NewsWire Complete Issue
By The AVweb Editorial Staff
Weak Steel Might Have Gone To Other Manufacturers...
The FAA has confirmed it's investigating whether defective heat-treated steel found in dozens of New Piper aircraft made its way to other manufacturers. "It's something we are definitely looking
into," FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told AVweb. She said there is no evidence to date that the issue affects any other manufacturer but Charles Nelson, vice president of marketing for Wilco Inc., the Wichita steel distributor that supplied the steel to Piper, told AVweb any number of aircraft
manufacturers or other types of industries could have taken delivery of specially heat-treated steel that is not as strong as it should be. "I've told them (the FAA) that every time I've talked to
them," said Nelson, whose company is, perhaps unfairly, at the center of the grounding of at least 49 newly
built Pipers last week. Wilco Inc. was the middleman in the delivery of specially treated steel to New Piper. Steel mills don't make the AMS 6345 "normalized" steel that is used in some airplane
parts. Normalized steel is heated to specific temperatures and cooled at a controlled rate to increase its strength. As a steel distributor, Wilco arranged to have steel properly prepared after
receiving an order from Piper earlier this year. Although there are many companies that can do the process, Piper wanted sheets of steel that were larger than most companies could treat. Nelson said
he was aware of only one company that could do the job at that time.
Wilco sent the steel to Certified Steel Treating in Los Angeles at New Piper's request. When steel is normalized, an independent lab must test it -- the results are returned with the shipment. Nelson
said all the paperwork was in order for the steel order, which was then forwarded to Piper. He confirmed that all of the treated steel in that particular order went to Piper. But he also said
Certified treats steel for numerous other distributors. He said there's a good chance some of those distributors supply other aircraft manufacturers. Certified President Jeff Davis agreed his company
treats steel "for lots of people" but he suggested the Piper order was an anomaly. "I haven't heard any complaints from anyone else," he said. But Nelson (of Wilco Inc., the steel distributor) said it
could be that potentially defective heat-treated steel simply hasn't been discovered by other manufacturers yet and he's urging the FAA to look into that possibility. Davis (of Certified Steel, the
treatment facility) said he hasn't been contacted by the FAA.
Meanwhile, New Piper is whittling down the number of aircraft that are grounded as it identifies those that contain parts made from the defective steel. The company originally issued a Mandatory
Service Bulletin grounding 76 aircraft built since mid-January. Of those, 39 had been delivered to customers. Spokesman Mark Miller said that by last Friday, the number of affected aircraft had been
cut to 49, of which 20 were in customers' hands, 23 were at dealers and six were still at the factory. Because the aircraft can't be flown, teams of service technicians must be sent to inspect and, as
necessary, retrofit the affected aircraft with new steel parts. Miller said the steel is used throughout the aircraft for parts that need the extra strength. In some cases, the parts are readily
accessible and easy to change but getting at others will require major disassembly of the aircraft. The fault was discovered when a production-line worker noticed that a seat belt bracket had bent.
"The good news out of all this is the (quality control) system worked," Miller said. He said he's not sure how long it will take to retrofit the affected aircraft but the company is working flat-out
to resolve the problem, starting with the airplanes that have already been delivered.
Travel Limiter Modifications Needed...
Airbus says it agrees with an NTSB recommendation that the rudder-control system on A300-600 aircraft be modified to
prevent the kind of circumstances that sent an American Airlines flight tumbling briefly out of control over Florida in 1997. The NTSB is urging the FAA to issue an Airworthiness Directive for Airbus
to modify the rudder-travel limiter system "so it can respond effectively to rapid airspeed changes such as those that might be experienced during upsets and not be adversely affected by pedal
forces." The recommendation came from the NTSB's examination of the case of American Flight 903. The plane was at 16,000 feet when it banked steeply to the left and right, stalled and fell more than
3,000 feet. A crew member was seriously hurt and the plane slightly damaged.
The report makes no mention of Flight 587, which crashed in New York in 2001, killing a total of 265 people, but Forbes.com said the recommendations grew out of that investigation. In the New York
disaster, the aircraft entered a series of rapid oscillations after hitting the wake turbulence of a Boeing 747 shortly after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport. The vertical
stabilizer came free of the airplane, as did both engines, before the aircraft crashed into suburban Belle Harbor. Among the dead were five people on the ground. The NTSB recommendation also says that
other transport-category aircraft with rudder-limiting systems be evaluated to see if they share the same problems. It says Airworthiness Directives should be issued on any other aircraft that exhibit
BAKED FRESH DAILY!
Is your kneeboard old and stale? Did it sit too long on the boat from east Asia, then in a
warehouse, and then at your local pilot shop? Zuluboards are sewn fresh daily! Zuluworks keeps zero finished goods inventory, sews each board by hand for your order, and ships within 24-48
hours. Choose from 12 colors and two styles. You won't be disappointed at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/zulu/avflash.
Another prominent airline-industry executive has joined Northwest Airlines CEO Richard Anderson in the call for higher fees for general aviation. In anopinion piece, Jim May, president and CEO of the Air Transport Association, claims GA accounts for 40 percent of the flights
handled by FAA centers and 69 percent of tower work but contributes only 2 percent of the revenue (through gasoline tax) needed to keep the systems operating. "The fees general aviation operators pay
today don't even come close to covering the costs of the federal aviation services they receive," May wrote. About two months ago, Northwest Airlines CEO Richard Anderson shared similar views with the captive audience reading the airline's in-flight magazine. However, while Anderson's
opinions grew from a dispute with the Metropolitan Airports Commission over the subsidization of GA airports from money earned (a large proportion of it Northwest's) at Minneapolis-St. Paul
International, May's comments are broadly based and aimed at GA in general. "Each user should pay its fair share," he wrote. May doesn't say what that fair share is and how it might be collected but
he's sure to hear about his comments from the alphabets.
If you're working on your instrument rating or you need an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC), your world is about to change, and not entirely for the better, according to at least one training
expert. The FAA has revised its instrument rating practical test standards. The 48 pages of new rules
go into effect on Oct. 1, and one clause in particular will have widespread consequences, Richard Kaplan, a principal and instructor at Flight Level
Aviation, told AVweb. He said the new rules require that a circling approach be demonstrated during the IPC. Not only does the requirement send the wrong message to pilots (that circling
approaches are SOP) and decrease flexibility (the ability to adapt training to address the pilot's weaknesses), Kaplan claims, it will also increase costs to trainers, and, ultimately, pilots. Kaplan
said the vast majority of IPCs are done on simulators and, more recently, on a sophisticated but relatively inexpensive PC-based system called an Advanced ATD. Under current rules, the PC system is
approved for the entire IPC but the systems are not approved to check circling approaches. Also, said Kaplan, many of the hugely expensive simulators that a lot of schools use will no longer be
approved for IPCs because they lack the wrap-around view needed for circling approaches. The wrap-around screens cost tens of thousands of dollars. The new rule might mean that parts of the IPC will
have to be done in actual airplanes. Kaplan said the new rules also lay out the specific tasks to be demonstrated in the tests and checks and that inhibits the instructor's ability to individualize
the check and turn it into a learning experience. "The FAA has removed the CFII's discretion and turned the IPC into just another hurdle to overcome," he said.
MAKE THE RIGHT WEATHER DECISIONS QUICKLY AND WITH CONFIDENCE!
With NEW Practical Risk Management for
Weather from King Schools. Youre aware that weather can be very unforgiving. It can (and does) kill. The truly tragic fact is that every weather-related accident could have been avoided!
With Practical Risk Management for Weather, youll learn to proactively recognize weather risks and their constantly changing reality and learn how to make essential weather-related
decisions, both on the ground and in the cockpit. This CD-ROM course is WINGS approved and qualifies for the AVEMCO Safety Rewards Program. 113 minutes before questions for ONLY $49! Order NOW by
calling (800) 854-1001 and mentioning this AVflash, or order online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/king/awwx/avflash.
It sounds like a familiar story but news that Israeli air traffic controllers are threatening to strike has a twist. The controllers aren't looking for more money, longer breaks or better benefits.
They say they'll walk off the job if the government of Israel doesn't crack down on all the pirate radio stations operating in the country that are disrupting air traffic communications. "In light of
the extent to which broadcast stations are appearing in our 'electronic skies,' an air crash is only a matter of time," the chairmen of the air traffic controllers union and the Israeli Pilots Union
wrote in a joint statement to the government. Meanwhile, Israel's national airline is setting up satellite bases in North America to save money and time for flight crews. El Al will set up the bases
in Toronto and Los Angeles and station pilots there for up to a month at a time. The bases will reduce the amount of deadheading pilots must do in their normal shift rotations. Despite the expense of
setting up the accommodations and ensuring families get time together in North America, El Al told haaretz.com the plan will save the airline money in the long run. The bases will be in operation
during the summer, over the holiday season and during Passover 2005.
The Forest Service cancelled air-tanker contracts in part because it was afraid of being sued if any of them crashed, according to a report in the Billings Gazette. In a remarkably candid interview
(for a government official concerned about liability) Tony Kern, the Forest Service's assistant director of aviation management, said the safety of air crews and people on the ground was the first
consideration but liability was also a concern. In late April, an NTSB report on two air-tanker crashes said many of the planes are potentially dangerous and, because they are "public use" aircraft,
they are outside the FAA's certification jurisdiction while fighting fires. That put all the responsibility on the Forest Service and it responded May 10 by canceling contracts for 33 large tankers.
Kern noted the decision was made a little easier by the unnamed mayor of an unnamed Rocky Mountain city who wrote a letter saying she expected the federal government to "guarantee" that the planes
flying over her city "will not come apart over the heads of the public." Kern said her letter brought the issue home for the Forest Service. "This could end up with a plane landing on a school," Kern
said. "You are talking about the potential for negligent homicide." Officials at Neptune Aviation, an air-tanker operator, told the Gazette they were shocked by Kern's admission of liability and said
the comments could open up the Forest Service to lawsuits resulting from the 2002 crashes.
CPA MEMBERSHIP IS THE BEST $45 YOU CAN SPEND ON YOUR CESSNA!
With more than 12,000 active members, the Cessna
Pilots Association (CPA) is the world's biggest and best aviation "type club" for Cessna pilots and owners. Members receive a monthly magazine, a weekly e-mail newsletter, technical support by a
full-time staff of A&Ps with tremendous expertise in all Cessna models, model-specific buyer's guides and systems courses, a group aircraft insurance program, and access to CPA's giant online
knowledge bank and popular online member forums. Join by calling (805) 922-2580 and mentioning this AVflash, or by clicking here http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/cpa/avflash.
The St. Augustine Airport Pilots Association is sending a bit of home to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The pilots group is taking
$10 donations that will allow it to fill packages with snacks, toiletries, lip balm, eye drops and DVDs for soldiers fighting in those countries. "I think everybody should say thank you to our troops
and this is a perfect way to do it," association member Bill Pacetti told the St. Augustine Record. Donations have come in from as far away as California and checks, made out to SAPA U.S. Troop Care
Package, can be sent to 147 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine, FL 32084.
A plan by Brazil to start shooting down suspected drug runners has resulted in the U.S.'s threatening to withdraw aid. As early as July, Brazil says it will unleash the air force on aircraft
whose pilots refuse to say who or what is on board. The U.S. wants to ensure safeguards are in place to protect innocent aircraft and occupants...
The runway lights went out at South Florida International Airport for the second time in three weeks last Friday. Nine incoming flights were diverted in the most recent three-hour outage but
outbound flights got out before it got dark...
Helicopter logging is being tried in the swamps of Louisiana to prevent the environmental damage caused when ground equipment takes out the logs. Columbia Helicopters, of Oregon, is plucking
the mature cypress trees from the swamp near Raceland...
A helicopter that crashed in India last year killing all 23 aboard had just been in for major maintenance. Newwindpress.com reports that there is no indication the MI-172 chopper had been
tested after its tail rotor shaft and gearbox were replaced...
A Commemorative Air Force P-51C made an emergency off-field landing during an air show near Red Wing, Minn., on Saturday. The pilot was airlifted to hospital but his condition wasn't known at
our deadline, nor was the fate of the aircraft, one of just four flying...
For NBC Dateline watchers, AVweb's interview with Captain Al Haynes.
FLIGHTMAX EX500 WITH INTEGRATED DATALINK-TRAINING SOFTWARE NOW AVAILABLE
Avidyne's FlightMax EX500
provides the best value MFD/Datalink solution available for G.A. And it's the easiest to use. To prove it, Avidyne has put together a new FlightMax EX500 trainer which allows you to "fly" user-defined
flight plans and retrieve "datalinked" graphical weather and TFRs all along the route and randomly access virtually all pages and functions of the EX500, just as you would on the real product.
Download your no-cost EX500 Training Software at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.
As the Beacon Turns #77: The Big Non-Stop
Stepping up from domestic airline routes to international routes brings some perks to pilots -- like fewer flights per month -- but a 13-hour leg can really be a pain in the keister. AVweb's Michael
Maya Charles just upgraded to the MD-11 and the Memphis to Tokyo route ... and now he spends his off-duty time catching up on sleep.
Reader mail this week about FSS privatization, firefighting tankers, Capstone in Alaska, airport noise and much more.
MORE KUDOS FOR MIKE BUSCH'S "SAVVY OWNER SEMINAR" ...
"In 25 years of aircraft ownership, I have NEVER received so
much valuable information in such a short period of time. My two-day investment will pay for itself ten-fold." John Pew, Scottsdale, AZ. "Mike Busch is a born teacher and has a
very pragmatic, cost-conscious approach to managing airplane maintenance. The course was well-thought-out, everything ran like clockwork, and it was really a lot of fun." Tom Henderson,
Ventura, CA. "The seminar is positively eye-opening, exploring an area of aviation where few pilots ever tread. Not only have I already saved more $$$ than the entire cost of going to the
seminar, but my aircraft is in better shape as a result." Milt Concannon, M.D., McComb, MS. For seminar schedule and details, plus Mike's no-cost monthly e-newsletter, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.
(Three runways, two intersections and a lesson in geometry.)
While doing touch and goes at my home airport...
Tower: Experimental XYZ, cleared to land 17, hold short of 35.
Me (without thinking): Roger, cleared on 17, hold short of 35.
(Several seconds later.)
Voice on frequency: I want to see this!
Another voice: Me, too!
Tower: Uh, Experimental XYZ, make that hold short of 22.
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
SHOPPING DEALSTHE SCHEYDEN GIVEAWAY CONTINUES! LOG ON TO SEE THE LATEST WINNERS
"The quality is superior to any pair of sunglasses I have ever had. The lenses are so natural. And to flip them up oh, Heaven!" Jake Garn, USN/USAF/Astronaut,
Shuttle Discovery Mission STS 51D, and owner/pilot of a 1948 Navion.A pair of Scheydens will be given away every other week to a lucky AVweb winner a retail value up to $395!
The unique flip-up design has become the choice of pilots who demand quality and function. Handmade titanium frames, quality lenses, a Rosewood case, plush micro-fiber bag and cloth are standard on
all styles. For information, and to register to win, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/scheyden/avflash.
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.
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
STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR FRIENDS ARE
Do you have family flying in? A business
colleague coming in for a meeting? Will your partner get back before you need the plane? Find out where in the air they are with the AVweb Edition of Flight Explorer. AVweb subscribers can sign
up for Flight Explorer at the special price of just $9.95 a month at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/flightexplorer/avflash.
PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE HELPS YOU BE A BETTER PILOT
Cassette tapes such as "Are You Ready for an
Emergency," "Managing Your Fuel Supply," "Getting the Most Out of ATC," and more are available online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/avcons/pau/avflash.
SUCK, SQUEEZE, BANG, BLOW, MAKE IT GO WITH
POWER FLOW EXHAUST SYSTEM!
Your Cessna, Mooney, Piper, or Grumman airplane deserves a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System. Power Flow GUARANTEES your plane will repay you by
performing better than you ever expected! For those who already have the Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System, order your STC'd exhaust shield! For details and to place an order, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/power/avflash.
OFFERS HEADSETS AND FLIGHT BAGS THAT WON'T BREAK YOUR PIGGY BANK!
Feather Lite stereo headsets for $89, and a genuine leather flight bag for $29. With these prices, you can order as gifts
and for yourself! Go online now and order at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/skyguy/avflash.
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.
GIVE DAD FUNCTION & BEAUTY IN A CHASE-DURER TIMEPIECE + A SPECIAL OFFER
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) at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/chasedur/avflash.
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 register online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/seminar/avflash.
WE GET THE NICEST LETTERS: "THANK YOU FOR A BOOK THAT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD
by the 42-year-old student pilot. Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook puts things I couldn't
understand into terms anyone can understand." "My students love Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. It's the only textbook they really read and enjoy." "Awesome!" Order your copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/machado/avflash.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT TOGETHER?
Ever wonder why you lack confidence? Take a look at Gordon Henrie's Instructional Methods for
Flight Instructors, where Gordon takes lessons from fifty years of flying and tells you how to be more capable, safe, and confident in your own flying and how to teach more
effectively. This is not a question-and-answer book, but a guide to what you actually do and think when you are in the cockpit. It also tells you how to root out bad habits and techniques. You will
never understand the depth of this book until you read it. Order your copy at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/mountain/avflash.