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SURVIVAL OF HAWKER BEECHCRAFT
Hawker Beechcraft Friday
announced progress in its plans to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy,
possibly completing the transition before March. The company's creditors
have approved its proposed reorganization plan and banks have committed
to underwrite $600 million in funds that will serve as exit financing.
The company is headed to court on Jan. 31 and expects to seek approval
for the exit from bankruptcy at that time. Hawker Beechcraft would then
seek to focus on core productions like the King Air and T-6. Certain
details could still derail the process. More...
FINDS MORE MONEY?
Moller International Thursday announced a
potential deal with Athena Technologies to "establish co-production" for
its vertical takeoff and landing aircraft "in the US and the People's
Republic of China," but questions remain. According to Moller, the deal
will see the companies "jointly produce numerous models" of Moller's
Skycar designs "by 2014" and is backed by an initial $80 million as part
of a planned $480 million investment. The deal must now be approved by
both parties, according to the news release. Moller's Skycar has been in
development for decades. Athena may be just as interesting.
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CHAMBLISS OK AFTER CRASH
Airshow and Red Bull Air Races pilot
Kirby Chambliss is a little banged up and his Zivko Edge 540 is a mess
after a crash landing in a ravine in El Salvador last week. Chambliss
and fellow pilot Skip Stewart were rehearsing for the Ilopango Air Show
near San Salvador Jan. 24 when the aircraft's engine failed during a the
low and slow high alpha maneuver. With neither altitude nor speed to
work with, Chambliss put the plane down the best he could in a ravine
off the end of the runway. More...
HIT BY NEW YEAR'S GUNFIRE
A Florida pilot has
uploaded a YouTube video detailing how he was hit by
a bullet while flying with his girlfriend over Jacksonville on New
Year's Eve. Graham Hill was apparently grazed by what may have been
celebratory gunfire as he flew a rented Cessna 172 over the city to view
the midnight fireworks display. "I heard a loud pop," he said. He didn't
immediately realize he'd been hit. After checking to make sure his
girlfriend was OK, he said he scanned the cockpit for anything that had
been shattered and just as he noticed the hole in the pilot side window
he felt blood running down his neck. More...
CRASH 'NOT SURVIVABLE'
Searchers in Antarctica say the crash
of a Canadian Twin Otter was "not survivable" and the operation is now a
recovery mission and it will be October before that can happen. Three
Canadians, including aircraft commander Bob Heath, his copilot Mike
Denton, 25, and an unidentified third person were aboard the aircraft,
which hit the side of a mountain in the Queen Alexandria range. The
aircraft was owned and operated by Kenn Borek Air, of Calgary, which is
world-renowned for its work at both poles using specially equipped Twin
Otters and DC-3s. Weather has improved in the area, which was hit with
100-mph winds for two days after the Twin Otter's ELT was triggered on
Wednesday. A helicopter reached the site on Sunday but crew members were
unable to reach the front of the aircraft, which was embedded in the
snow. They did, however, recover the cockpit voice recorder.
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SAYS LOTS OF WORK AHEAD FOR 787 PROBE
The head of the NTSB
suggested the investigation into the cause of fires aboard two Boeing
787 airliners this month will be a protracted affair. Deborah Hersman
said there is evidence the APU battery aboard a Japan Airlines
Dreamliner short circuited and had indications of a thermal runaway but
what really got the board's attention is that the protections in place
to handle that scenario didn't work. "The investigation will include an
evaluation of how a fault that resulted in a battery fire could have
defeated the safeguards in place to guard against that," said Hersman.
"As we learn more in this investigation, we will make recommendations
for needed improvements to prevent a recurrence." It's not up to the
NTSB to decide when the 787 will fly again. That's up to the FAA, which
did not issue any statements on the latest NTSB news release. Teal Group
analyst Richard Aboulafia, who spoke with AVweb earlier this week
podcast interview, told Reuters the statements made by Hersman are
not encouraging. More...
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STUDENT PILOT DRUNK PRIOR TO CRASH
Student pilot Brendan
Mattingley, 27, and his Piper PA-18 Super Cub disappeared near Anchorage
last October, inspiring a weeks-long search, and now the NTSB has
released evidence that the pilot may have been drunk and lied about his
personal history. One witness, a bouncer who escorted
Mattingley from a bar, described the pilot as "very intoxicated"
less than two hours before he went missing. A cab driver who delivered
Mattingley first to a motel and then to Soldotna Airport may have been
the last to see Mattingley. He told the NTSB that Mattingley appeared to
be drunk and stated that he would sleep in his airplane. Investigators
were unable to find Mattingley's logbook, but found that he was
convicted of a DWI charge in June of 2002, which he did not report to
the FAA. Other factors complicated the search. More...
HYPERSONIC 'SPACELINER' PROJECT
The German Aerospace Center's
Institute of Space Systems is researching a "SpaceLiner" that hopes to,
by 2050, send 50 passengers from Europe to Australia in 90 minutes,
flying at 24 Mach, project coordinator Martin Sippel told TechNewsDaily.
The design is expected to evolve but currently includes a rocket booster
that would separate from the passenger-carrying vehicle, which would
cruise at an altitude of about 50 miles. According to Sippel, the
concept would share similarities with the Space Shuttle because it
relies on proven rocket technology and would see the vehicle glide back
to earth for landing. He expects that technological advances could lure
private investors to the project within the next decade. There are, of
course, very large hurdles to overcome. More...
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EASA EASES OFF ON PRIVATE IFR PILOTS
The European Aviation
Safety Agency came under fire in 2011 for a proposed rule that would
have required all resident pilots to have EASA licenses. The rule takes
effect in April of 2014, but, thanks to the work of advocacy groups, key
elements have changed to make it much easier for those with N-registered
aircraft and those currently flying on FAA certificates. AVweb's
Russ Niles spoke with Emmanuel Davidson of AOPA France about the
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PARDO'S PUSH -- MCDONNELL F4 PHANTOM
"Pardo's push" of
March 10, 1967 was preceded by a similar event. In 1952, fighter ace
Robbie Risner pushed fellow flyer Joe Logan 60 miles. The two men were
flying F-86 Sabre jets and successfully cleared hostile territory, but
Logan bailed out over water, was tangled in his canopy lines, and
drowned. Risner was deemed a hero, but by Pardo's account, pilots were
not encouraged to partake in similar activities. More...
OF THE WEEK: MICHIGAN AVIATION (KPTK, PONTIAC, MI)
AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Michigan
Aviation at Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) in
AVweb reader John Keller sang
their praises on his nomination form:
We arrived in the CE-525 when it was 7 °F with light snow.
Two line personnel [were] there to greet us with rental auto planeside.
A little paperwork for the car, and a crew car [arrived] for the pilot,
complete with directions to hotel and dinner. [The] airplane went into
their warm hangar in a short while. Outstanding service from all
personnel especially fueling, hangaring, and getting ready to
depart on a cold and snowy morning. We will be using this excellent FBO
for several more trips in the future months.
Way to go,
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...
Due to firefighting activity, our small airport
became a heli-base, and we had a temporary FAA tower. I briefed a
recently soloed student who had never been out of the area or to a
towered airport on procedures. Of course, one point was quickly
forgotten and/or possibly overlooked.
"Scott Valley Tower, 123 requesting back taxi to runway 16
"123, you are cleared as
As he was doing his run-up
"Cessna 123, hold short for landing
traffic and read back 'hold short' instructions."
[Of course he didn't read
"123, hold short landing
"123, acknowledge and read back
'hold short' instructions."
"Cessna 123, do you read Scott
"Yes, sir, and I'm holding
for you to read back instructions!"
Kevin Martin More...
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