The Top Headlines
From AVweb's Expanded, Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
In the U.S., mainstream media continue to look for holes in aviation
security and The Arizona Republic recently discovered the 12-5 rule,
which exempts aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds gross from
security checks. It seems a couple of local operators have started
scheduled service using Cessna Caravans (8,210 pounds) and that had
the Republic reporter busily hunting down local experts, like retired
FAA director and now aviation consultant George Williams. "You don't
have to have a 737 to make a big bang," he said. But the operators
themselves have taken steps to try and ensure security.
SECURITY CHANGES DOWN UNDER...
There's no point in letting security get in the way of passenger
convenience and scheduling, at least in the eyes of Australian
lawmakers. While scheduled passengers from Boise to Biloxi are
shedding their shoes and (our favorite) opening their belt buckles,
the Aussies have directed security staff at 146 "regional" airports
not to use their newly issued handheld metal detectors unless ordered
to do so by Canberra. Major airports will continue screening all
passengers. But it seems the government is willing to rely on
intelligence reports (gasp) to let them know when to dust off the
metal detectors at the smaller fields. "You assume that your
intelligence sources are likely to pick up any increased activity or
indications of a rise in the danger levels and we'd respond to that,"
said Transport Minister John Anderson. More...
JOURNALIST SHOWS NBC HOW IT'S DONE
And, just to show how utterly useless those devices can be in the face
of even a modest amount of imagination and preparation, British
newspaper reporter Anthony France atoned for NBC's
ham-handed attempt at a security breach by lying his way into the
cargo hold of a Thomas Cook Vacations Boeing 757, which was being
prepared for a flight to Majorca, with a fake bomb. "Had I been one of
Osama Bin Laden's terrorists, I could have wiped out more than 220
British passengers ... and thousands more on the ground," he exulted
in the Sun after his escapade. More...
WANTS MORE AIRSPACE
If it wasn't hard enough threading your way through all the TFRs, NSAs
and other acronyms for places you're not especially welcome, the
military (specifically the Navy) wants even more airspace. The Navy is
under fire in both North Carolina and California for trying to get
huge blocks of air (two in North Carolina and one in California)
designated as military operations areas (MOAs). Now, an MOA doesn't
ban GA traffic but it does add another level of anxiety, particularly
for inexperienced pilots, who might want to fly through, Wade Brabble,
a North Carolina pilot who works at a small airport, told The
Washington (N.C.) Daily News. "Eastern North Carolina is just gettin'
blocked off from general aviation," he said. More...
AOPA has joined the battle and has accused the FAA of not providing
proper notification of the 30-day comment period regarding the Navy's
intentions in North Carolina. AOPA spokeswoman Heidi Williams told the
Daily News it only heard about the plan because a member who was "one
of the very few to receive notification" faxed it to AOPA
headquarters. The FAA maintains all concerned parties, including AOPA,
were notified but that some of the letters were returned as
undeliverable. Williams said that considering the massive opposition
to the MOAs, poor distribution of the notices "forces us [AOPA] to
wonder if the lack of notification was deliberate." More...
PR CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
The Navy may have learned something in the PR department with its
attempt to create an MOA in California's Central Valley. AOPA says the
Navy has launched a "sophisticated campaign" to establish the MOA over
Lemoore Naval Air Station near Fresno. Williams said there is already
plenty of special-use airspace in the area and no need for any more.
The new area would be 30 miles wide and 70 miles long with vertical
limits of 5,000 to 35,000 feet. "And the Navy is getting its ducks in
a row on this one," according to AOPA's Web site. "They have begun a
sophisticated public outreach, including a Web site,
and have already convinced some California legislators to introduce
resolutions supporting the MOA." Not everyone is convinced, however.
The Navy is inviting comments on the proposal.
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PROMOTES GOOD-NEIGHBOR POLICY
The National Business Aviation Association is hoping Trenton, N.J.,
will use a carrot instead of a stick to deal with perceived noise
problems at busy Trenton Mercer Airport (TTN). The airport authority
has instituted a voluntary curfew period between midnight and 6 a.m.
to quiet down the neighbors. But while it's asking aircraft operators
to be nice, it's threatening those that don't play along with
publishing their N-numbers. NBAA Interim President Donald E. Baldwin
said in a letter to the authorities that the move seems
to be "a punitive and discriminatory attempt indirectly to transform a
nominally 'voluntary' curfew into a coercive one." Baldwin likes the
Teterboro and Westchester approaches better. We can understand why.
SUGGESTED IN RUSSIAN CRASH
Officials of Sibir Airlines, Russia's number-two carrier, appear to be
suggesting a suicide bomber brought down a Tu-154 in one of two
almost-simultaneous airliner crashes on Tuesday. The airline released
a statement saying its pilot triggered a hijack transponder alert just
before the crash. "The message was generated right before all contact
was lost with the plane and it disappeared from radar screens," the
statement read. The airline also said the wide distribution of
wreckage suggested the plane exploded in midair. But there were no
problems reported on a Volga Aviaexpress Tu-134 that took off from
Moscow's Domodedovo Airport about an hour after the Tu-154 and was
lost within 40 minutes of the first aircraft. More...
OREGON AERO CUTS COCKPIT CLUTTER
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BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION RAPS NEW DRUG RULE
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is objecting to an FAA Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking that had drawn widespread opposition from aviation
businesses. The SBA says the proposed rule to require drug testing by
aviation subcontractors "lacks a factual basis." The rule would
require any business working on materials or finished items that will
end up on air carrier aircraft to adopt the same kind of anti-abuse
programs as fully certified repair stations, which have sign-off
authority. As AVweb reported last week, the Aeronautical Repair
Station Association (ARSA) and 13 other associations and companies are
opposing the rule. More...
Three people died in the collision between a Thorp T-18 and a Citabria
about 100 yards off a Malibu, Calif., beach on Sunday. The crash
occurred about 5:30 p.m. off El Matador State Beach. One plane fell
about 100 yards off the beach while another fell close to shore. The
body of the Citabria pilot washed ashore while the two occupants of
the Thorp were recovered inside the aircraft. The night before in
Sterling, Colo., a pilot and his 10-year-old son escaped their burning
Commanche after a landing mishap. The gear collapsed and the aircraft
caught fire while sliding down the runway. The plane was written off.
Meanwhile a couple who fell ill on flight through New Hampshire
earlier this month have died. Their non-certificated daughter landed
the plane. More...
PROBLEM BLAMED FOR CRASH
Danish authorities say a failed pitch change structure on a Hartzell
propeller not due for overhaul for another year and a half was a
contributing factor in the crash a Socata that killed four people
earlier this month. The plane crashed along the coast on Aug. 6 and investigators discovered one of the propeller
blades was turned 180 degrees from the proper position because of the
broken hardware. The Danish Civil Aviation Administration report says
that with one blade reversed, severe vibrations would have occurred.
ON MAINTENANCE MANUALS PRESENTED
A cross section of aviation companies has proposed a set of guidelines to ensure free and equal
access to vital aircraft component maintenance manuals. "This diverse
group agreed on solutions to address a long-standing problem:
component maintenance manuals are often unavailable, particularly for
components installed on aircraft," said a statement from the
Aeronautical Repair Station Association. A total of 11 companies,
representing manufacturers, airlines and aircraft repair outfits,
combined to create the Joint Industry Policy on Instructions for
Continued Airworthiness. The policy asks that the FAA require
component manufacturers to create basic repair manuals for their
products and to make them available to anyone who might need them for
a reasonable cost. More...
The revolving door at NBAA swung again on Monday...
It's still a
man's world in the cockpit, according to a German magazine
Britain's National Gliding Championships continue through
In upstate New York, pilots mourn Bill Law.
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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someone else, too. Submit news tips via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DA42 TWIN STAR CERTIFICATION: LOTS OF
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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
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
What's New -- Products and
This month, AVweb's survey of the latest products and
services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you a small
EFIS system, charts on MFDs, backcountry flying on DVD and more. If
you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear
about, please send us a note.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
AVflash? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
This week, one of our readers recalls his Private Pilot lessons and
wonders if spin training should be required for Sport Pilots: "When I
acquired my Private Pilot License in 1946 I was required to have spin
training and demonstrate spin recovery. Most of the training planes
were Aeronca 7ACs or J-3 Cubs. Because of their straight wing design
they were prone to spin if air speed was low and controls were
crossed, as in landing configuration close to the ground. In 1949 the
rule was changed. Many of the planes that qualify for the Sport Pilot
License are the same old planes that were used in the late 1940s."
Chime in with your opinions. PLUS: Results of last week's question on
aviation insurance. More...
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
It's uncommon for the jaded staff of AVweb to gush and fawn over any
of the stories we cover but you've watched us do it all summer
with regards to "Picture of the Week." Not only is the number of
submissions climbing steadily, but the competition is getting more
fierce, too. Of the 94 pictures we received this week, at least 30
were seriously considered for a Top Three spot. (Normally there are
only 10 photos in the final round!) Nevertheless, Tom Barrows of
Indianapolis, Indiana rose to the top of the heap, narrowly edging out
some other (truly amazing) images. When you see Tom's Oshkosh photos,
you'll agree that his first-prize AVweb baseball cap was well earned.
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