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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded,
Illustrated News Coverage At AVweb's
REAR ADMIRAL STONE, MEET GA'S MAJOR CONCERNS...
Chief of the Transportation Security Administration, Rear Adm. David
Stone, spoke to a full house at AOPA Expo 2004 in Long Beach Friday
morning in what was a sometimes optimism-inspiring, sometimes
contentious interaction with some of the people most directly affected
by his agency's actions -- us, the pilots. Appearing as both the
gentleman and politician (insofar as that is possible) Stone was in
the end sent on his way by a standing ovation. The act seemed either a
reflection of patriotism, respect for a good man in a difficult job
... or people so anxious to leave they simply got up while politely
applauding. (Put money on A or B.) The reaction was at least warranted
by Stone's steady and careful response to a barrage of post-speech
questions, which are perhaps best paraphrased by, "Why are you doing
this to us, what did we ever do to anyone?" Generally, Stone met that
tone with the message that his charge is the safety of our country,
his intent is to fulfill that task, and his determination is to seek
cooperation and partnership with affected parties. Stone's conviction
was that those relationships will be the ones to ensure that our
freedoms are not compromised -- neither our safety. Much
LISTENS, WE'LL SEE HOW WELL IT HEARS...
Stone's speech seemed to imply that the range, scope and motivation
(the overall safety of our nation) driving the TSA has sent it
trolling a broad-reaching ocean with giant nets not yet made
dolphin-safe ... and a lot of the playful friendly little guys have so
far been mistakenly snatched up. Translation: The agency has first set
out to address the immediate (if not three years old) threat and
having done so, it now intends to divert some attention to little
things like Boy Scouts denied access to control towers, pilots denied
access to FSS and FSDO offices, and the inability of pilots,
controllers, or FSS personnel to accurately decipher TFRs. It seems
too that the TSA may even soon devote some attention to how background
checks for a sailplane rating applicant should perhaps differ from
those associated with an applicant seeking a type rating or
instruction in a B-747 simulator. More...
EXPO 2004 -- WHAT A SHOW
AOPA Expo wrapped up in Long Beach, Calif., Saturday night, having
hosted more than 11,000 visitors, 73 aircraft on static display, 535
exhibitors and 75 seminars. Among some of the news announced at the
show: Garmin International said its Garmin GNS 480 is now WAAS certified to fly the
FAA's new GPS-based approaches that provide precise lateral and
vertical approach guidance -- similar to Instrument Landing System
operations -- without the need for ground-based navaids of any kind.
Cessna announced it will include airbags as standard equipment on its
2005 single-engine models. Epic Aircraft said it will produce a new
six-place carbon-fiber twinjet. Why not? Everybody else is
... Only Epic did manage to turn out its turbine single, on which the
jet is based, within a year of announcing the aircraft.
AMENDS ALIEN FLIGHT-TRAINING RULE
When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released its Interim Final Rule on alien flight training last month, it included a 30-day comment period.
Last week, the 30 days were up, and the TSA considered some of the more than 300 comments,
as well as industry input from a stakeholders' meeting and other
channels, and made some tweaks to the rule. The TSA clarified its
definitions of terms, provided an exemption from some record-keeping
requirements, and extended the compliance deadline for some
applicants. Those changes "are a start but just that and only that,"
said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "While some of our
recommended changes have now been implemented, let there be no
question: Significant issues still exist, and additional amendments to
the original rule must be made." More...
LOGBOOKS INSTEAD OF FILES...
One change that aims to ease the record-keeping burden will allow
instructors (that's right, the near-minimum-wage-earning future of
aviation) to use logbook entries to document that they have checked a
student's citizenship ... not that they've been even trained to spot a
phony driver's license, let alone a green card or visa. The rule
originally required instructors to maintain records, with copies of
proof of citizenship for each student, for five years. Now the
instructor must note in the student's logbook "I certify that
[student] has presented to me a [document] establishing that [he or
she] is a U.S. citizen or national ..." The same entry must be made in
the instructor's logbook or record. Between the pay, the liability and
the demonstrated stability of the industry, we're sure the next
generation of instructors can't wait to get started. The TSA's changes
also limit the "citizenship validation" requirement to individuals
receiving training for a new certificate or rating. Good luck with
that new glider rating. (Sailplanes: the next great threat to our
A DELAY FOR CERTIFICATED PILOTS
The TSA also is putting a 60-day hold, till Dec. 19, on applying the
new rules to aliens who currently hold an airman's certificate, either
from the FAA or a recognized foreign authority. However, this
exemption does not apply to aliens without an airman's certificate,
who must comply as of Oct. 20. Also weighing in on the changes was the
National Air Transportation Association (NATA), which said it "welcomed" the TSA's effort.
"The TSA is at least willing to have a dialogue with industry and has
responded favorably to reason and logic," said NATA spokesman Stan
Mackiewicz. "While this IFR [Interim Final Rule] was not the TSA's
best rulemaking effort, the agency has made significant efforts to
work with its industry partners to address those issues that were of
significant concern." More...
FROM PORTABLE TO PANEL-MOUNT JA AIR CENTER IS THE
PLACE TO BUY GARMIN
If you're thinking of purchasing Garmin
GPSMap 296, 96C, or 96 or installing a GNS-530 avionics package, now
is the time to contact JA Air Center. Established in
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finest Garmin Avionics installations, JA Air Center is the place to
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OFF THE PRESSES: LSA STANDARDS
When the FAA's Light-Sport Aircraft rules were announced at Oshkosh in
August, it was clear that a long road to implementation lay ahead.
Last week, a milestone on that road was reached, when ASTM
International published the first edition of consensus standards for light-sport
aircraft. The publication includes guidelines for the design,
manufacture, maintenance and quality of aircraft that will be used in
the light-sport aircraft category. The standards cover not only
fixed-wing airplanes but also powered parachutes, gyroplanes and
balloons, as well as airframe emergency parachutes and engines.
READY FOR SATELLITE DATA
Satellite data made further inroads into GA cockpits last week, when
Garmin introduced the
GDL 69, a remote sensor that receives broadcast
weather data from XM
Satellite Radio and delivers the data to Garmin's avionics
systems. The GDL 69 brings reliable, near-real-time weather
information to the Garmin cockpit, Garmin said on Thursday. "The GDL
69 ... offers a broad array of weather services and a high level of
detail graphically depicted on the displays of our most popular
systems," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing, in a news
THE COUNTRY ON A POWERED CHUTE
Nobody seems more excited about the Sport Pilot era than the
powered-parachute community, and in their latest eruption of
enthusiasm, the PowerChute Education Foundation (PCEF) has
announced plans for a coast-to-coast trip for next spring. The
3,000-mile, 53-leg excursion aims to educate the public about sport
flying and raise money for charity. Pilot Baron Tayler will make the
trip in about eight weeks, including multiple stopovers and media
events. Local parachute pilots are invited to fly along The PCEF Web
site will post daily photos and videos during the trip. The itinerary
includes a launch in San Diego, Calif., and ends in South Carolina.
DEPRECIATION TAX BREAK EXTENDED FOR GA
President Bush signed a tax law last week that will extend the "bonus
depreciation" breaks that have been credited with boosting aircraft
sales by as much as 30 percent. The law extends the
"placed-in-service" date for business aircraft to qualify for bonus
deprecation until Dec. 31, 2005. The break provides a real buyer
incentive, said Ron Swanda, interim president of the General Aviation
Manufacturers Association. "Without a doubt, this will stimulate
jobs growth in our industry," he said. The tax break, which allows
buyers of new business aircraft to deduct 50 percent of the plane's
cost in the first year, up from 30 percent, had been set to expire at
the end of 2004. More...
IF YOUR CELL PHONE CAN SURF THE NET, IT CAN RECEIVE
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GETS A BREAK -- SORT OF
We're not sure if Murphy's Law applies here or not ... something went
wrong, but not as wrong as it might have. On the one hand, pilot Denis
Murphy, 49, of Florida, has ditched twice in just over a year. On the
other hand, he survived both times with only minor injuries. Last
Thursday, charter pilot Murphy was flying alone from the Bahamas to
Florida in a twin-engine Piper Navajo Chieftain when he reported
engine problems and ditched about 11 miles off Fort Lauderdale. Murphy
donned a life jacket and was rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. In
February 2003, Murphy was flying alone from Havana to Miami when he
ditched a twin Cessna 402B, and was rescued 20 minutes later by a
passing fishing boat. There's more to the story. More...
AIRCRAFT NAMES NEW CEO
Mooney has had a somewhat bumpy run the last few years (wow, that was hard
to say with straight face) with changes in ownership, court battles
and stalled production. But this year the reorganized Mooney Airplane
Company has been rehiring workers, showing at new venues (the
company made its first-ever appearances at NBAA and Reno earlier this
month), and on Thursday, named a new CEO, Gretchen Jahn. "Gretchen has
an extensive and impressive background in building and managing
successful businesses," said Tom Gray, Mooney's managing director, in
a news release. Jahn has been an active pilot for 20 years.
THE NEW ASA AIRCRAFT FLIGHT LOG IS EASY AND
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maintenance logs. Instantly know the disposition of the aircraft you
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Available now for $9.95 from ASA at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/asadirect/avflash.
INSTRUMENTS, VISION MICROSYSTEMS ANNOUNCE MERGER
Microsystems, a manufacturer of engine-monitoring systems for
experimental and certified GA aircraft, will merge with JP
Instruments, the two companies announced last week. Vision,
headquartered in Bellingham, Wash., will continue as a division of
JPI, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif. The founder and president of
Vision, Lance Turk, will retain responsibility for Vision's product
line. "We contribute our expertise and respect in the experimental
aircraft, and JPI contributes a very strong production capability,"
said Turk. More...
SHORTAGE? PATCO ASKS COURT TO INTERVENE IN ATC HIRING
Remember PATCO, the
air traffic controllers union of the 1980s, whose members were fired
en masse after a strike? The union, though long quiet, has not gone
away, and last Friday went to court to try to get jobs back for some
of its members. Four plaintiffs, along with the Professional Air
Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), filed a complaint in a
federal court in Tennessee, asking that the FAA be stopped from hiring
any new air traffic controllers until the FAA can show that it is not
discriminating against former PATCO members who apply for openings.
PATCO says that a ban on hiring the former controllers was lifted in
1993, but the FAA has avoided hiring them and has instead hired
less-qualified applicants. More...
A Learjet crashed near San Diego yesterday...
Ten died in Beech 200
crash in Virginia last night...
An engine fell off a 747 cargo
plane in flight last week...
First flight for Quest's 10-place
single-engine utility airplane...
X Prize Foundation selling
tickets to trophy award event in St. Louis...
Wolf Aviation Fund
seeks grant proposals for projects promoting GA...
to speak at Lindbergh Symposium in Fla., Nov. 13...
DOT named three
new members to FAA Management Advisory Council...
NTSB wants better
safety briefings for charter ops over water. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTICLES AND FEATURES ON AVWEB
Gems in the GPS Attic
fly short hops in your GPS-equipped airmobile, you may not have had
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LOOK, UP IN THE AIR! IT'S A PLANE! IT'S A FLYING
It's Woody, staff member of Pilot
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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 the crashes of the Bushmaster and Pinnacle
airliner, the first homebuilt in Canada, pilots vs. controllers and
A student pilot was on a cross country solo flight to Santa Barbara.
Eager to fly "heavy metal" he contacts approach at 5,500 feet for
N12345: ...approach, Cessna 12345 checking in at flight level 550.
Approach (after a long pause): Roger, Cessna 12345 ... you can contact
NASA at 368.2 for further advisories! More...
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