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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
FIRM ON AIR SHOW RESTRICTIONS...
An FAA spokesman says the agency will stand firm on a decision to ban
civilian pilots from flying at the Cleveland
National Air Show on Friday evening. FAA representative Tony
Molinaro told AVweb the agency has no choice but to ban the
flights because of a Cleveland Indians game scheduled for Jacobs Field
on the same evening. The air show happens once annually. The
conflicting game is one of 162 the Indians will play this year (missed
games will be rescheduled). The air show attracts 60,000 to 100,000
fans. The Indians averaged 21,358 fans per home game, last year.
(How's the math working for you, Cleveland?) Alas, Public Law 180-7
prohibits flights below 3,000 feet within three nautical miles of a
Major League game and prohibits the FAA from issuing waivers. "[The
law] really doesn't give the FAA that much latitude," Molinaro told
AVweb. The agency will allow military performers during the
twilight presentation but air show organizers have rejected the
compromise and are considering a court challenge to the FAA decision.
Meanwhile, AOPA has been pulling strings in Washington trying to find a way
around the law, which was enacted last January. AOPA President Phil
Boyer insists the air show could be accommodated within the law, but
the FAA isn't budging. "This air show has a history going back to 1929
and has been a very popular Cleveland event for the past 40 years,"
said Boyer. "It would be a real shame if it were to die because of an
overly restrictive interpretation of the law." More...
TOWERS SAY "I TOLD YOU SO"
Steve Phillips has nothing against the Cleveland National Air Show but
he's hoping the FAA sticks to its guns
keep reading. Phillips,
of Philadelphia, is one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of banner
towers and promotional hot-air balloon pilots effectively grounded by
the same rule that is causing problems in Cleveland. He said the
legitimate concerns of the banner-towing and balloon companies were
ignored when the law was enacted and he's hoping the public outcry
over the air show will result in Congress' revisiting the issue. "I
hope they go ahead and cancel this thing so we can get some kind of
rational process in place [to resume stadium overflights.]" Phillips
was particularly critical of what he said was AOPA's lack of action to
prevent the law from being enacted. More...
NEW ERA FOR U.S. GA...
So, did you feel any different on Wednesday morning? Was the grass a
little greener, the sun a little brighter? Well, it might not have
been a cosmic event, but for pilots and the aviation industry, the
world changed significantly on Sept. 1. The Light-Sport Aircraft/Sport Pilot rule came into
effect and Earl Lawrence, EAA's VP of government relations, told
AVweb that general aviation took a giant turn for the better.
"This is really the day that it's real," said Lawrence. Time will tell
just what that means. More...
In practical terms, not many people were directly affected by the
Sept. 1 enactment of the rule. For those few, however, the change
could be significant. Anyone with a pilot certificate who has let his
or her medical lapse, for whatever reason, can now legally fly (VFR
only) a plane meeting the LSA standards. The rule does not help those
who have lost their FAA medical, however. The medical problems that
prompted the lifting of the medical must still be addressed and signed
off by an FAA examiner before flying Light Sport or any other kind of
aircraft. While there won't be any "new" LSA certificated aircraft for
some time, thousands of existing planes became eligible for the new
classification on Wednesday. More...
EAA's Lawrence told AVweb the real impact of the new rule won't
start to be felt until about six months from now, when the standards
and policies spawned by its enactment start coming into play. Although
manufacturers and groups representing sport-aviation interests have
been meeting for two years to create the manufacturing, maintenance
and flight-training infrastructure necessary to support the new
aircraft class, none of it could be finalized until the rule became a
reality. Lawrence said there should be a number of "firsts" over the
next six months (first flight-test examiner, first LSA-certificated
airplane, etc.) and then over the next three years the industry will
fill in behind them. More...
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PLANE DAMAGES RUNWAY
We've grown used to a presidential visit closing aviation facilities
but the effect is usually temporary. Las Cruces (New Mexico) International Airport
closed one of its three runways indefinitely after George W. Bush's
entourage left an indelible mark. A C-17 accompanying Air Force One
created ruts more than 2,500 feet long when it backed up to get in
position for takeoff there last Thursday. Damage is estimated at $1
million. (Oops.) Airport Manager Theresa Cook told AVweb that
the president's travel team was warned that the asphalt runway (in the
middle of a Southwest summer day) might not handle the weight of the
planes in the entourage. More...
OPPOSE RESCUE CHOPPER BASE
Depending on the circumstances, the sound of a helicopter can be among
the most welcome or most obtrusive sounds and that is the dichotomy
facing civic officials in rural Bedminster, N.J. The State Police want
to move a rescue helicopter from Newark to nearby Somerset Airport in
a bid to better cover the emergency needs of that growing area of the
state. But neighbors and some civic officials object to the plan,
saying the chopper operations will bother them and their livestock
(yes, they have livestock in New Jersey). Meanwhile, airport officials
hundreds of miles away in Lantana, Fla., have apparently made up their
minds on the future of a helicopter flight school labeled a public
safety hazard for its proximity to the town. More...
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The FAA says the runways of the nation are a safer place to be thanks
to its program to reduce runway incursions. At a news conference
Tuesday, Administrator Marion Blakey said there's been an overall drop
of 20 percent in runway incursions over the past five years and the
number of serious near-collisions has dropped 50 percent. "We're
moving in the right direction," Blakey told the news conference. The
statistics are likely cold comfort to the crew of an Asiana Airlines
Boeing 747 that had to abort a landing at LAX Aug. 19.
SYSTEM TRACKS PILOTS' MEDICAL HISTORY
The FAA is modernizing its flight medical process, but we'll let you
decide if that's a good thing. Integic Corp. has been given a $12
million contract to continue the work it did to computerize the
application system. The previous contract created an "automated and
secure system for electronically submitting, managing and processing
medical certification applications," according to Government Computer
News. Presumably, one of the goals was speeding up the process. The
next phase of the project is to put all the information gleaned from
those applications to use. Under the new contract, Integic will
enhance the system "to monitor and manage the healthcare histories of
a broader population of pilots and to conduct real-time data mining
for unique healthcare concerns among pilots." More...
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COMING BACK FROM THE DEEP
A wealthy aircraft collector (is there any other kind?) is going to
great lengths, and depths, to add to his inventory. Don Brooks, of
Douglas, Ga., is mounting an ambitious operation to recover the wreck
of a B-17 on the bottom of a lake in Labrador in northern Canada.
"There's very few B-17s remaining," Brooks told the Tacoma News
Tribune. "I think it's a worthwhile project to preserve the heritage
of our country's aviation history." The plane in question was on a
Christmas Eve delivery mission in 1947 when the crew made a forced
landing on frozen Dyke Lake. None of the seven aboard were hurt and
they were rescued two days later. The plane was abandoned (we just
report it) and fell through the melting ice the following spring.
In the eyes of the FAA, George Brunstad is a decade too old to fly an
airliner but that didn't stop him from making a transoceanic crossing
of a different sort. The retired American Airlines pilot, from
Ridgefield, Conn., became the oldest person to swim the English
Channel last Saturday. Brunstad celebrated his 70th birthday the
Wednesday before the swim, which he completed in 15 hours and 59
minutes. Brunstad, through his swim, raised more than $11,000 for
Haitian orphans and said thinking of the kids kept him going.
ATTENTION, RENTER PILOTS! DON'T BE MISLEAD BY
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If you think you or your airplane might be in Hurricane Frances' way
NAA last week named the winners of its five Public Benefit Flying
Two Embry-Riddle staff died in midair collision while
Controllers hot under the collar over
climate control at Bedford, Mass., tower...
Women In Aviation
sponsor scholarships to members...
Cargo flight security standards
ironed out. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
AOPA'S STEVE ELLS RATES MIKE BUSCH'S OWNER SEMINAR
Steve Ells, AOPA Pilot's West Coast
Editor and a career A&P/IA, recently attended Mike Busch's "Savvy
Owner Seminar" in Seattle. Here's what Steve had to say: "Mike
Busch has a wealth of knowledge and can save you a ton of money on
maintenance while keeping your airplane safe and ready for stress-free
flying. I found his seminar invaluable and I'm an A&P!" Mike
will be giving just two more seminars this year: One in Albany, NY
the weekend of October 2-3 and the other in Long Beach, CA on October
24-25 (immediately following AOPA Expo). You'll need to register
pronto to get in on either of these seminars, so visit http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/savvy/avflash.
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
The Savvy Aviator #9: Don't Go
Engine problems are serious and need to be fixed promptly. But don't
overreact. If one cylinder goes south, there's seldom a need to
replace the other five, or to "major" the engine before its time.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
We all know what constitutes a VFR flight, right? This week, AVweb
reader Steve Biddle challenges our assumptions with an interesting
question about VFR about the cloud cover. PLUS: Results of last week's
question about spin training and Sport Pilots. More...
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
Once again, AVweb readers have come through with some terrific entries
for our "POTW" contest. Notable trends this week: Lots of beautiful
landscapes were submitted, along with six or seven "bad weather"
photos. In fact, Justin White's shot of lightning over the KICT
(Kansas) terminal barely edged out a stiff competitor for this week's
number one slot. Congratulations, Justin your AVweb baseball
cap is on the way! More...
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