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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
TO MOJAVE, AMERICA'S FIRST INLAND SPACEPORT
If it's before 10:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), you may want to click through
to KLOA online radio
to see if their bandwidth can accommodate you for a live audio
feed of the "first civilian pilot to cross the border of space in a
civilian-funded vehicle" ... if it wasn't cancelled, or you're not
already watching it on CNN. Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites -- the
"you're not likely to know what we're up to next until we have to push
it outside" people -- scheduled 10:30 a.m. (Eastern) today for its
attempt to "push it outside" in a very big way with SpaceShipOne -- and
they invited the world to watch ... relatively speaking. (On-site
reporters were only kicked out of two buildings). Mike Melville found
out yesterday at a press conference that he was chosen from three pilots
for the unearthly task of piloting the nitrous oxide- and rubber-burning
craft to space and back: "I am very excited. ... I am ready to go," he
said. Straight up at Mach 3.2 to better than 300,000 feet and back.
ORBIT, SOONER THAN YOU THINK
Rutan hopes success in this venture would initiate a new private space
race to usher affordable space travel to the common (perhaps
upper-upper-middle class) man. Rutan estimates first-generation public
spacecraft -- and SpaceShipOne is scaleable -- will offer "rides" at
$30,000-50,000 and second-generation craft will do it for closer to
$10,000. "We're heading to orbit sooner than you think ... The next 25
years will be a wild ride ... and one that historians will note was done
for the benefit of all," said Rutan. The people who drove to the site in
the Mojave desert -- like Lauren from Oregon, Eric from Santa Cruz, or
Richard and Susan from Three Rivers -- clearly shared Burt's vision that
the event would be, like the Wright Brothers' first flight before a
skeptical audience in Europe, an exhibition for the ages. "I just wanted
to be here to see it," said Greg, who flew in from Falls Church,
Virginia. Nobody mentioned the 90-degree temperatures and the blowing
dirt. We were there yesterday, and invite you to have a look around. More...
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ARE HERE TO STAY
"TFRs do serve a purpose, and they're effective," Robert Albracht,
director of GA Operations at the Transportation Security
Administration, told AVweb last Thursday in a conference-call
interview with several TSA staffers. Essentially, the TFRs function to
clear the sky, so security forces are not distracted by a multitude of
targets but instead can focus quickly on any that don't belong. That
means that GA pilots who blunder into the restricted zones will be
noticed. "And when pilots venture into these zones, they are going to be
dealt with," Albracht said. "I do have the feeling that the grace
period, the leniency period, is over," he said, though he stressed that
it's the FAA, and not the TSA, that determines what action will be taken
against TFR violators. "There may be harsher penalties than there were
at first." More...
DESPITE EFFORTS TO CURTAIL THEM ...
Albracht added that his office has no control over presidential TFRs.
"As long as the president travels outside the White House, and
presidential candidates are moving around, there will be TFRs," he said.
But the TSA office does have discretion over many other TFR requests,
and many are turned down. Many large events, such as sports events and
other gatherings, request TFRs. "There would have to be a threat, to
justify that," said Robert Rottman, TSA security specialist. But certain
events, such as the Super Bowl and major political conventions, are
always going to have TFRs, Albracht said. "We definitely go through
excruciating travails to winnow out only the truly deserving requests,"
said Rottman. "We're very aware of the impact these have on general
aviation, and we try to keep that impact as low as possible."
BUT GA AIRPORT SECURITY IS OK
As for security protocols at your local GA airport, the general feeling
at the TSA is that the voluntary guidelines are working. "These
guidelines were the end result of a truly collaborative effort among
many industry groups, and they were all agreed to 100 percent," said
Steven Calabro, GA security inspector. "Our aim was to establish federal
guidelines so airports could know they were on the right track, and know
what the feds would give a thumbs-up to." The working group also aimed
to prevent a mishmash of state laws from being enacted locally. "Our
anecdotal evidence is that GA airports are compliant overall, and are
even going beyond the guidelines," Calabro said. More...
RESPONDS TO 9/11 REPORT
After last Thursday's report by the 9-11 Commission critiqued
the FAA's response on 9/11, the FAA issued a news
release in its own defense. The FAA said its actions on 9/11
"demonstrated the urgency and initiative of many employees who were
acting under intense pressure." Further, "As the 9/11 commission has
noted, the FAA faced a situation it had 'never encountered or trained
against' and no one involved had 'perfect information' that morning."
The commission report found no fault with actions taken by the
rank-and-file FAA workers. "Individual FAA controllers, facility
managers, and Command Center managers thought 'outside the box' in
recommending a nationwide alert, in ground-stopping local traffic, and,
ultimately, in deciding to land all aircraft and executing that
unprecedented order flawlessly," the report said. More...
SHORT AIRPORT JOY RIDE, A $1 MILLION BILL
A 13-year-old girl was waiting in the car with her 13-year-old friend
while her aunt ran an errand in the airport office at New York's Penn
Yan Airport last Tuesday. The aunt looked out the window and saw that
the two girls were driving the car, and ran outside to try to stop them.
The girls apparently panicked, and crashed into a hangar door, which
happened to have a $37 million jet sitting right behind it. The car got
entangled with a wing, and the girls were trapped. Both suffered minor
injuries, but were released after treatment. The jet damage was
estimated at $1 million. More...
E-OX: A HIGH-QUALITY PORTABLE OXYGEN NEED NOT COST AN ARM
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SCHMANGER! AUSSIE SCIENTISTS CREATE SUN-STRENGTHENED
A new process discovered at an Australian research institute could lead
to the production of aluminum airplanes that get stronger the longer
they are left to "bake" in the sun. Roger Lumley, a scientist with CSIRO Elaborately Transformed Metals (CETM), says if
aluminum panels are allowed to cure in the sun instead of in a
high-temperature furnace, the metal becomes 20 percent tougher and up to
eight times more resistant to rupture on impact. "We have developed two
heat treatments using our new knowledge, both of which overcome the
age-old problem of either increasing the strength of aluminum and
reducing its fracture toughness, or vice versa," Lumley says.
GLASS COCKPIT CERTIFIED
The death of steam-driven round cockpit gauges advanced a giant step
closer on Friday, when the FAA gave full type certification to Cessna
for its Garmin G1000-equipped 182T Skylane. This is the G1000's first
FAA aircraft-level certification, according to a Cessna press release.
Cessna's CEO Jack Pelton said the all-glass G1000 system was the "ideal
choice" for their single-engine product line because of its
state-of-the-art integration and intuitive display. "The G1000 brings a
new level of safety and situational awareness to the cockpit," Pelton
said. Cessna said it took 300 orders within hours of announcing the
G1000 option last October, and expects to deliver its first G1000
Skylane immediately. More...
FAA OPPOSES FAA NOISE NPRM
When the FAA asked for comments on its proposed new noise regulation for
single-engine aircraft, it probably didn't expect to get publicly
blasted by one of its own -- but that's what it got. "We request that
this proposal be withdrawn and reconsidered," Scott Sedgwick, manager of
the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate Standards Office, said in a memo posted to the public docket. Among his reasons
for wanting to boot the proposal: "The assumption that single-engine
training airplanes are a significant source of airplane noise is not
valid ...The proposed noise levels do not reflect current technology ...
They will place an uneven regulatory burden on the U.S. industry with no
public gain." More...
FLIGHT TO HELP KIDS IN NEED
When pilot Paul Wood, of Illinois, turned 50 this year, he decided to
celebrate by doing something fun that would also benefit those less
fortunate. Wood, who is a partner in an investment firm when he's not
flying one of his airplanes, will embark on a long-distance flight July
1 in an Aviat Husky A1-B to help raise $250,000 for the Children's Home
& Aid Society of Illinois -- and he's offering to match the first
$100,000 in pledges himself. The trip is called Around the Country For
Kids. "I hope to combine my two passions -- aviation and work for
at-risk kids -- and fly all the way around the perimeter of the
(contiguous) United States," Wood told EAA last week. More...
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PRESIDENT CHENEY VISITS ADAM AIRCRAFT
Vice President Dick Cheney visited Adam Aircraft in Englewood, Colo., on Friday to
deliver remarks about the U.S. economy. "Being selected as
the host company for Vice President Cheney's visit to Colorado is quite
an honor," said Rick Adam, founder and CEO of Adam Aircraft. "We are
living proof that the American economy is alive and well. Our expansion
plans are well supported by the strong market and we look forward to
creating many new jobs this year." Cheney praised the company as a model
of optimism and innovation. "You're producing high-quality aircraft and
selling them to satisfied customers," he said. "And that's a wise
business plan." More...
TRANSPONDER? THEN GET OUTTA D.C.
When the transponder malfunctioned on a King Air inbound to Ronald Reagan Washington National
Airport recently, it sparked a panicked evacuation of the Capitol
building ... despite the fact that ATC was fully aware of the aircraft
and the pilots had complied with all the protocols. So, to prevent
future such unsavory scenes, ATC has changed the protocol. In a NOTAM,
the FAA said that effective immediately, anyone flying in the D.C. Air
Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) who finds their transponder is not
doing its job must immediately exit the ADIZ by the shortest, most
direct course. Further, any pilot who knows the transponder cannot
comply with the ATC requirement to continuously transmit had best stay
out of the ADIZ altogether. More...
SAVE THOU$AND$ BY FLYING TO OSHKOSH TWO DAYS
Beat the crowd by flying into OSH on Friday, July 23.
You'll get a great parking spot and attend Mike Busch's terrific
"Savvy Owner Seminar" weekend at the Pioneer Resort on July 24
& 25. Mike will show you how to have a safer, more reliable aircraft
while saving thousands of dollars on maintenance. Sign up by June 24 and
mention this AVflash ad for a whopping $200 discount off the published
$595 course fee. "In 25 years of aircraft ownership, I have NEVER
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TO REVOKE PILOTS' LICENSES ON SUSPICION ABANDONED
Faced with a lawsuit by pilot unions, the government acknowledged on
June 11 that regulations it had issued in January 2003 allowing it to
revoke the certificates of pilots suspected of being security threats
cannot be lawfully enforced. The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and
other unions had challenged the regulations as unfair and inconsistent
with due process, because they permitted a pilot's certificate to be
revoked on mere suspicion, and did not allow for any procedure to
contest the revocation. As the litigation progressed, the FAA and the
TSA ultimately promised "never to enforce the rules," ALPA said in a news release Friday. More...
THE FLY ...
California Pilots Association sued to block fuel farm near
Indiana helicopter pilot faces drunk-flying charge, a
Slot reservations required for flying near Boston
U.S. Navy pilot Marcel LeBlanc named Attack Aviator of
EAA borrowed a museum B-17 to replace its damaged B-17 on
EAA's Freedom of Flight award to Dick Van Grunsven, of RV
UAVs will be deployed June 30 to patrol the
An ultralight pilot in Oklahoma landed
safely after deploying chute. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about? If it
caught your eye, it will probably interest someone else, too. Drop us
a line. Submit news tips via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Time for a changing of the guard. One of AVweb's most popular
columnists, John Deakin, is taking a leave of absence, and will return
occasionally in the future. (Read about his plans here.) Meanwhile, our
newest columnist is a long-time contributor to AVweb. Linda Pendleton, a
CFI and currently the Flight Training Manager for Eclipse Aviation, will
bring us the latest from the world of flight training. In her first
column, Linda discusses concerns she has about the state of the
instructor/student relationship. Is the CFI solely responsible when a
student is not properly signed off for solo, cross-country or even the
practical exam? Is the student not at all to blame if they didn't learn
all the subjects in the practical test standards? Like all of AVweb's
columnists, don't expect Linda to sit quietly and toe some party line --
she leaves no one off the hook. More...
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES ...
Reader mail this week about the panic in D.C., colorblind pilots, mass
arrivals at Oshkosh and much more. More...
JOIN PLANE & PILOT MAGAZINE FOR A WEEKEND OF
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ext. 118 and mention this AVflash, or go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/ppm/seminar/avflash.
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During our Civil Air Patrol mission today, we were monitoring the local
tower and overheard the following traffic from a Piper Cub to the
Piper Cub: On final approach Runway
Tower: Be advised there are slow movers crossing 27 at
Piper Cub: That's O.K., we're slow movers, too.
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|FLYING MAGAZINE'S JULY ISSUE
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