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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
STORMS IN FLORIDA, TAKE TWO...
It looks like airplanes and airports will weather Hurricane Frances a
lot better than they did Hurricane Charley but that doesn't mean
things are terribly pleasant in Florida at the moment. If Charley hit
like a set of brass knuckles, Frances is more like a big wet sponge,
dropping up to 11 inches of rain in some areas and packing winds of up
to 100 mph. AVweb contributor Tim Kern said many Florida pilots
learned a grim lesson from Charley and got their planes well away from
Frances. "All week, the airways heading north were as crowded as the
highways," he told AVweb on Sunday. More...
Liberty Aircraft's headquarters and assembly plant is in Melbourne and
a contingency plan went into effect there on Wednesday. President Tony
Tiarks told Kern, from a hotel in Orlando on Sunday, that they
protected the business as well as possible. "We've made three copies
of our software and they are in safe places, even out of state. We
offered all the employees hotels in Orlando," he said. Four finished
aircraft were moved out of state and the company doesn't have to worry
about production tooling because that's all done elsewhere. Only final
assembly is done in Melbourne. In nearby Vero Beach, New Piper's
headquarters took a daylong pounding from Frances as the storm stalled
off the coast. More...
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ATTITUDES AND SAFETY...
Alaska has always led the nation in per capita aviation crashes and
fatalities and, for the most part, with good reasons like awful
weather, poor nav aids and primitive airports. Some technical advances
(and some pretty expensive ones at that) like the Capstone project and
the installation of lighting and weather sensing equipment at its many
far-flung airports have done their share to make Alaska, technically
speaking, at least, a safer place to fly. But those working on
reducing the state's still-obnoxious GA accident rate say there's a
problem that the best GPS or brightest runway light can't overcome.
They call it Bush Pilot Syndrome. More...
Now, Alaska doesn't have a monopoly on questionable pilot decision
making. As AVweb reported in 2003, the NTSB found that pilot
Robert A. Monaco, of Lexington, Mass., had a cocktail of very potent
drugs in his system when the Beech B200 he was flying hit a building a
mile short of the Fitchburg (Mass.) Municipal Airport on April 4,
2003. He died in the crash along with five of the other six people on
board. But the final report also sheds light on some disturbing
details about the pilot's medical history. More...
GOOD INTENTIONS FROM THE FAA
Although the NTSB has issued only preliminary findings on an Aug. 3, 2004, crash
that killed six people near Austin, Texas, The Oklahoman has revealed
that the pilot was appealing an FAA suspension at the time of the
crash. According to the paper, Richard Allen Fisher's ticket was
pulled for 240 days by the FAA but he was allowed to continue flying
until a hearing could be set for his appeal on the suspension to the
NTSB. Fisher, along with three other adults and two young children,
died when the Piper Aerostar hit a house near Lakeway Airpark. The
NTSB's preliminary report says the plane was slightly overweight and
may have had trouble gaining altitude. Fisher had come to the
attention of the FAA at least three times in the previous two years,
according to The Oklahoman. More...
AIR SHOW WANTS COURT RULING
A last-minute compromise allowed the Cleveland National Air Show to go
ahead with a slightly amended evening air show last Friday despite a
stadium TFR that was in place for a Cleveland Indians game being held
next door. Organizers started the show at 5 p.m. and put all the
civilian performers in the first half so that only military acts would
be in the air when the TFR went into effect an hour before game time.
Although it worked this time logistically, if not economically (those
with tickets to weekend daytime performances got in free, those who
bought tickets for Friday got passes to one weekend show), air show
officials want the courts to rule (again) on the interpretation of the
law in question. On Friday, a federal court refused to hear the air
show's arguments. More...
REOPENS AS PARK
They've opened a "run way" at Meigs Field -- but not for airplanes. An
asphalt running path has been installed around a 90-acre artificial
meadow that, until about 16 months ago, was a bustling GA airport on
Chicago's waterfront. Now called Northerly Island park, the green
space opened to the public without fanfare last week and got high
marks from the handful of people who stumbled across the suddenly open
gate. "I'd take this over an airport, anytime," Nick Straub, a
university manager, told the Chicago Sun-Times. For now, the airport
site is a bare-bones layout of prairie grasses, wildflowers and the
running track. More...
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ALLOWED ON AIRLINERS IN TWO YEARS?
In a couple of years, you could be happily chatting on your cell phone
at 30,000 feet -- or ready to throttle the guy in the next seat who
natters away on the thing for the whole flight. Technology is coming
to the rescue of one of the great telecommunications conundrums of the
wireless age but airlines are wondering if the additional
blood-pressure factor in the already tension-prone confines of the
aluminum tube is worth the trouble. And it looks like American
Airlines, which conducted a live test of the system with passengers in July,
is ready to lead the charge. "A circle of mobility defines how people
want to work and live today," Monte Ford, a senior VP with the
airline, told The New York Times. "But it's critically important that
this technology be utilized in the proper way." More...
TAKES AIRPLANE IN PLEA BARGAIN
For Alaska pilot Bob Logan, his Super Cub is quite literally his
ticket to freedom, according to the Anchorage Daily News. In what can
only be described as an unusual plea arrangement, Logan, a former
Fairbanks assemblyman, college professor as well as bootlegger and
drug runner has turned the plane over to the State in exchange for a
lighter sentence. In exchange for the plane, Logan has been guaranteed
he'll spend a maximum of nine months in jail for using the plane to
take booze and , allegedly, drugs to Barrow, a community (known as a
damp village) that heavily restricts the sale of alcohol.
DOC BLUE'S EMERGENCY MEDICAL KIT DON'T LEAVE HOME
Do you carry a first-aid kit in your airplane or
car? AVweb's Dr. Brent Blue says drugstore first-aid
kits are packed with mostly useless stuff. Dr. Blue has assembled a
traveling medical kit for dealing with all sorts of medical problems,
based on his long experience as an emergency room doctor, frequent
traveler, pilot, outdoorsman, and dad. It would cost more than $500 to
duplicate this kit, but it's available on sale from Aeromedix
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REFUTES "ANTI-AIRPORT" LABEL
AOPA found itself cast in the unlikely role of airport opponent last
week but quickly moved to change the script. It seems opponents of a
proposal by the city of Burlington, Conn., to revive the former
Johnnycake Airport as a municipal facility were able to mold a July 7 article on the AOPA Web site to fit their
particular agenda. In that article, AOPA opposes the construction of
an elementary school within 1,300 feet of the airport in Oxnard,
Calif. And since there are schools within a mile of Johnnycake
Airport, Burlington Impact, the group formed to oppose the Sept. 13
referendum, reasoned that AOPA would have a similar stand in
Connecticut. Not so, said AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy, in an interview
with the Register Citizen. "We would never take an anti-airport
stance," he told the newspaper. More...
MAN, TWO JET ENGINES, ONE NINE-FOOT WING
...Three months ago. A Swissair Airbus pilot has added a whole new
meaning to the phrase "Gotta jet." Yves
Rossy says he spent four minutes swooping over the Bex in western
Switzerland (in horizontal flight) attached to a three-meter carbon
wing with two miniature jet engines attached. Controls include
ailerons, plus a mechanism to move the entire wing fore and aft on his
back. According to his Web site, the flight(s) (three that day)
occurred June 24 and began at more than 12,000 feet with a jump and a
horizontal cruise portion at roughly 5,000 feet (OK, we're still
working on the translation). But for some reason he waited until last
week to tell the media. Maybe he was still shaking too much. (Maybe he
was waiting on paperwork from the patent office.) More...
More than 62 years after it crashed in a swamp, a Spitfire is back on
The NTSB says a Piper Cherokee climbed into a Cessna 150
in an Aug. 9 midair collision...
The Ninety-Nines will be flying for charity over the next couple of
Airline Pilots Against Age Discrimination (APAAD) has
launched a new Web site...
Jeff Evans has been named the assistant
manager of the National Business Aviation Association's GA Desk.
Belvoir's aviation division is looking for an editor to oversee one of
its publications. The successful candidate will be an experienced
pilot, preferably a CFII, with writing and page layout experience.
Send a resume with cover letter by fax (941-929-1726) or via e-mail to
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
The Pilot's Lounge #78: In Praise
Of Flight Breakfasts
A day of perfect weather, perfect company,
and perfect flying. AVweb's Rick Durden celebrates such a day he
recently enjoyed, reminding us why we spend such efforts on this
passion called aviation.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about a close call with Air Force Two, spin training
for sport pilots, VFR over-the-top, and much more.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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IN THE "SPOTLIGHT". Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/
Shortly after takeoff on a warm, pre-dawn departure from La Cross, WI
we contacted MSP center. Twenty seconds after the usual, "radar
contact," we heard, "Attention all aircraft, this controller position
will no longer be manned." In our cockpit there was a sudden sober
silence. Still stunned, it was several seconds later when a woman's
voice announced, "That was not funny." More...
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