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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
FAA WANTS YOUR URINE...
Don't all volunteer at once. If your company builds the nut that goes
onto the bolt that is screwed into the widget that eventually goes
anywhere on a commercial jet, you could soon be subjected to the FAA's
drug- and alcohol-testing program. And the costs, in dollars and hours,
could be steeper than some want to pay. If the FAA pushes forward with
its plan, the airlines will be affected to be sure, but so will general
aviation. Aeronautical Repair
Station Association (ARSA) Managing Director and General Counsel
Marshall Filler says the FAA's plan has not considered the day-to-day
practicalities. "They seem to be saying 'don't confuse us with the
facts,'" Filler tells AVweb. The FAA fact thus far is this: Any
shop of any type that even touches something that will eventually be
used by a Part 121/135 aircraft MUST have an FAA-approved drug- and
alcohol-testing program. More...
CAUGHT IN THE CROSSHAIRS...
It's not just the trickle-down that will ping general aviation. GA is
directly affected by the inclusion of Part 135 in the proposal. Any
businesses that do work for on-demand charter services are also included
in the drug/alcohol rule. "This is additional regulation at a time when
the industry can least afford it," bemoans Filler. "Everyone I've talked
to is disappointed. All the FAA has done is basically reissue their
first rule." After the rule was initially proposed in 2002, ARSA led a
coalition of 14 members who spent months working with the feds to come
up with something that balances safety and common sense. But the May 17
FAA Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM)
pulls all businesses up and down the line into the drug/alcohol testing
OZ TALKS TESTING DOWN UNDER, TOO
A fatal accident in which the pilot tested positive for marijuana and
alcohol has led Australian aviation authorities to consider different
options for drug and alcohol testing. John Anderson, Minister
for Transport and Regional Services, has ordered a study on testing that
will include the impact on safety and the cost to the industry. The
data-gathering will be handled by the Department of Transport and
Regional Service and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and they are
looking for input from pilots, charter operations, large and small
airlines, air traffic controllers and others. More...
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NOW, THE NEW WEB-SAVVY FAA...
In the past, getting a replacement certificate meant being grounded four
to six weeks while awaiting the official paperwork in the mail. (The
Feds remind us that it is illegal to fly without an airman certificate.)
But if you're one of those unlucky sods who washed your airman
certificate along with your last pair of jeans and now need a temporary
replacement, rejoice! The agency has now set up an online service to
send you a temporary certificate via fax or e-mail in hours or days
instead of weeks or months. In addition, you can also request a
permanent certificate and pay the whopping $2 fee for it online. FAA
spokesman Roland Herwig tells AVweb that the agency typically
processes about 50,000 applications for replacement certificates each
THE FAA TAKETH AWAY "N" NUMBERS...
While you're online checking out the new airman certificate, or updating
your gender, it would be a mighty good time to update
your address, as well. If you have an old address in the database,
the feds warn that you're in danger of losing your airplane's "N"
number. The FAA says having accurate addresses is a safety issue, so
pilots can get Airworthiness Directives and safety and maintenance
information. Ah, but what about homeland security? "Let's just say that
all modes of transportation have been impacted by security issues in the
months since 9/11," FAA spokesman Roland Herwig confirms to
Government entities, especially, know that anything that goes onto a Web
site is fair game for hacker attack, either as a joke, to express a fit
of political umbrage or to show off by exposing a weakness. Last
Wednesday, 22-year-old Benjamin Stark pleaded guilty in federal court in
Washington, D.C., to charges of hacking into eleven mostly governmental
computer networks ... one of which was the FAA's. Stark and his partner
in crime would find security flaws and instead of bringing them to the
attention (quietly) of the agency or business, would adorn the site with
an American flag, two handguns and the message "Tighten the security
before a foreign attack forces you to." More...
TFR THAT WAS, THE PRESIDENT THAT WASN'T ... THERE
Saturday (according to a TFR issued May 20) saw the airspace around
Austin (Texas) Bergstrom International Airport restricted for GA traffic
and open for the president ... who showed up but then skipped the event
he was in town to see. Alas, the Temporary Flight Restriction, which
read in part, "AIRCRAFT FLIGHT OPERATIONS ARE PROHIBITED WITHIN 30 NMR
UP TO BUT NOT INCLUDING FL1801" ... and then in part two... "ALL
AIRCRAFT ENTERING OR EXITING THE 30 NMR TFR SHALL BE ON AN ACTIVE IFR OR
VFR FLIGHT PLAN" was offered to the flying public regardless of (clarity
or) presidential presence. The restrictions were intended to allow
presidential access to the area relatively free from free-range light
aircraft and allow the proud Bush parents to witness the graduation of
daughter Jenna ... who also didn't show up. Consistency, at least.
THE NOISE MOVEMENT SPREADS
If last week's news about the harassment suit filed by
the Massachusetts group Stop the Noise made your blood run cold, you'd
better fire up a heater before you read this. A group that has named
itself Stop the
Stunts seems to be taking its cue from Stop the Noise. The Mineral
Point, Wis., group is complaining about two aerobatic pilots using a
legal aerobatic box at the Iowa County Airport. According to an article
in the Duluth News Tribune, the box was established in 2003, and the
neighbors have been outraged ever since. They have since gotten U.S.
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) to represent their pain. More...
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PROPOSED ON HARTZELL, MCCAULEY, SENSENICH PROPS
If you're flying behind a prop that was worked on by the Southern
California Propeller Service in Inglewood, Calif., it's likely going to
cost you. The FAA is considering a $3,000 fix for about 1,000 propellers
that were overhauled by the company. The feds say they are proposing an AD to prevent blade failure that could
result in the separation of the prop and loss of control of the
airplane. The agency first heard about the problem in March of 1998,
after a Hartzell prop blade installed on a Piper PA-34-200 failed.
Investigation of the 200-hour prop revealed it had been improperly
welded using a procedure called hot straightening. Inspections of other
propellers repaired or overhauled by Southern California Propeller
Service turned up a laundry list of other critical safety problems, a
total of 43 reports in all. More...
TOUGH ON RUNWAY INCURSIONS
Shreveport (Louisiana) Downtown Airport (DTN) has a message for you. If
you're planning to wander out onto a runway in anything other than a
plane, with anything other than control-tower approval, don't do it
there. The FAA began an all-out assault on runway incursions under the
leadership of Jane Garvey, and takes them very, very seriously. Because
they do, airports had better, too. "We have to file all our incursions
with the FAA," says DTN manager Jerry McKinney. "And they want to know
what we're doing about them." What the northwest Louisiana airport is
doing now is going for the wallet. One DTN tenant has been fined $500
and his guest $150 for a jaunt onto an active runway. More...
DROPS CORSAIR CLAIM, CRALLEY GOOD TO GO
Congressional pressure has forced the U.S. Navy to say "uncle" in a case
of David and Goliath. In 1991, vintage plane buff Lex Cralley of
Princeton, Minn., went down to Craven County, N.C., and dug up the
rusting pieces of a World War II-era Brewster F3A-1 Corsair that had
laid abandoned there for 60 years. Cralley, an airline ground services
mechanic, hoped to some day rebuild the plane, and had started putting
the pieces back together when the Justice Department sued him for
stealing the plane from the federal government, and demanded that
he give it back to the Navy. More...
COMPANY APOLOGIZES FOR FATAL MIDAIR
As German investigators published their final report on what caused a
fatal midair in the skies over southern Germany, the Swiss air traffic
control agency apologized for their role in it. A single controller
working for the Swiss firm Skyguide was on duty at the time of the July
1, 2002, crash. Controller Peter Neilson saw the planes converging but
told the Russian Tupolev passenger jet to descend instead of climb. The
Russian pilots followed his instructions in spite of their TCAS blaring
a warning otherwise, and slammed into a DHL Boeing 757 cargo plane.
Skyguide's apology statement reads: "Skyguide accepts full
responsibility for its errors, and extends its sincere apologies to the
relatives of the 71 individuals who lost their lives."
DOES YOUR AIRCRAFT HAVE A SENSITIVE DIGITAL CO
Low levels of carbon monoxide can be extremely
hazardous because the effects of CO and hypoxia are cumulative. A small
CO leak may be an early warning sign of an impending life-threatening
problem, such as a cracked exhaust system or a leaking cabin door seal.
Don't take chances! With its digital readout that displays CO
concentrations as low as 5 parts per million, the CO Experts Model 2004
from Aeromedix.com is by far the most sensitive under-$100 carbon
monoxide detector you can buy. Call (888) 362-7123 and mention this
AVflash, or go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aeromedi/avflash.
It may not seem the time for another new low-cost airline to emerge, but
what the hey ... it seems they're the only segment of the airline
industry making any money right now. Independence Air, the latest to enter the low-cost
wars, announced last week it will be flying to 27 different airports
from its Washington Dulles hub. By the end of the summer, Independence
promises to be up to 300 flights per day to 35 different cities. I-Air
will start with East Coast cities, but plans to work its way west by the
end of 2004 and early 2005. More...
Veres to attempt 70 rolls in biplane...
Delta carrier Song to give away 5,000 round-trip tickets in June for
Prefer free music to free tickets? United Air Lines is now giving music
Air Canada reaches another agreement that could allow a return to
LAX says it WILL be ready for full-figured Airbus A380...
Access at Moscow airport to be controlled by fingerprint scanners...
AOPA is celebrating its silver? ... bronze? ... aluminum? (65th)
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Flight Returns to Antarctica's Mount Erebus
There are many "out and back" flights you can take -- ranging from a
simple, local, sightseeing flight to the supersonic (and no longer
available) Concorde flights offered at places like Oshkosh. But a unique
and amazing flight can be had that goes to the bottom of the world to
see a volcano among the glaciers. More...
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about contract towers, firefighting tankers, noise
lawsuits and more.
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While practicing for my commercial license I was in the practice area
west of Cleveland Hopkins airport. I had the radio tuned to the tower
and heard this...
Controller: Cessna ###, what is your purpose
here on the field?
Pilot: I'm here for my check
Controller: Are you a bit
Pilot: A bit...
Controller: Because you
landed on the taxiway instead of the assigned runway....
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LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE IS THE MAGAZINE FOR THE
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