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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
SECURE, BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY...
In January 2004, the FAA told AVweb a third-party appeal
process (to an Administrative Law Judge) had been implemented, but now
the entire rule that granted the Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) the right to pull your certificate has been suspended, AOPA says.
... Suspended until the TSA develops procedures to allow pilots due
process. The rule, implemented in January 2003, granted the TSA the
authority to direct the FAA to revoke a pilot's certificate based on the
TSA's belief that the pilot posed a vaguely defined national security
threat. The targeted pilot might not see the evidence gathered to make
that determination, and was (until January 2004) able to appeal only to
the TSA, the same organization that determined in the first place that
they should not be allowed to fly. The forthcoming changes won't save
you from wandering into a moving TFR (beware: if it's Monday or Tuesday,
it must be Maine and Arkansas) or what happens to you once you
have strayed, but we doubt anyone's complaining.
PILOTS (AND NBAA) PONDER THE COST OF TFRS
While the TSA haggles with that pesky due process, pilots are still
trying to keep their noses clean and their tickets clear by staying away
from the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) warning areas. Those moving
plots of no-pilot's-airspace seem to be popping up all too frequently
(and even more often as the presidential campaign wears on). According
to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), more than 3,000
TFRs have been issued in the period from September 11, 2001, through
March 2004. The NBAA puts the price tag of the TFRs and closure of
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington to general
aviation at $43 million per month in productivity, jobs and revenue.
GENERAL AVIATION WELCOMES
Q: What happens when a 15-year
product designer from the bicycle and outdoor products industries starts
taking flying lessons? A: GA pilots get a better
kneeboard, the Zuluboard! The Zuluboard comes in two models. They're
stylish and far more functional than other boards. Each one is
individually handcrafted by the designer himself. Check 'em out at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zulu/avflash.
PUMP MANUFACTURER CLOSES DOORS, REFUSES NEW ORDERS...
Aero Advantage of Granbury, Texas, has stopped production and closed its
doors after the discovery that both pumps in its Dual Rotor Vacuum Pump
can -- and have -- failed simultaneously. According to a notice posted
on the Aero
Advantage Web site, company President David Boldenow says the
failures are concentrated among 300-hp Lycoming IO-540 engines, which
the company believes generate a "resonant frequency resulting in the
breakage of both graphite rods." Though the failure rate as tracked by
Aero Advantage is just 3%, Boldenow says the number is unacceptably
high. Vacuum pump shipments have been halted and orders on hand will not
be filled. More...
FAA CONTINUES TO WARN OF UNAPPROVED PARTS
Aero Advantage is NOT included in this warning, but our friendly feds
continue to caution that there are a whole lot of unapproved
parts floating around in the airplane universe. They range from
engines to altimeters to just improper maintenance. If you suspect you
might have gotten hold of a part that is not all it was claimed to be,
the FAA asks that you let them know so that they can check it out and warn
others. To find out which companies hold the Parts Manufacturer Approvals (PMAs) on different
parts, the FAA has put together a handy listing that breaks them down by
CIRRUS, LANCAIR, LIBERTY ...|
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TO MAKE JUMBO WATER BOMBER...
By July 4 of this year, Evergreen International Aviation hopes to gain
independence from firefighting the old-fashioned way. The McMinnville,
Oregon-based company is working with the FAA to obtain certification for
Evergreen "Supertankers") -- retrofit Boeing 747s
capable of carrying 24,000 gallons of fire retardant each. Supertanker
spokesman Justin Marchand tells AVweb the flight-test aircraft
has made more than 50 flights and 82 drops and carried 536,000 gallons
-- 1.5 million pounds -- of retardant. Why a 747? "I like the analogy
'why send in a single soldier when you can send in the army,'" says
CALL, WE HAUL
Consider that an Evergreen Supertanker will carry in one load what it
would take seven other firefighting planes to haul, and it will be able
to get to the fire clipping along at Mach .86 (near 600 mph). Each
Supertanker will carry 24,000 gallons of flame retardant, which weighs 9
pounds per gallon. That's 216,000 pounds of material that will be
leaving the plane in eight seconds. That would be an interesting ride.
Or maybe not. According to Marchand, data collected so far and borne out
by the flight tests shows only a "negligible" g-loading (or un-loading?)
when a drop is made. "Since it is a fully pressurized system, you can't
even tell [when a drop is made] from a cockpit aspect," says Marchand.
Neither does hauling such a big load put the jumbo on the cusp of weight
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MANAGER MANGLED, CUT, DESTROYED 9/11 TAPES
Information provided to the commission investigating the U.S.
government's response to terrorist threats prior to September 11, 2001,
names an FAA quality manager in the destruction of an audiotape made in
the aftermath of the 9/11 hijackings. Each of at least six air traffic
controllers and some ten other employees who were on the job at the New
York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Ronkonkoma, N.Y.,
during the World Trade Center attacks gathered several hours after to
recall their version of events. But that tape, which could have helped
determine how the agency responded to clues that four planes had been
hijacked, was destroyed before it was ever heard. In fact, officials at
the ARTCC were never even told of the tape's existence.
REPORT REVS UP MEIGS FAITHFUL
An apparent false report of a swimmer in distress proves once again that
closing Chicago's beloved lakefront airport was a singularly boneheaded
move, according to the group Friends of Meigs. On April 25, Chicago 911
received a call of a person in trouble on a north-side beach. Emergency
crews were dispatched, including a helicopter with diver. Prior to the
closure of Meigs Field, emergency crews were stationed at the Meigs Fire
Station, but that station closed when the field did. Though city
officials promised that the closure would increase response time by only
one to two minutes, Friends say the false alarm showed it would be much
WATCHES AS AIRBUS "CREAMS" BOEING
Citizens of Toulouse, France, and European aircraft maker Airbus
celebrated as a "gigantic" new assembly line for the new super-jumbo
A380 was unveiled to acclaim and many other fine adjectives last week.
Airbus, the consortium of European companies, has (according to the
numbers) displaced Boeing as the world's leading producer of commercial
aircraft. That sits very poorly with Washington Sen. Patty Murray, who
railed against U.S. inaction during comments Thursday on the Senate
floor. Murray, who is up for re-election this year, says Europe is
engaging in unfair trade practices that are resulting in the "subsidized
slaughter" of American companies. More...
OVERCAST'S BOUNCE ... BACK?
We told you last week about damage suffered when the
EAA's B-17 "Aluminum
Overcast" belly-flopped after folding its mains on a landing May 5
at the Van Nuys, Calif., airport. Now you can see what happened. Video obtained by
KCBS-TV in Los Angeles shows that the B-17 went down hard when both
of its mains gave way after what seemed to be an uneventful landing
roll. The EAA's Dick Knapinski tells AVweb the plane's 2004
plans, including the "Salute to Veterans" tour, have been put on
indefinite hold. Knapinski says the extent of damage still isn't known,
but the goal is to get the WWII-era plane in such shape that it can be
ferried back to Oshkosh for repairs. More...
DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT DON'T LEAVE HOME
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or
car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid kits are packed
with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled his own traveling
medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems, based on his
long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent traveler, pilot,
outdoorsman, and dad. It would cost more than $500 to duplicate this
kit, but it's available on sale from Aeromedix for $333. Order online at
AIRWAYS RECONSIDERS BANKRUPTCY
Just how many times can one company file for bankruptcy? We may find out
with US Airways. US Airways Group Inc. says it is considering yet
another filing to reduce costs by at least 25%, to better position
itself to compete with the low-cost carriers. US Airways emerged from
Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March of 2003, and has not made a profit since.
First-quarter losses were $177 million. During the initial bankruptcy,
the airline cut about $1.9 billion in costs, the bulk of which came from
employee pay and benefits. More...
REVEALS ERROR CHAIN IN HAWKER HUNTER FATALITY
The National Transportation Safety Board has released
information that provides disturbing details of the fatal crash of a
Hawker Hunter T MK 7 being ferried last July 22 for the Northern Lights
Aerobatic team. Pilot Thomas Benton Delashaw of Conroe, Texas, was
killed less than a mile from the runway after taking off from the Wilkes
Barre/Scranton (Penn.) International Airport in VFR conditions. The NTSB
report includes facts about an engine swap-out the week before the fatal
accident, and the mechanic's warnings that the newly installed engine
wasn't running correctly. "According to the A&P mechanic who oversaw and
supervised the engine change," reads the NTSB report, "he did not sign
off any maintenance records to return the airplane to an airworthy
JOIN PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE FOR A WEEKEND OF FLYING
FUN & EDUCATION!
Come to the Technology for Pilots
Seminar Series. What better way to spend a day or weekend than talking
about flying and learning more about how to be a better, safer pilot
and how to use the new aviation technologies? The first regional
seminar will be at the Hilton Burbank Airport Hotel September 25-26,
2004. The program will include more than 25 seminars over the weekend
and a social event on Saturday evening at the Million Air FBO, with many
new aircraft on display. For more information and to register, call
(310) 820-1500 ext. 118 and mention this AVflash, or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/seminar/avflash.
GOVERNMENT FIRES ENTIRE ALITALIA BOARD
Talk about a break with the past. The Italian government last week fired
the entire board of Alitalia in order to find private investors to pump
up the languishing airline. The government, which owns 62% of the
company, also fired CEO Marco Zanichelli, who had been in the job for
less than three months. Talk of bankruptcy caused stock prices to drop
more than 12 percent, but on news of the changes, prices jumped 20
percent. Just how bad are things? Even before a series of strikes last
week that grounded 1,500 flights, the airline was losing 50,000 Euros
($59,000 USD) an hour. Alitalia hasn't made an operating profit since
Magnetos, that is. Our sister publication Aviation
Consumer is seeking owner feedback on these two magneto types for an
upcoming article. Contact the
editor directly to comment. More...
Mooney to fight $23 million arbitration decision...
Crew error blamed in crash that killed Macedonian President...
Singapore Airlines preparing to offer longest nonstop commercial flight
X PRIZE renamed ANSARI X PRIZE after family gave multimillion-dollar
Actor/pilot Dennis Quaid to emcee National Aviation Hall of Fame
British bookies offer odds on future of Ryanair CEO. More...
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about Northwest Airlines vs. GA, FSS privatization,
autogas vs. avgas and much more. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the
Cockpit #32: Great Expectations
We all assumed technology would make life easier and safer; and save
time and paper. Nice try. Welcome to the hurry-up-and-wait world with
bugs in the software, reams of computer printouts, and people who
couldn't calculate a weight-and-balance to save their life (and wouldn't
have pencil and paper to do it anyway). AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit wants
his slide rule back.
RAVE REVIEWS FOR MIKE BUSCH'S SAVVY OWNER
Here's what attendees had to say after Mike's Memphis
seminar: "I've been to a lot of classes, and this was one of the BEST
... simply OUTSTANDING!!!" Chip Allen (BE55); "Wonderful and
informative. Will save me tons of $$$$$." Jamie McGehee (TR182);
"Seminar notebook was outstanding ... best I've seen." Bob
Gillmann (C182 + C172RG); "Great seminar, enlightening and fun."
John Mooney (C182); "It will make you the 'owner-in-command' you should
be." Milt Concannon (C414); "Mike is passionate about making
airplanes safe, but doing so as inexpensively as possible. ... I sure
learned a lot, and you will too." Thomas P. Turner (American
Bonanza Society). For seminar schedule and details (and Mike's no-cost
monthly e-newsletter!), visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.
Posted to our "Finer Points of Maintenance" file...
"Remember, you really only need two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it
doesn't move and it should, use the WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn't,
use the duct tape." More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
Access to AVweb and AVflash is provided by the
support of our fine sponsors. We appreciate your patronage.
Terrific Ideas for Father's Day at
THE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST
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information, and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.
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AVIATION CONSUMER HAS BEEN HELPING PILOTS BUY SMART
FOR 30+ YEARS
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new and used aircraft. For over 30 years, Aviation Consumer has
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FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL
IS A MUST-READ!
Three years before Lindbergh's flight to
Paris, the U.S. Army joined the race to be the first to fly around the
world. Countries that tried had failed, and pilots had died. Could the
United States capture aviation's greatest prize? This award-winning
hardcover book by Spencer Lane tells it all in great detail. Special
autographed copies are available for AVweb subscribers only at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/firstworldflight/avflash.
OFFERS HEADSETS AND FLIGHT BAGS THAT WON'T BREAK YOUR PIGGY
Feather Lite stereo headsets for $89, and a genuine
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MONOXIDE KILLS! GIVE THE GIFT OF SAFETY FROM CO GUARDIAN
Guardian has carbon monoxide detector models from portable units to
panel-mount units. Each unit's solid-state sensors and temperature
sensors (EMI-shielded to prevent radio interference) are built in the
USA and FAA-certified. Go online to find the CO Guardian model right for
your aircraft and order in time for Father's Day (June 20)
DAD FUNCTION & BEAUTY IN A CHASE-DURER TIMEPIECE + A SPECIAL
Chase-Durer, makers of world-renowned watches, are
offering their perfectly balanced, platinum-toned pen with gold accents
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SQUEEZE, BANG, BLOW, MAKE IT GO WITH POWER FLOW EXHAUST
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your plane will repay you by performing better than you ever expected!
For those who already have the Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System, order
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PEARLS OF NIGHT IFR; VECTORS ARE NOT ENOUGH; FILING TIPS =
... are just some of the topics scheduled for the
June issue of IFR Refresher magazine. If you fly IFR, IFR
Refresher should be a part of your required reading. Order your
personal subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrref/avflash.
PILOTS COMMENT AFTER READING IFR: A STRUCTURED
"The GPS chapter alone is worth getting the
book. ... It's the best instrument flying book I have ever read," states
Fred Scott; "If one book could help you make the leap from a bit player
to a skilled conductor of instrument flight, this is probably it," reads
a November 2003 AOPA Pilot review. With the help of this book,
you will establish your own personal standard operating practices for
IFR, including incorporation of checklists, flows, callouts, briefings,
and the "fly by the numbers" method of aircraft control. For more
information and to order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyroad/avflash.
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AVflash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest aviation news,
articles, products, features and events featured on AVweb, the
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