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OWNERS: FAA 100LL REPLACEMENT LACKS DUAL TRACK SUPPORT
letter to members of the Malibu-Mirage Owners and Pilots Association,
the group's president, Jonathan Sisk said this week that the FAA's
just-made-public 100LL replacement plan deserves a critical eye.
Although he says it represents progress, he believes it's too narrowly
focused on just one path. "I also recommend that Clean 100 members not
buy into the notion that the ARC recommended-process is the exclusive
means to arrive at the best solution. That is absolutely unknown by
anyone," Sisk said in his letter. Clean 100 Octane Coalition is the
owner group that formed two years ago when the 100LL replacement issue
got pushed to the front burner. Sisk was a member of the original
Unleaded Avgas Transition Aviation Rulemaking Committee that formed in
early 2011. The summary of the report is here (PDF). The full report is here (large PDF) and the appendices are here (PDF). More...
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SLSA CERTIFICATION SHOULD BE RECONSIDERED
An FAA assessment
of SLSA manufacturers has found that "the majority" of manufacturers
evaluated failed to prove compliance with the category's standards, and
that could affect the certification status of some aircraft. The FAA
announced its findings Thursday, stating that "aircraft within the
existing fleets" of manufacturers not able to issue a valid Statement of
Compliance "may no longer be eligible to retain their airworthiness
certification as SLSA." Those aircraft may be eligible for ELSA
certification, the FAA said. But the FAA also noted that a specific
range of aircraft (not insignificant in number) may find even less favor
from the current regulatory structure. The FAA "has determined that its
original policy of reliance on manufacturers' Statements of Compliance"
... "should be reconsidered." And this scrutiny might be just the
beginning. But precisely how the FAA notice will effect the existing
fleet, and when, may require more clarification. More...
The FAA says most Light Sport aircraft
manufacturers have issues with record-keeping, and it's warning of
greater oversight of the new aircraft category. Dan Johnson of
the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association spoke with AVweb's
Russ Niles about what that might mean. More...
INSIDER BLOG: THE FAA'S LSA PAPER CHASE
When the FAA agreed
to let the light sport industry self-regulate, it reserved the right to
step in if it found the industry was falling short. Now it's doing
exactly that. But it's more paper chasing than anything to do with real
safety. On the AVweb Insider blog, Paul Bertorelli says whether
the agency's efforts prove benign or damaging depends on how much it
tangles itself up in the LSA manufacturing biz. Read
more and join the conversation. More...
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BILL OF RIGHTS PASSES SENATE
Senator James Inhofe, who gained
personal experience with FAA enforcement tactics and rules in 2010, is
celebrating the passage by the Senate of his Pilots' Bill of Rights. In
October 2010, Inhofe landed on a closed runway in Texas that had
vehicles and people on it. He received a remedial training order from
the FAA. Difficulties he said he experienced while attempting to gather
information about the incident led him in 2011 to introduce a bill to
protect pilots from "agency overreach." He explained the rationale for
the action in a podcast
last year. The bill includes protections for pilots who become the
subject of FAA enforcement proceedings and also requires the FAA to take
actions regarding NOTAMs and the agency's medical certification process.
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A team at the University of Texas at Austin
claims to have hacked into and taken control of a non-military drone
using less than $1,000 in parts, highlighting concerns over domestic
drone use. Drones operated by the Department of Homeland Security and
other agencies are already flying over the U.S.. Smaller groups like
Universities and branches of law enforcement have sought approval from
the FAA to operate unmanned aerial vehicles of their own. The FAA is
working on regulations for such operations and the researchers' claim
suggests that unencrypted GPS signals could put drone hijacking within
the reach of anyone with $1,000 and the requisite intellectual
resources. Recent history suggests that vulnerability may not be limited
to domestic drones. More...
Virgin Galactic's passenger-carrying suborbital
space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo successfully passed aerodynamic and
powerplant tests on June 26, near Mojave, California. The vehicle
performed its first successful glide since integration of its rocket
motor systems. WhiteKnightTwo carried it to 51,000 feet over where it
was released under the control of Scaled pilots Pete Siebold and Mike
Alsbury. A chase plane carried Mike Melvill who piloted the first
private flight to space in SpaceShipOne. A second test fired the RM2
rocket system for a 55-second burn. According to Virgin Galactic, "all
objectives were completed." Virgin Galactic plans to collect customers
and VIPs for a special briefing, next month, and powered flight not too
long thereafter. More...
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SET TO ANNOUNCE MOBILE A320 PLANT
Airbus is expected to
announce plans next week for a $600 million A320 assembly plant in
Mobile, AL. Numerous news outlets are citing anonymous sources in
scooping the company on the announcement, which will bring with it 2,500
construction jobs and at least 500 direct factory jobs. The first A320
is reportedly scheduled to roll out in 2017 and at the rate of about one
a week after that. It's a consolation prize of sorts for Mobile, which
would have been the epicenter of Airbus's ultimately failed bid for a
$35 billion contract to replace the U.S. Air Force's historic fleet of
in-flight refueling aircraft. Still, at the book price of about $90
million for an A320, the production tempo suggests it will take about
eight years to create the same kind of value as the tanker deal and
there's no sign that Airbus is planning to replace its bread-and-butter
aircraft beyond that. While there is certainly cause for celebration in
the Southeast, at the opposite corner of the country Boeing, which
recently opened a 787 plant in Charlotte, NC, did not extend Southern
hospitality to its arch-rival. More...
MONICA PAYING PLANES TO GO AWAY
After years of butting heads
and trading court cases on the topic of restricting flight operations at
Santa Monica Airport, local officials and the FAA may have found a way
to agree. Santa Monica is going to pay flight schools to go elsewhere
for touch and goes and pattern work and the FAA thinks that's likely an
idea that can fly. "While we have not reviewed the specifics of Santa
Monica's proposal, generally an airport operator does not need the FAA's
approval to establish a voluntary program that is offered to all flight
schools at the airport," FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the Santa Monica Daily Press. Qualifying flight
schools will get $150 per flight to cover the costs of heading to
another airport for that kind of training. That has, however, caught the
attention of the likely recipients of the increased training traffic and
at least one airport may be able to deny those flights.
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KILLED IN AIR SHOW CRASHES
Accidents at opposite ends of the
world and opposite ends of the air show performance spectrum had a
common and deadly result on Saturday. In England, the last flying de
Havilland DH53 Hummingbird, essentially a 1923 ultralight aircraft,
crashed at the Military Pageant Airshow at Old Warden Aerodrome near
Biggleswade Beds. Former RAF pilot and current British Airways 777 pilot
Trevor Roche died at the scene after the wooden aircraft crashed in
front of about 600 spectators. The rest of the show was cancelled. The
aircraft was owned by the Shuttleworth collection and was the last
intact example of its type. Only 12 were built. Meanwhile, in South
Africa, the pilot of an L-39 Albatros was killed at the Klerksdorp Air
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ANA 767 HARD LANDING CREASES FUSELAGE
An All Nippon
Airways Boeing 767-300 carrying 193 passengers was damaged during a hard
landing at Tokyo Narita airport, Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The ANA jet
touched down on Runway 16R. Airport weather reports show winds at 230
and 16 knots gusting to 29 at that time, suggesting a potential
crosswind component of more than 27 knots. However that may have
affected the pilots and aircraft, security camera footage shows the
airliner came down first on the right main, then on the nosewheel alone,
before porpoising into a second impact that appears to impart visible
flex on the airliner's forward fuselage. No injuries were reported, but
an early post-flight inspection clearly showed buckling and creases in
the fuselage skin forward of the wing root. Japan's transportation
safety board is investigating. Click the image at right for video.
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|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
OF THE WEEK: LAREDO AERO CENTER (KLRD, LAREDO,
Summer is here, local air shows are in full swing, and
AVweb readers are logging some serious flying time. At least,
that's the way it looks from the number of great FBOs we've heard about
in the last seven days. It was tough choosing one nomination, but our
latest "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Laredo Aero
Center at Laredo International Airport (KLRD) in (you guessed
it) Laredo, Texas.
Jimmy Harrison brought Aero Center to
our attention with his praise:
The people who operate Aero Center are absolutely fabulous.
This includes the line handlers, the refuelers and the ops desk
personnel. I have stopped here several times and am always delighted
with their excellent service and can-do attitude.
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...
Flying my 172 near McGuire Air Force Base on
Sunday, VFR with flight following from McGuire Approach. Two Air Force
DC-10 tankers were practicing approaches as I flew by, and I offered to
climb to stay out of their way. The controller asked me to climb and
maintain 2,500 feet.
"TAC 1, turn left,
heading 330. Intercept the ILS 24, maintain 2,000' until established.
Traffic is a 172 above you at 2,500'. Caution: wake
(Silence on the frequency. Did I hear
"Ahhh, Approach -- say again the
Approach (a new voice) :
1, disregard wake turbulence warning. Cleared for the
Me in my 172:
"McGuire, 4RP. Why did you
cancel the other guy's wake turbulence warning? You just made my
"Sorry about that, but I had to. I'm
the only one here who can talk right now we're all laughing so