The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
SECURITY BILL GETS A GOING-OVER...
A New York congressman has pledged to work with general aviation
groups and other members of Congress to address GA security concerns
without unduly disrupting the industry. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)
caused a big flap in Washington last week when he proposed a bill that
would require airline-type security measures for all non-air-carrier
aircraft. Weiner spokesman Anson Kaye told AVweb that on
Wednesday, Weiner told the House Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure he would not introduce the bill as written and would
consult with GA groups and other members of Congress on ways to
achieve the bill's goals without crushing the industry. (Just maiming
HE MEANT, NOT WHAT HE SAID...
While the effect of the proposed bill would be enormous, it had its
start with a very narrow focus. Weiner told the House Committee on
Wednesday that his primary focus was on helicopters but that he'd try
to fashion a bill that accommodated the full range of GA security
concerns. Weiner spokesman Kaye said, "There are a lot of people who
are worried about how close those helicopters fly to their residences"
in the city's taller buildings and that those concerns prompted the
bill. Washington insiders told AVweb that Weiner's bill was a
political long shot at best, and was unlikely to make it into the
current legislative session, which ends in a few days. Weiner's
comments on Wednesday virtually assure it won't see light of day in
the current session. More...
PLEDGES TO HELP
Kaye said the congressman is not particularly worried about the
practical implications of such a bill. He said it would be easy for
the Transportation Security Administration to distribute their watch
list to small aircraft operators. As for the physical screening of
passengers and baggage, he said such measures are accepted as
necessary. "For better or for worse, people are getting used to it,"
he said. AOPA spokesman Chris Dancy said his organization is willing
to help Weiner modify his bill. "We'd like to work with Congressman
Weiner to develop legislation that addresses his concerns but isn't a
detriment to general aviation." More...
Instead of getting ready for the most anticipated race at the National
Championship Air Races, Jon Sharp's Nemesis NXT team
is trying to figure out what went wrong as the 400-plus-mph hopeful
two-seat kitplane landed at Reno Stead Airport on Tuesday. Race
spokeswoman Sue Putnam told AVweb the aircraft made what looked
like a routine landing but the pilot "heard a bang" on the left side.
"He tried to keep it on its right side as long as he could but of
course it eventually came down and the landing gear collapsed and it
slid along the runway," Putnam said. More...
DESERT WARMS UP TO THROATY GROWLS
Although the cutting-edge Sport Class has been gaining a lot of
attention in recent years, many who attend Reno go to see 60-year-old
technology that can't be matched in terms of sheer gas-guzzling glory.
Last year, Skip Holm, piloting Dago Red,
a fully tricked-out P-51, broke the 500-mph barrier with a best time
of 507 mph. John Penney, in the famous Rare Bear, a
massive Grumman F8F Bearcat (maybe with a huge four-bladed prop this
year) was always a close second and both planes are back this year. In
fact, they're among 27 Unlimiteds signed up to race.
through for more from Reno.
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OPPOSES LIFTING CONTROLLER AGE-56 LIMIT
While various groups continue to press the government to allow airline
pilots to fly beyond the age of 60, the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association says allowing controllers to work beyond the
age of 56 "is fraught with considerable problems of controller health,
manpower distribution, and the general safety of America's flying
public." Eugene R. Freedman, NATCA's policy counsel, was slated to
speak before the Senate Special Committee on Aging on Tuesday.
Congress recently directed the FAA to adopt rules to issue waivers to
the age limit as a way of combating a retirement-induced exodus of
controllers over the next decade, something Freedman describes as "a
dangerous shortcut." Whether or not a staffing crisis is imminent
still appears to be a point of some contention. More...
If your GA business is still in the 9/11 doldrums, maybe it needs a
change of scenery. Uniworld LLC is urging you to pack a set of
chopsticks (wooden ones ... metal ones may be confiscated at security
checkpoints) and head to China for a couple of GA forums (which it is
sponsoring) next year. Uniworld promises to put the movers and shakers
of China's GA industry in the same room with those who know how to
meet its allegedly burgeoning commercial GA needs, at the China GA
Forum 2005 in X'ian March 16-18. Then, May 18-20 in Beijing, the
recreational market will be examined in the China Ultralight Expo
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APPROVES VOLUNTEER PILOTS' BILL
If you fly to help others (or even if you think it's a good idea that
some people do) the Air Care Alliance is looking for a final political push to get some truly helpful
legislation passed. The Volunteer Pilot Organization Act received a
resounding 385-12 endorsement in the House on Tuesday. The bill
expands and extends liability relief, similar to the Good Samaritan
Act, to public-benefit flying, thus easing insurance burdens, or in
some cases, making insurance available again. The trick is making sure
it gets on the agenda of the rapidly dwindling legislative session.
The Air Care Alliance is urging all volunteer pilots and organizations
to phone, fax and e-mail their senators to ensure the bill is passed
in the next few days. More...
EU TALK AIRCRAFT SUBSIDIES
Two of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick's top aides are in
Brussels today meeting with their European Union counterparts trying
to put an end to what the U.S. claims are unfair subsidies to Airbus
Industries. At issue is a section of an agreement between the U.S. and
Europe that nails down how (and how much) governments can help
aircraft manufacturers develop new planes. That section allows
governments to lend companies money at below-market rates to fund up
to a third of development costs. Europe has supplied such loans to
Airbus; the U.S. has not done the same for Boeing and wants the
provision scrapped. More...
ATTENTION, RENTER PILOTS! DON'T BE MISLEAD BY
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that offers protection from the most common renters' claims. Call
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WEIGHT ... AND MAYBE LUNCH
The man best known for organizing the private space race is making
weightlessness available to anyone with $3,000 and, we hope (as will
their fellow passengers) a strong stomach. Peter Diamandis, the
founder of the X Prize competition, is behind the Zero Gravity
Corporation, which just got FAA approval to sell tickets on NASA-style
parabolic flight profiles (aboard a 727-200) that give customers a
brief period of weightlessness and a rather unique view. The FAA
signed off on the flights on Tuesday and tickets are on sale for
flights that will be conducted on a two-week tour that will visit New
York, Los Angeles, Reno, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Florida.
CLAIM, A BUNCH OF BULL
A couple of British pilots have a load of bull to give their insurance
carrier and they're not fooling around. Tony Cooper and Lisa
Kingscott's vintage Auster J1N airplane suffered about $18,000 in
damage earlier this month when some young bulls developed a taste for
the fabric covering. The bullocks ate a large section of the 1946
aircraft's fuselage. "I was speechless. I've never seen anything like
it," Kingscott told the Daily Mail. Kingscott and Cooper, who own the
plane with three others, have always landed in the same field on their
frequent visits to Herfordshire (where else?) to see friends. Maybe
not anymore. More...
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Up to 800 flights affected due to system failure at California enroute
NTSB is looking at whether a burned-out
television tower light bulb contributed to crash...
of drunken flight appeared in court...
NTSB law judge overturned
the revocation of a charter company owner's pilot, mechanic
Delta pilots consider retiring rather than going
down with the ship. 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 email@example.com.
THE NEW ASA AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY AND
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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
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Say Again? #40: ATC 105 --
You've got plenty to learn when becoming a pilot --
and one of the more intimidating things is talking on the microphone.
But proper phraseology can save your life, and it's easier to learn
when you're new. AVweb's Don Brown has another in his basic
communication courses in this month's column.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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QUESTION OF THE WEEK ...
The latest Weiner bill, proposed legislation introduced by Rep.
Anthony Weiner (D-NY) (see AVweb's AVflash, above) would have
prevented small aircraft from flying over any city with a population
of one million among other things. It has caused quite the stir
among aviation advocates. But while the alphabets jump to our defense,
word from the DC faithful is more mundane: 90 percent of bills
introduced go nowhere; it's at the end of the session, so there's no
time to deal with it; and John Mica (R-FL), the Chairman of the House
Subcommittee on Aviation, isn't going to do anything with a bill
introduced by a lowly Democrat, anyway. Is this latest bill a real
threat to GA, or just an opportunity for the alphabets to convince you
they're working for your money? AVweb wants to hear your opinion.
PLUS: Results of last week's question, "Why do you fly?"
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PICTURE OF THE WEEK ...
No lightning photos this week, we promise! Like most everyone, we've
seen enough storms for a while so it's blue skies and easy
flying in this installment of "Picture of the Week." Navah Samra takes
home top honors for a photo celebrating 80 years of the RCAF. Your
official AVweb baseball cap is already winging its way to the Great
North, Navra! More...
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|FLYING MAGAZINE RECAPS AIRVENTURE, TAKES A LOOK
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YOU ARE LOOKING TO FALL ASLEEP, READ THE AIM, NOT ROD MACHADO'S
Since over 75% of all aviation accidents
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Or have them read Rod Machado's Plane Talk, which will
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