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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
PLEASE: WHAT CHARLEY MEANS FOR INSURANCE...
For a group of folks that is about to write checks worth millions of
dollars, aviation insurance underwriters we've spoken with are
actually showing some optimism as the figures come in from Hurricane
Charley's Florida rampage. "It's beginning to look like it's not as
bad as we thought," said Avemco spokesman Jim Lauerman. "I think it
will be the worst [damage total] since [Hurricane] Andrew [in 1992]
but it won't match Andrew. It's certainly not an insignificant event."
Out of almost 700 airplanes in the path of the storm that were covered
by Avemco, so far there have been claims filed on fewer than 50. Rick
Mallard, of Falcon Insurance, EAA's insurance carrier, said claims
against his firm could run into the hundreds. More...
There are also some cruel ironies. Mallard said many airplane owners
rushed to move their aircraft to "safer" areas only to have the storm
shift suddenly eastward and put them in harm's way. Others found
hangar space for aircraft usually left outside only to have the
hangars collapse. Some owners weren't about to surrender to Charley
without a fight. Greg Sterling, of AOPA Insurance Agency, said one of
his staff heard of a married couple that "rode out the storm" in the
hangar with their beloved Grumman. He said both the hangar and plane
were slightly damaged but the owners were thankfully unharmed. Mallard
said he believes there must have been tornadoes embedded in the storm
to cause the level of structural damage he saw, including virtually
new hangars reduced to scrap metal. More...
UNLIKELY TO RISE SIGNIFICANTLY
Brimming with empathy, many of us would yet be lying if we didn't
admit to wondering what this far-away (for a lot of us, anyway)
disaster might do to our insurance rates. The quick answer is probably
not much. Sterling (of AOPA) said he doubts there will be any directly
related rate increases because the year so far has been better than
average for claims. Both Mallard (of Falcon/EAA) and Lauerman (of
Avemco) expect a slight increase in rates as a direct result of the
Charley-related claims. "Don't forget, we anticipate things like this
when we set our rates," said Lauerman. Retail-level carriers take out
policies -- called re-insurance -- with international insurers against
these types of catastrophes. "It spreads the risk," said Lauerman. In
fact, Avemco has adjusters traveling from airport to airport. In a few
cases, owners might hear from their insurance company first about
damage to their planes. More...
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AND AROUND WE GO
Government warnings aside, there still are some people using airplanes
for some very good things. Take, for instance, the King Air
Foundation. Although the foundation's primary purpose is to
commemorate the "world's most successful" business/commuter turboprop,
and in particular the original aircraft used by Olive Beech, the
foundation is planning a round-the-world trip to raise money for
spinal-cord research and children's medical charities. Organizer Alex
Major, who owns that original King Air, said flying it around the
world is also "intended to spread goodwill for general aviation around
the world." Actor Morgan Freeman has agreed to fly one leg of the
journey and more celebrity pilots will be announced over the next year
before the flight commences next fall. More...
Now, not all fundraising flights are carried out in cabin-class
comfort, nor are their causes quite so mainstream. Dr. Edwin Galkin
and Capt. Richard Sollner returned home to Manville, N.J., on Aug. 14
after a 27,500-mile circumnavigation in a Cessna 210. This
was their second trip around the world in aid of sufferers of a
disease that most of us have never heard of and affects only 400
people in the whole world. Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP)
is a nasty disorder in which muscle is converted to bone if it's
injured in any way. "Trauma, surgery, bumps, falls and intra-muscular
injections can result in explosive new bone growth," according to the
Flight For the Cure Web site. More...
WITHOUT LEAVING THE GROUND
Mounting a round-the-world flight for charity takes organization,
up-front funding, pilots and, of course, an airplane. Or does it? Some
enterprising do-gooders in Sutton, England, have been circling the
globe without ever leaving the ground. Using a homebuilt flight
simulator, World Flight volunteers take the controls over a
period of about a week in a virtual circumnavigation that raises money
a group that takes seriously ill children to Florida theme parks for
vacations. The next "trip" (flown by virtual pilots from all walks of
life) leaves England Nov. 8 for a 35,000-mile journey that ends Nov.
HITS HEADLINES ... AGAIN
With NBC's abortive attempt at undercover security breaches last week,
the mainstream media is again casting about for GA security stories
and (possibly to their discomfort) finding that security is better at
small airports than it was a few years ago. The Burlington Times (near
Philadelphia) took a look at the Flying W Airport and found perimeter
fencing, security cameras and regular after-hours patrols by local
sheriffs but still managed to work in a quote from the 9-11 Commission
report that "major vulnerabilities still exist in cargo and general
aviation security." Unfortunately for pilots, the illusion of security
takes many forms (and often seems to have been granted higher value
than "practical" security). More...
SET FOR SENSE AND AVOID SYSTEMS
One of the keys to mixing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with general
air traffic is the ability of the drone to recognize and avoid
unexpected traffic on its own. These Sense and Avoid (S&A) systems
must be able to work on any and all aircraft because not everything
flying has the transponders necessary for the TCAS-type systems. The
first step in achieving this lofty technological goal has been made
but we're probably a few years away from a certified system. According
to UVonline.com, a group of industry representatives
organized by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM),
the international standards organization, have come up with the
technical and performance standards that would be required for such a
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Although we lament, and sometimes joke, about the snail's pace of
technological advances in aviation sometimes, there have been some
revolutionary advances that have become universally accepted in a
relatively short time. GPS navigation has to be considered among them
and one of the key players in its development is retiring. Gary L.
Burrell is stepping aside as co-chairman and director of Garmin Ltd.
"Over the past 15 years, I have had the rare and gratifying
opportunity to help build a great organization whose products have
helped improve the safety of aviation," Burrell said in a statement.
STATIONS ISSUE COMMENTS ON DRUG RULE
Industry groups have lined up in opposition to a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (NPRM) they say will needlessly cost 22,000 companies money
to have their employees tested for drugs. In formal comments to the FAA on the NPRM, the
Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) says the FAA seriously
underestimated the impact of the proposed rule when it said only 297
companies would be affected. "Thirteen aviation industry groups and
companies endorsed ARSA's comments and joined as signatories,"
according to ARSA Executive Director Sarah MacLeod. "The aviation
world is clearly united in opposition to this unnecessary, costly and
misguided FAA proposal." More...
NON-OWNER (RENTER) PILOTS EXPOSED: PILOTS ARE HELD
for losses involving rented or borrowed
aircraft. You rent an aircraft on a beautiful day to fly around the
patch for a couple of hours. It's time to land, and you get caught in
a crosswind. The aircraft is damaged. Fortunately you are okay, but
the airplane is in bad shape. Who is responsible for the plane's
repair expenses and the FBO's lost revenue? Far too often, it's
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TFRS CHANGE TO NATIONAL SECURITY AREAS
Eleven TFRs will "disappear" over military installations over the next
few months but that doesn't mean sightseers will be welcome in the
future. According to AOPA, the TFRs are among 13 that were thrown up
over important military bases immediately after 9/11. The Defense
Department had wanted to make them permanent prohibited airspace but
the FAA ruled against that in 11 of the 13 cases. The TFR designation
will be removed on those 11 sites in favor of a National Security Area (NSA) designation that
politely requests that civilian aircraft stay away voluntarily. The
FAA does seem to think there's reason to permanently close the
airspace (to civilians) over two military bases, however.
KEEPS UP FIGHT FOR NEW BASE
And you think your airport's got trouble with the neighbors ... The
Navy says it won't give up its effort to establish a 30,000-acre base
in North Carolina even though a federal judge has stopped it,
temporarily at least, from buying up the necessary land. Judge
Terrence Boyle turned down the Navy's request to keep acquiring land
while opponents of the project challenge it in court. Navy spokesman
Ted Brown told the Associated Press the decision was a disappointment
but the Navy "will continue to pursue our case and we expect a
favorable resolution." The facility, which would include an 8,000-foot
runway and support buildings, will be used by Navy pilots to practice
carrier landings. More...
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The FAA will test solar-powered taxiway edge lights this
The pilot of a fatal cargo plane crash in Kentucky can't
remember what happened...
Owners of Rotax 912F, 912S and 914F
engines will get new oil dipsticks. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
Drop us a line. Heard something that 130,000 pilots might want
to know about? If it caught your eye, it will probably interest
someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to email@example.com.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Do we really
have to sit still and take a pounding when an intense hurricane comes
ashore? Or is it time to do something creative, like get out of the
Say Again? #40: Outside Looking
After years trying to convince pilots and controllers to
adopt safer habits, AVweb's Don Brown is feeling beaten down and
jaded. He's quite ready to retire. By chance, he recently attended two
events that lifted his spirits and gave him a bit more faith in
humanity and aviation, and he tells the tale in this month's "Say
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
Aviation insurance: What's in your wallet? PLUS: Results of last
week's poll on LSA and the inevitable "first bad accident."
PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Weirdest "Picture of the Week" contest ever or, at least, the
weirdest one in while. You see, we normally sift through the week's
entries without looking at your names, locations, or comments. This
keeps the process fair and anonymous. As we go through the photos, we
separate them into four categories:
- Hot dang! Lookit
- This kid's got potential.
- I bet there's a
story there better look at the comments and see what it
- What the heck does that have to do with
We then go through the first three categories,
reading comments and coming up with a potential line-up of four or
five possible winners. Once we've got a solid line-up, we peek at the
That's how we did it this week and the top photos
all came from recent "POTW" winners! We hemmed and hawed, but
well, they're terrific photos! Too terrific to keep to
ourselves, so here goes it's our "Picture of the Week"
All-Stars Show! More...
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|FROM DOUG RITTER & AEROMEDIX: A KNIFE YOU CAN BET YOUR
Everyone deserves a knife they can trust their
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|THE NEW ASA AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY AND
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|AUTOGRAPHED BY AUTHOR GORDON HENRIE & COMPLIMENTARY U.S.
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|FLYING CARPET: SOUL OF AN AIRPLANE MACHADO
LAUDS GREG BROWN'S BOOK|
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YOU THINK YOU ARE FLYING SAFE, THAT'S YOUR FIRST
We all need to be reminded of those areas that we
sometimes forget or that need improvement. That's where "Aviation
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|HUSBAND IN TROUBLE, WAKES WIFE WHILE READING AND
Twelve-year-olds like the book! Mothers complain
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We Welcome Your
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