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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
RULING "WITHOUT CAUSE" OR "JUSTIFICATION" ...
Though proposed Oct. 22, 2003, and blasted with the majority of 2,225
written statements offered through two comment periods (initial and
extended) -- including comments
from the U.S. Small Business Administration, comments from
AOPA and comments
from EAA -- it was Tuesday that saw the first public meeting held by
the FAA in D.C. on the proposed rules for air tour and sightseeing
operations. Nearly all comments so far submitted have said the FAA
offers "no justification" for the rule, its conclusions are unsupported
and its impact would be economically destructive for more than scores of
businesses (AOPA estimates the rule would prove terminal for 1,370).
Representing the interests of larger pilot groups, most alphabet groups
are calling for the rule to be withdrawn entirely. Expect another public
meeting, May 21 in Las Vegas (for details, scroll to
page four). More...
INTENTIONS, (RUSHED RULE?), SCARY QUOTES
Though inspired in part by a special
investigation report by the NTSB it appears application of 11 safety
recommendations has gone somehow askew. Wading through a steady tide of
condemning comments from industry advocates, the trail of quotes left by
the latest public meeting implies serious problems with the FAA's
administrative process. "The very foundation of this proposal, as
written, is so flawed that it would only be prudent for the FAA to
withdraw the NPRM," EAA offered. "[I]t harms both general aviation
businesses and charities" and "is bad policy, is not justified by safety
data, and should be withdrawn," AOPA said. More...
LIGHTSPEED HEADSET OWNERS! FEEL LEFT OUT?
you feeling left out because your LightSPEED headset doesn't have the
new cell/satellite phone jack? Cheer up the factory conversions
are now available for all active and passive models of the XL and QFR
series. Passive Upgrade: $50, Active Upgrade: $75. Model upgrades come
with a 2.5mm patch cord that connects to most phones. Check LightSPEED's
online chart for phones they've tested. Adapters are available. The
Active model upgrades include an additional patch cord for personal
audio device input. Call LightSPEED at (800) 332-2421 and mention this
AVflash, or print out the online order/instruction form to send in your
headset for a speedy turn-around at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/cell/avflash.
(OTHER) NEW MO-GAS BURNING GA ENGINE
Next time, Bombardier Aircraft Engines might consider bringing a note.
The upstart piston-engine division of the aerospace giant was a puzzling
no-show at EAA Sun 'n Fun a few weeks ago (even while Superior Air Parts
was marching out its
certified 180-hp submission to the mo-gas burning field) and that
naturally set tongues wagging. Rest assured, says marketing guy Luc
Gaspe de Beaubien, there was a good reason for the absence of its Murphy
Moose, fitted with a prototype 300-horsepower V-6 engine, at the
arguably enormous aviation gathering. "A very important Original
Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) called to say that they were in (Florida)
and could they borrow the plane," said Gaspe de Beaubien. "I said 'Of
course.' I'm very happy with that decision." More...
FROM THE TEST BED
Meanwhile, the affable Quebec native (he's goalie for his recreational
hockey team) assured AVweb that the test engine is "surpassing
our expectations." The V-300T has a little more than 300 hours on it now
hauling around the big (3,500-pound) boxy Moose and Bombardier says it's
impressed the manufacturers (including six certified OEMs) who have
flown it. Gaspe de Beaubien said the mill routinely rockets the Moose up
at 2,000 fpm. "Give me empty fuel tanks, a 160-pound pilot and a
headwind and I'll show you 3,000 fpm," he said. Gaspe de Beaubien won't
say who has been eyeing up the engine (which will have a 220-horsepower,
non-turbo stablemate) but he promised more information will be available
SAFETY'S SAKE, FEWER HEAVY WATER BOMBERS
The 2004 fire season might be a bit hotter since Monday's announced
termination of contracts accounting for 33 heavy water bombers. The
Forest Service and other federal agencies dropped the contracts citing
"unacceptable risk" even as one of those aircraft last Friday worked a
fire near Hot Springs. Motivation behind the move comes from three
fire-fighting aircraft crashes from 1994-2002, the loss of seven crew
members, and a subsequent April, 2004,
list of safety recommendations from the NTSB (see AVweb's previous
coverage). The NTSB's claim that the current heavy air-tanker rate
is approximately $4,000 per flying hour might not have helped save jobs
for the aging (some near 60 years) aircraft. More...
IN SUPPORT OF CONTRACT TOWERS
It's not clear whether a collection of alphabet groups know something
the rest of us don't but no fewer than six of them have penned a joint
letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging continued funding
and possible expansion of the Contract Tower program. The National
Business Aviation Association, the American Association of Airport
Executives, the Regional Airline Association, the National Air
Transportation Association, the Cargo Airline Association and the
National Association of State Aviation Officials wrote Ted Stevens,
chair of the appropriations committee, recommending the $86 million for
contract towers be maintained in 2005 and that $7 million be included in
the budget for expansion of the program. More...
MIDAIR'S CONSEQUENCES IN TEXAS
The city of Georgetown, Texas, is having a fresh look at building a
control tower at its airport after a midair collision injured two pilots
and wrecked their planes last Sunday. "I think they need a tower out
here," pilot John Middleton told KXAN News. Middleton said he was just
setting up for touchdown on Sunday when the collision occurred. Bot he
and the pilot of the other aircraft, Andrew Wright, were taken to the
hospital, where Wright remained for at least overnight. It was the
fourth serious incident at the airport in two years. The Georgetown city
council has turned down earlier proposals to split the cost of a tower
50-50 with the FAA, but that split has since changed. More...
NEIGHBORS SAY (HOME)BUYER BEWARE
In a fine example of letting the buyer beware, the Scottsdale (Ariz.)
city council is considering putting up signs near its airport warning
prospective buyers of neighboring homes what they might be buying into.
"I think it is a brilliant plan, and I will suggest the council pursue
it," Councilman Bob Littlefield, chairman of the city's subcommittee on
aviation issues, told the East Valley Tribune. "If we did this it would
be 100 percent clear, and we wouldn't have to worry if real estate
agents are disclosing the noise issue." The signs are one option in a
noise study being done by the FAA at the increasingly busy resort city's
OREGON AERO: MAKING GENERAL AVIATION FLYING PAIN-FREE
More and more people involved in general aviation are
learning first-hand how Oregon Aero products are making flying
incredibly comfortable. Many commented at the recent Sun 'n Fun fly-in
about how the Portable Universal SoftSeat had eliminated seating
pain on both short and long flights. Others reported on how Oregon Aero
Headset Upgrades had not only eliminated headset pressure pain but also
had markedly improved intelligibility and transmission clarity
all factors in safer flying. See all that Oregon Aero has to offer the
GA community online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
AIRLINES, BANKRUPTCIES 'R US
No. They're not all doing badly -- but some of those that have been
around for a while aren't doing so hot. But Delta Air Lines has served
notice it may have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing
high fuel costs and the need for greater pay concessions from pilots. In
a securities filing Monday, Delta focused on the concessions being asked
of pilots, who are the highest-paid in the industry. Delta wants the
pilots to take 30-percent pay cuts and give up other concessions but the
pilots have offered to take 9 percent and to forego a scheduled raise.
The pilots' union issued a news release on Monday saying it wants to
help cut costs and has tried to negotiate with management. Meanwhile, US
Airways says it might have to file for bankruptcy a second time as the
long-predicted airline recovery seems to be faltering.
Few things are more beautiful than an F-15 -- unless it's off your wing
with a pilot making hand signals at you. To avoid this unpleasant (and
unnecessary) experience during campaign season, no flight (not even a
local sightseeing hop) should be made without checking for one of the
myriad of temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) that are cropping up at
the whim of campaign organizers. If you're in a swing state, be extra
vigilant. The predicted list of campaign-related TFRs for the coming
weeks gives but a taste of things to come. More...
WHAT COULD YOU DO WITH $100? IF YOU FLY REGULARLY, TAKE A
to answer a few questions and have your name entered
into a contest to win one of three $100 prizes. This interactive, online
survey is being conducted by East/West Consulting for an aviation
client. Your responses are confidential, and you will NOT
be contacted regarding your comments. To thank you for your
participation, all respondents will be entered into a drawing in which
three lucky people will win a cash prize of $100 each. Go online now at
The inventor of the flying car, Robert Fulton, has died at 95...
12 passengers and crew injured when American Eagle flight landing at San
Juan blew a tire...
A Miami man has been ordered to stay off airplanes. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Aviator #5: Owner-Assisted Annuals
There's no better way for an owner to get savvy about his aircraft than
to assist with an annual inspection. In fact, AVweb's Mike Busch
strongly urges every aircraft owner to go through the process at least
once, preferably early in his ownership tenure. Mike explains what's
involved, and offers some alternatives for owners who simply can't spare
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, AVweb would like to hear your opinion of the FAA. PLUS:
Results of last week's LASIK eye surgery poll. More...
CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
AirPower Software offers multiple software
editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your preloaded
information to address your particular usage amounts and/or costs.
Changes can be made to an individual preloaded figure or across the
entire layout as needed. In addition to the preloaded databases of
aircraft, the Budget Analyzer also lets you create your own
individualized budget via the "My Aircraft" selection. This allows you
to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There are six
editions: Lite (no aircraft databases included); Piston; Turbo Prop;
Helicopter; Jet; and Full (which includes all four aircraft databases).
Instant downloads are available on all software products. For complete
information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/avflash.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
As we head into baseball season proper, AVweb's readers are stepping up
to the plate in our "Picture of the Week" contest! "POTW" Weekly Winner
Winston Wright of Tallahassee rounds third base with a beautiful
formation-flying shot. Loading up the bases behind Winston are Rodney
Armstead and Eric Cobb. Bases are loaded, and you readers are next at
bat don't let the team down; send us your "POTW" entries today.
(If you're a weekly winner, we'll send you a nifty AVweb baseball cap
just like the one Winston Wright is getting!) More...
WINGX FOR THE POCKET PC NOW HAS OVER 270 AIRCRAFT
WingX Version 1.4 for the Pocket PC now has over 270
predefined aircraft models; graphical ramp, taxi/runup, and flight fuel
weight-and-balancecalculations; route planning with the latest FAA
database of airports and navaids; and more. WingX has AC61-65D
endorsements (great for CFIs); NWS Contractions; and local no-toll FSS
numbers in addition to FARs 1, 43, 61, 91, 119, 141, 830, and the
Pilot/Controller Glossary. WingX has a powerful E6B, now with wind chill
calculations. WingX will remember expiration dates, too. For a limited
time, WingX is on sale for $39.99 30% below regular price. Take a
look at screen shots and download the demo at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/hiltonsoftware/avflash.
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
AVIATION CONSUMER, THE PILOT'S INDEPENDENT CONSUMER
Aviation Consumer is the magazine for
independent evaluations of products and services, plus in-depth reviews
of new and used aircraft. Aviation Consumer has been helping
pilots buy smart for more than 30 years. Don't wait to start your
subscription. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/avflash.
GO TO MARV GOLDEN FOR ALL YOUR PILOT NEEDS FROM
AVIONICS TO WATCHES!
Marv Golden Pilot Supplies is the
pilot's one-stop shop for everything aviation. MAY SPECIALS:
Great deals on the Lowrance Airmap 500 and 1000. Check out the new
Vertex VXA-300 Transceiver and the Marv Golden MG Golden Eagle line of
headsets. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/marvgold/avflash.
LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE"
"My airplane uses less fuel on a
trip than some SUVs." "General Aviation Modifications' (GAMI) injectors
pay for themselves with the fuel savings. A big bonus is how much
smoother the engine runs." "Customer service is just that
SERVICE!" These are what GAMI customers have to say about GAMIjectors.
Go online to find out how to save fuel and time by buying injectors that
pay for themselves at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/gami/avflash.
PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE
Cassette tapes such as:
"Are You Ready For An Emergency"; "Managing Your Fuel Supply"; "Getting
the Most Out of ATC"; and more help you be a better pilot. Don't miss
out. Order your selections today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/pau/avflash.
FLYING MAGAZINE'S JUNE ISSUE IS TYPICAL
Starting with the new Cessna Citation XLS on the
cover, Flying Magazine's June issue covers articles on: "That
Approach to Landing"; a look at Piper's new 6X and Saratoga with
Avidyne's FlightMax Entegra glass cockpit; fractional ownership; and
columns written by aviation's top journalists. Order your personal
subscription (with AVweb special prices!) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flying/avflash.
SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN
Pilotmall.com is offering a complimentary soft leather
ID holder with a stamped airplane on the cover (a $19.99 value) with any
order of Pilotmall's quality leather flight bags, backpacks, or Scheyden
sunglasses. Show your style and save now at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/pilotmall/avflash.
LEARN ALONGSIDE A PRO WITH FLYING CARPET: THE SOUL OF
Icing! Thunderstorms! Mountain Flying! Learn
alongside 2000 CFI of the Year Greg Brown as he masters these and other
tough cockpit challenges in his new classic book, Flying Carpet: The
Soul of an Airplane. Best of all, Flying Carpet is no musty
textbook but a rollicking aerial road trip that will keep you riveted to
your seat. AVweb Exclusive: Order online for an autographed copy,
DAD FUNCTION & BEAUTY IN A CHASE-DURER TIMEPIECE + A SPECIAL
Chase-Durer, makers of world-renowned watches, is
offering their perfectly balanced, platinum-toned pen with gold accents
for only $30 (regularly $90) with any watch purchase. Beautiful and
functional timepieces for both men and women with Chase-Durer
workmanship and quality. Order today in time for Father's Day (June 20)
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 held 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.
YOU'RE NOT AS SAFE AS YOU THINK YOU ARE WITHOUT
AVIATION SAFETY MAGAZINE
For example, the June issue
of Aviation Safety magazine will feature: "How to Make That 'To
Go or Not to Go' Decision in a Thunderstorm"; "Landing Accidents are
Predictable and Preventable Find Out How"; you'll want an engine
monitor after reading "An Engine Near Miss"; "Hangar Fires"; Garmin's
new GPSMap 296 is "A Poor Man's TAWS"; plus much more. For your
subscription. Order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avsafe/avflash.
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