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|AVflash! Filing Plans for Next Year's Flight
PILOTS DEFEND FAA
Operation Migration (OM) has leapt to the
defense of the FAA in light of the recent controversy over the use of
allegedly paid pilots in the well-known aircraft-led migration of
whooping cranes to Florida. In a
letter to AVweb, OM spokesman David Sakrison said the
temporary grounding of this year's migration resulted from the
persistent complaints of an unidentified person outside of OM and was
not initiated by the FAA, which has been supportive of the effort and
had previously inspected and cleared all aspects of the operation. The
LSA-category trikes flown by the OM pilots cannot be used commercially
and OM and the FAA had previously agreed that while the pilots were paid
OM employees, the flying was done voluntarily. However, the launching of
a formal complaint by the same person obliged the FAA to open an
investigation and the pilots voluntarily grounded themselves in Alabama
to avoid any chance of being found in violation. "At that time, agency
officials made it clear that they would work with us toward a solution,
possibly through a permanent exemption from the 'flying for hire'
prohibition," Sakrison wrote. The new rule is expected to be in effect
in a few months, in time for the spring cycle of the migration. However,
not even the blessing of the mighty FAA is more powerful than Mother
Nature and the pilots won't be needed any longer. More...
FAST-Flight: The Cure for
Annual Anxiety and Painful ADs
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tracking software automatically flags ADs and SBs from the
FAA and custom logs your parts inventory, IRS trip logs,
warranties, receipts, POs, oil changes, and discrepancies for one
airplane or a small fleet all for about the cost of a single tank
of fuel. Keep current, stay legal with FAST-Flight.
Click here for more information.
Production may be about two years off and
the facility has yet to be built, but Kestrel Aircraft Co. hopes to
create 600 jobs in Superior, Wisc., over the next few years, and resumes
are already coming in. The company currently employs about 50 engineers
who are working to transform the Kestrel prototype single-engine six- to
eight-seat turboprop into an FAA-certified production aircraft.
Successful completion of that task precludes any mass hiring. New hires
will also need a physical workplace and Kestrel will break ground on a
35,000-square-foot production facility this spring, likely by April.
Wisconsin's Indianhead Technical College of Superior hopes to work with
Kestrel to develop training courses that would address specific needs at
Starting an Airline in the
Middle East? What You Need to Know
Following the success of the start-up seminars in Washington and London,
this event will take place in the Middle East for the first time, and it
is hosted by GCAS in Abu Dhabi. Themes include: Introduction to the
Airline Industry, Generic vs. Airline Business Plan, Common Business
Plan Mistakes, Non-Disclosure Agreement, Elements of the Airline
Business Plan, Implementation Plan, Management and Support Team, Risk
Factors, Capitalization Plan, Certification, and Success Strategies.
Click here to learn more and
MY FLYING CAR?
Back in 2003, the SEC filed a complaint
against Moller International and Paul S. Moller, for the development and
marketing of a Skycar -- on January 30, 2012, Moller International began
promoting two new Skycar designs for the LSA category. The SEC's
complaint cited "false and misleading statements" Moller used in
promotional releases and soliciting "approximately $5.1 million from
more than 500 investors." Moller settled by paying a $50,000 fine and
agreeing to a permanent injunction. The latest "LSA" offerings from
Moller International are currently available in brochure form.
Specifications for one include a cruise speed of 237 mph -- about twice
the light sport category's current cruise-speed restriction. A practical
flying car with every-man usability has so far eluded the public, but we
may have already been introduced to a design that shows promise, aside
from the Terrafugia Transition roadable aircraft. More...
WHERE'S MY FLYING CAR?
A practical flying
car with everyman usability has so far eluded the public, but we may
have already been introduced to a design that could lead to a
breakthrough. Some of the major challenges of producing a point-to-point
simple and safe to operate vehicle are technological in nature.
Autonomous navigation (enter the destination, press a button, and allow
the vehicle to navigate, communicate with, and autonomously avoid other
aircraft) may be one key to safely organizing masses of flying vehicles
in the same airspace. And as society progresses, the gap between the
dream and reality may be shrinking. More...
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AIRLINES' BANKRUPTCY MAY COST YOU
As part of its bankruptcy
reorganization, American Airlines could announce plans next week to lay
off more than 13,000 workers and eliminate pension plans, or, warns one
analyst, the end of the airline could be near. "American made promises
to pilots" about "pay, benefits, retirement and employment," that in
many cases "are not going to be kept," according to Glenn MacDonald, an economics professor
at Olin Business School at Washington University, St. Louis. MacDonald
believes the airline is not positioned to compete and generate
sufficient profits to sustain operations without "significant reduction"
in what it provides to employees. According to MacDonald, without those
reductions, American "will soon be gone, not just reorganized," with
pieces bought up by competitors. Whether that proves prescient or
propagandist, pilots' pensions appear to be in the crosshairs and, you
(the taxpayer) may be on the hook for something. More...
FORCE PLAN WOULD CUT 10,000 AIRMEN
Nearly 10,000 of the Air
Force's active National Guard and Reserve airmen would be cut next year
if plans detailed Friday by the Air Force go into effect. Cuts will
reportedly target the National Guard for more than half of the total
personnel, aircraft and other equipment to be trimmed. Specific numbers
trim 5,100 guardsmen, 3,900 active-duty members and 899
reservists. The Air Force Times has reported that the Air Force
does not intend "to employ involuntary cuts in the active force to reach
that goal." Changes will come to forces in all 50 states and cuts may
not stop there. The plan brought immediate push-back. More...
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ECS FAA C.R.S. #AG2R689K
UAS RULE MAY REFLECT NEW STANDARDS
The FAA's next major
rulemaking effort may reflect a shift in agency standards that could
hobble one emerging sector and set the tone for the rest of the
industry, according to a Washington-based consultant. Gary Church, of
Aviation Management Associates, has been representing companies
developing unmanned aerial systems for several years and he told
AVweb in a
podcast interview he believes the forthcoming notice of proposed
rulemaking on UASs will set a new standard for safety regulations. He
said the agency appears to be aiming for a "do no harm" regime called a
"targeted level of safety" that may realistically be unachievable. He
also expects legal challenges to the current ban on commercial use of
small UASs if the agency continues to drag its feet in establishing
NEW ATTITUDE AT THE FAA?
As the FAA works on
rulemaking to allow the integration of unmanned aerial systems into the
national airspace system, there are signs that the agency has
significantly ramped up the safety requirements for this brand-new
aviation sector. Aviation consultant Gary Church discussed the
issues and their potential effect with AVweb's Russ
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ATTENDANTS PLAN OCCUFLY EVENT
Flight attendants from more
than 20 airlines will "occupy" a section of LAX on Monday to protest
labor provisions in a proposed FAA reauthorization bill. The OccuFLY
protest, organized by the Association of Flight Attendants, is a
reaction to change in voting standards for union organization that
unions consider an attack on organized labor. "This controversial labor
provision is nothing less than an attack by the 1% against the 99%,"
said AFA PresidentVeda Shook in a news release. More...
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
FEBRUARY 6, 2012
Letter of the Week: In Defense of the
It is in the nature of pilots to complain about the FAA and
about the temporary grounding of Operation Migration's aircraft, and its
migrating whooping cranes in December sparked some strident criticism of
the agency from pilots. As a member of the board of directors of
Operation Migration (OM), an EAA member, and a private pilot, I'd like
to set the record straight.
FAA officials were not the bad guys in
this affair far from it. They have long recognized the value and
the uniqueness of what OM is doing for an endangered species and the
high standards of safety that we have maintained in our flight
For the birds,
Click through to read the full text of our "Letter
of the Week" and other notes from AVweb readers.
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OF THE WEEK: GOLDEN EAGLE AVIATION (K06A, TUSKEGEE,
AVweb's newest "FBO of the Week" is Golden Eagle Aviation at Moton Field
Municipal Airport (06A) in Tuskegee, Alabama. Reader Billy
Tyndall tells us how an unplanned stopover made Golden Eagle a
standard by which other FBOs are measured:
On a cross-country flight in my Sport Cub
from North Carolina to Arizona, I encountered adverse weather and landed
at Moton Field Municipal Airport in Tuskegee, Alabama to wait it out.
The rain which arrived took three days to pass, and during that time the
staff at Golden Eagle Aviation made those days the most enjoyable of the
trip. Sylvester and Minnie run the FBO with such personality and warmth
that transient pilots immediately feel at home. They helped us with the
standard FBO offerings, such as avgas, computer access, and coffee, and
went further to see that we found the cultural and culinary assests of
Tuskegee, which were many. When it was time to leave, Sylvester
improvised an apparatus to preheat the cold engine in the Cub, even
though the climate in Tuskegee doesn't normally require preheating
engines. He went the extra mile to get us back in the air, and we'll
remember his FBO for their caring actions!
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...
Years ago, I had an interesting ATC encounter in
Washington airspace that I think would be humorous to your readers of
"Short Final." While flying my RV-4 in the narrow VFR slot between the
old Washington ADIZ and the expanded Camp David TFR, I lost my GPS.
Without a VOR, I contacted Wash. Center. The call went as
"I've lost all nav aids over Frederick,
and I'm concerned that I will violate airspace and cause a little
excitement. Please give me vectors to keep me out of
"No worries. Everyone is targeting
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