The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
ATTACKS THE MESSENGER (AND THE MESSAGE)...
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has lashed
out at an anonymous letter published
by AVweb last Thursday in which a controller contends that
a looming controller shortage is largely a myth and that many
controllers take advantage of liberal working conditions enshrined in
the union contract. NATCA initially declined AVweb's invitation
to respond to *Jane Doe's* allegations, but President John Carr
apparently had a change of heart. In his response letter, which
appears in full in our expanded online coverage (multiple letters from
other controllers who wrote in support of Ms. Doe's position are
included at the end of today's
AVmail), Carr categorically denies most of *Jane Doe's*
allegations, doubts if she is really a working controller and doubts
her mental health. More...
Carr takes a swipe at FAA spokesman Greg Martin's comments, which
appeared in our edition last Thursday. Martin told AVweb that
many of *Jane Doe's* allegations are well-known to the agency and that
the agency is working to place more emphasis on performance and
productivity. Carr criticizes Martin for commenting at all on
anonymous allegations and says that if the agency knows such activity
is going on then the people who have failed to act on it should be
fired. Carr also criticizes CRU-X, a computerized
productivity-monitoring system under development by the FAA, saying it
won't work if implemented as planned. More...
BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL
Carr is applauding a move by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on
Transportation, Treasury and General Government to include $10 million
for the hiring of new air traffic controllers. In a press release,
Carr says the money is just a beginning to ensure adequate staffing in
the future. "We will not rest until we have enough eyes watching our
skies," he said. More...
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AVIATION BILL PROPOSES GA SCREENING...
quickly filled the air after U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) introduced a
bill into the House last week that would impose onerous security
procedures on general aviation. The bill (H.R. 5035) would require the Department of
Homeland Security to ensure the screening of all passengers and
property on each flight of every passenger aircraft in the U.S. --
including general aviation aircraft of all types. It would also
prohibit any non-airline aircraft from flying within 1,500 feet of any
structure or building and prohibit non-airline aircraft from flying
over any U.S. city with a population of 1 million or more. Land of the
free, home of the brave. More...
QUICK GA RESPONSE...
EAA and AOPA staff snagged members of the House
Transportation and Aviation Committees last week to express their
dismay, and AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy told AVweb on Friday
they got some assurances the legislation would meet staunch
opposition. Dancy also said Weiner has agreed to meet with AOPA
President Phil Boyer, but no time has yet been set. Both EAA and AOPA
are asking their members, and all concerned aviators, to contact their
representatives and express opposition to this bill. AOPA staff
are also talking to Senate staffers in an effort to head off the
introduction of any companion legislation, Dancy said.
STILL MORE WORK TO DO
While H.R. 5035 seems destined to die under the weight of its own
excess, the fact that such a bill is even introduced in the U.S. House
suggests that GA still has a long way to go. Three years after 9/11, a
restrictive ADIZ has shut down a huge chunk of Washington, D.C.,
airspace. TFRs are frequent and hard to track. Overflight bans remain
in place at stadiums. And as Rep. Weiner's legislation shows, not
everyone is aware of the work that has been done to secure GA and to
explain why small aircraft are not a threat. And general aviation
businesses still have seen no financial reparations for losses due to
the airspace shutdown, though $100 million was authorized for GA
through legislation. More...
PILOT WRITTENS, INSTRUCTORS, EXAMINERS, DATES ... ISSUES
About three dozen representatives from the aviation industry met at
the FAA's newly minted Light-Sport Aviation Branch in Oklahoma City
last week and spent three days working on the details of the Sport
Pilot regulations. On the agenda were defining the practical test
standards for all Sport Pilot ratings; written tests for Sport Pilots
and Sport Pilot instructors; Sport Pilot examiners; Light-Sport
Aircraft operating limitations and airworthiness issues; Light-Sport
Aircraft repairman courses; and requirements for Light-Sport Aircraft
designated airworthiness representatives. The FAA expects the final
operating limitations for Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft to be
completed later this fall, in time for the initial training sessions
for Sport Pilot designated pilot examiners, EAA said at its Sport Pilot Web site on Friday. More...
AIRLINE CUTBACKS, PILOT TRAINEES WANTED
It seems counterintuitive that while Delta Air Lines is cutting 7,000
jobs and Alaska Air says 900 jobs will disappear, Delta's
flight-school subsidiary is expanding and the airline is worried that
a looming pilot shortage may cause flight cancellations -- but the
juxtaposition shows to what degree the industry is in flux. Delta Connection Academy opens a new branch in
Dayton, Ohio, this month, ready to train new pilots for regional jets,
which are growing in number even as the "legacy" carriers like Delta
struggle to avoid bankruptcy. Delta said last week it will expand its
regional-jet fleet from 36 to 48 aircraft. Delta also faces disruption
from a possible crew shortage, as pilots worried about the airline's
future take advantage of a pension plan that allows them to retire
early with big lump-sum payouts. More...
SALES SURPASS 2003
Aircraft announced on Friday that sales orders so far in 2004 have
already surpassed the total number of aircraft deliveries in 2003.
Last year, Cirrus reported 469 aircraft deliveries, and last week,
Cirrus said it has sold its 475th aircraft for 2004. "Recently we had
an incredible week [43 aircraft sold] that pushed us past last year's
delivery total," John M. Bingham, executive vice president of sales at
Cirrus, said in a news release on Friday. Cirrus said it has 45
delivery spots left before the close of the year. The "bonus-depreciation" tax relief act now in effect
allows buyers to write off accelerated depreciation on new aircraft
bought before Dec. 31. More...
PROTESTS FIRING OF WAYWARD NWA PILOTS
Two Northwest Airlines pilots have been fired for landing at the wrong
airport in June, and their union is protesting the dismissal. "We
believe the punishment is excessive," said Will Holman, spokesman for
Airlines Air Line Pilots Association. Since the incident, charts
and navigational databases have been modified to clearly distinguish
the airport and air base locations, he said. The NWA Airbus 319 was
headed for Rapid City (S.D.) Regional Airport when it landed at
Ellsworth Air Force Base instead, about 7 miles away. The two airports
have similar runway layouts, and one approach path takes aircraft
straight over Ellsworth on their way in to Rapid City.
INFRASTRUCTURE COPES WITH HURRICANES
As Florida continues mopping up from two recent hurricanes -- and
hopes to be spared a direct hit from Ivan -- money already is starting
to arrive to help with the recovery. The FAA last week OK'd a grant of
$404,700 for repairs at Melbourne International Airport, where damage
from Hurricane Frances was estimated at about $5 million. Melbourne is
also the site of the FAA's primary network operations and control
center for airspace, which successfully made a transition to a backup
site in Chantilly, Va., before Frances arrived. "The [control center]
is essential to managing and monitoring FAA air traffic control
operations nationwide," said Steve Dash, FAA telecommunications
manager. The backup system worked smoothly, he said.
MEET F-16S IN KANSAS
Two small aircraft got an up-close encounter with fighter jets during
President Bush's visit to Kansas City last week. On Monday morning, an
airplane nipped into the edge of the TFR while en route from
Pittsburg, Kan., to rural Roosterville Airport, and was intercepted by
two F-16s. The jets determined the airplane was not a threat but
followed it till it landed, FAA officials told the Kansas City Star. On Tuesday morning, an airplane
penetrated the restricted airspace, and F-16s again followed it until
it landed. There is nothing unusual anymore about such events -- "We
have had to do this more than 1,600 times since 9/11," Maj. Douglas
Martin, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command
(NORAD), told the Star. More...
ATTENTION, RENTER PILOTS! DON'T BE MISLEAD BY
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CHUTES DON'T HELP
A Cirrus SR22 crashed into the Flambeau River in Northern Wisconsin on
Friday, killing at least one of the two people on board, one of whom
was an instructor with the University of North Dakota. Cirrus Design
spokeswoman Kate Andrews told AVweb yesterday that the accident
is under investigation by the NTSB, but had no further details. Local
news media reported the airplane was trying to make an emergency
landing. It was not clear if the aircraft was involved in a training
INSURANCE RATES NOT THAT HIGH
Bob Mackey, of Falcon Insurance, says the premium estimate that was
quoted in our Monday edition was not for a Light-Sport Aircraft but
for a new Sport Pilot in an Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft. A new
Sport Pilot -- as well as other pilots wishing to exercise the flight
privileges of a Sport Pilot -- flying a Special or Experimental
Light-Sport Aircraft would most likely be quoted premiums no higher
than what they would be quoted for a Standard Category aircraft,
Mackey said. More...
AOPA-AUSTRALIA DOES NOT CONDONE AERIAL PROTEST
Andrew Kerans, vice president of AOPA Australia, wrote to us to
clarify that his group is NOT condoning a no-radio no-transponder
protest of Australia's new airspace rules. "We encourage all pilots to
show that they are angry" about the policy, AOPA-Australia President
Ron Bertram said in a news release on Thursday. However, "we don't
support flying illegally." ...That's another group. More...
AVIDYNE'S NEW CMAX APPROACH CHARTS TAKE
SITUATIONAL AWARENESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Approach Charts, which can be displayed on Avidyne's
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reducing the need for "progressives" at unfamiliar airports.
With CMax, you'll know exactly where you are on the approach or
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Red Bull Air Race now has videos and games online...
Prize contenders launched a rocket to 3,000 feet...
Oprah Winfrey taking ground school to prep for flying
San Diego Navy and Marine pilots completed training to
FAA list of type-certified aircraft that meet LSA
standards is online...
UND flight-training fleet to go all-glass
New landing procedures aim to lessen noise at Portland
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Motor Head #2: Excerpts from the
AVweb's new engine columnist, Marc Cook, found
fresh tech everywhere he looked at Oshkosh, and some of it for
certified airplanes, even.
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about cell phones in airliners, spin training, and VFR
over-the-top, and a lot of comments on air traffic controller "Jane
Doe's" letter. More...
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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:
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I'm an A&P!" Mike will be giving just two more seminars this
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...Overheard one evening in August just west of ATL:
Tower: (To aircraft doing touch and goes alone in the pattern)
...You watching the fireworks just north of here?
Piper1234: Yup ... what's the holiday on August 18th that
Tower: No clue.
Unidentified: Well, I know what it is. Ten year aniversary of
...And now I know where the money has gone.
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|LEARN FROM OTHERS' MISTAKES IFR REFRESHER
TAKES YOU THROUGH AN ACCIDENT|
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