAKE IT GO WITH POWER FLOW TUNED EXHAUST
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