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Volume 10, Number 13a

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's NewsWire.

GOLF 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...

...WHEN 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...

...CITY SEEKS COMPROMISE
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...

TCM'S POWERLINK™ 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.

ETOPS 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. More...

...INFORMATION "INACCURATE"...
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...

...MIDWAY 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...

CESSNA PILOTS ASSOCIATION (CPA) HAS OPENINGS IN APRIL 16-18 SEMINAR!
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.

"LETHAL 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...

PARASAIL, BANNER-TOWER "MIDAIR"
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. More...

FLIGHTMAX EX500 WITH INTEGRATED DATALINK-TRAINING SOFTWARE NOW AVAILABLE
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GAO, 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...

BUT 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. More...

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AUSSIES 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. More...

WRIGHT 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. More...

OURPLANE ORDERS TEN NEW 2004 CIRRUS SR22 G2 AIRCRAFT FOR CUSTOMERS
OurPLANE, the pioneer in fractional aircraft ownership for general aviation, has purchased 10 new Cirrus SR22 G2 (second generation) aircraft for delivery in the next two years. Low-cost aircraft ownership is GUARANTEED! Locations throughout California, Texas, New York, and Connecticut. Call (877) 775-2631 and mention this AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ourplane/avflash.

ON THE FLY...
Fiftieth GPS satellite successfully launched Saturday...
Brits allow India to arm training aircraft...
Bombardier, L-3 Communications won Canadian Forces training contract...
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. More...

READER FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES
http://www.avweb.com/avmail/

Reader mail this week includes a rebuttal from Atlantic Aviation about the de-ice debacle, airline subsidies for GA, traffic jams at Nantucket and more. More...

NAVAL RESERVE — FROM 9 to 5 TO MACH 1.5!
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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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COLUMNS
The Pilot's Lounge #72: PAMA -- A Maintenance Organization For Fixers And Flyers
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.

More...

DON'T WISH YOUR AIRPLANE HAD ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES.
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BUSINESS AVFLASH
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb’s 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 today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ More...

TRAINING STARTS HERE!
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SHORT FINAL...
Overheard while approaching the control zone in Wellington, New Zealand.......

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...

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FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL IS A MUST-READ!
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THE NEW PHOTON FREEDOM MICRO-LIGHT IS PERFECT FOR AIRCRAFT COCKPITS
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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news, articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the Internet's Aviation Magazine and News Service. http://www.avweb.com

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Today's issue written by News Writer Russ Niles:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#rniles
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