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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
TRAINING RULE RAISES MORE QUESTIONS...
As AVweb reported Thursday, the TSA on Sept.
20 issued what it calls an "Interim Final Rule" regarding the reporting and
record-keeping requirements for flight training of foreign students.
Reaction at first was a bit muted, but quickly grew to a crescendo of
complaint by the end of the week as the alphabets got a better look at
the rule and prepared to let loose on the 30-day comment period.
AOPA's somewhat critical take on Tuesday, based on an "initial
review," by Thursday had morphed into a full-scale attack.
"Unless TSA clarifies that U.S. citizens are exempt, AOPA believes the
rule could be interpreted to mean that, starting next month, they
would not be able to complete flight training -- including flight
reviews -- without first going through some type of TSA check," AOPA
said in a news release. "It is absolutely essential that TSA clarify,
in writing, that this rule does not apply to U.S. citizens." Much
DISSECT THE RULE...
Neither EAA nor AOPA believe it is the intent of the rule that U.S.
citizens need to go through the background check and TSA application
process -- but they also agree that the language of the rule is so
confusing and unclear that they fear it could be interpreted that way.
"When the players are gone, the rules remain," EAA's Doug Macnair,
vice president of government relations, told AVweb on Friday.
"It's good to be clear at the outset, so it's not subject to
interpretation." Both EAA and AOPA also raised questions about the
requirement for Certified Flight Instructors to register with their
local FSDO. "Are they coordinating this? Will the FAA be ready to do
that?" asked Macnair. AOPA said there are 86,000 CFIs in the U.S. "We
don't think TSA appreciates [that]," AOPA said. For flight schools and
instructors flying aircraft that weigh less than 12,500 pounds, the
rule takes effect Oct. 20. More...
The rule does state that U.S. citizens need only to prove their status
to be exempted from the TSA check, by showing a passport or other
identification, which the flight school must keep on record for five
years. But the TSA's use of the term "candidate," which the TSA
defines as "an alien or other individual designated by TSA who applies
for flight training," seems to be causing confusion. Many of the
rule's stipulations that appear to apply to any "candidate" for flight
training probably refer only to aliens. AOPA said it has been assured
by TSA Administrator Adm. David Stone that the agency's intent was to
check foreign nationals who are seeking flight training, not U.S.
citizens. Regardless, a slew of representatives from aviation industry
associations, including NATA, GAMA, EAA, AOPA and others, will meet
with the TSA on Thursday to discuss their issues and to seek
STUFF FROM YOUR FAVORITE AVIATION AGENCY...
A new program that took effect earlier this month allows Aviation
Medical Examiners (AMEs) to expedite the renewal of special-issuance
first-, second- and third-class medical certificates. The program,
called AME Assisted Special Issuance (AASI), means that once an
application requiring a special issuance (SI) for one of 20 specified
conditions is reviewed and issued by the FAA, pilots then can go to
their AME for a renewal, provide all the necessary medical reports,
and if the condition has not changed, walk out the same day with
another valid SI medical. The AASI program was implemented in 2002 for
third-class SI medicals, and has now been expanded. More...
SENATE MOVES TO MANDATE PHOTOS ON PILOT CERTIFICATES
...Just when you were getting used to your new laminated one.
Legislation that would give the FAA six months to issue new pilot
certificates with photo ID passed the powerful Senate Commerce
Committee on Wednesday and was sent to the full Senate, AOPA said last week. "AOPA has long advocated for
such a move but believes that the six-month time frame for
implementation is unrealistic," AOPA said in a news release. The bill
would require the FAA to assign designees -- most likely aviation
medical examiners -- to take official photos. "The task is still a
daunting one, and our goal is to make sure that pilots don't face an
inconvenience to have their pictures taken," said AOPA President Phil
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SEASON, PART FOUR...
Early yesterday, Hurricane Jeanne battered the East Coast of Florida,
the fourth hurricane in six weeks to affect the GA-heavy state, where
the damage tally already is up to about $15 billion. Jeanne crossed
the coastline near Stuart, with 120-mph winds, drenching rain and huge
waves. The winds tore off rooftops and made missiles of debris left
over from Frances, which tore through the same area just three weeks
ago, damaging hundreds of airplanes and hangars. More than a million
people lost power in yesterday's winds. Where electricity is out,
obstruction lights on towers are also out, and many airports and
towers are shut down. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane
Center in Miami, told the Associated Press it was the "first time ever
that we know of" that two hurricanes landed so close in place and
AVIATION BUSINESSES SEEK DISASTER RELIEF
To help with the recovery, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has
collected contact information for aviation businesses hurt by the
storms in Florida and neighboring states. NATA suggests that business
owners in need of relief contact the Small Business Administration
(SBA) at 800/621-3362, to see if they qualify for federal disaster
assistance. The SBA Web site has information on how to apply for a disaster loan and an online list of disaster-recovery centers in Florida. For more
information, contact Beth Van Emburgh at NATA, at
OREGON AERO CUTS COCKPIT CLUTTER
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SUPERSONIC BUSINESS JET?
When rumors arose last week that Aerion Corp. has a supersonic business jet in the
works, AVweb tried to track it down. The company is listed as a
member at the National Business Aviation Association's (NBAA) Web
site, under the Aerospace Design and Engineering category, based in
Reno, Nev., and is headed by Brian Barents, the former CEO of Learjet
and Galaxy Aerospace. A call to Aerion last week was referred to
spokesman Jeff Miller, head of an independent PR company. Miller
invited us to attend a press conference at NBAA's upcoming annual
meeting in Las Vegas, Oct. 12-14, but declined to divulge or
confirm any other information about the company or its plans until
WILLIAMS ENGINES -- ONE READY, ONE IN THE WORKS
Williams International, of Walled Lake, Mich., has
received the FAA Type Certificate for its FJ33-4A-15 turbofan engine,
the company announced on Sept. 13. At the same time, the company said
it is within a few months of completing the certification testing of
yet another previously undisclosed new small turbofan engine, which it
will unveil at next month's NBAA
convention in Las Vegas. The newly certified FJ33-4A-15 weighs
less than 300 pounds and has a thrust rating of 1,568 pounds. Most
testing was completed over a year ago, Williams says, but it delayed
the final certification program to incorporate its dual-channel, full
authority digital engine control (FADEC), sensor suite, and software.
AIRSHIP GETS FUNDING BOOST
Airships seem to be getting a lot of attention lately, not only as a
warm fuzzy way to advertise or give tours, but as a weapon of war.
Last week, a blimp leased by the U.S. Army and loaded with sensors and
cameras flew missions above the Maryland countryside, to
test its usefulness as an airborne sentry post. Meanwhile, the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced early this month
it will invest $10 million to build a giant new airship, called Walrus, which would be capable of transporting 500
to 1,000 tons of military payload across 6,000 miles within four days.
The ship would have a hull length of 600 to 1,000 feet, according to
Aeros, an airship company that is working on the
Walrus concept. More...
EXPERIENCE SPORT FLYING AT POWRACHUTE EXTRAVAGANZA
The annual Powrachute Extravaganza, held in Columbus, Kan.,
Sept. 16-19, had a new theme this year as hundreds of powered
parachute enthusiasts from across the nation gathered to fly, and
showed an eagerness to learn more about the FAA's new Sport Pilot and
Light-Sport Aircraft rules. EAA said it answered questions "nonstop" at its
tent during the event, and EAA and many others led forums on the
topic. On Saturday, more than a hundred powered parachutes took to the
early morning air, and 80 of them launched in record time -- 11
minutes, 21 seconds. Instructors introduced hundreds of newcomers to
powered parachute flight, EAA said, and Powrachute debuted a prototype
totally enclosed PPC. More...
"IT'S LIKE HAVING A NEW AIRPLANE"
airplane uses less fuel on a trip than some SUVs." "General
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SERVICE!" These are what GAMI customers have to
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PRIZE LAUNCH SET FOR WEDNESDAY AT MOJAVE; CANADIANS ON
Following its successful test flight in June, the American Mojave Aerospace team, led by Burt Rutan
and backed by Paul Allen, plans to launch its first official flight in
pursuit of the $10 million Ansari X Prize on Wednesday. This week's launch
will be followed by a second required flight, tentatively set for
Monday. The public is invited to both launches -- gates open at 3
a.m., parking passes cost $20. For those who can't make
it to Mojave, the launch will be broadcast live on
the Internet starting at 6 a.m. PST on Wednesday, and AVweb
will be on site to deliver coverage in our regular Thursday edition.
In other X Prize news, the Canadian da Vinci Project, the closest team on Rutan's
heels, has postponed the launch planned for Saturday (Oct. 2) in
First Russian SparrowHawk gyroplane has flown
AirVenture Oshkosh will run Monday-to-Sunday in
2005, July 25-31...
Two Forest Service workers reported killed in
air crash, found alive...
"Wing Nuts" on Discovery Channel about
Hurricane Ivan left a half-dozen
airplanes high and dry. More...
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
CEO of the Cockpit #37: Pilot
Lounge and Politics
It's the final push to the election, and
politics have entered the sacrosanct world of the airline cockpit, and
the not-so-sacrosanct pilot lounge. AVweb's CEO of the Cockpit reports
on the latest gossip.
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 EXPO 2004 ADVANCE REGISTRATION
Register for AOPA Expo by October 1 and
save! AOPA Expo, held October 21-23 in Long Beach, California,
has over 70 seminars, 525 exhibit booths, and 70 aircraft on display.
Free general sessions host the top leaders in the aviation industry,
from the leader of the TSA to the FAA Administrator and AOPA President
Phil Boyer. Find out what's on the horizon for General Aviation at
this year's Expo. Register today at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/aopaexpo/avflash.
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVwebs NO-COST twice monthly Business
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FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about FAA budget cuts, Cirrus parachutes (and the
pilots who use them), and more. More...
"Overheard this one while in the pattern at
Pilot: Price County traffic, Experimental ####
will be going down in the lake off the end of
Unicom: Will notify Sheriff's department
immediately. Hang on!
negative.........we're an Amphibian. More...
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We Welcome Your
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