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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
COURSE VERSUS AIRPORT
The golf course might win. A 20-year-old agreement between the feds and
a city is now contested. It seems an FAA grant paid for (most of) the
cost of 267 acres of land for future airport expansion in Ocean City,
Md. The FAA now claims that Ocean City isn't living up to its end of the
deal and the FAA wants to be paid back for the land -- land that has
since sprouted Eagle's Landing, a highly acclaimed golf course owned by
the city. Municipal officials in the resort community have warned the
FAA to back off on its demand for $13.3 million in compensation for the
federally funded, city-owned land now known as
Eagle's Landing Golf Course. Actually, the city has implied that if
the FAA doesn't back down, the airport might have to go. "The lack of a
workable solution may force the town to ponder the future of the
airport," Mayor Jim Mathias told the FAA in a letter obtained by the
Maryland Coast Dispatch. More...
POLITICS AND PRACTICALITY MEET...
The golf course was built by the city, with FAA approval, on the
condition that 10 percent of the revenue from the course (green fees are
$69, with a cart, in high season) be put into an airport improvement
fund. The agreement also stipulated that any future airport expansion be
carried out on the golf course land, which is what the land was
purchased for in the first place. The FAA says Ocean City broke the
agreement by ensuring two runway expansions didn't encroach on the golf
course. "Based on the information available, it is the FAA's
determination that the Town of Ocean City has not adhered to the interim
agreement," wrote the FAA's Airports Division Manager William Flannagan
in a Feb. 10 letter to the city. In the letter, also quoted by the
Dispatch, Flannagan gave Ocean City until April 10 to pay the $13.3
million (it's not known what the land originally cost) and also provide
accounting records from the golf course, presumably to assess whether
the airport improvement fund was getting the 10-percent cut required
under the agreement. More...
If the $13.3 million check and financial records aren't in Washington by
April 10, Flannagan said he'll turn the affair over to the Office of
Inspector General for an investigation. The FAA has also threatened to
cut off maintenance and upkeep grants for the airport, which the
Dispatch says run between $100,000 and $500,000 a year. City officials
said they were shocked at the ultimatum because they thought they had
already reached a compromise with the FAA. Mathias, the city mayor,
remains curiously optimistic that some sort of compromise can be reached
before April 10. "There's got to be a reasonable place here," he told
the Dispatch. More...
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RULE FLAWED, SAY GROUPS
Alphabet groups claim the FAA hasn't done its homework in a proposal to
set a maximum 180-minute diversion time limit for the extended
operations (ETOPS) of Part 135 aircraft (qualified commercial aircraft
could be allowed to fly up to three hours from any suitable landing
site). In written comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), both the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and
National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) say
the FAA can't accurately predict the fallout from the restrictions
because there is no comprehensive database of aircraft performance to
determine how operators might be affected by such a rule. NATA has asked
that further action on the rule be postponed and that the comment
period, which closed a week ago, be extended another 90 days.
Under the rule, operators would be required to remain within 180 minutes
of an "adequate airport" on all flights outside the continental U.S. But
by meeting additional ETOPS operational and equipment requirements, the
FAA would permit a 240-minute (four-hour) single-engine diversion. In
its comments, the NBAA echoed NATA's concerns about the lack of
information and also caught a major inaccuracy in the FAA's assessment
of economic impact. The NPRM says that no flights beyond 180 minutes'
diversion range are now permitted, so the new rule will actually give
operators willing to pay extra for the 240-minute standard more
flexibility and save them $777 million over 10 years. Contrarily, the
NBAA and NATA say no such 180-minute rule exists and that the FAA
routinely allows flights beyond that time limit and therefore the
economic analysis is without basis. More...
FUNDED THROUGH SEPT. 30
Meanwhile, an important emergency landing site in the Pacific Ocean that
figures in ETOPS planning for airline flights and long-range business
aircraft flights will remain open ... at least until Sept. 30. Midway
Island's airport was to have closed on Jan. 30 because the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, which used to maintain it, ran out of money. The
Department of Transportation came up with $3.2 million to keep it open
until the end of the current fiscal year. FAA spokesman William Shumann
said beyond that date the fate of the field is unknown. The runway at
the former U.S. Naval station showed its value last Jan. 6 when a
Continental Airlines Boeing 777, with 279 passengers aboard, was forced
to land there with engine trouble. More...
PILOTS ASSOCIATION (CPA) HAS OPENINGS IN APRIL 16-18
There are a few openings left for CPA's "210 Systems
& Procedures" seminar scheduled for April 16-18 in Santa Maria, CA.
Member or non-member, nowhere else can you find all the answers to any
questions about Cessna aircraft 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.
COUNTRY" SAVES PILOT
A place that calls itself "Lethal Country" might not be your first choice in
an emergency but a Mooney pilot says the folks at Cannon Air Force Base
in New Mexico (slogan: "America's Most Lethal Warfighting Team") likely
saved his life. Dr. George Carlson wasn't having the best of days in the
left seat after he hit a power line while trying to land in stormy
weather at nearby Clovis Municipal Airport. The impact caused radio
problems but Cannon controllers were finally able to guide him to a safe
landing on the base. "Protecting human life is job number one here in
'Lethal Country,'" said Col. Lee Wight, Operations Group Commander for
the 27th Fighter Wing based at Cannon. "Our controllers spared no effort
and showed great skill ..." More...
They don't happen like this every day. No one was hurt last Thursday
near Gulf Shores, Ala., when the towline pulling a teenage girl on a
parasail behind a boat crossed the line on an advertising banner being
towed by an airplane. The banner-tower quickly released the banner and
it fell harmlessly away. The age and identity of the girl were not
immediately known. There was a second parasailor being towed by the same
boat but her line didn't come in contact with the banner. The
parasailors were about 300 feet above the water at the time.
FLIGHTMAX EX500 WITH INTEGRATED DATALINK-TRAINING SOFTWARE
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randomly access virtually all pages and functions of the EX500, just as
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NATA TANGLE OVER GA SECURITY
The General Accounting Office (GAO) made "completely inappropriate"
comments about security at general aviation airports in a report that
should have been confined to concerns about aerial advertising, says the
National Air Transportation Association (NATA). As AVweb told you earlier this month, the GAO
released a report examining the potential security threat of
allowing banner-towers to resume operations at sports stadiums. "The
report the GAO was tasked to accomplish was on aerial advertising
flights, not on security at general aviation airports and the supposed
inconsistencies in background checks," said Eric Byer, NATA's director
of government and industry affairs. "Considering that the GAO is in the
midst of conducting an investigation into general aviation airport
security, the comments are completely inappropriate." More...
FOR THE GRACE...
If the Beech Baron had been flying a few inches to the right, we likely
wouldn't be wondering how Robert Hollis Gates, of Tehachapi, Calif.,
managed to land it safely after a midair with a Cessna 180 last Jan. 16.
The Baron lost a section of fuselage (see NewsWire for images), but
Gates walked away with cuts and bruises. The 180 broke up in flight and
the pilot, 40-year-old David Lazerson, a civilian test pilot instructor
at Edwards Air Force Base and deputy director of the Joint Strike
Fighter Integrated Test Force, was killed. According to the NTSB report,
Gates said he was in cruise climb between 5,500 and 6,500 feet near
Tehachapi when he saw the right gear leg of the Cessna coming at him
from one o' clock. He ducked, then saw a dirt strip and managed to set
the Baron down. AVweb wasn't able to reach Gates.
CONSIDER ALCOHOL, DRUG TESTING
Australian pilots may face random drug and alcohol testing after an investigation determined that drugs and alcohol
might have contributed to a crash that killed a charter pilot and his
five tourist passengers in 2002. Cause of the crash was an engine
malfunction on takeoff, followed by a low-level stall in a turn by the
Cherokee Six on Hamilton Island. The probe by the Australia Transport
Safety Bureau said pilot Andrew Morris, 27, of Brisbane, had consumed
alcohol and a painkiller called Panadeine the night before the crash and
had only seven hours of sleep. He also had the active ingredient in
marijuana in his system. That was enough for the bureau to recommend
testing, noting that road, rail and marine workers are subject to
alcohol testing. Australia's AOPA said testing is unnecessary.
REPLICA AT FORD MUSEUM
Sixty years later, Henry Ford's dream has been fulfilled ... well, sort
of. Ford wrote Orville Wright in 1943 reminding him that if he ever
wanted to part with the airplane that flew at Kitty Hawk, Ford had just
the place for it in Dearborn. Well, the (mostly) original Flyer went to
the Smithsonian instead and the Henry Ford Museum now has the replica
that didn't fly in Kitty Hawk last November. Edsel Ford II didn't see it
as a consolation prize when The Wright Experience aircraft was
officially unveiled in Dearborn on Friday. "Sometimes you don't get what
you wish for in life. Sometimes you get something better," he said.
Fiftieth GPS satellite successfully launched Saturday...
Brits allow India to arm training aircraft...
Bombardier, L-3 Communications won Canadian Forces training
Marine pilots visited 102 airports in one day in fundraiser...
National General Aviation Awards winners were named...
Black box found at U.N. had nothing to do with notorious crash.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES
mail this week includes a rebuttal from Atlantic Aviation about the
de-ice debacle, airline subsidies for GA, traffic jams at Nantucket and
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Pilot's Lounge #72: PAMA -- A Maintenance Organization For Fixers
If Rick Durden's column last month
got you nervous about finding a good mechanic, one solution is to look
for the professional organization of those mechanics. PAMA supports,
advocates, educates, and promotes our unsung heroes of aviation -- the
Aviation Maintenance Technicians.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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Overheard while approaching the control zone in Wellington, New
ZKxxx: Request entry into the zone with Charlie 1021,currently 20
miles to the south west at 2500.
Wellington Tower: Cleared to enter the zone via the Sinclair
Sector 1500 feet or below.
ZKxxx: Cleared to enter the zone via Sinclair at 1500 or below.
(A few minutes later...)
Tower: ZKxxx, suggest you descend to 1500 immediate to avoid a
fast approaching pile of paperwork. More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL
IS A MUST-READ!
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NEW PHOTON FREEDOM MICRO-LIGHT IS PERFECT FOR AIRCRAFT
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IF YOU ARE AN AVIATION CONSUMER, AVIATION CONSUMER
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