The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PILOT EXAMINER PROCESS GENERATES CONFUSION
When the Aero
Sports Connection (ASC), a membership group for sport flyers and
ultralight pilots, sent out a letter last week to its registered
ultralight instructors asking them if they want to become FAA Designated
Pilot Examiners (DPEs) in the proposed Sport Pilot category, it opened a
can of worms -- which may be only the first of many such cans lying in
wait, as the long-anticipated Sport Pilot rule, with its multitude of
devilish details, creeps toward finalization. "We need to get started on
this," ASC President Jim Stephenson told AVweb yesterday. "We
have over 2,400 instructors, and we'll have to have examiners to give
them check rides." But to some, the action seemed premature.
AS EAA CALLS FOR CLARIFICATION ...
About 5 p.m. Tuesday, a teleconference with EAA, the ASC, the FAA,
and the U.S. Ultralight
Association (USUA) was held to clarify the procedure for authorized
ultralight instructors to become DPEs in the proposed Sport Pilot
category. "FAA emphasized that, contrary to some reports, the
application process has NOT started and that no action to start the DPE
process would begin until a final Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft rule
is published in the Federal Register and subsequently the DPE policy is
released," EAA said on its Web site Tuesday night. Stephenson said that
his letter to instructors was "fully compatible and coordinated with the
FAA process." More...
BUT APPLES MAY NOT BE ORANGES, ANYWAY
The confusion seems to have arisen from two separate provisions in the
expected Sport Pilot rule. While only the FAA can designate a DPE, the
major ultralight organizations -- ASC, USUA, and EAA -- may endorse
applicants, and that endorsement, although it is not required, will add
to the value of the application. It was that endorsement process that
the ASC was trying to get a jump-start on, Stephenson said, so it would
have a pool of qualified applicants ready to go when the gate opens.
USUA Director Jim Sweeney said that his organization also encourages its
registered flight instructors to consider becoming a Sport Pilot DPE or
CFI. "It is critical that we have as many Light Sport DPEs and CFIs that
are knowledgeable and competent with ultralight aircraft as possible
[to] participate in these programs," Sweeney said in a e-mail to
AVweb yesterday. More...
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TO ADD CAPACITY WITHOUT ADDING AIRPORTS
As AVweb reported Monday, the FAA is faced with yet another new report
projecting that demand will outgrow capacity at many of the nation's
airports. Just about every attempt to expand or build an airport runs
into delays and obstacles, but one program has been working since the
early 1990s to add capacity without all that trouble. The FAA's Military
Airport Program provides funds to under-used military airfields to
help make them attractive to GA and commercial air traffic by adding
hangars, fuel farms and other upgrades. Last week, the FAA
named five airports that will share in $35 million this year:
Griffiss Airpark, Rome, N.Y.; Millington Municipal Airport, Millington,
Tenn., Sawyer Airport, Gwinn, Mich.; Okaloosa County Airport,
Valparaiso, Fla.; and Alexandria (La.) International Airport.
AND KEEPING CURRENT AIRFIELDS ALIVE
The irony is that even as airports grow more and more congested, GA
airports around the country are being shut down, victims of rising
development pressures and neighborhood complaints. But in one small town
in Michigan, champagne corks were popping last week after a judge's
decision saved Wilderness Airpark, near Kent City. The airpark's only
runway was growing effectively shorter and shorter as a neighbor's trees
grew higher and higher, till it reached a point where closure was
imminent. "The trees were so tall that they penetrated the 'approach
protection area,'" said Rick Durden, the aviation lawyer (and
AVweb columnist) who argued the case. The state's Aeronautics
Code makes anything encroaching on the approach protection area a public
nuisance, Durden said. The judge agreed, and ordered the neighbor to
trim the trees, saving the runway. More...
V-ENGINES NOW PART OF BRP
Bombardier Recreational Products, based in Quebec, which was sold off
from Bombardier last year, has relaunched itself under a new brand name,
BRP. The company's V-engines
for recreational aircraft, which were introduced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last year and are under
development at Bombardier-Rotax in Austria, will be part of the BRP
organization. "We will definitely be at Oshkosh with the new engines,
and a flying demo, and some new things to reveal," BRP spokesman Luc de
Gaspe Beaubien told AVweb yesterday. "We're on track for
certification the end of '04 and limited production in 2005," he added.
TO FAA: HANDS OFF OUR AIRSPACE, PLEASE
When the FAA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Monday
proposing to turn a Washington State TFR into a permanent prohibited
zone, AOPA was quick to cry foul. "AOPA has consistently
opposed these TFRs in the Puget Sound area because of the adverse
operational impact on general aviation, particularly seaplanes using the
Hood Canal," AOPA President Phil Boyer said in a news release. "There is
a much less restrictive solution that would satisfy the Navy's
legitimate security concerns." AOPA told the FAA that an airspace
classification called a National Security Area (NSA) would do the trick.
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OZ PILOTS, WEEKDAYS ARE SAFEST
Evenings and weekends tend to be the most dangerous times for GA pilots
in Australia, according to a report published Monday by the Australian Transport
Safety Bureau (ATSB). GA accidents between 5 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. were 1.6
times more likely to be fatal than during other times of the day, the
ATSB found. The weekends are even worse -- accidents involving
non-commercial operations were 1.9 times more likely to be fatal over
the weekend than during the workweek. "Reasons for these findings could
not be clearly identified," the report said. The analysis also found
that risk varies with age and experience level. More...
AIRLINE PILOTS TO BE MONITORED
When the longest-ever nonstop airline flight went into service on Monday
-- 18-plus hours between New York's Newark Airport and Singapore, over a
10,000-mile route, in an Airbus A340-500 -- the pilots became
inadvertent guinea pigs. To document their response to the stresses of
the flight, the crew will be hooked up with a special watch attached to
a handheld computer, which will monitor their alertness levels,
Singapore authorities told the Associated Press on Tuesday. After each
flight, the pilots are scanned with a brainwave-measuring device to
check how rested they are. The tests are to see whether new regulations
are needed for the super-long flights. More...
CONCORDE READY FOR BOARDING
When the supersonic Concorde fleet was retired last year, one of the
glamorous birds came to rest on a barge outside the Intrepid Air &
Space Museum on the Hudson River, on Manhattan's West Side. Last
weekend, the airplane opened to the public, and unlike at most aviation
museums, visitors are invited not only to gaze upon the airplane from a
distance, but also to walk right on board and get a close-up view of the
cabin and cockpit. A timed "boarding pass" must be picked up on arrival
at the museum. The tours are limited to 1,500 people per day -- so get
there early; it's been sold out every day so far. Seattle's Museum of
Flight also offers on-board tours of its Concorde, but the National
Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, in Virginia, does not.
TRAFFIC-FLOW MANAGEMENT TUTORIAL NOW ONLINE
With summer here, thunderstorms, congested airports and flight delays
are to be expected, and the FAA has posted a new online tutorial to help pilots work with ATC's
traffic management system. Divided into 13 short modules, the tutorial
includes some gorgeous vintage photos as background to help keep you
awake. A few minutes' browsing will get you up-to-date on how the FAA
manages traffic flow , help you understand why they do what they do, and
see how you fit into the big picture. If you need to know what capping
and tunneling and flow control and STMPs are, this is the place to find
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"Customer service is just that SERVICE!" These are what
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ROUNDUP: SOME GPS UNITS NEED UPGRADE, LYCOMING AD CORRECTED
The FAA on Tuesday published a final rule requiring updates to the software on some
Garmin GPS units. The upgrade will prevent the GPS navigation unit from
providing erroneous cross-deviation information, which could result in
the aircraft deviating from its intended course for a brief period of
time, the FAA said. Also, a recent Airworthiness Directive regarding
certain Lycoming engines has been republished by the FAA with minor corrections. Some
corrections to engine models have been made by adding missing dashes,
clarification to changes in requirements from the proposed rule are
made, and some corrections are made for clarification in the compliance
THE FLY ...
Retired NTSB member John Goglia now works for PAMA...
EAA says hard
copies of AirVenture NOTAM available at AFSS or online...
requests comments on a proposed AC on electronic displays...
published its annual compensation survey, yours for
Nominations for NAA's Public Benefit Flying Awards OK till
Steve Fossett trying to break glider altitude record this
week in NZ...
South African microlight pilot still trying to get home
NASM Udvar-Hazy Center had 1 million visitors in its
first six months. More...
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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 email@example.com.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots,
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TAKE TO THE AIR WITH PILOT GETAWAYS MAGAZINE
Pilot Getaways magazine's latest issue brings
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
The FAA recently selected
five new airports to participate in their Military Airport Program
(MAP). As part of the program, the airports will receive funding in
exchange for growing their joint-use facilities in theory,
alleviating pressures on overloaded GA airports. Will it work? AVweb
wants to hear your opinion. PLUS: Results of last week's poll on
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Selecting "Pictures of the Week" for publication is a lot of fun
but lately, it's been a lot of work, thanks to the flood of quality
images our readers are submitting. This week, in particular, was filled
with tough calls and near-collisions with publication. After much
deliberating, we settled on three terrific POTWs, headlined by Tom
Evernham's stunning air-and-sea shot of the U.S.S. Kennedy aircraft
carrier. (An officially licensed AVweb baseball cap is winging its way
to you already, Tom!) We also received a handful of amateur SpaceShipOne
photos, two of which really caught our eye so, in the interest of
bending our own "POTW" rules, we've included them as a bonus. That's
right you're getting five photos this week for the price of
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