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Volume 10, Number 22a -- May 23, 2004

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This issue of AVweb's AVflash is brought to you by ... Pilot Insurance Center (PIC)

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

THE 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...

...GA 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 fold. More...

...AND 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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ONLINE 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 year. More...

...AND 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 AVweb. More...

...WHILE HACKERS ATTACK
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...

THERE'S MORE TO INSTALLING AN AIRCRAFT ENGINE THAN JUST BOLTING IT IN
... and you'd be surprised at how often it's done incorrectly. Bad baffles, incorrectly-set-up fuel systems, and poor installations account for a significant number of costly problems with aircraft piston engines. It doesn't have to happen to you. Visit Teledyne/Mattituck Services online to find out what you really need to know to protect yourself and your aircraft's engine at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/tcm/matt/avflash.

THE 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. More...

STOP 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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AD 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...

GETTING 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...

DON'T BLINDLY RENEW YOUR AIRCRAFT'S INSURANCE WITHOUT SHOPPING AROUND!
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NAVY 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...

SWISS 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." More...

DOES YOUR AIRCRAFT HAVE A SENSITIVE DIGITAL CO MONITOR?
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.

ANOTHER LOW-COST AIRLINE
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...

ON THE FLY...
Veres to attempt 70 rolls in biplane...
Delta carrier Song to give away 5,000 round-trip tickets in June for being "nice"...
Prefer free music to free tickets? United Air Lines is now giving music for miles...
Air Canada reaches another agreement that could allow a return to flying...
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) anniversary. More...

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NEW ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
_____________
NEWS FEATURES
Tourist 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...

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

Reader mail this week about contract towers, firefighting tankers, noise lawsuits and more.

More...

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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. Watch for a Business AVflash regular feature, TSA WATCH: GA IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/ More...

SHORT FINAL...
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 ride.
(pause)
Controller: Are you a bit nervous?

Pilot: A bit...

Controller: Because you landed on the taxiway instead of the assigned runway.... More...

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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.

Sponsor News and Special Offers

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DAD COULD BE THE WINNER OF A NEW PIPER FOR A TWO-WEEK GREEK ISLES TOUR
Global Aviation is sponsoring a fantastic contest. Order a sterling silver, numbered aviation key for Father's Day (June 20), and Dad will be entered in a drawing for an all-expenses-paid use of a new Piper Aircraft to tour the Greek Islands, plus airline tickets and hotel accommodations. For complete details — and to order Dad's key (or one for yourself) — go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/global/avflash.

LIGHT PLANE MAINTENANCE IS THE MAGAZINE FOR THE INFORMED AIRCRAFT OWNER
Every pilot or owner who has flown has really planted one on the runway from time to time. Hard landings frequently cause hidden damage that isn't revealed until an annual or until something expensive breaks. The June issue of Light Plane Maintenance highlights how to do a routine inspection after you've impressed the runway with your high-level landing skills. Stay informed with your personal subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/lpm/avflash.

COMM 1 ANNOUNCES INTERACTIVE NAV & VOR/NDB SIMULATOR TRAINING PROGRAM
Comm 1 Radio Simulator programs contain comprehensive tutorials and fully interactive two-way radio exchanges with ATC — which you can experience from the safety and privacy of your computer. Build skills and confidence on the ground while saving money and aggravation. Select the programs right for your flying needs and order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/comm1/avflash.

EFS OFFERS DISCOUNT ON CD-ROM TRAINING !PLUS! COMPLIMENTARY SHIPPING
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_____________________________________
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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 Liz Swaine:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#lswaine
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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