The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
GROUNDING TIP OF THE ICEBERG?...
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
TREATER SUGGESTS PIPER CASE UNIQUE...
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. More...
RUSHES TO FIX 49 PLANES GROUNDED
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. More...
URGES AIRBUS RUDDER AD
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." More...
HIGHLIGHTED IN FLIGHT 587 PROBE
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.
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SHOULD PAY "FAIR SHARE" FOR SERVICES
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. More...
EXAM, CHECK RULES CHANGE
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.
MAKE THE RIGHT WEATHER DECISIONS QUICKLY AND WITH
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THREATEN STRIKE OVER RADIO NOISE
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.
THE SILENT PLAYER IN THE WATER-BOMBER DEBATE
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. More...
CPA MEMBERSHIP IS THE BEST $45 YOU CAN SPEND ON YOUR
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.
HELP OUT TROOPS OVERSEAS
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. More...
Brazil plans to start shooting down suspected drug runners, U.S.
Friday, the runway lights went out at South Florida International
Hopes that helicopter logging in the swamps of Louisiana may help the
Saturday, a Commemorative Air Force P-51C made an emergency off-field
For NBC Dateline watchers, AVweb's interview with Captain Al Haynes.
FLIGHTMAX EX500 WITH INTEGRATED DATALINK-TRAINING SOFTWARE
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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.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
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.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
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.
Voice: Darn! More...
Sponsor News and Special Offers
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YOUR AIRCRAFT HAVE A SENSITIVE DIGITAL CO MONITOR?
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
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COULD BE THE WINNER OF A NEW PIPER FOR A TWO-WEEK GREEK ISLES
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.
STOP WONDERING OR WORRYING WHERE YOUR
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
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PILOT'S AUDIO UPDATE HELPS YOU BE A BETTER
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.
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Your Cessna, Mooney, Piper, or Grumman airplane
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OFFERS HEADSETS AND FLIGHT BAGS THAT WON'T BREAK YOUR PIGGY
Feather Lite stereo headsets for $89, and a genuine
leather flight bag for $29. With these prices, you can order as gifts
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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
DAD FUNCTION & BEAUTY IN A CHASE-DURER TIMEPIECE + A SPECIAL
Chase-Durer, makers of world-renowned watches,
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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
register online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/seminar/avflash.
GET THE NICEST LETTERS: "THANK YOU FOR A BOOK THAT CAN BE
by the 42-year-old student pilot. Rod Machado's
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YOU EVER WONDERED WHY SOME PILOTS ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE IT
Ever wonder why you lack confidence? Take a look at
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Instructors, where Gordon takes lessons from fifty years of
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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.
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