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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
DISPUTES ALARMIST STORY ON GA "THREAT"...
A story in Thursday's Boston Globe that warned in great detail of a
neglected "small-plane terrorism threat" has drawn a
response from the Center for Strategic and International Studies
(CSIS) -- the Washington think tank whose staff is quoted in the Globe
as the basis for the story. "The Globe story is incomplete and does
not take into account a broad range of findings that are still under
development," CSIS spokesman Jay Farrar said in a statement posted on
the CSIS Web site. The CSIS said its report is not yet finished, and
"personal statements made before a study's completion ... do not place
into context the full range of threats against the transportation
system of the United States." More...
"DIRTY BOMBS" AND STADIUM TARGETS...
The Globe story quoted CSIS staff who said that Al Qaeda is known to
have considered the use of small aircraft and helicopters for attacks
on U.S. soil, and that sports stadiums are a "perfect target" for a
Cessna 172 loaded with radiological material and explosives. "The
no-fly zones over these stadiums are loosely enforced," the story
says, quoting a CSIS staffer. An FAA official quoted in the story said
that GA security efforts were dropped because they "would have cost
too much." A TSA spokesman said, "These [small] planes aren't a focus
for us. .... We don't have unlimited funds to deal with everything."
AOPA was quick to dash off a letter to The Boston
Globe's editors, denouncing the story as "irresponsible," and noting
that numerous GA security programs have been implemented since 9/11.
Next time the Globe reports about GA issues, it should consult AOPA,
the letter said. AOPA President Phil Boyer also responded to the story
in an interview on a Washington, D.C., radio station, WTOP. Boyer told
listeners that that most GA aircraft are operated in much the same way
as other forms of personal transportation, like cars. "There's the
general aviation airplane in which the pilot and the passengers know
each other," Boyer said. "That's the norm." More...
FAA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS ARE ON THE
Legal claims for airspace incursions have increased
over 150% all requiring legal counsel. That's why pilots are
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INTENSIFIES PUSH FOR HIRING...
With growing impatience, the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association (NATCA) last week stepped up its call for more
hiring, saying that it's not only a matter of a looming shortage --
many facilities already are understaffed. "We need action," said NATCA
spokesman Doug Church in a news release Thursday. "In most locations,
we cannot afford to wait on staffing any longer." Among the examples
cited: Nashville Tower, authorized for 46 controllers, where 37 are
certified and up to 14 controllers are expected to retire by the end
of this year; Dayton Tower, where only 35 of 53 authorized controllers
are certified; and Des Moines Tower, where only 24 of 34 authorized
controllers are certified. More...
BUDGET CUTS THREATEN TO SHUT DOWN TRAINING CENTER(S)?
We warned last month that it was happening, but amid
all the angst over controller shortages, it seemed implausible that
the FAA would actually yank its funding from a training center that
churns out up to 70 percent of its en route controllers ... but that's
what happened. The air traffic controller training center at Flying
Cloud Airport, in Eden Prairie, Minn., will close down this fall,
after the FAA decided to divert all of its training funds to Oklahoma
City, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Thursday. The
program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College had previously
received up to $2 million a year from the FAA. The program graduates
about 100 students a year, and employs 17 faculty and staff, including
12 former air traffic controllers. All 17 will probably have to be
laid off, the school told the AP. More...
PLANE CITED IN CHENEY TRAFFIC CONFLICT
An unidentified small private plane has been blamed as the cause of
evasive action taken by Air Force Two, a military aircraft carrying
Vice President Dick Cheney, early this month. The small aircraft came
within 700 vertical feet and .44 mile (don't miss the decimal point)
horizontally of Cheney's aircraft, setting off a traffic alert in the
Air Force Two cockpit. Air Force Two was en route to White Plains,
N.Y., at 7,500 feet when the conflict occurred, near Bridgeport,
Conn., on Aug. 7. The FAA said Friday the event would not normally
warrant an investigation, but because the vice president was involved,
a report was sent to the Air Force. More...
As Russian investigators piece together what happened in last week's
dual airline crash -- now officially labeled as a terrorist act --
U.S. officials, jittery over the intensifying campaign season,
continue to scrutinize aviation activities. In Cleveland, Ohio,
organizers are scrambling to get a waiver so they can go ahead with a
planned air show this weekend after a stadium sports event was
scheduled nearby. The FAA said that means no flying. If the show has
to be cancelled, organizers said, the event is likely "doomed" for the future. Meanwhile, NORAD, the
North American Aerospace Defense Command, is getting used to a
post-9/11 reality -- it may someday have to shoot down a passenger
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FLOCK TO SPORT AVIATION EXPO
The first U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, scheduled for Oct. 28-31
at Florida's Sebring Regional Airport, is drawing enthusiastic
participation, EAA said last week. Extra exhibitor slots are being
added, after the original allotment of 70 sold out, EAA said. The
event will bring together Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) and kit
manufacturers, component providers, dealers, flight schools, mechanic
services, parts suppliers, insurance providers and others with
possible business interests in the new world of Light Sport Aircraft.
Several types of eligible LSAs, including fixed-wing, weight-shift
trikes and powered parachutes, will be on static display, and flight
demos will be continuous during the event. EAA reminds ultralight
pilots of the Sept. 1 deadline to register for transition to the Sport
Pilot certificate. More...
AIRCRAFT ACQUIRED BY SIKORSKY
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., of Stratford, Conn.,
announced on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Schweizer
Aircraft Corp., a family-owned company based in Elmira, N.Y., that
produces sailplanes, light helicopters, agricultural airplanes,
reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
"Schweizer Aircraft is a great strategic fit for Sikorsky, providing
us with proven leadership, a highly skilled and dedicated workforce,
and immediate access to the light helicopter and UAV markets,"
Sikorsky President Steve Finger said in a news release. Financial
terms of the deal were not disclosed. More...
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FOUNDER DIES AFTER SAVING BROTHER FROM WRECK
Jim Londo, 60, of Everett, Wash., whose family helped found the
Arlington Fly-In, died recently after a dramatic final flight. Londo
and his nephew were passengers in a Cessna 185 flown by Londo's
brother Bob on Aug. 21, when they went down in mountains 10 miles
south of Toutle, Wash. The initial accident report cites weather of
"1SM BKN001 OVC008." The Cessna caught fire on impact. Jim Londo, who
was badly hurt and was himself burned over more than 60 percent of his
body, dragged his unconscious brother from the burning wreck. They
called for help with a cellphone, but rescue crews were unable to find
the crash site. Jim Londo and his 16-year-old nephew, whose arm was
broken, waited all night for help to arrive, as Bob, 47, who suffered
first-degree burns to his face and legs, walked for hours through
dense woods, leaving a trail of wreckage to find the way back.
Rescuers arrived on the scene in the morning, but were unable to save
Jim, who was lost to his injuries. More...
SMOKE ... AND AIRCRAFT LEFT ON THE GROUND
A new policy in Alaska that allows forest fires to burn unfettered
unless structures are threatened has some aviation operators upset.
"It's been a hot and dry summer here, great flying weather," R.D.
Rosso, owner and chief pilot of Denali Air, told AVweb last week. "But I've
lost more flying days to smoke this year than I ever lost to weather."
Rosso said he's already been grounded about eight days out of the
short summer flight-seeing season at Denali National Park, and that
represents up to 100 passengers a day, at $240 apiece -- a substantial
loss for a seasonal business. "If they can't fly today, it's not like
they'll come back tomorrow," he said. "They're gone." About 100
separate fires are burning, and fewer than 10 percent are being fought
by fire crews. More...
-- RED BULL AIR RACE BLASTS INTO BUDAPEST
Eight sporty aircraft zooming over -- and under -- downtown Budapest
at speeds up to 250 mph drew hundreds of thousands of spectators on
Aug. 20, Red Bull says. Flying a track above the Danube
River, the racers were required to fly between inflated pylons,
underneath a bridge -- twice -- plus execute half and full rolls, and
knife-edged and vertical flight. U.S. flyer Kirby Chambliss squeaked
to a win at just under a minute and a half for the course. Red Bull
says the huge turnout was boosted by holding the race on St. Stephen's
Day, a national holiday in Hungary, and by the participation of
Hungarian flyer Peter Besenyei, a three-time Aerobatics World
Champion who is a national hero in his home country.
TFRs over New York this week for Republican National
Society of Experimental Test Pilots to meet Sept.
15-18 in L.A....
NBAA has six new scholarships for dispatchers and
Flying-car update: NASA, Boeing, say it's 25 years
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
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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
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #36: Happier
A meeting with a bunch of retired pilots inspires
AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit to remember days gone by, and some of the
great pilots he flew with. It doesn't make for very "P.C." stories,
but they had some great times back in the jet-set days.
The Cessna, The Sky ... and the
Cartoonist: Chapter One -- Introductory Flight
All pilots once
were student pilots, a situation rife for guffaws around the flight
club. John Ewing is a story-teller, former Disney animator, artist,
and American now living in New Zealand. John documented his flight
training in words and cartoons, and this month AVweb brings you the
first chapter in his book.
MIKE BUSCH ANNOUNCES SPECIAL NEW YORK SEMINAR ON OCTOBER
If you're an aircraft owner in the northeast U.S.
and missed Mike's terrific Savvy Owner Seminars in Memphis and
Harrisburg, you now have another chance. A group of aircraft owners in
the Albany, N.Y. area have persuaded Mike to fly out and conduct a
seminar for them on the weekend of October 2-3. Since this is a
special "group purchase," the cost per attendee should be
substantially lower than usual. With the agreement of the Albany
group, this seminar is now open to any aircraft owner who wishes to
attend. Other seminars are scheduled for Seattle (Aug. 21-22); Denver
(Sept. 18-19); and Long Beach, CA (Oct. 24-25). To register, get
seminar schedules and details, or receive Mike's no-cost monthly
e-newsletter, visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about the great threat to the North, security in the
bush, spin training, and much more. More...
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Brown Field, south of San Diego has an 8,000-foot runway offering
multiple intersection departures for smaller aircraft (and multiple
exits for larger ones)...
Experimental: Brown Tower, experimental ###, holding short of
26R on Bravo. Running late and ready to go.
Tower: Experimental ### hold short landing traffic ... Citation
on four mile final.
Experimental: Hold short 26R, ###.
Tower: Experimental ###, can you make room over there on Bravo
for the Citation coming off the active?
Experimental: We'll pull off into the run-up area, ###.
Tower: Thank you.
Experimental: Yup. But if there's anything else we could do ...
like if they decide their limo needs shining ... please find someone
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