The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
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GA TRAFFIC JAM, LOCALIZED...
As air traffic volumes -- both GA and commercial -- rebound, we can't
help but wonder if Sunday afternoons at Palm Beach International Airport
(PBI) are a harbinger of things to come, particularly if the air taxi
business takes off the way some predict it will. The FAA now routinely
cuts arrivals at PBI by one-third on Sunday afternoons so that weekend
visitors to the tourist area can get out. FAA spokesman Christopher
White told AVweb that most of those flying into PBI in private
aircraft (up to 400 each winter weekend) want to be back at their desks
on Monday morning. "The problem is they arrive over a period of one or
two days but they all want to leave on Sunday afternoon," White said.
Until the new procedures were put in place, delays of up to three hours
plagued both commercial and private departures on Sunday afternoons.
SYMBOLIC OF A NATIONAL TREND?
The Palm Beach situation could be a microcosm of the double-whammy
effect of 9/11 on both commercial and private aircraft operations.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, corporate aviation traffic
is up by 25 percent at PBI, largely because of the increased hassle and
inconvenience of commercial air travel caused by beefed-up security
precautions. At the same time, airline numbers are recovering to
pre-9/11 levels and the inevitable result is too many airplanes trying
to use the same facilities. White said he's unaware of any other
airports imposing arrivals restrictions. In January, the FAA ordered
United Air Lines and American Airlines to cut a total of 62 flights to
Chicago O'Hare during peak hours to reduce delays. More...
CAN BE A WINNER WITH SCHEYDEN, AVIATION'S FINEST EYEWEAR
surprised that I won and even more surprised at the quality of these
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a retail value up to $395! The unique flip-up design has become
the choice of pilots who demand quality and function in every aspect of
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For more information (and to register to win), go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.
GROWS FOR AVIATION'S LATEST GASEOUS SAC
If safety sells, Mooney may be hoping a new airbag option on its Ovation
2 DX/GX and Bravo DX/GX models will help its customers forget about the
parachutes proliferating on at least one worthy competitor. For an extra
$6,000, Mooney buyers will now be able to add Amsafe
seatbelt/airbag combinations to all four seats. The seatbelts, which are
a little thicker than regular webbing, contain the airbag and inflation
system that throws a cushion of air between occupant and airframe when
sensors detect a 9-G deceleration. "We strongly feel that by offering
the inflatable seatbelt we have not only listened to our current
customers but have addressed the issue of increasing safety with no need
for other uncontrollable devices such as a parachute system," said
Mooney VP Nicolas Chabbert. More...
AIRLINES SHOW INTEREST...
Airlines are the main marketing target for Amsafe and dozens have
already installed the airbags, but usually only on specific seats in the
aircraft. If you want the additional safety an airbag might offer,
choose a seat in the first row or right behind any mid-cabin bulkheads.
However, you may be trading the additional breathing space those seats
used to offer for the airbag on your lap. Current regulations require
those seats to be at least 41 inches from the wall so that a passenger
won't hit his or her head in a crash. Seats in the rest of the plane are
usually about 32 inches apart. The installation of the airbag removes
that requirement for extra space at the bulkheads, possibly meaning an
extra row or two can be stuffed into the plane. Not all applications
make the cheap seats even cheaper, however. The airbags help "upper
class" customers on Virgin Atlantic get a good night's sleep.
Although it appears the airlines are embracing the inflatable seatbelts
to possibly squeeze in more seats or enhance passenger comfort, Amsafe
says there are sound safety reasons to equip aircraft with its airbags.
It cites an NTSB study that estimates that 77 percent of aircraft
accidents are survivable, but unconscious victims die in the post-crash
fire. The company claims the airbags help prevent passengers from being
knocked out by the initial impact so they can get out of the wreckage.
Amsafe spokesman Larry Williams told The Arizona Republic he believes
FAA standards will eventually catch up with the technology. "But we feel
they eventually will go the way of automobile airbags once people
realize they can save lives in crashes," he said. "Airbags in cars have
had a huge impact on preventing injuries. These will do the same thing."
PUSH FOR WASHINGTON ACCESS
The National Business Aircraft Association, AOPA, the General Aviation
Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the National Air Transportation
Association gave presentations Tuesday at a congressional hearing to
urge the creation of a workable set of security procedures to allow
bizjets back into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
"[T]he fact is that our nation's security organizations have not failed
to find a workable solution that will bring general aviation back to
[DCA] -- it is that they have failed to even try," said GAMA President
Ed Bolen. It was also noted that the FAA has failed to provide written
justification for the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ),
as mandated by the FAA reauthorization bill. AOPA President Phil Boyer
used the hearing to proclaim, "College Park Airport is our Reagan
National, and needs to be set free." More...
CALLS FOR TRANSPARENCY ... AGGRESSIVELY
Citing the fall of Enron, Tyco, Pharmalat and Martha Stewart (and with
all the competitive zeal of a presidential campaign), Eclipse Aviation
Tuesday announced what may be both a timely and
popular shift in philosophy. "At Eclipse, we have pondered how to
provide increased transparency," wrote President and CEO Vern Raburn,
whose company once upon a time withheld from anyone but its investors
its production process and order numbers while also seeking orders for
its then non-existent jet (a practice not so uncommon in the industry).
Tuesday, Eclipse declared, "Let Me Show You Why What I Say Is True," and
labeled its competition -- specifically Adam, Avocet and Safire -- as
"new companies [in which] transparency has been sorely missing."
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT IN YOUR
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and QuickBooks. For a no-obligation online demonstration, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/timesy/avflash.
SUSPENDED FOR TORNADO-LANDING ATTEMPT
A Northwest Airlines pilot who attempted to land at Sioux Falls Airport
last year near a tornado has had his certificate suspended by the FAA
for 45 days. But Michael Hughes gets to keep flying while he appeals the
suspension. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that the FAA found
that Hughes violated regulations by ignoring warnings about severe
weather, including an approaching twister. Despite the warnings, Hughes
continued his approach and asked for a clearance to go lower. The report
says wind shear finally caused the plane to go briefly out of control.
The pilot then diverted the DC-9 to Omaha, where it landed safely.
BATTLE AEROBATICS PRACTICE AREA
The battle for the skies over Iowa County, Wisconsin, has reached the
halls of Congress as residents of the rural area step up a campaign to
ban low-level aerobatic practice near their homes. "Imagine someone
holding a chainsaw next to your head hours on end, day after day,"
Coleman (he uses one name), a software designer who works out of his
home on 46 acres in rural Mineral Point, told the Wisconsin State
Journal. Competition aerobatic pilots Jeff Mawhinney and Harvey Tidball
received a low-level waiver for a box over the Iowa County Airport a
year ago and it's up for renewal this month. Neighbors have contacted
their federal representatives to pressure the FAA into not renewing the
waiver. The contest is not so unique and pilots at Hanscom field in Massachusetts may be
taking note. More...
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.
PIPER ADDS TO STAFF
As layoffs continue at some aircraft manufacturers, New Piper has
actually added about 100 employees since being purchased by American
Capital Strategies about six months ago. The company now employs about
820 people, about half its full-production complement of 1,600.
Spokesman Mark Miller told TCPalm.com that a resumption of engine
deliveries from Lycoming (previously affected by a crankshaft debacle)
was a major factor in the hiring trend. Production was halted on several
Piper models last year when Lycoming recalled 540-series engines to
replace their crankshafts. But, as with many other manufacturers, it was
a federal tax provision that powered Piper's recovery and the company is
going to extraordinary lengths to help ensure it is extended.
STATE'S APPROACH TO GA SECURITY
Tennessee continues to funnel money for security measures at GA airports
and the initiatives follow a familiar theme. The state's Department of
Transportation is distributing $1 million in federal grants to build
fences, install gates and add lighting at some of its 69 GA airports.
Individual airports are eligible for up to $50,000 each year for the
upgrades. Airport operators like the improvements in the physical
security of airports but Jon Glass, director of the Tullahoma Airport
Authority, said it's the people who use the airports who are the most
important safeguard against improper use. "We are in a situation here
where everybody still kind of knows each other," Glass told The
Tennessean. "If someone sees something suspicious, it's a matter of
dealing with it." More...
AEROSHELL GIVES YOUR AIRPLANE SHINE AND
AeroShell, a trusted name for oil and lubricants,
has a line of appearance products designed specifically for general
aviation aircraft. The AeroShell Flight Jacket products can be purchased
in a convenient leak-proof bag designed for easy carrying and storage.
The AeroShell Flight Jacket Kit Bag contains all six AeroShell Flight
Jacket Polish and Cleaners, along with the application pad and cleaning
cloths. Order AeroShell Flight Jacket products at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/shell/avflash.
ENGINES INCLUDED IN CRANKSHAFT BOLT AD
A new Airworthiness Directive (AD) has been issued
(for an old Mandatory Service Bulletin) to include 161
engines not included in a rule concerning the replacement of crankshaft
retaining bolts on Lycoming 540-series engines. The latest rule takes
effect at the end of the month, with no notice period, because of the
serious nature of the problem. However, it comes about six months after
Lycoming issued a Service Bulletin listing the affected engines.
Pilot disorientation is the probable cause of a Cirrus SR-22 crash Jan.
A student pilot survived five days in the Malaysian jungle, his
instructor did not...
The Collings Foundation's B-17, B-24 and B-25
bombers will visit Austin, Texas. More...
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Savvy Aviator #3: Whom Can You Trust?
As aviators, we often find ourselves in the position of having to trust
other people with our lives, our safety, and our financial well-being.
We trust air traffic controllers to keep us from hitting anything,
mechanics to keep our aircraft airworthy, engine manufacturers and
overhaul shops to build engines that won't quit, salesmen and brokers to
help us find an aircraft to buy, insurance agents to help us protect
against contingencies, and so forth. But whom can you really trust? Mike
Busch offers some thoughts on that subject. More...
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
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MAGAZINE'S SPRING REVIEW
Just like in every issue, Pilot
Getaways' Spring Issue leads you to some aviation-friendly
destinations around the country: A grass strip on Cape Cod, an
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
today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/getaways/avflash.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb wants to know what our readers are paying for hangar
and storage costs. Plus, results from last week's poll on the widening
gap between technology and training. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Breath-taking images continue to roll into AVweb headquarters by the
dozen! It's getting harder and harder to pick a winner, but these nifty
AVweb ball caps aren't going to give themselves away so it's nose
to the grindstone, looking at our readers' stunning photo submissions
week after week. After much deliberation, we've awarded this week's
"POTW" title (and a complimentary baseball cap) to Gary Dikkers of
Madison, Wisconsin. His winning T-38 cockpit photo was taken 30 years
ago in the skies over Pueblo, Colorado. Dikkers was an Air Force
instructor pilot at the time and worked hard to line the sun flare up
with the IP's usual position in the backseat. "I wanted it to look as
though the IP of the other airplane was all-powerful," writes Dikkers.
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
PILOTS ASSOCIATION (CPA) HAS OPENINGS IN MARCH 27-28
There are a few openings left for CPA's "182R &
Earlier Systems & Procedures" seminar scheduled for March 27-28 in Santa
Maria, CA. Member or non-member, nowhere else can you find all the
answers to any questions about Cessna aircraft's systems and procedures.
You've invested a lot of time and money in your aircraft with
CPA's help, you can have a working relationship with it. Call (800)
343-6416 or (805) 922-2580 and mention this AVflash, or go online for
more information on courses, seminars, and the benefits of CPA
membership at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa/avflash.
HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION
You read right! CrewCar and Consumer Guides have
teamed up to offer hassle-free auto buying to the aviation industry!
Next to the purchase of your home and airplane, a vehicle is the most
important item you will purchase. Don't go blindly into a dealership;
look to CrewCar. CrewCar is a car-buying service formed by aviation
professionals. Teamed with Consumer Guide's Personal Auto Advisors
(PAA), CrewCar provides shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone
and electronic concierge-level buying service that offers outstanding
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 at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/avflash.
MARCH SPECIALS, PLUS DISCOUNTS TO AVWEB SUBSCRIBERS ON
During the month of March, Gleim Publications is
offering a 10% discount on their Flight Maneuvers books and 15% on their
new Flight Bag. Plus, don't miss the best Flight Instructor Refresher
Course on the planet, with a special discount to AVweb subscribers. All
YOUR FLIGHT LEVEL DESKTOP DATA FILES SECURE WITH A SPECIAL
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THE MAY ISSUE OF KITPLANES MAGAZINE STARTS THE
SUMMER OFF IN THE WATER
Kitplanes Magazine's May issue
highlights: "A Flying Catamaran," the Aerocat amphibian; "Getting Your
Feet Wet," an introduction for pilots considering the possibility of
mounting straight or amphibious floats; "Building a SeaRey," a dream
realized building this flying boat; "Engine Monitors for Experimentals,
Part 2," continuing review of the latest engine monitoring tools for
today's homebuilt cockpits; "Building Together," team building is a team
effort; "Flying the Mosquito," a helicopter on a budget; "Old Dog, New
Tricks," transitioning from fixed-wing to trikes; and "Corn on the
Taube, Part 2," carving propellers at Culver Propellers. Planning,
building, or dreaming, Kitplanes Magazine is a must-read for
homebuilders and wannabes. Order your subscription online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/kitplanes/avflash.
MACHADO RECEIVES THE NICEST LETTERS. HERE ARE JUST A
"At 15, I started private training and ordered a
training manual. It was confusing, and I became frustrated. I needed
something a bit easier to understand. I ordered Rod Machado's Private
Pilot Handbook and was amazed at how subjects that used to confuse
me became so easy to understand! Thank you. Without your book, I would
have probably given up." (Scott Avery) "The only way to consistently
meet the demands for better, smarter, and safer pilots is to ask more of
yourself as an Instructor and demand more of every training aid that you
use. I use Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook for every level
of pilot I work with, and [I've] incorporated the Workbook, too. I get
credit for a lot of work that is done by these books." (Jim Trusty,
CFII) Find out why Rod Machado's books and videos are so highly regarded
FIRST-TIME PILOTS ARE USUALLY SPEECHLESS. THEN THEY CAN'T
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