The Top Headlines
From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
HITS FLORIDA GA HARD
When deadly Hurricane Charley tore across the Florida peninsula on
Friday, it drove right through what must be one of the highest
concentrations of GA aircraft in the country. Newscast after newscast
showed videos of trashed hangars and wrecked airplanes, a DC-3
belly-up in Orlando with its wings torn off, a crumpled red
taildragger with its tail half-gone. At Punta Gorda Airport, right in
the center of the storm's destructive trail through Charlotte County,
at least 30 aircraft were destroyed. "So many were in unidentifiable
pieces that an accurate count was difficult," said AVweb's Paul
Bertorelli, who toured the airfield on Saturday. "Some aircraft were
still securely tied down, but had been shredded by flying debris or
the sheer force of the wind. One Piper Tomahawk remained tied down,
but its tail had been twisted off." President Bush arrived Sunday to
survey the damage ... and impose a TFR. More...
Every building on the Punta Gorda (Charlotte County) airport was
damaged, Bertorelli said. "A large steel hangar south of the terminal
area collapsed entirely ... Aircraft of various sizes were scattered
across the airport's broad terminal ramp area, and at least four had
been blown into the terminal walls." Several rows of T-hangars were
demolished, taking airplanes, cars and even a boat or two with them.
At Eastern Avionics, a major avionics dealer, the roof of the sales
office was damaged. Aircraft Depot, a local repair shop, lost both
doors of its hangar and the aircraft inside were piled in a twisted
heap. Power lines were down everywhere, and officials didn't know how
long it would take to restore electricity. More...
GA ASSESSES SWATH OF DAMAGE
At Lake Wales Airport, about 50 miles south of Orlando, all the
hangars were virtually destroyed, contributing writer Tim Kern
reported to AVweb yesterday. At Orlando Executive Airport,
about 40 small aircraft were torn from their moorings, and Kern was
told that no small aircraft on the field escaped damage. Kim
Showalter, who with her husband, Bob, owns Showalter Flying Service,
told the Orlando Sentinel that damage at the field was the worst since
the flying service started in 1945. "We've had strong storms before
but nothing like this," she said. At Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach
campus, a dozen Skyhawks and a new Diamond were wrecked, Kern said. He
also noted that an altimeter kept in his living room normally reads
about 140 feet (set to 29.95). Left unadjusted during the storm the
ground-bound unit topped out at 1020 feet. More...
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CHARLEY, THE IMPACT ON GA: EXPANDED COVERAGEPaul
Bertorelli's coverage of the damage at Punta
gallery. Warning: The gallery includes images of
aircraft in severe distress. (If bent metal makes you ill, avert your
eyes.)Tim Kern's full account of the
AVweb offers on-location accounts of Hurricane Charley's impact on GA
Consumer editor and AVweb Editorial Director, Paul Bertorelli. See
also contributions from aviation journalist Tim
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NEWSMEN AS TERRORISTS
The news media took a lashing from GA last week, in a turnabout that
ended with two NBC-TV reporters under arrest and GA advocacy groups in
an uproar. The two reporters, "Middle-Eastern-looking" men working
undercover, went to St. Louis Downtown Airport on Wednesday and asked
about chartering a helicopter. (Recall last
week's warning that helicopters may be the next object of
terrorists' desires.) They were trying to find out whether anybody was
paying any attention to the "Security Alert" that warned of terrorist
interest in helicopters. The reporters showed driver's licenses from
two different states as their I.D., and tried to pay with cash. The
FBO staff stalled the pair and called police. Officers arrested the
two men after a search of their bags turned up knives, various weapons
... and box cutters. More...
The incident was made public nearly immediately when the American Association of
Airport Executives sent out a notice to warn other airport
operators that the same trick ("be on guard for trickery ... as well
as terrorists"?) might be tried on them. That notice quickly cascaded
across the Internet. On Thursday, GA advocates one after another not
only lauded the FBO, but blasted NBC. AOPA President Phil Boyer scolded the network: "We
hope this gives you -- and the other media who make a living by
generating unnecessary fear -- ample reason to stop making GA a
security scapegoat." James Coyne, president of the National Air
Transportation Association (NATA), chimed in: "NBC owes [the FBO operators] a
huge apology ... It's harassment -- pure and simple, and inexcusable."
From EAA's Earl Lawrence: "This undercover attempt at
creating news is the equivalent of shouting 'Fire' in a crowded
theater just to see if there are enough doors." It was also a
comparatively benign test of a system that ... this time ... worked.
A REMINDER TO KEEP WATCH
Clarke Thomas, president of Fostaire Helicopters, told NATA how the episode
unfolded: "We got a call from a prospective customer asking about a
scenic flight. They wanted to know how close they could get to the St.
Louis landmarks, and they said price was no object. That raised a red
flag right away because any businessman is always concerned with
price. When they arrived, they were carrying duffel bags and backpacks
-- something else that is very unusual." Thomas's response proves the
validity of the Airport Watch concept, said AOPA President Phil
Boyer. "Vigilant pilots and airport workers make the best security
force because they know who does and doesn't belong at the airport.
They can easily spot the things that just don't seem right."
DINOSAUR: AVIATION 80-OCTANE FUEL PASSES ON
Owners of air-knocker airplanes with low-compression engines designed
to run on 80-octane fuel will have to search for a new kind of juice
soon. Kern Oil, the last standing producer of 80-octane aviation fuel,
has stopped making the red stuff, AOPA reported Friday. While this
development will come as no surprise to industry watchers, who wonder
how long many of the low-volume products we consume will remain
economically viable, it will be a pain in the neck for some aircraft
owners. But for the unlucky few, there are alternatives (along with
some specific operational practices) to consider. More...
COCKPIT PROMPTED INTERNATIONAL SCRAMBLE
A lack of communication between an airline crew and air traffic
control that resulted in an airborne intercept has sparked an inquiry
in Europe ... that and the scrambling of six military aircraft from
three different countries, two each from the Netherlands, Germany and
France ... plus a sonic boom from the Dutch F-16s, heard across much
of the Netherlands. Authorities last week acknowledged reports that on
May 1, a Spanish Air Europa 737 failed to respond to ATC inquiries for
20 minutes, prompting an international response in fear that a
hijacking was in progress. The airline said last week that the crew
was unaware they were being hailed (other reports said they heard the
calls, but were unaware their flight was the intended recipient of
them). Once the crew spotted the French fighter jets, communications
were re-established and the 737 continued on to its destination.
DA42 TWIN STAR CERTIFICATION: LOTS OF
Diamond's DA42 Twin Star marks some
significant milestones: First Aircraft Type Certification by the
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); first piston aircraft to
incorporate new propulsion, avionics, and airframe technology; first
modern jet-fuel/diesel-powered twin-engine aircraft; and first
certified application of the fully integrated Garmin G1000 glass
cockpit. Visit Diamond online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/diamond/avflash.
NEW TYPE CLUBS SPROUT
New aircraft associations for owners of Pipers, Cessnas and Beechcraft
have launched in the past few weeks. Trevor Janz, who together with
Jennifer Julin founded the Piper Flyer and Cessna Flyer Associations, based in Wisconsin,
told AVweb on Saturday they are excited about the project and
have lots of ideas to serve their membership. "We plan to organize
fly-ins, seminars, pilot proficiency programs and other events where
pilots can just get together and hang out," Janz said. "We're taking
as our model the American Bonanza Society, which we think does just a
great job for their members." Also new is the Beech Aero
Club, an international type club for devotees of the Beech
Musketeer and its derivatives, the Sport, Super, Sundowner, Sierra,
Skipper and Duchess. More...
DRINKING AND FLYING MUSN'T MIX
In frustration that an allegedly intoxicated pilot who was caught
flying in Pennsylvania last January couldn't be charged with flying
drunk under current laws, the state legislature seems determined to
come up with a remedy. The House has already introduced a bill to make
drunk flying illegal, and now the Senate is working on another version
that has stiffer penalties and sets a lower blood-alcohol limit. "It's
one of the things that's been overlooked for years," State Sen. Mike
Stack, sponsor of the bill, said in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Meanwhile, in Australia, the (sober) pilot of a Cessna 404 carrying
six passengers was on approach to land when a (drunken) passenger
tried to move into the co-pilot's seat. The pilot pushed him back, and
the man was arrested after landing. More...
PRIZE CONTENDERS FORGE ONWARD
A race for space wouldn't be very dramatic without some struggle and
setback, and while the front-runners for the $10 million Ansari X Prize over
Composites have been humming along (with the substantial help of
Paul G. Allen's substantial funding), the pack of challengers deals
with daily trials -- and sometimes defeat. The low-tech Armadillo Aerospace team, in Texas, lost their
vehicle in a test last Sunday when it ran out of propellant and fell
600 feet, smashing on impact. "$35,000 of rocket is now a whole lot of
primo Armadillo Droppings," the team reported at their Web site. On
Saturday, the Canadian Arrow team drop-tested its crew cabin,
with better results. The cabin fell about 9,000 feet and gently
splashed into Lake Ontario beneath a parachute. The group told MSNBC
it needs about another $2 million in funding and four or five months
more of tests to complete its space vehicle. More...
PROMOTING AVIATION HISTORY FOR TOURISM
"We're beginning to see a great number of visitors who come to the
Pacific Northwest just to go on a kind of 'aviation spree' at the
museums along the I-5 corridor," Teri Thorning, director of Olympia's
Flight Museum, told the Associated Press recently. About a
half-dozen aviation-themed museums are expected to attract more than
800,000 visitors this year and more than a million in 2005. The list
of attractions is growing, with new display halls, more aircraft
collections and new buildings in the works. The Museum of
Flight at Boeing Field gained cachet when it scored a Concorde for
its collection, and opened a new $53 million wing this summer.
AVIDYNE'S NEW CMAX APPROACH CHARTS TAKE
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Approach Charts, which can be displayed on Avidyne's
FlightMax EX500 or Entegra/EX5000 MFDs, provide geo-referenced
approach charts and airport diagrams. CMax reduces the amount
of paper in your cockpit and allows access to critical chart data more
quickly and easily. CMax overlays your flight plan and aircraft
position for optimum orientation. CMax even shows runway
incursion hot spots and improves taxiway awareness, reducing the need
for "progressives" at unfamiliar airports. With CMax, you'll
know exactly where you are on the approach or on the field. For more
information, go online to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/avidyne/avflash.
One pilot died and one was hurt in Convair 580 crash on
Real-life "The Terminal" man still lives at a Paris
Ultralight pilots must register by Sept. 1 for Sport
Germans are using a light airplane to lead
migration of rare geese...
FAA deadline for warbird pilots' new
paperwork extended to July 2005...
Belgian airline flight was
scratched after a cat attacked the co-pilot. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
From the CFI #2: A New Way to
It's a new world out there in the second century of
flight -- one with new technology and new opportunities. But we're
still training (and testing) pilots the same old way: Performing
maneuvers to the Standards. In her second column, AVweb's Linda
Pendleton talks about training pilots a new way, one that reflects
real-world missions and prevents real-world accidents.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about trying to find "Southern Canada," President
Bush's visit to Eclipse and more.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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Heard on frequency during some nasty weather, a beech 18 night freight
pilot offered a report about his current situation...
Copy. Care to offer a PIREP?
Beech: Sure. At 12,000 we've got
lightning ... cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-ground ... so far, negative
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