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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
CIRCUMSTANCES IN CRASHES
They almost made it. Pilots of a Pinnacle Airlines CRJ2 apparently
glided their powerless regional jet for 20 minutes and almost 100
miles before it crashed two miles short of the Jefferson City, Mo.,
airport late Thursday. Now, the NTSB is trying to figure out why both
engines apparently stopped, possibly while the plane was at cruise.
The plane was on a repositioning flight from Little Rock, Ark., to
Minneapolis. Only the pilots, Captain Jesse Rhodes, of Palm Harbor,
Fla., and First Officer Peter Cesarz, of Helotes, Texas, were on board
when the regional jet went down in a residential area of the city,
narrowly missing several houses. Both pilots were killed but no one on
the ground was hurt. NTSB spokeswoman Carol Carmody said flight data
recorder information showed the plane was at 41,000 feet, about 100
miles south of Jefferson City, at 9:51 p.m. Four minutes later, both
engines quit. Other reports suggest one engine quit at cruise and the
other during the emergency descent. The plane crashed at 10:15 p.m.
TAIL SCRAPED FOR HUNDREDS OF YARDS...
Engines have now become at least part of the focus of another unusual
crash, this one an MK Airlines Boeing 747-200 cargo plane in Halifax,
Nova Scotia. Canadian authorities are trying to figure out why the
jumbo jet used practically every inch of runway (scraping the tail
twice) and then scraped its tail along the ground for about 200 yards
before becoming briefly airborne. It didn't gain enough altitude to
clear an antenna on a communications berm about 350 yards from the end
of the runway. That's where the tail broke off and the rest of the
fully-fueled plane careened into a gravel pit. All seven aboard were
killed. On Saturday, Canadian Transportation Safety Board officials
confirmed that within weeks of the accident two engines on the
aircraft had been replaced. More...
THE ACCIDENT THAT WASN'T?
Fortunately, all that can be harmed are the egos and reputations of a
newspaper and an airline in a fracas over an incident in Hong Kong
Aug. 30. The London Daily Telegraph, quoting unnamed sources, claimed
in an Oct. 14 story that a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400
flew "uncontrolled" for three minutes over Hong Kong, almost hit a
mountain and nearly stalled while on a go-around at Chep Lap Kok
Airport. In a subsequent story in The Standard, the airline
insists "the aircraft was never, at any stage, close to terrain ..."
and was "always comfortably above any speed which could have led to a
stall." One thing the paper and the airline do agree on, however, is
that sometime during the missed approach, the autopilot became
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A HACKER'S PARADISE?
The greatest threat to U.S. aviation security may come from
cyberspace. According to the Register, a journal of IT-related topics, The
Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General has found
key air traffic control computer systems vulnerable to hackers. "While
having limited exposure to the general public, en route center
computer systems need to be better protected," the Oct. 1 report
reads. All federal agencies must annually review computer security and
this year's report found that while security features are incorporated
into the FAA's systems on installation, they don't get updated. "FAA
needs to commit to reviewing all operational air traffic control
systems -- at en route, approach control and airport terminal
facilities," according to the report. More...
DRUNKS KEEP FINDING PLANES TO STEAL
Meanwhile, when it comes to beating airport security, there doesn't
seem to be any better strategy than getting thoroughly drunk. Perhaps
because of the focus on aviation security these days, maybe we're just
hearing about these incidents more, but it seems strange, indeed, that
a young man "in a visible state of drunkenness" was able to break into
an airport terminal at Coulommiers, east of Paris, and take a
single-engine plane for a joy ride. But it gets better (worse). After
being intercepted by a helicopter and escorted to Charles de Gaulle
Airport, he managed to run away from airport officials who were trying
to detain him. More...
WHAT DO APPLYING FOR LIFE INSURANCE & A RAMP CHECK HAVE
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RETHINK THE MODERN COCKPIT
Common in reviews of flashy new flat-panel cockpit displays (and
frequently voiced among those who remember piston airliners) is the
notion that while Technicolor screens should be easier to use and
generally better-suited for communicating information, they don't seem
to be. Science has stepped in to shed some light on this apparent
contradiction, which, if taken to heart, could result in a wholesale
redesign of the modern cockpit. In a nutshell, say researchers, it appears pilots are better able
to process information from monochromatic, flickering, individual
sources (like old-fashioned gauges?) than from all-in-one, color-coded
screens. Apparently, we are able to look at a lot more than we are
able to actually see, due in part to the way humans are wired to cope
with visually dependent tasks. More...
(EXPENSIVE) ROAD AHEAD FOR MUSEUM
They still don't know what caused the fire that destroyed the Yankee
Air Museum at Ypsilanti, Mich., last week but there are some grim
truths surfacing about the future of the institution. For instance,
it's estimated it will cost $5.5 million just to replace the hangar
that housed the collection of more than 13,000 aviation artifacts. So
far, about $100,000 has been raised through an online
donations site. Volunteers managed to get three flyable aircraft,
a B-25, a B-17 and a C-47, away from the flames but virtually
everything else was razed. More...
G1000S RECALLED FOR INSPECTION
That shiny new Garmin G1000 in your panel (new production Cessna,
Mooney, and Diamond aircraft -- just to name a few -- all have a G1000
option) might as well be a DVD player until you get it checked for
some capacitors that may have been installed backward. Garmin issued
an "urgent notice" to owners of the glass cockpit
systems advising them the systems are limited to VFR/Day Only
operations until they've been checked for the faulty parts. The good
news is that not all G1000s have the potentially faulty parts, but the
only way to find out is to have them inspected. The notice covers
parts called GIA 63 units, serial numbers 46901800 to 46902817.
SPORT N-NUMBERS AVAILABLE, NOT RECOMMENDED
You can now get an N-number for your ultralight or homebuilt but,
ironically, it would mean you can't fly it. The conundrum comes as
various parts of the massive Light Sport/Sport Pilot implementation
process fail to synchronize in the creation of the new aircraft class.
According to EAA, the part of the FAA that deals with registration is
ready to go and forms were available on Friday to make the transition.
Problem: The parts of the FAA that deal with the necessary
licensing and airworthiness certificates won't be ready for months.
"With FAA's release of the registration form, it is possible to get an
N-number for your ultralight," said EAA spokesman Charlie Becker.
"However, EAA is counseling members to wait ... because, without an
airworthiness certificate, you're grounded." More...
LINE UP FOR "LOANS"
The test for development of new aircraft appears to be how much
governments are willing to ante up. Earlier this week, Bombardier and
Airbus both said they were going to the public trough to fund the
creation of new products. And in Canada's Ottawa, there appear to be
sympathetic ears. Canada's Industry Minister David Emerson indicated
to reporters that Bombardier would get help from the government to
build a new class of 110- to 135-passenger jets. The company estimates
development costs at $2 billion and wants the bill split three ways,
with Bombardier putting up $700 million, suppliers a similar amount
and the government coming up with $700 million in "loans." Emerson
tried to downplay the suggestion that the government's help was aimed
directly at one company. More...
"FIRSTS" IN CANADA
It depends on how you define your "firsts" but a celebration of one
Canadian aviation milestone in Goderich, Ontario, has raised an issue
of clarity among the relatives of some aviation pioneers in British
Columbia. The town of Goderich is planning an
event next August to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first
flight of an "amateur built aircraft" in Canada. The good people of
Goderich believe this to have happened in 1955 ... but ... folks in
Vernon, B.C., would beg to differ. You see, by 1955, Vernon boys Jim
Duddle and Eldon Seymour had been flying the plane they built from scratch for
almost 20 years and Seymour's grandson Pat wants the record on that
point straight. The devil, as always, is in the details.
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Tax breaks for GA (worth $245 million) are just bonus depreciation
Mechanic killed by Cessna hand-propped by
Excel-Jet plans a move to Eclipse's home of New
If you think you're good with narrow runways, you gotta
see this. More...
NEWSTIPS ADDRESS ...
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ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
As the Beacon Turns #82: A Review
The FAA says a flight review can be conducted
mostly at the discretion of the CFI, but that means you could get
anything from a "checkride" to a pencil-whipped joyride. AVweb's
Michael Maya Charles has a better way -- a way to help the pilot
remember the important information -- in this month's column.
From the CFI #3: Practice Does
Not Make Perfect
No, we're not saying you shouldn't practice.
AVweb's Linda Pendleton takes a crack at another truism of flight
training, showing that practicing the wrong thing can be just as bad
as not practicing. More...
FEEDBACK ON AVWEB'S NEWS COVERAGE AND FEATURE ARTICLES:
mail this week about ATC staffing, presidential pilots, airline woes
and more. More...
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Heard on the Green Bay ATIS
"...advise on initial contact that you have information Bravo. I'm
Green Bay Ground Control and I approved this ATIS." More...
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