The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
DC, "INCOMING PLANE!" ... "YOU HAVE ONE MINUTE TO IMPACT."
Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher's King Air 200 yesterday caused panic in
Washington D.C. just hours before the expected arrival of the casket
bearing former president Ronald Reagan. The aircraft was cleared to land
at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) inside the Flight
Restricted Zone (FRZ) but while radio communications were never lost,
something about the plane's transponder signal was -- 13 miles southwest
of DCA, Greg Martin, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration,
told reporters. The "equipment problem," as Fletcher's chief of staff
Daniel Groves called it, somehow sparked officers in the government's
most prominent buildings to shout memorable phrases like, "To the
basement, to the basement." Women were told to immediately remove heeled
shoes to better enable them to run. Before the all-clear was given,
F-15s were summoned, several Supreme Court justices were evacuated and a
motorcade had absconded with the second in line for the presidency (aka
House Speaker Dennis Hastert). Again, sources yesterday indicated the
aircraft never lost radio contact with controllers. More...
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TOUR NPRM TAKES ANOTHER TWIST...
Some say it's just incompetence but others are suggesting bad karma is
to blame as the much-despised National Air Tour Safety Standards process
hit another bump. It seems some of the meatiest of the one-on-one
dialogue between opponents and the FAA will go unrecorded because the
transcripts from part of a public meeting held in Las Vegas have been
lost. FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto told AVweb a steno machine used
in the afternoon session of the meeting failed and the verbal
submissions were lost. He said all 11 presenters have been contacted and
submitted copies of their notes, and the question-and-answer session has
been reconstructed as well as possible. "It's not as dire as some people
are trying to make it out to be," he said. More...
AOPA was among the first to rally against the NPRM and demand public
meetings. Spokesman Jeff Myers said the lost transcripts just seem like
another example of the "folly" that surrounds the rule and the FAA's
seemingly dogged determination to implement it. "It's sad and
embarrassing and disappointing," said Myers. He said that while all the
written submissions survived, what's missing is the give and take,
ad-libs and poignant diversions that are the hallmarks of a spirited
public dialogue. Myers said the rule does nothing beneficial and the FAA
and industry's energy shouldn't be consumed by debating it. "This should
be shut down," he said. (And he didn't mean the charity flights.)
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A PILOT WORTH?...
Given the climate of ensuing and/or continuing Chapter 11 filings among
major carriers, a list of who pays what to fly which airplane becomes
interesting and potentially volatile reading. Safely and routinely
transporting many hundreds of passengers over many many hundreds of not
always hospitable miles, ultimately translates to some monetary value
and Airline Pilot Pay claims to track that value. According to the Web
site www.airlinepilotpay.com (and with numbers "updated
for 2004"), Delta pilots lead the pay-scale pack receiving $320 for
every one of the 65 hours its most senior captains (12 years or more)
watch the screens and otherwise command Boeing 777s. The lowliest of
four-stripers make $212 per flight hour. According to the pay-scale
numbers listed by Airline Pilot Pay (currently) successful airlines like
JetBlue and Southwest don't go up quite as high, the pilots fly more
hours and the two airlines fly one type each. More...
GOING DOWN IN SOME CASES...
Prior to September 2001 it offered record high salaries, but now Delta,
which is publicly involved in very trying financial times, is eyeing up
the pay packets of its pilots to help cut expenses. It wants its 7,200
pilots to cough up $800 million a year in concessions (an average pay
cut of about $11,000 each) and analysts say that might not be enough.
Meanwhile Air Canada pilots have already swallowed $300 million in pay
cuts (an average of $10,000) but they still have some esprit de corps
left for the cause, as evidenced by a very public gesture of support for
the airline -- a $200,000 ad campaign. AVweb is aware of some pilots
willing to fly for (and some airlines willing to pay) substantially
PILOTS HONORED FOR SAVING FLIGHT
If you ever wonder why the folks up front get the big bucks, consider
the day at work American Airlines Capt. Catherine Mertz and First
Officer Scott Palmer had when they tried to get their Fokker 100 full of
passengers from La Guardia to Chicago last Sept. 4. The plane hit a
flock of "large birds" on takeoff, destroying an engine and putting
numerous dings on the radome, fuselage and right wing. With the jet
vibrating and with unknown damage in parts of the plane they couldn't
see, the cockpit crew coaxed a safe emergency landing out of the
stricken aircraft at Kennedy International about 13 minutes later. Last
Friday their exploits earned them high praise, indeed, from fellow
pilots in the Order
of Daedalians. More...
SUES "HORSEPLAYING" PILOT'S ESTATE
A lawsuit appears to have spawned from the crash of a Bell 47 helicopter
in Florida last Oct. 21. William Harter, an alligator hunter nicknamed
"Billy The Gator Man" videotaped his own demise as the 40-year-old
chopper, flown by his (unlicensed) buddy Donn Goodson, crashed into him
before running into Goodson's hangar, killing the pilot and hurting his
unidentified passenger, according to the Tampa Tribune. For whatever
reason, Harter was videotaping Goodson's helicopter as it made at least
four passes a few feet overhead on Goodson's strawberry farm. On the
fifth pass, says the Tribune, which got a copy of the tape, "Harter
didn't flinch until the two-seat helicopter crashed into him." At the
time of the crash, the sheriff's office said Goodson was "sightseeing,"
according to the Tribune. More...
THIS BUTTON FOR?
There was a red-faced pilot but no real harm done last Thursday when a
Continental Airlines pilot enabled the transponder on the Boeing 737 he
was flying from Cleveland to Boston to transmit a hijack code. The
accidental distress call came about 100 miles into the flight and the
pilot tried to assure authorities on the ground that it was, indeed, a
simple mistake. But the authorities were having none of that. "...We're
going to take every precaution and treat situations as if it was (sic)
an emergency until we're satisfied the passengers were (sic) safe,"
Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Ann Davis told the
Boston Herald. More...
LOOKS TO SPACE
Move over Mojave, there's competition for the spaceport business. As
AVweb told you a couple of weeks ago, Mojave Airport in
California is the odds-on favorite to become the country's first
certified private spaceport. But the folks around Burns Flat, Okla., are
hoping investors will see the wisdom of turning an abandoned Air Force
base near there into a launch facility. According to The Space Review,
the state is also hyping the idea of converting the former
Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base and has even created a new office, the Oklahoma
Space Industry Development Authority, to give it that smack of
credibility. The big (really big) factor in favor of the Burns Flat bid
is the 13,000-foot runway, one of the longest stretches of concrete in
the U.S. More...
MECHANICS POPULARIZES WING SUITS
These guys prove you don't need a license to fly ... but maybe it helps
if you're certifiable (kidding, please don't write). "Wing suiters" are
taking the latest thrill ride to extremes, jumping miles from the normal
parachute drop zone and swooping cross-country to the target at about 90
mph laterally and just 40 mph vertically. The special suits also extend
the "freefall" to more than two minutes from 13,000 feet, at least twice
the duration of a normal drop. "It's really spooky
," Tim Mace
told Popular Mechanics after a demonstration in South Africa. "You get
to the point where you think you're going to be there forever." And
then, there's aerobatics. More...
OREGON AERO PRODUCTS PERFECT FOR FATHER'S
Does the pilot dad in your family fumble around in the
cockpit at night? Oregon Aero has a gift idea that will throw
some light on the subject. Oregon Aero's FlashPoint Flashlight
Holder mounts on a headset or helmet, providing a hands-free light
source. Other gift ideas: Hand-sewn flight bags and painless portable
cushion systems from Oregon Aero. Get more great Father's Day gift ideas
online at Oregon Aero's web site, http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/oregon/avflash.
SCRATCHES LED TO CRACKED BOEINGS
A new paint job might seem like the least likely of suspects to cause
structural problems in aircraft but at least 32 Boeing 737s, four 747s
and seven 757s are being examined for fatigue cracks that might result
from procedures specific to the painting process. The Townsville
(Australia) Bulletin reported this week that "scribe lines" from metal
tools used in the painting process led to a two-foot crack in a fuselage
strap on a Qantas 747. The crack was discovered by engineers working on
the plane. The other 41 aircraft have the scribe lines but there's no
mention of cracks. Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
told the FAA about the potential problem and a worldwide alert was
RECOGNITION FOR THOSE MOST DESERVING
Some fly for fun, some for money and some to serve. If you know anyone
in that last category (or any combination, for that matter) you can
nominate them for one of five categories in the National Public Benefit
Flying Awards Program, which was launched by the National
Aeronautic Association (NAA) in cooperation with the Air Care
Alliance last year. The awards honor those who have made significant
contributions in public-benefit flying or performed an exceptional
action in the cause. Deadline for nominations is June 30 and they can be
made online or by mail to NAA, 1815 N. Fort Myer Drive, Suite 500,
Arlington, VA 22209. More...
Color blindness of pilot contributed to crash of FedEx 727...
Navy was to award maritime surveillance aircraft contract...
NASA and Delta will test turbulence detection system...
Alex Sloan the next Tony Bingelis Award winner. More...
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Aviator #6: Trusting Saboteurs
An alarming number of today's piston GA aircraft are in poor mechanical
shape, and their owners are partly to blame. AVweb's Mike Busch
describes how owners encourage poor maintenance -- sometimes through
misplaced trust and sometimes through inadvertent sabotage -- and
explains how you can avoid doing so.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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"SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, in response to the June 9 TFR violations in Washington, D.C.,
we'd like to know what you think of Temporary Flying Restrictions
(TFRs). Love 'em or hate 'em, tell us how you feel. PLUS: Results of
last week's "QOTW" about lost flying comrades. More...
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Forget lions, tigers, and bears this week's "Picture of the Week"
contest has helicopters, amphibians, and Cessnas! (Oh, my!) And they're
all set against spectacular natural backdrop of the setting sun. Despite
the common setting, each of this week's "POTW" entries is from a
different region of North America and features a different flying
machine. Congratulations to Gary Watson, who walks away with first prize
this week. Gary, your Officially Licensed AVweb Collectible Hat is in
the mail! More...
News and Special Offers |
AVweb and AVflash is provided by the support of our fine sponsors. We
appreciate your patronage.
Terrific Ideas for Father's Day at
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|JULY'S ISSUE OF IFR REFRESHER REFRESHES YOUR IFR
"Stalled On The Miss," learn from an A-36
stalled on a Texas miss; "Seamless Departures," tips to get on your way;
"The Red Bluff VOR/DME 15," fly a DME arc and execute the old but
reliable procedure; "Hot IFR: The Ring of Fire," all ingredients for
thunderstorms seem to be in place, so where's the storm? Meteorologist
Craig Sanders tells why and shows where convective initiation is likely
to erupt during July and August dog days; "Stargazer's Advantage," a few
IFR Refresher quiz questions to help fly standard terminal
arrival routes; and "The Best IFR Preflight" are awaiting your IFR
reading pleasure with a subscription at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/belvoir/ifrref/avflash.
|CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
AirPower Software offers multiple
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preloaded information to address particular usage amounts and/or costs.
In addition to preloaded aircraft databases, the Budget Analyzer lets
you create individualized budgets via the "My Aircraft" selection,
allowing you to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There
are six editions: Lite (no databases) Piston; Turbo Prop; Helicopter;
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BEST RESOURCE FOR PILOTS GLEIM PUBLICATIONS &
Gleim Publishing, the most trusted name in
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|RENTERS! CARRY AN ALTITUDE ALERTER WITH YOU ON YOUR NEXT
AirSport Avionics is the only manufacturer of
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CAN CHANGE ON ANY GOVERNMENT WORKING DAY|
Aviation's Computerized Aviation Reference Library saves you time
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that organizes, formats, and makes information accessible! Updates are
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|SOFT LEATHER HOLDS YOUR IDENTIFICATION IN
Pilotmall.com is offering a complimentary soft
leather ID holder with a stamped airplane on the cover (a $19.99 value)
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|FIRST WORLD FLIGHT: THE ODYSSEY OF BILLY MITCHELL
IS A MUST-READ!|
Three years before Lindbergh's flight to
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world. Countries that tried had failed, and pilots had died. Could the
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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, is
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for only $30 (regularly $90) with any watch purchase. Beautiful and
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DAD A FLYING CARPET FOR FATHER'S DAY, JUNE 20th|
Dad along in the cockpit of Greg Brown's Flying Carpet: The
Soul of an Airplane to share the struggles, triumphs, and crazy
adventures of a pilot as he matures from fledgling to seasoned aviator.
Some stories are harrowing, some are downright hilarious, and all will
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|JOHN ECKALBAR'S BOOK ATTRACT RAVE
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|HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION
CrewCar and Consumer Guides have teamed up to
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The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership
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